Monday, April 27, 2009

Not a simple sailor anymore huh?

The Security Minister, Lord West I see has been named as the Minister who bet against Gordon Brown winning an overall majority during his summer bounce when he initially took office. Some will remember that West got slapped down in November 2007 and made a U-Turn on terror saying,
"Being a simple sailor not a politician maybe I didn't choose my words well...Maybe my choice of words wasn't very clever."
Methinks though he is no longer a simple sailor and is a politician given the way he has denied the betting story saying,

"I have never placed a bet at all while a minister ever on a political issue."
Note the words "while a minister"? Lord West became a Lord in July 2007 and has been a minister, specifically, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Security and Counter-terrorism at the Home Office since August 2007 according to

Plenty of time to place a bet and still be within the boundaries of the non-denial denial no? Simple sailor he is no more! A very clever choice of words.

UPDATE: It has been noted in the comments that West became a minister on 29th June 2007. I'm not sure that is correct. He was announced as a minister on that date, but he did not become a Lord until the 9th July, so he cannot have officially been a minister in June. Announcing someone in an office and them officially taking that office are not the same thing. Much like when you get told you've got a job but you don't officially have it until you actually start doing it. Hence, a clever choice of words.


Events dear boy, events said...

I am not saying your point is not valid, but he was appointed as a minister on 29th June 2007. As mentioned yesterday, how did he get those odds?

dizzy said...

As previously linked, They Work For You reports that he took office on 1st August

See here

dizzy said...

Regarding the odds, Mike at Politicalbetting .com has noted how it is possible.

dizzy said...

I should add, being announced as a minister of state and actually officially being a minister of state are not the same thing.

Perhaps They Work For You is wrong, but its worth noting that it was announced he was becoming a Lord in June but he was not actually made a Lord until the 9th July. He could not have been a minister therefore on the 29th June through to the 9th because he had no legitimate place in Parliament from where to act in that office.

As I say, a clever choice of words.

Oldrightie said...

Keelhauling on the way methinks!

Events dear boy, events said...

I take your points. There does appear to be some confusion. I think you can become a minister and then take your seat in the Lords. Mandy is a case in point.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Do you have to be an MP or a Lord to be a minister?

Alec Douglas-Home was briefly neither a Peer or an MP during the time he was Prime Minister.

dizzy said...

@events dear boy events

Agreed on confusion, in the case of Mandelson, Theyworkyou says he "entered the Hosue of Lords" rather than "became a lord" on a date after he became a Minister.

I think, as I say, that the announcement of office and taking office are different things. Could be wrong though. The words remain carefully chosen though.

Events dear boy, events said...

Yep there is confusion. I have no interest or expertise in betting, but can it be determined when the bet was placed? I assume computer records are kept.

At the end of the day, this story juts becomes another embarrassment for Brown.

Events dear boy, events said...

Sorry to labour the point. Just thought I mention that John Rentoul has updated his post from yesterday. He also quotes the 29th June date.

No matter. Brown's problems have got a lost worse than having to worry about silly bets.

dizzy said...

That date is not strictly correct, and I don't want to labour the point either. West appointed to be a Parliamentary Under-Secfretary on that date at the Home Office, i.e. a minister, he did not actually take the role he is in, which has been his only one, until August 1st.

Anonymous said...

Cleverly he used the 'Clintonesque' phrase he 'had never bet on Labour TO LOSE' [my emphasis].

davidc said...

actually he has form - 'lost' papers dealing with a proposal to downsize the navy some 20 or so years ago (smack on the wrist with a wet lettuce at the court marshal) then more recently speaking 'off message' re security and now placing ,or not anti post betting (never a wise idea)

perhaps he should recall the advice that used to be given to all in the services 'never, never become involved in politics'