Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Is the Telegraph spinning for Downing Street against Blears?

I'm loving this latest piece by Andrew Porter in the Telegraph, which to me stinks so heavily of a black-op anti-Blears briefing from Downing Street it's almost laughable.

It reports that her resignation was actually "due to capital gains tax avoidance on another property". However, when you read the story and look at the details it's obviously a hatchet spin job because it doesn't contain a single new revelation. It says,
Hazel Blears’ resignation as Communities Secretary was partly triggered by the discovery that she had allegedly avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of another property.

The Telegraph has learned that the £13,000 that Miss Blears repaid voluntarily last month, in the wake of expenses disclosures about the sale of her Kennington flat, was not allegedly to cover just one property.
Oh really Mr Porter? You just learned that did you? Did you not pay attention to her own statement (mirrored with date stamps on PoliticsHome) back when she wrote the cheque last month? She said,

"When selling that Kennington flat, and also one in Shad Thames before I became a minister, I checked the rules for the Inland Revenue in terms of designating a property as your main home. I followed those rules as they meant there was not any liability for capital gains tax.....

What matters is what people think and feel about the issue. I have therefore written a cheque to the Inland Revenue for the equivalent amount had I been liable for capital gains tax when I sold the flats."
Note the reference to "flats", plural and the reference to two locations? Also the reference to a third address in the statement on her own website from last month? The "new revelation" that the cheque was for more than one property isn't new at all. So, the claim by Andrew Porter and the Telegraph that,

It was presumed that the amount was for the Kennington flat, but that allegedly is not the case.

The disclosure that the £13,000 allegedly included “back tax” for another “flipped” property deal will lead many to suspect that she resigned today before the details were disclosed.
It would only do that if you were a complete idiot and failed to pay attention to what was said at the time; or perhaps are taking a line being briefed to you from those with an interest in discrediting Blears before she publicly attacks them?

Update: The Telegraph has amended their story to say the information was public knowledge already. Funny that.


talwin said...

If No. 10 is briefing against Blears, they're playing a dangerous game. Mind you, their judgement and form in this area are not great are they?

CityUnslicker said...

The Telegraph are a grsily bunch. Stil at least we know who the enemies are when they don't try and hide.

Half The Story said...

He is a lickspittle donkey.

Gaw said...

Don't you think Tom Watson's resignation in the wake of Jacqui Smith's leaked announcement plus the report on LabourHome that No10 was behind the leak indicate that Watson was fired when Brown found out he'd been doing some freelance leaking? Did anyone spot a mobile phone-shaped indentation on his greasy forehead?

denverthen said...

Great work. All this certainly contributes to an explanation for the DTs disturbingly schitzoid tendencies.

First Time Caller said...

What's going on? The Telegraph are getting into bed with Labour whilst the Guardian seem to be doing their best today to ruffle feathers in Downing Street! I shall be on the look out for cats chasing dogs and worms pecking at birds. The Telegraph died to me some weeks ago. I'll bet they're feeling the pinch in the absence of my daily 90p.

Tom said...

I met Porter when he was still at the Sun. He admitted then that he was a big Brown fan. Won't have changed cos he's gone to The Telegraph.

Lexander said...

Very interesting but doubtful. I can't wait for the lovely little bike tart to come out with some real tittle tattle about her cabinet time. I just have a feeling that she must have had many a horny hand on those knees!

Colonel Smedley said...

Almost certainly yes.

It seems that the innermost cabal now consists of Brown, Balls, Mandleson and Woodward, and no more.

Woodward is almost certainly going to get the Home Office.

JMB said...

Has Gordon been giving Obama advice on security?

List of U.S. Nuclear Sites Inadvertently Posted Online

Old Holborn said...

Look at this way

The Police are going to raid the Fees Office on Monday (as reported in the People)

Just how many Govt ministers (as opposed to mere backbenchers) do they want dragged off in hand cuffs?

Stepney said...

When the history of this era is written, it will be with shame and astonishment that future scholars will learn of Fleet Streets' complicity in the distribution of propaganda.

For over a decade journalists have been simply copy-takers and commentators. Not a true political journalist amongst them

For any machine to operate effectively it needs somewhere for it's output to be collected or distributed - the Government propaganda machine found a willing part in the nation's mainstream media.

Shame on the lot of them and as today's Telegraph amply demonstrates, the ordure continues.

idle said...

He came across as a complete wanker on Brillopad's show the other day, when he managed to make even Michael Howard look like a wronged man, and made himself look dishonest and shifty.

I blame his editor.

David said...

And this whilst writing a letter stating that he hoped she would soon return to Government. You know I am begining to wonder if this chap is entirely trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

Well spotted, I didn't notice that when i read the story. Jesus, you've got to be on top of your game with these people.

John Page said...

The Telegraph now says

A spokesman for Miss Blears said: "The information about Hazel's flats and CGT has been on her public website since May 15.

"She made it clear both on the website and to HM Revenue & Customs that she was talking about two flats, and the amount of money she paid was calculated on the basis of both flats."

The spokesman said the allegations had "nothing to do with her decision to resign".

... which undermines the paper's ooh gosh opening paragraphs - they haven't got the knack of covering their tracks yet.

And as you rightly say, Porter neglected to factcheck after he'd done his copying out.

Anonymous said...

Well spotted Dizzy. The Telegraph is clearly operating under orders from No10.

Ian Thorpe said...

If they are it could backfire. Hell hath no fury like a Ginger Smurf scorned as the saying goes.

But seriously I think everyone is spinning against everyone at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Note, too, that she is being attacked here for doing something that is not only absolutely legal, but that anyone may do, rather than for taking advantage of special privileges accorded to MPs in an unethical way, as some Brown allies have been.

In their poisoned socialist minds she can therefore in addition to being spuriously distinguished from her colleagues by this USP tactic, be classified as a wicked capitalist tax avoider, and used as a stick to beat non-politicians who take tax advice.

Anonymous said...

Although you carefully do not use the word yourself Dizzy, what you seem to be indicating, is that some kind of 'conspiracy' between the REAL government and the MSM is afoot.

Which in my opinion, there most certainly is. Which is absolutely nothing new, even if it may appear that it is. We do not have a left or right wing MSM, we have a completely fascist media, from the Guardian/BBC to the Daily Mail/Sky, all around the houses and back again.

Real governments have an interests in not only choosing the time a government or party gets elected, but also the timing and manner of their destruction.

We are in this sense being played like a fiddle, now as much as any other time.

We are angry, but we are only as angry as we are, because we are being very encouraged to be so. The public are being fed raw meat again, for the first time in 13 years.

One of the problems with these types of witch hunts, is that the establishment gets to choose which ones burn and which ones do not. The facts, details and natural justice of the matter, do not add up to a handful of non magic beans.

We don't select the establishments fall guys, the establishment does. We do not select the timing of elections, the establishment does. Neither do we select the result, nor the winners policies. Whats worse we do not select which policies are followed through at all costs ( fox hunting and smocking bans ), and which ones are forgotten about before even the first vote has been cast. ( EU constitution referendums, reform of the public sector, and the financing of same )

What of course is worst of all, with this false democracy of ours, is that we always end up taking full spiritual and material responsibility for the results of all this left/right good cop/bad cop corporatist bullshit, while always end up picking up the tab.

If you still don't see a pattern with all of this, then you should do by now. However as sure as eggs is eggs, you will most surly see it one day.

Only please try to notice this mountainous heard of African bull elephants that have been sitting on the kitchen table, for so very long, they are now claiming their free bus passes.

Hopefully before it is even more too late to do anything about it, then it clearly is already.

Atlas shrugged