The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are always keen to jump on instances of back-slapping and cronyism, the thought that the governing elite stitches things up for those prepared to grovel suitably and be part of the leader’s club. But this was, as has been known for some time, a complete sham. Now the whole world knows it, too.
Moreover, Staines’ pal Donal Blaney, CEO of the Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF), the organisation he likes to describe as the “Conservative Madrasa”, who has also pretended for some time not to be part of the mainstream, has also demonstrated by his recent actions that he, too, is as much part of the political establishment as The Great Guido. And their least favourite paper has exposed both of them.
Yes, the deeply subversive Guardian has revealed where both these less than totally august individuals were on that evening in June last year: “This is a table-by-table breakdown of some of the business tycoons, foreign investors and lobbyists who were invited to the Tories' annual summer fundraiser at Old Billingsgate market in London on 24 June 2013” tells the article.
And there it is, thanks to those kind people at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ): Young Dave’s table had a £1,000-a-head tariff, for starters. Seats at the other tables would not have come for free: Staines and Blaney would have had to open their wallets rather wider than if they had been popping round to the nearest Nando’s. They are clearly donating to the cause.
How secret was the occasion? “Ministerial disclosure rules do not extend to party fundraising events or conferences, so until now those attending the event has remained a secret. Press were banned from the event and helpers were ‘absolutely forbidden’ from leaking details to the media the internal documents show” tells the BIJ. So Staines kept schtum – he thought nobody would find out.
The Great Guido is more than happy to talk about all the other summer parties, such as those thrown by the Institute of Directors, Policy Exchange and the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, but dutifully kept quiet about this one. Thus he demonstrates his loyalty to the Tory Party. And that leads on to one of the Fawkes blog’s latest campaigns, the targeting of MPs who may embarrass the party.
Tim Yeo was followed – by the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole – to his constituency and harassed on his own doorstep. He has since been deselected. David Ruffley, long a target of The Great Guido, is now being pursued with the same objective apparently in mind. Now we know Staines is a Tory Party loyalist, the thought enters that he may be being used to do their dirty work.
I doubt that The Great Guido will want to answer that question. But someone will.
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