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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Tory Resignations Are Just Bluster

Having previously been quite good in reporting on the bullying scandal engulfing the Tory Party, the Mail On Sunday’s political editor Simon Walters has, it seems, allowed himself to be suckered by one of those being dragged into the mire, as his latest article on the subject tells “Donal Blaney, a former ally of shamed Mark Clarke, resigned as chairman of the influential Conservative Way Forward campaign group, set up to honour the former Prime Minister’s legacy, as the result of an investigation by The Mail on Sunday … Dramatically, Blaney said he is also leaving Britain to live and work full-time in America”.
Donal Blaney

There was more: “Blaney said he was resigning as CWF chairman to look after his ill wife in their US home. He added he no longer had enough time to carry out his CWF duties and planned to expand his legal work in America … The group’s chief executive Paul Abbott is also resigning … He was among those who encouraged Elliott to complain about Clarke. Mr Abbott, who recently became a father for the first time, will be taking at least a six-month break from politics, according to sources”.
Blaney, Grant Shapps, and Mark Clarke not having a problem with one another's company as recently as December 2014

On top of this mildly creative tosh, there was a quote from a spokesman on behalf of Blaney: “There is and can be no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Donal or CWF. Others are accountable for their own wrongdoing. He cannot be”.

And I have to tell Walters that, on this occasion, he has failed to do his homework and has been royally bullshitted by all concerned. Let’s start with CWF: whether Blaney resigns as its chairman is immaterial. The CWF website still shows its registered office to be 60 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. This is the same address as the registered office of Griffin Law, Blaney’s legal practice.
Blaney, Mark Clarke, and Clarke's hatchet man André Walker also having no problem with one another's company

Elliott Johnson received his CWF redundancy letter from Griffin Law. If Blaney retains control over CWF, he has relinquished bugger all. As to his no longer having time for his CWF duties, and Abbott claiming to be taking a six month break from politics, consider the forthcoming events advertised earlier today on the CWF website.
On 7 January, we see “CWF academy special edition for London Conservative Future with Paul Abbott and Chris Rowell”. Later that month is a “CWF academy special edition for London Conservative Future with our chairman Donal Blaney”. Zelo Street readers can see the screenshots (taken this morning) and judge for themselves.

And as to the claims that Blaney will be resigning “to look after his ill wife in their US home”, and that he is “leaving Britain to live and work full-time in America”, three pieces of evidence might usefully be considered. One, Blaney has form for using his wife’s health as a way of deflecting criticism, as he did back in 2009: “Nice touch 4 Grauniad to run weak hatchet job on the day my wife is taken into A&E by ambulance”.
Two, if Marci, his wife of nine years, is so unwell, one has to wonder why her business website - she’s a personal trainer and veteran of the US Forces, who served in Iraq - shows no sign of that. And three, as to Blaney’s leaving the UK to live in the US, according to his wife’s business website, which tellsI currently live in Tampa, Florida with my husband, Donal”, HE’S ALREADY LEFT.
What Walters has been spun is another attempt by Blaney to get all concerned to “look over there”, as witness “His exit piles more pressure on Tory chairman Lord Feldman … CWF is an integral part of the Tory movement and Feldman will likely be seen as responsible for the way its members behave”. Wrong. The Tory Party cannot exercise any control over CWF. This is well understood.

Better from Walters are three new and not totally surprising claims: “Days after encouraging Elliott to tell Tory HQ about Clarke’s bullying, CWF fired Elliott from his CWF job saying they were ‘protecting’ him from Clarke … Blaney asked Elliott to pay him £400 an hour for legal advice over a minor matter … Blaney also charged young Tory activists smeared by Clarke’s gang for legal advice”.

The MoS’ political editor might find that a more fruitful avenue for further exploration, rather than allowing Donal Blaney to bullshit him further. These resignations are merely for show, and change nothing. Blaney is in this scandal up to his neck, whether he wants to be or not. There is no chance of him spinning his way out of it.


Professor Plum said...

“I currently live in Tampa, Florida with my husband, Donal”, HE’S ALREADY LEFT.

The teleporting Tory!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if that "...investigation by The Mail on Sunday..." involved hacking telephones.

Meanwhile, good riddance if Blaney is off to the USA. He could usefully take with him to that unhappy country some of the other neocon US poodles. But he'd be advised to buy a gun early to "protect himself" from others who are "protecting themselves." You know, like Nancy Reagan who said, "I've only got a teeny weeny l'il gern" - presumably for killing teeny weeny l'il people.

Blaney will find himself in the right place. Gun-mad USA is the world's leading rogue state, deluded as hell, now almost openly fascist in its "culture" and foreign policies. Yes, he'll fit right in.

Jesus said...

Clinton Cards-style mysticism from Mrs Blaney's website

'The person on the inside is crying out and its time to listen and move!'
Has Donal taken this a bit literally?
She also claims that 'Our Mission is to let the inside match the outside and let the beauty show!' Could Donal be about to sign up to this 'mission' and start telling the truth?!

Listen to Marci, Donal. From the look of the picture on her website she'll break your legs if you don't!

Facing both ways said...

The information on the wife's website can be explained by normal business practice. Self employed people don't normally reference personal issues instead dialling work up or down to fit around time off by claiming to be busy and turning clients away. Also business always prefers to appear local if they can; so if you live in two countries you'd likely only reference the one you work in. That said keep up the good work and stay on top of these bullying gobshites!

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point somewhat. The power base sits with CCHQ and the Conservative Party. That's what was used as both the carrot and the stick. People really should be looking over there at what happened, and what continues to happen to this very day. This CWF/YBF/Blaney stuff is a fantastic deflection away from Feldman and the rest of them. I'm not saying there's nothing to report - of course there is - but at the moment you, the MoS and everyone else are all doing CCHQ's dirty work for them.

You're getting bogged down in a midfield game, when you should be cutting into the defence and shooting for goal.

Tim Fenton said...


No thanks, I don't want to look over there.

But thanks for injecting a little inadvertent humour into my day.

Anonymous said...

"No thanks, I don't want to look over there."

You don't want to? So you don't want to actually look at the bullying culture and what drove young Elliott to take his life. You don't want to look at the figures who commissioned Clarke to do hit jobs for the party. You don't want to look at how this scandal leads all the way to Downing Street. You don't want to look.

You're just as bad as the rest of them, especially those in CCHQ and elsewhere who didn't want to look too.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Mr Blaney's 1st class troubles (which I assume are now over as he flies into the sunset) there was a key piece of information missing from his tweeted outrage which was very telling about his attitude - yes, even more telling than what he actually said!

There certainly is a real scandal about the SouthEastern trains running from the Kent line through Bromley at that time in the morning but lack of supervision of 1st class seating to keep out the riff-raff ain't it! Rather it's the fact the 9:50 to Victoria is invariably composed of just FOUR carriages and is already crowded when it pulls into Bromley where a platform full of additional passengers is waiting to squeeze on. Each carriage is then jam-packed, standing room only to Victoria, so much so that there is no realistic prospect of the guard moving from one end of the train to the other. Indeed at their discretion the 1st class section will often be declassified just to ease the pressure (in which case the likes of Blaney would be entitled to a partial refund for their priviliged ticket).

To be clear this isn't demand-driven pressure such as I see at East Croydon when a 10 or 12 carriage train leaving for Victoria may be packed out at around the same time. It's Southeastern's deliberate policy to minimise the number of carriages (oh sorry, I mean "there's a lack of available stock"), and happens on later and earlier services as well. This would be abundantly clear to Blaney as it's been going on for years but the fact his complaint is centered entirely on his own perceived discomfort says a lot to me.

Tim Fenton said...


That I don't want to be diverted by an anonymous rant does not mean I don't want to know what happened. It just means I don't want to be diverted from what I'm already doing.

You're welcome.

Reg Rover said...

We know what you are doing Tim.
Nobody can argue that. Really. You have enough on your plate.