Gatekeeper arrested, and bailed, in Cash-for-Honours investigation

Described in this report as Mr Blair’s Gatekeeper, Ruth Turner, the 10 Downing Street director of Government communications, has been arrested, and subsequently released on bail, in the ongoing Cash for Honours investigation. But she is not the only Downing St adviser to have already retained their own legal counsel, as opposed to the Labour Party’s in-house version. As the inimitable Guido points out, and as the report states,

As Mr Blair`s “gatekeeper” – a post previously held by close aides Anji Hunter and Baroness (Sally) Morgan – she holds a key position in No 10, reporting direct to chief of staff Jonathan Powell and playing a role in controlling access to the PM.[added emphasis]

[Now there’s a familiar name.. – Ed]

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  • wild turkey

    I am vaguely aware that there has been some slugger discussion of late on the phrase ‘ding ding’ Be that as it may, perhaps the statement below from Gore Vidal may ring a few (resonant?) bells re the consistent spin and twist that spews forth from 10 Downing Street.

    ‘The Jesuits like to say: “The wise man never lies.” But in the army of my day, any soldier (or indeed discomfited general) who spent too much time twisting about the language of regulations in his own favor was called a guardhouse lawyer. I now put the case on the evidence at hand, that we have here a compulsive guard-house lawyer or quibbler. Straight sentences must be bent like pretzels to change meanings to score points. But then much of what passes for literary discourse in these states is simply hustling words to get them to mean what they don’t.’

    Gore Vidal New York Times 19-9-1996 Response to a critic re Vidal’s essay Twain’s Grand Tour

  • No Gold Watch for Tony Blair on his retirement, rather a set of steel bracelets!!

    If the 51% probability test for the new Super ASBO’s
    were to be applied to Tony Blair, Lord Levy, Curly bonce Johnathon Powell, Ruth and co, then the High Court judge would grant one against Tony Blair to stop him comitting further white collar crime, and further Super ASBOS’s against the other members of the Syndicate.

    What a bloody fine example the Brit Prime Minister is sending to the nation.

    Dishonesty is now regarded as mainstream, accepted, nudge nudge, wink, wink, vacuous culture, the trick is “Don’t” get caught.

  • “The criminal law thus proceeeds upon the principle that it is morally right to hate criminals.”

    Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, A History of the Criminal Law of England (1883)

    “One farthing on all the policies… what real harm have we done?”

    Alec Guinness as “Professor Marcus” in the Ladykillers (1955)

  • heck

    could this be the same government that lectures the paddies about the rule of law and criminality?

  • Rory

    We must of course follow the example of such as Pete Baker has given in the matter of a Mr. Murphy from South Armagh and not make presumption.

    Let us rather concentrate upon only that which we know.

    We know that some businessmen have alleged that they donated (or “loaned”) large sums to New Labour on the understanding that they would in return be enobled.

    We know that businessmen who donated large sums to New Labour were in fact enobled.

    We know that the gift of enoblement of individuals finally rests with the Prime Minister of the day.

    But we must of course draw no conclusions whatsoever from these facts, however obvious they may seem to the common man.

    It is a requirement of law (insofar as it may affect the rich and powerful) that, in such matters, we all pretend to be stupid.

    God bless democracy.

  • Pete Baker

    “We must of course follow the example of such as Pete Baker has given in the matter of a Mr. Murphy from South Armagh and not make presumption.

    Let us rather concentrate upon only that which we know.”


    If, as it appears, you’re trying to imply that I’ve treated this case in a different way to that of Mr Murphy, then I’d appreciate it if you, at least, attempted to substantiate that with some actual examples – Rather than just relying on your own memory and the inability of others to check the archive, that is.

  • Crataegus

    The question is this if you gave the Labour party a large sum of money without explicit terms on interest and repayment and had not received any payment is it a loan. Clearly not.

    Then we have to ask is it a donation and was the money declared as such, it would seem not.

    It therefore must be a payment but for what?

    Whatever way they jump they are caught, this whiffs.

    Sooner Blair packs his bags the better.

  • Rory

    “We must of course follow the example of such as Pete Baker …………and not make presumption.” (My added emphasis ).

    I think, in this case, Pete, you have made a false presumption which is unusual. You are usually quite a stickler for sticking strictly to the text.