Monday, May 22, 2006

Cherie Scrapes the Barrell by Signing Hutton Report for Auction

Yesterday I rather regretted sending the Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze to print so quickly. The Mail on Sunday had enough material to add at least another dozen pages to it. The story which most caught my eye was jaw-droppingly sleaze-tastic and makes you realise how far some of the leading New Labour people have been removed from reality. It seems that Cherie Blair and Alastair Campbell signed a copy of the Hutton Report to be auctioned at a Labour fund raiser last week. Surely a moment's thought would have set alarm bells ringing in their minds? Obviously not. And in another 'you couldn't make it up moment' the item was actually auctioned off by Chris 'underpants' Bryant for £400. Nice to see New Labour figures profiting from the death of Dr David Kelly. But it wasn't the first time, apparently. In his auction patter Bryant said that it wasn't the first time the Hutton Report had been sold to aid party funds and that people could always make their money back on the auction by putting it on Ebay. Have these people no shame?

UPDATE 1pm: This piece seems to have caused such outrage that I'm reprinting selected exercpts of the article by the Mail on Sunday's Jonathan Oliver below...

Cherie Blair was last night accused of 'bad taste' amd 'insensitivity'after helping the Labour Party to cash in on the suicide of Governmet scientist Dr David Kelly. Mrs Blair signed a copy of the Hutton Report into the weapons inspector's death, which was then auctioned off to raise money for the party. The document, which was also signed by Alastair Campbell, fetched £400 at an after dinner auction. Last night Reg Keays, whose Red Cap son Tom was killed by an Iraqi mob in 2003 said: "Cherie and Campbell have shown very bad taste. The coffins draped in the Union flag are still returning from Iraq. To auction off a report which inquired into the suicide of a very eminent, respected scoientist is effectively profting from other people's misery. But themn that is just typical of this government's attitude." Mrs Blair also came under fire from Labour MPs, shocked at the way the tragedy which rocked the government was now the subject of jokey fundraising events. Jeremy Corbyn MP said: "It is incredibly insensitive and in seriously bad taste. The Hutton Report is not a triumph of anything except obfuscation and secrecy." The auction took place on Wednesday at London's Arts Club in mayfair and was organised by James Purnell, the newly promoted pensions minister. The auctioneer was Rhondda MP Chris Bryant who explained to the audience this was not the first time a Hutton Report had been sold for party funds. To excite interest in the sale he pointed out that even unsigned copies cost £70 from HMSO. He boasted that at the previous event the buyer was able to make a profit by reselling the document signed by Alastair Campbell on Ebay. But Mr Bryant insisted this year's lot was unique becasue it also bore the imprint of Mrs Blair. One guest told the Mil on Sunday: "Even at the time there were a lot of people wondering whether it was really appropriate - even in jest." Among the 200 guests were Rosie Winterton, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson.

UPDATE: 2.30pm Some people seem to be so shocked by this that they believe I have made it up! For this reason I have scanned the article from the Mail on Sunday (see above!). I'm astonished it hasn't been followed up by other papers today. We ought to be looking forward to another tearful apology from Cherie...

62 comments:

nick said...

Anyone with a modicum of integrity and decency would surely have considered the feelings of the Kelly family before going ahead with this.

Griswold said...

The Blairs are fundamentally trailer trash like their ex best friends the Clintons. Every act political, social and finacial highlights their complete lack of judgement which of course is the outward sign of moral bankruptcy.

Harry said...

This really is a step too far. Blair, when challenged, will probably sight the ‘all for a good cause’ argument, but that anybody or anything, charity or not, should profit from a document investigating a death is vilely repugnant.

nsfl said...

Chris Morris and Armando Ianucci must now feel like Tom Lehrer felt on hearing about Kissinger's Nobel prize. (Before this thread goes wildly off topic, this post is not a criticism of Kissinger, the US in Vietnam, the Nobel board etc etc.)

Croydonian said...

That made my skin crawl, and I'm not sure how long it will take for it to come back....

EdR said...

Time for "The Little Red Book 2: The Not Quite So Little Any More Red Book"?

Andrew said...

What Cherie most craves is what she can never have, however much money she earns or grasps - quite simply, class.

I don't mean class as in class warfare - just a sense of style, of decency, of decorum.

There are Labour members with class - e.g. the likes of Kate Hoey, but a good deal of them have none, and never will, e.g. Hilary Armstrong - no class, and a chip on her shoulder because of it. Prescott's another.

Maybe it's something you're either born with or not. What do you think?

stalin's gran said...

Absolutely bloody disgraceful.

kingbongo said...

Have these people no shame?

No. I tink they have proved that on numerous occasions, this is just a particularly distasteful example.

Ellee Seymour said...

It seems all the papers carried sleaze stories yesterday, a second edition of The Little Red Book could be hot off the press very shortly.

This is clearly going to be one annus horribilis too many for Tony Blair.

Poverty Is Thrift said...

What next signed souvenir shrapnel from Iraq?
This is beyond parody , its almost as if they are celbrating Dr Kellys death (murder)this really does proove them to sociapaths

Curly said...

Auctioned at a Labour fund raiser?

Well if they can't attract huge loans in exchange for peerages ............

DIABOLICAL!!!

Anonymous said...

I was speechless - now I am just bloody angry.

Have Labour no shame - its as though they are gloating over Dr Kelly's death and the Hutton whitewash!

These people are scum of the worst kind.

Paul Linford said...

What a complete and utter disgrace.

Serf said...

Coming Soon,

The 26 Part Encyclopedia Sleazica

paul p said...

I'm with a 'poverty is thrify'. It smells like they are enjoying it, having a sadistic joke.

The Remittance Man said...

Resorting to stereotypes is usually a very dangerous pastime, but Mrs Blair is exhibiting all the attributes one would expect of a grasping scouse scrubber as portrayed by Harry Enfield.

Well, not quite. Harry probably wouldn't be so cruel.

RM

Sabretache said...

As I recall, pre-publication, there were high hopes that the Hutton Report might finally confirm what was obvious, even to a high proportion of the PLP; namely that intelligence had been massaged to provide justication for a course of action already agreed with the US. It was a threatening moment for Blair and he was clearly relieved when he was exonerated - same for Campbell. So it's easy to see why the report is regarded as something of a victory by NL.

The appalling triumphalist crassness of this little episode almost defies belief though. An accurate measure of the blind, vacuous, self-interest at the heart of the NL 'project' I'd say.

Can't help believing (hoping) that a just reward will be forthcoming soon.

Womble on Tour said...

I do not believe it. I hate New Labour with a passion, but I just cannot believe that even they would do sometyhing like this. Is it possible that Iain has been mis-led ? What are the No 10 spin doctors saying about this? Has it been put to them yet ?

Iain Dale said...

Womble, this was a big story (but not big enough, in my view) in the Mail on Sunday yesterday. I'm merely highlighting something they wrote.

Anonymous said...

Is this really true? I feel I really need to see a link to the Mail website, or maybe a scan of the article?

JohnJo said...

Simply astonishing.

Mr Eugenides said...

I am utterly staggered. Even by this government's standards this is a new low.

Louise said...

I think the reason some people have had difficulty believing this story is just because we really don't want to believe it.

It really is too crass, tasteless and idiotic to be true - no feeling person could conceive that anyone would really sink to such levels.

Still, leave it to the Blairs to go lower than we ever thought possible. Worse still is the git who bought the thing.

Michael Oakshott said...

Well it has all been said. Beneath contempt but not surprising alas. This is huge. We must get this story out there, am amazed the other papers have not run with it. I woun'T bother with the Beeb, but the rest of us need to get emailing and get this on the TV news. This will cause Blair a lot of damage if it becomes big news(as it surely should).

The Moai said...

That is a total jaw-dropper. Well spotted.

Poverty Is Thrift said...

Lets get things in proportion here,forget the others, This Blair woman took money intended for a childrens charity as a fee so this is just par for the course,it never ceases to amaze me that people hold thi collection of mishapen nonentities in anything other than contempt, and I include the Conservatives in that statement, what was that fat dick head Cameron up to yesterday?
Gate crashing a £500,000 massage victoria beckhams ego knees up,total fucking prick.
If David Davis ever gets the urge to do us all afavour and pop round to Camerons office and kick his head in I volunteer to keep look out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the scan Iain. I didn't exactly think that you had made it up, but I just couldn't believe it!

call me Dave said...

It's not the cash salivation that bothers me as much... although I find it replusive. It's the use of one of the most vile example of state thuggery that really grates.

The Hutton report was flaccid at best, but at worst it was a complete misuse of the nation's legal arsenal to bully the BBC and exonerate some pretty filthy people.

And now, Cherry thinks its severity has been downgraded to a novelty item. She is even more common and unclassy that I had given her discredit for.

NuLabour said...

"the item was actually auctioned off by Chris 'underpants' Bryant for £400"

Who is now the proud owner of this autographed report ?

What else was for sale at this auction ?

No.10's silver teaspoons ?

Special Advisor Sinecures ?

Honours and Peerages ?

Government Contracts ?

Military Secrets ?

Croydonian said...

Surely there must be some public spirited person prepared to get the name of the bidder into the public domain that said bidder might secure richly deserved obloquy.

Poverty Is Thrift said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Sadly it's now yesterday's news and therefore Fleet Street is unlikely to pick up the crumbs from the MoS's table apart from, perhaps, its sister paper, recognising the full shattering impact of the story.

It really needs a Jon Snow/Paxo question lobbed in at the end of an interview with an unsuspecting Gov't minister to re-activate interest.Either that or an apology from CB which is inconceivable.

fido said...

Damn her and all the other 2nd rate Zanu Nu Labour spivs to hell for their total lack of morality with regard to this.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't this on the front page of every newspaper?

At this rate, they will be selling death certificates next of those that have died in their illegal war.

It's worth remembering that without Alistair Campbell desparately denying he "sexed up" intelligence and trying to "flush out" the BBC/MOD mole, David Kelly could still be alive.

The inquest to David Kelly's death remains open. We should remain open minded as to how he died.

Hutton's Report was nothing more than a government sponsored whitewash to clear Blair and Campbell of getting their grubby little hands on intelligence reports and getting them changed to make a case for war and not peace.

Anonymous said...

Iain - Having read your blog on a more or less daily basis for six months or more, I cannot recall another single story which has given rise to such a strong outpouring of utter revulsion.

Anonymous said...

It's all gone very quiet over there Mr Piper - please let us know what you think.

Poverty Is Thrift said...

lets us all not forget the several very eminent physicians who came out and said the official version of Dr Kelly's death was complete bollocks(thats a medical term)
Believe it or not, governments even "liberal democracies" do murder people, in this case it was just another NL f** up, this mans death benefited no one

jafo said...

There are no depths to which Cherie Blair or Alastair Campbell wouldn't stoop. Neither of them have any sense of decency whatever. Cherie Blair is the woman who took so much money as "expenses" from a cancer charity for children the charity was in danger of collapsing.

As stated above, class shows - and it's got nothing to do with money.

In some ways, I find it quite sweet that so many people seem surprised at their appalling behaviour - on the other hand, it made me realise how cynical I have become about the whole Blair entourage that I wasn't even a little bit surprised.........

Curly said...

Now, ladies and gentlemen,

lot number 43 is a signed and autographed copy of the Menezes death certificate, this irem has no reserve, shall I open bids at.........

Anonymous said...

This is shocking and disgusting.

Why has the Conservative Party has not brought this issue up? It must be dealt with. Labour have turned Britain into a Third World banana republic-these people must pack their bags and get out of government.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Hmmm; it is pretty appalling but, let's face it, who surprised, eh?

Still, I think that ther might be financial issues here too...

DK

Anonymous said...

What odds a suitably framed PMQ this Wednesday? Surely even Ming couldn't mess this up.

Davide Simonetti said...

Words fail me. Luckily the other commenters have said it all for me.

henry, Durham said...

I think there is a breathtaking chutzpah to the gesture. A final, ultimate, "f**k you" to all the people who thought the Hutton report was going to bring down the entire Blair administration. If I had the money, I'd buy it, have it framed, and present it to John Humphries live on air.

Anonymous said...

This is the most disgusting insult to the family of an honourable man. The way David Kelly was hounded down by this government, thrown in front of a committee, grilled by a pack of wolves on live TV and days later found dead in the woods as he predicted he would be is bad enough. Not to mention how his death was used as an excuse to pardon the government of wrong-doing over intelligence. To profit from his death is sickening. I am going to be sick. What happened to our country? I am ashamed.

The Morningstar said...

I really am finding it difficult to find the words to express my disgust at this act.

It shows such a complete and utter disregard for Dr David Kelly, the fact that New Labour put him in a position that made suicide the only way out that he could see, and his families grief at losing him.

I nearly asked if these people have no shame, it's more than obvious that they don't.

I will be emailing every paper asking them to report on this.

Shaun (ed.) said...

It's not so much the incompetence and the mismanagement that gets me, but the complete disregard Blair and his cronies has for institutional propriety. They have slung any remaining trust people have for politicians through the mud.

Anonymous said...

i can find the words to express how i feel about it

unlike that women, i am too much of a lady to express them in public!!

Yak40 said...

Takes after her father.

Anonymous said...

People just don't believe me when I tell them this story - they can't believe Labour would act is this almost triumphant way over someones death and subsequent whitewash.

Its almost as they see the Hutton report as some sort of trophy.

Why do people still vote for this shower of s**t?

The Remittance Man said...

With a little cooler reflection, I've come to relise how terribly sad this is.

The stupid woman probably has no idea that she has done anything wrong.

RM

Anonymous said...

Added: http://www.timalmond.com/journal/2006/5/23/hutton-report-signings.html

fido said...

Has anyone seen this EDM? Well said Stewart Jackson MP

EDM 2224

CONDUCT OF LABOUR HON. MEMBERS AT MAY 2006 FUNDRAISER
22.05.2006


Jackson, Stewart

That this House notes that senior members of the Labour Party including hon. Members and Government Ministers attended a party fundraising event last week at the Arts Club in Mayfair; further notes that a copy of the official report by Lord Hutton into the death of Government scientist Dr David Kelly, signed by Ms Cherie Booth QC, was auctioned for party funds raising £400; believes this conduct to be in appalling bad taste, arrogant and crassly insensitive in seeking to make money, albeit indirectly, through hawking, as a novelty item, an official Government report into the death of a public servant; regrets the distress caused to the family and friends of the late Dr Kelly; calls on the Labour Party to apologise for such tasteless and offensive conduct and to donate the money raised to an appropriate charity; and deprecates such conduct by hon. Members.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me while I wipe the vomit off myself. This is so sickening. When are these people going to be held accountable for thier actions? Why are the citizens of this country held by the short and curlies to every law TB comes up with and yet he and his cronies allowed to do what they like, when they like with total disregard for the suffering thye cause?
I feel powerless to stop them and every day I am incensed by yet another of thier actions be it home or abroad. We Bristish have turned into sheep. Where is our sense of justice?

Ann

Tom said...

Please send an email to the Labour Party expressing your disgust at this action. The address is:
info@new.labour.org.uk

Anonymous said...

There has never been the faintest doubt in my mind that Blair and/or his associates were responsible for the death of Dr Kelly. Not necessarily in the sense of doing the deed (although I'm withholding judgement on this until more information comes out in a few years) but in the sense of hounding this honourable and brilliant scientist to his death. I treasure having read that when Blair, onboard a plane to Tokyo, was told of Dr Kelly's death, the blood drained from his face and he turned ashen grey. Every single reporter accompanying Blair on that flight reported the same thing.

Blair 'n' Cher, trailer trash that would embarrass the fine citizens living in trailer parks in the American Ozarks, are triumphalist, pig ignorant and utterly despicable. They know no bounds. Cher bills herself in the US as the "First Lady of Downing Street". She should be stopped from doing this as Britain has no position per se of first lady. And our first lady is our monarch.

I understand that some Tories are reluctant to get into a knock-down drag-out brawl over this is out of respect for Dr Kelly's poor family, who did not deserve this.

Basil Brown said...

This shows the contempt with which metropolitanist nu-labor treat us Ordinarys. So proud are they of getting away with this whitewash of events surrounding the suspicious death of Dr. Kelly, they scrawl their grubby little secretion-stained faux-socialist celebrity autographs over it and laugh in our faces.

Anonymous said...

This act of signing the Hutton report for party funds is quite simply the action of someone with no standards of decency and no sense of shame.

Whatever has happened to this country to be governed by such trash.

Anonymous said...

I have said for the past 10 years that Blair 'n' Cher are a couple of arrivistes on a level with the Ceaucescus. Everything sbout them screams 'parvenues!'. The greedy use of the trappings of power. The triumphalism. The thick-witted incompetence. The gross refusal of fat Cherie to curtsy to the Queen (although she curtsied to the Queen of Jordan and the Pope). The grabbiness for free gifts from clothing and shoe designers. The wife of the prime minister should not be accepting gifts from commercial establishments, but I think she genuinely doesn't understand that. She thinks it's part of the spoils of winning an election.

Someone this loutish, this crude could not be expected to understand the revulsion of normal people (of all parties) to her not only auctioning this book in the first place, but autographing it.

- Anonymousette

Johnny said...

Just how low will they stoop. I cannot understand why this is not headlines.

Imagine if the late Denis Thather had done something like this. It would be all over the BBC.

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