Friday 14 October 2011


Oliver Letwin is a lucky man. 

A government minister caught, not just once, but on 5 occasions (ie habitually), dropping important papers into bins in St James's Park, could reasonably expect to make the headlines on every  news bulletin and in most newspapers.

But by the most amazing stroke of good fortune (at least for our Olly), the only legal fox hunt in England came to an end today with the result that pictures of the bloodied animal and stories of his inevitable fate have taken precedence in all media, even the 'Daily Mirror', which was responsible for breaking the Letwin scandal.

Mirror photographers caught the hapless Cabinet Office Minister of State glancing at papers and dropping them into public waste bins. According to a Cabinet Office spokesman, the papers contained no classified or secret information. According to the journalists who found them on the other hand, they included, amongst other things, briefings and correspondence on terrorism and national security and government planning.

The newspaper backs this up with details of some of the correspondence, which includes letters between members of a committee that scrutinises the work of MI5 and MI6. That's pretty classified, you would think. Another piece of paper details links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistan; so, not just a note about getting more milk from the office tea fund!

Additionally of course, he is a constituency MP and constituents' letters, with addresses, telephone numbers, and, of course, details of their problem(s) were among the papers left for all to see.

I thought that constituents' letters were supposed to be retained for follow ups, and I know that I would be unhappy to put it mildly, if any of my letters to an MP were left in a park for anyone to read.

I know Cameron has his hands full with Fox, and he may have them even more full if the Cabinet Secretary's inquiry, (or the press) comes up with more information  proving criminality rather than stupidity and lack of judgement on the part of the ex-Defence Secretary. It has even been suggested that Fox may be guilty of Treason.

However, surely Cameron can't simply accept an apology from Letwin and let that be the end of the matter? 

Hard though it may be for David to lose 2 ministers in one week, Letwin should also stand down. Further, in view of the disrespect he has shown to his constituents, I'd suggest the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead and a return to the academic life to which he is much better suited.

At the same time Letwin is far too clever and far too stupid to be in government.

Picture thanks to Cynical Highlander


  1. It looks like a professional dead letter drop. Maybe he can get a job on 'Spooks'.

  2. Do you think he's delivering Foxy's stuff now that Adam's been caught?

  3. Government cuts past directly too the local taxpayer.

    Office wastepaper basket.

  4. Aye possibly. Spooks always had a back up when the main mark was compromised and Ruth wasn't available.

  5. Thanks CH... I've added that one. Too good not to!!!

  6. Jings, Ruth Davidson's not in it too, is she? Femme fatale?

    'struth (get it? st...ruth... oh, never mind).


  7. Honesty among politicians is such a Werrity these days that you don't know who to trust.
    But I was thinking of this Ruth..

  8. What is this about a "legal fox hunt?" I thought that this barbaric fetish of the British aristocracy was outlawed years ago. Have the Tories caved in to pressure from their natural political base, the hated British aristocracy?

    This would never happen in America, where there IS no aristocracy. Only low to middle class people blasting away at the wildlife with guns. ;-)

  9. According to his spokesperson "Most of the business Mr Letwin does in the park (!?) is constituency based". This must be some kind of consolation to his constituents that nothing important or confidential was binned.

    The comment by his colleague Zac Goldsmith was interesting and certainly had some merit "Whoever in the Labour party asked for an inquiry should be put to sleep". Keep your fingers crossed for Jim Murphy. Looking at the House of Lords many of them have already taken Goldsmith's advice on board.

  10. Ahhhh gotcha Monty. I don't watch tv much, so, although I'd heard of the programme, I didn't know who was in it. I just thought Davidson was a reasonable Tory guess!


  11. Ah, Danny, this was an exceptional fox hunt, involving a particularly obnoxious Fox that most of us are pleased to see the back of.

    I thought though that you guys had your own version of aristocracy. The only difference being that, somewhat to their secret chagrin (most likely) they don't get titles.

    I'm trying as I type, to imagine Sarah Palin in hunting pinks. (Although I think it's only men who wear pink. Perhaps one of our upper class readers might correct me.)

  12. tris..
    Spooks is quite good and worth watching from the start on iplayer
    Even I don't think politicians are thick enough to dump sensitive papers in the park 5 days in a row so there are 2 possibilities for the charade.
    To take some flak off of foxy for a few days while they tidy up some loose ends. Or to cover up some other stuff that Ollie was up to that will now be dismissed as a few constituency moany letters. Nothing to see here move along now...

  13. Absolutely John. It struck me as a demonstration of just what these self elevated Cabinet Office people think of the rest of us.

    Nothing important, just details of his child's problems at school or his wife's issues with the local hospital. Good oh. Nothing to worry about. Only little people.

    In any case, it seems to have been yet another lie to come from Downing Street. (When are they going to understand that times have changed; people investigate and then with help of the interweb they disseminate).

    The Mirror claims to have what even the Cabinet Office might think of as important papers on the Commons Security Committee, for example. I'm imagining that they kept the documents (although because of their confidential nature they haven't published them in detail).

    I don't see the point in another expensive inquiry. The bloke was photographed putting stuff in bins. All they need to do is see the actual evidence to be certain that the Mirror hasn't made it all up and Big Olly was, in fact, only disposing of his breakfast wrappers (he looks like he enjoys a good breakfast does Letty), and Bob's your uncle. Sack him.

    As for the opposition. It wouldn't make any difference if you put them to sleep. If Jim Murphy is a big hitter.... then bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    He sounds like a wee lad whose had his piece stolen by big boys. He's whined over Basil Brush's shenanigans. Nothing more. The Guardian has been the opposition, as usual.

    The Tories are useless, but the opposition is even worse. Put them all to sleep.

  14. Nah Monty, I don't think so. Olly was always hopeless, and hapless. But he was at Eton, and he's part of that crown (although I think he actually went to Cambridge, because his mother or father was a don there) so Dave had to give him a job, useless though he is. They kept him in the Cabinet Office because they can keep him away fro the public that way. He just had to present ideas to the PM (who is totally devoid of them himself).

    So, although I'm not dismissing your theory out of hand, I'd maintain that Letwin is every bit daft enough to have put confidential stuff in the bin. He doesn't live in the same world as us.

    In any case, if it was supposed to take the heat of Basil Brush, it failed dismally.

    The PM would have demanded that he NOT resign last night, because this way he's left with 2 cabinet ministers in one week that have messed up. Big time.

    Again if this had been planned then they would have made sure that nothing of import was in the papers. It would have been stuff like stationery orders or office rules for passing the port at dinner, or which ladies to stand for when on their entrance into a room, or what colour buttonholes to wear for Ascot next year... you know. Important in their own way, but nothing that would upset the little people.

  15. I don't know if Sarah wears pinks, or camouflage (to hide from the game), or bright orange (to be seen by other hunters.) But it doesn't really matter. She hunts from a helicopter.

    BTW, did you hear the one about the guy who wanted to buy camouflage clothing? But he couldn't find any. :-))))))


  16. tris..
    The Olly episode wasn't meant to stop the heat from hitting Foxy. It was just to take the heat off long enough to allow some loose ends to be tidied up while the MSM were lapping up the Olly story.
    If we assume that Olly really was just stupid then someone tipped off 'The Mirror' to what was going on and the outcome was the same either way.

    Talking about tv shows did you see that STV have binned 'The Hour' with Tam Cowan and Michelle Mcmanus ? That was a show I used to look forward to. You had to have a few beers first though a it was so cringeworthy it was painful. The last episode got 80,000 viewers which I thought was OK. More than Newsnight Scotland. A show that cost us a lot more in tv tax than 'The Hour'.

  17. Boom Boom Danny...

    I bet old Cheney's mate wished that he'd worn some bright orange clothing when he was out killing innocent animals for fun.

    I'm surprised that Dick the dick felt it necessary to kill ducks, when he was in the process of slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans, not to mention a shed load of American and allied troops.

    As for Sarah. Goodness that must be dangerous. I wonder she's never fallen out....

  18. You're so much more Machiavellian than I, Monty.

    I certainly do think that Olly is, well, not stupid, because he's very intellectual, but shall we say, naive, impractical, distrait?

    I don't think I've ever seen anything except the end of that programme on STV, while waiting for the Grampian news to come on. Wasn't Michelle the large girl who won the X Factor or some such thing a few years ago despite having the voice of a pub singer?

    I'm a bit worried about the idea of you having a few beers before 5 o'clock, though! :)

  19. tris.
    I'm not averse to an early pint but 'The Hour' changed to an 8pm slot to make it more 'edgy'.
    Michelle is quite a good singer ;)

  20. Edgy, at 8pm... Oh STV, that's terrible.

    I guess music is a matter to individual taste, Monty. I can't say I'm fond of her voice, although she's a cheery soul and she can hit a note unlike some of the trash I'm forced to watch on MTV at my gym.