1.6m Muslim versus 267,000 Jewish Votes

Writing in the Times William Rees-Mogg does not give Labour the benefit of the doubt over the now abandoned advertising posters. Pointing out that Labour advertising is professionally designed, carefully crafted and has now succeeded in reminding everyone, who did not remember or know, that Howard is Jewish. With Labour having lost swathes of the Muslim vote over Iraq that might be useful information to have more widely known.

Crudely put, Muslim voters outnumber Jewish voters 6 to 1, Blair’s Iraq war turned many Muslim voters away from Labour towards Galloway’s Respect. Too cynical? New Labour are politically cynical enough to attempt to bury bad news in the rubble of New York, why wouldn’t they indulge in a bit of darkly spun subliminal advertising for demographic recapturing?

Guido still wants to know; who crafted the adverts and what was their inspiration?

Of Libertines and LibDems

So what is the LibDem policy on munching magic mushrooms exactly? The LibDems are only concerned – think how the druids feel. “How much longer do we have to tolerate these crazy laws?” asks the LibDem’s smokin’ Gez Smith about cannabis. With policies allowing 16 year-olds to booze the LibDems are really pulling the libertines back into modern liberalism. I think they’re on to a vote winner. Hic.

Labour Posters : Backlash Grows

Ned Temko, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, is warning that at their worst the posters were “part of a deliberate pattern of frankly anti-Semitic invective”. Temko, whose paper is the voice of Britain’s Jewish community, says the posters may have been “an inadvertent mix of insensitivity and cultural illiteracy”, but “a less charitable conclusion is that Labour, or some within it, sees election campaign advantages in subliminally reminding voters that Howard is Jewish.”

Feelings are growing in the Jewish community that the Labour party, which has a membership which is often hostile to Israel, is less welcoming than the Tories. Trade Minister Mike O’Brien was reported to the Commission for Racial Equality for telling an Islamic paper Mr Howard could not represent Muslims properly and that he could not be trusted on the “Palestine issue”.

Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney caused uproar after accusing Shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin, who is also Jewish, of behaving like a “21st century Fagin”. But its not just the Tories complaining – groups such as the Association of Jewish Refugees and even Liberal Judaism condemned the ads.

Blunkett : The Musical

But what would the tunes be?

“That beardy little blind kid sure plays a mean pinball” says Labour Watch

Labour Scrap Advert : Howard As Jewish Miser

Guido is grateful to a reader from Conservative Future for the above poster. How the enterprising fellow got hold of an email from a Labour campaign manager (Fraser Kemp MP) is perhaps a matter for MI5, not Guido. But Guido is happy to give it a wider audience than Fraser might now wish. The question we want answered is – who is the author responsible for the double-money-counting-miser Howard idea? Where did they get their inspiration? I wonder…

Its not often New Labour puts its foot in it propaganda-wise but this is terrible. Guido hears that Labour are re-thinking this updating of a Goebbels-circa-1935 style campaign. So well timed, the day after Holocaust memorial day. Best they don’t run the posters in Golders Green methinks…

UPDATE: Saturday – This post and the one below have attracted a lot of comments here and coverage elsewhere, suffice to say Guido simply thinks that the Labour party poster above is supremely ill-judged, I don’t think that the flying pigs below are offensive or in fact intended as anti-semitic. If the Tories had run something like that in elections past, with say Gerald Kaufman as the character, what would have been the press reaction? Exactly.

Has Peter Mandelson been replaced by Goebbels?

The Tory candidate for the heavily Jewish constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, Andrew Mennear, says the poster will cause offence because it is distasteful for a Jew to be associated with a pig “I am shocked the Labour Party finds it remotely clever or amusing to impose the faces of probably the two highest profile Jewish politicians on to flying pigs.” A kosher source at the Board of Deputies of British Jews says the posters “really aren’t the wisest things we’ve ever seen”.

You couldn’t make it up – another poster is said to depict Howard as a Shylock-type character hunched over a watch and chain. Please someone – email or fax the image to Guido.

UPDATE: Apparently Trevor Beattie’s ad agency TBWA, not Goebbels, is responsible for the poster and he couldn’t give a FCUK.

Vacancy at Hon. Fiend – Blogger Wanted

Word reaches Guido that Mink Media, publishers of rival political blog Honourable Fiend, are looking for a replacement for the piss-poor cut-‘n-paster they currently have. No posts have appeared for days, and blogging has been somewhat haphazard for weeks. So if you want the job (you will be the fourth Honourable Fiend in as many months) click here. No inside knowledge of politics seems to be required.

Eh? CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 22%

Lynton will not be happy. Polls showing the Tories 5% to 8% behind suit his purposes. Polls showing them neck and neck will get Labour voters out of their beds to get Blair and possibly Brown rather than Howard in No. 10. Assuming of course voters are not already under house arrest. It has come to something when George Churchill-Coleman, the former head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch at Scotland Yard says “I have a horrible feeling that we are sinking into a police state” – he’s not exactly a pinko liberal.

Lib Dems Back Teen Drinking

From Hansard:

Kevin Brennan: Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that it is Lib Dem policy to legalise drinking at the age of 16? Does he think that that will contribute to a reduction in binge drinking?

Mr. Foster: The answer is yes.[…]


Smelly, Boozing Lobby Journalists

The lobby journalist’s offices in the Commons smell of booze. Nothing unusual about that you say, except they have really been smelling of booze, Guinness in particular. Apparently a leak of the black stuff from the press bar above has dripped into their offices below.[…]


Bring Back Unpaid MPs

Douglas Alexander and David Miliband in the Grauniad waffle on piously like shop stewards about work hours for MPs. But what caught my eye was a line that the traditional hours were designed for a time when “unpaid MPs looked into the chamber after a day spent at the Inns of Court or the City.”

Well nowadays City partners work ungodly hours.



Gay Smear: Candy Gets Vigorous

Labour MP Candy Atherton has pledged to “vigorously” contest the case being heard at an industrial tribunal in south London. Guido has previously reported on Candy Atherton’s allegedly clumsy attempt to dig up dirt to smear the lovely Ashley Crossley, the gay Tory candidate for her seat of Falmouth & Camborne.[…]


Carole Caplin Back at No. 10!

The controversial former confidante of Cherie Blair, will return to 10 Downing Street today – but only to present a petition against the European Union’s restrictions on vitamins and supplements.

During an Opposition Day debate later, MPs will call for the government to renegotiate the EU directive with Brussels.



“Not clear what the Liberal Democrats stand for”

Lib Dem Watch draws Guido’s attention to a poll for ITV’s Jonathan Dimbleby programme asking people what they thought about the party.

Which of these statements comes closest to your view about the Liberal Democrats?

  • I have a clear idea of what the Liberal Democrats stand for, and I broadly approve of their outlook (25%)
  • I have a clear idea of what the Liberal Democrats stand for, but do not approve of their outlook (14%)
  • I am not clear what the Liberal Democrats stand for (52%)
  • Don’t Know (8%)

Frankly Guido is surprised that a quarter of respondents know what they stand for.



100 Days to go till “Don’t Vote” Day

If, as many think, election day is May 5 we have a mere 100 days to go from today. Guido will be campaigning for none of the above as voting only encourages them. I am hoping for a less than 50% turnout, or at the very least for non-voters to be the largest party.


Anthony Wells’ Polling Report

Über-wonks need to know that Anthony Wells’ Polling Report has moved to www.pollingreport.co.uk the blog is here. Update your favourite bookmarks.


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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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