Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tory Poster Blunder Commits Party to Tear Up EU Treaty

On the tight-rope issue that is the EU treaty, the Tories are campaigning hard for a referendum, which Gordon will not concede. What Cameron has refused so far to concede to his own right-wing is a retrospective referendum should they be in power in 2010 – two years after the treaty will have been confirmed by Parliament.

Hague has been firmly evasive on this point, Tory EU-headbangers have also been, well, as headbanging as always on the same point. Tomorrow’s new “CANCELLED” poster from the Tories has now muddied the waters. As soon as it appeared on ConservativeHome, UKIP supporting Chad Noble spotted that the poster implies “A vote on the European Constitution” is “now delayed until the election of a Conservative government”.The Lobby are lined up to hear a speech from Cameron tomorrow on his “vision”, what is the betting that they will be asking him about this commitment? It is an issue the Brownies have deliberately been trying to stoke up in the press to cause trouble and division with the Tory ranks. Somebody at CCHQ is going to get a bollocking tomorrow…

UPDATE : The Devil has taken a more detailed look at the Tory (non)commitments overnight. Are they meaningful? He thinks not.

Scare the Kids

Government in Halloween Double Trick Retreat

The business community is relieved that the horror of a flat 18% CGT is to be cushioned by a £100,000 tax exempt threshold – Osborne is deriding Darling’s Halloween retreat “Alistair Darling has heaped confusion on incompetence. Only three weeks ago, the Chancellor announced big tax increases for small businesses and entrepreneurs… The government has performed so many u-turns it doesn’t know which way it’s facing.”
This follows the news that the government is dropping the planned trick to claw back 5% from school budgets. Guido has no idea where we are now with the pay – as – you – throw micro-chipped-Bin-Brother-spy policy. Guido can confirm however that there is no truth in the rumour that at midnight Ed Balls will turn into a pumpkin.

Geek Note : Service Interruption Possible

Guido is doing a full dress-rehearsal of his host mirroring system today. There should be no noticeable interruption to the blog. The Californian server’s 70 megabytes of contents were mirrored on a back-up server in an entirely different legal jurisdiction yesterday.

The intention is to switch servers seamlessly, see how it performs under the traffic load, then switch back to California – without losing a single comment. Isn’t technology wonderful?

So anyone thinking of wielding a legal hammer, better get a bigger hammer.

Clegg – ID Cards – "I Will Defy Law"

LibDem politics is so very often the politics of gestures. Huhne’s position on Trident isn’t of any consequence since he won’t have a dog in that fight.

But the politics of the personal is a place where their gestures are more significant. Clegg is going all Gandhi-like and promising mass civil disobedience on ID cards. He told supporters last night “If the legislation is passed I will lead a grassroots campaign of civil disobedience to thwart the identity cards programme … I, and I expect thousands of people like me, will simply refuse ever to register.” “I am not a number” he (almost) shouts.

Which is all very well for private citizens like Guido to do, it is another thing for legislators. Guido’s defiance of the state is one thing, a law-maker becoming a law-breaker presents a dilemma of an entirely different order. Unlike private citizens, Clegg is an integral part of the system representative democracy, if he rejects the outcome of majoritarian politics he is rejecting the system. Good luck to him, but he can’t simply pick and choose the laws he obeys if he is a law-maker.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unhappy Halloween

Gove does the intellectual attack muttering about a sad loss of idealism one minute, next minute CCHQ rolls out this poster to commemorate non-election day. Coulson wouldn’t have had a hand in this would he?

CH4RLIE 4 Boris

Who was the stilletoed brunette who exited this Bentley with Boris last week at the back of the Norman Shaw building? Answers to editorial@thefirstpost.co.uk.

Schhhh, Ssshhh, Schillings

Gove : "I Might Be Ugly, But I’m Smart"

Michael Gove is making a much anticipated speech this morning which is expected to be the intellectual equivalent of a bitch-slap to Gordon Brown. What the kind readers of this blog always say in the comments whenever Guido features Gove is that “he has a face you just want to slap”.

Gove is clearly aware of this and possessing a fair amount of ambition he has made some efforts to ameliorate this reaction. He lost the glasses earlier this year and his clothes have got sharper since his journalist days. He explains in article this morning “thus you have the paradox, which I exemplify, of the individual who is both plain and vain, a man who tries to dress smartly because of an anxiety to minimise the unhappy aesthetic impact of one’s appearance.”

What Michael should understand is that the collective urge to happy-slap him isn’t strictly to do with his looks. It is the sheer swottyness of him, exemplified in the article, that brings out the latent playground bully in us all.

UPDATE : His speech is a measured dissection of the Brownies problems.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sky Dalek Policy

Sky apologised today following Julie Etchingham’s joke on air that the Tories favoured a policy of “extermination” for immigrants.

As Dave said live “Let me outline the action that a Conservative government would take. As we have seen, some of the increase in population size results from natural change – birth rates, death rates. Here our policy should be obvious… “

Microphone switched on, Julie cracked: “Extermination.”

A Sky News spokesman said: “A comment was made in the studio during David Cameron’s speech that was broadcast in error. The comment was not intended for broadcast. The off-the-cuff remark was regrettable.” She is shortly off to work with Trevor MacDonald on the re-launched News at Ten…


Seen Elsewhere

How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie
Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge
Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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