Monday, January 19, 2009

Blairite Tells Brown to Drop the "Do Nothing Party" Attack Line

The 13% point Tory poll lead tells us clearly that the endlessly repeated key “Do Nothing Party” attack line from Labour just isn’t working. Blair’s former aide, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, in what must be a first for LabourList, gives an honest assessment of Labour’s immediate prospects:
This weekend’s polls show that politics is now returning to normal. Despite defying political gravity throughout the Autumn Gordon Brown has now been brought back to earth with a widening poll gap and a sense that his new year campaigning has not quite delivered. While the second wave of British bail-outs shows that there is no quick fix to the systemic crisis in the global financial system. … The elevation of Eric Pickles to Tory Party Chair is further evidence that both parties intend to indulge in some fairly tough political combat. Having Chris Grayling as Shadow Home Secretary will certainly add some grit to Conservative policy campaigning.

Since the new year Gordon Brown had tried to get with the programme with some bolder moves… [for] the Downing Street team … to get some momentum going … stop repeating tired lines about the Conservative party being a “do nothing” party.

When even your own side think your propaganda is crap, you need to up your game.

+++ Spelman Demoted to Old Local Government Job +++

New to the Shadow Cabinet:

  • The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP
    Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

  • Mark Francois MP
    Shadow Minister for Europe

New Shadow Cabinet responsibilities:

  • Alan Duncan MP
    Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

  • Chris Grayling MP
    Shadow Home Secretary
  • The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP
    Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
  • Nick Herbert MP
    Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
    Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women
  • Eric Pickles MP
    Chairman of the Conservative Party

Headbangers Explode Over Return of "Jurassic Clarke"

This didn’t take long – the Bruges Group‘s Barry Legg says;

“This effectively means the end of David Cameron’s promise to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution… it is now clear that Mr Cameron does not have the will to carry the necessary legislation … if the Conservative Party were elected to office. Mr Clarke and his supporters within the Conservative Party have been given carte blanch to oppose the policy. The so-called ‘big beast’ has trampled all over Mr Cameron as the price of his return to the Conservative front bench.”

The press release is a bit of a non-sequitur, since it is Clarke who has to change policy, or at least not disavow the settled Tory policy. Guido suspects that Clarke will try to restrain himself until the General Election. In government however…

UPDATE : In his acceptance statement Ken does indeed bend the knee to Dave on Europe: “Some may raise questions about my views on Europe. They are well-known. But I accept that the Party has come to a settled view on European matters, and I will not oppose the direction David will set on European policies in the future.”

Jonah Brown Jinxes Spurs

The Prime Mentalist saw team manager Harry Redknapp on a visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday. A mere 24 hours later on Saturday, Spurs went bottom of the Premier league. Doomed…

The effects of the curse were as malign as ever. Tottenham captain Ledley King (pictured) was stretchered off the pitch on Sunday. He is set for a lengthy injury lay-off after tearing a hamstring during the 1-1 draw against Portsmouth at White Hart Lane on Sunday. Redknapp says “Ledley King has a torn hamstring and is going to be out long term”. Beware the malign hand of the accursed One Eyed Son of the Manse…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror
The Sick Of It | Sun
UKIP MEP’s Welfare Hypocrisy | Channel 4
Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker
May SpAd Removed From Candidates List | ConHome


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The Economist asks Tony Blair about Wendi Deng:

“Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was (at least) careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps. But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt. Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him—not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.”


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