Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yes Wee Can

In this video wee Dougie Alexander shows why he won’t be a leadership contender after the election. His less than inspiring back-room boy style briefing from Labour HQ is somewhat reminiscent of Eric Pickles’s efforts, yet it has all the joy and excitement of a game of bowls. Labour are spinning all they want that “people win elections – not posters” but it’s a poor effort at hiding the fact the party have no money. Did the Labour Party claim they didn’t need posters in 1997 when the money was rolling in?

What Labour are doing well at though is the virtual-phone-banking. It’s a move right out of the Obama play-book and with the full weight of the Unite machine organising behind them, it seems that Labour are outdoing their Tory counterparts in making sure their wavering core wake up. People in marginals are already complaining of the near constant bombardment. Still many weeks to go and it will only get worse.

UPDATE : You must read this fantastic piece by Dizzy about Wee Dougie: Labour Unveils its Radical New Strategy.

The Race to Be Dave’s Downing Street Mouthpiece

As Tory flutters begin to subside, the race to become the next Prime Minister’s Spokesman is hotting up. Given that the Tories have hinted at American-style televised lobby briefings to open up politics, someone with a pretty face as well as a way with words is needed. Andy Coulson is being deliberately sketchy about whether he will go to Downing Street or return to the Murdoch fold, if he does stay he will be wanting to be the person telling  the spokesman what to say. Cameron’s current spinner Gabby Bertin is said to have her eye on the job and apparently gets rather grumpy when people discuss other contenders, though there is no doubt that candidates are emerging. Henry McCrory shouldn’t be ruled out completely either.

The BBC’s James Landale, a fellow Old Etonian, has publicly denied he is interested in the job but his name keeps popping up. He was tipped for promotion at the BBC but Guido understands he privately hints he might be off elsewhere.  Talking of leaving the BBC, Boris’s man Guto Hari has been mentioned, he was supposedly first offered the job which Coulson eventually took, but is very loyal to the prince-across-the-water. Ian Birrell, the former deputy-editor of  The Indy is apparently rather close to Cameron and another mooted candidate.  Julia Hartley-Brewer of the Sunday Express is an outside bet.  Prize for most obvious brown-nosing (of late) has to go to The Telegraph’s Ben Brogan though, wired into CCHQ he has certainly written some pleasantly glowing pieces in recent weeks, one of the few journalists to refrain from having too much of a dig during the recent wobbles. His loyalty to Team Cameron when they were under fire will not have gone unnoticed…

Gabby BertinUPDATE : When Guido was preparing the graphic above he eventually gave up on finding a picture of Gabby Bertin, Cameron’s seemingly very elusive Press Secretary. She is clearly quite good at her job as it took a good six hours for one to finally turn up. Sadly it is not the famed karaoke snap apparently out there.

It’s a rare moment any way.

Quote of the Day

Nick Clegg said…

“Charlie Whelan and Lord Ashcroft are exactly the same. One is the baron of the trade unions, and the other one is the baron of Belize. Both are bankrolling political parties, both are trying to buy seats.”

Beware the Whelan in Sheep’s Clothing

Co-conspirator Colleen points out that Whelan (pronounced /ˈhwiːlən/) is an anglicisation of the Irish surname, Ó Faoláin. The surname originates from the Middle Irish ‘Úa Faeláin’ (plural, ‘Uí Faeláin’) the name of the 10th to 11th century ruling dynasy of the Déisi, a population group inhabiting the area of the modern county of Waterford and south county Tipperary in the early medieval period.  The word “faolán” is derived from the Old Irish word “faelán” meaning a small wolf.

Did anyone else spot Charlie Whelan’s ridiculous claim that he wasn’t allowed to give a view on the merits of the BA strike?  In reality he knows that it is unpopular and a negative for Unite’s political wing, the Labour Party.  So he is sidestepping the clash of interests between his paymasters and their beneficiaries.


Seen Elsewhere

Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC
No.10 Ambushed by EU Prosperity Tax | Times
10 Years of Guido | Iain Dale
Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian


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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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