Quote of the Day

Jon Cruddas says…

“I’ve known David Miliband for twenty years, I’ve known Ed Balls for twenty years, but I don’t know what they stand for.”

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

One down, four to go. I knew Cruddas would crack when I sent Chris Leslie round with the file. A little show and tell of CCTV footage and old Jon soon looked into his heart and realised he didn’t want to stand after all. That little girl Burnham is next.

Sick to the back teeth of creeping around the brain-dead lobby fodder the PLP have been left with. After having to listen to Harman drone on all day the last thing you want to do is spend the night pressing the flesh in the Strangers bar with that lot. Not sure how many nights I can keep it up – nobody bought me a beer.

To make matters worse got home, sans ministerial car, what do I get? No dinner and that four-eyed prick Crick on Newsnight claiming that I might not be able to get enough signatures for my nomination. What the hell does he know? It’s not like anyone has ever answered the phone to him. That f****r has been on my case for too long.

On the up side, I did grease up to Bercow and he was re-elected, worth it to get that drunk he married to back me on Twitter. Had lunch with Stan Greenberg, he said he has a plan for tacking to the left now Cruddas is out of the way, though he’s got some explaining to do after telling me it would be a breeze in Morley.

The big announcement is planned for tomorrow.  I will be leader.

(*As leaked to Guido)

Anyone for Bingo?

As the rush for seats, desks and bag-carriers makes way for the start of a new school term, spare a moment for one newbie MP who doesn’t seem too fussed about being sworn in to her recently won office or taking part in her ancient constitutional duty to elect the Speaker.

Chi Onwurah, Labour’s Newcastle newbie, asked at a meeting of the new MPs last week whether attendance today was strictly compulsory as she already had somewhere better to be. It turns out she had been asked to call the bingo numbers in her constituency.

Clearly the Commons was not quite the House she had in mind…

Farm-gate: Mr Spelman’s Tricky Contract

Further to Guido’s revelations that the new Defra Secretary of State Caroline Spelman is tied up with the bio-tech/agri-business lobbying company “Spelman, Cormack & Associates”, that she co-founded with her husband Mark, Farmers Weekly have unravelled more decisions Spelman must recuse herself from:

“Mark Spelman is a managing director at Accenture, the firm that developed the online system that delivers subsidy payments to farmers. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) awarded Accenture a £35m seven-year contract to develop new and more efficient systems in 2003. Accenture was appointed to develop and deliver the new system over two years and then provide ongoing support for the remaining five years.”

The disastrous Accenture deal that ended up costing £350 million is due to expire this year. Guess who is in charge of deciding if it is renewed?

+ + + CPI Rose To 3.7% in April + + +

UPDATE : With inflation so high surely any thought of hiking VAT, which is inflationary, has to be discarded…

The Case for Speaker Ming

Iain Dale reports that Ming Campbell is to throw his hat into the ring if and when the ‘Noes’ challenge the Speaker’s confirmation this afternoon.

Speakers-OfficeThis changes the dynamics of the situation greatly, Ming is respected across the benches, and unquestionably has the gravitas and dignity which would bring credit to the house. As a former silk he has the ability and authority to command respect, whereas John Bercow has on a number of occasions been on the edge of losing control of the House.  The Squeaker certainly has lost self control.

People forget that Ming was one of twelve candidates for the position of Speaker when Betty Boothroyd stood down in 2000, but he lost out to Michael Martin. The House of Commons might have cause to regret that decision and may be minded to seize this second chance. Ming has one other great unspoken factor in his favour.

He isn’t John Bercow.

UPDATE : The betting has opened with Bercow heavily favoured to retain the Speakership.



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Quote of the Day

William Hague on Tony Blair…

“To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.”

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