Friday, May 21, 2010

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

She just had to go and stick her oar in didn’t she! Diane bloody Abbot. Who next?  I thought she’d lost her Brent seat. Watching her election broadcast cuddling up on the BBC sofa with those two bastions of the right last night made me sick. We’re having enough trouble as it is twisting arms to get signatures without another horse in the field. That little girl Burnham is causing no end of headaches, what has he ever done for the Party? How many times do I have to tell him this is not a beauty contest. At least Abbott destroyed the media coverage of his launch.

Someone’s going to notice soon that the only two politicians I am ever seen with both lost their seats last week. The others promised and now they’ve scampered. I keep telling them my majority isn’t a problem. I even had to go all This Is Your Life in the Mirror this morning. There is still time.

Old Charlie came through and sorted the NEC to extend the nominations period  but he’s let me down. It’s unforgivable. They’ve only gone and banned the bosses telling the union members how to vote. Paul Waugh did his best at damage control but the spending cap is going to knife us too. Ellie Gellard, a Twitternet heavyweight is backing me because everyone she knows hates me. Think that is a good sign, could mean a lot more support than people think. Though having said that the money seems a bit slow. Nicola has been working the phones, but it looks like I’m going to have to get one of those Paypal things the Miliband minor has on his website.

This isn’t exactly how it was meant to be. The therapist says to relax this weekend but how am I meant to do that? I will be Leader. I must be Leader.

(*As leaked to Guido)

IPSA Bureaucracy Control Made Easy

There is a lot of grumbling around parliament about the new expenses regime and the IPSA bureaucracy established to implement the new system.  Some of it is unjustified, some of it is justified.

In Disinfecting Parliament, a report published last year, the Sunlight Centre recommended a number of measures based on best practice in the private sector. Foremost among the recommendations made was that MPs should be issued with a House of Commons debit card to be used for their legitimate expenses. Simples.

The transactions would as normal be electronically recorded automatically and could thus be published online automatically, the spending limits would be automatic and bureaucracy would be minimal. Instead for every transaction we now have invoices being received, authorised, paid by MPs, sent to IPSA where invoices are then re-checked, approved and reimbursed by IPSA with lots of manpower required. Crazy and expensive.

Friday Caption Contest (Leftie Dream Ticket Edition)

Balls: “Knocking on Doors in My Constituency was Hard-Going”

After a shocker of an interview with Eddie Mair on Wednesday, in which Ed Balls was unable to give an answer to where he had differed from Gordon Brown in terms of policy over the last three years, his Mirror piece today shows just how tainted he is. He tries to admit, like all the others, that now they see that they lost and that they need to listen more, not that they weren’t listening before of course. This seems to be the only message of the whole contest so far.

Most interesting was what he didn’t say. There is not one mention of the deficit in the whole piece. Instead he uses cheap shots of the sort that Brown was churning out in his lowest days:

“And then on Monday, I watched George Osborne on TV struggling to contain his glee as he announced that the Tories, now backed by the Liberal Democrats, were going to cut £6billion from public services this year and put the school-building programme on hold.”

No wonder he is struggling to get the signatures to even get on the ballot. Many of the new Labour intake are holding back their support, waiting to see who else comes out of the woodwork. How long before it all gets rather nasty as Balls fights for his life?

Quote of the Day

Rachel Sylvester writes

‘Alastair Campbell used to refer Mr Blair, Mr Brown and Lord Mandelson as the “three poofs”.’

Quote of the Day

Bild, Germany’s best selling newspaper writes

“Once again, we are the idiots of Europe”

Will They Break BA?

British Airways have reported a staggering £531 million loss this morning. Grounded by volcanoes and union thugs, things aren’t going too well for the old flag carrier. Add all that to the £400 odd million loss last year. Whelan and co at Unite the Union are still determined to push things further.

Despite being paid way above the industry average, BA cabin crew, fired up by Derek Simpson and Tony Woodly’s egos, are set for a crippling fifteen days of strike action. Though BA apparently have some £1.7 billion in the bank, they are set to be hit by a further £100 million loss from the ash and the industrial dispute looks like it will rattle on. You would be mad to book a BA flight in advance this summer – Will Unite be happy when they bring the company to its knees and end up far from well paid, but in fact at the back of the dole queue?


Seen Elsewhere

It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh


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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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