Who Got the Jobs…

Guido’s latest list of government SpAds, wonks, “chief of staff” and assorted bag carriers is here. Compiled so Guido knows who to go to when shit happens…

You’ll no doubt see this republished in the papers and by scummy lobbyists public affairs firms as original research later this week.

Rumours of a battle over job titles between Rohan Silva (backed by Osborne and Hilton) and James O’Shaughnessy are denied by all. Ex-CCHQ / Policy Exchange über-wonk O’Shaughnessy reckons he was promised and is in line for the Downing Street policy chief role. Informed sources say he will have a long-term policy role and Rohan a more political / tactical role.

The list is a work in progress, but one Downing Street staffer told Guido it is the only one he’d seen…

Harman’s Secret Weapon

There was much surprise that Harman came out of the blocks quick, littering her first despatch box attack on the coalition with jokes that Gordon could only dream of delivering. Particularly good was her quip about the Lib Dems wanting to cling on to the trappings of opposition. It bodes well for some entertaining PMQs.

Before conclusions are jumped to that she is a natural, could Harman’s new-found sense of humour have something to do with the promotion of Ayesha Hazarika, a stand up comedian, to Director of Communications of the Labour Party and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition? For all the jokes, Labour are still not finding the need to mention that deficit.

Vadera’s Debt Addiction

Long term bunker dweller Shriti Vadera clearly didn’t get enough of dealing with massive spending, spiralling figures and drowning in debt while an advisor to Gordon Brown. She has taken up a consultancy role with the government of Dubai. It’s a solid effort on her part to find a job dealing with even more debt than her previous one. Guido wouldn’t recommend the Emaratis listen to her too closely though…

Look what happened to the last guy.

+ + + Gerald Howarth Shifted from Defence Procurement + + +

In news that will disappoint all his friends lobbying on behalf of defence contractors, the Telegraph is reporting that Gerald Howarth MP will remain in the MOD but is being shifted so that he will have no responsibility for Defence procurement.  Taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief…

See also : Minister for the Arms TradeMinister’s Murky Missile Mate

UPDATE : The Sunlight Centre welcomes today’s decision not to put Gerald Howarth MP in charge of the nation’s defence procurement:

“Mr Howarth’s lobbying connections with the industry would have made it impossible for the public to be sure they were getting the best deal in this already controversial market. For the sake of propriety the decision to remove him from defence procurement was the right thing to do.”

As yet Defra has not confirmed that Caroline Spelman will recuse herself from dealing with issues that effect her former lobbying clients

John McDonnell Writes Rivals Demanding All on the Ballot

This email just leaked to Guido…

At the moment Miliband senior has lots of nominations in the bag, Miliband minor’s campaign are bad-mouthing Ed Balls and Andy Burnham to MPs and saying it’s a two horse race and nominating either of those two will hurt their careers in the long term when he wins. Ed Balls and Andy Burnham expect to scrape enough MPs for nominations, but not nearly as many as the Milibands.

The bookies have opened betting on whether or not Burnham, Balls, Abbott and McDonnell will even get the  33 nominations required to become official candidates. Currently McDonnell is given only a 16% chance…

Dear David, Ed, Andy, Ed and Diane,

First of all good luck in the leadership contest. I think that the entry of all of you into this election will demonstrate what dedicated and talented people we have in our party.

Now that nominations are underway I am writing to ask if you would consider the proposal that we work together to ensure that every declared candidate gets onto the ballot paper so that we have a range of candidates that truly represent the party both men and women, black and white and a range of the political views reflecting the spectrum of views of our party members.

This would mean asking members of the PLP to nominate other candidates once you have reached the 33 nominations required. Going beyond the 33 would certainly demonstrate the scale of support you have in the PLP. However, this could also mean others don’t get onto the ballot paper and prevent the full range of political views in the party being properly represented. We would also avoid any allegations that mounting up unnecessary nominations is just an act of vanity or competitive irrelevance.

I think that our members and affiliates want to be able to hear the full range of political perspectives and want to be able to choose from a full range of candidates. If the way the system works at present denies them this opportunity I believe that they will feel let down by all of us.

I would welcome your support for this approach and if necessary us all getting together this week sometime to discuss how we could work together in this way.

Please let me know if you would agree to this approach and if and when you would be available to meet.

Best wishes,
John McDonnell MP

Flashback : Cable’s Flip Flop Previous

Wounded Vince Cable’s performance on Newsnight last night was classic Cableism. He backtracked, flip-flopped and was forced to accept, live on television, that his hated rival Osborne had been right all along. There was pain in those eyes, you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

He’s the punters favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet, but last night he was painfully walking the collective responibility line. Some have been expressing surprise at his changing of position, but it’s not as if he hasn’t flip-flopped before is it:

Cleggmania saw the beginning of the eclipse of Cable, his role was vastly downgraded to just having his picture on the side of the campaign bus. He may have predicted the eighteen of the last two recessions, but if Vince is such a sage, why didn’t he foresee a situation where he would be reporting to Osborne? If he is such a sage why did he have to wait to be told by the Bank of England that cuts were needed immediately? Let’s hope he’s not relying on his runes to workout how to start cutting £836m from his department.

Quote of the Day

Palace official to the Lobby pack posing for photo…

Never seen you all so clean

Markets Like the Change Coalition

Before the election George Osborne and many Tory leaning pundits were claiming that a coalition government would wreak havoc in financial markets.  Guido argued the opposite – that a “Change Coalition” would see gilts rocket upwards – only a government involving the Labour Party would wreak more financial havoc.

The gilt market has seen yields drop a full 50 basis points, in plain english that is the gilt market taking ½% off the ten year interest rate against which many mortgages are set.

This immediate £6 billion reduction in unfunded over-spending is seen in the City as confimation that the LibDems are fully signed up to the savage cuts to come next year.  Britain has now moved out of the P I I G S bracket of nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) in danger of sovereign default.* The chart above shows it all clearly, during the days when the City feared a Lib-Lab government the markets declined and once the Lib-Con government was in the bag they rallied.



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn on today’s results:

“We hung on.”

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