Cable’s Positioning

Vince Cable has been looking like he swallowed a bee ever since Cleggmania took off. His announcement today that he is resigning as deputy leader of the LibDems is transparently a piece of positioning. Cameron manages to combine being party leader with being PM and Clegg somehow copes with being deputy PM and party leader.

Is it therefore really believable that Cable can’t cope with being deputy party leader and a Minister overseeing a contracting department? Isn’t he just distancing himself from the Cleggies?

UPDATE : Cable is the punters favourite to be the first Minister to resign from the cabinet.

Balls Not Bananas

Fired up on Pimms Guido led the chants of “Balls not Bananas” as David Miliband left his press conference to launch his website earlier:

The banana waving Ed Balls flying squad might have to become a regular feature of the Labour leadership campaign.

Come to Guido’s “Ed Balls for Leader” Rally

The Labour Leadership campaign is looking a bit boring and to be honest a lot of you are pretty disappointed that Ed Balls is struggling so badly in his quest to lead the Labour Party.

So to liven things up a bit Guido is organising an “Ed Balls for Leader” rally in Westminster this afternoon.

The venue is 11 Tufton Street, Westminster at 3.45 pm this afternoon.

We’ll have posters ready for you to hold, and, errm, some bananas.

By strange coincidence David Miliband is also holding his third launch event at 11 Tufton Street at 4 pm.

We’ll be heading off to the Westminster Arms shortly after 4 pm…

Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil told Total Politics magazine about that picture…

“It’s not Miss Bordes. It never has been Miss Bordes. That was a picture of a woman from New York that I was going out with in 1995. She worked at Fox and she is an Afro-American. She’s not Asian, she’s not Indian, she’s not British. The picture was taken as we came off the beach in Barbados, by Terry O’Neill. It’s been presented now as if (a) it’s Miss Bordes and (b) that we were in some kind of nightclub and I’m there in this stupid shirt in a nightclub. It was a beach we’d come off, hence the baseball cap and beachwear.”

Newsnight’s Olly Grendlestein Problem

Newsnight’s regular political panel, made up of Cameroon Danny Finkelstein, the LibDem’s Olly Grender and Blairite insider Peter Hyman, has a bit of a problem. Ever since the coalition emerged Grender and the Fink have moved closer and closer to each other, not only on the sofa but in terms of argument. They seem to agree on almost everything now with only some nuanced differences.

It’s essentially two pro-government mouthpieces against one for Hyman who has to fight them both – Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…

The Brady Bunch

Eurosceptic grammar school-loving Graham Brady looks set to be the spanner in Cameron’s attempts to rein in his backbenchers and suppress any future rebellions. Brady has got the Tory right excited with gushing endorsements for Chairmanship of the 1922 Committee from many in Parliament, as well as ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie and the Telegraph’s Janet Daley.

Had Dave not been forced to back down on his desired reforms of the influentiall backbench grouping and enabled those on the government payroll to vote, then the wetter Richard Ottaway might have had a chance, but the right of the party are keen to give Cameron a gentle smack on the nose. If the punters are anything to go by it looks like Brady has got it sewn up. With a tendency not to take things lying down, Guido has to say things will be a lot more fun with Brady causing no end of headaches…

More LibDems Added to the SpAd List


The list includes a few more LibDem names, forinstance Giles Wilkes is tipped to move from the Centre Forum think tank to Vince Cable’s office.

Guido has had a few complaints that people on the list are not strictly speaking Special Advisers. Guido is using the term loosely, basically the people on this list are political appointments of various kinds doing the bag carrying for Ministers, some are not your usual wonky, spinning, greasy pole-climbing SpAds – clearly Sir Peter Ricketts heading up the National Security Council for Hague is not a teenage bag carrier.  Nic Boles for example is an MP but glides in out of the Cabinet Office helping the Implentation Unit in some unspecified and presumably unpaid way.  One way or another they’re on Guido’s list…

The Post-Robinson Age

At the noticeably well attended Policy Exchange party last night, Guido was chatting amiably to James Landale the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor when, just for sport, he asked, “Do you think you are going to get Nick’s job?” “There isn’t a vacancy” he said in the manner of a politician’s answer. Sensing opportunity, “Laura’s prettier, she wants the job” Guido teased.

“There is that” and then his body tensed and his face reddened, “the deputy never gets the job”. It was Heseltinian, it was a non-denial of ambition. There is a lot to be said for Landale, although his explanatory style sometimes seems to be too derivative of Robbo, he has his merits, and he is of course the same generation as the new governing generation. Perhaps more importantly, he is an Old Etonian…

See also: Taxi for Nick Robinson



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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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