Friday, May 28, 2010

Rejoice! Rejoice! Balls is Officially Nominated

As the convenor of the grassroots internet-based #Balls4Leader campaign it is Guido’s pleasure to inform co-conspirators that Balls has now been officially nominated by 33 MPs.

Onwards to victory comrades…

UPDATE : Could a co-conspirator come up with a suitable logo for the campaign?

Ed Balls Campaign Diary

Told Nicola that it is important to stress that over half the parliamentary party do not want Jaffa Miliband to be Leader. His little brother has almost as many backers, and that little girl Burnham has a small chunk.  Tom Watson has finally came through and I am now just one short of being on the official ballot paper. Getting a bit worried I am going to have ask Gordon for his vote.

Bit of a shock in Thirsk and Malton, the whole of the Labour Party was expecting we would squeeze the LibDem vote. Instead this Great Party of Ours dropped from second to third. Hope no one notices that I was the only leadership candidate to visit the constituency.

The Right Honourable Edward Balls, leader of the Labour Party. Has a nice ring to it. I will have that on my business card soon.

Susie Squire Slips in to Spinning at the DWP for IDS

Guido is particularly pleased to add Susie Squire (pictured here briefing a senior political journalist) to the list of SpAds, bag carriers and wonks going over to government. She joins Philippa Stroud working at the DWP for Iain Duncan-Smith.  Formerly at the Taxpayers’ Alliance she will now be part of the team exorcising / reforming the welfare system.

Additions to the list include Richard Parr who follows Andrew Mitchell to DfID, Poppy Mitchell-Rose who goes with Osborne to the Treasury.  Honor Fishburn, daughter of Dudley Fishburn the former Tory MP for Kensington and Chelsea, goes to Downing Street to do Andy Coulson’s bidding and Cameron’s speech writing team of Ameet Gill and Claire Foges follow him from CCHQ to become the PM’s speech writing team.

There are still a few more names left to be confirmed…

Sly Si and His Left-Wing Cabal

Simon Hughes shouldn’t be underestimated as an operator. He cut his teeth getting rid of more than his fair share of Liberal Democrat leaders, and in cahoots with Vince Cable he is rocking the boat again. Deprived of a Cabinet seat, Sly Si’s near coronation as Deputy LibDem leader is more than a little contrived…

Cable has looked close to tears for the last week and his unexpected resignation as Clegg’s deputy, and now his very public endorsement of Hughes as his replacement, shows just how worried he is about the coalition. This way the beardy-weirdies have a voice.

Perhaps as punishment for refusing to bloody his hands in the Treasury, Cable has been landed with the most cuts to his department. He has had to eat humble pie on television and his reputation as an economic guru is all but shattered. Bound by collective cabinet responsibility he is neutered.

Though Vince may have been exposed as bit of sham and the bookies make him favourite to be the first cabinet minister to resign, don’t think he isn’t going to go down without a fight, and never forget how vicious LibDem infighting can be. So who does he turn to start causing trouble? His old mucker Hughes of course – the whole swap looks like a well executed plan – interestingly his only challenger for the leadership thus far is Tim Farron – who has been a Hughes protege and ally for many years (and was a senior figure in both Simon’s leadership campaigns).

See also Cable’s Positioning

Friday Caption Contest (Wacky Wonk Edition)

Quote of the Day

Green MP Zac Goldsmith used his maiden speech to say:

“How many people in this country genuinely believe that when they cast their vote in a European election it will have any impact on how Europe is structured, on what decisions will be made within the EU, or even on the quality of those decisions? Decisions are being taken by people who are not elected, and are therefore insulated from any kind of democratic pressure.”

How Much Did You Make Today?

The Taxpayers’ Alliance have released this depressing little video highlighting the fact that from 9am to 1.21pm you are working for the taxman and from 1.21pm to 5pm you finally get to earn some money. Seems the plush new TPA office takes a starring role too:

If people realised just how much they are taxed at every opportunity throughout the day, Guido is convinced there would be more outrage about the daily mugging by the Treasury. A break down of cost and taxes on every receipt would be a very good start. Guido isn’t sure what the timing is in Ireland, but given it’s about eleven now, he hopes you all enjoy the next couple of hours feeding the state…

What Were they Thinking?

Bad Al Campbell is cock-a-hoop this morning, Downing Street refused to put up a minister against him on Question Time. Admittedly this is not a strategic error of the order of Suez, but it does provide comfort to a demoralised enemy.  Campbell feels all self-important and Downing Street looks scared, arrogant or amateurish depending on your viewpoint.

It might only be a Westminster Village story, but it seems like an unforced error.

Michael Howard shows how easy it is to effectively crush Campbell:


Ken Clarke could have done the job with ease…

UPDATE : In the comments most co-conspirators reckon Guido is wrong, typical comment (from Angelnstar)

Alastair Campbell is a discredited political figure who degrades debate. Why should anyone give this rubbishy person air time? He should be kicked off every programme, not just Question Time. …

Why should any sensible person have to waste time correcting his deluded spin, and sick fantasies, and why should they pander to his overdeveloped ego? If more people refused to appear with him, his TV time would be severely restricted. He is trash.

That may be true, nevertheless Bad Al was on television all the time during the general election and he probably cost Labour votes. He appeals to Labour’s activist headbangers and appals voters. Guido reckons the more voters see him, the more they remember why they dislike Labour…


Seen Elsewhere

Twitter Should Not Ban Racist Words | Alex Wickham
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Term-Time Holidays Were State Encouraged | Liberal England
What Did Britain Really Look Like in 1930s? | CapX
Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror


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Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….

“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”


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