Labour MP: Humans Extinct in 200 Years

If you ever wondered about the state of mind of certain politicians, look no further than Michael Meacher. This isn’t just loony left nonsense, it’s plain bonkers:

“When an alien virus invades the human body it fights back and usually manages to surround and destroy the alien. Earth will do everything it can to survive with us being the virus it is trying to destroy. I think with the current rate of exploitation and current disregard for sustainability that our economy and our civilisation has, I think we will easily reach that point in the next 200-300 years.”

Perhaps Meacher would like a sandwich board with “the end is nigh” painted on it?

What a great Gaia he is, enjoying what little time we have left…

All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

Moss Bros were unavailable for comment…

To AV or not AV? |This is the Question:

“Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the ‘alternative vote’ system instead of the current ‘first past the post’ system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?”

Bit wordy, and the legislation may yet be blocked by Labour and Tory backbenchers and the Nats.

Currently punters give AV a 64% chance of passing…

Burnham's Bellenden Boy

Despite basing his campaign out of Manchester, even Andy Burnham can’t resist the lures of t’big smoke:

He has invited the great and good of the business world to a breakfast meeting where he will be trying to boost his lacklustre campaign with answers to some big questions. A chance for a hob-nob and maybe even to tap up a donation or two:

Guido’s bowler-hatted and pin-striped co-conspirator was a little surprised when he tried to RSVP as instructed to Mark Glover, the proud owner of an @andy4leader.com email address. Expecting the campaign office, he was instead put through to Bellenden Public Affairs”, a corporate spin merchants based just over London Bridge from the heart of the City’s Square Mile.

Glover, its founder and a Labour man, may well be volunteering for the campaign by helping  Burnham mingle in the City, but he is using his business line and office facilities to do so. Thus Guido presumes such a donation-in-kind will be properly costed and declared by Andy to the proper authorities? Not sure how using a London headquartered corporate spin merchants will help to dispel “the impression that the elite was running the country” which he bangs on about at hustings…

Quote of the Day

Kevin Maguire quotes Gordon Brown saying…

“I’d rather they think I was sectioned in an Edinburgh mental institution than do anything like that.”

Punters versus Wonks

It is fair to say that London Labour’s activists and wonkish elite are by and large behind Ed Miliband, unless they are ideological Blairites (like the Progress crowd) or careerist greasy pole climbers like most MPs, in which case they are behind David Miliband. The headbanging Tory hating activists go for Balls and lefties back Abbott with Burnham picking up a Northern token vote.

Supporters of Ed Miliband are adamant, despite polls showing David has more than twice as much support among Labour supporters, that he will win on second preferences.  Will Straw at LeftFootForward has even built a predictive model that forecasts Ed scraping through. Yet punters persist in making David Miliband the runaway favourite. Are the punters or the wonks right?

Guido accepts that Ed will probably win the union’s endorsements, though the Fabian’s Sunda Katawala argues that doesn’t necessarily mean he will win the votes of union members. Punters agree with Will and give Ed a 60% chance of winning the union votes.

Guido and punters make David the 80% favourite to win the MP/MEPs vote.  Will forecasts it will be closer than that but accepts that David will win this part of the electoral college.

It is over the membership vote that Will’s model and punters differ dramatically. Based on a non-representative, self-selecting poll of LabourList’s readers (DM 34.9% EM 30.8%), he predicts that the second preferences from the more left-wing candidates will switch to Ed and he will thus beat his older brother. The argument being that since Ed is positioned to the left of David, second preferences won’t tack right to the most centrist candidate. This is delusional.

Not all the voters will see the candidates in such finely calibrated positions on the centre-to-left spectrum, much of the electorate will vote on character and personality. Apart from Diane Abbott the policy positions of the candidates are in reality very closely bunched and Ed Balls’ new found tactical leftism is transparently risible.  Experience shows that second preferences tend to break in correlation with first preferences. The correlation isn’t perfect, but nor is it so weak as to be insignificant. Yet Labour sympathisers in the media and even more objective pundits like Toby Young believe Ed will come through.

So if it will be decided by the membership vote, is the LabourList poll accurate? It is unlikely that a self-selecting web poll will be. YouGov actually put Balls ahead of Ed Miliband but behind David with Labour voters (and another private poll by Survation put Diane Abbot within 5% of Ed among union members).  With the polling confusion Guido puts little reliance on the sampling and absent of clear polling evidence Guido opts to “follow the money”. David Miliband has raised more money than all the rest and he has the weight of  punter’s money backing him. It will be close, but Guido suspects Ed will lose to his big brother.



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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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