Monday, November 22, 2010

Miliband’s Morrisons “Misspoke” Moment

David Miliband has made a return to the frontline of British politics - he’s back tweeting again. Guido had to feel a pang of sympathy when he read earlier that the prince across the water had proudly opened a supermarket in his constituency. How the mighty have fallen, from the Middle-East to Morrisons. However when Guido went to find a picture of this proud day, a big moment in the career of a backbencher, he uncovered a shocking truth:

“Crowds gathered at Morrisons in Ocean Road, South Shields, as Mayor Tom Pigott officially declared it open. The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, join Morrisons’s general store manager Gary Tiffany, left, and chief executive Dalton Phillips.”

Er, not one mention of the former Foreign Secretary? He isn’t in the photo and he certainly didn’t cut the ribbon. Guido isn’t quite sure how that constitutes “opening it” then? Has David Miliband actually stooped so low that he has to make up z-list celebrity appearances? As his close friend Hillary would put it, it appears he “misspoke”.

First Piggy on Trial as IPSA Blows More Cash

As Elliot Morley’s trial gets underway today, the MPs’ expenses bee will simply not leave the Westminster bonnet. ePolitix reports that IPSA are going to spend a million pounds releasing the MPs expense claims data, though there is some confusion over whether receipts will be included in that. While this undoubtedly a good move theoreatically, ironically it will happen on the same day, the 2nd December, that the future of the omnishambolic IPSA is debated in the House. Guido cannot get his head around why it’s going to cost such a staggering amount of money though? He is pretty sure he could do the job with a couple of scanners and some interns for half the price…

The Sound of Silence

Given that this was meant to be Ed Miliband’s big relaunch day, back from nappy leave and hitting the ground running etc, he has been amazingly quiet. Invisible even.

After a no huskies interview with The Guardian this morning there has been radio silence ever since and the lunchtime top of the hour news bulletins have barely even given him a nod. Admittedly the Irish bailout news is dominating, but it’s not as if Red Ed has even managed to secure the second headline slot - that’s gone to the high-heeled Grant Shapps and his council housing reforms.

Apparently Ed is addressing the PLP tonight with his plans for reforming the Labour Party, particularly with how to stop his own farcical technical victory from happening again. Given the slaughtering that Harman got at the last meeting after the sacking of Woolas, (that was coincidently followed up nicely with some interesting facts about her appearing in the press,) it can’t get any worse for the struggling leader. However Guido has to wonder what the point of doing the interview this morning was then? Why not wait until after the meeting (which traditionally happens on a Monday) to go all guns blazing into the press? Is Miliband set to go down the Gordon path of relaunch after tired relaunch?  Another stunning success for Miliband’s Press Manager Calamity Kenny

It’s worth nothing that it was twenty years ago today that the Tories knifed Maggie. If Gordon had been a Tory leader he would have been out the door by Christmas after the election-that-never-happened. If Ed is really going to significantly modernise the Labour Party he better be careful to keep the rules that make it much harder to oust a Labour leader than a Tory or LibDem. Guido’s always happy to dispense helpful advice…

Will “Red Len” Be “All In It Together”?

Given the recession has financially crippled thousands of small businesses and seen pay freezes and cuts across the public sector, two people didn’t do too badly during the crisis. The outgoing Unite co-General Secretaries Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson will leave their jobs in charge of the super-union very rich men. Derek Simpson was on £196,497 if you add up car, salary, and perks etc. Poor Tony Woodley only managed to squeeze £135,330 a year out of the worker’s membership subs. Since 2007 they have seen a eye-watering 56% and 62% pay-rises respectfully, unheard of in the real world. Given that the average salary in the UK is somewhere around £25,000, the union-fat cat copy writes itself.

The newly elected Len “there is no such thing as an irresponsible strikeMcCluskey is a Che loving militant-hardliner, who wears his man of the people credentials on his sleeve. If Ed Miliband wants to distance himself from the union that gave him his job he might have a bit of a challenge with this one, McCluskey was a big player in the BA strikes.

The real question though is will “Red Len” take a massive pay-cut before he mans the barricades and leads the charge?

Quote of the Day

Plotting Harriet Harman finally admits:

“I hate paying tribute to men”

Dave Says Phuket To Thai Break

Over the weekend the Prime Minister quietly cancelled his planned Christmas trip to Thailand. When the papers first got wind of the plan, Guido reported that Coulson had put the heavies on to try to stop the others asking the very obvious questions about the probity of such a trip given the, fellow Old Etonian, Thai PM’s less than exemplary human – rights record. You don’t see many fire extinguisher throwers surviving in Bangkok.

Other sources claim it was a lack of private beaches for security reasons, but with the number of vanity and money based stories floating around Dave in recent months Guido is surprised it took this long for Downing Street to have a re-think about where the PM should spend the upcoming “austerity Christmas”. Andy Coulson doesn’t seem to be burning on all four cylinders. Could there be some distraction taking up the time of the normally sharp headline seer?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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