Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frozen Fraternal Love

On Sunday David Miliband admitted how bad was the hurt that his brother inflicted upon him. In doing so he triggered an outburst of sympathy online that ended up with him trending globally on Twitter. Today at PMQs, in reply to Cameron’s taunts, Ed Miliband dismissed his knifing of his brother by asking whether Dave was going to bring up his cousin next. Clearly the line is being held that Ed has done nothing wrong and everything is hunky dory – but is it really?

David and Ed, with their respective entourages, crossed each other’s paths yesterday afternoon between Portcullis House and the Norman Shaw building. Guido’s co-conspirator reports that they walked literally within a few metres of each other in opposite directions and never mind not exchanging words, they didn’t even nod, smile or acknowledge each others presence. “David, I love you so much as a brother…”

Maguire’s Dire Conspiracy

The Libyan crisis has had more than its fair share of nonsense around it. First Hague declared Gaddafi was en route to Venezuela and today Kevin Maguire isn’t letting reality get in the way of a good story:

“The theory in Libyan exile circles is the squad was carrying explosives because it was on a sabotage mission. And it gets worse. The anti-Gaddafi Libyans assert the unit intended to destroy rebel positions and blame atrocities on Gaddafi’s forces, to stir up the civil war and win international sympathy, as well as targeting the Colonel’s military machine.”

And the source of  this accusation of state sanctioned murder and war crimes? Well some bloke who is Libyan and “mixes with other Libyans in London”Guido isn’t coming out to bat for Hague, but pull the other one Kev…

Caring Labour Lender Donating Interest to Tories

Sir Richard Caring lent Labour £2 million back  during the loans-for-lordships era under Blair. He didn’t collect a peerage but he has been collecting 6.5% interest on the loan, or some £130,000 a year. That is roughly £2-a-year from each and every single Labour Party member.

With the Tories now in power he has switched and donated £140,000 to them. Guido thinks it a deliciously witty joke to donate the Labour Party’s interest payments to the Conservative Party’s treasure chest…

Hat-tip: David Hencke

Quote of the Day

David Aaronovitch tweets:

“The Guardian mentioned “Murdoch” 1490 times in 2010. It has racked up 425 already this year. That’s 6.34 mentions per day, every day.”

Mitchell’s Manoeuvres

“A well-placed source” told Tim Shipman at The Mail today:

“Andrew Mitchell is very well thought of and familiar with all the issues. He sits on the National Security Council. He would have been sent over last year if William had gone and he’s still the man. William has lost his mojo. He seems tired and often unengaged. He just doesn’t seem that interested.”

Would that be the same cheerleaders that were promoting Mitchell as a new Chief Whip to Ben Brogan back in December:

“Andrew Mitchell’s supporters are promoting him as a suitable alternative, arguing that Mad Mitch knows a thing or two about plots and discipline”

He’s certainly displaying a dubious understanding of discipline with his briefings. His choice of words regarding Hague’s decline are remarkably similar to the thoughts Mitchell shared with the FT about the current Chief Whip in February“The trouble is if you spend a long time as a Whip, the iron of cynicism starts to corrode your soul.” Guido knows the International Development job would be enough to corrode any man’s soul, but Mitchell is hardly being subtle in his desire to move on up. Is all that pillow talk going to his head?

PMQs Live: Keep It Vague Edition

 

Cameron’s Contraband Plan

Former smoker David Cameron and current smokers Nick Clegg, Simon Burns, Steve Hilton etc are outlawing tobacco advertising. Do as they say, not as they do. Leaving aside the obvious risk that cutting off thousands of small shops at the knees poses, just as with prohibition and drugs, the evidence suggests that forcing vices underground increases the attraction. An “enemy of enterprise” and a purveyor of forbidden fruits in one easy piece of legislation.

The Committee to Re-Elect de Pfeffle

A secret six strong team of the London Tory players, under Hammersmith and Fulham council’s Stephen Greenhalgh, has been tasked with warming up the fight to keep Boris in City Hall. Officially it doesn’t exist and it’s business as usual, but it’s limbering into gear. With fourteen months to go, the Committee to Re-Elect de Pfeffle have launched an attack site on their old friend Ken:

Guido’s ear on the committee seems confident that despite the anti-Tory and cuts rhetoric their boy is going to be fine. Though they are expecting a surge of support for Ken from “the haters”, traditional Tory support for Boris in 2008 wasn’t overwhelming due to the suspicion he was a mere TV clown. Though it hasn’t been the most glittering mayoralty, they are adamant that he has proved that bunch wrong. It seems the tactic is to get that lot on board and quickly. Get ready to hear a lot about “Bikes, Bikes and Strikes”…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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