Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bunny Dorries

Guido is intrigued by the imminent arrival of the Playboy Club in London. But not as excited as some it seems. One of Nadine Dorries’ many loyal internet fans signed her up for membership:

He’s a little disappointed by her response though:

Sounds like a bargain this end…

Spelman Bins Her Own Promise

Guido isn’t sure Caroline Spelman has thought through her decision to scrap weekly bin collections. The huge doorstep issue was a vote winner last year. Why else did the then Shadow Local Government Minister push the issue so hard during the election:

“Spelman said the Conservatives will scrap these Lib-Lab plans for bin taxes. Instead, we will reward families for recycling and going green, and will work with councils to bring back proper weekly rubbish collections. This is a clear choice at this election: Conservatives who will help bring back weekly collections, Labour who imposed fortnightly collections, or Liberal Democrats who are already forcing through monthly bin collections.”

No wonder she pulled out of all her media appearances this morning at the eleventh hour.

The Victim of Plots, Becomes the Plotter…

Ed Balls told Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party that there was a plot against their leader. A plot coordinated by the Tories. But this just doesn’t make any sense.  How did the Tories get hold of Balls’s papers when his desk would have been cleared at the Department of Education before the transition of power? How did the Tories get hold of the draft of David Miliband’s un-delivered victory speech? No doubt they relished Ed Miliband’s discomfort, but they can’t have been pulling the strings. 

Rumour has it in Labour circles that Balls is making noises about bringing Damian McBride back into the fold. McPoison was spotted last night on the Commons Terrace and is creeping back on to the political scene, lobbying for international aid at a meeting with DfID shadow Harriet Harman last week. Damian’s girlfriend Balshan is already working for Team BallsThat doesn’t sit very well with one high-level shadow cabinet member.

The former Brown bunker-boy, turned Blairite-convert, Douglas Alexander felt the brutal sharp end of McBride’s briefings after the cancellation of Brown’s election in 2007. The blame for Brown’s dithering was thrown at his feet by Damian and Balls. He was still a relatively close insider during the Blair-plot days though, with access to the plans that ended up in the Daily Telegraph’s hands. Significant, however, was his Damascene conversion and subsequent appointment as David Miliband’s campaign manager. He would have seen every single draft of that victory speech.

Dougie has the motive and ability, does he have an alibi? The leaks were a non-fatal shot across the bow of Balls, reminding everyone of how ghastly and vicious Labour once was, as well as providing an incentive for Ed to up his game. Is it any surprise that suspicious fingers are being pointed at Wee Dougie…

UPDATE: Damian has been in touch, via text message, to dispute him being on the terrace last night. Must have been a look-a-like.

UPDATE II: Damian texts again to say he hasn’t seen Harriet for years. She was at the conference part-organised by Cafod, his new employer, but he missed her. Presumably when he fled Guido

UPDATE III: 20 June 2011: Source now says, having seen a photo of Derek Draper, that it was Dolly not Damian. Guido apologises for the confusion.

Quote of the Day

Rachel Sylvester opines that Ed Miliband is…

“Caught between the disappointed, who supported him because they thought he would take Labour to the left, the disenfranchised, who wanted a leader who would tack back to the right, and the disloyal, who still harbour ambitions to replace him, he has few friends. His enemies may not be actively plotting against him but they are eagerly waiting for him to fall.”

Former Insiders Launch “Labour Inc.”

Another day and another Labour faction opens up. Two former insiders have launched a pro-capitalist salvo against Miliband. Calling Labour the “party of the public sector vested interests…the party of tax and spend” and “the party of public service backward compatibility“, they argue that the Eds must “unashamedly place enterprise at the heart of the party”.

Alex Smith, an early Ed backer and his former spinner, has joined forces with unashamed Blairite and former Labour comms guy Luke Bozier. They are putting together a pamphlet that will argue:

“As Ed Miliband considers what the Labour Party should stand for under his leadership, and how the party defines its mission in the post-recessionary age, it is vital that he places enterprise at the very core of that thinking, and at the very heart of what our movement represents. Just paying lip service to business is not enough: Miliband must immerse himself in enterprise, and learn to truly understand and value it.”

The last Labour government went out of their way to damage small businesses, crippling them with regulation and punishing them with tax. The Eds oversaw this from the Treasury. With them now in charge of the party, Guido’s wouldn’t recommend this lot to hold their breath for an epiphany. 

Unemployment Has Peaked

The whole Ed Balls alternative economic strategy was first predicated on a double-dip recession, we hear no more of that nowadays, then it shifted from warning of a double-dip to lamenting slow GDP growth – even though UK GDP growth is above the EU average. But most incessantly Ed Balls wants George Osborne to stop reductions in the bloated public sector headcount “to hold down unemployment”. Coincidentally Labour’s paymasters are public sector unions…

In reality small firms are hiring workers, driving job creation, and according to the authoritative Manpower survey [PDF] hiring intentions are up 8% in the coming quarter and overall nationally recruitment is 3% above trend, a level not seen since the height of the financial crisis 3 years ago. Balls’ ideological adherence to Plan B is now rendered totally unnecessary…

The Return of the King

Andrew Grice suggests this morning that David Miliband is mulling over a surprise return to the frontbench. “Friends” have suggested:

“…there is a debate going on. Some people are arguing that it would be better to be a team player than look as though he is sulking on the sidelines.”

Having taken home over £200,000 from other jobs already this year, will David become a full-time MP again before taking on such responsibility? Not everyone seems happy at the idea, other Shad Cabbers argue that it will make the soap-opera a daily affair. As Sir Humphrey says “it is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back…”

UPDATE: As a co-conspirator points out in the comments “If you look at the Labour Party Leadership rules, if a Labour Leader steps down or is unable to remain Leader when the party is in opposition, the replacement can only be elected from among Shadow Cabinet members. So David Miliband would do himself a favour by being in it.” Punters don’t rate his chances of an early return that highly:

Jan. 1 – Jun. 30 2011   5%
Jul. 1 – Dec. 31 2011 30%
Jan. 1 – Jun. 30 2012 17%
Jul. 1 – Dec. 31 2012 24%
After 2012, or not at all 60%

Seen Elsewhere

The Douglas Carswell Shock | Tim Stanley
Carswell is a True Moderniser | Charles Moore
Assembling a New World Order | Henry Kissinger
India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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