Sally Bercow says

‘I love annoying people – it’s just the way I am’

Red Ed Returns

The reaction to the speech from the left should have Labour strategists worried. From The Guardian:

  • Resident Stalinist apologist Seumas Milne: ‘The most radical speech delivered by a Labour leader for a generation’
  • Julian Glover: ‘To be cruel, Tony Benn has got his party back. Red Ed is back…’
  • Martin Kettle: ‘An eloquent restatement of the old-time religion in difficult times’
  • Jackie Ashley: ‘I’m no Tony Blair’

Jackie Ashley is right, this was not the speech of a triple-election winning Labour Party leader..

UPDATE: Blairite Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy not happy:

Feeling the Love

Guido was beginning to get a little disappointed at the lack of vitriol against him at his first ever Labour conference visit, though that soon changed as the sun went down and the beer started flowing last night. Popping in to pay his respects to the great and good  at last night’s Guardian party, Guido’s face to face encounters with some blog favourites are worth recollecting. It would be fair to say Luciana Berger isn’t a happy reader and doesn’t find jokes about the Ferry ‘cross the Mersey funny. On the other hand  MumsNet’s mum-in-chief Justine Thompson confessed she voted for Guido #1 in the Total Politics blog awards. It’s the blog they love to hate…

Hugh Grant added some stardust to the affair, though Guido was a little sad not to get his moment and a chance to chat about the Cayman Islands, hypocrisy and hedge funds with either Polly or Alan Rusbridger. Security on the door was tight, and no sign of Draper. Perhaps after it took twenty minutes to argue his way in to the New Statesman party the night before he decided not to bother even trying…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator points reminds Guido that the funniest moment at the Guardian reception was watching Dr Death (Evan Harris) look daggers at Chris Bryant when he spirited Hugh Grant away from him. Later on Dawn Butler took pictures of Hugh with Emily Thornberry. Hugh has form for lively black girls, so Dawn probably thought she stood a chance. Not with Bryant and Evan there!

Miliband Speech Word Cloud

Speech text seems to have been about the British people’s right values.

Think it should have been about the economy stupid…

UPDATE: Ed left the hall to “You’ve Got the Love”. Guido thought the “Time after time I say, Oh Lord what’s the use?” line was particularly appropriate along with “Things go wrong no matter what I do…”

“Sometimes I feel like saying, ‘Lord, I just don’t care…'”

BBC and Sky Left Speechless

Just as Ed was laying into Murdoch the TV channels lost the feed from his conference speech. Murdoch owns the satellites. Ed has been talking to the hall and not the nation for ten minutes so far…

UPDATE 15.00: Back up, Baldwin will be raging.

UPDATE 15:20: A bun-fight is developing backstage as fingers of blame start getting pointed.

Lewis’s Looney Licensing Plan Disowned By Miliband

Ivan Lewis’s plan to licence journalists has dominated discussion around the conference zone today. It’s been met with near universal derision. Guido hears that Tom Watson and Ivan met up last night, keeping Ed most definitely out of the loop, not least because he was having a polite tête-à-tête with Hugh Grant at the time. Ed, and those around him, were kept in the dark…

Lewis didn’t mention the idea to the fringe event he spoke at last night , despite the fact he had clearly already briefed the press. Conspiracy theories are rife, with party staffers scratching their head at why Lewis dropped this dumb-bomb today of all days…

UPDATE: Ed Miliband’s spokesman has just pulled the rug out from under Ivan to The Sun:

Ivan’t Your Licence

One can hardly blame Ivan “Sex Text Pest” Lewis for his negative feelings towards the tabloids. The Shadow Culture minister told Labour’s conference he wants to have licensed journalists, fall out of line and you’ll have your licence taken away:

As in other professions, the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off.

That will be gross malpractice as defined by the same politicians who fought tooth and nail to cover up the expenses scandal that has seen many of them jailed. Guido is at a loss as to how Ivan imagines this regime might be enforced. Will unlicensed journalists be jailed for writing? Will newspapers be expected to operate a Hollywood-style Macarthy-era blacklist of writers who are banned? There are endless laws and treaties guaranteeing freedom of speech starting with Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It was Damian McBride that briefed his sordid story to the News of the World, maybe it is Labour’s attack dogs who should be licensed?

The chilling effect of politicians having oversight of newspapers is already very real. Tom Watson, the scourge of Rupert Murdoch, sits on the DCMS Select Committee. He is currently undergoing a messy break-up with his wife, partying hard and drinking quite heavily on the pull in London’s Soho night-after-night. This explains his new trendy look, slimmer figure and dressing like a teenager going clubbing. Late on Sunday he was wandering around outside the Labour Party secure zone the worse for wear strumming on a guitar. The press are far too wary to mention his behaviour – because of his position – do we really want that French-style politico-media culture? Where someone like Dominique Strauss-Kahn can get away with atrocious behaviour unreported? A free press is the only restraint on the powerful.

PCC Rules Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Brighton Argus has apologised to Lucie Collier and Joseph Batstone over a story headlined ‘A love of Labour leads to romantic proposal’ after suggesting they were Labour Party campaigners.

They complained to the Press Complaints Commmission who forced the paper to publish a correction:

“The Argus would like to apologise to Lucie Collier and Joseph Batstone for inaccuracies in a story dated Tuesday May 31, 2011 with the inaccurate headline ‘A love of labour leads to romantic proposal.’ We would like to clarify that Miss Collier and Mr Batstone have never campaigned for the Labour Party or for any other political party and only their love for each other was what led to the romantic proposal.”

The couple rightly felt it defamatory to be accused of being Labour Party supporters…

Via : Matt Chorley

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Downing Street will not be best pleased that Twitter has chosen Dublin not London as its European base. Dave and Boris invested in a joint Twitter charm offensive, with No. 10 briefing the Telegraph: “All that matters is that […]



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Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

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