Ken Continues Gaffing But Boris Needs to Pull His Socks Up

Forget the roguish charm, forget the hair, forget the bikes and forget those Evening Standard placards; the biggest asset to the Mayor’s re-election campaign is, and will remain, his omni-shambolic opponent. Another day and another gaffe…

Over to Chief Former Mayor Monitor Andrew Gilligan:

“On Monday this week, at a public meeting in the borough of Lewisham, the chair, Val Shawcross, asked the audience for their views about housing policy. Ken came in: “Ask how many people think we should hang George Osborne.” Shawcross: “Well, I’m deliberately not asking questions like that because you never know when there is going to be a journalist in the room.” I enjoyed the implication that it would be all right to demand the killing of the Chancellor if no journalist were present.”

That being said, Team Boris cannot afford to simply sit on their laurels. Ken is going to come at him like a cornered bear. This is the end, the last hurrah, and the former Mayor knows it. The latest campaign ad put out by Boris is horrific. It’s too long, too text heavy, slow, clunky and the music sounds like a low budget airline in-flight safety video:

3 out of 10. See Guido.

ePolitix & PoliticsHome Merge Ashcroft Losses Top £5 Million in 2 Years

The merger announced today between PoliticsHome and ePolitix had a certain inevitability to it as soon as the Lord Ashcroft controlled Dods plc, publishers of ePolitix and the House Magazine, swallowed the loss making website. PoliticsHome lost £500,000 last year, so some rationalisation of what are essentially websites with similar output was bound to happen. Even with the two sites combined Guido doubts they will get a readership of the size this blog reaches, in the press release announcing the consolidation the past highlights of ePolitix’s coverage were a story “revealing that a major section of a speech delivered in the House of Commons by further education minister John Hayes had been lifted from Wikipedia and an article in defence of David Laws. Hold the front page!

PoliticsHome has similar revenues to this blog with five times the head count, that unfortunately is not a commercially viable proposition. By Guido’s calculation Ashcroft has lost £3 million on his purchase of 25% of parent company Dods – he bought the shares for 13.5p and they are now trading at 5p – he paid circa £1.3 million for ConservativeHome and PoliticsHome which together with rolled up losses of over £500,000 means his foray into political publishing has cost him some £5 million in the last two years. A mere rounding error for the billionaire…

Interesting Wordle From Ed's Speech

 

Rebekah Brooks Expecting

The speculation has been swirling and Kevin Maguire has all but named Rebekah Brooks as the disgraced media executive in his Staggers whispers column:

“The individual is accused of egregious invasions of the privacy of others and yet, in an irony of ironies, the, should we say “unusual”, circumstances of the pregnancy may well remain private.”

Yes, you might call potentially having to breastfeed from the dock “unusual”…

UPDATE: Not sure “unusual” is the right word but, Alan Rusbridger’s daughter lets the cat out of the bag:

Balls Told "You Are The Problem"

Ed Balls has popped up for a Five Live phone in. What’s the worst that could have happened? Well step forward Lee, a real life voter:

“It would be better for Labour and the country if you weren’t there… You were there in Treasury…you are the problem. When I hear you I just want to switch off because you have no credibility in what you say… the Labour Party would be better served, even if the message was the same, if it wasn’t coming from you, more people would listen. If you’re trying to get your message across it’s not working because you are tainted with what went before.” *

Victoria Derbyshire summed it up nicely “What Lee is saying is you, Ed Balls, are toxic”.

Radio gold…

*Guido was typing while listening and laughing.

UPDATE: It kept on going:

What a Mug

Nothing like a global exclusive for an idle Thursday morning. The Daily Politics mug is a much coveted prize. It’s nearly impossible to win one, so much so that Guido had to steal his old ones. With the rebranding of the show, comes a new mug:

Guido is rather chuffed to have got hold of one of the first new ones…



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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