+ + + Fred Shredded + + +

As the PM sat down after a tough outing in the Commons, the news breaks that Fred Goodwin was told at 3pm that he had been stripped of his knighthood “by the Queen”. Intriguing timing.

Knighted by Gordon for banking and stripped by Dave for, er, banking.

Another day, another mob win.

The Perils of the Modern Labour Party

Guido isn’t sure whether he believes this one, but it’s a great line anyway.

After the Mail ran with Sophy Ridge’s blog post about the Balls’ lasagne plot, it’s become the hottest ticket in town.

Skinner’s invite must have got lost in the post… 

DUEMA: Ed Buys Some Time

Cameron has not been kicked around like that at the Despatch Box since the height of the phone-hacking scandal. Though Ed was unable to answer what he would have done about the treaty, and deep down we all know he would have leapt in to the dark with the €urozone countries, today was not about him. Support from the Tory benches on the “it wasn’t a veto issue” gave Ed the confidence to land some much needed blows. The boy did good…

Whips Try to Scupper Edward Leigh’s Euro-Plot

Guido brought you the news of Edward Leigh’s meeting for Euro-sceptics last night. The plan was to convene immediately after the last vote at 10pm to coordinate the backbench reaction to Cameron’s EU sell out. Canny Tory whips clearly had a better idea though – they texted Members at half an hour before to tell them not to worry about the last vote and to go on home.

Guido isn’t sure that will be enough to quell the anger though…

See also: Tory MPs Should Spank Whips With Own Words

Another Young Blairite Jumps Ship Labour Students LGBT Officer Joins Tories

Another day and another defection from Labour by a young activist claiming that Ed is leading the party off a cliff. Tara Hewitt, 26, is “a diversity consultant from Liverpool and former Labour Students National LGBT Officer”. She was on Luciana Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree team, but now she’s a “proud new member of David Cameron’s “new” Conservative Party.” Luke Bozier seems to have started a trend, and Hewitt is rather blunt:

“Once it was Tony Blair’s Labour party that held the progressive ground in UK politics supporting business and encouraging wider participation within the party. But now times have changed we see Ed Miliband isolating the labour party from businesses and isolating himself from the Trade Unions that supported him just 15 Months ago.

We are facing one of the most difficult economic periods in history and the message from the labour leader and Ed Balls is “we cant make any promises” political speech for “we have no solutions”. Unlike the two Eds, David Cameron is leading the conservative led government by making bold decisions on welfare reform, education, health and imigration and George Osborne has been honest and frank about what is needed to help fix Britain’s broken economy.” 

On her website she thanks Louise Mensch for all her helpful advice…

Ed Chilly-band

There wasn’t much of his famed “grit and steel” on display from Ed Miliband this morning. He repeated his Davos trick of trying to look hard by just wearing a suit on Sky earlier, but with frozen breath, and even funnier than usual facial contortions, he looked absolutely freezing. Guido isn’t sure what the logic is here. Someone buy the lad a coat…

Laurie Penny lets the truth slip on Channel Four News:

“I don’t think sovereignty in people’s own homes is something we should be striving for.”

MacShane’s Brass Neck

When he’s not fibbing on Twitter, Denis MacShane is sounding off in the House. Take yesterday’s gem of an intervention during DCLG Questions:

“Frankly it’s not good enough because the department is not publishing spending between 50p and £500 and that is where on credit cards and other areas a lot of things go wrong, so can we actually have some transparency in this wretched department instead of the cover-up they are currently practising?”

Not only did MacShane’s facts “go wrong” – credit card spending under £500 is published, but this is from a man under police investigation for his dubious use of public money and the subsequent “cover-up”. Scotland Yard are still looking into those “wretched”  invoices, laptops and that garage. Labour have withdrawn the whip from MacShane, yet he still insists on hanging around on their benches like a bad smell.

Time for someone to have a quiet word…

Daybreaking: Miliband’s Sceptic Positioning

Back in October Guido wrote:

“Though we all know that Red Ed is grubby statist at heart and painfully pro-European, he is also a shameless opportunist. If he really wanted to make an impact with ordinary, hard-working, sensible voters he should back the calls for the referendum.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Disgraced Labour Leader’s Latest Run-In With the Law

Guido was just thinking that blog-favourite Steven Purcell had been quiet for a while, and then just as Miliband headed for Scotland, up he popped again. In another stunning PR success, Labour’s one time Glasgow golden-child, was questioned by police over the weekend about an “assault” that took place at his flat at 5:30am on Sunday morning. […]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive: Rebellious Tory Backbenchers’ Late Night Meeting

While Dave’s away, the backbenchers come out to play: Guido hears that the Eurosceptics and other assorted agitators on the Tory benches will be meeting to war-game and plot around the possible compromise on EU institutions and the European Stability Pact, in advance of the PM’s statement tomorrow.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Other Dave and Nick Relationship

Sarkozy and Dave’s bromance peaked on a balcony in Benghazi, but hit a new low when the half-pint refused to shake hands after Dave’s veto before Christmas. Well blink and you would have missed their forced man-love in Brussels this afternoon:

Given that Sarkozy claimed last night that the UK “has no industry“, you might have thought Dave would be playing it cool, but he instigated the smiles and bat backs.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Backtrack on Gove Story But More Questions Emerge

After Guido pointed out the inappropriate smearing of Gove and his links to a Jewish antisemitism Charity, carefully timed for Holocaust Memorial Day, the paper has backtracked and apologised. Not with due prominence in their paper, but in a quote to the Jerusalem Post instead:

“The story does not in any way suggest that the funding ofsecurity guards for Jewish schools was inappropriate, only that Mr.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another FactCheck Fiction For Ken

Channel Four’s FactCheck is rarely disputed with much vigour. Most people seem to take their rulings on the chin and move on, except of course if you are Ken Livingstone. Last week his supporters were frothing that C4 had dared to challenge their voodoo “Fare Deal” figures.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Taxpayers Cut Off Nose

Hester wasn’t going to get his hands on his bonus for over a year, it wasn’t even going to come directly from treasury funds and most of it would have ended up in Treasury coffers, yet this morning £320m has been wiped off of the value of the British taxpayers’ forced investment.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hague Confirms Obvious Dave Defeat

Who would have thought that a threat made at four in the morning would prove impossible to implement in the cold light of day. Before Christmas, while on a relative high from his EU spanner in the works, Fightin’ Dave was all mouth about EU institutions, but the dampening of expectations has begun this morning.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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