Friday, January 6, 2012

LibDem’s All Time Biggest Donor Arrested

Vince Cable once attacked the “pin-striped Scargills” of banking, adding for good measure that the LibDems didn’t rely on friends in the City for funding. No, not any more.

The biggest donor in the history of the Liberal Democrat Party was one pin-striped Michael Brown, who gave them £2.4 million for a front-row seat sipping champagne next to Charlie Kennedy.  He turned out to be a pin-striped thief and was charged with money laundering, fraud and theft before he went on the run.  He has been arrested in the Dominican Republic…

Get Your Guidogram

This week has been a bit of a laugh at Ed Miliband’s expense and we’ll be rounding up his and Diane Abbott’s week in the Guidogram as well as reflecting on how too many Twitters really do make a twat. Subscribing to the Guidogram makes sure that you get emailed Guido’s weekly round up of the week. Thousands of Westminster insiders like Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis get it. Join her and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop. It is going out shortly…

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

UPDATE: Too late, it has gone out. Maybe next week?

Dave Not Even Trying to Hide the Dyeing

Compare and contrast the greys pre-Christmas with today’s dark locks…

UPDATE:

UPDATE II:  Definitive professional opinion

Where’s Mili?™ – Calamity Kenny Gets the Blame for Twitter Fail

Labour are having a spectacularly bad week. Ed finally surfaced today to commiserate the death of TV’s Bob Holness, star of Blockbusters:

A is at the other end of the keyboard from O. A source in Ed’s office was quick to spin that given Kenny Young, the Press Officer Manager with emphasis on the manager, is in charge of the twitter feed, “and not much else”, this is most certainly his handy-work.

We are told that a “relaunch speech” is currently being “desperately cobbled together” for Monday or Tuesday. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday Caption Contest (January Relaunch Edition)

Where’s Mili?™

Despite a promise at the turn of the year to come out fighting with a blitz of announcements, policy and speeches, it would appear Ed is missing. Has anyone seen him?

Is he sulking?

Have Liam Byrne and Jim Murphy gagged and bound him a broom cupboard somewhere?

Or is he just playing with his Rubiks Cube?

Send in your sightings!

UPDATE: Dan Hodges also wonders Where’s Mili?™. How do we know that was really him on the phone to Abbott yesterday?

So There Was a Rift After All

Just before Christmas, reports of a Shadow Cabinet rift by Patrick Wintour resulted in the usual trashing from uber-loyalists. Apparently there was agonising over the economic message, and meetings about why Labour were not getting any cut through, despite the dire wilderness that they claim Tories are creating. As ever, these things comes down to credibilty, and it seems Jim Murphy and his allies won the row that never happened.

While accpeting £5bnn in defence cuts is only a small step in Labour’s long road to economic rehabilitation, it is an important one. Balls is being over-ruled, and though the CCHQ pr machine has gone too far this morning by claiming that this is an “extraordinary attack” on the Eds, the importance of this realignment should not be down-played. You can imagine Murphy saying this a little more bluntly to Balls’ face:

“There is a difference between populism and popularity. Credibility is the bridge away from populism and towards popularity. It is difficult to sustain popularity without genuine credibility.”

Welcome to the reality based community Jim…

Steve Baker MP says of High Speed Rail…

“The maths doesn’t add up; this is just sinking capital into a loss making project. If you’re going to use the power of the state to do that, then you shouldn’t be surprised that this country is getting poorer.”

Cooking the Books

Given that the system is already at breaking point, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the number of university applications is falling, but nearly all the papers this week have agreed that it is happening:

Mirror: “University applications fall 25,000″

Mail: “University applications down by 23,000″

Indy: “University applications down despite late surge”

Times: “Fewer British and European students apply to universities despite surge before deadline”

Telegraph: “University demand falls by 8%”

Guardian: “University applications slip by 8% as fees triple”

Only the FT bucked the trend with: “Students undeterred by higher University fees”

Guess which one of those pieces was written by a former adviser to David Willetts, the Minister responsible for universities?

Take a bow, spinner turned Education Correspondent and blog favourite, Chris Cook of the FT…


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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