Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

An early Guidogram for you this week due to logistical reasons. It’s all gone a bit “Yes 2 AV” for the Ken campaign. Find out why by subscribing and don’t forget you can now read the blog in the Daily Star Sunday. We’re a 7-days-a-week multi-platform news blogging operation. Subscribing to the Guidogram makes sure that you get emailed Guido’s round up of the week. Thousands of Westminster insiders read it, Downing Street never misses it.

Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop.

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

Labour Openly Uneasy About Deceitful Ken
“Your relentless cynicism is matched only by your hypocrisy”

Labour’s rapid rebuttal re-education squad are having kittens with the latest lefty figure to tell the truth about Ken Livingstone. This morning we had the Political Editor of the New Statesman call Ken  a hypocrite, and now Jonathan Roberts, a Labour Parliamentary candidate, sums up on Labour Uncut what any Labour member with a spine must be thinking:

“Your supporters will say I’m disloyal to the Labour Party, but don’t seem to mind you campaigning against our candidate in Tower Hamlets.Your supporters cheered you when you called tax avoiders “rich bastards”, but they don’t seem to mind the £50,000 you have allegedly avoided yourself. Your supporters criticise Boris Johnson as a “part time Mayor” for churning out a weekly article for the Telegraph, but they don’t seem to mind that you were an MP and a writer for the Independent during substantial parts of your own Mayoral tenure.

Your relentless cynicism and negativity is matched only by your hypocrisy. And I mind all three.

It bothers me that people think you are the last bastion of Labourness. It bothers me that you think you are the last bastion of Labourness. It bothers me that because I am a proud member of this party, I am expected to give up countless hours of my life to fight through the rain and cold to campaign for a man who has made so many anti-west comments that Iranian state television gave him his own TV show.”

The whole letter is well worth a read. If Ken’s own activist base is running for the hills, it’s going to be big ask for floating voters to return a hypocrite…

Lebedev Links Lost Bryant Shad Cab Role
Labour Unease at Billionaire Buddies

When Chris Bryant took his column at the Indy back in September, we wrote:

“Coincidentally Chris is a friend of Lebedev’s son Evgeny and was at a recent dinner party with the oligarch’s offspring. Evgeny “speaks regularly” to Chris Blackhurst, no doubt about the weather…”

When we pointed out yesterday that Bryant was not declaring an interest when speaking on Russian matters, despite the £14,000 he has got so far in this deal, we seem to have struck a nerve. Hardly a surprise when Labour insiders have already expressed concern. One described it to Guido as “an extraordinarily close relationship to a newspaper proprietor, if you look at anything he says about anyone else.” The loss making Indy is entirely subsidised financially by the Russian oligarch.

One theory in Labour circles is that the reason Bryant missed out on a Shadow Cabinet position was because of the Lebedev-Moscow connection. Those that work with him point out he is articulate and capable, and anyone who has had the pleasure of being attacked by Bryant would not question his campaigning skills. He was widely tipped for the top team in the October 2011 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, yet mysteriously – a month after signing up for the Indy’s Moscow gold – he remains out in the cold.

Tom Watson’s influence has grown under Ed Miliband’s weak leadership, for instance Watson keeps a tight grip on vital areas such as candidate selection. It is no secret that there is no love lost between him and Bryant and it’s said “they never really got on”, despite their work on the phone hacking scandal. Bryant refused to answer our questions when we put it directly to him earlier that Watson has expressed concern about the Lebedev connection directly to him. Curiouser and curiouser…

UPDATE:  Bryant has got in touch to deny any pressure from Watson. Guido has sent follow up questions…

Remembering

The six soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week have been named as Sergeant Nigel Coupe 33, Corporal Jake Hartley 20, Private Anthony Frampton 20, Private Christopher Kershaw 20, Private Daniel Wade 20 and Private Daniel Wilford 21. To mark International Women’s Day, take a moment to also remember the two young women killed in this war. Captain Lisa Head who died in April 2011 and Corporal Sarah Bryant killed in June 2008. Rest in peace.

Labour Left is Ashamed of Ken

The self-appointed moral arbiter of the left, Mehdi Hasan, has broken cover in the Staggers and ruined Ken’s morning:

The big problem for Livingstone is that he has been a vocal supporter of UK Uncut, which campaigns against not just (illegal) tax evasion but also (legal) tax avoidance – by Vodafone, Topshop and other big companies. “These rich bastards just don’t get it,” Livingstone wrote in 2009. “No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in our parliament, unless they are paying their full share of tax.” The former London mayor called for everyone to “pay tax at the same rate on their earnings and all other income”.

The word “hypocrite” is being whispered – and not just by the usual suspects on the right. 

The simple truth is this: you cannot run as the populist, banker-bashing candidate, the one who backs higher taxes on “rich bastards”, if you’re quietly channelling hundreds of thousands of pounds of your own earnings into a company jointly owned with your wife. You just can’t.

Hasan recommends that Ken gets his chequebook out and pops down to the HMRC with a camera crew. What are you afraid of Ken?


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


VOTER-RECALL
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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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