Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Zarb to the Slaughter

Labour aide Matt Zarb Cousins shot to village fame when he tweeted that the Queen was a benefit scrounger, on Jubilee day. After initially standing by his gag, he was forced to climb down and grovel by his waspish boss Andy Slaughter, Labour’s lanky lisper of Hammersmith. He avoided the sack though, despite a solid turning over by the most of the press. Or did he?

Guido hears that Zarb will be going his separate ways from Slaughter’s office, and not out of choice. Sources in Parliament suggest that tweet had a lot to do with the decision, but Slaughter was keen to avoid the negative publicity and criticism from his own side if he had sacked Zarb straight up. Probably because he is a republican too. When Guido put it to one person familiar with the situation they were pretty clear:

“I think Andy Slaughter is an a***hole. He didn’t have the guts to sack him at the time, so he goes and does it when he thinks no one is looking.”

Silly Andy, he should know that Guido is always watching.

With an exodus of staff, maybe one day Guido will finally find someone to go on the record with the great Labour Conference Hot Tub Scandal of 2010…

UPDATE: Guido understands Zarb will be joining the team over at Left Foot Forward. Given he’s been trained as an attack puppy, this could be just what they need to get out of their art-house rut.

Ken & Putin: Ever Seen These Two in the Same Room?

One is a controversial politician, mired in financial scandals, with no legitimacy, who refuses to exit the stage, the other is Vladimir Putin. When Guido joked yesterday that topless Ken had done a Putin, he didn’t quite realise the extent of the resemblance between everyone’s favourite hypocrite and Moscow’s muscle man. It really is a case of spot the difference:

When Putin turned on the waterworks after his surprise victory last week, he was obviously taking a leaf out of Ken’s play book. Naomi never did tell us where Charles Taylor’s blood diamonds ended up and with mutual friends like these, who needs accountants? If Tower Hamlets is anything to go by, these two also share a similar disregard for democracy. Though Livingstone will be lucky to poll at 49, let alone 99 percent…

Via Alex Wickham

Sayeeda Says We’re Mi-steak-en

Baroness Warsi’s people get in touch to point out that Guido was wrong to suggest that the Tory Chairman was full of it yesterday. When she said “I’m a vegetarian” what she apparently meant to say was that she actually eats meat. She keeps Halal, but this was seemingly too complicated to explain while being interviewed for a 2,500 word piece.

Glad that confusion is completely resolved then.

Mandy’s Front Group Back to Bash Burnham


Throughout December Mandelson backed wonk-shop Policy Network launched multiple salvos against the direction that the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. This morning they are back. Writing in the Guardian, Patrick Diamond, Alan Milburn’s former SpAd and the man who along with Ed Miliband wrote the last Labour manifesto, has opened fire against his old colleague’s “vapid form of leftism”, which he says comes from appealing to the core vote:

“…issues of major significance are defined by arguments occurring within the coalition government. Labour may have interesting insights to contribute to each, but very few of us, it appears, are listening.

..this uncertainty translates into an inability to develop clear positions on the big policy questions – and worse still, a tendency to point in different directions simultaneously… Where does Labour stand, and beyond considerations of tactical advantage, why does it take the positions it does?”

The Blairite ultra and former No.10 staffer goes on to slam the toxic “association with fiscal irresponsibility”, resistance to reform and calls for Labour to be “less tribal”. Nowhere is this mess that he alludes to more obvious than with Labour’s position on the Health Bill.

The major problem is that the man who is leading the fight against reform, was singing a very different tune when he was in charge. In May 2007 Andy Burnham told the Commons:

‘Now, the private sector puts its capacity into the NHS for the benefit of NHS patients, which I think most people in this country would celebrate.”

No wonder nobody is listening.

This must be what Mandy meant when he said in November: “I was loyal to Gordon Brown who I didn’t agree with entirely and I will be loyal to Ed Miliband.”

Andy Burnham was singing a very different tune in May 2007:

“Now, the private sector puts its capacity into the NHS for the benefit of NHS patients, which I think most people in this country would celebrate”

Brooks’s Double-Booked

Metropolitan Police Press office statement:

Police have today (Tuesday, 13 March) arrested six people at addresses in London, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.

The co-ordinated arrests were made between approximately 0500 and 0700 this morning by officers from Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemail boxes.

All six – five men and one woman – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977.

The two arrested in Oxfordshire are thought to be Charlie and Rebekah Brooks. The Met were not thought to be looking for the return of their horse…

Something For Something Culture

What could be worse for a Labour leader than being busted missing a NHS rally, only to be spotted at the football? Well being photographed arriving in a Rolls Royce must be pretty high up the list…

Guido hopes that the £100,000 donation Ed tapped up from Assem Allam, the Hull AFC chairman, is worth these blushes. He’s isn’t sure what Ed’s fellow Leeds fans make of it all…


Seen Elsewhere

It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,453 other followers