Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Better Off

Given the unexpected visitor at Ken’s latest pledge launch this morning, feathers seem ruffled and people are certainly not talking about Ken’s latest magical money promises. Which is just as well given that they are either outside of the Mayor’s purview or outside of London’s budget.

Boris launched his new “Better Off With Boris” logo with it adorning his Progress Report at Mayors Question Time this morning. Ken copied it with a “Better of with Ken” logo which looks remarkably similar. Alas Team Ken in their hurry to cobble it  together forgot to register BetterOffWithKen.com.which now links to the NotKenAgain.com website. Another fine mess…

Guido’s Fashion Report (US Trip Edition)

As regular readers will know, Guido has always had an eye for fashion.

He thought he’d let GQ’s Olivia Cole, our new fashion correspondent, give us the low down on the US trip though:

“Hot fuchsia pink, a conspicuous absence of a formal jacket for the President’s welcome and stepping off the plane in a pair of skinny black cropped trousers and best-of-British Burberry coat, Samantha Cameron is plainly determined not to look like a cardboard cut out politician’s wife. Let’s remember that it’s not just frocks, it’s business and British business at that. 

The LK Bennett shoes worn so far are, frankly, a bit yawn but on the other hand they are likely to be comfortable and possible to wear for hours at a time (you can’t always say this for more fashionable footwear) Perhaps a £900 shoe is deemed a bit much. Her black trench coat worn yesterday was by Burberry – the pragmatic item mythologized by creative director Christopher Bailey and re-invented every season. Cynics sick of fashion commentary accompanying the Special Relationship love-in should take a look at their bank balance – founded 1856 , Burberry today it’s a FTSE 100 company with an annual turnover of £1.5bn.

As well as flying the flag for an established British success story like Burberry, this touring fashion show is championing emerging London businesses too. Mrs Cameron’s hot pink fuchsia top (with an on trend peplum) and blue, aquamarine and cream dress today are both by one-to-watch Serbian born, London based Roksanda Ilincic. With red carpet fans from Kate Hudson to Cate Blanchett, and Keira Knightley, in recent years her stock has been quietly and elegantly rising. Her signature is brilliant classic-with-a-twist tailoring (her dresses fit perfectly, surely a must have for an occasion in the spotlight). Her always surprising use of colour gives a very modern edge to dresses inspired by Parisian silhouettes of the 40s and 50s. For those that gripe “it cost HOW MUCH”… “£1200 for a jacket… in a recession” it’s worth remembering that for the designers, the resulting publicity is frankly priceless.”

We’ll have the full state banquet report tomorrow…

Olivia Cole is the Literary Editor of GQ. And Neo-Guido’s sister.

Labour HQ has ‘Lowest Morale in 20 Years’

Earlier Dan Hodges reported:

On Monday a meeting was held at Labour’s soon-to-be-vacated Victoria Street headquarters to which staff were informed of the latest stage of the party’s internal reorganisation. Descriptions of the event range from “disaster”, through “multi-lane pile-up”, to “carnage”. “I’ve never in all my life seen anything like it,” said one shocked observer. “Normally people are quite restrained. But it all came pouring out”.

Patrick Wintour also wrote up the disaster in the Guardian, calling it “stormy”. Guido had the leaked names of the new Directors of the Party last Friday and this went down very badly. Now it is clear why: the Party machine are not on board with the changes. According to one source in the room, Simon Jackson, whose policy role has been filled by Torsten Henricson-Bell took the invitation to “speak frankly” very literally:

“If you think that our problems are structural or organisational then you are kidding yourselves… If you think we are somehow divorced from the politics then you are being ridiculous…”

Cue much clapping from the staff. Another disgruntled staffer pointed Guido to the words of Hilary Perrin, a party figure for some two decades, who apparently claimed that in all her time in the party she had never known morale so low.

General Secretary Iain McNicol was apparently very apologetic that the news of the new directors had leaked before the announcement. He also said that no one was being sacked, but then in David Brent style, he could not promise that there would not be redundancies. Ed’s new Chief of Staff Tim Livesy gave the staff an ungodly dressing down for leaking to Guido: “this is not transparency, this is a breach of trust… this is a test.” A test he clearly failed given that the whole thing leaked in less than 24 hours…

WATCH: Chic-Ken Run

PMQs LIVE: B-Team Edition

Why Did the Chic-Ken Cross the Road?

A Tale of Two Visits


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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