Well in his head at least…
Well in his head at least…
Despite improvement at the polls despair and upset continues at Victoria Street according to many of our Labour HQ sources. Though the General Secretary Iain McNicol conceded that there was an uplift in mood when David Miliband popped in:
The Executive Board chaired by Charles Allen, the distrusted Goldman Sachs advisor, has been renamed the “Senior Management Board” to calm down Labour’s National Executive Committee. It met on Friday in a panic and was by all accounts a pointless affair.
On Fridays the staff used to get an email from Iain McNicol, in true David Brent fashion it usually said what a great job he was doing, how hard he was working and how well everything is going. It was referred to internally as the ‘cringe sheet’ by staff and usually arrived late afternoon.
Concerns have been raised about the counter-productivity of the “cringe sheet”. Iain was asked to get it signed off by Charles Allen before it goes out in future. It hasn’t gone out since.
Labour have spent all morning spinning the line that last night’s vote on the 45p tax rate was not a vote on it and that their abstention was not a massive howler. Well now Guido has seen a chain of emails between nervous political advisers looking to Balls’ bruiser Alex Belardinelli for direction on how to clean up his mess. Bear in mind that Belardinelli and Balls have spent the morning denying that this was a cock up or anything other than part of their grand master plan:
From: “BELARDINELLI, Alex”
Date: 27 March 2012 09:42:32 GMT+01:00
Subject: Re: Fwd: Nats in 50p
Truth is there was a screw up somewhere along the way last night and it wasn’t clear what SNP had called a vote on or how, so we abstained on their vote.
Line is: we voted against whole Budget package which obviously includes 50p (first vote at 10pm), and we will seek to amend and vote on the Finance Bill on 50p, plus other issues of concern like the changes to allowances for pensioners (granny tax). There’s not much more we can say beyond that.
Who would have thought that someone trained in the dark arts by firstly Tom Watson and then Balls would say one thing in public and something very different in private…
The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a Chinese Communist:
He was on air on behalf of the Hacked Off campaign who were quick to distance themselves from his absurd comments. A glimpse into a dark mind…
UPDATE: Friends of Hugh get in touch to point out that he doesn’t really believe what he said. Glad that’s all cleared up then.
A Labour blogger notes:
“The stereotype of the rich, socially divisive Jew is so offensive, so burdened by historical prejudice, that it is on a par with the ignorant but sexually virile black or the scheming, untrustworthy Oriental. And yet it has not been evoked by Nick Griffin or one of the English Defence League’s plastic stormtroopers, but Labour’s official candidate.
And what has the reaction been from the party that claims to be in the vanguard of the fight against prejudice? Silence. Actually, more shameful than silence. Tacit approval.”
In the madness of yesterday Guido missed Bob Crow’s hilarious threat to sue Boris for associating him with Ken. Nice try Bob. Things must be getting really toxic for Ken. Something tells Guido this one won’t be reaching a court room. If it did all they would need to do is play the clip from Bob’s appearance on Ken’s LBC show from June last year:
Crow: I’ve never been apart from Ken. We have differences like I have with my brother and sister but overall, Ken’s a good bloke.
Ken: I can hear that going on the Tory leaflets already…
Crow: Give us a shout Ken when you want some money…
No further questions m’Lord…
Division 506 last night covered the 45p rate of incomes tax. A perfect time for Labour to cement their opposition to the cut after days of noise:
PROCEDURE (FUTURE TAXATION: RATES OF INCOME TAX)
That, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the practice of the House relating to the matters that may be included in Finance Bills, any Finance Bill of the present Session may contain the following provisions about income tax taking effect in a future year—
(a) provision that for the tax year 2013-14—
(i) the basic rate is 20%,
(ii) the higher rate is 40%, and
(iii) the additional rate is 45%, and
provision about other rates of income tax.
“Ordinary people are being forced to pay for the bankers’ profligacy” screamed Tony Benn in 2010. “This government of millionaires says “we’re all in it together” and “there is no alternative”. But, for the wealthy, corporation tax is being cut, the bank levy is a pittance, and top salaries and bonuses have already been restored to pre-crash levels.” It seems his Oxford educated granddaughter got the message.[…]
From Stanley Fink, Treasurer of The Conservative Party
I thought that it would be appropriate for me to write to you in light of the events of the last few days.
In the first place, to let you know that Peter Cruddas has resigned as Treasurer of the Party and that I have agreed to return to that role.[…]
After a heavy newsflow today, just time to draw your attention to Prescott and the Chinese plus a bit of Osborne’s personal tax avoidance. Don’t miss what was on the note passed to Ed in the Budget, the much missed David Davis and Bercow being put in his place.[…]
A Tory backbencher dryly texts:
“Good old Murdoch, always pulls something out of the bag to distract from a bad budget.” […]
CCHQ Staffer: Knock, knock…
GF: Who’s there?
GF: Sarah who?