Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mayoral Election Reduced to Whining

Just when the Mayoral election was getting a little bit dry, the fine people at Oddbins have lined up a special selection of wines relevant to each candidate:

Boris is apparently a Diane de Belgrave Haut-Medoc Bordeaux. “Just like the current Mayor, the wine has been around since 2008, is classic old-school with a posh upbringing and a fruity side” Guido would have gone with Blue Nun…

Thirsty Ken Livingston is paired off with a Cape Chamonix Pinotage. “The perfect wine for Ken must go with newts, carry real weight and also have legs – as it doesn’t look like he is ever going to retire.” He’ll have a crate of it, though surely he’s a Cuban rum?

Paddick is apparently a Berton Paddock Shiraz. The name aside apparently it has “liberal fruity characteristics”. Not your average jungle juice…

You may be able to win these in the caption contest tomorrow. Guido will get back to you on that…

Ken’s Tower Hamlets Allies in Vote Fraud Investigation


The Beeb and Standard are both running heavily with voter fraud allegations in Tower Hamlets. Ken’s allies in the council have been investigated by the Electoral Commission and today the  Met were called in. With just a week to go, this will be one to watch next Thursday…

Bryant Caught With Pants Down

When Guido leaked information before it appeared at Leveson, it had not been obtained via special access to the Inquiry, instead it had been acquired through good old-fashioned journalism. When Lord Justice Leveson tried to make him sign a confidentially agreement he refused. Chris Bryant on the other hand did sign one when he accepted Core Participant status…

When he ran hot and heavy to Parliament yesterday, Bryant had seen documents about Cameron’s meetings with Murdoch, which he had only received in advance of today due to his special status with the Inquiry. The Telegraph splashed it today…

After the good judge criticised Bryant this morning, albeit without naming him, the Tories are calling for him to apologise and surrender the status. Warsi has gone to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. When the DCMS Select Committee report comes out on Tuesday, the extent to which Tom Watson used his special access to that committee for commercial gain will become clear…

Clegg Adviser Helped Murdoch and Michel Seek “Easy Win”

The LibDems are continuing to claim that they are untainted by BSkyB bid revelations this week. While it is true that Cable’s SpAd Giles Wilkes set the example of how Adam Smith should have been dealing with News Corp spinmeister Fred Michel, the email chains are still damning for the party. When Wilkes rejected a meeting it seems that Michel went to other LibDem spinners and found success with Jonny Oates, the former Bell Pottinger director turned Clegg SpAd, who as Guido reported yesterday was happy to help and brief. But he didn’t stop there…

Paul Marshall, the founder hedge fund Marshall Wace, is a LibDem donor. Crucially he’s also an adviser to Nick Clegg.

Here not only does Marshall acknowledge a meeting with James Murdoch to discuss the bid, he also gives further advice, in writing, for Fred Michel to pass on to his boss:

He recommends BSkyB beef up their PR team and goes so far as to recommend his friend and Brunswick chief Alan Parker. All of this is so that BSkyB can get the “easy win” that Marshall clearly supports adding: “I wish you luck. You have built a great business and it must be very frustrating to be penalised for your success.” It doesn’t sound like all the LibDems were at war with Murdoch…

Watson Says Hold Your Nose For Ken
Digs Hole With Rebuttal

Labour’s part-time Campaign Chief Tom Watson is clearly regretting his outing on LBC this morning where he said: “Those Lab voters thinking of going to vote for Boris, hold your nose, vote for Ken.” Realising his mistake, Watson rushed to his blog to try to blame his own loose tongue on the vast right-wing conspiracy of a Standard hack tweeting the comment. In justifying his words, however, he has dug himself further into a hole:

“There are a number of people who tell us on the doorstep that they would vote Labour if there was a general election tomorrow but are currently considering voting Conservative because they either a; like Boris Johnson or b; don’t like Ken.”

The Deputy Chairman of the Labour Party, with the responsibility for campaigns, casually concedes that his own voters are not backing their candidate. Stick to the Murdoch-baiting Tom…

UPDATE: In other news Ken is now said to be rowing back from his promise to release full set of earnings signed off by an accountant. Quelle surprise!

UPDATE II: LBC have made the full quote available:

“For once, I’m being totally candid with you. I’m saying to you, those Labour voters that are thinking of going to vote for Boris Johnson, hold your nose, vote for Ken, because that’s the way that you will help Labour. Let me also say, that having worked with Ken Livingstone, looking at his interview in The Guardian this morning, he has a beautiful dog. He’s got a Labrador. I shouldn’t say this, but there is an American maxim that when a politician is in trouble, get him a dog.”

Guido thinks Watson doth protest too much…

Hunt Defence Crippled By Home Secretary

Jeremy Hunt may have bought some time yesterday but he is by no means out of the woods yet. Miliband is touring the studios this morning calling him a “firewall” for David Cameron. Andrew Mitchell was sent out to Newsnight to defend Hunt last night and deployed the ‘Gordon Brown didn’t go when his SpAd resigned’ line. True, but two wrongs do not make a right…

Mitchell was curve-balled with a quote by the Home Secretary Theresa May from last week. Her words on the deportation saga are being pushed around this morning: “If any of my officials made a mistake, that is my responsibility…” 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Labour Too Positive About Economy

On the day the recession returned with GDP coming in at what Gordon Brown would describe as “negative growth” the Labour Party released their first fancy Obama-style infographic on Facebook.

Unfortunately it was what is known in the trade as a ‘SMOG’ – a Social Media Own Goal. The bar chart was all too positive…

Speaker in Gay Harassment Scandal

The Speaker has been forced to deny allegations that he had harassed an openly gay male staffer. The adviser claims that he was only hired “for the purpose of pursuing a sexual relationship” and was harassed in person and by text message. Australia’s Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has stood down temporarily, but strongly denies the allegations, saying they came as a complete surprise…

Yellow Hands Are Dirty Too

The one time LibDem DCMS spokesman Don Foster said in the House earlier: “Politicians have been cosying up to the media for too long. Given press perception and actual impartiality, it is improper for politicians to make decisions about media ownership”. He would know:

Are the LibDem’s hands really clean here?

They have their own people in Murdoch’s world – take Sky’s Head of Policy David Wheeldon who was a former senior member of LibDem policy unit. Despite it being a matter for BIS and then Culture, the emails released yesterday are full of meetings with Jonny Oates – Clegg’s adviser who is a former director of Bell Pottinger and one of two controversial lobbyists at the heart of the Deputy Prime Minister’s team. Vince’s team were also calling Fred Michel unsolicited. There is no doubt that Vince hated Murdoch, but to suggest the LibDems are somehow saintly is a joke. They are trying to pretend they didn’t go to the News Intrnational party out of choice, when in reality they were not invited…

Ken Promising Full Silveta Accounts

Ken Livingstone has a tendency to shoot his mouth off and says things which are inadvisable, like criticising politicians for cosying up to News International when he himself is no stranger to Wapping:

Incidentally when Guido tweeted this picture yesterday twitter-idiots claimed it was a fake. It is absolutely genuine.

At the London Jewish Forum last night under pressure about his tax affairs Ken promised again that the certified Silveta accounts would be published online “shortly”. No sign of them yet. Only 20 days since he first promised he would..


Seen Elsewhere

Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie


VOTER-RECALL
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Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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