Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cleggapology: Promising to Keep Promises Again

Small Guido Win as Gove Launches Formal Investigation

This silly-season Guido decided to run on some rather niche, but important, local stories while Westminster was quiet. As a result the Department for Education have launched an investigation into the school scandal that shook the Isles of Scilly and Guido brought to central government’s attention.

Guido also understands that the Isle of Scilly council are set to face another investigation by the Information Commissioner for consistently refusing to acknowledge or act on Freedom of Information requests. Not least his own…

The days remaining for this tin-pot banana republic run by locally loathed council Chief Executive Philip Hygate seem numbered.

The £100,000-a-year dictator is at the heart of the whole mess.

Sam Coates Goes Back to Wapping

The Lobby will be losing one of their more familiar faces after conference season. Though nothing has been confirmed Media Guido understands that the Times politics desk will be shaken up with Sam Coates moving to become Banking Editor. Some will see that as a sideways move. Though it’s a higher profile beat these days and the Times business desk will perhaps benefit from having someone with Treasury contacts.

If Coates is thinking beyond a career in journalism, knowledge of the financial sector never did highly paid lobbyists any harm…

Standard Cameron v Miliband Poll

Well this one has got people chatting this afternoon. Guido’s favourite figure is that more people would rather not go for a drink with either Miliband or Cameron, but the other figures are rather intriguing.

Labour are ahead, but not thanks to their leader.

Tories are behind, but it could be a lot worse without Dave.

The recent plots have been on the wrong team…

VIP LibDems Live Conference Lobbyist High Life

The LibDem conference should by all accounts be an excuse for Clegg and co to distance themselves from their Tory counterparts, but it looks like they will be partying like the 1% next week. While Tories will remain under a strict champagne ban, Ashdown and Farron will be chugging kir, champagne and canapés thanks to spinmeisters Guide Consultancy. VIPs are being invited to drink with the grandees in an invite-only Brighton penthouse.

The lobbyists claim to have “stocked up on some great wine, not the usual conference fare” – presumably as a thank you to the LibDems for their abject failure to introduce lobbying reforms thus far, despite all the promises. Bottoms up.

Douglas Murray muses:

“It has become a staple of US election coverage that any Democrat’s foreign policy fumble is a ‘mis-speak’ while any Republican saying something even mildly contentious – as opposed to wrong – is a world-class clanger which shows them to be unfit for office.”

Stella’s State Slashing Summer Reading

In a low-key interview over the summer, Labour’s Stella Creasy declared herself a member of the reality based community. She told Patrick Wintour of the Guardian that the main focus of an incoming Labour government must be value for money. Therefore they would have to “reassess every single item of departmental public spending in response to mounting government debt and the pressure on public resources.” The interview won her plaudits from the likes of ConservativeHome and the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The Zero Base Policy is an idea advocated by the Adam Smith Institute and they’re delighted that it’s gaining traction in Parliament:

“It’s great to see that Stella Creasy has been reading some Adam Smith Institute publications. Now that she’s read Zero Base Policy, she should try Madsen Pirie’s “Economics Made Simple” and Eamonn Butler’s “The Alternative Manifesto” to learn that you can’t spend your way out of a recession.”

While you might think all this praise from sensible types will blot Stella’s copy book in the eyes of her deluded Labour colleagues, quite the opposite has happened. Instead, LabourList readers have named her as their MP of the Month-  not only for her campaign against Wonga, but as the site notes, her Zero Base work too. There is a lesson for Labour there…

Labour Wonks Awarded £50,000 Coalition Contract

In rare moment of unsoundness Mad Frankie Maude has announced that Labour wonk-shop IPPR is to be given a “groundbreaking” policy formation role at the heart of the Coalition government. Guido supposes Frankie could hardly have chosen IPPR’s reality-based rivals Policy Exchange given he founded them with Minister Nick Boles and that Michael Gove is a former chairman. Instead the EU and union-funded IPPR will be given £50,000 of taxpayers’ money to research civil service reforms around the world.

UPDATE: PX get in touch to point out that they do not take public money and therefore would not have entered this government commissioning project.

Balls Tells Business: I’m Just Like Osborne

After his vote winning booing at the TUC, Ed Balls has donned his bow-tie to butter up the CBI. Though he won’t say it on the airwaves, behind closed doors with businessmen the Shadow Chancellor is desperate to play up the resemblance between himself and George Osborne:

“George Osborne and I have some real differences but we also have some areas where we really agree. There is no doubt that a credible deficit reduction plan is essential… There have to be tough decisions on spending and pay and measures to kick-start the economy. We need action now for growth, jobs and confidence.”

It rolls off the tongue of the former City Minister.

And it’s clear where he has got his inspiration – Osborne’s Mansion House speech in June:

“My conclusion from that the balance of risks in the UK argues strongly in favour of credible deficit reduction… A time for decisions has come. The common challenge is [how to] create the conditions for sustainable growth and new jobs… I will take action [to] inject new confidence into our financial system.”

What is the point of the Shadow Chancellor if he’s just an echo? 

UPDATE: A source close to Osborne tells Guido:

“Looking forward to Balls announcing this deficit reduction plan at Labour conference, but not holding our breath. So where is this Balls deficit plan? Or is he adopting ours?”


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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Zac Goldsmith: “The hon. Gentleman might like to know that today’s Guido Fawkes quote of the day is the one on drug laws that we have heard cited by a number of hon. Members.”

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“Digger” Murdoch says:

Is it just me, or is Nigel Farage just a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain?


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