Change of Direction at Conservative Way Forward

Guido hears movements are afoot at right-wing Tory group Conservative Way Forward. The once influential Thatcherite organising faction has been a bit down in the dumps of late, with moribund campaign events and a rubbish party at Tory conference. It needs a kick up the backside and it sounds like they may have found the person to do that. A new team has taken over led by Donal Blaney; Guido’s learned friend at the other end of the red phone and Chief Executive of the right-wing madrassa, aka the Young Britons’ Foundation. This should upset a few dour types…

Ashcroft Eastleigh Poll Says Game On

Source: Guardian.

AUDIO: Listen to the Chris Huhne-Vicky Pryce Tapes

You can see why Huhne didn’t fancy listening to them in the dock…

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.

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Labour Cannot Find a Candidate for Eastleigh Selection Process Open to All Members

John Denham has emailed all Labour Party members asking them if they would like to be the party’s no-hope candidate in Eastleigh:

“As I’m sure you’ve already heard, following Chris Huhne’s resigation we’ll be fighting a by-election in Eastleigh. There are only three weeks until polling day on 28 February. There’s a lot to do in the meantime but Labour Party members like you have achieved great results in by-elections over the last couple of years – and I know you’ll do it again. But before all that, we need a Labour candidate and I wanted to give you the opportunity to put your name forward. Apply to be Labour’s candidate in Eastleigh by emailing your CV.”

Hopefuls have until Saturday to get their name in. Apparently “If you’ve never been out campaigning before, don’t worry – there’ll be training available.” Looks like they are all but sitting this one out then…

Labour Policy Wars

jon

When Ed fell into Dave’s trap and refused to back the PM’s EU referendum pledge, one senior party bigwig will have been particularly disheartened. Judging by his speech at the Resolution Foundation last night it isn’t just Europe that has policy guru Jon Cruddas at odds with the Labour leadership:

“So, here’s the nuts of this. Simply opposing the cuts without an alternative is no good.”

Who could he possibly be referring to?

Coincidentally, over the last few days Labour have put up adverts for three new wonk positions, all with fixed-term contracts.

A love of colouring in blank pages is a must…

Clegg SpAd Apologises for Cabinet Office Electioneering

The Special Adviser code states:

“19. Special advisers must not take part in national political activities, which are: holding, in a party political organisation, office which impinges wholly or mainly on party politics in the field of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly or the European Parliament…

20(ii) …if they wish to take part in a General, European or by-election campaign, or to help in a party headquarters or research unit during such a campaign, they must first resign their appointment.”

Despite this, Nick Clegg’s SpAd James McGrory launched the LibDem Eastleigh by-election campaign last night from the Cabinet Office. The Tories reported him to the powers that be and now the Cabinet Office say:

“James has already apologised for sending the email.  He has been reminded of the rules.” 

He’s sorry, he’s sorry, he’s so so sorry. Who he has apologised to was not mentioned, but an interesting precedent has been set; abuse taxpayer funded position to politic and you are fine as long as you are “reminded of the rules”. Guido imagines that some people over at the Department for Education will note the wrist-slapping with interest.

UPDATE: McGrory apologised to the Cabinet Secretary.

Lambeth Tell Scroungers "You May Have to Find Work"

If you thought Lambeth Council’s posters warning of coming cuts were bad enough, wait until you see the warning on their website:

“If you claim benefits, it is likely you will receive less and may have to find work”.

“By George, I think they’ve got it…”

Lambeth Council Stir Up Scroungers

When it comes to councils using taxpayers’ money to fund party political interests, you would be hard pressed to find a worse culprit than the rotten Labour borough of Lambeth. If you thought the public dime PR stunts would end with the welcome departure of leader Steve Reed, then you will be disappointed.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Don't Menshn the Ongoing Police Investigation

At last the inevitable has happened: Menshn is finally shutting down. After Louise revealed her intentions to close the business, “jailbait action”-loving Luke Bozier has admitted: “Louise and I no longer have anything resembling a working relationship”. Today’s talk on topic: goodbye…[…]

+ READ MORE +

David "The Jews" Ward's Second Yellow Card

Nick Clegg was too weak to sack David Ward for his “the Jews” rant last month, instead giving Bradford East’s answer to Mel Gibson a final warning. Has Ward learned his lesson and quietly moved to the shadows? Of course not.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Civil Service Turkeys Say No to Christmas

Civil Service World is reporting that Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Civil Service, has blocked attempts by Francis Maude to allow Secretaries of State to have a greater say in hiring and firing Permanent Secretaries:

“There’s a shared view about the importance of civil service values, the value of an impartial civil service, and I don’t believe there’s any intention to move towards legislation this time.”

A shared view of self-protection…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Huhne's Speedy Farewell

Who says the Eastleigh LibDems don’t have a sense of humour? This is the latest literature they have been pushing round, unfortunately published before the demise of their MP:

A case of not being on the same page, on the same page…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg SpAd McGrory Reported For Partisan Eastleigh Blunder

The gloves are off. Not only are the LibDems planning on moving the writ today for the Eastleigh by-election, but they have also fired the first real shots of the campaign. Sadly for them, those shots were firmly into their own feet.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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