Can't get a reading on the Dire-ometer. Clegg #ldconf
— John Rentoul (@JohnRentoul) September 18, 2013
The Mr No of British politics is born.
— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) September 18, 2013
Blimey. Free primary school meals barely gets polite applause.
— Will Heaven (@WillHeaven) September 18, 2013
Simon Hughes, LibDem deputy leader who categorically opposes Clegg's main conference policy, smiling and clapping loudly #ldconf
— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) September 18, 2013
Easily Clegg's best ever speech, in terms of content, delivery and argument. I give it 5 out of 10.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) September 18, 2013
Clegg has just outlined 16 Tory policies he has blocked. The vast majority are popular with voters.
— Tim Shipman (@ShippersUnbound) September 18, 2013
"We will be the party of IN!". That was a speechwriter you just saw plummeting past your window folks…
— Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) September 18, 2013
And a classic from the LibDem press team to finish off their week of incompetence:
CORRECTION: "The aim of our party should be to realign British politics by NOT joining up with one of the other parties" #ldconf
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 18, 2013
That went well then.
The key message of Nick Clegg’s speech is not very subtle.
A belter of a conference cartoon special from Peter Brookes on the front page of this week’s Speccie. Guido would like to put in a bid for the original.
By delicious coincidence, this week’s New Statesman also goes the Wallace and Gromit theme on its cover.
It’s almost as if Miliband was a dead ringer for Wallace.
Every year Guido likes to bring you the most important news from the leader’s speeches at conference: the fashion. Today he can reveal that Mrs Clegg will be wearing a Zara top with Topshop shoes.
This is to signify the strong links between Spanish design (Zara) and British high street manufacturing. Apparently.
And now you know.
Speaking to Guido after his speech at the Institute of Directors this morning, the Mayor of London publicly criticised plans to massively expand free school meals for children:
“I tell you, it would be very easy to say, I think.. I think that it’s real you know errr I, what I think is there should be compulsion to eat the school meal, but I am in no means against getting parents who can pay for to pay for it.”
He added, “I have no problem with the concept of dinner money.” When Guido pushed him on his position, asking directly whether rich parents should be subsidised, the Mayor replied: “No well… Look I’m sure the government have a very good reason for doing it.” Quite what that is remains a mystery to many Tories…
Coincidently, the Boris ruled out running for a third term in City Hall:
“I can rule that out, I can rule everything out”.
But then, that’s what Ken said…
As predicted by Guido in July, Labour’s new Deputy Director of Communications is the Sunday Telegraph political editor Paddy Hennessy. Ed says:
“I am delighted to welcome Paddy to the Labour Party as our new Deputy Director of Communications. His experience working at a range of national newspapers will add significant expertise to the Labour Party’s communications team. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
He’s already on message:
“I am sad to be leaving the Sunday Telegraph after nine great years but this is an exciting new challenge. After nearly 30 years working in newspapers, it’s a big move but a simple task: to help Labour win the general election. I’m delighted to be joining.”
No more attacks on Old Etonians then. With Damian McBride’s book serialised in the Mail this week, Paddy can provide expert advice about his old drinking buddy…
UPDATE: Well that didn’t take long:
— Tory education news (@toryeducation) September 18, 2013
Boris told the IoD:
“The UK economy has finally reached its Costa Concordia moment. Because after two-and-half years of parbuckling the labour is complete and the rotation has been accomplished and though the damage is still I think manifest and the caissons have not yet been entirely drained of debt, I think you would agree that the keel is off the rocks and at last we can feel motion, relief. I have no inclination at all to hand back the bridge to the people who were at the wheel when it ran aground.”
This is what Simon Hughes thinks about free school meals, revealed in a letter to constituents.
When the policy belongs to his local Labour council it amounts to “wasting extraordinary amounts of money”, behaving “like they have money to burn” in order to “fund handouts for those who don’t (need them)”. This is what his local party said about the idea on leaflets delivered to voters:
For some reason Hughes has been very quiet today…
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Labour Will Lose Commons if Scotland Votes Yes | Times
Miliband Blanked Gordon | Damian McBride
Cameron Surrenders Keys to Union | Rachel Sylvester
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”