It was only a matter of time…
It was only a matter of time…
The tension from Labour’s underwhelming performance at the locals last week is boiling over. Last night Peter Hain comically denied he was firing a broadside against Ed Balls for not pulling his weight:
“Labour’s Treasury team need to get out on the stump now and work even harder. It shouldn’t just be left to Ed and Harriet to carry the heavy load, whether on the World at One, the Today programme or anywhere else.”
If that is a ‘coded attack’, then bring on the open fireworks. Ever the master of subtly, Hain is so loyal to Miliband, Guido doubts he rumbled Macavity Balls without permission. Though worth remembering the lecture is coming from someone who quit the Shadow Cabinet to make some money…
When the going got tough, Gordon Brown would pull his favourite Macavity trick and disappear. It seems his prodigy Ed Balls has learnt exactly the same trick. There has been a lot of grumbling over the weekend in Labour circles that the Shadow Chancellor all but disappeared in the wake of the local election results and was silent on the airwaves, leaving the mop up to the likes of Chuka and Tom Watson. He managed to Tweet his congratulations to the new MP for South Shields, but apart from that has stuck to local issues in his seat and talking about Shepherd’s Pie. His absence has been noted by more loyal colleagues…
As Guido revealed in his Sun on Sunday column, Tom Watson was right to be upset on the BBC after Labour failed to win back control of Lancashire Council. Despite three stump visits by Ed Miliband, Labour ended up short of the 26 gains needed to take back the Council. The Tories held one seat with a wafer-thin 22 vote majority, so the news that Labour activists on the ground were told that they could wrap up Get Out The Vote activity two hours before the polls closed because apparently “it was in the bag” will hurt. Cat out of the bag, more like…
No doubt Watson took the opportunity to ask Ashcroft awkward questions about his relationship with politicians, as he has been doing for the best part of a decade…
Guido hears lunch was at Gran Paradiso in Victoria.
Tories obsessing again with the EU – despite @lordashcroft warning them last year about misconceptions of UKIP… conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2012/…—
Michael Dugher (@MichaelDugherMP) May 07, 2013
Looks like one of the lunchers got some early brown-nosing in before they sat down.
Last week Labour were very quick to claim that Stuart Hall left the Labour Party 10 years ago. He didn’t get very far it seems; Guido has uncovered this photograph of him opening Stalybridge Labour Club in Tameside last summer with Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds and his predecessor Lord Pendry. When celebrity endorsements go wrong…
You might have thought that being under a police investigation for his hands on approach to promoting female candidates would see LibDem HQ keeping randy Rennard out of the spotlight. His influence on the LibDem candidate selection process might give good reason to keep him away from, say, Lib Dem candidates, surely? No, it’s all hands to the pump…
In the run-up to last week’s local elections the pervy-peer was busy campaigning for the party in Eastbourne, boasting afterwards: “we held all six seats that we were defending in Eastbourne including Upperton where I was helping”. Guido wonders what HQ make of his involvement?
UPDATE: A LibDem spokesman tells Guido: “we were only made aware of it by his posting on Facebook. He is free to make his own decisions. His membership is under investigation.”
Speaking of awkward letters, union fat cat Red Len McCluskey has written to “all Unite MPs” and New Statesman editor Jason Cowley accusing the Staggers of “distortion”, “sensationalism” and running “untrue” statements from his interview with George Eaton in April. McCluskey reckons “George was intent on a particular story and was not leaving until he had this story” and insists he never called for Liam Byrne and other Blairites to be sacked:
Apparently Unite will now “regard all approaches from the New Statesman with deep suspicion”. Standard practice really…
UPDATE: George Eaton hits back here, in turn accusing McCluskey of “inaccuracies and innuendos”.
If Dave Were President He’d Have Resigned By Now | Alex Wickham
Loongate: What Happened in the Blue Boar Bar | Simon Walters
Feldman’s Tennis Days With Dave | Telegraph
How Geoffrey Howe Has Lost the Debate | Robin Shepherd
Dave Has Lost Control on Europe | Geoffrey Howe
Lib Dems Should Support EU Referendum | LibDemVoice
Feldman’s Denial | Fraser Nelson
Obama’s Presidency is Imploding | Nile Gardiner
Miliband Could Be a Great PM | Thomas Pascoe
What Are You Really Paying in Income Tax? | TPA
Galloway’s Mad Month | The Commentator
Tom Harris bemoans the public’s attitude to politicians…
“Mr Oborne echoes the lazy, anti-politics whine we hear so often these days, all based on the absurd notion that politicians were once loved and only fell out of public favour during the expenses scandal. He should take a walk to the Strangers’ Bar. But not to sup with the patrons he seems to despise so much, dearie me, no; he should instead look at the paintings on the corridor outside the bar, which depict the devastating fire which consumed most of the Palace in 1834. And he should reflect on the fact that on that dramatic night, as the Commons went up in flames, a crowd gathered on the South Bank to clap and cheer.”
The thing that Dave needs to work out is which group is more likely to vote Conservative. Mad swivel-eyed loons or mad homosexuals wishing to get married.