After reading endless tips from Mike Smithson on PoliticalBetting.com to back Ed Miliband, Guido switched his bets on Friday. David Miliband’s implied probability of victory had already dropped from 75% to 65% by the time Guido shifted his money from one brother to the other. He is at the time of writing given a 59% chance of winning the leadership (40% for Ed Miliband). Given it is too close to call that could narrow to 50% / 50% soon. Both camps are of course claiming their internal polling numbers point to victory.
In the humiliation stakes punters reckon that despite Guido’s never-ending support, Ed Balls is still the favourite to to be eliminated in the first round. His odds on avoiding humiliation have improved, dropping from a 62% certainty down to a still not good 41%, with Diane Abbott on 35% and Burnham given 30% a chance of going out first. If you are reading this Sally Bercow, and still think Balls is going to win the leadership, a £5 bet will win you £1000.
Part of the reason for the current vitriol from the Labour Party towards the LibDems is that they took it for granted that the LibDems were a party of the left. As patronising as it was wrong.
On election night Guido was on ITN with Will Straw, off screen when it became clear there would be no overall majority, we argued for most of the night about what might happen. Straw basically thought Guido was bonkers to believe that a Liberal – Conservative Change Coalition was not only desirable, but that it was really possible. Will could not conceive of it happening, the subsequent widespread shock on the left when it did happen perhaps explains why the Labour Party is so scornful of the LibDems.
Guido always suspected the ex-Cambridge University Conservative Association member and son of a merchant banker might not be so keen on making common cause with Ed Balls and Gordon Brown. The polls might not support this view today, but that collective mis-judgement by Labour may cost them their second party status in the end.
Papal stories were the most popular of the week, and also the most divisive, abuse and praise was heaped on Guido, much of the praise in Latin. All contributed to a mere 68,807 readers viewing 307,415 pages over the last seven days. Here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you might have missed:
You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…
Courtesy of the FringeList.com service, based on users who have registered to receive free SMS text message reminders to attend events, the top 10 most popular events on the fringe are in order:
Which way is Liverpool?
Guido is intrigued at how the U.S. Tea Party and the Labour Party can prosper at the polls without a leader. Arguably the lack of a Labour leader for the coalition to attack makes them less vunerable to the likely onslaught that is to come – the next leader of the Labour party will have his record in government thrown in his face – hard.
The Tea Party in the U.S. is consciously leaderless, they talk about being a “Starfish organisation”, drawing on some of the ideas in the bestselling book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.
Some on the left see the Tea Party as a right-wing version of MoveOn.Org, the Soros-funded grassroots mobilisation campaign to support left-wing Democrats. Having met a few Tea Partiers, Guido thinks they are more about changing the political culture back from “Republicrat tax and spend”, to the limited government imagined by the founding fathers of the U.S. constitution. Jonathan Rauch has filmed this snippet on the organisational structure for the National Journal:
Rauch has done a serious investigation into the Tea Party that goes beyond the hysteria (“they’re rednecks!”) and looks at how they organise – the Monday night conference calls, the Ning online social network and the federated sister organisations. The Tea Partiers have very quickly put the fear of voters into the Republican Party.
Could it happen here? If the Coalition fails on the economy, if the VAT hike hits the consumer hard, the economy double dips, inflation and middle-class unemployment rises, you never know. The Coalition is offering no prospect of tax cuts, people may not be willing to accept a permanently high-tax culture…
Frankly if the BBC unions want to strike during the Conservative Party conference does it matter? ITN and Sky will still be there.
Gaby Hinsliff asks why Tories who complain about left-wing bias should be bothered. They shouldn’t. The BBC bosses will be embarrassed not to have covered the governing party’s conference, they shouldn’t. They should hold tough against the unions no matter what blackmail if they want to impress the government.
Hardly anyone watches the coverage anyway.
UPDATE : Will the BBC go on strike? Smarkets punters make the probabilities Yes 65% / No 46.
John Prescott has launched a claim for judicial review of the police on the grounds that they violated his human rights. If you think he is doing his usual grandstanding you are right. The police didn’t violate his human rights under Article 8 as he claims, it is more likely the convicted phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire violated his human rights under Article 8 of the European Convention:
- Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
- There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
The purpose of his action is to put political pressure on the police to re-open the investigation into Coulson, not protect his human rights.
UPDATE : Punters give Coulson only a 17% chance of going. Might be worth a buy at that cheap price…
UPDATE II : M’learned friends in the comments point out that Mulcaire himself couldn’t be prosecuted under that law because he isn’t a public authority.
Guido may have suggested yesterday that the Guardian editorial team was full of ill-informed atheist bigots, lacking in respect for alternative belief systems as well as being intolerant of those who have faith and believe in God. Obviously this is entirely refuted by the fact that they have a religious affairs correspondent.
As can be seen, Riazat Butt is clearly knowledgable and takes her job seriously…
Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath
Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”