It has been written by bloggers with contributions from across the spectrum of the political blogosphere. It is in the bookshops this week or you can buy it online by clicking on the picture. And you can expect a little viral advertising campaign with a difference soon…
Usually reliable sources…
Lord Levy introduced Courtney, as a potential donor, to Tony Blair. The police want to know what Levy promised in return for a donation.
With his new role as Middle East facilitator it is hard to see how Blair would commute between Jerusalem and Durham, one minute sorting out lost welfare benefit claims and the next minute pacifying the Palestinians.
Sedgefield is a safe seat, and dual by-elections will stretch the LibDem machine into two operations.
Many Labour left-wingers might think that the result of a Sedgefield by-election would count as a “Labour Gain”.
Guido remembers attending a Demos event last year where the new campaign commissar was giving his thoughts. With all this talk of an early election in the air the boys and girls at CCHQ and Cowley Street would do well to dig out his “Serving a Cause, Serving a Community“ Demos pamphlet from last year. In it he urged the Labour party to work in partnership rather than parallel with like minded organisations including trade unions. Gordon is spinning today that he wants to reduce the power of the unions through one man, one vote.
He wrote about the party to becoming a “community hub” creating space for shared discussion with social interest groups who will have input into local party campaigns using blogs and chat rooms to encourage debate with those preferring not to go to formal party meetings. LabourHome is their best semi-unofficial attempt at this, and it still shaded by ConservativeHome.
He also claimed he wanted to throw off the control-freak shackles and loosen the rigid party structures to allow issues to be discussed informally and he wanted to decentralise professional party staff resources from national to local level. Once again the Tories have the edge here, they are far less control-freaky and they already have their Northern call-centre operation with regional offices benefiting from Lord Ashcroft’s cash.
If the Demos pamphlet was Douglas Alexander’s job application it will take time to achieve his goals for Labour. That together with their cash crisis, makes Guido doubtful they will go for an early election.
From the Guardian : Rich Johnston, the British cartoonist who works for the Guido Fawkes political blog, has been asked by US comic publishers IDW to create a box of bubble gum cards on the life and times of George W Bush, entitled Weapons of Mass Distraction. “Being paid to write up the various scandals of Bush and co – it was like taking candy from a baby,” Johnston says.
Bet she isn’t Deputy-PM, mind you the way Guido’s bets are going…
At this stage he will have no further hand in Anglican Bishopric appointments and any possible unease caused in Orange circles in Northern Ireland now irrelevant, it would be a good time to formalise his position.
An added bonus being he could ask the Pope there and then for absolution for his sins…
UPDATE : The Observer’s John Hooper in Vatican City reports a Vatican source saying Blair used his last official foreign engagement before leaving office to tell the Pope he wanted to become a Roman Catholic.
“But, in talks lasting more than half an hour, the outgoing Prime Minister was left in no doubt that the Pope took a dim view of his record in office. A statement issued afterwards by the Vatican said there had been a ‘frank exchange of views’. Vatican sources said the Pope remained unmoved in his view that Blair had been wrong over Iraq. To an even greater extent than his predecessor, Benedict feels that Catholic politicians cannot separate their public lives from their private.”