Birrell Curries Favour

Having kept an extremely low profile for the conference, Andy Coulson was finally seen with a smile on his face at the News International party on Tuesday night. At home with his old Murdoch comrades, one co-conspirator described him as looking like a lost schoolboy reunited with his family. But how long will the smiles last? Coulson’s inter-governmental nemesis Steve Hilton seems to be winning the No.10 power struggle at the moment, with Cameron’s conference speech rehashing back Hilton’s “Big Society” message. While Coulson was keeping his head down after Peter Oborne’s Dispatches blunt hatchet job, Steve was spotted having a quiet curry with the former Deputy Editor of the Indy Ian Birrell…

Birrell who was called on to sharpen up Cameron’s speeches in the election campaign is of the Hilton blue-sky persuasion and Guido can’t think what he might have been discussing. If Coulson were to be forced out by a smoking gun, a huge power vacuum would be created in government and there is no way Hilton wouldn’t want one of his own to fill it…

Straw Calls Shadow Cabinet Election “Barking Mad” and “Daft”

The Labour Party’s “greasy pole” was slammed on Radio 5 this morning by a self-proclaimed “climber of the greasy pole”, Jack Straw. It seems the old timer is getting grumpy on the way out and is less than impressed with the system of electing the Shadow Cabinet:

“… if you are in the shadow cabinet it is elected, I, from a position of complete neutrality, said to my colleagues, I survived and prospered under this system for ten years, but I just tell you, it is barking mad, for arithmetical reasons as well, it is a daft system, and what it means is that of the eighteen or nineteen people in shadow cabinet, probably a dozen capable of being in the Cabinet, half a dozen are not and if and when we have a Labour government some of those who thought this is a meal ticket in to the proper Cabinet will be sorely disappointed.”

The presenter Nicky Campbell interrupted to ask whether Straw would come back on Monday and let the public know who the half-dozen unsuitable members are. Funnily enough the answer was “errrr no”.

Low down the pecking order contest is getting vicious and the rules governing how many women are elected could hurt the likes of Bryant, Bradshaw and Harris. According to punters over at Smarkets at the top Burnham and Khan are vying for the Home Office. There is still no clear frontrunner for the FCO shadow, but Balls is still the favourite for Shadow Chancellor, just, his wife isn’t far behind. By this time tomorrow we shall know whether Labour are opening up yet another family drama narrative…

Deficit Cutting is Like Pulling Teeth

It was a humorous anecdote, Guido thinks, but middle-class children do have a lot of teeth and their Tooth-Fairies are quite generous. You never know…

Via : Political Scrapbook

Popular Support for Cutting Welfare for Wealthy

YouGov asked people the following question: “In principle, do you support or oppose limiting child benefit so that people with high incomes do not receive it?” 83% supported the principle.

Yet if you read the press yesterday you’d think there was outrage in the country. Couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that London’s media elite who write the headlines all earn over £44,000.

Surely not?

Obama Does Stand-Up

Ominously his Seal of Office fell off the lectern. Obama made a pretty good comedic recover:

Getting the Middle-Classes Off Welfare

The Mumsnet crowd are livid. It must be doubly annoying for them after they had nice Nick and dishy Dave over for biscuits during the election without any webchat about child benefit cuts. Nevertheless, was it ever sensible to tax people nearly half their income and then give them little welfare transfers back?

Frankly welfare universalism is a political con, it makes no sense economically and the logic of it is entirely cynical. The left wants to get the middle-classes to buy in to the welfare state, to do that they have to bind the middle-classes in. The left argues – quite openly – that if the middle-classes don’t see any benefits from the welfare state they’ll vote against it. It would be far more efficient to tax people less rather than hand them a little back after their taxes have passed through the hands of bureaucrats.

We Khan’t Go On Like This

Once could be seen as a mistake, twice a habit, but three times? Miliband campaign manager and expenses cheat Sadiq Khan is in yet more hot water. Once again he has been caught breaking expenses rules. First there was “the rose” incident, then the pending police investigation for fraud and now he faces the humiliation of John Lyon finding him guilty of sending out a political mail shot on his taxpayer funded communications allowance during his tight re-election campaign. Shadow Cabinet contenders should keep a close eye on their rival, it seems cheats do prosper.

With the rise of Red Ed, his most loyal follower looks set to be rewarded. His extremist views rule him out of the FCO, and quite extraordinarily, Labour are talking about putting another expenses cheat in the Home Office briefPerhaps Jacqui could come back as a Special Adviser…

Labour’s Short Money Comes Through

One advantage for Labour of the government containing the LibDems is that they don’t have to share the “Short Money” with another opposition party.

All those taxpayer millions go to the Labour Party alone and they are hiring as a result:

Working for The Labour Party
Salary Ranging from £23k to £37k, fixed term contract
Details The Labour Party is advertising several posts including the following:

  • Senior Policy Officers – from £33k
  • Policy and Research Coordinator – from £30k
  • Research Officers – from £30k
  • Policy Officers – from £30k
  • Campaigns Copywriter – from £30k
  • Administration Support Assistant – from £23k
  • Frontbench Communication Officers – from £30k
  • Head of Frontbench Communications – from £37k
  • Campaigns Officers – from £30k
  • Head of Leader’s and Frontbench Visits – from £37k
  • Frontbench Visits Officer – from £30k
  • Graphic Designer – from £25k,
  • If you want to work for Red Ed go to www2.labour.org.uk/new_job

    Why Myers? Part I : Hague’s Boy Slammed Our Boys

    As William Hague joined Sapper Matthew Westen on the Andrew Marr Show this past Remembrance Sunday the campaign aide he would later appoint as the third Special Adviser to Her Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary was giving a running commentary […]

    + READ MORE +

    Hague’s Withdrawal Sends CCHQ Press Office Spinning

    Guido learnt that William Hague had pulled out of an “in conversation” this lunch time with the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne. Quick off the mark the CCHQ spinners were suggesting that Guido had got his facts wrong and that the “in […]

    + READ MORE +

    “Enoch” Boles Repositions Himself

    Nic Boles made his name as an über-Cameroon when at the helm of Policy Exchange, pushing the party in a pinkish direction and de-toxifying the Tory brand. He was half-successful, the Tory frontbench now kow-tows to Cameroon language and thinking […]

    + READ MORE +

    Handbags in the Hyatt

    The rumour going round conference about two MPs in a punch up are a little wide of the mark, but things certainly got heated in the Hyatt bar at around 2 in the morning. What is clear is that Chris […]

    + READ MORE +



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