Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crackers Speedily Spun Off

David Cracknell surprised many three months ago by leaving political journalism at the Sunday Times to join sleazy lobbyists LLM as chairman and also becoming an MD of Financial Dynamics.

Now he is off, saying “The valuable time spent here has opened my eyes to a number of opportunities outside the firm which it would not be possible to take up were I to continue. FD has been kind enough to release me and I am very grateful for that….” blah blah blah… Everyone is being suspiciously nice about things and smiling.

This should be a warning to the recent crop of hacks leaving journalism for the thicker pay packets of spin…

Dave Looks to May 2 at PMQs

Yesterday Guido pointed to the 42-days vote as the post May 2 battleline for the PLP:
Guido believes that constitutionally and practically it is too late to mount a formal leadership challenge to Brown’s under Labour Party rules in time for the September conference. So it would have to be by non-constitutional means that he is dragged out of Downing Street – Jack Straw no doubt will be at the back of the delegation doing the dragging. Another option is to make the 42-days vote effectively a confidence vote. Since the opposition will unanimously vote it down, it will be up to Labour backbenchers if they want to get rid of their unelected leader.

If Gordon kicks 42-days into touch it will signal his fears of the consequences…

Surpisingly today Dave didn’t go off on the local elections, he challenged Gordon to make the 42-days vote a confidence vote. Gordon swerved the opportunity.

A line of questioning from Dave perhaps aiming to sow a thought in the restless collective mind of the PLP…

UPDATE : Ben Brogan is thinking along similar lines. He gives Dave no chance of “getting the ball rolling on the next rebellion”.

Labour Cynically Exploit Tributes to Gwyneth for Data Mining

The readiness of New Labour to cynically exploit the goodwill of Gwyneth Dunwoody’s constituents (where she had a significant following) hit a low with the hasty announcement that Labour will rush the election in record time. Now they have been caught milking tributes for partisan advantage.

The official local party website invites you to leave a tribute to her – nothing wrong with that. Guido cynically wondered why the online tribute form asks not only for your name, but your house number, postcode and email address? It seems Guido was right to be cynical…

Before she is in the ground they are electioneering. If anyone from Labour claims that it is just an innocent opportunity to leave a tribute to the much-loved former MP they are being less than honest. A close study of the data capture process reveals that it includes a sophisticated software routine designed to look-up and verify the postcode and collect the data for Labour HQ in London. This is not a spontaneous local initiative – it was designed by Tangent Labs, the Labour Party’s national e-campaigns software contractors. Don’t forget to include this work in your election expenses chaps….

The data will no doubt be used to help with e-campaigning in what could be a closely fought battle. This by-election will be a prototype for General Election e-campaigning strategies…

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

+++ EXCLUSIVE Benn to Sell UBM Shareholding +++

Just got the official line from Hilary Benn’s office. He is now selling his shareholding, which came from his grandmother and father’s interest in the family publishing firm which was sold to UBM. “He doesn’t want to be drawn into this matter.”

Worry & Hurry for May 22 By-Election

The unseemly rush to have the Crewe & Nantwich by-election can only mean one thing – Labour are worried. Guido can’t recall an election being called before the body was buried before.

They obviously hope to prevent the opposition organising themselves and exploit the warm goodwill that still lingers from Gwyneth Dunwoody. The selection takes place Friday morning with the candidate to be announced Saturday night.

It suggests that they hope to get all the bad news out of the way before the summer. In time no doubt for yet another Brown re-launch…

UPDATE : Iain Dale speculates as to why Fraser Kemp won’t be performing his usual by-election role.

Will Benn Divest from UBM?

UBM has announced that it is fleeing Britain’s rapacious tax regime for the friendly and more welcoming business environment to be found in Ireland. Vince Cable has condemned UBM as corporate tax dodgers.

To be fair UBM management have to keep their shareholders happy – shareholders like the farm minister Hilary Benn.

Just got off the phone with Hilary Benn’s SpAds, they promise to get back to Guido. They are going to ask Hilary what, in the circumstances, he is going to do with his significant and correctly declared, shareholding in United Business Media (thought to be worth 7 figures). Will he divest, vote against the move or sell his shares?

Aaronovitch Reveals Something Interesting

David Aaronovitch, refreshed after addressing the jolly ranks of hedge fund managers and brokers in the Caymans, has a revealing article in this morning’s Times. He basically bemoans the lack of unflinching loyalty to the Brown cause from the Guardianista commentariat.Is it the job of journalists to be boosters? Are they expected to keep to a rigid discipline? To follow the line? Aaronovitch has got a reply from Jackie Ashley where she basically reminds him that she is a commentator not an agitator. Glad she remembered…She also gives a shorthand listing of her Guardianista colleagues’ ideological bents:-
George Monbiot – Green
Martin Kettle – Blairite
Jackie Ashley – Brownite
Polly Toynbee – Labourite
Jonathan Freedland – Labourite
No surprises there. The speed of Polly and Jackie’s disappointment with Gordon is a pleasant surprise. Remember how they wailed for the end of Blair? Aaronovitch was the last out of the bunker with Blair and looks likely to again be the last out of the bunker with Brown. What does that say about his psychology?

UPDATE : A co-conspirator calls with this thought – Aaronovitch (like many ex-communists) admires raw power and is a trailing edge indicator. So in three years time he will probably be a booster for Cameron…

How Do You Like This Big Tent Gordon?

Kate Hoey will be Mayor Boris’ sports adviser in the run-up to the Olympics and if some rumours are to be believed, Brian Paddick, not Boris himself, will be his chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority. That would be sweet revenge for Paddick, although it might not be so comfortable for Sir Iain Blair…

One Labour insider has just told Guido that Labour will implement a scorched earth policy in an attempt to sabotage Boris at every turn. Just as they have squeezed the SNP government in Scotland budgetarily from the centre they will do the same in London. Central government under their control will collectively punish London’s voters for not voting Labour…

Post May 2 : Potential Battlelines

Gordon and the diminishing band of loyal Brownies must be thinking ahead to May 2 about the tactics and strategies to be employed to quell a PLP mutiny. The declining wider membership is so demoralised and disappointed that it is for now quiescient and no grassroots threat is likely. Avoiding giving the PLP opportunities to lash out at Gordon will be the prime goal.

With Mayor Boris in office and Labour suffering triple figure losses elsewhere, the keen sense of self preservation felt by politicians will come into action. Ken will no doubt blame Gordon (and his bad press), the timing of Gordon’s 10p debacle will be blamed by the legions of local councillors who will be mourning their lost jobs.

Guido believes that constitutionally and practically it is too late to mount a formal leadership challenge to Brown’s under Labour Party rules in time for the September conference. So it would have to be by non-constitutional means that he is dragged out of Downing Street – Jack Straw no doubt will be at the back of the delegation doing the dragging. Another option is to make the 42-days vote effectively a confidence vote. Since the opposition will unanimously vote it down, it will be up to Labour backbenchers if they want to get rid of their unelected leader.

If Gordon kicks 42-days into touch it will signal his fears of the consequences…

Monday, April 28, 2008

+++ United Business Media Flees UK Taxes +++

The company valued at £1.3 billion is fleeing the shores of Britain’s increasingly high tax regime, joining the FTSE 100′s Shire Pharma in what is becoming a trend as Britain becomes less competitive.

UBM will become tax resident in Ireland, where we enjoy corporation tax rates of 12.5% compared with the 28% suffered in the UK.

Plenty of room for the rest of the FTSE 100…


Seen Elsewhere

A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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