Labour MP: Members Too Thick To Vote

Who was it that said Labour MPs were patronising and nannying? Lisa Nandy, the uninspiring member for Wigan, is complaining that the system for electing the new leader is too confusing for the members to understand:

“I am picking up a disconcerting level of confusion amongst party members about when they vote or how the system works. The preference system that the Labour Party uses has its advantages, but it also makes it hard for people to understand the eventual result.”

Guido has oft thought there must be certain intellectual cut off point for members of the Labour Party, but he didn’t realise it was quite that low. So Ms. Nandy will be voting against AV then?

Breaking: Tory Minister Comes Out

An announcement at 4pm on Friday afternoon often means only one thing – a Sunday newspaper is on to you. Tory Justice Minister Crispin Blunt has just released a statement confirming he is leaving his wife because he is gay:

“Crispin Blunt wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife Victoria. He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family. The consequence is this separation.   There is no third party involvement, but this is difficult for his immediate and wider family and he hopes for understanding and support for them.”

The MP for Reigate has crossed Andy Coulson in recent weeks with his off message speeches about prisons, but as of now it is unknown why the sudden decision to out himself. Could this be the first of a few such announcements from the Government benches this weekend?

Developing…

Friday Caption Contest (Hush Hush Hague Edition)

Have You Seen This Man?

Back in June when David Cameron’s helicopter was diverted in Afghanistan, officials described it as a routine precaution. News this morning has emerged though that the PM was in a lot more danger than originally thought. Military chiefs are urging a comprehensive review of the Prime Minister’s security. It is believed they are seeking this man in connection to the attempt to shoot down the chopper:

Yeah, ok, it’s the last Friday of silly season…

Balls Admits Defeat

So it seems Balls’s campaign to be leader is officially over. Plan B, to get the Shadow Chancellorship, kicked in this morning at Bloomberg. As refreshing as it was to finally hear a leadership candidate talk about the economy, Balls’s pitch for the number two job was way off the mark. With David Miliband hinting that Labour must start to accept some home truths and not fight everything the coalition has done, and the fact that he is sticking to Labour’s “halve the deficit in four years plan” why would he appoint Balls, who is still stuck in denial, as his money man? If he does make the job, his half-baked theories are going to be ripped to shreds in and outside the Party…

The speech itself was hard-hitting, there is no denying that Balls is the man to lay punches, however inaccurate, on the Coalition. Much hay was made of the fact that he correctly predicted Osborne would raise VAT, a fact he only knew because Labour would have had to do the same had they won. As Pete Hoskin points out blatant lies were also told:

Balls says that “George Osborne … is planning to go £40 billion further and faster this year than even Alistair Darling’s plans,” I’m sure he must mean “over this Parliament,” not “this year”. Because that’s the truth.

One bit of confusion that always tickles Guido is how Balls claims that the last recession was the biggest economic crisis of the last hundred years, yet constantly warns that the Coalition plans will take us back to the 1930s depression. A mere seventy to eighty years ago – which was the worst crisis Ed?

For those wondering, a co-conspirator was able to put a crowd sourced question from readers at last night’s Q&A with Balls. Asking whether his friendship with Damian McBride revealed a lack of judgement that rendered him unsuitable for high office, and when was the last time he had any form of communication with his old pal, Balls dodged the first bit but admitted he still talks on the phone to Damian. He was quick to add in an unofficial capacity and he wasn’t taking advice from him. Probably a wise move…

Question to Balls

Guido is off to watch the death throes of Ed Balls’s leadership campaign over at Clifford Chance where he is doing a Q&A at 18:30 with Steve Richards. Tomorrow morning he is also giving  a speech at Bloomberg at 08:30. Both will have questions from the floor so you never know Guido, or an audience ally, might just get the chance to make Blinky squirm at one of the events.

What would you ask?

Questions in the comments please…

Damian’s Giant Step

All that talk of Gordon earlier tempted Guido to check in on another old friend. Apparently old Damian McBride has been promoted from picking up litter and is now allowed to teach “Citizenship” at Finchley Catholic High School for Boys. With a straight face.

Balls may have turned him down for media advice on his leadership bid but it seems Damian just can’t let go of his old allies. A brief flick through Giant Steps, the school’s newsletter authored by the man himself, shows an article about Chris Bryant.

Hardly a “Giant Step” forward for someone who was once handling classified information, drafting speeches delivered to Kings and Presidents and rewriting G20 communiques. Now he gets to write headlines such “Finchley’s Chefs Turn Up The Heat”. Ah penance…

Pointless Access

This morning’s Telegraph splash about “cash for access” is a little over-hyped. These conference 30-second-hand-shake gigs are nothing new and something both major parties have been guilty of for years. Party funding is a mess and throwing rocks in either direction is a waste of time without a comprehensive overhaul of the whole system. They sound dreadful too. You couldn’t get Guido to go if you paid him £1,000…

For what it’s worth though, paying a £1,000 to sit next to a Government Minister makes a lot more sense than paying £1,521.62 for breakfast and a drinks reception with some washed up Labour Shadow Ministers, as advertised for this year’s conference.

Guido can’t really see any point, other than being close enough to punch one of them.

UPDATE: Sky’s newish politico Rachel Younger points out that for “£40 you can dine with Business Secretary Vince Cable at the Quay Hotel in Deganwy. The fundraising dinner held by the North Wales Liberal Democrats takes place on the 30th of October and in these penny-pinching times it sounds like a bargain to me.” Shudder.

BrownAid

As the new parliamentary term and Gordon’s book launch approaches, Guido is hearing whispers as to his future plans. Given he has managed to turn up to work just twice since the election, it’s good news that the people of […]

+ READ MORE +

Don’t Fight on a Battlefield of Your Enemy’s Choosing

The whole argument about whether or not the budget was progressive was a foolish one for the Coalition to engage in. The left defines a “progressive budget” as one that benefits those on lowest incomes most. Since the population decile […]

+ READ MORE +

Davided Endorsements

With the candidates back from holiday, the finishing line is finally in sight for the Labour leadership. The news that the New Statesman has fallen in line with the Labour youth and trade union movement to back Ed Miliband shouldn’t […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + Florence Rose Endellion Cameron + + +

Flo Cam.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Preston Council leader Peter Rankin explains rising anti-Semitism…

“You need to think why this anti-semitism is getting worse. It’s because of the actions of the IDF shelling schools and hospitals and killing and maiming thousands of men, women and children.”

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