Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Telegraph’s Porter Taking Copy from Downing Street Again

Porter-Smears-BlearsAccording to  the Telegraph’s Andy Porter (a close friend of Damian McBride) “Hazel Blears’ resignation as Communities Secretary was partly triggered by the discovery that she had allegedly avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of another property.” This is Downing Street back up to its old tricks, getting dirt on enemies, putting the dirt into the public domain via friendly Lobby hacks.  Guido has been told by a source that the same “Cabinet Office compliance unit” that found out about Blears’ other property has more expenses dirt on Alastair Darling.  That is being used to menace Darling, just in case he gets any Geoffrey Howe type ideas.

Nick Brown is the “shit-kicker in chief” according to a well connected Blairite, Watson is still unofficially doing his old enforcer job, even the semi-detached Douglas Alexander is back on the bunker team.  Blairites emphasise to Guido that they are going to keep silent until the close of the polls tomorrow at 10pm.  That leaves the Brownies a free run to have the mother of all factional fights to save their fuhrer.

+++ Kalms : “I Am Considering Lending My Vote to UKIP” +++

Stanley Kalms is the Dixons tycoon and former Tory treasurer, it is the case that he has never had much time for the Cameroons and has not given any money to the Tories in years. Nevertheless, UKIP will be chuffed at another Tory taking the Tebbit line…

PMQs Live Chat : Crumbling Cabinet Edition

+++ Girl Power : Flint Rumoured to be Resigning +++

Unconfirmed rumour swirling around in Labour circles…

+++ Blears Resigns +++

Well that post this morning was prophetic faster than Guido expected. More and more interesting. 

This is looking more like a deliberate effort to unseat Gordon…

Did Blears Leak Jacqui’s Exit to Destabilise Gordon?

A lesson Guido learnt the hard way in his younger days was “never antagonise a redhead”.   Could Gordon be about to learn the same lesson?

It has been bothering Guido that he couldn’t see the logic for anyone leaking Jacqui’s exit plans. Certainly doesn’t make sense for Brown central to leak it (contrary to LabourList’s claim).  Guido was putting the leak in the cock-up rather than the conspiracy category.  However the Blears theory makes some sense – Blears feels aggrieved that she got roughed up by Brown over expenses in a way that Darling (until yesterday) Hoon and Purnell did not.   She also feels imperilled by the reshuffle and of course she isn’t really a fan of Gordon.  By destabilising Gordon and revealing ahead of the re-shuffle that a woman is already leaving cabinet she shores up her own position.  She also scores some brownie points for the future by laying some useful ground-work for Alan Johnson…

Country Before Party

alan-johnsonThere comes a point when party interest and national interest conflict.  Inside Tory HQ there are many praying that Gordon Brown survives next week and that Alan Johnson does not find the courage to oust Brown.  They know that at the General Election the scale of the Tory victory will be greater if they face Gordon Brown, a discredited Prime Minister, than if they faced a new Prime Minister enjoying a honeymoon.   That is putting their party interest before the national interest.

Around the cabinet table sit the only people who can rid the country of a Prime Minister completely incapable of getting us out of the economic mess we are in.  Brown’s solution to a debt crisis is more government debt, his dividing lines are about politics, not economic imperatives in the national interest.  The expenses crisis has obscured headlines about the dire state of the national finances, but Britain is in a really perilous state.  The members of the cabinet who prefer to cling onto their party’s grip on government (and their perks) for another year by keeping Gordon Brown in place and delaying the inevitable, need to examine their consciences.  Put the national interest before party interest, the country is crying out for change.

Polls show that Labour Party activists and voters have no confidence in Gordon Brown, dispatching him sooner rather than later might actually improve the standing of the Labour Party.  There would of course need to be a General Election after Gordon went.  That is what the public want, that would be in the national interest, it might even be in the best interests of the Labour Party…

Stat Porn for May

Almost forgot: 2,465,072 page views from 1,310,859 visits by 231,416 visitors plus an additional 925,543 views via feed readers. Many thanks to advertisers and readers.

These figures don’t include page views from third-party distribution platforms. The blog can be accessed in dealing rooms via the Bloomberg terminal, in newsrooms via Lexis-Nexis and is now available to download via subscription onto the new Amazon Kindle, with iPhone and Blackberry friendlier versions of  the blog coming soon. For good measure the blog is digitally archived by the British Library for posterity.  Guido aims to be ubiquitous and available forever…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

+++ Tom Watson Resigning, Guido Will Miss Him +++

Watson

So many rats are leaving the government ship it is in danger of toppling over.  Tom Watson, the Minister for Mudslinging*, who was named in the one of the Smeargate emails from McBride to Draper, will be particularly missed.  He is cherished by strategists at CCHQ.  If it wasn’t for him the Labour Party would not have swapped a triple-election winning political genius for a voter repelling, election avoiding, malevolent weirdo.  They should, if they could find enough scrap brass, put a statue of him outside the entrance to Tory HQ on Millbank.  Watson also saw off Stephen Carter, someone brought in from outside the Brown circle to bring a wider media savvy perspective, in doing so he probably killed the last hope of sanity in the Downing Street bunker.  Watson of course organised the coup which failed but fatally undermined Blair.  It is to Tom Watson who more thinking Tories toast for the tactical and strategic disasters that have plagued the Brown premiership.  On a personal note, Guido would like to pay tribute to Tom for his antics and attempts to struggle unsuccessfully against the Guidoisation of politics.  Watson will now have more time with his family and Play-Station, no doubt his blog will also improve with him out of government…

*Favourite read he says was Mudslingers: The Twenty-five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time

Who Leaked Jacqui’s Exit?

Jacqui

Sky News got the scoop, but who leaked it first and why?  Brown central arguably would rather have not have this come out until the weekend.  Home Office sources were also very much caught wrong-footed.  Are we just at the rolling cock-up stage of government?  It is hard to see who on the government side benefits from leaking this now apart from a deliberate Machiavellian internal saboteur.  Someone with skills in the dark arts of spin who might have decided it is time, for the sake of the survival of his beloved New Labour, to bring down the  curtain on Gordon Brown.   Jacqui exiting in a messy way puts the reshuffle speculation front and centre and adds to the sense of Brown’s government on the verge of collapse on the very eve of an election.  It takes a crisis to precipitate a solution.

Was it the same person who leaked the idea that Balls could go to No 11?


Seen Elsewhere

Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne
Uber Needs to Mind Its Manners | CapX
Sun Victory in Court | MediaGuido
UKIP Gains Coming at Labour’s Expense | Elections Etc


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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