Punting on Paxo v the Number Two Wannabees

Guido has loaded up his Betfair account with cash in the hope that the Newsnight debate could be decisive one way or another in this race. Will try to figure not the merit of the arguments, not even how voters in the Labour electoral college will respond, but how other gamblers will interpret events. Despite having explained this many times, gambling on a beauty contest (like this) is not about figuring out who is the prettiest girl, but who the judges will think is the prettiest girl. Good luck..

Intros hardly move the market.

Head-to-head is more of a side-by-side format.

Lots of flannel on the Iraq issue.

Promises from Harman of an end to spin.

No real move in the betting markets, Paxo demands yes/no answers. Cruddas says no to Trident and charitable schools. So that stakes him out on the left.

Alan Johnson and Blears appear to accept the post-Thatcher Blairite settlement.

Punters start to move against Hain. Johnson closes on Benn.

Paxo bows out with “who would vote for if you weren’t running?” Only Cruddas gives a straight answer (Blears Harman).

ENDS

Let the spinning begin…

Benn Backed by International Capitalism

Guido is still reeling from the news that the grandson of the socialist Viscount Stansgate has a large portfolio of stock market investments. Now he discovers that his campaign is backed by the profiteering of international capital. Hedge fund manager Gilad Hayeem of Lehman Brothers backed Marble Bar Asset Management (Cayman) has contributed £5,000 to Hilary Benn’s campaign (slogan “voice of the grassroots”). Tony Benn wanted to nationalise top banks, his son takes campaign donations from them.

Guido can personally vouch for the rum nature of these hedgie types. Still trying to figure out if this is a case of a capitalist financing the rope to hang himself, or of a socialist selling out. With a billion dollars under management Gilad can spare the cash. However, how idealistic Benn backers will view his campaign being financed indirectly by investors in Erongo Energy – a uranium miner in Namibia with interests in oil – is hard to say. All ethical presumably…

A Rare Thing

When he heard that Graham Brady had resigned over Tory grammar school policy and that he had four grammar schools in his consituency, he presumed it was a marginal seat and that this was a move to boost his local support. Checking, Guido sees he tripled his majority at the last election, after nearly doubling it the election before. Guido can be too cynical.

Resigning on a point of principle and in the interests of his constitutents’ children? Halting his front-bench career? Guido wonders if Graham Brady is really cut out for modern politics…

Why Benn has Become Favourite

Guido understands that Benn has 29 constituency nominations sewn up so far, nearly double his nearest rival. Those that think the union bosses could swing it for Johnson forget that the affiliated socialist societies will probably go the same way as the constituencies. Still a chance he could get whacked by Paxo on Newsnight later…

One Rule For Etonians, Another Rule for Grammarians

Guido is sure that when Boris publicly disagreed with party policy and went off-message, Dave was challenged to sack him, he retorted that the Conservatives “welcomed debate” and “were not control freaks like New Labour” etcetera. Dave isn’t welcoming policy debate from Graham Brady, he is sacking him.

He not only has the wrong view on schools, he went to the wrong school..

Number Twos on Newsnight

In what frankly, even by political anorak standards, is a boring campaign so far, tonight offers the prospect of some interest as they go face-to-face tonight on Newsnight.

Benn is now favourite, followed by Johnson. Punters make the rest also rans. Guido has a little money on Harman with an outside chance…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Mail on Sunday : Fixated Threat Assessment Centre hunts mentally unstable potential killers and stalkers with a fixation against public figures.

Gordon Says “You Decide”, He’ll Ignore

Gordon Brown launched his website with a promise of a new kind of politics, humble and listening. All of this was a mere three weeks ago.

“You Decide” what his website will discuss. New politics! Open! Listening! Interactivity! Digital not Analogue! Yeah Groovy! This week thousands voted to discuss “The NHS”. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and finally today Friday – Guido checked for the discussion.

Nothing but tumbleweed blew across the site.

Even checked out Oona’s blog on the site “following Gordon around the country listening to the people”. Nothing there either, she last mentioned the NHS on May 12.

Guido called up the campaign press office:

Guido Fawkes “Where is the discussion this week about the NHS?”
Press Officer “Errr, errm, I only deal with the website”
GF “Yes, this is a question about the website”
PO “Can I get Tony McElroy to call you back”
GF “Thanks”

If they start a “You Decide” discussion this weekend it would still be this week, technically…

Friday Caption Contest (Simple Reds Edition)

UPDATE : “Holding back the Blears” tickled Guido..

What the People Really Want to Know

The Guidoisation of democracy continues apace: this is an interesting nugget of research into what people are actually searching to find out about our political leaders.

Gordon Brown and his plans for tax credits? Cameron’s carbon capping agenda? Not a chance. They really want to know about what Guido gives ’em. What people are searching to find out about Gordon is particularly interesting. “The Legend” is now a mainstream subject of discourse down the pub. Not just down the Red Lion on Whitehall, but in Glasgow boozers, City bars, Home Counties village pubs as well, they speculate and they wonder. Then they go home and Google…

The top search terms reveal the public is keen to find out about subjects very different to those selected by the mainstream media. Paxman, Sir Michael White et al sneer that, for example, Guido prioritises distributing video evidence of Gordon’s propensity to pick his nose, but given the popularity of that over interest in Gordon’s plans for constitutional reform, who is more in touch with the popular pulse? According to industry data, blogs are now more widely read than than online newspapers. Think about what that implies.
IncidentallyGordon the Bogeyman is being re-edited to be made suitable for mobile phones as a commercially sponsored free download soon. People will download it on to their phones, and show it to their mates down the pub for a laugh. Guido confidently predicts it will be one of the all time most downloaded mobile videos in the UK.

Irish Green Party Advert

Workers Soviet Council Formed at CCHQ

Nominations for officers of the CCHQ Staff Association close on Friday. The inaugral meeting will be on June 1st.
Soviet-style it will be a party approved union, organising picnics and such-like. Millbank Militant demands at the AGM are expected to include the provision of moisturiser in the men’s loos. Suspect the CCHQ-SA will not be affiliating to the TUC…

Who are Ruth Turner’s Solicitors?

Just chasing up something, having difficulty finding out the name of the firm representing poor Ruth. Do any of you many loafing lawyers happen to know?

LibDems Call for End to Anti-Catholic Bigotry

LibDem equality spokesperson, Lorely Burt, is today calling for an end to discrimination against Catholics. She therefore rises in my estimation considerably (am pretty certain she also put her card behind the bar one night after an event Guido attended, it is all a bit vague).

“Before he steps down, Tony Blair should consider removing this institutional discrimination. After all, if reports are to believed, he may have a rather more personal interest in Catholic affairs when he leaves No. 10; he should act whilst he still has the chance.” Hmm.

Remember, remember…

Seriously Incompetent?

Iain is being a little unfair on the blessed Ruth citing her as potentially Labour’s Most Incompetent Minister.
Firstly Mrs Balls (Yvette Cooper) deserves most of the opprobrium for the HIPs mess and there is a competitive field of choices in the ministerial incompetence stakes. Prezza has messed up more policies in his time than most. Hewitt is hardly the best of the bunch, Des Browne sends men to die for lack of equipment and lack of any comprehensible strategic or even credible tactical plan in Afghanistan.

Des Browne gets Guido’s vote, his incompetence is the most serious. It is wasting the lives of British soldiers…

Harman 7/1? Worth a Punt

Betfair has finally opened up a market on who will be the Labour number two – smart move guys, but the trading would have been more choppy earlier. Alan Johnson is favourite, Hilary Benn is behind him 5/2 and Harman is next at 7/1.[…]

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