Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lynton Crosby Advising Libertas on Euro-Campaign

Isaby has scooped another story for ConservativeHome, the news that Lynton Crosby is advising Declan Ganley on running a slate of candidates in Britain for June’s European elections.  Guido suggested early on that the Tories should have associated themselves with the Libertas pan-European ticket.  Maybe they felt there was little to be gained in doing so in the UK.  In the wider post-EPP environment after the election it might have been useful, assuming Libertas win any seats.

LibertasLynton is a business-like strategist, he knows he has three major problems; firstly the policy position taken by Libertas is nearly the same as the Conservative stance towards the EU, secondly British voters who are particularly interested in the EU tend to UKIP.  His third problem is name recognition, few have heard of Libertas.  Will be fascinating to see what strategy he comes up with since Crosby has a reputation as a realist when it comes to campaigning.  If he wins a single UK seat he will have done well.

UPDATE : The Fink asks Is Libertas Pointless? He basically draws a venn diagram of potential voters and finds the Libertas subset to be very small.

Coming to TV : Spin Bloggers versus Reality-Based Bloggers

At the request of readers Guido has been trying to avoid blogging about Draper, so this plug is a bit of a, hopefully forgivable, relapse.  This anecdote is to illustrate the difference in the approach taken by Draper (spin) and the rest of the blogosphere (authenticity).   Do you recall when Guido wrote about the suspension of Dolly’s Twitter account for abuse of the service?  A co-conspirator has just pointed out that at the time Derek’s rapid rebuttal claim was:

“Guido and Iain Dale are upset that I am the most followed political twitterer.”

Mike Power, the long established blogger retorted via Twitter:

Draper Bullshit

derek-v-borisIn the reality-based part of the blogosphere we know that Draper has a little over 3,000 followers and Boris Johnson a little short of 20,000 followers – none of whom Boris spammed for attention.

Yet another example of the same old Derek, same old spin.

Some of you will be looking forward to the Daily Politics Draper v Guido show next week. It might not be as exciting as you think, the producer is determined that it will not be a personal slagging match and we are to be restricted to the subject of Labour’s approach to blogging.  Guido will be contrasting Prescott’s authenticity with Draper’s artificiality.  Draper’s CV has unfortunately been ruled off the agenda.

Psycho Won’t Work in No. 10

As many co-conspirators speculated at the time, the Blockbuster DVD box set gifted by Obama to Gordon is Region 1 DVD locked – meaning it won’t play on UK DVD players.  According to the Telegraph

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem. The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words “wrong region” came up on his screen.

Downing Street is very touchy about DVDs, when Martin Bright reported that they had compiled a DVD of Obama apologies for the Prime Mentalist to learn from, Damian McBride went into overdrive, denying it and even texting Bright to demand a correction.

McBride really should stick to dictating copy to Derek Draper – at least he reprints it.

Potty Mouthed Populism is an Antidote to Political Spin

Just noticed (via the ASI Blog) that David Aaronovitch fears the populist influence of “potty-mouthed right-wing bloggers on some political journalism”.   His Times colleague Daniel Finkelstein credits Guido with helping to focus mainstream media attention on the sleaze and petty corruption of politicians.  The raison d’etre of this blog is to foster an anti-political atmosphere by encouraging popular scepticism about politicians and their client media.  This is because Guido wants to de-politicise more areas of human action, increasing the non-political space in our society and culture, for which a necessary pre-condition is the discrediting of politicians by exposing their venal, self-interested behaviour.  Aaronovitch is right to fear.

He is wrong on one thing, and Polly Toynbee makes this mistake as well, Guido is not the “potty mouthed” author of profanity on the blog.  The readers comments however are a different story, there the anger is allowed to let rip.  If it tells our political masters anything, it tells them they are hated.  It may not be polished prose, but it is genuine anger.  They read it, they know it is real and it stings them.  David Miliband, Peter Hain and Ed Balls will, if you ask them, tell you how much they despise this blog.  Yet they still read it, just as Caesar listened to the baying mob at the circus.  You can’t spin the booing of a crowd.  Politicians should consider the blog’s potty mouthed comments a free and unfiltered focus group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LibDem Youth Teeny Totty Tantrums

libdem-girlsIt seems Nick Clegg is having trouble with the kids, after personally launching the rebranded Liberal Youth movement last year, the kids are now biting the hand that feeds them. Their election for a new chairman has descended into the kind of fight that only student politics can. The incumbent chair, Elaine Bagshaw, is a Labour defector (pictured here raving) who has been compared to Vicky Pollard by Quentin Letts. Opponents say she is playing dirty to secure a second term.

Her libertarian leaning opponent Sara Scarlett (pictured smiling), has resigned from the kids club executive after rounds of furious bitching* chronicled by the Tory Bear blog.  Mind you she managed to slag of the sheer “corporate incompetence” of Cowley Street before she went.  In an illiberal move worthy of Trotskyite splinter group, Bagshaw is now trying to get her opponent kicked out of the party to clear the way for her re-election.

Both candidates for the top job have  called for Liberal Youth the organisation to be scrapped – does that show leadership potential?

*There was a  Downfall spoof video, a must have for any political bitchfight these days, sadly that disappeared after talk of legal action.

Bonkers in the Bunker

Cameron explicitly said at PMQs what Guido thinks, in the “bunker” they are bonkers, barking out orders for schemes that never happen. Gordon actually claimed at one point during PMQs that Germany had “left the mainstream” of economic thinking.  That would be Germany, with the biggest economy in Europe and a centrist coalition government.

Delusional and in denial are inadequate terms to describe Gordon’s state of mind.  He is completely disconnected from the reality of the situation, that makes it impossible for him to get us out of this mess.

Don’t just take Guido’s word for it, Brian Wilson, a former government minister with across the board experience in a number of departments has just written this; “Brown was clearly deluding himself this week with his overblown invocations of Churchillian resolve to counter the turbulent economic times in which we live.” In private more and more Labour people are completely despondent.

PMQs Sorry Story

Bust Gordon Will Be Politely Ignored at G20

Gordon keeps on mumbling about the need for an “international early warning” system, some might say that the IMF already does that job.  After all it gave at least half-a-dozen warnings about Britain’s over-indebtedness in the years proceeding Brown’s bubble bursting.

This morning the IMF is warning that the UK will be the last major economy out of recession.  Gordon thinks he can use the G20 Summit to show his leadership, Guido suspects many world leaders will be grateful that they are not in his situation.  Americans commentators talk about the UK’s currency collapse and debt crisis.  The Europeans are dismissive of his VAT cut, Asians bored by his talk of global regulation –  which seems laughable in the wake of the collapse of the British banking sector.  The White House wants to sort Wall Street out themselves and the American voters won’t be interested in Gordon’s grandiose schemes.

The truth is that Gordon has presided over the biggest bust of any major economy. The IMF says Britain will probably be last out of recession.   Gordon has no credibility as a prudent finance minister.  The G20 leaders will politely listen to his ramblings in the way that you listen to the views of a slightly demented uncle who invites you over for lunch.  They know he is finished and they probably won’t have to listen to him again.

UPDATE : Former Blairite Downing Street spinner turned lobbyist Darren Murphy is dismissive of the relevance of the G20.  Reading between the lines, he is dismissive of Brown altogether.  Expect more of this kind of thing from Labour figures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Barack O’Bama Says “Happy St Patricks”

They didn’t dye the White House fountains when Gordon visited.   The Irish Taoiseach got a warm welcome from Barack – after all he is family.

“My mother’s family can be traced back to Ireland, and it turns out that our first Irish ancestor came from the same county that the Taoiseach once represented. So we may be cousins. We haven’t sorted that through yet. But even if blood we’re not related by culture and affinity…by friendship we are certainly related… an affirmation of one of the strongest bonds of people that exists in the world.”

Ireland has had “probably as much impact on our culture and our traditions as any country on earth” said President O’Bama ahead of a lunch to be attended by Secretary of State Clinton. Tonight will see a ceremony and a reception for almost 400 people.  Guido has been unable to ascertain if the Taoiseach will be getting a blockbuster DVD box set as well.

Ipsos MORI : 52% Happy with Dave, 59% Unhappy with Gordon

Personal RatingsThere is no coming back from numbers like this whatever pundits say. Gordon is going to take the Labour Party down with him. The reality is that his personal negative rating is a deadweight on the party’s electoral prospects.

Ipsos MORI March Political Monitor – Conservative lead Labour by 10 points despite economic optimism rising

  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s personal ratings have increased since last month: one in three (34%) are satisfied with the way he is doing his job as Prime Minister, and three in five (59%) are dissatisfied, giving a net score (the percentage satisfied minus the percentage dissatisfied) of -25.
  • Public opinion on how David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party has shown a marked increase since February 2009: 52% are satisfied (up nine points from last month) and 30% dissatisfied (down four points), yielding a net figure of +22. This is a thirteen point ‘net’ increase (from last month’s net figure of +9) and matches the highest satisfaction rating we have ever recorded for David Cameron (in August 2008).

Labour strategists and activists know they are “going down with Brown”…

UPDATE : Labour contested the City Wards elections for the first time in history, breaking with the City’s tradition of independents. They lost every single seat.


Seen Elsewhere

Guido’s Column | Sun
Elite’s Obsession With Climate Change Alarmism | David Keighley
Charities Should Not Demonise Freud | ConHome
Double Standards of Police Leaks to Guardian | Mail
My Year in Court | Charlie Brooks
Legalise Pot | NY Times
Spooks Recruited IRA Paedo | Mirror
How Police Hack Phones and Email | Times
Labour’s Minimum Wage Pledge Not Ambitious | Alan Milburn
Lord Freud’s Comments | Ryan Bourne
Obama’s Credit Card Rejected in Restauarant | Washington Times


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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