Balls Bashes Field for Brown

Ed Balls has just given an on the record briefing to the Lobby, the subject was Frank Field’s comments re-broadcast on Today this morning:
“I think people could look at what he was saying a few weeks ago and believe at that time that his intentions were honourable. As for what he said this morning I think I leave you to draw your own conclusions from that… I think it is very unlikely… that Frank Field will support any proposals that are brought forward by the government.”

So the 10p tax debacle is all Frank Field’s fault…

Northern Rock Shareholders Offer to Buy Bankrupt Labour Party

click to enlarge

The letter from the Northern Rock Shareholders Action Group makes an offer of £100 for the Labour Party and gives “the existing Party members the opportunity to buy it back in 5 years time at the same price”. This will give the Labour Party a “period of temporary private ownership under a new management team…which may well give it the breathing space it needs to recover and protect the interests of all the stakeholders.” Well they are bankrupt and those are reasonable terms, better than the Treasury offered…

Burma : Send in the Bombers

Nick Cohen is surely right that we should send in the bombers to Burma. All the pious hand-wringing is worthless in the face of Burmese intransigence. The West has the military capability to arrange airdrops of medical supplies and food. We did something similar when the Communists tried to starve Western Berlin. Perhaps the Luftwaffe and the airforces of some of the less robust European states could take the lead for once, since they seem less willing to take risks in the Middle East.

Not an ideal solution admittedly, but it is surely better than sitting impotently around the UN security council. Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister once hired a ship to rescue boat people fleeing the Communists in Vietnam. Go on Kouchner, give the Armée de l’Air something to do…

UPDATE : Reading between the lines Dave supports sending inunilateral aid. In the comments a co-conspirator reminds us of Operation Manna, the World War II effort using Lancaster Bombers to bombard the starving Netherlands with 6850 tonnes of food during one week in May 1945.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning Views

ICM Whisper Number Puts By-Election Closer Than Thought

An ICM poll for the Mail on Sunday tomorrow will put it neck and neck in Crewe & Nantwich, with the Tories on 43% to Labour’s 39% and the LibDems trailing far behind on 16%. Believe it or not Guido has backed Labour on Betfair on the back of this, their 3.5 price seemed a bit rich given the narrow 4% difference.

What will have the mobile phone ricocheting around No. 10 is the startling finding that Labour voters would rather have Cameron than Brown as PM. Gordon is dead man ranting.

Class War By-Election

This is from an official Labour leaflet being distributed in the poorer socio-economic areas of Crewe & Nantwich. You can’t be wealthy and vote-worthy apparently. Do they realise that Gordon is a multi-millionaire?* Point 4 is real knuckle-dragging dog-whistle stuff. Surprised they didn’t stick on a picture of Gordon with a Union Jack and quote his British Jobs for British Workers speech. Desperate times require desperate tactics…

Incidentally, the Tory candidate’s farmhouse is nowhere near as grand as, say, David Miliband’s multi-million pound inherited home…


*Gordon’s assets include a pension package, paid for by you, worth over £2 million.

By-Election, What By-Election Prime Minister?

Guido can imagine Stephen Carter telling a heavily sedated Brown on Wednesday after PMQs of the plans for the weekend:-

Carter : We’re going somewhere nice for the weekend, get some sunshine. We have booked a trip to the Eden Project in the South West, Cornwall, then on to Plymouth.

Brown: [rocking in his chair] What about the by-election? Where is it?

Carter:
No by-election PM, we are going to see the flowers in Cornwall and visit an old peoples home in Plymouth. Take it easy, have a weekend break.

Gordon is on an official visit to Plymouth, which is 251 miles away from Crewe. Brown couldn’t be further away if he went to Edinburgh (242 miles), in any event he wouldn’t want to go for a weekend rest in Edinburgh now it is under Salmond’s control and Wendy is rebelling against him.

Whereas Cameron and Clegg are up in Crewe and Nantwich backing their candidates to the hilt, taking every local photo-op available, Brown’s handlers are keeping him as far out of sight as possible. No doubt fearful of the inevitable consequences of the Jonah curse of the one eyed son of the manse…

UPDATE : At the old people’s home, Gordon was introduced to Maisie Wright, 94. “Hello, I’m Gordon Brown, the prime minister” he said as he proffered his hand. “That’s nice” replied Maisie, “Wilf over there thinks he is Jesus Christ.” Old, but good.

Like Al Gore Invented the Internet,Gordon Reckons A Brit Invented the iPod

In that interview with Fern yesterday Gordon claimed a Brit invented the iPod. Which will come as news to Tony Fadell, born and educated in Michigan. He also claimed hospitals were now clean…

Called to Account

Clegg’s office just called. They will be handing the aforementioned expense claim details for Clegg over* on Wednesday. Can’t wait to find out if he has spent on bedroom furnishings…


*See what Guido did there?

Friday Caption Contest (Tamsin’s Crewe Edition)

This caption contest uses an old photo from Tamsin’s days as a Welsh AM. Alas Gordon has yet to be seen in Crewe and Nantwich putting his curse on her campaign to inherit her mother’s seat.

Could this photo have the same Jonah effect as the one Gordon had with Ken? Here’s hoping…

The Blog You Love, They Hate

Julia Hobsbawm’s Editorial Intelligence held a soiree at the RSA on Wednesday about the “Power of the Commentariat“. They had surveyed a hundred or so of the pundit class and invited them to the event to discuss their findings. The great and the good of the chatterati voted Polly Toynbee the most influential columnist and (outside Big Media) Guido the most influential blogger in Britain. Some of the great and the good didn’t like that one little bit.
What insight did these editorial titans take from that? Simon Jenkins, Suzanne Moore, Charles Clarke and Polly obsessed about the uncouth comments from the co-conspirators and CiFers. They are the people. The people you don’t meet at Hampstead dinner parties or in the village deli of your Italian villa. The people who are sick and tired of the metropolitan elite can now tell you so at the bottom of your own article. Polly clearly hates the indignity of being told she is wrong by the CiF mob where her colleagues can see it and laugh along. They really don’t like it up ’em do they?

Polly basically said Guido can’t be good because he doesn’t like politicians. Simon Jenkins reckoned Guido, Dale and ConservativeHome were too SW1-focused. Charles Clarke said we were self obssessed (nobody laughed). Suzanne Moore said Guido is a wanker in his bedroom. Daniel Finkelstein was the only one of the Commentariat to defend bloggers.

Lets deal with these in order:

  • Guido is cynical about politicians and their motives – as are most people outside the Commentariat – so what? Is that the wrong approach? Not in Guido’s judgement, forinstance apart from Matthew Parris, who of the Commentariat said Gordon Brown would be a total disaster and found out as such rapidly? From right to left he was applauded and lauded by the entire herd of metropolitan chatterers.
  • Guido does despise most politicians, unlike Polly, who showed her good judgement in boosting Gordon Brown so fervently. Now by her own admission, though even recently so full of admiration, she realises he is not up to the job.
  • Guido, Dale and Tim Montgomerie are political bloggers, so it would be odd if we did not in fact write about Westminster where they do, errrm, politics.
  • Charles Clarke’s comment is very odd because he is so full of amour propre as to be risible.
  • The humourless feminazi Suzanne Moore has said it before and she is still wrong. Guido has an office…

If you can bring yourself to listen to them whine at length, the podcast is here. Of the voices heard only Hobsbawm, Finkelstein and a chap from Microsoft “got it”, he said he thought it sounded like he had entered a room full of whigs complaining about pamphleteers. Exactly.

Where Are Clegg’s Expenses?

It is 43 days since Nick Clegg told us with regard to MP’s expenses

“…there is no earthly reason why the rest of the information should not be published immediately. Any delay will only add to the British public’s distrust in their politicians.”

It is a month since they were due to be delivered according to the time-table given to Guido by his spin-mistress Hannah Gardiner. Where are the expenses?

Hannah gave an entirely different (and somewhat irrelevant) explanation to Sky’s Cheryl Smith. If there is one thing Guido learnt from Hain’s expenses scandal, is that delay is a sign of something to hide. Guido has called Clegg’s office repeatedly asking when his expenses will be published. As Clegg told us himself, delay will only add to distrust…

+++ YouGov Whisper Number : 26% Tory Lead +++

Did Guido mention before that we told you so?


John Hutton didn’t mince his words when he gave Nick Robinson his prediction. He was right.


He made this forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. He got it wrong, it took five months.


They are going to miss three times election winning Blair when he is gone. Wait and see…
26 June 2007

UPDATE : It occurs to Guido that Michael Portillo may now have to revise his opinion. So Brillo, tonight on the This Week show, ask Polly if he still thinks, as he did only two months ago, that “Brown will win the election”.

Taxation is an Intrusion

The Speaker’s barrister yesterday told a High Court judge that forcing MPs to publish their exp­enses is a “substantial intrusion” into their private lives. Disclosing a detailed breakdown of their claims for running a second home, including addresses, might attract “the mad and the badThey might simply not want the world to know the details of how they were furnishing their home in some particular respect”, Nigel Griffin QC claimed.

The Devil puts it well on his blog:
Well, might I humbly suggest that—if this is the case—that MPs do not use taxpayers’ f***ing cash to buy their furnishings?

By all means remove the address if they are afraid of the people they supposedly represent – the important principle is that we should know what they are spending our money on. It is obvious that they really don’t like us watching them pigging out at the trough. They are clearly ashamed of their greed becoming publicly visible.

Dan Watson Fails to Board the Family Gravy Train

Sadly the trouncing Labour got in the local elections meant that Dan Watson, of Tom Watson’s West Midlands political clan, failed to get on the taxpayer’s gravy train.

Still the Watsons will just have to manage on the £300,000 or so they claim between them from the taxpayers..

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to tell Guido that Amy Watson’s candidacy saw a 25% fall in the Labour vote in Birmingham Kings Norton. Another £15,000 in expenses denied to the Watson family fortune.

Miliband is the New Heseltine

Last night Miliband was on Newsnight, unlike Gordon he does have the courage to face Paxo, and was arguing that “Green is the new red”. All very worthy and dull eco-technocratic-tosh. More interesting were his protestations about not wanting Gordon’s job.[…] Read the rest

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