Clegg : I’m No Leftie

Part of the reason for the current vitriol from the Labour Party towards the LibDems is that they took it for granted that the LibDems were a party of the left. As patronising as it was wrong.

On election night Guido was on ITN with Will Straw, off screen when it became clear there would be no overall majority, we argued for most of the night about what might happen. Straw basically thought Guido was bonkers to believe that a Liberal – Conservative Change Coalition was not only desirable, but that it was really possible. Will could not conceive of it happening, the subsequent widespread shock on the left when it did happen perhaps explains why the Labour Party is so scornful of the LibDems.

Guido always suspected the ex-Cambridge University Conservative Association member and son of a merchant banker might not be so keen on making common cause with Ed Balls and Gordon Brown. The polls might not support this view today, but that collective mis-judgement by Labour may cost them their second party status in the end.

Saturday Seven Up

7upPapal stories were the most popular of the week, and also the most divisive, abuse and praise was heaped on Guido, much of the praise in Latin. All contributed to a mere 68,807 readers viewing 307,415 pages over the last seven days. Here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you might have missed:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Top 10 Most Popular Fringe Events at LibDem Conference

Courtesy of the FringeList.com service, based on users who have registered to receive free SMS text message reminders to attend events, the top 10 most popular events on the fringe are in order:

  1. Yes to reform! Winning the battle
  2. Blog Of The Year Awards
  3. Lessons for future campaigning from the 2010 election
  4. LibDemVoice Fringe
  5. Coalition, Cuts and Conservatives: an attractive agenda for the Lib Dems?
  6. Cable on cuts: the economics of ‘progressive austerity’
  7. Entering the Coalition: our duty or our demise?
  8. The Future of Higher Education Funding
  9. Is the Lib-Lab coalition gone forever?
  10. The Guardian Debate

Top 50 LibDem fringe events according to registrations can be found by clicking on libdem.fringelist.com/popular. You can even find out which events Guido will be attending here.

Which way is Liverpool?

Leaderless Labour and Tea Parties Prosper at Polls

Guido is intrigued at how the U.S. Tea Party and the Labour Party can prosper at the polls without a leader. Arguably the lack of a Labour leader for the coalition to attack makes them less vunerable to the likely onslaught that is to come – the next leader of the Labour party will have his record in government thrown in his face – hard.

The Tea Party in the U.S. is consciously leaderless, they talk about being a “Starfish organisation”, drawing on some of the ideas in the bestselling book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.

Some on the left see the Tea Party as a right-wing version of MoveOn.Org, the Soros-funded grassroots mobilisation campaign to support left-wing Democrats. Having met a few Tea Partiers, Guido thinks they are more about changing the political culture back from “Republicrat tax and spend”, to the limited government imagined by the founding fathers of the U.S. constitution. Jonathan Rauch has filmed this snippet on the organisational structure for the National Journal:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rauch has done a serious investigation into the Tea Party that goes beyond the hysteria (“they’re rednecks!”) and looks at how they organise – the Monday night conference calls, the Ning online social network and the federated sister organisations. The Tea Partiers have very quickly put the fear of voters into the Republican Party.

Could it happen here? If the Coalition fails on the economy, if the VAT hike hits the consumer hard, the economy double dips, inflation and middle-class unemployment rises, you never know.  The Coalition is offering no prospect of tax cuts, people may not be willing to accept a permanently high-tax culture…

Friday Caption Competition (PoJo Edition)

BBC Strikers Plan to Disrupt Tory Coverage

Frankly if the BBC unions want to strike during the Conservative Party conference does it matter? ITN and Sky will still be there.

Gaby Hinsliff asks why Tories who complain about left-wing bias should be bothered. They shouldn’t. The BBC bosses will be embarrassed not to have covered the governing party’s conference, they shouldn’t. They should hold tough against the unions no matter what blackmail if they want to impress the government.

Hardly anyone watches the coverage anyway.

UPDATE : Will the BBC go on strike? Smarkets punters make the probabilities Yes 65% / No 46.

Prezza Claims Police Violated His Human Rights

John Prescott has launched a claim for judicial review of the police on the grounds that they violated his human rights. If you think he is doing his usual grandstanding you are right. The police didn’t violate his human rights under Article 8 as he claims, it is more likely the convicted phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire violated his human rights under Article 8 of the European Convention:

ARTICLE 8

  • Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
  • There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The purpose of his action is to put political pressure on the police to re-open the investigation into Coulson, not protect his human rights.

UPDATE : Punters give Coulson only a 17% chance of going. Might be worth a buy at that cheap price…

UPDATE II : M’learned friends in the comments point out that Mulcaire himself couldn’t be prosecuted under that law because he isn’t a public authority.

Religious Reporting Guardian Style

Guido may have suggested yesterday that the Guardian editorial team was full of ill-informed atheist bigots, lacking in respect for alternative belief systems as well as being intolerant of those who have faith and believe in God. Obviously this is entirely refuted by the fact that they have a religious affairs correspondent.

As can be seen, Riazat Butt is clearly knowledgable and takes her job seriously…

How to Choose Between the Milibands

Punters still make David Miliband the favourite to win, despite increasingly boisterous noises from little brother Ed. Guido’s source in the Mili-D camp reckons they’re just about there…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Lot 1001: Jonah Brown, Iron Chancellor Commemorative Plaque

The metal plaque commemorating the opening of the Canary Wharf offices by Gordon Brown in April 2004 is up for auction at Christies at the end of this month. Guido will be bidding for this, tangible evidence, that the accursed […]

+ READ MORE +

Windswept Tom Harris Applies for Shadow Cabinet

If Chris Bryant was somewhat over-detailed in his resume – including every boy scout badge was hardly necessary, Tom Harris is going to the other extreme, or, as he puts it “cutting to the chase”. He looks manly, as […]

+ READ MORE +

The Media’s Crucifixion of the Pope is Atheist Bigotry

Following the media right now you get the impression that Iain Paisley has nothing on the BBC-Guardian-C4-News axis of metropolitan secularism. Paisley would on occasion rant against the “Papal anti-Christ”, but the metropolitan media have in recent weeks created a […]

+ READ MORE +



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