Blair Still a Hero, To Some

Tony is off to Kosovo today to receive the Golden Medal of Freedom. He will meet leaders and address their Assembly. No expense is being spared for their hero’s welcome, although he won’t be offered honorary tribal membership as he was in Sierra Leone. While unwanted and still hated by swathes of his own country, the Blair magic is undiminished on the international stage.

‘Tonibler’ is a popular name for young Kosovans, and he has streets named after him. Guido is racking his brains as to where in the world his successor would receive anything other than polite applause…

UPDATE: While Blair might be popular, a Kosovan co-conspirator notes that he has a long way to go to beat Clinton as a local hero:

Blair doesn’t even have his own scrapyard in Pristina named after him yet.

Dave Dodges Humiliation

Bob Crowe has been mouthing off for the last couple of days at the prospect of the Prime Minister addressing the TUC conference in the autumn. He is whipping up anger about the invitation and claims he will lead a walk out over the axe swinging public sector cuts. He is determined to humiliate Dave by having him speak to an empty hall. Imagine the TV footage…

Now Dave is back-tracking and Downing Street are making it be known he almost certainly won’t be addressing the baying mob – instead he is thinking of sending a braver replacement – Nick won’t mind a few boos for the greater-good, right?

Ed Bankrolled By His Girlfriend’s Parents

Ed Miliband is struggling to raise the cash compared to his brother’s formidable flesh-pressing and begging efforts. Without those Blairite purse-string holders behind you, every donation counts. So £2,500 in cash would be greatly appreciated. Two payments of exactly the same amount stand out though. They must be very loyal supporters to provide a third of the campaign costs so far:

And who are these generous Thorntons? Well Ed’s girlfriend Justine’s Mum and Dad of course…

The Plot Thickens…

Ed Balls has been on the phone to a friendly ear to unequivocally deny he was behind the Burnham briefing Guido mentioned earlier:

There is no truth in these allegations, in these smears about me or my supporters. It is complete nonsense. Andy and I get on very well and no one from my team was involved in these briefings. Andy Burnham and I spoke this morning and we both agreed that any suggestion of him pulling is out rubbish. We both agreed that no one surrounding me has made this allegation. And both of us think there is mischief being made — but it’s not coming from my team or his team. It’s coming from a third party.

But then he would say that wouldn’t he, or is a Miliband being clever?

Miliband’s Millionaires

For all the hustings and the hype, what really makes leadership campaigns successful is the hard cash. And no surprise that favourite David Miliband has raised nearly five times that of his closest financial rival Ed Balls.

  • David Miliband -£185,000
  • Ed Balls – £28,000
  • Ed Miliband – £15,000

Abbot and Burnham haven’t even raised enough to need declaring yet. Ouch.

So where is Miliband’s money coming from? He has declared that there are three Lords pulling his strings. Blair’s old chum Lord Sainsbury gave £20,000, Lord Alli used a proxy company to give £50,000 and Lord Puttnam threw in a cheeky £10,000. The novelist Ken Follett gave Balls the bulk of his money. Cha-ching.

Prezza “Sidelined” Into the Lords

So it’s Baron Prezza of Kingston-on-Hull. And more importantly Lady Prescott too. A quiet and subdued Prescott has just taken his oath. The millionaire didn’t look very happy during the whole process.

Must have been all that “flummery”…

Temper, Temper Tom

This is from last night, but Guido was waiting for decent-quality footage to appear online of his old mucker Tom Watson losing it in the Commons and managing to break pretty much all established Parliamentary protocol in one sentence. It’s fair to say he doesn’t like Michael Gove very much:

Note the apology was only out of “deference” to Bercow, who for obvious reasons wouldn’t like the term pip-squeak.

EU Fines Every British Man, Woman and Child €3

The EU takes taxes from British taxpayers without any democratic legitimacy and then redistributes them around Europe, much of it ends up back in Britain as regional grants for infrastructure projects.

Out of gratitude to this complex laundering system, these infrastructure projects have to fly the European flag and paste their branding across signage. On top of the £6 billion the UK is already sending to Brussels this year, a further fine of €200 million has been levied for failure to adhere to these rules. Here’s an idea, why not just keep the money here in the first place?

Burnham Blames Balls for Briefing

Andy Burnham reportedly “nearly fell out of his chair” when he read in the papers that he was considering pulling out of the Labour leadership race to avoid the embarrassment of coming last. Guido “nearly fell out of his chair”[…]

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Lobby’s Cosy Downing Street Drinks with Dave

With an unusually early start at a gentlemanly 5.30, Dave is getting ready to meet and greet the darlings of the Lobby for a summer drinks party tonight for the first time as Prime Minister. On the charm offensive with […]

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Labour General Secretary Wannabe Advising Cameron

Eyebrows were raised when Brown-era hire Mark Flanagan was not “thank-you-and-goodbyed” out of the Downing Street media team after the election. Instead he was forced upstairs to a strategy role when the Coalition arrived. As a civil servant Flanagan is […]

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Balls Scores a Hit

Balls versus Gove is a battle the former won’t let go. He has managed to force an apology out of Gove for the glaring cock-up of publishing two different lists of which schools would not be getting money promised to […]

+ READ MORE +



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