Harman Was Backed by the Sith

Guido has only just found out that Harman was advised by Deborah Mattinson, the high-priestess of the Sith, Gordon’s personal pollster, Smith Institute board member and recipient of many juicy government contracts though her firm OLR.
It was her, Guido believes, that commissioned the YouGov poll showing that Harman had much needed appeal in the South East. That poll result featured heavily in Harman’s propaganda…

Oh F**K Its Harman

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

From the Guardian : Rich Johnston, the British cartoonist who works for the Guido Fawkes political blog, has been asked by US comic publishers IDW to create a box of bubble gum cards on the life and times of George W Bush, entitled Weapons of Mass Distraction. “Being paid to write up the various scandals of Bush and co – it was like taking candy from a baby,” Johnston says.

Harman – Ouch

That was expensive. No, Guido didn’t lay it off. Mike Smithson will be chuffed.

Bet she isn’t Deputy-PM, mind you the way Guido’s bets are going…


UPDATE : Not DPM, Guido got that right at least. Worse reporting from the Telegraph and Sky. It was also a pretty bad call some time back from YouGov’s poll of the membership for the Times as well.

UPDATE II : Cruddas transfers from Amicus and the TGWU swung it for Harman. Johnson won in the affilates and MPs sections and still lost.

Will Tony Be the First Catholic PM?

It would cause this Catholic freedom fighter immense amusement if today Tony became Britain’s first Roman Catholic Prime Minister. Knowing the vanity of Blair it is not impossible that he would choose to join the Catholic communion by the hand of His Holiness.

At this stage he will have no further hand in Anglican Bishopric appointments and any possible unease caused in Orange circles in Northern Ireland now irrelevant, it would be a good time to formalise his position.

An added bonus being he could ask the Pope there and then for absolution for his sins…

UPDATE : The Observer’s John Hooper in Vatican City reports a Vatican source saying Blair used his last official foreign engagement before leaving office to tell the Pope he wanted to become a Roman Catholic.

“But, in talks lasting more than half an hour, the outgoing Prime Minister was left in no doubt that the Pope took a dim view of his record in office. A statement issued afterwards by the Vatican said there had been a ‘frank exchange of views’. Vatican sources said the Pope remained unmoved in his view that Blair had been wrong over Iraq. To an even greater extent than his predecessor, Benedict feels that Catholic politicians cannot separate their public lives from their private.”

Sources Deny Kennedy Cabinet Rumour

Sources close to Charles Kennedy deny rumours that he has taken up a position in a government drinks cabinet.

Tamzin Warned About Basher

In her last Speccie diary she predicted that Basher’s office would become a warzone with wounded interns and injured researchers. Tamzin blogs the latest casualty report.

What Alivia Did Next…

Co-conspirators Clean Up on Guido Tip

Yesterday afternoon Guido tipped Alan Johnson to win and advised co-conspirators to get down to the bookies quick. By this morning the odds collapsed, Benn has gone from 3/1 to 11/1, Alan Johnson is so much the hot favourite that you’ll have to risk £4 to win less than a pound. Co-conspirators cleaned up. Good luck at Ascot, where Guido would rather watch the ladies than the horses…

Alan Johnson Will Win By Over 5%

Guido is calling it for Johnson and and has backed him accordingly. He will, after the eliminations, win by a margin in excess of 5% according to number crunching from rival campaigns.

Looking over at LabourHome it is noticeable that the only online campaign adverts came from Alan Johnson – the tedious 8 part Benn video interview saga probably lost them votes.

Whereas the Tory leadership campaign “made” ConservativeHome, LabourHome didn’t really capitalise on the campaign.

Still a chance to get a 50% return on your money in four days if you are quick on Betfair

Blair Praises Corruption Suspect Sleazy Levy

The insouciance of Lord Levy knows no bounds. Last night at his £6,000 leaving party, he joked about honours peddling. He should have learnt his lesson from the last time he went to a fancy dress party in a gangster outfit as “Honours Levy”. The police arrested him the following week after reports in the press of his chutzpah.

In his speech he praised two former FCO Permanent Secretaries – John Kerr and Michael Jay – for their help. He cracked a gag congratulating them on their peerages, saying with a smile: “Nothing to do with me.”

Tony told the Lancaster House party goers “I would like to thank him for everything he has done for our country.” Guido suspects that the next place Tony speaks about Sleazy Levy in public will be at the Old Bailey.

Dave in Darkest Tooting, Searching for Effective Rhetoric

The set for the Tooting speech made Dave look like he was in a jungle rather than sarf London. Spinmeisters and image-makers spend hours thinking about these things, so it is not accidental. What was their calculation here?

Dave was wearing his “true blue” dark tie and dark suit combination, designed to camouflage him as a traditional Tory in the foliage. “Not abandoning Conservative principles, but applying them in new ways to new challenges” a word formulation very much like Prezza’s “traditional values in a modern setting”. Prezza’s phrase was designed to reassure the Labour base and came to the fore in 1998 when the Labour party at large began to really worry about the direction of New Labour policy. Yesterday was designed to reassure the Tory base about the substance of Cameron’s New Direction – “social responsibility, not state control”. It seems to have played well with the intended audience – Tories. The underlying ideological dimensions of Project Cameron are becoming clearer and they are beginning to realise that his instincts are their instincts.

“Our society – Your life” is a curt slogan, it sounds a bit like a financial services advertising strap line, it is as meaningful as “New Labour, New Britain”. No doubt the thinking was that it is softly more individualistic and connected than Labour’s “party and state” slogan.

Guido feels sometimes that Tory policy and presentation is designed exclusively to win back upper-middle class Waitrose shoppers, when it needs to reach out to aspirational strivers as well. The former voted LibDem, the latter voted for New Labour, winning them back requires them to feel that the party will help them. Making the Notting Hill Waitrose shopper comfortable with voting Tory has been achieved. Now he needs to convince the lower-middle class Ikea shopper from Nottingham it is in their interest to vote for him…

The Revolution Starts in Tooting!

In Samaj Hall on Tooting High Street at this very moment, Cameron, Osborne and Maude are launching the Progressive Conservativism agenda.

“Power to the people!” was the slogan of the Tooting Popular Front. Dave is recycling it today.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

“Gordon Brown looks like a character out of the Bash Street Kids who steals everyone’s pies. Nobody likes him and no one voted for him. We need an election.”

Laurence Llewelyn Bowen in the Observer.

Stand Up, Speak Up Progressives!

The Tories are taking their Policy Review recommendations on the road around the country because Dave says
“I want us to end the age of top-down, ‘we know best’ politics. Politics should be bottom-up and open – driven by the passions and priorities of the public. Many hundreds of experts have worked on our Policy Review, and I’m hugely grateful to them for the time and dedication they have brought to the task. But no experts have a monopoly on good ideas, and I want us to be the party that harnesses the ideas and enthusiasm of everyone in this country, not just the political elite.”

This will be fun. When CCHQ types meet the great unwashed and even their own members they are going to be in for a shock. There is also going to be “online discussions hosted at conservatives.com and moderated by the Policy Review team.” Moderated? As in censored? That seems a bit “top-down, shut-up, we know best” doesn’t it?

Dave is really going on-the-road to sell his policy shifts to the party. Team Cameron is positioning itself well to the left of Tory activists who are sick of hearing about windmill-powered huskie sleds and the like. Only Redwood’s recommendations on economic competitiveness are likely to provide red meat for those wanting to hear the old credo rather than tree hugging and fluffy bunny policies. The effort to reach out to the party faithful will have the slogan “Stand Up, Speak Up”. In the Observer this morning Dave is claiming to be a “progressive”. The activists will love that…

Benn Flops at Hustings

Jon Cruddas has accused deputy leadership rival Hazel Blears of colluding with the Tories by characterising his political vision as a “lurch to the left”nice to see the gloves coming off. Yesterday Amnesty polled attendees at a Deputy leader wannabee hustings they had organised before and after the debate:
After hearing them speak and answer questions opinion swung strongly, Cruddas once again impressed the crowd, Harman did surprisingly well.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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