Sunday, November 2, 2008

Glenrothes : Internal Minutes Show Scottish Labour in Disarray

Highlights from the leaked document (below) include:
  • Cllr Iain Chrichton “The Gordon Brown photo with Thatcher was a big mistake.”
  • Cllr Alex Rowley – election agent to Gordon Brown “The party in Fife is not geared up for modern campaigning.”

Labour Cllr Minutes

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clegg : Cut Income Tax 2p Now
Fink : Re-Fight the 2001 Election

After a bad start Guido is beginning to warm to Clegg. He is clearly one of us right-wing “punk tax cutters” that Danny Finkelstein warns his readers about. He is advocating a “socially just” income tax cut of 2p and the LibDems also back substantially raising tax thresholds as well. This would really help millions of people on lower incomes and give them a greater disposable income. We need economic growth and boosting private spending is the best way of doing it.

The Cameroons are being out-flanked here, listening too much to the Fink re-fighting the 2001 election campaign in his column every week. (Did you know he used to work in CCHQ? No? He did, really.)

Like a First World War veteran of the trenches, Fink is so traumatised by the destruction meted out by New Labour to the Hague-led Conservatives in 2001 that he suffers a policy version of post-traumatic stress syndrome. As soon as he hears the phrase “tax cut” he has flashbacks to New Labour’s old line of attack on “cutting public services”. The conditions are very different today, voters attitudes have changed, they know that tax and spend policies can’t be afforded now. Voters realise, as Clegg rightly says, that the public sector is bloated after a decade of big government policies. Voters want, poll after poll confirms, a tax relief agenda – tax cutting was once the Tory Unique Selling Point. The LibDems are the weather vanes of politics, the Tories should not allow them to take the wind out of their sails.

Ask the PM Competition Still Open

This is the current front-runner for Guido’s Ask the PM competition prize. Suspect Gordon is not going to answer Luke’s* question on the technicality that it is not strictly speaking an economics question. Still not too late to enter, details here, competition closes and the prize winner will be announced Monday midday.

*Can you email Guido your postal address Luke.

Stat-Porn October : 864,178 PageViews from 644,316 Visits by 115,367 Visitors

Traffic growth is steady Guido is pleased to say. The absolute unique visitor number for the last 12 months was some 867,210 according to Google Analytics. This is comparable in traffic terms to any of the broadsheet newspapers online and although they are very reluctant to confirm this, which is revealing in itself, greater than either the Spectator or New Statesman command online.

This trend away from old media sources is reflected across the Atlantic. During the election period Drudge has scored more traffic than the New York Times according to Hitwise data. Here is something else for the mediasaurs of the Dead Tree Press to worry about: the 3 year old Huffington Post, which is squarely parked on the Gray Lady’s liberal/leftie lawn, is now more profitable than the 157 year old NYT.

Guido is willing to bet that likewise come the British general election, he will have more readers and be more profitable than the New Statesman, even combining both their online and print editions together. Particularly as the new editor’s strategy seems to be to make the articles longer and corner the market in dullness. Over to you Mr Danson…

UPDATE : Comment Central reports 867,693 page views from 725,608 visits, the Speccie reports unique users soaring to 338,053 and 2,147,545 page impressions – the Speccie page count is inflated because you have to click “read more” all the time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Scare the Voters

FT Calls Cable “Loony”

LibDem activists adore Cable, and are incensed whenever Guido knocks him. Which is frequent because Guido has been calling him over-rated ever since he called for the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

Vince Cable says this of the recapitalisation of Barclays:

This is a scandal of mammoth proportions. Here is a bank which relies on the taxpayer to bail it out if the going gets rough but which has offered Middle Eastern investors a much better deal than the banks are offering to the British taxpayer.

The FT doesn’t mince words – Vince Cable, Loony” :

But, Vince, the taxpayer hasn’t bailed out BARC, that’s the point. No matter:

We have to ask why Barclays is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer… The answer is simple: they don’t want the British Government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.

So apparently the LibDem Treasury spokesperson would rather the UK taxpayer was taking the risk here. Odd, because not so long ago, Cable was thundering on about the unbearable burden the taxpayer was being forced to bear. More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British Government must not simply let this pass.

You heard it: only the mediocre will do. Too bad they’re otherwise engaged in the LibDem Treasury team.

Guido has said it before; Vince Cable’s real expertise is in soundbites and faux gravitas.

Brown : Bonkers or a Liar?

Gordon has just told BBC News that he can go on a spending splurge because:
“National debt is low and we’re able to borrow to do it.”

This is just delusional, he has run up the debt burden during his decade of unfunded spending, we have the biggest national deficit of all time, the books have never been so unbalanced as they are now. He fiddles the statistics, we know that, the Office of National Statistics even says so. Journalists know it. His own cabinet knows it. The Civil Service knows it. The City knows it. Foreign investors know it. This is why the pound has plunged against almost everything apart from the Icelandic Krona.

Guido Asked the PM to explain why, for example, the unfunded public sector pension debt is not government debt and hopes he can answer it without evasion. Because if he can’t he must either be (a) bonkers (b) a liar. Which is it?

Friday Caption Competition

Halloween Fright : Gordon Scared of Guido’s Question

The man Alex Salmond called the big frightened feartie from Fife has run away from a couple of tough questions. Where is your courage Gordon?
Yesterday was closing day for Gordon’s “Ask the PM” on YouTube gimmick, Guido and the Taxpayers Alliance uploaded their questions just before the close yesterday evening. Guess what: this morning Downing Street put the closing date back two weeks!
Maybe they only want Andy Marr to ask Gordon a question? Perhaps they will commission Deborah Mattinson to do a citizen’s consultation? Totally pathetic. This exposes the whole Downing Street “engaging with the people online” stuff as bullsh*t spin. This is classic New Labour “consultation” and “engagement”, they want the online equivalent of a Potemkin Village.

Still that means another two weeks for you co-conspirators to Ask Gordon about the economy. To your webcams!

Taxpayers Want Politicians to Share the Pain

The Fink had a go at punk tax cuttersyesterday despite always claiming that he is in favour of lower taxes (in the long term) – it is just that those pesky voters don’t believe politicians who promise them – so don’t promise tax cuts – is his argument. Well a new poll from ComRes suggests he is wrong and that if a credible politician made a credible promise, it would be popular. It found that:

  • 67% of people now think we are paying the price for government overspending.
  • 59% of people agree tax cuts would be a better response to the downturn than increased public spending. Only 18% disagree.
  • 68% supported an immediate and substantial cut in interest rates.
  • 67% agreed that Gordon Brown should take a 10% pay cut.
That last point is interesting, the Irish political class has taken a pay cut, why shouldn’t our rulers* follow suit? Share our pain, consider it pay for performance.

Incidentally, the ever energetic campaigner Susie Squire from the Taxpayers’ Alliance has uploaded her Ask the PM question for Gordon to answer next week:

*With the extended Christmas holiday this year, MPs will work fewer days this year than ever since universal suffrage began. Not as if we have any issues requiring politicial attention is it?

Seen Elsewhere

Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie
Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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