Tuesday, September 16, 2008

UPDATED : Who are the "Handful"?

N.B. This article was first published on the morning of Saturday, 13 September 2008, it is being updated and re-dated on a rolling basis as more names come out.

Guido has yet to see a list of the “handful” of MPs who want a leadership election. So with the help of you co-conspirators shall we compile the list? Guido will start it off:

Openly
Janet Anderson
Stephen Byers
David Cairns
Charles Clarke
Jim Dowd
Kate Hoey
Frank Field
Barry Gardiner
Ian Gibson
Mike Hall
George Howarth
Peter Kilfoyle
Fiona Mactaggart
Siobhain McDonagh
John McDonnell
Alan Milburn
Greg Pope
Gordon Prentice
Joan Ryan
Graham Stringer
Gisela Stuart

Coded
Karen Buck
Jon Cruddas
Patricia Hewitt
Kelvin Hopkins
Eric Joyce
Sally Keeble
Stephen Ladyman
Ivan Lewis
Martin Linton
Shona McIsaac
Denis MacShane
David Miliband
Margaret Moran
John Reid
Tom Levitt
Paddy Tipping

Add names and references in the comments.

UPDATE : Other likely suspects are Jeremy Corbyn, Anne Cryer, Ruth Kelly, Michael Meacher, Tessa Jowell.

UPDATE 20.30 13/9 : This represents the best information emailed in and from the news wires. Cruddas has arguably given an ambiguous steer. No doubt some left-wingers have been missed. The list has been updated throughout the day. Quite a few handfuls at the latest count. Michael White speculates that the numbers could be as many as sixty.

Rat Race Continues

The rats are bailing out of the Downing Street ship fast and furious nowadays. Last week Paul Sinclair jumped, this week it is the turn of Jo Dipple.

The Prime Mentalist’s strategic communications adviser is a former Daily Mirror journalist. She is leaving to become a lobbyist. No news on Stephen Carter’s exit, rumours still circulate in Labour circles that Maguire could succeed him. C’mon Kevin, save Gordon!

Somebody More Senior You Have Never Heard of Resigned

Nick Robinson, 10:05 GMT, 11:05 UK, Tuesday, 16 September 2008:

A source close to the Scottish Secretary Des Browne has insisted that David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, has “no intention of resigning”.

4 hours is a long time in politics…

UPDATE : Cairn’s resignation letter.

NEC : Comrades, We Are All United Behind Our Glorious Leader

It is like some Stalinist missive from the politburo:

Press release

Tuesday 16 September 2008

For immediate use

Internal procedural debates will not divert the Labour Party from building a fairer Britain – NEC

The Labour Party National Executive Committee today agreed the following statement.

Dianne Hayter, Chair of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and speaking on their behalf, said:

“The Labour Party National Executive Committee is in agreement that internal procedural debates will not divert the Labour Party from our mission of building a fairer Britain and helping people through these challenging times.

“The NEC fully endorses the view of the Labour Party’s General Secretary and the party’s independent legal advisors. A Leadership election when in Government can only be held if requested by a majority of party conference on a card vote, only Labour MPs can trigger the process and the NEC is confident that most MPs know their responsibilities under the rules.

“The Labour Party has followed this procedure for 11 years, as long as we have been in government under these present rules, and it has not required the issue of nomination forms at any time.

“The NEC has a responsibility to ensure the party follows these long-standing procedures and we will do so. The Labour Party will not waver from its historic responsibilities to our country and to those in greatest need.”

That last line is classic pseudo-Marxist phraseology isn’t it?

To the Sceptics of the Jonah Brown Curse

Some dare to question the accursed power of the one eyed son of the manse. When Guido pointed out that Lehman’s HQ was doomed from the moment Gordon performed the opening ceremony some questioned if these events were really related. Take note of this morning’s Times City Diary:
…the writing was on the wall for Lehmans after they moved to Docklands and got Gordon Brown, whose presence at any sporting event seems to guarantee a home team defeat, to open the new building for them. He performed the same function at the new Gresham Street HQ of Dresdner Kleinwort. They went under a few weeks ago.

As if further proof were needed.

The Over-Rated Vince Cable

Vince Cable is much over-rated, he sounds plausible, reasonable even, but in reality he talks in populist platitudes. He was for the nationalisation of Northern Rock before he was against it. He was for tax hikes before he was for tax cuts. The LibDems now say they are looking for £20 billion in spending cuts, yet they also are telling party activists they are not going to cut the overall burden of taxes, merely shift the burden on to the rich. How are they going to simultaneously boost public sector housing by buying up empty and unsold private sector capacity?

It doesn’t add up. Ask them where the spending cuts are going to come from and they mention ID cards and getting rid of BERR. – nowhere near the amount required. LibDem activists think Cable is some kid of economic seer, “he warned about debt” – so did every orthodox economist, “he told them to nationalise Northern Rock” and the taxpayers will have to pay the high price for that.

His latest populist policy wheeze is to force every state bureaucrat on over £100,000 to re-apply for their job and/or take a pay cut. As much as Guido hates public sector profligacy this gimmick is not the way to tackle it, the legal difficulties are legion (they have contracts). The practical difficulties are so immense it is bordering on crackpot. The LibDem conference loved it…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gisela Stuart Slams Brown "Failed to Renew… With Fresh Ideas"

Writing in the Labour conference edition of the House Magazine Gisela says
When Mr Brown came to power, Labour MPs were humming “Things Can Only Get Better”, the theme song used for the party’s triumphant election campaign in 1997… Today it’s more likely to mean ‘surely it can’t get much worse’.

Gisela also said: “It became clear that not only had we failed to renew ourselves with fresh ideas”.

Gisela was at one time close to Jack Straw (pictured with him here). She is now more her own woman…

Flashback: Gordon Opening Lehman’s HQ

LONDON, April 5, 2004 – The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today officially opened Lehman Brothers’ new European headquarters building at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London.
Commenting on the event, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the contribution you and your company make to the prosperity of Britain. During its one hundred and fifty year history, Lehman Brothers has always been an innovator, financing new ideas and inventions before many others even began to realise their potential. And it is part of the greatness not just of Lehman Brothers but of the City of London, that as the world economy has opened up, you have succeeded not by sheltering your share of a small protected national market but always by striving for a greater and greater share of the growing global market.”

Doomed from that day.

Exclusive : Gardiner – "Gordon Didn’t Sack me, I Quit"

Gardiner’s office has just contacted Guido with this statement:

Downing Street are quite wrong to state that I have been sacked by the Prime Minister as his Special Envoy for Forestry.

Unfortunately, Downing Street do not seem to have read my email of 10.24 a.m. on Saturday 13th September which clearly stated that I had tendered my resignation with immediate effect as the Prime Minister’s Envoy for Forestry and that the Prime Minister should be informed of my decision.

I can also confirm that I informed Hilary Benn of this action in a telephone conversation that took place on the afternoon of Sunday 14th September.

Barry Gardiner
Member of Parliament for Brent North

Downing Street can’t even get a sacking right…

Barry Gardiner Axed as Forestry Envoy

Barry Gardiner has been axed as the government’s special envoy for forestry after accusing Brown this weekend of “vacillation, loss of international credibility and timorous political manoeuvres that the public cannot understand”. How will the trees cope?

The former minister twisted the knife saying “The tragedy for those of us who nominated the prime minister is that since achieving power he appears to have forgotten what it was he once wanted to do with it.” Clearly the only bit of dead wood the former Forestry Envoy is interested is Gordon…


Seen Elsewhere

Don’t Underestimate Philip Hammond | Nick Wood
Labour Council Collaborates With Pro-Hamas Group | Breitbart
Qatar Sugar-Daddies of Islamist Financing | Left Foot Forward
Guido’s Column | Sun
Miliband Drawing Attention to His Mistakes is Madness | Lord Bell
Another Renewable Myth Goes Up in Smoke | Matt Ridley
Ed’s Problem is His Policies | Trevor Kavanagh
Ed’s Image is All He Has Going For Him | Boris
Labour a Risk to the Economy and Jobs Growth | Leo McKinstry
UKIP Will Make Miliband PM | Tele
Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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