Last night Cameron spoke at a Gay Pride fundraiser, though he won’t be on the march itself.
Sarah Brown will be marching, though apparently her husband won’t be mincing along.
Doh! Dave’s jibe was spot on, today’s feeble performance at PMQs showed that Mandy’s touring of the studios this morning, instead of coaching the Prime Mentalist, resulted in a lamentable performance even by Gordon’s low standards. Who did the coaching? Ed Balls?
Courtesy : Crown Blog
Last night’s panel debate on the internet and democracy was as expected a bit of a bunfight, Guido got to deliver about half his speech (intended full text here). Sir Michael interrupted as soon as Guido gave him some stick (no one had interrupted him). Nick was more reasonable in BBCish way, he bemoaned his blog’s comments – something we have in common. He was a bit sarky, characterising Guido as a self-absorbed, overgrown student political hack, which was odd given we first met and clashed when he was the dripping wet chairman of the Young Conservatives in the 80s. He did try to shift the debate back to the big picture.
Grant Shapps was all starry eyed about the possibilities of the internet. Peter Kellner didn’t like direct democracy. Questions from the floor complained that we were all in broadcast mode not listening mode. When the debate organisers (Delib) listened and read out some of the abusive #idebate Twitterings from the large screen feed, it kind of confirmed the panel’s prejudices against listening to crowd sources. All in all Guido enjoyed himself, hopefully it was entertaining if not that informative for those there.
Guido had to dash, to pick up an alternative award, bumping into a very hurt Lembit at the ceremony. Had a few pints with the entertaining Stephen Pound, stopping to chat at the bar briefly with the chief whip, Nick Brown, who claims he enjoys avidly reading this blog. Hmmm…
Tonight in the House of Parliament Grand Committee room Guido will be re-united with Nick Robinson and Michael White discussing the subject of ‘the internet: saviour or corruptor of democracy?’
It is being hosted by Danny Alexander MP, the rest of the panel iincludes Peter Kellner (YouGov), Grant Shapps MP (Shadow Minister for Housing). The organisers say get there early if you want to get in…
Follow the debate (it’s running from 6.30pm today) and send in your questions and comments to the panel – before or during the debate using the Twitter hash tag #idebate.
Ed Balls, denuded of Damian McBride, has to call journalists himself now to make threats. Blogging Speccie hack Fraser Nelson got the full hairdryer treatment from blinky: “take that post down now… You should not call me a liar…” Balls told him if he kept the blog post up, it will “expose” the sort of publication that the Spectator is and its “political” bias. “So you will take the post down?” Balls told a laughing Fraser. The heat must be getting to Blinky.
The UK economy contracted an horrific 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009, its biggest quarterly decline in 51 years, according to the latest ONS data released today. This comes on top of the OECD saying we can expect a severe recession to come. Didn’t brown and Darling tell us last year that the economy would be on the up by this July? Still a day to go…
Lord Rennard resigned from his job as LibDem CEO last month, he claimed it was for “health reasons”, and that is a fiction that Clegg and the LibDem establishment are happy to maintain. He was scheduled to leave Cowley Street in September, however Chris Fox has already been appointed as his successor and is now in place in Cowley Street. Rennard is therefore somewhat superfluous in Westminster.
Nick Clegg confirmed last week that Chris Rennard would be running the North Norwich campaign, it is likely to be the last campaign Rennard runs. It is a little awkward given that the reason for this by-election on July 23 is that Ian Gibson, the sitting Labour MP, stood down over his expense claims. Rennard himself is mired in his own expense claim difficulties over his “second home” two miles from Cowley Street. He has now been reported to the House of Lords Privileges committee and asked to explain how and why he has claimed over £40,000 in expenses for what is in reality his main residence which he owned before even becoming peer.
He has now taken the step of calling in lawyers, Goodman Derrick, to advise him…