Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Did Blears Leak Jacqui’s Exit to Destabilise Gordon?

A lesson Guido learnt the hard way in his younger days was “never antagonise a redhead”.   Could Gordon be about to learn the same lesson?

It has been bothering Guido that he couldn’t see the logic for anyone leaking Jacqui’s exit plans. Certainly doesn’t make sense for Brown central to leak it (contrary to LabourList’s claim).  Guido was putting the leak in the cock-up rather than the conspiracy category.  However the Blears theory makes some sense – Blears feels aggrieved that she got roughed up by Brown over expenses in a way that Darling (until yesterday) Hoon and Purnell did not.   She also feels imperilled by the reshuffle and of course she isn’t really a fan of Gordon.  By destabilising Gordon and revealing ahead of the re-shuffle that a woman is already leaving cabinet she shores up her own position.  She also scores some brownie points for the future by laying some useful ground-work for Alan Johnson…

Country Before Party

alan-johnsonThere comes a point when party interest and national interest conflict.  Inside Tory HQ there are many praying that Gordon Brown survives next week and that Alan Johnson does not find the courage to oust Brown.  They know that at the General Election the scale of the Tory victory will be greater if they face Gordon Brown, a discredited Prime Minister, than if they faced a new Prime Minister enjoying a honeymoon.   That is putting their party interest before the national interest.

Around the cabinet table sit the only people who can rid the country of a Prime Minister completely incapable of getting us out of the economic mess we are in.  Brown’s solution to a debt crisis is more government debt, his dividing lines are about politics, not economic imperatives in the national interest.  The expenses crisis has obscured headlines about the dire state of the national finances, but Britain is in a really perilous state.  The members of the cabinet who prefer to cling onto their party’s grip on government (and their perks) for another year by keeping Gordon Brown in place and delaying the inevitable, need to examine their consciences.  Put the national interest before party interest, the country is crying out for change.

Polls show that Labour Party activists and voters have no confidence in Gordon Brown, dispatching him sooner rather than later might actually improve the standing of the Labour Party.  There would of course need to be a General Election after Gordon went.  That is what the public want, that would be in the national interest, it might even be in the best interests of the Labour Party…

Stat Porn for May

Almost forgot: 2,465,072 page views from 1,310,859 visits by 231,416 visitors plus an additional 925,543 views via feed readers. Many thanks to advertisers and readers.

These figures don’t include page views from third-party distribution platforms. The blog can be accessed in dealing rooms via the Bloomberg terminal, in newsrooms via Lexis-Nexis and is now available to download via subscription onto the new Amazon Kindle, with iPhone and Blackberry friendlier versions of  the blog coming soon. For good measure the blog is digitally archived by the British Library for posterity.  Guido aims to be ubiquitous and available forever…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

+++ Tom Watson Resigning, Guido Will Miss Him +++

Watson

So many rats are leaving the government ship it is in danger of toppling over.  Tom Watson, the Minister for Mudslinging*, who was named in the one of the Smeargate emails from McBride to Draper, will be particularly missed.  He is cherished by strategists at CCHQ.  If it wasn’t for him the Labour Party would not have swapped a triple-election winning political genius for a voter repelling, election avoiding, malevolent weirdo.  They should, if they could find enough scrap brass, put a statue of him outside the entrance to Tory HQ on Millbank.  Watson also saw off Stephen Carter, someone brought in from outside the Brown circle to bring a wider media savvy perspective, in doing so he probably killed the last hope of sanity in the Downing Street bunker.  Watson of course organised the coup which failed but fatally undermined Blair.  It is to Tom Watson who more thinking Tories toast for the tactical and strategic disasters that have plagued the Brown premiership.  On a personal note, Guido would like to pay tribute to Tom for his antics and attempts to struggle unsuccessfully against the Guidoisation of politics.  Watson will now have more time with his family and Play-Station, no doubt his blog will also improve with him out of government…

*Favourite read he says was Mudslingers: The Twenty-five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time

Who Leaked Jacqui’s Exit?

Jacqui

Sky News got the scoop, but who leaked it first and why?  Brown central arguably would rather have not have this come out until the weekend.  Home Office sources were also very much caught wrong-footed.  Are we just at the rolling cock-up stage of government?  It is hard to see who on the government side benefits from leaking this now apart from a deliberate Machiavellian internal saboteur.  Someone with skills in the dark arts of spin who might have decided it is time, for the sake of the survival of his beloved New Labour, to bring down the  curtain on Gordon Brown.   Jacqui exiting in a messy way puts the reshuffle speculation front and centre and adds to the sense of Brown’s government on the verge of collapse on the very eve of an election.  It takes a crisis to precipitate a solution.

Was it the same person who leaked the idea that Balls could go to No 11?

+++ David Chaytor to Stand Down ++++++ Patrica Hewitt Retiring from Politics ++++++ Beverley Hughes Going +++

Hewitt is retiring to spend more time with her family and health company directorships. Chaytor is going to spend more time in Court over his phantom mortgage claims…

UPDATE 11.01 : Beverley Hughes is going over “family circumstances”. Three MPs today.  Not bad.

MEPs Vote Themselves Lower Taxes Then Deny It

Euro Vote 09A TaxPayers’ Alliance/ComRes poll (report) asked 101 MEPs and 1020 members of the British public their opinions.  One of the statements respondents were asked to agree or disagree with was a bit of a trap for those on the Brussels gravy-train

MEPs should pay a lower rate of income tax than the people they represent;

The public were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea that MEPs should enjoy lower taxes than their constituents, by 82% to 15%.  10% of MEPs were openly in favour of the proposition of lower taxes for themselves, whilst 75% were publicly opposed.  Not so bad you think, they on the whole accept that all should be equal before the law.

Except MEPs have already voted for themselves a special tax rate. They say one thing to the public but vote in the opposite direction in the EU Parliament itself.

UPDATE : The BBC also polled the British public, finding that most people think most MPs are corrupt and when asked whether they trusted MPs to tell the truth, 20% said they did and 76% said they did not.  Which shows the truth that of the saying “you can fool some 20% of the people all the time”….

bbc_poll

62% said they believed MPs put their own self-interest ahead of the country and their constituents. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time…

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brown Avoids Referring to Darling in the Future Tense

banzai_smallBrown has just twice refused a Sky News interviewers invitation to refer to Alastair Darling’s status in the future tense. Benedict Brogan senses the ground beneath Darling’s feet turning to quicksand.  Is this it, Balls and Brown hunkering down in the bunker for the last stand of the remaining members of Team GB?

Will Darling be this bunker’s Claus Von Stauffenberg?  He appears to be being set-up to be the fall guy for Brown over the economy.

+++ Darling Repaying Expenses Over-Claim +++

Is Labour Sincerely Sorry?Labour Fakes ‘Personal’ Letters of Apology

The SNP have got hold of the formulaic HQ-drafted fake apologies being sent out by Labour’s MPs, MEPs and local councillors.

The suggested letter to be sent by MPs (see full letter here) begins

Dear [Insert Name]

I thought twice about sending this letter because I know how rightly angry people are with MPs. I suspect that you are fed up to the back teeth as day after day more stories come out showing greed and, in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I’m sorry that the political system and some MPs have let you down.

The letter for Labour’s local councillors

Dear [Insert Name]

I know how angry people are with Westminster politicians. I suspect you are as fed up I am, as day after day more stories come out showing greed and in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I am sorry that the political system and some MPs have let you down.

The suggested letter to be sent by MEPs is more of the same

Dear [Insert Name]

I know how angry people are with Westminster politicians. I suspect you are as fed up as I am as day after day more stories come out showing greed and in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I am sorry that the political system has let you down.

They are echoing Gordon’s words alright, he finds it difficult to say sorry, they can’t even be bothered to find their own words.  Don’t they really mean “we are sorry we got caught?”


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