Brown’s Loyalists “Part of the Problem”, Not the Solution

They are calling it Downing Street blue-on-blue infighting. The neo-Brownies from the PR world ousting the old Brownie tribe who successfully undermined Blair. The truth is the Brownies are second rate compared to the Blairites, this was patently obvious to any objective observer. Even Guido, no fan of Blair, could see that he was a politician with a high calibre team. Brown on the other hand is a brooding malevolent weirdo who had no choice but to surround himself with second raters, Blair had attracted the best and the brightest of New Labour’s talent pool.

The Brownies were able to undermine a triple election winning prime minister, brief against rivals, selectively leak, obstruct, frustrate rival policy objectives out of spite and generally behave like petulant secretive plotters always positioning for factional advantage rather than in the national interest. They were capable of that, alas when they finally assumed control of No. 10 it became clear within months that they were not a capable or competent premiership team.
If Gordon is to have any hope of narrowing the double digit lead Cameron has over him at the polls he clearly needs to up his game. Stephen Carter has been brought in from his job as CEO of Brunswick to do that because the veteran Brownies are part of the problem, not the solution, too immersed in the Labour tribe, good at arm twisting the party rank and file, not at reaching out to swing voters. His PPS Ian Austin’s heckles of Cameron at PMQs amuse only the class warriors on the Labour back benches – they even manage to irritate the chippy Speaker. His counsel is no use to Gordon now the electorate that matters to him is no longer merely the PLP.

Month after month of poll decline has finally got the message through to Brown. Hence we see the marginalising of his former closest supporters, even his pollster, Deborah Mattinson is said to be on her way out. Spencer Livermore went in tears. Gordon’s praetorian guard MPs Tom Watson and Iain Austin, respectively Gordon’s attack puppy and heckler-in-chief, occupied ground floor offices in Downing Street adjacent to the cabinet room. The pair liked to think of themselves as Gordon’s enforcers. Stephen Carter has had them kicked out of their offices and their places taken by his deputy and secretary.

Competition Winner

Some cracking entries for the sing-a-long song competition for the campaign to bar Alistair Darling from every pub in Britain.

Guido tried imagining a drunken bar singing the songs to make his judgement. Commendations to Alex, and Anon. Mitch is the runner-up with his re-working of Abba. The winner with appropriate new lyrics to the tune of the Wild Rover is Marquee Mark which the Washington Post also likes calling it a “catchy” ditty.

If Mark emails Guido his address a copy of John McCain’s new book Hard Call: Courageous Decisions by Inspiring People will be sent to him.

The Devil has a round-up of campaign news, with video clips from PMQs, Sky’s report on the campaign and pictures from pubs around the country.

Friday Caption Contest

Sent in by co-conspirator, Dominic Fisher

Ken’s Vibrator Impersonation

Via LondonElectsYou.co.uk

Get Guido’s Headlines Texted to Your Phone for Free

The feedback on Guido’s headline to SMS text message service has been universally good. Particularly since it is totally free…
The service really comes into its own when there is fast breaking news. The free service texts a message containing the headline, followed by a clickable link which (on web-enabled phones) will take you directly to the full blog story. Subscribe here.

You’re either in front of Guido or behind…

“Block Boris” Says Ken’s Transport for London Commissar

As panic starts to grip Ken and the London Labour Party things are getting pretty desperate. Gordon lies at PMQs regularly that Boris wants to cut police numbers – as if a Tory mayor would ever cut back on coppers. Now Ken is pulling whatever levers he can to hold on to power. London’s transport commissar, Peter Hendy, has ordered his spin team to counter the popular Boris message on killer bendy-buses. Transport for London has also told taxi drivers not to issue receipts with “Back Boris” logos. Guido understands that 50,000 books of these receipts have already been snapped up by cabbies. This is a mistake by Ken, cabbies are not ones to succumb to authority. Petty diktaks like this will only get their backs up and ensure they do back Boris.
More sinister are the implicit threats to police funding hinted at if police sources don’t stop telling the truth about the appalling safety record of Ken’s bendy-buses. Ken clearly favours his friend Castro’s policing methods, where the police follow the party line…

UPDATE : In the comments there was some dispute about whether Hendy threatened police funding. Here is the quote from an email: “The statements clearly come from the Met traffic officers involved in the investigation (and are manifestly incorrect). It makes me inclined to cut support for TOCU in future budgets as clearly their support for us is limited to taking money and is one way.”

TOCU is the Transport Operational Command Unit, the Met division charged with tackling road safety and bus crime. Funded by TfL, it has 1,200 police officers, community support officers and traffic wardens and is a key part of the Met’s anti-crime strategy.

Steve Richards Offered Editorship of New Statesman

Sam Coates says the Indy’s Steve Richards is to be the next editor of the New Statesman. Maybe. Guido understands he was offered the job and has been “thinking about it”. He has not however as yet formally accepted the worst job in political journalism – working for Geoffrey Robinson…

LibDemVoice has a copy of a press release from Nick Clegg about the speaker blocking the full publication of MP’s expenses in full.

“There are legitimate grounds for appealing the decision to publish private addresses. However, there is no earthly reason why the rest of the information should not be published immediately.

“Any delay will only add to the British public’s distrust in their politicians.”

So Guido called Nick Clegg’s office.

GF : I see from Nick’s press release that he thinks MPs should publish their full expenses immediately. When is he going to publish his expenses?
Tim : I don’t know. Can I get his press officer Hannah to call you?

So Guido called Lynne Featherstone, who is very strong on the issue

GF : When is Lynne going to publish her expenses in full?
Ian : Err, don’t know. I’ll ask her.
GF : Great, get back to me.

Guido called Ed Davey’s Office.

GF : When is Ed going to publish his expenses in full?
Kerry : He will as soon as he can. We have had staffing problems and he has been very busy with the Lisbon Treaty.

So Ed Davey is going to publish his expenses in full. Just as well because his leader says any delay will “will only add to the British public’s distrust in their politicians.” The LibDems are talking the talk, can they walk the walk? Don’t delay…

UPDATE 16.15 : Clegg’s office has just called to say he will be publishing his expenses in full the week after next. They were not clear if all LibDem MPs will be doing the same.

Where’s Gordon?™ “PM Got Lost” Says Her Majesty

Remember when he locked himself in a bathroom and had to be rescued by Blair? Or when he first became PM and was found at 5 a.m. downstairs in his dressing gown by armed police who had rushed to the scene outside his office after he forgot his security code? Mr Bean is the best description.

Like a Vampire, “Destroy Parliament” Clause Returns

UPDATE 14.45 : Lots of claims that the article below incorrectly interprets the Act. No definitive legalistic answer on this point as yet. So proceed with caution.

UPDATE 16.25 : Head of Legal says stand down from the barricades.

The victorious Save Parliament Campaign needs to come out of mothballs again. SpyBlog has spotted that hidden in the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill is a little clause to legally permit a Ministerial dictatorship:

Part 6
FINAL PROVISION
43 Power to make consequential provision

(1) A Minister of the Crown, or two or more Ministers of the Crown acting jointly, may by order make such provision as the Minister or Ministers consider appropriate in consequence of this Act.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may —

    (a) amend, repeal or revoke any provision made by or an Act;

    (b) include transitional or saving provision.

(3) An order under subsection (1) is to be made by statutory instrument.

(4) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (1) which amends or repeals a provision of an Act may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(5) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (1) which does not amend or repeal a provision of an Act is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Full details on the excellent SpyBlog.

Barred Campaign Photos

Masses of broadcast and print media coverage for the campaign to bar Alistair Darling from pubs. First photo of a pub displaying the “Barred” poster comes from the Jolly Brewer in Lincoln. So no chance of Alistair Darling getting a round in there. Was there ever a chance of him getting a round in?

Send more poster sighting pictures to Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com.

Print out the downloaded the poster (pdf) from here. Some cracking entries already in for the sing-a-long campaign song competition. Closes Friday, 5pm.

Picture via John Trenchard.

Barred by the Blogosphere from Bars and Pubs

Cameron picked up on this at PMQs as has the BBC and the Telegraph. Guido first saw it on the Devil’s blog, he hat-tips the Reactionary Snob. The Wardman Wire has an amusingly po-faced audio report from the BBC. The Devil-designed A4 poster download is suitable for pub windows. The mandatory Facebook group is up here.

Guido will give a prize of a copy of John McCain’s new book Hard Call: Courageous Decisions by Inspiring People to anyone who comes up with a decent campaign sing along in a pub song. Entries in the comments…

Hain’s Future Picture Cloudy

Guido previously suggested that Peter Hain could find an alternative career as a politico-celebrity endorser of commercial services.

Alas perhaps this is not to be, Hain’s ringing commerical endorsement of Picture Financial Services plc has not helped the business. It closed to new business in February as it got into financial difficulties and is now rumoured to be about to change hands in a fire-sale for 1p.

Not exactly the picture of success envisioned by Hain in his endorsement.

Elsewhere Morgan Allan Moore, the spin firm that ran Hain’s leadership campaign and secured his endorsements for clients who were donors, had lined up to be taken over in a multi-million pound deal. Alas as the company has become mired in an ethical standards inquiry that deal has been aborted. Hain has not brought good fortune to his friends.

Most serious of all, the ongoing police investigation has, it is rumoured, uncovered some interesting spending by Hain’s campaign that might not please the GMB brothers.

Guido suspects the union members will not appreciate the way their hard-earned subs were spent by the champagne swilling radical…

Chris Bryant on Gaydar

Chris Bryant MP is on More 4 News tomorrow talking about the wonders of the internet.

Here is his take on the benefits of progress through technology:

“30, 40 years ago most gay men and lesbians around the country and if you lived in a rural area or a district like mine in the South Wales valley as soon as they knew they were gay they would disappear off to Cardiff or one of the big cities and nowadays they can go online and find one another on the internet”

Before gayers would have to go nightclubs, now as Chris demonstrates here, they can just upload their photo online. Progress…

When Ken Met the Chinese

On a trip to Beijing in April 2006, Ken Livingstone shamefully compared the 1990 Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar Square with the massacre of hundreds of peacefully protesting students in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Not really a valid comparison is it? The Met Police didn’t shoot or kill anyone. The violent Poll Tax Riots were a response to the policies of a democratically elected government whereas hundreds of peacefully protesting Chinese citizens were murdered by a dictatorship in Tiananmen Square. Of all Ken’s many pitiful apologies for dictators like Chavez and Castro, this was just about the lowest.

The Olympic Torch will be in London on April 6. Guido will be supporting the Free Tibet Campaign’s Freedom Torch Relay in Argyle Square on that day. That burning Olympic torch should not pass through London unhindered while the flame of freedom is extinguished in Tibet.

F o I Me? No Hypocrisy Says Robinson

Nick Robinson has acknowledged Guido’s FoI request for his expenses on his own blog. He doesn’t get drawn on the whys and wherefores of the issue instead he just gives a politician’s answer referring readers to the BBC’s official reason for refusing.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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