The ‘Looney Left’ is Back

As the Blairites retire to their non-executive directorships and their former SpAds run herd-like to become leader of the Labour Party by tacking to the voter-repelling left, it is fair to say that Labour’s once marginalised looney left is back.  Even David Miliband, formerly Blair’s tea-boy, now supports a 50% tax rate, has become a born-again peacenik, personally nominated Diane Abbott and is, all in all, beginning to sound like a student union leftie.

So Guido intends to regularly highlight examples of left-wing lunacy going mainstream – today it is the ever reliable Bob Crow describing the spending freeze as “fiscal fascism”. The sophistication of his political and economic analysis would have Karl Marx revolting – fascism did not seek to reduce the size and role of the state.

Bob’s policy of choice? A general strike. Just what a weak economy needs to boost jobs and growth.  Crazy? Well Bob reckons “hundreds of thousands of workers will take to the streets.”

It is as if Tony Blair never existed…

Calamity Kenny’s Latest Comedy Moment

An update on calamity Kenny hits the inbox from a Scottish co-conspirator:

You may like to know that Kenny today led Ed Milliband through the turnstiles at the Scottish Parliament. However, oor Kenny led Ed to the wrong turnstile that only allows people to enter rather than exit. Cue a good 30 seconds or so of Ed looking like a cock trying to get through an immovable door. A far cry from Kenny’s door holding days of glory with Mr Brown.

Malcolm Tucker he ain’t…

IPSA-a-Daisy II

Last month they were accidentally paying people when they shouldn’t and now today, payday, it’s the turn of the bag-carriers and researchers to rage at IPSA. Scores of Parliamentary staff have been underpaid this month, with errors ranging from £20 to £300 shy. An all round saving  for the taxpayer.

When one lowly staffer phoned the IPSA offices to complain, they could not come up with an explanation, though ever helpful they replied – “We’ve got some P45 forms if you want one of those?”

Totty Watch : “Shagger” Nokes Grins and Bares It

Caroline Nokes, affectionately named “shagger” by the Tory whips, shocked some of the old-guard with her beaming smile as she stormed through Parliament the Monday after being done over by a Sunday newspaper for cheating on her husband with a tory-toyboy. Not batting an eyelid to the smirks and whispers, Nokes, an evangelical-Christian, clearly isn’t letting it get to her.


She certainly put on a formidable display at PMQs earlier…

Odd Jobbing from Larry Elliott

The Guardian has managed to turn a leaked Treasury PowerPoint forecasting lower unemployment  into a 1.3 million public sector jobs losses front page story. Larry Elliott, who really does know better, has ignored the same PowerPoint’s prediction of 2.5 million job gains in the private sector, giving a net gain of some 1.2 million jobs (as illustrated by the above chart). The Guardian chose not to front page the headline that the Treasury predicts 1.2 million job gains…

The Office for Budget Responsibility is equally clear in its forecast of lower unemployment

We expect employment to stabilise this year and to start rising in 2011. The ILO unemployment rate is expected to peak at just over 8 per cent in 2010, before falling gradually throughout the forecast period, to just over 6 per cent in 2014. The claimant count continues to decline, from 1½ million in 2010 Q1 to just over 1 million by the end of 2014 (Chart 3.12).

What is obvious to everyone is that the bloated public sector payroll is going to fall and a recovering private sector is expected to take up the slack. Larry has managed to set the news agenda today only by ignoring the whole story.  The loss making Guardian is of course the house-paper of the public sector, with pages full of advertisements for non-jobs.

The Guardian’s advertising revenues will be hit incredibly hard, to the tune of hundreds of millions pounds, by the public sector hiring freeze and the coming shift of public sector job advertising from their printed pages onto jobs.gov.uk.

A cynic might wonder if that perhaps helps to explain the paper’s editorial stance…

PMQs LIVE : Prison Doesn’t Work Edition

Calamity Kenny Spinning for Ed Miliband

In a quick update to the Labour Political Advisers list, Guido was most amused to hear that omnishambolic press officer Kenny Young has managed to keep his job. If you reward the slavish loyalty of greased-up party hacks who come up through the youth ranks with cosy press office jobs, you may find they don’t exactly have the talents required for such a high-pressure environment. Kenny is about as loyal as they come, a co-conspirator reports that he openly told people he styled his hair on Gordon Brown’s while chairman of Labour Students. So loyal he was assigned to be Gordon’s political press officer for the election campaign. Which went well.

First there was the infamous door opening for his hero Gordon, which the Tories quickly turned into an attack poster:

If that wasn’t bad enough in late April young Kenny was accompanying the Prime Minister on a trip to Rochdale. What could possible go wrong? Well any experienced press officer would have checked that their boss’s microphone was switched off after an event. Kenny was inside Mrs Duffy’s house as part of that hugely successful contingent of Brown staffers begging her to come outside after the apology.

Instead of firing this inept and useless spinner he’s got a new job. He’s now Ed Milband’s Head of Press… what could possibly go wrong?

UPDATE : Punters give Ed a 25% chance of becoming Labour leader versus a 62% chance for his brother David. No odds available on Kenny’s chances one day.

Cancelled: Diane v Brillo Part II

The Daily Politics is currently interviewing all the Labour leadership contenders. Well almost all, the usually media friendly Diane Abbott was scheduled for another pasting by Brillo this Thursday.

She is, for some reason, now no longer available…

Off to Debate Sir Michael White on the “Liberal Elite”

Guido is off to the Institute of Economic Affairs to debate the whats and wherefores of the “liberal elite”. As is traditional whenever Guido goes head-to-head with Sir Michael White, Guido is wearing national dress tonight (pictured).

The Free […]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Leadership’s Lingering Deficit Denial

Guido isn’t normally one for line-by-line analysis, but when glancing over Ed Miliband’s speech from earlier something very obvious stuck out. Take a look at what Ed was talking about the most:


What the speech boils down to is “People […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + Boris Beats Hippies + + +

The High Court has just ruled in favour of the Mayor of London who is trying to get the “peace” camp evicted from Parliament Square.

Developing…

UPDATE: The Mayor’s legal team said:

“In bringing this claim, the mayor does not

[…]

+ READ MORE +

A Month Later

There was a flurry of excitement in yellow circles this morning as Lembit Opik declared he would like to run for Mayor of London for the LibDems. It all seemed rather familiar though.

Regular readers will remember that Guido told […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Cameron on Trump:

“I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election deserves our respect.”

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