London Mayor : LibDems No Hope, Tory Mayor Hopefuls

The LibDems have matched the Tories finally. Matched their inability to find a Mayoral candidate that is, Iain Dale reminds us that the LibDems were supposed to announce a shortlist of London Mayoral candidates yesterday. Silence.

So despite, in the words of Simon Hughes, “casting their net far and wide in our search for a candidate to represent our diverse capital” they struck out in their talent search. Mind you look at the motley crue that have now come forward for the Tories. Guido is not sure this is even the complete list:

Richard Barnes No web site as of yet.
Andrew Boff www.easteight.com/
Nick Boles www.nickboles.com
Victoria Borwick www.mayor-for-london.co.uk
Lurline Champaignie www.lurline4london.com
Simon Fawthrop www.fawthropformayor.co.uk
Peter Hobbins No web site as of yet.
Warwick Lightfoot www.lightfootforlondon.com
Winston McKenzie www.myspace.com/winstonmckenzieuk
Mike Read No web site as of yet.
Lee Rotherham www.newstartforlondon.com

Some of them are very strange indeed. God help London.

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 9

Click on the map* for the big interactive Where’s Gordon?™ map. Still missing a few days when Guido was either not paying attention or in the back of a gondola. So if helpful co-conspirators could post in the comments if you know where he was over Easter and on April 4 please. Thanks.

UPDATE : Added missing bits with the help of co-conspirators, presumably he just sat at home on Easter weekend (7th to 9th) brooding and snapping at the wife and kids.


*Still haven’t figured out how to make it interactive on the blog yet.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View(Terminator Edition)

Wasting Police Time in Downing Street

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: A well place co-conspirator emails to say he has seen Robert Gould, from the PM’s Downing Street Strategy Unit, thumbing through a copy of Wasting Police Time, the book of the blog by everyone’s favourite plod, PC David Copperfield. The police minister, Tony McNulty, reckons the book is “more of a fiction than Dickens.”

Strange that one of the top wonks in Downing Street is reading fiction the week after Nick Herbert, the talented Tory shadow police minister, put forward some interesting policy ideas. Perhaps it is just holiday reading.

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 3

Today Gordon was off to Gleneagles, promising to “give every child in the world a better chance – freed from poverty and liberated by education.”

A few months ago UNICEF reported that British children were the unhappiest in the Western world. Youth unemployment is higher now than it was in 1997. 15% of British school-leavers are functionally illiterate. Bit early to be claiming “mission accomplished” at home?

N.B. Could a co-conspirator let Guido know where Gordon was yesterday? Wasn’t paying attention and will need it for the Where’s Gordon?™ interactive mapping thingy being developed.

Ciao Tutto da Venezia

Am away for the weekend and forgot to put comment moderation on. You-know-who posts five comments on one post – then cries “he deleted me” when the inevitable happens. Iain has now banned him as well, so he is starting an anti-Iain Dale blog to join his anti-Guido blog. That is fine by me, freedom of speech means he is entitled to publish his views.

The difference in audience size enjoyed by the likes of Iain and Guido compared to the contributors to our respective anti-blogs is growing. Now readers will know that Guido, like Iain, is a humble type, shy and retiring even, so it is with some hesitation that Guido ventures to say that the reason Iain and Guido have far more readers is that we try to be entertaining and bring news. Now Guido may only aspire to gossip and tittle-tattle (over 80,000 people have watched the Gordon the Bogeyman story), but that seems to be what people want and enjoy.

It may not be what others think Guido should write about, it may not be in the deferential style that others think should be employed, it certainly gets up the noses of the old media and the embedded-in-the-political-system journalists known as the Lobby. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Simple. Better still, offer a more compelling and attractive product that beats Guido in the competitive marketplace that is the blogosphere. That takes hard work. The easier path is just to call for censorship or attack and try to undermine the legitimacy of your rivals. Claim that Iain and Guido’s ascendancy is not based on hard work or talent, but lies and fiction, claim that the two most successful and well known bloggers in Britain somehow undermine blogging. We have done so much to popularise this medium – it is not going to wash. Blogging is just an easy way of publishing, it is a software platform, not a religious movement. Get real.

The new anti-Iain blog is in a sense a tribute blog and further evidence that the contributors have a poverty of ideas. They would enjoy more success if they tried something less derivative and more novel. Meantime Dizzy wants an anti-blog as well. You’re no one daahhling, if you haven’t got one.

And Lo, It Shall Come to Pass…

On the first day of this year Guido made 5 predictions. Including this one –

2. Following a surge to the SNP in local elections the Conservatives will finally move away from Unionism and towards spinning off Scottish and Welsh sister parties as part of their localism agenda.

ConservativeHome and the Speccie are now confirming this will happen.

Osborne’s approach to David Laws means that another prediction has already come off –

4. Informal Tory approaches will be made to leading LibDem figures as to discussions on the shape of the future governing coalition.

Watch out Mystic Meg…

Smith Institute : Polly Advised Sith on the “Legend for the Left” Against Tories the Month Before 2005 General Election

MPs like Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne, Martin Salter discussing with Polly Toynbee anti-Tory political strategies is nothing new, discussing them at a non-partisan, non-political charity event would be very interesting. That is exactly what they did at a seminar held on Tuesday 22nd March 2005 on the very eve of the General Election.Also attending were – surprise, surprise – Deborah Mattinson and Scarlett McGwire from Opinion Leader Research, pollsters for the Treasury.

Polly advised the Labour team about the Tory’s tactics; “Dog whistling is exactly what it is: hitting and running day after day, leaving Labour looking lame, wrong footed, unable to keep up. All the more important is to be able to produce the kind of moral vision that is envisaged here or is beginning to be described here.”

All the more important for who? Ed Balls tells her he was “very taken by Polly’s language in terms of a need for a legend for the left.” The seminar transcript goes on and on. So the question is – does the Charity Commission still believe that the Smith Institute is non-political?

Isn’t it just Gordon Brown’s strategic campaigning arm?

UPDATE : Christopher Hope in the Telegraph has discovered that Ed Balls advocated a new NHS tax at another closed meeting of the Sith.

A Happy Reflective Analyst?

Following on from Gordon telling us last week he doesn’t bear grudges, he now tells us, via his own handwritten aide memoire reproduced below,* that he is happy, relective and analytical.

Is that normal? Write a note to yourself so that you remember how to describe yourself? You know, must make a note just in case one gets forgetful, “I’m Guido, with a bit of cheeky rebellious streak, who is overly partial to a drink and likes to poke fun at politicians.” Wouldn’t a note to self like that be a bit odd?

According to a graphologist the handwriting shows

“He will dig his feet in over issues because he is so convinced he has the right answer. He is obviously forceful but he was very, very angry when he wrote this – and a bit shaken. He has a vulnerable side but is suppressing that. He doesn’t want to admit a weakness. Quite a few signs of being self-centred come through, even to the point of being egotistic. And he would not like people digging too deep – he wouldn’t be comfortable with that at all.”

*From the Daily Mail.

UPDATE : How does his handwriting compare to the Granita days when he got shafted by Blair in 1994? Here is the note where Brown wrote Blair “guaranteed this will be pursued”. Slightly less SHOUTY but still stroppy is Guido’s considered view.

Spin Cycle : Fiona Melville

Guido hears that another one of Daves’ babes is leaving CCHQ. Fiona Melville is off to pastures new. Anyone know where?

More stories of Tories off to spin merchants welcome.

Do email Guido names of newly minted Tory lobbyists…

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 1

Here are some pictures of recent difficult PMQ sessions for Blair. At many of them Cameron’s attack focussed on the Chancellor. Notice anything?

He is never there. Pension grab – not his idea – it was civil servants, CBI, former Chancellor’s twentysomething special adviser called, errmm, Cameron. Anyone but Gordon…

Smith Institute – 167 political meetings at his place organised by his best friend – nothing to do with Gordon.

Watch the local election campaign, if it looks bad for Labour you can bet he won’t be taking responsibility. He’ll be out of sight, out of mind – he hopes. So Guido is asking the co-conspirators to trail him and email in sightings of him on the campaign trail for the next month. Where’s Gordon? is the question to be answered – the blog will have an interactive map of his daily movements up and running soon. More fun than pavement policy analysis…

Blair Emails

The local government campaign kicks off from Labour with an email to supporters from tony.blair@new.labour.org.uk. The whole email is pregnant with subtexts. It defends his record over the last decade, refers to his 12 years of party leadership and most importantly he refers to “I” repeatedly. Unlike during the general election campaign, nowhere does it mention Gordon. Blair is going to take the rap for Labour’s showing, not Gordon, who is nowhere to be seen.

Pensions Pilfering

Just a simple question – if the Tories think Gordon’s pensions grab was wrong, will they reverse it? Guido suspects that the cunning stealthiness of the ploy means the political reward isn’t worth the fiscal hit. Will it be a manifesto commitment?

Smash and Gabb

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: A number of co-conspirators from the wonk-world have pointed out Sean Gabb’s demolition of Danny Kruger’s latest work. Dave’s speechwriter has been caught out before for lifting Dave’s foreign policy speech from After the Neo-Cons, a recent book Fukyama. This time nobody is accusing Danny of cutting and pasting, Gabb suggests Kruger’s book – On Fraternity: Politics Beyond Liberty and Equality – is an intellectual fraud in its intention, and shabby in its execution.
Guido’s classical education is a little sketchy, but prima facie Gabb has undermined Danny’s pretensions comprehensively. Ouch.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View(Kamikaze Klarke Edition)

GOTCHA!

Fooled some readers and bloggers yesterday. Guido will spare the blushes of the leading blogger who explained in detail why Guido’s traffic would and should be down. Despite the move and the resultant broken links, traffic is again up some 10% last month, unique visitors: 326,897, pageviews: 478,717.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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