Is Jack Straw Four Votes from Becoming PM?

Sky’s Jon Craig, who didn’t join the Lobby to stand around in bars speculating idly, is playing What If…
  1. Gordon loses Monday’s vote to double the 10p tax rate on low earners on Frank Field’s rebel amendment?
  2. What if Ken Livingstone loses to Boris Johnson in London on May 1?
  3. What if Labour rebels throw out 42-day detention for terrorists next month?
The first would be a personal defeat for Brown, he introduced the 10p rate, he is abolishing it. If Londoners voted for Boris it would put real fear into Southern Labour MPs. If the third vote is lost, and most Labour Party MPs and activists don’t have their heart in needless 42-day detention, it will surely be curtains for Gordon.

Who would the PLP then want to lead them in times of trouble? Not one of the young pretenders. Jack Straw would be their Michael Howard figure. Safely captaining the sinking ship, hopefully without the loss of too many lives / seats. The PLP would vote for Jack ahead of Cruddas…

Labour Looking After Themselves

If you go to the Labour website and type in a valid street name you get a customised page.

Such as: www.labour.org.uk/downingstreet.

Clever? Not really. Hacked in 30 seconds. Type in below (or something ruder) to your browser…

http://www.labour.org.uk/flash/street_sign.swf?street_title=Gordon Has Lost His Way

Hat-tip : LibDemVoice
UPDATE 17.25 : The spoilsports have blocked it now. Does Ed Balls know the party site is promoting Excellance [sic] for All“?

UPDATE 17.45 : The geeks at Tangent, Labour’s web specialist should check this out.

Spink : I’m Not Joining UKIP

Less than a month ago Bob Spink emailed Nadine Dorries to say why it was nonsense that he would be joining UKIP:

click to enlarge

This morning he did just that…

Is Des Down?

Ever since that bizarre interview on the Today show last week people have been speculating about Des Browne’s state-of-mind. John Humphrys tore him to pieces following a High Court ruling that families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan could sue the Government under human rights laws. Des was all over the place.

Then MoD documents released under an FoI request showed he had misled the Commons over the 15 weeping Royal Navy sailors taken prisoner by Iran last year. Contrary to his claims they had been in Iraqi rather than international waters. He will have to apologise to the House for his lies.

Whitehall reckons Browne is down and possibly suffering from mental exhaustion because he is both a part-time Defence Secretary and a part-time Scottish Secretary. His SpAds spin that he has a chest infection. Guido prefers to believe that in the dark hours of the night his soul is tortured by the ghosts of the soldiers he sent to their death under-equipped.

Or perhaps he is ashamed of himself over the failed court action (in his name) to gag a coroner’s ruling from becoming public which criticised the MoD over troops deaths?

Oil Hits Record High as U.K. Strike Shutdown Proceeds

Ineos Group is proceeding with the shutdown of its 200,000 barrel-a-day Grangemouth refinery as talks with unions to avert industrial action look bleak. The plant takes crude from BP’s Forties Pipeline System, which transfers oil from more than 50 North Sea fields.

So the housing market is dropping on the back of the credit crunch and U.K. oil supplies are about to be turned off. Not exactly the best economic outlook is it? Expect to see queues at petrol stations just in time for the local elections….

Lobby Hacks Show Professionalism

At the end of last night’s meeting of the PLP Ian Austin, Gordon’s PPS, came out to give the official word to the thirsty gentlemen of the Lobby. Last time he did this his cunning plan was to say that everyone loved Gordon and everything was fine.
This had only one tiny flaw: it relied on 350 unhappy Labour MPs keeping their mouths shut. They of course did not, and we all now know that there was a mutiny over doubling the tax rate on low earners. So what did Ian do last night? He explained again that everything is fine and everyone loves Gordon! “That’s what you told us last time,” said Newsnight’s Crick. “I stand by every word of what I said last time,” Austin replied, “I tell the truth. I stake my reputation on the accuracy of my briefing.”

Guido has previously implied that Lobby hacks are unskilled. On reflection they did show professionalism last night. Not one of them laughed until after Ian Austin was out of sight.

Ofcom : "Guido is a Public Service"

Guido has only just become aware that Ofcom has published a consultation paper on Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital Age. So what?

Well, this blog is cited in the review of “public service content available online” as “an example of a widely read and influential blog that has become a must-read in Westminster.” Of course, but is it a “public service”? It is, after all, primarily for Guido’s personal amusement and mischief making merriment. This is not a public space, it is private property.

On the other hand, the Tories have a policy proposal to top slice the telly-tax to other public service providers to promote diversity and stimulate the creative industries market. If Guido is a public service content provider, does that not mean as content goes multi-platform, with online video-on-demand and suchlike, that Guido should get a splash of the £3 billion gravy train? Drinks all round on the telly taxpayer, why waste all that money on the BBC?

Bank of England Chief Economist :1,350,000 Borrowers Face Negative Equity

Charles Bean is the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, he gave an under-reported speech last week that shook up the Gilts market. It should shake up everyone. According to Mr Bean the Bank’s research has found that 5% of mortgagors have less than 20% equity in their home. That is equivalent to 1,350,000 homeowners.

Along with many other reputable forecasters Professor David Miles, chief UK economist at blue chip investment banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley, is predicting that by the end of 2009 house prices will have dropped 20%.

In pockets of London prices have already fallen 20% from their highs. If that trend goes nationwide Britain is looking likely to have more than million homes in negative equity before the next election. This is based on the Bank of England’s own somewhat conservative numbers…

If Gordon Loses the Vote, Gordon Has To Go

As Cameron signals that he will probably line up his troops behind Frank Field’s amendment could we be looking at a no confidence vote? Effectively yes. Gordon introduced the 10p rate, Gordon abolished the 10p rate, Gordon complicated the tax

[…]

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Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

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Lower Taxes for the Lower Paid

Watching Darling spluttering explanations for abolishing the 10p rate this morning it is clear that the Brownies can’t see that their preference for taxing with one hand and then paying benefits back with the other hand, is a wasteful bureaucratic

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour PPC : "Gordon is Giving Me Nightmares"

John Wiseman, Labour PPC for Westmorland and Lonsdale has, writing on LabourHome, candidly admitted that he seems “to be in the middle of a nightmare at present… Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament. Gordon has decided to

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour candidate Clive Lewis tells the Staggers:

“I mean, in the multiverse there’s still three universes in a hundred where there’s a Green MP in Norwich, so anything could happen. I could be caught with my pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end – well, hopefully that won’t happen.”

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