Halls of Residence for MPs?

Well if coppers, fireman and nurses can do it, why not MPs? What makes them so bloody special? They are just another public sector profession with housing problems. Plenty of cheap property over the river in South London, even Peckham isn’t too far…

Elisabeth Murdoch to Host London Obama Fundraiser

Guido has received his invite to the £500-a-head Obama fundraiser being hosted by Elisabeth Murdoch at her Ladbroke Terrace home in Kensington and Chelsea at the end of the month. Guido won’t be going because (a) he wants McCain to win and (b) the invitation says only American citizens can donate (it asks for your U.S. passport number by RSVP).So unless Ms Murdoch wants to let Guido off the ticket price, Gwyneth Paltrow and her will have to drink the champagne without him…

87% of Tories Behind CameronHow Many Labour MPs Behind Brown?

It seems pretty clear that Brown’s attempt to placate Labour MPs by attending the meeting of the PLP on Monday was not successful. Labour MPs actually criticised him to his face about putting up taxes on low income earners. When Brown went into his tractor-production-is-up mode around the room “there was a collective murmur of disagreement. It was like a collective heckle”– according to an unnamed MP quoted by the Guardian’s Nicholas Watt.

On the opposition benches the grassroots polling carried out by ConservativeHome is reporting high levels of satisfaction with Dave. Labour’s Charles Clarke MP helpfully produced a doomsday list of southern seats that will see Labour MPs out come the general election. Those marginal MPs will be the ones who start agitating for a change of direction and perhaps a change of leader. Ivan Lewis, a government minister, laid into Brown on the weekend. He said the government is out of touch with ordinary Labour voters. Even the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire agrees – “Labour must prove it’s in touch with voters”.

Brown will be fighting on two fronts, his own benches restless and fearful, the opposition benches hungry and united. How long will the Blairites restrain themselves? Guido suspects that the psychological impact of Mayor Boris will be huge. It will signal that a Brown led Labour Party is facing certain electoral defeat.

The civil war will begin on May 2…

Never Mind Seal Clubbing, What is Hague Going to Do to Harman?

Recess Monkey admits that Labour MPs and activists are resigned to witnessing horrific and possibly brutal cruelty at PMQs today.

So let’s get the popcorn in and sit back and enjoy the show…

UPDATE : Fantastic comedy value and very entertaining. She gave Hague as good as she got. Guido would go as far as to say she did very well. Better than Prescott ever did at PMQs against Hague…

*Guido of course abhors unnecessary cruelty to advertisers seals, but he does wonder what they taste like…

+++ Irish PM Bertie Ahern Announces Resignation +++

RTE News has more

March Stat-Porn : 458,475 Page Hits from 352,291 Visitors

The most popular story last month was about Nick Robinson’s expenses and Cameron’s slap down of Ed Balls. Invariably the top referring sites to Guido over the last couple of years have been Iain Dale, ConservativeHome and PoliticalBetting.com. Of late however some of the Big Media political blogs have started coming up the rankings. This month (for the first time) the Speccie’s Coffee House blog sent more referrals than Political Betting, putting it at #3. Google sends more referrals by far, however the top ten referrers after Google and Yahoo are:

#1 Iain Dale
#2 ConservativeHome
#3 Coffee House blog
#4 PoliticalBetting.com
#5 Times Blogs (Red Box and Comment Central)
#6 BBC (Nick Robinson, Newsnight and Daily Politics)
#7 Telegraph Blogs
#8 Biased BBC
#9 Dizzy Thinks
#10 House Price Crash Forum

What this tells Guido is that Big Media is beginning to catch up on us new media insurgents. The surprise is that we have held the lead for so long. When you consider the resources being poured into blogging by media organisations with existing high traffic news sites and cross marketing opportunities, it is nothing short of phenomenal.

The Centre for Policy Studies produced some research comparing political blogs using data supplied by Hitwise. Hitwise uses technology embedded at network level with ISPs and is generally considered by the online industry to be the most reliable source of competitive data. Hitwise draws data from millions of British ISP accounts tracking internet activity. It does not rely on cookies or toolbars so is not skewed or possible to “game”.

The data above is for unique users. Below are some other well known (in the blogosphere) sites with surprisingly small traffic numbers. Ben Brogan’s blog is read by everyone in the Westminster village, but it seems to be read by few outside it. As you can see, Labour’s leading blogs just don’t have much of a reach in comparison to their right-of-centre equivalents.
Guido has bad news for his Big Media rivals, he has plans to ratchet up the content this year and the stickiness of the site to drive traffic over the million hits a month level…

Was the Ken Video "Leak" a Ploy?

Ken’s supposedly accidental leak of this video doesn’t add up.

Sam Coates on The Times got it first. “So where did it come from?” Guido asked, Sam is obviously not saying. The video is clearly recent, filmed by a campaign-friendly video-camera, rather than a hostile journalist.

Guido suspects that given that the Labour Party is polling double digits behind the Conservative Party, Ken is shrewdly distancing himself from the party that is a liability. Why else when asked “what would you say was your proudest moment?” would he laughingly reply: “Oh it’s taking on and smashing the New Labour machine in 2000 when Tony Blair wouldn’t let me run for mayor and just grinding them into the dust. But you won’t be able to use that one.”

But they did use that one, didn’t they? Ken got coverage and distanced himself from the party to which he is only semi-attached at the best of times. Smart tactics? Ken is no April fool…

Vote for Dale – To Be On Celebrity Big Brother

Iain is feigning indecision methinks, in true blogging style he is polling the readers. Vote for him to go into the house…

TaxPayer’s Alliance forces Sleaze InvestigationInto Speaker’s Expenses

Click to enlarge.

The TaxPayer’s Alliance has struck a blow against the Speaker putting his snout deeply in the trough. Excellent news. If he is found to have abused the system he will have to go. He has no authority

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon Loses His Way Again With the PLP

Sky’s Jon Craig didn’t come into the Lobby to have his advice ignored. Last night the PM’s advance security detachment asked him which door Gordon should use to enter the PLP meeting. “The Chairman’s Entrance,” Craig told him. “The PM

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Poor the Sarah

Spotted last night – Sarah Teather eating alone. Maybe Recess Monkey’s campaign on her behalf should be re-started? Fact: she has a large collection of Paprika jars.

Guido fears she could in a few years turn into a liberal version

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boris Will Do PMQs Tomorrow

Guido can confirm the Times’ Sam Coates exclusive that Boris will lead for the Tories against Harriet Harman tomorrow at PMQs. Repeated misleading references to Boris by Gordon Brown were the trigger for Cameron’s decision to give Boris an unprecedented

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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