Monday, September 8, 2008

Gordon Brown’s Downfall – The Prequel

“My struggle” was the sub-text of Gordon’s missive this morning when he told us “Mein own response to the great challenges in my own life has been to confront them, resolute in the belief that there would always be something that could be done to overcome them”.

Perhaps, or perhaps the Allies SNP will take Berlin Edinburgh. This satire on “Gordon listening” had Guido in tears. The sub-titling is inspired.

Gordon Brown’s Downfall – The Prequel

Why Don’t the Tories Propose to Cut VAT on Energy Products?

Guido doesn’t understand why the Tories don’t propose an alternative to taxing energy suppliers, since the cost of a “Windfall” tax would inevitably be passed on to consumers and the money only end up in a Treasury black hole once it got into the Whitehall bureaucracy.
Why not instead advocate the removal of VAT on energy bills and energy saving goods, insulation and devices? A green tax cut on eco-products would please the Zac Goldsmith wing of the Tories, a tax cut would please the voters.
Of course the E.U. would rule such a VAT cut out of order on tax harmonisation grounds, Cameron could take the opportunity to demonstrate his moderate euro-scepticism and argue that this is something that really should be decided by the British government and voters, not the European Commission’s tax commissars. It would demonstrate in a practical populist and easy to understand way how the E.U. costs British consumers. The government would be forced on to the back foot, defending E.U. enforced taxation levels. The LibDems are led by a fanatical europhile, so despite Clegg’s new found zeal for tax cutting, he would not support this progressive tax cut. It is a win-win.

Gordon Plays the Sympathy Card

Gordon Brown is holding a special cabinet meeting in the West Midlands. “My own response to the great challenges in my own life has been to confront them, resolute in the belief that there would always be something that could be done to overcome them,” he says in the foreword to a document being circulated ahead of the Labour Party conference. The briefing is that the Prime Mentalist will tell the cabinet that his personal experience makes him the best man to lead Britain through current economic difficulties. Gordon misunderstands; “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” is a parable, not a qualification to determine economic strategy.

What does Gordon normally do when facing an obstacle? He bullies, undermines and sulks. None of which will stimulate growth to get us out of a recession.

UPDATE : Didn’t Gordon say that this was not a time for “cheap political gimmicks” last week? So, errm, what is this? Good governance? Getting on with the job? A gimmick?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Is Balls Re-Launching Himself?

Blinky Balls’ interview with Marr this morning is attracting a lot of comment. Guido noticed that Balls is not content with stealing Tory policies, he is now doing the Cameroon look. A tie-less Minister of the Crown?

You don’t think Ed is getting serious about positioning himself for the inevitable leadership fight with Miliband – Son of Brown v Son of Blair? Ben Brogan is swooning, reckoning that Blinky was “lucid” – it has really come to something when political editors compliment cabinet ministers for just being lucid. He also reckons Balls was blinking less. Ben needs to get his telly fixed, it is clearly on the blink. Ed was averaging 30 BPM* Watch for yourself.

*Blinks Per Minute.

Sunday Sleaze Special

Ivan Lewis is what used to be known as “Not Safe in Taxis” (Damian Green is another one) always sniffing around young women. So it is no surprise that he was leering over a 25 year-old young girl working in his office. After all he broke up with his wife after having an affair with a local Labour Party councillor behind her back.
Why has the News of the Screws story come out now over a year later?

Ivan Lewis has been a little too outspoken about Gordon’s failings, accusing Brown of being out of touch, it was remarkable that he escaped censure at the time. If there is one thing the Brownies excel out, it is malevolence. That the girl isn’t quoted means it is not kiss and tell for cash. A few other ministers will be worried that their office darlings could be exposed by vengeful Brownies. This is a warning to other ministers and a score settled…

UPDATE : Have just noticed this story about Lewis’ former assistant was hinted at in the comments on Guido’s story hinting at his affair with Maggie Gibb on June 25, 2006. Fair amount of reading between the lines required with these type of stories. Always difficult when if they both deny it, you are scuppered, you have to read these stories carefully for the hint..

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Polly : Get Rid of Brown or the Labour Party Will Die

Once he was Polly’s “towering intellect” and the greatest politician of our time. A year later and now Unseating Gordon Brown may be Labour’s last chance.

Polly says Guido is no good at writing about politics because he is unsympathetic to politicians. Perhaps, Polly, being over-sympathetic to a politician blinded you to his faults. Good to see you completely coming round to Guido’s point of view on the Prime Mentalist at last.

UPDATE : “Bogeyman” reminds us in the comments of Polly’s consistency and prescience:

St Polly of the Towering Intellect, 29 June 2007:

“But then, as they stepped into No 10 yesterday, here was as decent and clever a team of ministers as ever graced the cabinet table. Two Milibands, Ed Balls, Jackie Smith, Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, Douglas Alexander, Peter Hain and Hilary Benn – with the likes of John Denham and Yvette Cooper in attendance – present a good front. It’s certainly the most genuinely united government in living memory.”

St Polly of the Towering Intellect, 6 September 2008:

“The smell of death around this government is so overpowering it seems to have anaesthetised them all. One bungle follows another and yet those about to die sit silently by… The ineptitude of Brown’s Downing Street worsens by the week. The shrinking band of those he trusts are now his old rottweilers, who shred what’s left of their leader’s reputation. This week when they mauled Alistair Darling for telling an obvious truth (his actual words much exaggerated in the reporting), they attacked one of Brown’s few truly loyal friends and a decent man. This is the sign of an inner cabal out of control… A cabinet of minnows and spineless backbenchers include many – perhaps most – who want Brown gone, but lack the nerve to act.”

For those who want to savour Littlejohn bitch-slapping Polly again, watch it again here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pravda 2.0

Dale is excited that the Tories are going to launch – wait for it – a blog. Anyone will be able to leave comments, and according to Dale there will be “no Stalinist approach to moderation”.

Platform 10 was the last dire CCHQ encouraged Cameroon attempt to take on the more grassroots and independent ConservativeHome. Platform 10 is a flop, whereas ConservativeHome is an influential success. Now they are going to try again and launch a Conservative Party blog. It will probably flop as well. People don’t want to read anodyne, antiseptic, party-line stuff, turgid and insulting to the intelligence.
The Tories don’t need a party blog, in fact arguably the party has been strengthened by the open and honest critical discussion on the ConservativeHome pages over the last few years.
An official and lightly moderated blog just won’t happen – it is guaranteed to not happen because it is impossible. The comments will be over-run by agent provocateurs, nutters and political opponents. The contents scanned by hostile journalists for anything that can be used against the party. The LibDems use private discussion forums behind password-protected walls for members. (Passwords are not that hard to obtain, nothing interesting to report.)
Speaking to Tim Montgomerie in the U.S. last night, he pointed out that if the Tories are, as some suggest, trying to undercut the influence of ConservativeHome, it won’t work. Blogs are not the same as newspapers – a new blog does not take away traffic from a rival, it just grows the blogosphere.
Guido has oft said that group blogs are difficult to make work. Readers like to know what they are getting, multiple contributors of different hues and quality just take too much time to sift. A blog needs a strong personality – witness the dozens of good contributors to the Telegraph’s political blogs – with a combined traffic less than Guido.
They are asking you to email suggestions for a name for the blog. Well there was a famous party information source last seen around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Click here to ask CCHQ to call the new blog “Pravda”.

Naughtie Wishes Democrats "Good Luck"

Jim Naughtie has been accused of being partial before – in May 2005 the Today programme presenter caused a row when he asked Labour’s Ed Balls: “If we win the election, does Gordon Brown want to remain Chancellor?” He is perceived by many listeners to be ferociously anti-Bush over Iraq.

Listen to the end of this segment where he asks a leading Democrat what they will do to change the country. The Democrat politician lays out their agenda. Naughtie wishes him “good luck”! Some Americans think that the BBC is institutionally against the Republican Party – fancy that.

Seen Elsewhere

Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times
Stop Bercow | The Times
Speaker Cornered | Times
Britain’s Beheaders | Speccie
‘Underclass’ Is Dave’s Fault | Conservative Women
Civil Liberties/Privacy NGO Hires New CEO | Big Brother Watch
Why I Won’t Join UKIP | Dan Hannan
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? | Ron Lauder
Labour Swing Extends Deep into Tory Seats | Lord Ashcroft


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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