The paper’s editorial line is confusingly mixed, for a paper that was once considered the house paper of the Conservative Party it harbours a number of hacks who are determined enemies of Cameron. It is seeking to gain readers from the Daily Mail by emulating the Daily Mail. The only problem being the Mail does it so much better.
The other problem is the problem faced by all newspapers worldwide. Office based readers increasingly read their paper online and do not buy the inky dead tree version for the commute. They are also more promiscuous in their reading choices. The better the website, the less attractive the paper. Guido spoke last night at the journalist’s Frontline Club on a panel with digital hacks from the Press Gazette, Guardian and the Telegraph. As digerati they were a bit more clued up than most hacks – so they were very pessimistic. Guido of course cheerfully reminded them that he was the only one on the panel from a profitable publisher…
Tomorrow will be my last day as Gordon Brown’s Political Secretary. It has been a privilege to work for Gordon and the wider team here at No 10 and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity. It has been a fascinating and hectic year.
I have also been lucky to work closely with you, not only in my current post but as the first women PLP Secretary. I will be taking away very many happy memories, particularly of the evening we gathered in the Chamber for the photograph to mark the Centenary of the PLP.
My next venture is to start my own communications business which I am very excited about.
My mobile number will remain the same xxxxxxx, my new email address is email@example.com Joe Irvin has been appointed to replace me. Joe has for the past year worked as a special adviser to the Prime Minister on trade union, employment and housing issues.
He is a lifelong Labour Party member and previously worked as special adviser to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 1996-2001, and was for many years a trade union official. I know you will give him all your support.
With my best wishes
There are by-election losses and there are by-election losses, Labour coming fifth behind the BNP and Greens made losing their deposit that much worse. Backbench MPs will be studying Charles Clarke’s doomsday list (download here) a little more intensely. They will be looking at the crumbling Gordon and wondering to themselves how the party might fare without the millstone of a voter repelling weirdo up front.
UPDATE : A co-conspirator points out that Chris Rennard’s post match spin is ambiguous:
“We increased our vote…”
An increase of minus 2421 votes!
There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…
UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.
Guido gave a former senior LibDem apparatchik 9/1 on the LibDems winning. So they are still optimistic…
Downing Street’s Jeremy Heywood has written to Whitehall’s mandarins euphemistically seeking someone for ‘a high profile and demanding post involving daily contact with the Prime Minister… I would be grateful if you could each put forward the names of one or two individuals who would particularly excel in this role.’ An ability to duck under fire would be useful.
Fiona Gordon has already given her notice, Spencer Livermore went in March. The captain will be alone when the ship goes down…
My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.
Like the pair of prats we were, the owner and I tackled youth crime. When we caught up with the pedestrians, we received between us a black eye (owner) and cut lip (me), and no moped.
My main memory of this incident is rather horrid: the spit-filled mouth of the little rat-faced boy who punched me. Short, white, in a grey hooded tracksuit, he shouted at me with all the rage of Cain: the most astonishing indignation.
A rise of 218% in ten years.
*Not including travel, source: Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Third Report
Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government. Which will finally and irrevocably transform the nature of politics and civic life in Britain.
That is a frightening responsibility. The young princes who now stride the parade ground with the confidence born of aristocratic schooling can never be afraid. They never have been. Like latter day Pushkins drilled in the elite academy of Brownian blitzkrieg, they are bursting with their sense of destiny. It’s not the Milibands, the Ballses or the Burnhams who are unconsciously nervous. This is the moment for which they were created. They are ready.
But for the rest, the officer class as much as the rank and file, it’s a daunting inheritance. The decade to date has been a long march to sustain. Those who led it have changed and re-changed, been shuffled and sidelined, died and retired from the field. But we – the poor bloody soldiers – are still here. Our boots are fresh and our uniforms re-supplied. We are rested and invigorated. Morale, if it anywhere was, can only be high. Yet still it’s a decade since we have been home. As we prepare to strike out again from our camp, we don’t wonder which army will triumph, but begin to ask what we will do if this march never ends.
Guido is moist-eyed with laughter. Sion Simon really does have exceptional judgement.
Hat-tip : Dominic Fisher
‘Queers for Palestine’ | Milo Yiannopoulos
Tories Attack Labour on Tax | Mark Wallace
UKIP No Flash In Pan | Matthew Goodwin
12 Signs It’s Time to Get Out of Gaza | Slate
Mars Lawyers Slam Plain Packaging | CityAM
HealthCare.gov Construction Cost $840 Million | Wall Street Journal
Why Do Feminists Oppose Stay-at-Home Mothers? | Laura Perrins
Chris Cook’s “Excellent Journalism” | Iain Dale
The Deficit Hasn’t Gone Away | Tim Montgomerie
Doctors Against Burnham | Mail
Privatisation is Good for the NHS | John McTernan
Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:
“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”