The Blair Delusion

Splashed across the opinion pages of Britain’s lower-circulation, loss making newspapers the punditocracy claims Blair is The Only Man for this Job. Steve Richards, Oliver Kamm, Jackie Ashley, Matthew d’Ancona (“the former PM is certainly the best candidate available”), John RentoulYes, Oui, Ja, and most of the rest of the Islington chattering classes are agreed:  Blair should be president.eu-blair

For a reality check let Guido quote the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The chances of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair going to the post of President of the European Council’s are zero…  At the meeting of Socialist leaders before the start of the EU summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was not listened to in his plea in favour of his predecessor… Thus Blair is in fact out of the race, because for this task no one wants to trust him.

Also overlooked by our somewhat delusional and europhile media elite is one glaring inconvenient fact; centre-right parties are politically dominant in Europe currently, the President is likely to come from their ranks.

Yesterday Brown fibbed in Brussels that “People would be pleased if a British person became president. I think most people would prefer a British person taking this job rather than citizens of other countries.” Polls show that less than a third of Britons support ‘President Blair’.  Brown has perhaps the worst case of delusion, out of touch with the will of his own people.  Guido knew that Blair would definitely not get the job once Brown cursed threw his backing behind him

Nadine Wins Substantial Settlement from Damian

Damian McPoisonThere was a lot of speculation when Guido personally served papers on Damian McBride on behalf of Nadine Dorries that it was merely some kind of publicity stunt (yes, that means you Mr Brogan).

What Guido knew, and many ill informed commentators did not, is that the smears about Nadine were placed with journalists and some pretty offensive questions were put to her as a result.  The fabricated stories did not just remain private in emails sent to Derek Draper, Charlie Whelan and Kevin Maguire.  Even before Smeargate became public, Nadine was furious that smears were in circulation and senior political reporters put the complete fabrications, of a sexual nature, to her.

There are other emails which have not been made public, again from Damian McBride, where he admits to spreading untrue rumours and suggests to the recipients that they claim to have heard the story “from within Tory circles”.  Those stories and allusions to those stories appeared in newspaper diary columns and elsewhere.  In short Damian did not have a leg to stand on.

Nadine might not be finished yet.  She has not halted her case against the government.  Gus O’Donnell is the formal respondent because as  head of the civil service he was the employer of Damian McBride, who as the PM’s Press Adviser, was line managed by Gordon Brown.  What is panicking the government’s lawyers is that Damian placed smear stories in newspapers about opposition politicians, sent from his desk in Downing Street, from his government computer, during working hours.  In the course of his job…

+++ McNulty Says Sorry to the House : Paying Back £13,837 +++

++ Damian McBride Pays Nadine Dorries Substantial Damages ++

More to follow…

With No End to Recession, Labour Attack Strategy Misfires

The coordinated attacks this week on George Osborne were pre-planned to coincide with the end of the recession as predicted by consensus economists. Except that the economy did not oblige.  On Friday the ONS reported numbers that shocked Gordon Brown, who has long clung to the belief that a rising economy will save him.   His curse prevailed.

Osborne AttackUnlike in the rest of the recovering industrialised world, UK GDP fell by a shock 0.4 % last quarter, meaning the economy had now contracted for six successive quarters, the longest recession in British recorded history.  Labour’s strategic plan, into which Guido understands Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson had input, was to use the reported official end of recession to claim victory in the battle against the crisis.  On the back of that they would launch a ferocious attack on George Osborne’s response to the crisis.

GO Wrong
There was no recovery reported.  Op-eds had already been lined up in friendly papers, “lines to take” established, Bad Al Campbell himself lined up a letter in the FT focusing on Osborne’s shadow chancellor / campaign manager roles. Labour produced publicity material (above) and digital animations to be used in online campaigns.  Mark Hanson, a backroom adviser on Labour’s online strategy, had placed a pre-written article on LabourList that he failed to revise to reflect the terrible Q3 GDP figures; “The campaign looks at what the real consequences would have been if George Osborne’s misjudgments had been enacted and led to a deeper, longer and more painful recession.”

That quote looks revealingly silly in the light of the figures showing Britain is suffering the deepest, longest and most painful recession ever recorded.   Attack dogs Liam Byrne and Alastair Campbell nimbly recalibrated their attack lines.  Instead of attacking Osborne as wrong on the recession, he was they claimed wrong on bailing out the banks (Byrne), wrong on political strategy (Campbell).  With Gordon proved wrong on the recession by the numbers, with Britain shown to be worst placed of all the G7 nations, with our economy now smaller than Italy’s economy, the whole “Gordon was right on the recession” line is in tatters.  Maybe they will try to resurrect it when the economy does finally bottom.  Too late for Gordon, who by some accounts took the released figures very badly.  At PMQs he stuck to the “I’m right, you are wrong, wrong, wrong” line even when the numbers showed differently.

With the new German government announcing a massive multi-billion growth package of tax cuts to boost the economy it will no longer be credible to paint the Tories as out of touch and isolated.  The Tories have a surprise for Gordon, which Guido will spoil, footage of President Obama time and time again saying in recent months that you have to cut taxes to help people in a recession.  With two of the industrialised world’s biggest economies – Germany and the United States – now implementing growth orientated policies, Gordon’s big government tax, borrow and spend will look out of kilter and isolated.  His last hope of a political recovery strategy is now past its sell by date…

Tom Watson Trousers £50,000 From Smeargate

Watson

Sort of jealous that Guido’s old sparring partner Tom Watson has reputedly trousered circa £50,000 from the combined damages he received from the Mail on Sunday and the Sun. Tax free as well, that will  more than make up for his loss of £400-a-month cash he claimed (no receipts necessary) in expenses for groceries. Guido put it to him earlier today and he did not deny it. Guido, alas, did Smeargate for pleasure…

City Boycotting the Lefties at the Pink ‘Un

FT-CCCP-thumbnailThe Financial Times has just announced a year-on-year circulation fall of more than 14% in the UK.   The paper now sells more copies overseas than in the UK – which may explain its fanatically europhile stance. Whereas the core UK readership is from the eurosceptic City and business community, the overseas readership is euo-establishment.  Increasingly commuters to the Square Mile are turning to City AM if they are casual consumers of financial news or, if they are need-to-know types, the revamped and strengthened Wall Street Journal.

Allister Heath, the editor of City AM, is a free-marketeer and the paper reflects the values of the readership which toils in the capitalist heart of the economy. The paper is prospering.

Two refugees from the Labourgraph, Patience Wheatcroft and Iain Martin,* have been drafted into the Wall Street Journal in London to strengthen the European edition. They don’t insult their readers, decry their investment banking and hedge fund employers or call for socialist solutions to our economic problems. Murdoch has consequently propelled the WSJ into becoming what is now the single biggest selling newspaper in America and also the only growing newspaper in America. As the FT’s circulation shrinks further perhaps it will decide not to support the Labour Party for a fifth general election in a row.   Yes, the Pink ‘Un even backed Neil Kinnock to the huge annoyance of the readership.

Guido still reads the excellent FT Alphaville blog, but if he wants to read left-wing prognostications on the economy, he’ll buy Tribune

*Iain Martin has started mocking the lefties at the FT.

PMQs Live Chat : Will They Mention Expenses This Week?

Cautious on Kelly

christopher_kellyThe piggies are squealing now they can see the glint of  Sir Christopher Kelly’s knife coming to cut off their perks.  Sir Stuart Bell, the ridiculous trougher-in-chief, says somewhat disingenuously that “The House would want to look at these resolutions, […]

+ READ MORE +

Late Night U-Turn on the TA

Gordon Brown will be spinning at PMQs later today that the reversal of a planned £20 million cut to the Territorial Army training budget is a result of him personally intervening with the Chancellor.  In reality it is more likely […]

+ READ MORE +

Downing Street : Biscuitgate Never Happened…

Is Brown Bonkers?Downing Street is now insisting that Gordon never saw the dozen Biscuitgate questions during the Mumsnet livechat.  Being unable to see anything that isn’t in headline size letters, the questions were instead put to him verbally by Mumsnet staff who […]

+ READ MORE +

Feels Good to Slap Nick

Feels Good to Slap nick
Guido managed 44 slaps in 30 seconds, so far he has had 12 million slaps.  More fun than deleting his comments on the blog. 

Go to www.slapnickgriffin.co.uk…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tim Farron is asked by GQ how he will be remembered:

“I won’t be. So there’s no point in worrying about how you’d like to be remembered at all.”

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