Don’t Mean to Gloat* But You Read it Here First

Nearly four and half years ago, when Tony Blair was still the Prime Minister and a mere two days after David Cameron became Tory leader, Guido posted this:

While Guido may have been a little out with his forecast of what the futuristic Sky News graphics would look like, the rest of it unfolded just as was predicted here first.  Not only that, months ago Guido along with the likes of Alex Massie at the Speccie and Mark Littlewood, (the Guido supported winning candidate for the top-wonk job at the Institute of Economic Affairs)  began to talk of the “Change Coalition” that came as such a shock to everyone else. The 1930s “Liberals and Conservatives Unite for Freedom” poster became a near daily occurrence on the blog, (it was even Guido’s Twitter background during the election campaign). Guido even kindly mapped out scenarios not so different to what actually unfolded:

These were greeted with reactions varying from horror to laughter. Who’s laughing now eh?

*Alright, am intentionally gloating.

Brothers in Arms

David Miliband was finally asked about the prospect of his younger brother throwing his hat into what could turn out to a brutal Labour leadership battle. His line is that “the most important thing for both of us is that the family remains strong” Almost identical to his view on the Labour movement.

Mummy Miliband is said to be aware of Ed’s intention to run, and while David may have the media buzz around his campaign, Ed is much more popular with the grassroots and is more liked by the deciding union voting bloc. AV is used in the contest and if Cruddas or David didn’t win outright in the  first round, Labour insiders are confident Ed would hoover up the second preferences and come through the middle. With Brown and Blair consigned to history, Clegg and Cameron seemingly very cosy, the Shakespearean personality battles of the past look set to be inherited by the next generation of the Labour Party. This could break a mother’s heart…

UPDATE : Miliband, D told The World at One that “brotherly love is more important than politics“.

Quote of the Day

Sir Michael White sucks up to the new government…

“… it’s always good to see an old survivor like Kenneth Clarke back in harness at almost 70. And I hold counterintuitive shares in young Osborne. Danny Alexander as Scottish secretary? Wasn’t he a press officer last time we looked? But Huhne and David Laws are very smart …”

Tweet Free Cabinet

Despite being bound by collective responsibility, the new Ministers have had their Blackberries and phones taken away for Cabinet. Trust levels are obviously high.

Coronation or Will Cruddas Stand?

Over at Politicalbetting.com thinks Jon Cruddas might throw his hat in the ring for the Labour Party leadership. Guido has spoken to a number of Labour insiders who are divided on the issue. Some say he has to come off the sidelines as a critic and do something now Brown is banished. Others doubt he has the bottle and think he’ll calculate he can’t win and chicken out. If he doesn’t stand it will be another coronation for David Miliband.

The bookies have this morning marked Cruddas up to second favourite ahead of Balls and Ed Miliband. Burnham hasn’t ruled himself out either…

UPDATE : On the basis of a tip and some clues Guido called Matthew MacGregor from Blue State Digital’s London office to ask if his firm was going to be running the Cruddas online operation.  No denial has been forthcoming, so with those clues and the sudden overnight movement on the betting markets it is “Game On” as they say in Labour’s new media circles…

The Rancour to Come

Civil Servants and Downing Street staff breathed a huge sigh of relief as Brown walked into the sunset.  Finally a chance to close to door on the culture of bullying, tantrums and rage. But just as that door was closing, a recycled Converse clad foot jammed it open. Fresh from a sprint down Whitehall, Steve Hilton, out of breath and panting, created a formidable presence as he entered, mentally eyeing up a corner to build his temper controlling zen area.

Despite his blue sky thinking and change mantra, Hilton is actually cut from the same school of man management as the previous occupant of Downing Street. Famed for temper tantrums, the dynamics of his small/bald man complex play out on his sometimes tearful underlings. The knives are being quietly sharpened, though he is determined to keep his feet under the desk and his influence on government policy direction.  ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie is already describing some of Hilton’s previous actions as “unforgivable“. It can’t be long before the sniping begins…

The Belated Tory Victory Party is Tonight

The place to be in Westminster tonight is Adam Afriyie’s at-home party for new MPs. The PM is going to drop in and most of the parliamentary party will be knocking back the booze. It will be the first post-government party for most of them.

Champagne is no longer banned…

Nick RSVPs With Put Me +5 on the Cabinet Door

The Rose Garden of Downing Street rarely sees such amicable proceedings. In what could be described as a cross between a Richard Curtis film and the end of Blind Date when the couple come back for a chat, Cameron and Clegg laughed and joked their way through a rather painful show of affection. One day they will probably look back and regret such an OTT performance. Some terms of their agreement have just been released. The real extent of the horse-trading will have to wait to be dripped out when the going gets tough.

The Dusk of a New Age

While the helicopters were trailing every move a government made yesterday evening, the Tory hacks descended on the Red Lion, just a stones throw from Downing Street. From the moment Gordon left, until the small hours this drunken throng grew […]

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So What Happens at PMQs?

So it falls to Harman to try land the first blow on Cameron at PMQs a week today. If her erratic performances standing in for Gordon are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be too much for him to worry […]

+ READ MORE +

Johnson Falls in Behind David Miliband

Alan Johnson has ruled himself out of the leadership race this morning and backed David Miliband.  Guido is fascinated by the prospect of a David versus Ed fight between the Miliband brothers.  What will their mother say?

Harman says she […]

+ READ MORE +

CCHQ Recriminations Starting

Yesterday mid-level staffers at CCHQ yesterday were waiting to find out if their contracts were being renewed with the prospect of a second election ahead. They were playing the blame game, or as one told Guido, “Who was shitter? Hilton […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Cameron’s closest friend in politics Steve Hilton backs Brexit:

“A decision to leave the EU is not without risk, but I believe it is the ideal and idealistic choice for our times. Taking back power from arrogant, unaccountable, hubristic elites and putting it where it belongs. In people’s hands.”

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