Guido was pretty sure he signed up to take skirts off, not the other way round.
As the howls of anguish seep out of CCHQ that the LibDems will keep Brown in, Guido begs to differ, there is that risk of course but it is not as great a risk as they claim. There is also a great prize on offer, Brown can lead the Labour Party over the abyss into electoral oblivion destroying the Labour Party as a party of government. Statist, redistibutive social democracy has now been tested to the destruction of the nation’s finances. This election now presents an historic chance to break the Labour Party.
As Tories scream and point to Lib-Lab councils and the bearded sandal wearing activists who want to ban the bomb and legalise dope for purchase in euros, Guido says look at the reality. Since Charlie Kennedy’s demise the LibDems have been moving quietly to the right on economics, have jettisoned a lot of their loopiest policies and the Tories under Cameron have moved towards the LibDems on civil liberties, the environment and localism. The parties respective policies are closer now than they have been for over half-a-century. Cameron is telling the truth when he says that he is a liberal-conservative. Nick Clegg is a former Cambridge Conservative who is now a Liberal. They fact is they are both instinctively liberal metropolitan modernisers.
“But they are weirdie beardies” cry the Cameroon girls and boys distastefully in CCHQ. LibDem activists may be, but the parliamentary party is not and it is the parliamentary party with which they would have to work with in government. Here is a vote map based on data from MySociety’s Public Whip showing how increasingly over the course of the last three parliaments the LibDems more and more vote with the Tories:
We are possibly entering into an era of multi-party realpolitik. Clegg isn’t stupid, he won’t want to prop up Gordon Brown, it would infuriate voters and betray his whole change message. He is going to prefer to do a deal with the other ‘change’ candidate. If Cameron together with Clegg play it right, they can destroy the Labour Party forever…
Ever wondered why your complaint of left-wing bias against the BBC wasn’t upheld? It could be because you were speaking to one Chris Summers on the phone. Via his Facebook we learn that Mr Summer’s isn’t too keen on his “dull, boring, grey, miserable, crap job – dealing with election complaints!” Would this be the same Chris Summers who is the Labour coucil candidate in Ealing?
Elsewhere in on his Facebook page Summers spins for Brown, who he refers to as “the boss” and advocates his friends vote Labour. Such sentiments about a political party from someone with such a keen interest in his job makes you wonder just how serious his employers are about the balance of their output. At the end of the last month Summers said “Oh, the frustration of working for the BBC! Editorial Guidelines!!! Aaaaaah!!”
Guido would wager he isn’t the only lefty in Broadcasting House to think like that…
The downfall of Steven Purcell, Labour’s disgraced former head of Glasgow council has opened up the lid on the rank corruption at the heart of the Labour Party. Three of their MPs face criminal trials and Purcell is now being investigated by the police for Class A drug use and “other matters”, namely to do with his alleged flogging of council contracts to his criminal mates. The Scottish coppers have started interviewing his Labour colleagues over their business deals and drugs links. Further to that the candidate selected to replace Jim Devine has been reported to the police by his own council boss for alleged offences under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act. Perhaps they could share a cell.
Despite being repeatedly asked on television and in the House, Gordon is still being cagey about the problems engulfing his old tribe. Ironically it was the SNP’s John Mason, who won the Glasgow East by-election, who asked Gordon his last ever PMQs question. Gordon again claimed he would “investigate” a conference call between Downing Street and Scottish Labour where Mr Purcell’s little problems were discussed and ruled him unsuitable to stand in that very by-election. He said exactly the same two weeks before.
Three times he has dodged answering and given the growing list of Scottish Labour mob connections you can see why he wants to keep his distance. Once would be unfortunate, twice a coincidence, but on top of the trials and police investigations, the Labour Party have been exposed as associated with organised crime in Scotland dozens of times in the last few years. Cagey Jim Murphy even had a well-known mobster pop into his fundraiser for this election. In the Labour heartlands the party is as bent as a nine bob note.
Guido was surprised that a letter from Sir John Rose, CEO of Rolls Royce in this morning’s FT hasn’t got more traction:
“To draw an analogy, if the UK was a business, the shareholders would be asking serious questions. The current model appears to be that we can grow our business by growing overhead, by applying better terms and conditions to support functions than to wealth creators, and by paying dividends out of borrowings not all of which are recognised on the balance sheet.
We are also asked to believe that service levels will inevitably suffer if the costs of delivery are reduced. This need not be the case. As any business will confirm, service levels will reflect prioritisation, proper definition of desired outcomes, concentration on reducing waste and investment in productivity.”
Rose is a member of Brown’s special Business Council which is meant to have the ear of the PM. Brown clearly isn’t listening though…
Given the profound effect ninety minutes of television has had on the fickle electorate, it will be worth keeping an eye on the other debates happening in the run up to polling day.
The Daily Politics have organised almost all of the contenders for the senior cabinet positions to have a grilling from Andrew Neil. Today sees the first of such battles between William Hague, David Miliband and Ed Davey. The Beeb’s specialist reporter in each field will also be taking part in the interrogation.
If you want to put your money where your mouth is, Smarkets punters right now reckon Hague is still favourite to be the next foreign secretary and Ed Davey has only a 12% chance of getting the job. The fun and games begin this afternoon on BBC Two at 14.15. Miliband has been on fighting form butting the boot into the Tories since the campaign began, though anyone should be wary of entering the ring with Hague. Especially Davey who is notoriously dull on camera…