Labour Cynically Exploit Tributes to Gwyneth for Data Mining

The readiness of New Labour to cynically exploit the goodwill of Gwyneth Dunwoody’s constituents (where she had a significant following) hit a low with the hasty announcement that Labour will rush the election in record time. Now they have been caught milking tributes for partisan advantage.

The official local party website invites you to leave a tribute to her – nothing wrong with that. Guido cynically wondered why the online tribute form asks not only for your name, but your house number, postcode and email address? It seems Guido was right to be cynical…

Before she is in the ground they are electioneering. If anyone from Labour claims that it is just an innocent opportunity to leave a tribute to the much-loved former MP they are being less than honest. A close study of the data capture process reveals that it includes a sophisticated software routine designed to look-up and verify the postcode and collect the data for Labour HQ in London. This is not a spontaneous local initiative – it was designed by Tangent Labs, the Labour Party’s national e-campaigns software contractors. Don’t forget to include this work in your election expenses chaps….

The data will no doubt be used to help with e-campaigning in what could be a closely fought battle. This by-election will be a prototype for General Election e-campaigning strategies…

Worry & Hurry for May 22 By-Election

The unseemly rush to have the Crewe & Nantwich by-election can only mean one thing – Labour are worried. Guido can’t recall an election being called before the body was buried before.

They obviously hope to prevent the opposition organising themselves and exploit the warm goodwill that still lingers from Gwyneth Dunwoody. The selection takes place Friday morning with the candidate to be announced Saturday night.

It suggests that they hope to get all the bad news out of the way before the summer. In time no doubt for yet another Brown re-launch…

UPDATE : Iain Dale speculates as to why Fraser Kemp won’t be performing his usual by-election role.

How Do You Like This Big Tent Gordon?

Kate Hoey will be Mayor Boris’ sports adviser in the run-up to the Olympics and if some rumours are to be believed, Brian Paddick, not Boris himself, will be his chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority. That would be sweet revenge for Paddick, although it might not be so comfortable for Sir Iain Blair…

One Labour insider has just told Guido that Labour will implement a scorched earth policy in an attempt to sabotage Boris at every turn. Just as they have squeezed the SNP government in Scotland budgetarily from the centre they will do the same in London. Central government under their control will collectively punish London’s voters for not voting Labour…

Post May 2 : Potential Battlelines

Gordon and the diminishing band of loyal Brownies must be thinking ahead to May 2 about the tactics and strategies to be employed to quell a PLP mutiny. The declining wider membership is so demoralised and disappointed that it is for now quiescient and no grassroots threat is likely. Avoiding giving the PLP opportunities to lash out at Gordon will be the prime goal.

With Mayor Boris in office and Labour suffering triple figure losses elsewhere, the keen sense of self preservation felt by politicians will come into action. Ken will no doubt blame Gordon (and his bad press), the timing of Gordon’s 10p debacle will be blamed by the legions of local councillors who will be mourning their lost jobs.

Guido believes that constitutionally and practically it is too late to mount a formal leadership challenge to Brown’s under Labour Party rules in time for the September conference. So it would have to be by non-constitutional means that he is dragged out of Downing Street – Jack Straw no doubt will be at the back of the delegation doing the dragging. Another option is to make the 42-days vote effectively a confidence vote. Since the opposition will unanimously vote it down, it will be up to Labour backbenchers if they want to get rid of their unelected leader.

If Gordon kicks 42-days into touch it will signal his fears of the consequences…

+++ United Business Media Flees UK Taxes +++

The company valued at £1.3 billion is fleeing the shores of Britain’s increasingly high tax regime, joining the FTSE 100’s Shire Pharma in what is becoming a trend as Britain becomes less competitive.

UBM will become tax resident in Ireland, where we enjoy corporation tax rates of 12.5% compared with the 28% suffered in the UK.

Plenty of room for the rest of the FTSE 100…

Lights Go Out at City Hall

Like a biblical omen, darkness has fallen on Ken’s City Hall.

Due to flooding in the basement the power has been switched off. Has London ground to a halt? Has the lack of advice from diversity officers brought commerce to a halt? Will the lack of active bureaucrats halt the transport network?

Guido suspects London would function better without the extra layer of Mayoral bureaucracy….

UPDATE : Some jokes in the comments that the over-working paper-shredders probably fused the electricity – as with the Stasi before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Would be funny except Ken has boasted of doing exactly this before the 2005 Freedom of Information Act came into law.

Gwyneth Funeral Next Week

Gwyneth Dunwoody’s funeral will be held at St Margaret’s Chapel in London on May 8 at midday.

The by-election date will be announced the following week – expect mid-June. Thursday’s local elections will be especially telling because due to boundary re-organisation, the results will be mappable onto the Westminster constituency. Rumours are that her daughter Tamsin may stand for the seat…

+++ YouGov: Boris 11% Ahead on First preferences +++

10% after second preferences…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

+ READ MORE +

How to Hack Harriet Harman

As the government contemplates a law to criminalise “reckless” losses of data it is worth reflecting on the sophisticated data security employed by Harriet Harman to prevent hacking of her blog:
username : harriet
password : harman
The hacker

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Demos Abandons Party Conferences

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: Word reaches Guido that the “Third Way” think-tank Demos is not going to the party conferences.

They claim that the returns do not justify the costs. There have been consistent rumours that Demos has funding difficulties – […]

+ READ MORE +

Technical Problems

Overnight something has happened. Not sure if it is technical failure, a hacker attack or just a glitch. Everything is backed-up and will be restored in due course…

UPDATE :

It was a glitch. Thanks to Dizzy for the solution.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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