Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Miliband Takes Aim

It appears the game is very definitely on. Team Brown is now fighting for survival in the only way it knows how – anonymous briefing. The Standard quotes “allies”, presumably Damian McBride, saying that Miliband is being “disloyal” and “self-serving” and of lacking “judgment and maturity”.

It goes on “People at least thought he was a serious figure and a grown-up politician but by allowing his head to be turned by this leadership nonsense, he has revealed a surprising lack of judgment and maturity.”

It was of course about this time 2 years ago that a not at all disloyal or self-serving crowd of Brownies sent a letter to Mr Blair telling him to go. Has anyone got a stamp?

Policy Exchange Hires Katy

Katy Taylor-Richards is leaving the Daily Express bunker to take over media relations for Policy Exchange under James Bethell. Both will be joining the growing think tank at the end of the month.

No news as yet as to who will be taking over from ex-boss Anthony Browne now he is off to do policy for Team Boris…

Nick Robinson : Politicians Are Two-Faced Liars

Nick Robinson is doing holiday cover on the Today show* and has been uncharacteristically candid on his blog. Nick says “that the public words of support for the PM often do not reflect the private misgivings I hear… It is the job of journalists to look for them but it is also our job to report the difference between talk and action.”

Great, go on, do your job then Nick. Tell us who is saying one thing to you and another to the public. Or is this a secret just for you and not the people who pay your wages? Who are the two-faced liars?

*Have to admit he is preferable to Jim Naughtie.

Guardian Lost £26.4 Million Last Year

Guardian News & Media (GNM), publishers of the Guardian and the Observer increased operating losses to £26.4m. The parent owners GMG would also have reported operating losses of £24.8 million were it not for the £334.8m sale of a 49.9% stake in Auto Trader, to Ronnie Cohen’s evil capitalist private equity vultures, Apax Partners. The online arm’s separate Guardian Unlimited identity has been dropped (it was more unkindly known by some as “Guardian Unlimited Losses”).

Incidentally the annual report reveals they paid £15.3 million in taxes last year despite claiming a group profit before taxation of £306.4 million after the sale of Auto Trader. GMG have always been adept at using the Scott Trust and other dodges to minimise tax charges. Guido congratulates them on achieving an effective tax rate 4.99%. Remember that the next time Polly Toynbee calls for higher taxes and everyone to pay a fair share.

Controversial Smith Institute trustee and Chairman of the Guardian Media Group Paul Myners warned: “We expect the uncertainty within the UK economy to have an impact on a number of the group’s revenue streams in the coming year.” Translation : we will lose more money next year.

Incidentally, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got by on a total compensation package of a mere £544000 up from £473,000 last year. A 15% increase as a reward for losing £26.4 million – no belt tightening for him.

Handy having your friends, rather than shareholders, decide your pay isn’t it?

In the Bunker After the Glasgow East Result

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Clegg Does Realpolitik, Ends Policy of "Equi-Distance"

Nick Clegg says he is shifting resources to target what they see as the 50-most winnable Labour seats, pouring efforts and campaigners into fighting Gordon.

This is a sensible strategic move in the face of the reality of the polls, a change of government won’t happen if LibDems and Tories swap seats, a change of government will only happen if the LibDems and Tories take seats from Labour.

Guido advocated a Tory – LibDem non-aggression pact when Labour were riding high (Time for Tactical Decisions from CCHQ and Cowley Street). It still seems like a good idea. Having the LibDems as the official opposition to a Tory government would realise Margaret Thatcher’s oft stated ambition – to have a non-socialist alternative to the Conservatives, that would be her final victory. If Labour are attacked by Lib-Dems from second place and don’t waste money attacking second placed Tories in Labour seats they have a chance of becoming the official opposition. Over the border in Scotland the SNP have also removed Labour’s perpetual grip on on power. The total destruction of the Labour Party as a political threat is within grasp if the opposition parties are imaginative…

Is it Silly Season Yet?

First Poll Shows Obama Hit by Jonah Effect

The monthly USA Today / Gallup poll is the first post Obama-Brown meeting poll. Guido can report that the Jonah effect has even diminished “the one”. This time last month Gallup reported that amongst likely voters McCain trailed Obama by 3% (44% against 47%). Since meeting Jonah Brown that position has reversed, McCain now leads by 4% (49% to 45%), a hefty 7% swing. In polling terms this is a McCain surge.

McCain be warned – don’t meet Gordon Brown – the safety of the free world depends on it…

UPDATE : Met Office issues second day of severe weather warnings for the East of England. A co-conspirator, Lola, reports

Bloody great thunder storm here in Suffolk last night. Rather like a towering Scotch rage. Woke me up. Then I remembered that Jonah was in the general area. I must say it made me giggle.

Jonah Brown, ruining everyone’s holiday in Southwold…

Monday, July 28, 2008

+++ Newsnight’s Peter Barron Quits for Google +++

The Press Gazette is reporting that Newsnight’s editor Peter Barron is to leave the BBC at the end of the week to become UK head of public relations for Google. Wonder what it was about the multi-million pound stock options package that made him quit one of the most politically influential jobs in broadcasting?

Watson Enforces Standing Ovation

At the Warwick National Policy Forum Brown tripped onto the stage to make his speech. Sky News showed someone falling asleep in the front row as the tractor statistics rolled out, Gordon attempted to half-heartedly attack the Tories. At this Tom Watson, who revels in his enforcer role and is the man the Tories can thank for getting rid of Blair, started clapping,. Somehow the lone claps had an air of menace that eventually brought a few more to their feet. Saddam used to note who was last to stand up and the first to sit down the for his ovations…

Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


VOTER-RECALL
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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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