Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Huhne Site is Up

Well that didn’t take long did it? It is almost as if they were ready before Ming went…

Chris Huhne banner

Presumably he wants “people in charge” as opposed to Alien Lizards? What does he mean?

Tories Slam Sith "Fair Tax" Plans

This morning’s controversial Smith Institute summit on “fair taxation” was relocated from Downing Street after Guido drew attention to it. The event featured Gordon Brown’s former adviser and architect of Brown’s pensions grab, Chris Wales. As the principal architect of Gordon Brown’s pensions tax he is responsible for devastating pension funds. Today he gave the Sith a few new ideas for “fair taxes” on property to be levied through local councils.

Eric Pickles MP, Tory local government shadow didn’t hold back, he laid into the Smith Institute today – “the public will be alarmed that Gordon Brown’s advisers and favoured think-tank are calling for a toxic cocktail of local income taxes and a new national property tax.”

The Charity Commission is still investigating the Smith Institute for engaging in illegal political activity. Obviously these new policies are just a tad politically contentious…

1,700 Jobs to Go at BBC

That is what Guido calls “a good start”. Glen Oglaza over at Boulton & Co gives an example of why:

When Chris Huhne launched his Lib Dem leadership bid, our cameraman took the trouble to count the number of BBC people present.

There were TWELVE of them. Sky and ITN had three each.

You see this all the time, BBC camera teams literally tripping over each other. Each news show has its own resources. Guido has been inside the BBC’s Millbank operation, regional reporters galore reporting on Westminster. Ridiculous. Newsnight’s production office alone is as big as whole of the Sky News operation. This profligacy only happens because they don’t have to care about the bottom line.

Not much to report this morning, Ming has hinted that the Huhnie monsters could have been behind his demise. Huhne himself is expected to launch his campaign today. The Cleggies are texting all and sundry – Shane Greer has a screenshot of the hastily hidden, soon-to-be launched Clegg campaign site.

Some are speculating that the 29 year-old Julia Goldsworthy might run as a marker for the future. So after arguing for 18 months that age (he was 66) and experience (of sprinting) trumped looks and charisma, they could switch to a photogenic reality TV show contestant as leader – Julia is 40/1 on Betfair. Excellent idea, it couldn’t be any worse…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator says she has told her local rag she definitely won’t be running. Boo.

UPDATE II : John Hemming, who has confirmed he wants to run, is a mere 180 /1 on Betfair. He tells Guido he expects to get 5 nominations already!

UPDATE III : Vince Cable has ruled himself out this morning. Telling Nick Robinson that given “the current irrational prejudice about age… an older candidate is not electable”. Rationally, the 64 year-old slaphead is almost indistinguishable from Ming to voters.

UPDATE IV : Steve Webb says he has enough nominations, but is coming over all coy and pretending he is not sure if he really wants to run.

Comrade Maguire’s Obsessive Maggie Death Fantasy

The Mirror’s Kevin Maguire has a pseudo-working-class-warrior writing style requiring him to always refer to “Druggy Dave” the Bambi-killing Etonian toff. His incisive analysis of the political dynamic clearly owes a lot to a youthful close reading of the Beano. In his columns he talks down to his readers in a patronising style that assumes Mirror readers are stupid in a manner that, by way of contrast, Richard Littlejohn would never dream of doing. It is not a style that he uses in the Guardian or the New Statesman. It is all good knock-about stuff, Maguire is after all a Labour party propagandist first and a journalist second. He is, without doubt, far better at the former than the latter.

His pathological hatred of the Tories becomes totally unhinged when it comes to Margaret Thatcher. Time and time again he shares his death fantasies with readers. Today again, under the pretext of a theatre review, he reminds us that he will celebrate her death. He describes her as a harridan who should not be afforded a state funeral. His poisonous “death to class enemies” attitude reveals all you need to know about Kevin Maguire’s politics and nature. In another time and place you sense that as a commissar he would have happily dealt out revolutionary justice to class enemies – with a bullet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Betfair have opened up a market on the LibDem Leadership -

Clegg is hot favourite at less than evens.
Huhne is 13/5
Steve Webb is 15/1
Ed Davey is 36/1
Charles Kennedy is 40/1
Julia Goldsworthy is 40/1
Vince Cable is 50/1

Cable’s price seems to have some value here as an outsider. Guido has put a fiver on him as a trading bet.

Incidentally, Guido covered all his “Tories to be the biggest party” bets at a profit last night. If Clegg wins he may enjoy a honeymoon at Cameron’s expense…

EXCLUSIVE : The indefatigable John Hemming has sent round an email to LibDem MPs throwing his hat in the ring! Yes!

He has sent out a position statement which is basically steady as she goes, neither right nor left etc., concluding with -

I am one of the few Members of Parliament who have the practical experience of having successfully led a political group from opposition to a position of power (in Birmingham). On issues of diversity I have delivered. As far as extra parliamentary considerations are concerned I am almost certainly the only successful entrepreneur in the parliamentary party that is also a member of a Trades Union. I will be taking soundings following this position statement.

That should sew it up…

Lynne Featherstone isn’t running.

Timetable:

31st October: nominations close.
17th December: the new leader will be announced.

Nick Robinson has got the first Ming interview.

But remember, leading the LibDems isn’t just for Christmas….

Competition Winner

There were 200 hundred entries for the Friday caption contest. Most were abysmal and shockingly unfunny. You should all apply for jobs with BBC3.
Tuscan Tony wins with;

Stands the Trust clock at five to three
As the patients stew gently in their poo poo and wee
Gordon’s response – “It can’t be me”
I’ve only been here since June 23

Which just shows how bad the other entries were. He wins a copy of the 2008 edition of The Bumper Book of Government Waste 2008. If he emails his postal address Guido will stump up for the international postage…

Davey’s Dilemma

Ed Davey is in a dilemma, if he doesn’t run will he end up missing out on the crown? If young Clegg wins he could hold the leadership for a decade, with the result that some other young Turk will be jostling for the leadership when Ed is an older, balder man. Relatively old in these circumstances…

Will he stay out of it and endorse another candidate? Decisions, decisions. At the rate the LibDems change leaders, he could perhaps get another chance next year by backing Vince…

Incidentally, despite some speculation Lynne Featherstone told Guido she is “running in the other direction”. Guido suspects she will probably endorse Huhne (again).

Monday, October 15, 2007

What Has Vince Done With Ming?

Is Ming sitting alone in his old XJS Jaguar, finger poised over the ignition? His resignation letter seemed a bit curt. “Right I’m off. Sod the lot of you.”

Who wielded the dagger? Damning with feint praise was the chosen weapon of choice. Two killer quotes from the leadership team might explain why Ming has not spoken to either Hughes or Cable, the GMTV “must do better” from Hughes and the treacherous “under discussion, not under threat” comment from Cable on The World at One made it death-by-media.

Old Vince Cable trying to look solemn last night on Newsnight was a bit of a laugh. If Vince were to succeed in making his current leadership position permanent, most voters would not even notice. They would probably think that whatshisname looked a little different.

Perhaps, they might think, he was now darkening his remaining hair…


Seen Elsewhere

Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome
UKIP Poster Girl’s Naked Photos | Sun
Miliband’s Radical Old Labour Agenda | Fraser Nelson
Meet Team Miliband | Dan Hodges
Run Boris Run | Times
Tories Pledge to End Onshore Windfarm Subsidy | Telegraph
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


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