Featherstone, Cable and Clegg Quit PoliticsHome Panel

According to James Graham, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have followed Lynne Featherstone and quit the PoliticsHome Insider panel following Lord Ashcroft’s purchase.  Lynne was however happy to speak at a Total Politics (proprietors M. Ashcroft and I. Dale)  LibDem conference fringe meeting.

Does this mean that rival politicians are going to boycott ventures owned by Tories?  If so LabourList could be in difficulties, it is hosted online by Tangent Labs, the same people who handle all the Labour Party’s online business.  Tangent Labs is owned by Michael Green, who is not only a Tory donor, he is a Tory who donated to David Cameron’s personal leadership campaign and gave young Dave his only experience of working in the private sector by hiring him as his corporate spin-doctor at Carlton.  The Labour Party pays Green’s company to do all their online work.  He then donates some of the profits to the Conservative Party. You have to laugh…

Steve Richards Says “No Bank Collapsed”

Steve Richards in the Indy begins his panglossian column with “Labour activists heading for their pre-election conference in Brighton this weekend have cause to be in a mood of giddy euphoria. The Government called it right during the recession. No bank collapsed.”

Apart from Northern Rock of course. Oh, the Royal Bank of Scotland as well. Errrm, didn’t Halifax Bank of Scotland almost bring down Lloyds TSB into the bargain?  Almost forgot Bradford & Bingley. Every UK household has the equivalent of £3,000 invested in shares in RBS and Lloyds.  The taxpayer 100% owns Northern Crock and Bradford & Bingley because they collapsed.

Giddy Steve Richards’ grasp of the facts is worse than his analysis…

See also The Case for Elite Politics and Not Listening to the People, Steve Richards: Fails Numeracy Test and Steve Richards : “Voters Aren’t As Clever As Me”.

Bad Al Campbell Tells Labour to Copy McCain!

With rumours circulating that Mandelson has lured Alastair Campbell back to take a role in the election campaign, the former Downing Street spinmeister’s prognostications on campaign strategy are becoming more relevant than in the recent past.  GoFourth might just be Al and Prezza’s cheer-up-the-base operation rather than a vote winning operation, but a return to Down Street would really signal taking the fight out of the party activist ghetto and to the media.  Alive to the charge that Cameron and Coulson are simply copying the Blair and Campbell formula he laments “Ah, go the Pot-Kettle-Black brigade, but it is what you and TB did, got the media all squared and onside.”

He reckons a strategic Labour line of attack should be to spin that the media has fallen in love with Dave:

Cameron is a mediaman. For the media. Of the media. By the media. Giving not two tosses about the public other than as the means to be delivered into power. So the Tories and the media have a shared interest in saying the game is over, and it is only a matter of time. There is the makings of a good line of attack in here – the media love him because all he cares about is what they say about him; they’ve decided he’s home and dry … but shouldn’t the public have their say first?  Meanwhile, instead of claiming he has achieved nothing, constantly point up his one big achievement – turning the media into pussycats.

The last election team that faced a national media in love with a candidate was Team McCain, their approach was precisely the approach Campbell is recommending, see here:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In 2008 McCain spun commercials comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and lampooning him as “the one”. Obama still won. When you are reduced to complaining that the other guy gets too good a press and taking campaign cues from a losing strategy, you really have run out of ideas…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 56,097 visitors viewing 375,669 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories that you missed:

  1. Baroness Scotland Accused of £170,000 Expense Fiddle
    Got to fund illegal servant pay somehow.
    961 Comments.
  2. Source : Tapui Denies Showing Baroness Passport
    Her word against the Attorney General
    546 Comments.
  3. Max Clifford Takes Tongan to Tabloids
    Roll up, roll up for all the fun of the circus
    644 Comments
  4. Baroness Scotland Reported to Bar Standards Board
    Sunlight Centre reports her for bringing her profession into disrepute.
    584 Comments

  5. Obama Too Busy To See Brown
    Obama swerved no fewer than five requests from Jonah Brown
    560 Comments

  6. Just Go
    Video from ToryBear on the only story this week: Baroness Scotland
    318 Comments

  7. Guardian : Shriti Quitting for City ???
    She may yet end up in the Square Mile, after the G20

You’re either in front of Guido’s blog, or you’re behind…

Friday Caption Contest (Toff in a Bubble)

Quentin in a Bubble

Telegraph Did it to Help Heroes, Right?

ducksAndrew Pierce was on Today this morning and his telegenic features are popping up on Sky and BBC news channels.  He tells us how the Telegraph’s noble role in the expenses scandal has saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands already, how it is leading to the reform of the system and how it was achieved because outraged moonlighting soldiers providing security at the plant where the data was being redacted, provided the evidence.  The whole story is out today in a book, No Expenses Spared, from the Telegraph’s chief reporter, Gordon Rayner.

duckThe Telegraph headlines that MPs Lived Lavishly as Soldiers Died, it quotes their source as saying “It’s not easy to watch footage on the television news of a coffin draped in a Union Jack and then come in to work the next day and see on your computer screen what MPs are taking for themselves... When they’re out in Afghanistan they’re out there for Queen and country, earning £16,000 or £17,000 a year, knowing they’re going to take losses, while the MPs are sitting in Parliament on £65,000, with massive expenses, and meanwhile you’ve got bodies coming home.” Clearly the whistle-blowers were motivated by a justified sense of moral outrage at the troughing of MPs and the parsimonious way they treat the troops, their comrades. £20 a day for MPs’ lunches versus rations for them. Guido called up Gordon Rayner, one of the book’s authors, to ask was it true that he was donating the royalties from his book to Help for Heroes? “Look, I’m not going there” was his response.

So no royalties spared...

UPDATE : Lembit thinks all profits should go to Help for Heroes

Telegraph Paid £110,000 for Expenses Evidence

Money well spent…

Shriti G20 Conspiracy Theories

g20

It does say at the top of this page “rumours and conspiracy”.  File this theory under conspiracy. Shriti is the most loyal of Brownies, you would expect her to remain in the bunker with the dear leader until the bitter end, so why is she going to a non-existent G20 secretariat job?

Paul Waugh’s cynical thought is:  “has Shriti quit as a minister today because that allows her to continue working for Gordon without actually being covered by ministerial rules?” Thereby avoiding the six month  ‘cooling off’ period before she can take up lucrative private sector jobs come the defeat.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Guido’s alternative theory derives from the knowledge that Gordon has always fancied beefing up the international financial architecture, and would crave a legacy of that kind.  Given the disastrous state of the British economy, the idea that he would go to the IMF is laughable, the IMF is more likely to have to come to British shores.  The OECD prefers trained economists who understand econometrics rather than merely how to fiddle the figures.  The World Bank is a possible career direction for Gordon, though it has a focus on project finance and global development.

The G20, if it was beefed up, would provide Gordon with a bolt-hole.  He could spin that he is off to save the world, it includes India, China and Brazil, so lots of very important travel would come with the job.  He could give himself the task of setting up structures to rival the IMF and World Bank.  Give the G20 a remit to review global financial regulation, or as Gordon prefers to call it, the “global financial architecture” and he could save face, busying himself saving the world.

That would solve a huge headache for Mandelson – where to put Gordon before the election – it would appeal to the vanity of the Prime Mentalist, building a global quango allowing him to tell everyone he was “getting on with a big  job”.

The first step would be to send Shriti, his trusted emissary, to lay the groundwork.  Does anyone really believe the Koreans are incapable of taking on the chairmanship of the G20 without the shrieking Shriti’s advice?  Korea is a major developed economy.  They have hosted the Olympics so surely they could organise an agenda and haute cuisine menus for a couple of conference summits and a few photo-ops on their own?

Is the loyal Shriti merely puffing the pillows for a new seat for Gordon at the G20? Do you think Gordon is mentally prepared to courageously face his biggest, in some senses first, electoral test knowing it is doomed.  Will he wish to lead Labour to the greatest swing against the party in electoral history or do you think he will do his  usual Macavity trick?

Max Clifford Takes Tongan to Tabloids

Max Tongan

target-baronessDodgy Serbian non-solicitors, Tongans tricking Attorney-Generals and much, much more to come. Is it any wonder that Max Clifford has arrived on the scene? All this just in time for Labour Conference.  Gordon has expressed his full confidence in the […]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Source : Tapui Denies Showing Baroness Passport +++

target-baronessUPDATE : There are questions as to the status and paperwork for Alexander Zivancevic. UKBA having problems establishing his right to residence.  Oh dear…

UPDATE II : UKBA have now established Zivancevic was born in Hammersmith in 1968.[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Guardian : Shriti Quitting for City ??? +++

Andrew Sparrow is chasing a rumour that Shriti Vadera, a trusted loyalist Brownie is quitting.  HMS Gordon Brown will be like the Marie Celeste at this rate.  Although credible rumours abound that Alastair Campbell will be joining the ship for […]

+ READ MORE +

Obama Too Busy To See Brown

Obama swerved no fewer than five requests from Downing Street to hold a bilateral meeting either at the UN in New York or at the G20 summit starting in Pittsburgh today.  Obama himself was in New York to deliver a […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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