Friday, March 20, 2009

Jonah Brown Closed Birmingham Motor Show

motor-showLast July Gordon visited the Motor Show, the showcase for British engineering which has run for over 100 years. The next show has been cancelled.  Only the Kaiser, the Führer and now the Jonah have ever stopped the show from going ahead. The Treasury has a 2p hike in petrol taxes scheduled for next month, this curse on the British Motor Industry is not the result of Jonah Brown’s jinxit is government policy.

Germans Say “Nein, Herr Brown” to More Fiscal Stimulus

merkel-brownAngela Merkel told the Bundestag yesterday “It is not time to look at more growth measures. I disagree with this idea completely. The existing measures must work, they must be allowed to develop”, by which she means the monetary stimuli already implemented.

Referring to the G20 the German Chancellor said: “We need to send good psychological signals from London and not engage in a competition for unrealisable growth packages. We have already done our part.”

Already Treasury officials are back-pedalling on Gordon’s calls for yet more co-ordinated global fiscal stimulus and ceding to Franco-German demands for pan-European financial markets regulation – something that Britain has hitherto resisted. Gordon is caving in to European demands in the hope of getting a G20 boost from having got an international deal of some kind which he can spin.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lynton Crosby Advising Libertas on Euro-Campaign

Isaby has scooped another story for ConservativeHome, the news that Lynton Crosby is advising Declan Ganley on running a slate of candidates in Britain for June’s European elections.  Guido suggested early on that the Tories should have associated themselves with the Libertas pan-European ticket.  Maybe they felt there was little to be gained in doing so in the UK.  In the wider post-EPP environment after the election it might have been useful, assuming Libertas win any seats.

LibertasLynton is a business-like strategist, he knows he has three major problems; firstly the policy position taken by Libertas is nearly the same as the Conservative stance towards the EU, secondly British voters who are particularly interested in the EU tend to UKIP.  His third problem is name recognition, few have heard of Libertas.  Will be fascinating to see what strategy he comes up with since Crosby has a reputation as a realist when it comes to campaigning.  If he wins a single UK seat he will have done well.

UPDATE : The Fink asks Is Libertas Pointless? He basically draws a venn diagram of potential voters and finds the Libertas subset to be very small.

Coming to TV : Spin Bloggers versus Reality-Based Bloggers

At the request of readers Guido has been trying to avoid blogging about Draper, so this plug is a bit of a, hopefully forgivable, relapse.  This anecdote is to illustrate the difference in the approach taken by Draper (spin) and the rest of the blogosphere (authenticity).   Do you recall when Guido wrote about the suspension of Dolly’s Twitter account for abuse of the service?  A co-conspirator has just pointed out that at the time Derek’s rapid rebuttal claim was:

“Guido and Iain Dale are upset that I am the most followed political twitterer.”

Mike Power, the long established blogger retorted via Twitter:

Draper Bullshit

derek-v-borisIn the reality-based part of the blogosphere we know that Draper has a little over 3,000 followers and Boris Johnson a little short of 20,000 followers – none of whom Boris spammed for attention.

Yet another example of the same old Derek, same old spin.

Some of you will be looking forward to the Daily Politics Draper v Guido show next week. It might not be as exciting as you think, the producer is determined that it will not be a personal slagging match and we are to be restricted to the subject of Labour’s approach to blogging.  Guido will be contrasting Prescott’s authenticity with Draper’s artificiality.  Draper’s CV has unfortunately been ruled off the agenda.

Psycho Won’t Work in No. 10

As many co-conspirators speculated at the time, the Blockbuster DVD box set gifted by Obama to Gordon is Region 1 DVD locked – meaning it won’t play on UK DVD players.  According to the Telegraph

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem. The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words “wrong region” came up on his screen.

Downing Street is very touchy about DVDs, when Martin Bright reported that they had compiled a DVD of Obama apologies for the Prime Mentalist to learn from, Damian McBride went into overdrive, denying it and even texting Bright to demand a correction.

McBride really should stick to dictating copy to Derek Draper – at least he reprints it.

Potty Mouthed Populism is an Antidote to Political Spin

Just noticed (via the ASI Blog) that David Aaronovitch fears the populist influence of “potty-mouthed right-wing bloggers on some political journalism”.   His Times colleague Daniel Finkelstein credits Guido with helping to focus mainstream media attention on the sleaze and petty corruption of politicians.  The raison d’etre of this blog is to foster an anti-political atmosphere by encouraging popular scepticism about politicians and their client media.  This is because Guido wants to de-politicise more areas of human action, increasing the non-political space in our society and culture, for which a necessary pre-condition is the discrediting of politicians by exposing their venal, self-interested behaviour.  Aaronovitch is right to fear.

He is wrong on one thing, and Polly Toynbee makes this mistake as well, Guido is not the “potty mouthed” author of profanity on the blog.  The readers comments however are a different story, there the anger is allowed to let rip.  If it tells our political masters anything, it tells them they are hated.  It may not be polished prose, but it is genuine anger.  They read it, they know it is real and it stings them.  David Miliband, Peter Hain and Ed Balls will, if you ask them, tell you how much they despise this blog.  Yet they still read it, just as Caesar listened to the baying mob at the circus.  You can’t spin the booing of a crowd.  Politicians should consider the blog’s potty mouthed comments a free and unfiltered focus group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LibDem Youth Teeny Totty Tantrums

libdem-girlsIt seems Nick Clegg is having trouble with the kids, after personally launching the rebranded Liberal Youth movement last year, the kids are now biting the hand that feeds them. Their election for a new chairman has descended into the kind of fight that only student politics can. The incumbent chair, Elaine Bagshaw, is a Labour defector (pictured here raving) who has been compared to Vicky Pollard by Quentin Letts. Opponents say she is playing dirty to secure a second term.

Her libertarian leaning opponent Sara Scarlett (pictured smiling), has resigned from the kids club executive after rounds of furious bitching* chronicled by the Tory Bear blog.  Mind you she managed to slag of the sheer “corporate incompetence” of Cowley Street before she went.  In an illiberal move worthy of Trotskyite splinter group, Bagshaw is now trying to get her opponent kicked out of the party to clear the way for her re-election.

Both candidates for the top job have  called for Liberal Youth the organisation to be scrapped – does that show leadership potential?

*There was a  Downfall spoof video, a must have for any political bitchfight these days, sadly that disappeared after talk of legal action.

Bonkers in the Bunker

Cameron explicitly said at PMQs what Guido thinks, in the “bunker” they are bonkers, barking out orders for schemes that never happen. Gordon actually claimed at one point during PMQs that Germany had “left the mainstream” of economic thinking.  That would be Germany, with the biggest economy in Europe and a centrist coalition government.

Delusional and in denial are inadequate terms to describe Gordon’s state of mind.  He is completely disconnected from the reality of the situation, that makes it impossible for him to get us out of this mess.

Don’t just take Guido’s word for it, Brian Wilson, a former government minister with across the board experience in a number of departments has just written this; “Brown was clearly deluding himself this week with his overblown invocations of Churchillian resolve to counter the turbulent economic times in which we live.” In private more and more Labour people are completely despondent.

PMQs Sorry Story

Bust Gordon Will Be Politely Ignored at G20

Gordon keeps on mumbling about the need for an “international early warning” system, some might say that the IMF already does that job.  After all it gave at least half-a-dozen warnings about Britain’s over-indebtedness in the years proceeding Brown’s bubble bursting.

This morning the IMF is warning that the UK will be the last major economy out of recession.  Gordon thinks he can use the G20 Summit to show his leadership, Guido suspects many world leaders will be grateful that they are not in his situation.  Americans commentators talk about the UK’s currency collapse and debt crisis.  The Europeans are dismissive of his VAT cut, Asians bored by his talk of global regulation –  which seems laughable in the wake of the collapse of the British banking sector.  The White House wants to sort Wall Street out themselves and the American voters won’t be interested in Gordon’s grandiose schemes.

The truth is that Gordon has presided over the biggest bust of any major economy. The IMF says Britain will probably be last out of recession.   Gordon has no credibility as a prudent finance minister.  The G20 leaders will politely listen to his ramblings in the way that you listen to the views of a slightly demented uncle who invites you over for lunch.  They know he is finished and they probably won’t have to listen to him again.

UPDATE : Former Blairite Downing Street spinner turned lobbyist Darren Murphy is dismissive of the relevance of the G20.  Reading between the lines, he is dismissive of Brown altogether.  Expect more of this kind of thing from Labour figures.


Seen Elsewhere

Mirror Hacking: 50 Legal Action Claims | Press Gazette
Mandy’s £400,000 Tax-Free Loan From Own Company | Guardian
Why We Must Remember the Holocaust | Hugo Rifkind
“Adjustments” Not Cuts | Gary Gibbon
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
British Minister in Watch Gaffe | Straits Times
New Tory, New Danger | Laura Perrins
UKIP Could Work With Dave If Price is Right | Douglas Carswell
Cops Catch Crims With B.O. Test | Techno Guido
Bashir’s “False Account” to His Own Lawyers | Times
Injustice of Tax Avoidance Hysteria | City AM


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George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


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