There are two possible angles to this story, either the cutting edge digital Telegraph team is preparing an attack on Dave using social media to harvest information in the run up to the election. Or given it’s Friday and all, hacks have sunk to new lows in lazy attempts at sniffing out a story. So look out for some inane rumours and anecdotes about Dave’s early days in the next week – you know were they came from now. Heidi Blake looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but perhaps she should have paused to think Dave’s old school chums might be a little more loyal than that.
While the limos may not be circling Parliament Square just yet, it is worth noting the intense speculation that something is up at Downing Street today. The polls are tightening, the recession figures could be spun well and Dave and co are off to the seaside for the spring forum that Labour couldn’t afford. Has Gordon been reading up on Wilson?
“Wilson would make his annual trip to see HMQ at Balmoral to coincide with the start of the Tory conference. To disrupt proceedings at the seaside, Wilson would feed a few trusted journalists that he was seeking a dissolution. It worked a treat. “
Gordon’s has never recovered from the election-that-never-was in Autumn 2007 because he allowed the speculation to go on too long. The Tories are secretly praying he holds off until May, as are the media whose well planned agendas would have been a total waste of time. Bookies have stopped taking bets on March 25th. If Gordon doesn’t make a move to confirm or quell the hype it will be Bottler Brown all over again.
Wilson quote via Events Dear Boy Events.
The ONS have revised the Q4 growth figure from a sickly 0.1% to a meagre 0.3%. An improvement but still nothing to be cheery about. What this figure does do though is decrease the chances that on 23rd April Britain will officially be back in a recession. Much of the speculation about an early election was based on this news, the final nail in Brown’s coffin would be a double dip announcement in the last weeks of an election campaign. The odds on an early election were slashed last night, but this news is good for those holding out that the election will be 6th May.
UPDATE: Guido understands that the BBC political teams have been told not to go away over the weekend.
For all their talk of engaging online and being so technically advanced, sometimes politicians painfully show just how of touch they really are. Most Twitter users at some point in the last week would have received a message from one of their followers or friends that said “haha is this you?” with a link. Classic spammer trick, it then spreads to all your followers. Harriet Harman has gone into full hysterical mode claiming in the House of Commons that her account had been “hacked” when Alan Duncan, a new gaffe-potential convert to the Twitterati, replied to what he thought was a genuine message from his old sparring partner. Far from Twitter proving this lot are in touch, more often than not it makes them look like morons. Perhaps it would be a more appropriate use of MPs time to be working on fixing that £178 billion deficit rather than messing around trying to look like they are down with the kids.
Guido understands that Andy Burnham is about to be in some deep trouble. Yesterday he said he “did not believe that a lengthy, adversarial inquiry would be in the best interests of health care in Staffordshire.” Today it has emerged that in 2007, as a Junior Health Minister, he signed off on one of four stages of the Mid-Stafford Hospital’s elevation to Labour’s coveted Foundation Trust status. This was despite four formal alerts about the hospital’s dangerous practises. The rest they say is history.
No wonder Dave was asking about this at PMQs yesterday. Guido just got off the phone with Julie Bailey of Cure the NHS, a local group campaigning for a full inquiry into the case, who said she had to go because “we’re just about to start filming” as Andrew Lansley was on the way.
After Burnham’s “tired and emotional” outburst at Lansley last week for the death tax posters, Guido senses he may be dodging Nokias by the end of the tea time news…