Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blair Praises Corruption Suspect Sleazy Levy

The insouciance of Lord Levy knows no bounds. Last night at his £6,000 leaving party, he joked about honours peddling. He should have learnt his lesson from the last time he went to a fancy dress party in a gangster outfit as “Honours Levy”. The police arrested him the following week after reports in the press of his chutzpah.

In his speech he praised two former FCO Permanent Secretaries – John Kerr and Michael Jay – for their help. He cracked a gag congratulating them on their peerages, saying with a smile: “Nothing to do with me.”

Tony told the Lancaster House party goers “I would like to thank him for everything he has done for our country.” Guido suspects that the next place Tony speaks about Sleazy Levy in public will be at the Old Bailey.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pay Attention at the Back Brady

Grammar school dissident Graham Brady has posed a PQ:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what percentage of pupils attending the 200 highest performing comprehensive schools by unweighted attainment of five or more A*-C grade GCSEs, are in receipt of free school meals.

If he has actually read the Willets speech, which upset him so, he would already know the answer. Willetts said:

“…our best performing non-selective comprehensive schools have a much lower percentage of children on free school meals than in their area. In the areas where the best 200 comprehensives are located 12% of children are on free school meals. In those schools themselves it is 6%.”

Or is it that he doesn’t believe Willets’ figures?

Dave in Darkest Tooting, Searching for Effective Rhetoric

The set for the Tooting speech made Dave look like he was in a jungle rather than sarf London. Spinmeisters and image-makers spend hours thinking about these things, so it is not accidental. What was their calculation here?

Dave was wearing his “true blue” dark tie and dark suit combination, designed to camouflage him as a traditional Tory in the foliage. “Not abandoning Conservative principles, but applying them in new ways to new challenges” a word formulation very much like Prezza’s “traditional values in a modern setting”. Prezza’s phrase was designed to reassure the Labour base and came to the fore in 1998 when the Labour party at large began to really worry about the direction of New Labour policy. Yesterday was designed to reassure the Tory base about the substance of Cameron’s New Direction – “social responsibility, not state control”. It seems to have played well with the intended audience – Tories. The underlying ideological dimensions of Project Cameron are becoming clearer and they are beginning to realise that his instincts are their instincts.

“Our society – Your life” is a curt slogan, it sounds a bit like a financial services advertising strap line, it is as meaningful as “New Labour, New Britain”. No doubt the thinking was that it is softly more individualistic and connected than Labour’s “party and state” slogan.

Guido feels sometimes that Tory policy and presentation is designed exclusively to win back upper-middle class Waitrose shoppers, when it needs to reach out to aspirational strivers as well. The former voted LibDem, the latter voted for New Labour, winning them back requires them to feel that the party will help them. Making the Notting Hill Waitrose shopper comfortable with voting Tory has been achieved. Now he needs to convince the lower-middle class Ikea shopper from Nottingham it is in their interest to vote for him…

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Revolution Starts in Tooting!

In Samaj Hall on Tooting High Street at this very moment, Cameron, Osborne and Maude are launching the Progressive Conservativism agenda.

“Power to the people!” was the slogan of the Tooting Popular Front. Dave is recycling it today.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

“Gordon Brown looks like a character out of the Bash Street Kids who steals everyone’s pies. Nobody likes him and no one voted for him. We need an election.”

Laurence Llewelyn Bowen in the Observer.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Stand Up, Speak Up Progressives!

The Tories are taking their Policy Review recommendations on the road around the country because Dave says
“I want us to end the age of top-down, ‘we know best’ politics. Politics should be bottom-up and open – driven by the passions and priorities of the public. Many hundreds of experts have worked on our Policy Review, and I’m hugely grateful to them for the time and dedication they have brought to the task. But no experts have a monopoly on good ideas, and I want us to be the party that harnesses the ideas and enthusiasm of everyone in this country, not just the political elite.”

This will be fun. When CCHQ types meet the great unwashed and even their own members they are going to be in for a shock. There is also going to be “online discussions hosted at and moderated by the Policy Review team.” Moderated? As in censored? That seems a bit “top-down, shut-up, we know best” doesn’t it?

Dave is really going on-the-road to sell his policy shifts to the party. Team Cameron is positioning itself well to the left of Tory activists who are sick of hearing about windmill-powered huskie sleds and the like. Only Redwood’s recommendations on economic competitiveness are likely to provide red meat for those wanting to hear the old credo rather than tree hugging and fluffy bunny policies. The effort to reach out to the party faithful will have the slogan “Stand Up, Speak Up”. In the Observer this morning Dave is claiming to be a “progressive”. The activists will love that…

Friday, June 15, 2007

Benn Flops at Hustings

Jon Cruddas has accused deputy leadership rival Hazel Blears of colluding with the Tories by characterising his political vision as a “lurch to the left”nice to see the gloves coming off. Yesterday Amnesty polled attendees at a Deputy leader wannabee hustings they had organised before and after the debate:
After hearing them speak and answer questions opinion swung strongly, Cruddas once again impressed the crowd, Harman did surprisingly well. Benn flopped badly. After listening to him his rating plummeted. Johnson fared poorly as well, but this should have been Benn’s day, speaking to people with an international outlook. Having backed Benn on Betfair in the past, Guido is laying his position, going flat and “all green”.

Friday Caption Competition (G8 Edition)

Hat-tip :

Not So "Nice Guy" on the Sly

A co-conspirator emails after watching Question Time last night to point out there was a priceless moment towards the end when Hilary Benn “paid tribute to Alan Johnson for the skill he showed in taking top up fees through parliament”. The look that Johnson gave him was pure evil, as if to say, “thanks, pal, you’ll get yours”. Fantastically devious to remind Labour party activists who stuck them with the highly unpopular policy. Benn managed to make it sound like a compliment.

Punters moved firmly to Johnson to be the winner overnight on Betfair, some money shifted to Harman. Hain and Blears are no hopers at 70/1 and 100/1 respectively. Rumours are circluating that they are begging for votes to avoid humiliation. Blear’s people are warning it will be a slap in the face for Blairites if she comes last. Hain’s people are promising exactly the same thing as well…

UPDATE: Bit of a stewards inquiry in the comments. But after checking, Benn says it and gets the death stare from Alan Johnson 43:38 in, Cruddas brings it up right at the end, imitating Benn, a quarter of an hour later.

GuyNews Tottywatch : Obama Girl

Guido has been remiss in not closely following the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign. There has also been a lack of totty posts, so it is with pleasure that in one post these two failings can both be rectified.

Making a big hit across the Atlantic is a video pop-paen to Obama :

Is it a very clever viral or a piece of pseudo-user-generated ambient propaganda? Who cares? She is easy on the eye, worth watching and can hold a tune.

See the Obama Girl on GuyNews.TV.

Seen Elsewhere

Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph
All Three Parties Mulling Leadership | Staggers
Isn’t George Great | Simon Jenkins
Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP

Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)

Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”

orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?

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