Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ken Wins Election Again Despite Promising to Never Stand
More Blairite Purging in Labour’s NEC Elections

Victory for the anti-austerity brigade as Labour’s NEC results are published this afternoon:

LIVINGSTONE, Ken 39,548 Elected
BLACK, Ann 36,496 Elected
REEVES, Ellie 31,278 Elected
SHAWCROFT, Christine 29,558 Elected
OSAMOR, Kate 28,484 Elected
BAXTER, Johanna 24,325 Elected
+
McMAHON, Jim 1,894 Elected (Local Gov)
PERRY, Alice 1,510 Elected (Local Gov)

Don’t tell Austin Mitchell, but now five sixths of the CLP representation on the Party’s governing body are now women.

“Left, left, left” says one Labour source. Progress candidate Peter Wheeler has been booted off, to be replaced by Kate Osamor from the ambitiously titled Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. She was elected on a promise to “reject austerity as a solution to the economic crisis.” Apparently, “instead of cuts, we will work for a Labour government committed to a plan for public investment.” Spend, spend, spend!

Joining Ken on NEC will be Ellie Reeves, the sister of Rachel Reeves MP and partner of John Cryer MP. She was endorsed by Unite, Tom Watson and his on/off young girlfriend, Stephanie Peacock. Who you know, not what you know…

Ellie will be in good company. Christine Shawcroft describes herself as being on the “extreme left of the Labour Party”, a CND supporting fan of Hugo Chavez and former Tower Hamlets councillor.  Ann Black said before the ballot “there are further challenges as the economy crawls out of recession. First, Labour needs a …positive alternative to Osborne’s endless austerity”. At least she publishes decent minutes of the meetings.

There is no doubt who the winner is. One seasoned Labour insider tells Guido:

“The NEC results are a shift to the Left with Grassroots Alliance (Left) candidates winning 4 out of the 6 slots. Popular young leftie Kate Osamor replaced the veteran old Right Peter Wheeler while right-wingers Akehurst, Nosegbe and Peel also lost out. The ambitious Johanna Baxter won as an independent and is well placed  to continue her hunt for a seat.”

A further purge of the Blairites at every level of the party.

Given how dismally Labour are represented in the South East, its is rather ironic that all of the CLP representatives live there. As LabourList notes: “only one candidate (Jim McMahon, the leader of Oldham Council and the Labour LGA Group) lives outside London or the South.”  And he’s only there as a councillor.

Perhaps the least surprising result saw Ken Livingstone breaking yet another pledge. In 2012 he promised that the London Mayoral battle would be his ‘last election’. He topped the ballot. It’s pathological…

UPDATE: Just in case you think Guido is overstating the swing to the left, the neo-Bennite Left Futures blog says it represents “a 14% swing to the left from right-wing and independent candidates… It is the best result for the Left since the mid-1980s.” The 80s were when Labour was loony and in permanent opposition…

Meanwhile Over at the High Court

COURT 12

MR JUSTICE WARBY

Wednesday, 20th August 2014

At 2 o’clock

FOR JUDGMENT

TLJ14/0733 Tim Yeo MP v Times Newspapers Ltd

UPDATE:

If Guido understands the ruling correctly, Tim Yeo has won the right to not have his libel claim held before a jury. Has Magna Carta not suffered enough?

Scowling Dave Arrives Back at Downing Street

Someone does not look too pleased about being back at work unexpectedly.

You would never have thought someone just enjoyed ten days in sunny Portugal…

WATCH: Austin Mitchell Sticking to His Sexist Guns

“Are they more leadable? I don’t know, I think they probably are. The problem will come if we have, say, a 1974 situation or 1951 situation where Labour does not have a powerful majority…”

Classy.

Sorry Sam: Dave Cancels Cornwall


The PM is on his way back to London to do nothing from his desk in Downing Street, rather than via his Blackberry.

Bad day for fishmongers of Cornwall.

Clegg Spins His Own Rennard Failings

The restoration of Lord Rennard’s LibDem membership card, and neutering of Nick Clegg, as gone down like a cup of cold sick with almost everybody except the pervy peer’s mates. The Deputy PM and LibDem leader – in office but out of power – is left to bleating about long hard looks in the mirror.

Clegg outrider Sean Kemp spins to the Times RedBox:

“The Lib Dems’ absurdly complex disciplinary system has meant the only person being punished for the Rennard affair is Nick Clegg. The party’s leader was left unable to take charge of the issue, even while it badly damaged his party’s reputation.That system has now been changed, but that will do nothing for the people who wanted to see the party take tougher action.”

Clegg could have ‘taken charge of the issue’ when the allegations first surfaced internally before the last election. Or when he was told about them in 2010. Instead, like with Mike Hancock, he chose to ignore the problem and hoped it would go away.

Guido has zero sympathy.

Twitter Bitch Fight: Mann v MacShame

This could get interesting…

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WATCH: John McCain Does the Robot

Would we be seeing heads cut off on Iraqi street corners had this man been Commander in Chief?

Tories Very Publicly Break Cover in Speaker Row
MP Demands Delay in Appointment of New Clerk

He’s at it again. Tory MP Rob Wilson has written to the Leader of the House, the PM and the Speaker to very publicly blow up the row over the appointment of the new Clerk of the House:

“Media reports suggest, as does the Australian Senate website, that Ms Mill’s Department of Parliamentary Services oversaw the CCTV ‘spying’ on a senior Labor Senator’s office for the purpose of unmasking a whistle-blower and also recorded a Senator’s movements. The Senate Privileges Committee has a significant investigation underway which apparently will report early next year, March 2015.

In these circumstances, how can we possibly appoint a Clerk of the House of Commons who is under investigation for a serious breach of parliamentary privilege? Should we not await the investigation being carried out by the highly respected cross-party Australian Senate Committee?

Likewise, it is reported today that the Speaker (as a compromise to critics) is now considering a split in this historic role. I seriously doubt the merit of this proposal and agree with Sir Robert Rogers when he said: “I can’t think of more than half a dozen chief executive-type decisions that I have had to take over the last three years that haven’t had to be very closely informed by a profound knowledge of the house and what the house will take. So the two roles are inextricably intertwined.” Furthermore it would not overcome the concerns outlined above regarding Senate Committee investigation into Ms Mills.

I therefore urge you and the Prime Minister to use your good offices to find a way to block the appointment of Mrs Mills, at least until such time that matters become clearer. It could prove extremely damaging to both Parliament, and to all concerned with Ms Mills’s appointment to do otherwise.”

The Speaker will take great pleasure in swiftly replying, no doubt.

Venezuela: Socialist Paradise Update


How is the loony Labour left’s latest favourite socialist paradise Venezuela faring? Not since Gadaffi have we had an oil rich socialist paradise in the making to set an example for us running dogs of capitalist imperialismo. Socialism should surely work when you are floating on billions in oil wealth – just share it out comrades! Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves at 298 billion barrels – that is more than Saudi Arabia or the UK’s measly 6.9 billion barrels – untold riches. Yet according to Bloomberg data:

  • Oil production has declined by 27.2% over the last decade. Production declining…
  • GDP growth in 2013 was 1.3%. In 2004 it was 18.3%. Growth slowing…
  • The country’s inflation rate in May 2014 (61%) was the highest in the world. Iran was second and Argentina third. Venezuela leads the world in inflation…
  • The bolivar, the national currency, has fallen 88% since 2008. Devaluing…
  • Foreign exchange reserves have fallen by 51% since 2008 to $20 billion. Cash running out…
  • In 2012 it 22% of families lived below the poverty line, last year it was 27%. Poverty is rising…
  • Meat production is down 36% this year. Dieting…
  • In January 2014 there was a 28% shortage of basic goods, compared with 8% in 2005. More people queuing…

Guido has just finished reading the new book from “our generation’s Orwell”, Comrade Owen Jones, in which he advocates sweeping nationalisation with currency and capital controls. Like they have in Venezuela…


Seen Elsewhere

The School That Proves Michael Gove Was Right | Toby Young
Full Jenkin/Beckett/Straw Letter to PM | Politics Home
The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is Cornered | Speccie
Coalition: The Movie | Indy
Lefties Moan About Messina Working For Cameron | MSNBC
Karen Danczuk V Louise Mensch: Round 48 | Sun
Jack Straw Slams Bercow | Sky News
Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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