Friday, January 23, 2015

Broadcasters Threaten to Empty Chair Leaders

UPDATE:

Tory statement:

“These new proposals are being considered as part of the ongoing discussions about the debates.”

And Labour:

“We will debate anyone the broadcasters choose to invite and we are pleased to see the clear proposal to have three debates all in the general election campaign. The broadcasters have obviously made a very significant move to adopt wholesale the Prime Minister’s proposals and it surely now not possible for him to maintain his opposition to participating in these debates. We relish the opportunity for Ed Miliband to take on David Cameron directly in a head to head debate.”

Friday Caption Contest (You Having a Giraffe? Edition)

Entries in the comments please…

New Tory Poster Targets Miliband and Salmond

Guido is told this has just gone up to target all those Scottish voters at Vauxhall Cross roundabout in London. Happy Friday afternoon photoshopping…

Government Flies Flags at Half Mast For Tyrant Abdullah

DCMS say in a statement:

It is with great regret that we learn of the death of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia.

It is requested that all flags be half-masted from 8am today until 8pm this evening.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

For shame.

Pic via @suttonnick

UPDATE:

May-nia: Fox / May Hold Public Summit, Standard Claim Deal

Was a deal was done between Theresa May and Liam Fox yesterday afternoon over their long lunch in a brightly lit corner of Westminster’s Osteria Dell’Angolo / ‘Tavern on the Corner’? The Standard says yes:

“Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has met Theresa May to discuss backing her in a future Tory leadership contest, it emerged today. The Standard understands Dr Fox is willing to support the Home Secretary in a bid to stop Mayor Boris Johnson winning the Conservative crown.”

If there is a kernel of truth to this latest bout of May-nia, was it the wisest choice of location for a quick round of Game of Thrones? Carving out a future frontbench in the middle of the only Westminster in vogue, looks a little bit tacky. It’s almost as if they wanted the throng of journalists that frequent the establishment every lunch time to clock it…

World Leaders Fight Poverty and Hunger at Davos

As the billionaires at Davos hand out ‘Hunger Hero awards’ to princesses, good of Islington-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi to share what is on the menu for attendees:

Presumably they’ll be leaving a tip of 1%…

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Hoban Standing Down

The sacked employment minister has had enough. He is about to tell his local association he is standing down in May, leaving a cosy 17,000 majority in Fareham, Hampshire. Peerage expected.

The King is Dead, Long Live the Regime – David Cameron

David Cameron is in full on gush mode:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths. My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi Royal Family and the people of the Kingdom at this sad time. I sincerely hope that the long and deep ties between our two Kingdoms will continue and that we can continue to work together to strengthen peace and prosperity in the world.”

So anyway, here are the Saudis cutting off a woman’s head in the street last week:

Meanwhile Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces another 950 lashes as soon as his initial 50 have healed enough.

Scumbags.

2012 US TV Debates Had 8 Candidates

2012-primary

People saying that the 7-way (and maybe with the DUP, 8-way) debate is too complex for TV forget that all the US networks managed it in 2012 with the Republican Party primaries. Even Borgen had 5 candidates. What’s the problem?

Miliband: “I’ll Debate Anyone the Broadcasters Invite”

“I’ll debate anyone the broadcasters invite… It’s not for him, it’s not for me, it’s not for any party leader to decide who is in the debates, it’s up to the broadcasters. That’s the country we live in. Is he really telling the people of Britain that he’s going to deny them the TV debates if he doesn’t get to choose who is in them?”

- Ed Miliband, 14 January 2015.

With the broadcasters expected to propose debates including the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, the Tories are spinning it “shows the prime minister was right to raise concerns about the original format”. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is “absolutely delighted” by reports of the revised proposals. Cameron no longer has any excuse left not to do the TV debates and Ed Miliband could not have been any clearer the other day when he said he would “debate anyone the broadcasters invite.” Yet, so far Labour are still “preparing a response.” What about it, Ed?


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP on 23% With Survation | Mirror
UKIP Could Deal With Dave | Douglas Carswell
Tories Would Lower Benefit Cap | Telegraph
Bashir Twitter Meltdown | Mirror
Bashir is a Wrong’un | Norman Tebbit
Natalie Bennett Says it Should Not be a Crime to Belong to ISIS | Indy
LibDems Fifth in London | Standard
45 Mirror Group Stories Linked to Phone-Hacking | Press Gazette
Dave’s Diet | Speccie
Pink’O’Flynn | HuffPo
Trojan Horse Destroying British Values | Nick Wood


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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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