“What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward. We are in agreement in seeking that new way that needs to be found and I think can be found.”
Ed Miliband, 2012.
The graph below shows just how things have gone en France in the two years that followed. Growth has stagnated at zero for a second quarter, Hollande’s government has slashed its growth forecasts, and has admitted it will miss its target for cutting the deficit.
Allister Heath is worth reading in the Telegraph today:
“It is hard to exaggerate the trouble that Francois Hollande, France’s president, now finds himself in. It is not just that his popularity has collapsed and that his misguided stewardship of the French economy has crippled his country, helping to deliver a second consecutive quarter of zero growth.
The real problem is that France is slowly but surely emerging as the eurozone’s weakest link… There was a time when economists thought that Greece, Spain or even Portugal would trigger the real, final eurozone crisis that would threaten the single currency and potentially lead to the unravelling of the entire bloc. Increasingly, it feels as if it will be France that will eventually emerge as the euro’s biggest threat, though of course the whole rotten structure is likely to stumble on for years to come.”
What was that about “the choice“?
UKIP royally screwed up the announcement of where Nigel Farage is going to stand at the general election, so it’s not really a surprise that no one seems to have noticed Farage has today confirmed it will be in South Thanet. The UKIP leader has for the first time admitted what we all suspected at the bottom of his column on the Indy’s website today:
“My phone was rather busy the other day when one of the members of Ukip’s Thanet South branch decided to tell a newspaper that I was standing in that constituency in 2015. The situation is that there will be a hustings in the constituency the week after next at which the branch will decide who they wish to represent them.
I have thrown my hat in the ring, but so have others, including a top-class barrister and friend of mine. It may seem silly to some that the leader of a party would have to go through the process of being approved and selected but, I assure you, rank means nothing in Ukip.
Just as I applied to stand again as a Ukip MEP and went through the same assessment as other candidates and faced the vote of the membership with everyone else, I believe that the power to select the person they will be pounding the streets in all weathers for lies with the members of the branch themselves.
Of course I think I stand a good chance of winning. I have fought the seat before and it is in my home county of Kent and an area I have represented in the European Parliament since 1999. But with Ukip members, nothing is ever for certain. And that’s just fine by me.”
The Tory candidate is former UKIP leader Craig Mackinlay…
At the end of July Labour launched their summer offensive, drawing up the battle lines for next year with the catchy slogan: “The Choice: The Labour Future, The Tory Threat”. Well, after three weeks of shadow cabinet speeches up and down the country outlining “the choice” faced by voters, the people have spoken. YouGov’s poll for the Sun today sees the Tories draw level with Labour for the first time in three months, both parties on 35%. This confirms yesterday’s Ipsos Mori poll which also had both parties level. Labour are telling voters what “the choice” is, and the voters are making it…
Everybody’s favourite BBC field man might not be at the Beeb for much longer. Paul Lambert, known affectionately as Gobby for his polite and understated questioning style, could soon be snapped up by a rival. Friends tell MediaGuido changes to the BBC’s pension scheme have left the old guard weighing up their options, 57 year old Gobby among them. Still feared by politicians all the way to Downing Street, he would surely be snared by Sky or ITN in no time. Prize for the first person to shout “Are you going to resign, Gobby?”
When Labour wife Karen Danczuk isn’t tweeting photos of her baps on sale at her Rochdale deli, she spends her time giving MP husband Simon plenty of support online. Karen has delved into the archives however to mark Throwback Thursday, a Twitter hashtag where people share old pics of themselves. Lucky followers have been treated to a past poolside holiday snap:
And then a more recent selfie:
Still got it…
The people of Blackpool have today been besieged by anti-fracking wackos in need of a wash. No Dash for Gas like to present themselves as local, normal “mothers and grandmothers…wearing aprons,” who just want to make a polite point about shale gas. They’re spinning harder than a drill working its way through the Lancashire landscape.
The programme for today’s ‘Reclaim the Power’ protest camp lists a series of workshops including “An introduction to anarchism and anarchist organising”, legal training from the anarchist Green and Black Cross movement, and a PCS union talk on “reclaiming unions”. Attendees can also listen to the advice of delegates from Occupy London, the Polish anarcho-syndicalist Workers’ Initiative and the Squash campaign to decriminalise squatting.
Among the camp’s supporters are Ewa Jasiewicz, a Polish Palestine solidarity activist who wrote on the Reclaim the Power Facebook page: “please come share a bevvy with me and talk more BDS… Ahlan wa sahlan, see you tonight!!” Past attendees include David Icke wannabe Ian Crane, who reckons: “The socio-psychopathic ZIONIST Government of Israel is deliberately fuelling the wave of global anti-jewish sentiment, in a bit to FORCE the diaspora out of their host countries and move to IsraHELL.” And Tom Palmer, who at a protest last week requested: “need some people to bring speed (or some other uppers) though and paraffin for fire poi and a guita (sic)”. Just your usual mothers and grandmothers wearing aprons, then…
A Berkshire property belonging to Cliff Richard is being searched by police in relation to an alleged historical sex offence, reports the BBC.
The allegations date back to the 1980s and relate to an underage boy.
He’s out of the country on his summer holiday…
UPDATE: Statement from Cliff:
“For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. These allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen. However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press. I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will cooperate fully should the police wish to speak to me. Beyond stating that today’s allegations are completely false it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation is concluded.”
Someone at the Home Office must have been having a laugh at Norman Baker’s expense when they organised for him to go to the V-Festival this weekend to “up the profile” of legal highs. Baker today announced that he is lobbying Jeremy Hunt to consider legalising pot for medicinal purposes, but the party-loving LibDem won’t be getting off his face on Benzo Fury or Black Mamba at the taxpayer’s expense somewhere in a field in Chelmsford. Baker tells Guido:
“It was suggested to me by officials that it might send a good message both to festival organisers and those who attend if I could up the profile of these untested highs, which are dangerous for young people. As it happens, I will be in France on holiday with my wife so no, I won’t be attending.”
Guido has every sympathy…
London’s Tricycle Theatre was accused of anti-Semitism last week after it banned Britain’s annual Jewish Film Festival because the organisers had refused its demands to return a donation from the Israeli embassy. Awkwardly for the anti-Israel Tricycle, as of today they are themselves indirectly funding a staunchly pro-Israeli organisation which is campaigning in support of the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Money from Tricycle paid to the Jewish Chronicle for a weekly advert is to be donated by the paper to the Friends of Israel Initiative, a hawkish charity described to Guido by one source as the “bomb the f**k out of the enemy lobby”. JC editor Stephen Pollard says: “The Tricycle’s board will no doubt be delighted to know that its money will now be going, weekly via the JC, to support that important objective.” Top trolling.
India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:
“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.