The political establishment is gunning for UKIP, Ken Clarke calls them “clowns”, the newspapers are running front page anti-UKIP stories focusing on some of the oddballs who have attached themselves to the fast growing party. Will the all-party, all-papers attack on the anti-politics party halt UKIP’s progress against the media headwind? This morning on the BBC’s Today programme, John Humphreys claimed UKIP’s support came from taxi-drivers – we’ll find out on Friday if their support is a little more broadly based than the BBC makes out.
Huge handbags on Twitter this week between the Observer’s Toby Helm and the CCHQ @ToryEducation Twitter account. The Tory tweeter told Helm “You’re like Baldwin and Campbell – an activist, not a professional hack”, provoking paroxysms of rage from the Labour Party press office’s favourite broadsheet channel. Particularly after they called Helm a Labour stooge. This will apparently spill over into the paper this weekend when The Observer is going to allege that it is part of a scandalous McBride/Draper style dirty tricks operation. Guido understands that Helm reckons it could bring down Michael Gove…
Judge the robust exchange for yourself:
It is unclear to Guido whether or not the account is run officially or unofficially from CCHQ or by Gove’s SpAds, or what the exact rules about this would be. As is so often the way with Twitter, exchanges are strongly worded. SpAds are supposed to operate within civil service limitations. A strongly worded written letter of admonishment to a SpAd from the permanent secretary may result. Not exactly enough to bring down the Secretary of State…
UPDATE: Looks like Toby has been down the bookies:
Another nail in the husky coffin as Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin concedes defeat to Nigel Lawson and accepts that the Kyoto Treaty is dead and nothing will be following it. Back in 2008 the two men made a bet, the details of which were published in a Standpoint interview:
Oliver Lewtin: I’d be very happy to have a wager, and I offer you a £100 bet that before either of us is dead, whichever is the first — our estates can pay — we will see a very substantial agreement on carbon reduction.
Nigel Lawson: But I don’t think I want the bet to be “in my lifetime” because I’d like to get the £100. I’m sorry it’s such a modest amount you’re prepared to wager — it shows how unconfident you are — but I would like to be able to collect before I die. So I think we should say “by the time Kyoto runs out”, because there is meant to be no hiatus; there is meant to be a successor to Kyoto. So “by 2012 we will have the agreement” — maybe I’ll die before then, of course —but 2012 is the acid test.
Oliver Letwin: On the same basis, Nigel, I’m perfectly willing to take that bet too. The reason I’m willing to take the bet is that I know that the only way it can be made to happen is if we try to make it happen and if we build up the moral authority to make it happen by taking the steps ourselves.
Letwin has apparently now agreed to settle the bet. Lord Lawson is on a bit of victory lap this afternoon:
“Oliver is one of the nicest people in politics, and one of the cleverest. It is, however, disconcerting that UK climate change policy – which makes no conceivable sense in the absence of a binding global agreement – has been based on the advice of someone so totally divorced from any understanding of practical realities.”
Speaking this week Ed Miliband backed Mo Farah to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year tomorrow. This was a clever bit of populism that helped get his speech reported widely. Will the Son of Jonah Brown continue his curse?
Is this evidence of wonkish Ed’s populist touch with the British public? Well there is one way to test this, put some money on the outcome. Sadly for Mo, Guido reckons Bradley Wiggins will win and Andy Murray will come second in the affections of the voting British public. The other popular vote will be for Strictly Come Dancing. Guido’s triple accumulator third bet is on Louis Smith winning. Mrs Fawkes and the Fawkes girls are certain about this…
Never let it be said Guido doesn’t put his money where his mouth is… this is the betting slip…
UPDATE: Bad Al Campbell agrees:
Labour insiders are getting nervous about Rotherham after this weekend’s Labour council omnishambles. With Respect’s Yvonne Ridley now at 5/1, Labour HQ are diverting resources from Croydon and Middlesbrough, fearing a Bradford style upset. All Labour politicians, staff and volunteers are being told to head to Rotherham instead of the other two constituencies. Buses are being laid on. Guido understands that Harriet Harman was meant to go campaign for Steve Reed in Croydon today, but is instead heading north. Sounds like they’ve been watching too much Homeland…
With Ladbrokes offering exactly the same price for Respect’s Lee Jasper upsetting Labour’s Steve Reed in Croydon, someone is going to get it in the neck if the upset falls there. Reed, a Marmite candidate from the start, is losing local support fast.
Since the the 2010 general election the bookies and punters have consistently made the Tories favourites to be the largest party in parliament after the next election. Until now.
Since the budget fiasco punters have been pushing the odds closer. […]