One day back in Westminster and the gaffes begin. Diane Abbott thinks Tony Blair overseeing the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects and cutting a deal with the murderous Gaddafi regime isn’t as bad as the fact he is godfather to one of Murdoch’s kids:
Guido would like to know how many of her Labour colleagues agree…
Guido’s BBC sources neither denied or confirmed the rumour going around that Andrew Neil is set to move from BBC2’s weekday Daily Politics to front Sunday’s The Politics Show, as part of a bigger restructuring of the Beeb’s political programming. With co-host Anita Anand already going over to Radio 5, it’s certainly looking like the end of an era for political nerds and junkies. You read it here first…
Andrew Neil’s hint of a pending LibDem scandal has set tongues wagging. While Guido did hear an amusing tale from a cabby the other day about a certain LibDem cabinet minister and a large black dominatrix, he doesn’t think this is the story that Brillo is getting at. Given that he is the chairman of Press Holdings, owners of The Scotsman*, perhaps we should turn our eyes north…
This morning’s Scotsman ran a rather bizarre story about Michael Moore the invisible Secretary of State for Scotland. He missed the VAT vote, which was convenient for his re-election attempts but the reason he gave has unraveled. The original answer that he was in Scotland on ministerial business was “incorrect” (translation: a lie) and last night the government claimed releasing Moore’s location would “endanger the physical or mental health of an individual”. Why? What was it Michael Moore was doing on the 13th July?
UPDATE : Michael Moore has gone favourite to be the next resignation from the Cabinet.
UPDATE II: *Scratch that theory:
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 16, 2011
Guido’s money is still on Tim Farron.
Darling of the nut-roots John Hirst, the axe butchering killer come prisoners’ votes advocate just got destroyed on the Daily Politics. It’s funny how his biggest fans online and over at places like the New Statesman have gone so quiet since he called Tory MP Priti Patel “a paki”:
Guido isn’t sure how Hirst didn’t think that might come up. Doing his sick cause wonders though.
After last night’s documentary Guido has been doing some digging around the Oxford days of our ruling elite. With a little help from a studious co-conspirator, some of the clippings from the 80s editions of the Cherwell make for a fascinating read. There is no doubt that the star of last night’s Posh and Posher had to be “man of the people” Jacob Rees Mogg. It seems he hasn’t changed much from his dreamy spires days:
Guido will save the notorious tales of a certain “Eight minute Eddie” for another day.
Brillo’s “Posh and Posher: Why Public School Boys Run Britain“ documentary broadcast last night made a powerful case that the dominance of British politics by the privately educated and the products of Oxbridge results from the abolition of grammar schools.
The ability of those from modest backgrounds to progress on merit has been undermined by a failing state education system. The ending of the grammar school system means that bright children from modest backgrounds don’t have a well-trodden route to follow to the top, hence the dominance of politics once again by the privileged.
Old friend of the blog Gary Elsby made an appearance, blaming the selection of Tristram Hunt rather than him as the local Labour Party candidate on Peter Mandelson. Others may beg to differ…
Ed Balls gave a point blank denial to Brillo that he had ever criticised Darling’s plans to halve the deficit on the Daily Politics. As you can see, the Shadow Chancellor has barely been able contain his glee at the frosty numbers, but he seems to have forgotten exactly what he told Bloomberg in his pitch for job:
“I told Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling in 2009 that – whatever the media clamour at the time – even trying to halve the deficit in four years was a mistake. The pace was too severe to be credible or sustainable.”
Just like he never briefed behind anyone’s back…
Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”