Friday, August 10, 2012

Bradford Routing Haunts Labour –
Watson Amassing Troops in Corby

The joke doing the rounds this morning in Labour circles is:

“Rupert Murdoch has three months to take out the trash. If he wanted to kill someone he could probably get away with it. Tom is now so obsessed with Corby he thinks it’s Ed’s Crewe.”

Labour sources tell Guido that they are determined not to see a repeat of their Bradford by-election shambles. Former Brownite boot-boys Watson and Ian Austin are off to Louise Mensch’s old constituency, along with half the party staff. They’ve despatched a team to find a decent office as at the moment they are working from the Labour Club. Gordon Paterson, former Labour Yorkshire organiser, is in charge of field operations at the moment and will probably be the agent. Labour confirmed to Guido last night that leave has already been cancelled. Dozens of HQ staff have been told they have to go up there full time.

Political advisers and the policy team are rather grumpy because they are being told there will be daily mini-buses from London and that they are all expected to be on them. Ed has also told staff in the leader’s office that he wants them up there: “some of them don’t mind to be honest because nice to be out of office but others moaning.” One insider even says there has been talk of conference being scaled back. General Secretary Iain McNicol has apparently told staff that Corby is the single biggest party priority now until November. Everything else is now secondary, including Police Commissioner elections. 

Gone is the complacency of Bradford and it’s all hands to the deck. Obviously that is not what they are saying publicly though – as Guido revealed last night - the line is “we’re not going to win”.

Thankfully the candidate has deigned to cut short his south of France holiday and is out on the stump.

Better late than never…

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Watson Tells Labour Spinners to Brief That They Will Lose Corby

As Ed spends the afternoon in Corby – the front-line of Tory/Labour fighting in the next three months – Guido hears that Tom Watson is already playing the long game. The party campaign director has told Labour Political Advisers to stress that the party expects to lose the by-election in every conversation they have with the lobby. Speaking to Labour sources this afternoon it is clear that Labour’s routing in Bradford still haunts the party. The expectations game has begun and it’s all hands to the deck – full details in the morning.

Flashback: “Mudslingers: the 25 Dirtiest Political Campaigns” Watson’s Favourite Book

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CCHQ Begin Corby Candidate Contest Badly

Wannabe Tories on the party’s approved candidates list were left unimpressed last night when this hit their inboxes:

From: Chairman of Candidates
Date: 6 August 2012 17:58
Subject: Corby and East Northamptonshire
To: Candidates

The Party now has a pending Parliamentary by-election in Corby and East Northamptonshire and we are asking every candidate on the Approved List to rise to the challenge. Our call centre in CCHQ Midlands, based in Coleshill will be open from 10.00am until 8.00pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or you can make evening calls from CCHQ.

To take part please contact xxxx@conservatives.com with the dates you are available to help.

If there are reasons why you cannot give your support at this time, please let Gareth know by emailing xxxx@conservatives.com  or Davina on xxxx@conservatives.com

Carlyn Chisholm
Chairman of Candidates

Before asking people to sacrifice their time and effort in the name of a by-election, would it not have been more sensible to tell the hopefuls the process, if one exists, by which one of them could become the candidate? Or is this by-election selection, as widely speculated, going to be another back-room stitch up? The A-list parachuting operation went so well last time…

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mensch Quits

“Louise Mensch MP will announce this morning that she has tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister, and will stand down as the Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire. In her resignation letter, Mrs Mensch thanked the Prime Minister for all his support, but said that she had “been struggling for some time to find the best outcome for my family life, and have decided, in order to keep us together, to move to New York.””

A Tory/Labour marginal by-election? Just what Dave wants right now…

UPDATE: The Labour candidate has hit the ground running:

 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ballot Day for Bonkers Bryn Phillips

Today is the City of London by-election in the Farringdon Within ward. Yesterday the candidates met face to face for a hustings, and needless to say, with a convicted rioter and Occupy hippy on the ballot, things got a little spicy.

Bryn Phillips, whose campaign Guido has been keeping you up to date with, couldn’t even rely on his learned friends from lefty chambers Tooks, who appeared to be trying to have reporting restrictions put on the meeting. The transparency for the City campaign has got off to a flying start!

Due to their failure to realise this was a public meeting, Guido can report how Bryn’s opponents described the half-pint hippy as “a violent thug with a penchant for assaulting police officers” and pointed out that he “won’t be serving the City, but serving time.” When Guido tried to question Phillips after the meeting he ran away. Literally.

Despite being convicted of violent disorder and burglary and currently awaiting sentence, bonkers Bryn claimed he has has already paid back his debt to society – because he works in a food bank in Hackney. Guido will let the judge decide that one. Happy voting in Farringdon…

Monday, July 16, 2012

Farage Eyes Eastleigh

Nigel Farage is up to something. He’s very publicly challenged Cameron to a debate, delivering a personal note to No.10 this morning:

“I propose a public debate between us where we can put our respective cases forward. My challenge to you is an open and honest one and I hope you will afford me, and the people of this country, a proper say on the matter.”

True to form, the UKIP leader took some ladies with him for the ride. While a debate between these two would no doubt be a belter, it’s not going to happen. Where Farage chose to announce his debate plan did pique Guido’s interest though. It seems he has spent the weekend in the prospective battlefield site of Eastleigh – Chris Huhne’s seat. For now…

Hypothetically, were there to be a by-election in the seat it would tear the coalition apart. There is plenty of bad blood on the ground after local Tories were narrowly defeated by vicious LibDem campaigns in election after election. Nobody would be pulling their punches this time…

If LibDem polling figures remain where they are, it will be the Tories’ to lose, but there are also 10,000 Labour votes up for grabs. With a decent tactical campaign UKIP could easily pick up significantly more than the 3,000 votes they secured in 2010. And not just from from disillusioned Tories…

Interestingly Farage stood in the seat in 1994, he reportedly told a local crowd on Saturday: “coming to Eastleigh is like coming home”“Eastleigh is a site of some interest” a UKIP spokesmen told Guido this afternoon, though they would not be drawn on speculation. Ingratiating himself with local businesses? Talking to residents? Whatever could he be up to…

Photos via Eastleigh News

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blarites Kick Back at Watson’s Fixing

There were some surprising results in Labour’s selection of candidates for elected Police Commissioners. No, not “Kojag” in Hull, but victories for two ultra-Blairites in the face of the full weight of opposition from Tom Watson. Jane Kennedy, the former Liverpool MP who resigned as a Junior Minister in June 2009 saying she was unable to affirm her loyalty to the then PM because of Brown’s briefing against colleagues, is back. She beat Watson-backed drunkard Peter Kilfoyle, who sources say “Tommo threw everything behind”, arranging heavy union support and giving a very personal endorsement:

“Mr Watson said: “Peter is tough but he has compassion. He is larger than life but wise. I admire him. I cannot think of a better person to be Merseyside Police Commissioner.””

Ouch. Guido takes particular pleasure in this result given the last time he saw Peter, it was when the thirsty former MP took a swing at him in the Strangers Bar … 

The defeats didn’t stop there for Watson and his allies. Over in South Wales former Blarite-Minister and sitting MP Alun Michael beat Unite and Watson backed Paul Cannon. Watson was ably assisted by local MP Chris Bryant, who was apparently desperate to avoid a Welsh by-election. Another failure then…

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Labour Backlash at Harman/Watson By-Election Stich-Up

Patrick Wintour’s article in the Guardian this morning has gone down very badly in Labour circles. The notion that Labour MPs could be banned from triggering by-elections in order stand as Mayors or Police Commissioners due to dire finances has been met with outrage throughout the party. Though Labour are indeed broke, insiders see this for what it is – a direct attack on Liam Byrne and his bid to run for Mayor of Birmingham. Central command and control is back.

One former SpAd said: “Such a naked stitch-up. It would be simpler if Tom Watson just said that no-one whose name wasn’t Siôn Simon was allowed to run. Mind you, Siôn would still find a way to cock it up.”

Another senior party staffer points out: “why is the by-election thing only a problem when it’s Liam? They were happy to do it when it suited them, ie to get Lucy Powell in. Precedent was set by Sir Peter Soulsby in Leicester South, Watson was desperate to get his best mate Jonathan Ashworth in. It’s only when they lose control of the fixing they want to change the rules. Harriet biggest hypocrite of all. She used by-elections to get her cronies in – Ashworth was her former political secretary. And Seema Malhotra in Feltham and Heston was her former adviser.””

The article has fingerprints all over it, especially as it names Harman as the driving force behind the idea. Her husband Jack Dromey is likely to chair Siôn Simon’s Birmingham campaign. Guido understands that a deal was struck when Dromey replaced Simon in the All Female Selection for Birmingham Erdington in 2010. One source called this an “old school Labour/union stitch up of the worst kind.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Manchester Mystery

Guido will eat his hat if Lucy Powell does not win the Labour selection process for Manchester Central. Ed’s Deputy Chief of Staff is in a bit of a pickle though. Given that she somehow managed to work her way  onto the controversial new party executive board, how is her selection going to look like anything other than a stitch up? This one doesn’t appear to have been thought through…

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dirty Texts Scandal

Things are getting steamy down on the ground in Bradford with George Galloway threatening to sue the Labour Party for texts that are being bombarded to voters. There is no proof the Labour campaign had anything to do with them and they deny the accusation. Now today Galloway supporters are fighting back and a message urging people to vote Respect is doing the rounds with some bitter words for the Labour candidate:

“Muslims of Bradford! Watch the Sunday Politics yorkshire and lincolnshire programme on BBC iPlayer (43min-47min) and watch the TRAITOR, and SELLOUT Imran Hussain (labour candidate) support British troops to continue their occupation of Afghanistan, despite his own party leaders position on withdrawing from Afghanistan. See for yourself and vote Respect, the party that is actually speaking up for the loss of innocent muslims lives…”

With Galloway’s odds tightening, polling day tomorrow could be a tense affair…

UPDATE: Ladbrokes have suspended betting on a Galloway win.


Seen Elsewhere

The LibDem’s Jewish Problem | Jeremy Brier
Israeli Ambassador’s Letter to Clegg | Twitter
What Became of Cameron’s Big Society Network? | Indy
SpAd Reshuffle | PR Week
Clegg Under Pressure to Expel Ward | Telegraph
Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart
Ruffley Faces Deselection | Times
Ruffley Faces Crisis Meeting | Mail


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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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