No wonder the Tories are determined to play this as a presidential straight fight.
No wonder the Tories are determined to play this as a presidential straight fight.
Client confidentiality is assured with Lino Carbosiero MBE, the PM’s designer hairdresser.
Appearing on Sky News to deny his gong was anything to do with the fact he re-branded Dave’s sidey, the smooth talker claimed there was no bald patch.
Which would the cameras…
And in his never ending quest for impartiality, Guido put it to Labour:
“Ed doesn’t have one person that cuts his hair. He sometimes goes to the local barbers.”
A man of the people. The mystery remains about Osborne’s radical redesign…
There obviously wasn’t much to do in Downing Street this morning, as Dave managed to get a jog in for nearly an hour in the middle of the working day. Osborne was giving a speech and Clegg a press conference. Who really runs Britain at 11am on Monday?
The consensus of broadsheet pundits is that Ed has, with his cost-of-living crisis line that prices are rising faster than wages, nimbly and cleverly switched from a losing argument on the economy to a winning “retail offer”. Guido thinks this successfully plays into the British national psyche; grumbling about both the weather and the cost of things rising. However as the economy rises unemployment falls and earnings will caeteris paribus begin to outstrip inflation as sure as the sun rises. The ONS data shows this is about to happen…
Guido is beginning to worry that Miliband, like his former mentor Gordon Brown, hasn’t really got a strategy. The whole “too far, too fast” thing was bound to end in tears unless there was a permanent recession. As it happened the predictions by Ed Balls of a triple-dip turned out to be über-pessimistic, statisticians say there wasn’t even a double-dip. The only recession the UK suffered originated under Gordon Brown.
The energy cost argument still generates headlines, however international comparisons show that UK energy costs are middle of the league table for Europe – though US fracking and shale gas means their energy costs are way below ours. Fracking however is opposed by Ed Miliband.
What then? Having lost the argument on debt and the economy, followed – food banks notwithstanding – by the cost-of-living crisis evaporating, Labour will have to change tack again. Labour can’t fight on economic competence, because so contaminated is Ed Balls that he even loses to George Osborne. Labour are blamed for the economic mess and are suspected by the voters of still being untrustworthy on dealing with the deficit and debts. They would be unwise to fight on leadership; “weak and weird” Ed versus “posh and out of touch” Dave is not a great prospect for Labour.
Guido’s guess is they will try to have it both ways, partially accept the coalition’s spending envelope and pretend they can tax their way to prosperity. A policy Miliband’s socialist frère Hollande has now abandoned. All the chatter (spun by his adviser Stewart Wood) about Ed’s plans for “big changes in our economy” - a strategy based on East Coast academic theories from Harvard professors on new “Varieties of Capitalism” - will have Lynton Crosby crying with laughter into his (Australian) Chardonnay. Doesn’t mean Miliband isn’t going to try it…
UPDATE: The FT has surveyed economists and they mostly think households will start to feel better off – this is after consumer confidence surged 20% in 2013. Well spotted economists…
The ministerial Land Rover was splattered with mud for some good telly pictures of the PM working hard for the flood victims of Kent this afternoon. It seems the ghost of the 2007, when Dave went to Rwanda instead of his own waterlogged constituency, still haunts the Cameroons.
The people of Yalding were not exactly enamoured to see him. Just what you would want after losing power on Christmas Eve and having your home destroyed. No wonder he got heckled.
Porn blocking has claimed its first victims: stopping users from reaching the deep dark parts of the internet like the Lib Dem LGBT website and Guido, among others. TalkTalk and BT are now getting it in the neck for blocking rape crisis centres and gay lifestyle sites. Who could possibly have predicted the filters wouldn’t work.
Fortunately there is a solution. GoAwayCameron.co.uk lets you install an extension on your Chrome browser so you are free to access blocked sites. Which basically means 15 year olds don’t have to tell their mum they want to access porn after all. Politicians not understanding the internet, who would have thought it.
Meantime until everyone installs porn blocker hacks it would be much appreciated if the boffins at T-Mobile could remove http://www.Order-Order.com from their porn blacklist. Guido doesn’t want to have to sue them for loss of earnings…
Readers will remember Guido breaking the blue on blue attack by Anne Main on Theresa Villiers in September. Main wrote to Jeremy Heywood asking him to investigate whether Villiers broke the ministerial code over a dodgy lobbyist lunch when she was at Transport. Main claimed “Villiers may have put her personal relationship with Mr Hoare [the lobbyist in question] ahead of her ministerial duty”. A serious allegation.
The issue was raised twice at PMQs today. Cameron has just confirmed that he has seen Heywood’s response and “I’m confident that it will be sent in the next few days”. If a judgement has been made it should be released immediately rather than buried over the Christmas break…
UPDATE: Labour’s Michael Dugher has written to the PM urging him to publish Heywood’s response. He says “It would be unacceptable if such an important matter as the integrity of Ministerial behaviour was met with political manoeuvrings.”
It was an obvious question, but one with no correct answer for the PM. Asked if it was “mission accomplished” for returning troops by The Sun, Dave couldn’t very well say no, yet might come to regret his bluntness:
“Yes, I think they do. I think they can come home with their heads held high.”
Quite what the completed mission in Afghanistan looks like, we do not know. Dave should have taken a page out of George W Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished speech, which banner aside, gave far more wriggle room:
“The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory.”
Let’s pray that the line does not come back to haunt the PM.
It’s a frequent matter of discussion amongst his more grumpy MPs, but now speculation about a Dave-less post 2015 is boiling over. Here is Adam Boulton yesterday in the Sunday Times:
“Cameron is sure of 10 years as party leader and five as prime minister — perhaps that could be enough for him. Go out fighting on the economy, win or lose in 2015, and on to the next thing. Looking up from the mire of wages and expenses right now, there are few even of his own MPs who think they’d miss him. “
Today the prospect a T-May D-Day is flagged up again by a prominent backbencher to the Times:
“She’s very assiduously courting colleagues. She is holding surgeries in the tea room, listening to colleagues’ concerns. She’s my best hope for the future.”
Over Christmas party season, Guido has heard more than his fair share of Tory MPs ranting and raving about the prospect of another coalition. There are those that do not see Dave surviving anything but a majority win.
…And one rule for the hard-working hard hat-wearing people at the Tetley tea factory in Eaglescliffe today.
Clearly health and safety rules don’t apply to the PM.
David Cameron is told his presence at Tetley tea factory is a 'disappointment' – staff were hoping the mystery vip would be olly murs—
iain watson (@iainjwatson) December 13, 2013
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
International Moaning Day | Kathy Gyngell
Cameron Alienating Core Voters Without Attracting New | City AM
Andy Burnham Villain of the Week | Sun
London’s Laundry Business | NY Times
The End of HS2? | Seb Payne
Elvis Speaks | Nottingham Post
Dave Mocked | Sun
MPs Want to Decriminalise Dodging Licence Fee | Sun
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”