Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jagger Ditches Dave For Boris

Poor old Dave. Mick Jagger has poured salt in the wound. After ditching Cameron’s tea party yesterday, the ageing rocker only went and spent the night (together) with Boris instead. Ouch..

Dave Would Be a Fool to Cry about it though, and can surely understand why it happened; both Jagger and Johnson like women; both can pull a crowd and an evening out with Boris would be far more amusing than discussing trade with the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile back home Ken’s week is going from bad to worse…

Livingstone seems to determined to waste his two point poll lead. As Guido reported yesterday the “Fare Deal” fell apart after some fairly gentle probing, and now today Ken Livingstone, king of the gaffes and the personalised put downs has written to Boris declaring:

“…no one could have expected that you would react so badly to a little bit of pressure. Suddenly the Conservative party in London is flailing around and lashing out. David Cameron has told you to raise your game. And you, in turn, seem to be getting pushed around by your campaign manager, Lynton Crosby. It has not taken much for your party to turn to the dark side…. At least, I assume it’s him because you used to have something more interesting to say than resort to cheap insults.”

Despite moaning about Lynton Crosby’s attacks and the dark arts, Ken has been unable to pledge to maintain the four-year council tax freeze at the heart of the dispute. On top of that, all this is coming from a man whose campaign strategy consists of following their opponent around yelling “chicken”. What is that if it’s not a “cheap insult”?

There are 98 days to go in this race, if things carry on at this level it’s going to be an extremely tiresome campaign. Ken should go to radio silence, come back on Monday morning and try again…

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cameron Learns That You Can’t Always Get What You Want

The Prime Minister won’t be Dancing in the Street at Davos today. Proving he is not a Slave to anyone, or Under the Thumb, Mick Jagger has pulled out of a planned appearance with Dave, citing over-politicisation. You can Almost Hear Him Sigh, and Cameron will hope this scandal will just Fade Away. Time Waits for No One and Jagger was told to Take It or Leave It. 

With the meeting Slipping Away, the PM Can’t Get No SatisfactionIt’s All Over Now, but Guido doubts this is The Last Time a celebrity Sittin’ on a Fence will leave a politician stuck  between A Rock and a Hard Place. Or is that Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dave Not Even Trying to Hide the Dyeing

Compare and contrast the greys pre-Christmas with today’s dark locks…

UPDATE:

UPDATE II:  Definitive professional opinion

Friday, December 30, 2011

Toffs Taxing the Poor More

Minimum alcohol pricing won’t affect champagne drinkers, it will hit those on lower incomes. Again.

Regressive taxes aren’t just about forcing up the price of supermarket booze, it was putting up VAT – a mistake that boosted inflation which was already above target and hit consumer spending when it was already weak. Unquestionably that was a regressive tax. Even the usually austerity friendly IMF cautioned against the VAT hike.

The squeezed middle aren’t spared either. Air Passenger Duty means that a family of four flying to America for their annual holiday can pay up to £587 in taxes. The Fawkes family fly back and forth to Ireland regularly spending more on air taxes than on air tickets. UK subjects pay more in air taxes than all the rest of the EU’s citizens – combined. It won’t bother the Chancellor on his £10,000 skiing holiday weeks, but those of us in the private sector, not on benefits, reckon he could do more to cut spending and the tax burden. It is called a growth strategy…

Friday Caption Contest

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kellner Makes the Case for Clegg to Support a Referendum

The pollster and commentator Peter Kellner has written an open letter to Nick Clegg suggesting that to save himself in 2012 he backs an In/Out referendum, he argues that the Yes side would win because Cameron would join Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond in campaigning for a Yes. Kellner believes, somewhat optimistically, a united political class would overcome entrenched popular opinion and press opposition.

They would, in Kellner’s view, sway currently €uro-sceptic public opinion in the course of the campiagn to the Yes side. Given that Clegg’s negative public approval rating has gone from a terrible -40% to a catastrophic -55% this would for once put Clegg on the public’s side of an argument. Kellner argues that if Clegg called for a referendum he would receive the public’s credit, Cameron would have to concede. Tory backbenchers would demand it and Cameron would not be able to resist the Tory right and the LibDems combined.

Kellner is a technocratic pollster and this has a certain Machiavellian logic to it. Guido has one other reason why Clegg should call for an In/Out referendum: he promised one without any Cameron cast-iron “if the treaty isn’t signed” wiggle room or qualification.

Clegg promised in writing

The Liberal Democrats believe that Britain should have a referendum, not on the narrow question of adopting this new treaty, but on the big question that faces Britain, whether we remain a part of the EU or not.

The question of Britain’s place in the European Union has poisoned our national politics for decades.  As a nation, we need to lance this boil and decide once and for all if we want to be a part of this European Union or not.

So he can outflank the Tories on Europe and restore some of his lost trust. Why is he waiting to honour his promise?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

After PMQs Labour Insiders Doubt Ed Miliband Will Last Out 2012

Peter Hain is considered by Ed Miliband’s people to be something of an elder statesman, he was an early backer of Ed for leader and has reaped the benefit of that since. After what was a mauling at PMQs, judged one of Ed’s worst outings by many, Hain’s judgement was up there with the legendary Comical Ali. He reached for that old standby, blaming the Tory press…

Unfortunately in reality even the friendly left-wing press were underwhelmed. The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt, the Indy’s John Rentoul, Newsnight’s comrade Paul Mason, ubiquitous leftie Owen Jones and LabourList’s Mark Ferguson were all shaking their heads wistfully.

The more neutral observers such as the BBC’s Nick Robinson said that Miliband had “taken a pasting”, Total Politics described it as excruciating to watch. It was especially excruciating for Labour’s backbenchers and frontbenchers alike who go home for Christmas behind in the polls and on the wrong side of the public on Europe and the economy. Some are even talking of a Yvette Cooper / David Miliband dream ticket next year. That is how desperate they are getting…

Miliband’s Tactical Blunder

Europe is now the third most important issue to voters. A few months ago Guido suggested that if Ed had any eye for the long game he would ground Labour in popular Euroscepticism. He didn’t listen, in fact he did the polar opposite, and now he’s paying the price in the polls. Miliband’s lead over the Tories is about the only reason most of the Parliamentary Labour Party put up with him. Today every major polling firm has the Tories ahead or at least level with Labour again. Uh oh…

YouGov and Ipos-Mori both have the Tories on 2 points ahead on 41, while Survation and ComRes have them tied on 38. The LibDems are still just on the right side of double digits, while UKIP, who have been enjoying a recent surge while it appeared Cameron was going to sell the country down the river, have dropped back down to the 4 or 5 point mark.  That vote is sure to trickle back up after the initial veto-honeymoon for Dave…

Miliband has slumped in personal rankings as well. And it’s not just the pro-polling:

“But it’s a new LabourList poll of grassroots members that may also dismay Team Miliband. It found that the number of their readers rating Ed a good or excellent leader has fallen from 40% in November to just 26% this month. His decline in popularity appears to be linked to the public sector strikes: although 83% of readers backed the industrial action, only 25% though the Labour leader handled his party’s response well.”

Labour will win tomorrow’s by-election, but if these numbers become a regular feature it’s going take more than a “five-point plan for jobs and growth” to save Ed’s bacon.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Sorry Chapter in the Cable Fable

When doorstepped this morning, Vince Cable ruled out resigning saying: “I’m just getting on with my job as I always do.” So he limps on to fight, and lose, another day, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been banging his steel mug against the bars of his cell this weekend. With Clegg initially saying he was behind the national interest, Cable’s voice on the outside, also known as the spectacularly irritating Matthew Oakeshott, was deployed to stir things up.

The Observer reported: “One of Vince Cable’s closest allies, Lord Oakeshott, has refused to rule out a possible resignation by the business secretary. Cable’s comrade Will Hutton had clearly had a direct earful too: “He will speak out aggressively against Cameron’s veto; his decision is whether to resign to do so or say so in office, courting his sacking.” Will Hutton being wrong about something comes as no surprise, but him making something up would. Yet again Cable has clearly threatened that often cited nuclear bomb, yet failed to push the button. When push comes to shove, he’s yellow to his core…

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Caption Contest (Talk to the Hand Edition)

After years of trying Guido is pleased to reveal that uber-commenter “Billy Bowden” has finally won a caption contest:

“New moderater joins Order-Order.com”

It’s the end of an era. There’s a t-shirt in the post Billy…


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