Monday, July 7, 2014

Old Etonian Who Brought Cam and Clegg Together Leaves No.10

When Nick Clegg went on Desert Island Discs after the election, he told the tale that when he was considering joining David Cameron in a coalition government, he texted a mutual friend and asked him, “Can I trust this guy?”

As Guido revealed for the first time in the Sun on Sunday yesterday, the friend who told him “yes” was Tim Luke. The Old Etonian who vouched for David Cameron is in a way responsible for bringing this coalition government together. Luke’s previous claim to fame was hitting the headlines for walking in front of the camera while James Corden was presenting the Brit Awards.

The PM later appointed him to No.10’s policy unit. Could Tim’s leaving party next week – he’s off back to Barclays investment bank – be a sign the coalition is beginning to prepare for the end?

Reshuffle Rumour Round Up
Diaries Cleared for a Week Today

The reshuffle speculation level has been raised from ‘fevered’ to ‘panicked’. Guido hears that Downing Street have instructed departments not to schedule anything for a week today. This, however, could be anything from an elaborate bluff, to an unintentional display of competence. The latest chatter still says it’s going to be ladies night and whilst plenty of women MPs are expected to rise up the ranks, vivacious and pushy Esther McVey – tipped for the cabinet by many – is in fact still in the PM’s doghouse after her spectacularly unhelpful comments during the Maria Miller scandal. Penny Mordaunt, who has impressed recently, is tipped to replace Andrew Murrison at Defence. 

Whilst previously Cameron has preferred tinkering reshuffles, there are some whispers of a big upheaval that could even see a job swap between Iain Duncan-Smith at Defence and Phil Hammond at Work and Pensions. Hammond is not hugely popular with the top brass, and could deploy his famed safe pair of hands at DWP, while IDS, a former military man, would be unlikely to accept any other job. Speculation about the future of Grant Shapps at CCHQ has all but died out, while Ken Clarke seems resigned to his fate. This is all rumour mill though…

Any government reshuffle will indicate that the new EU commissioner has been decided, which would point to a delay. Andrew Lansley is said to be out, Willetts has let it be known he speaks French and German, while others say Michael Howard is still worth an outside bet. Lord Howard has certainly not ruled himself out of one last big job, and the PM owes him one after Dave’s then boss delayed the 2005 leadership election to let his favoured successor get their campaign in gear. It would also avoid a messy by-election.

Some in No. 10 are anticipating that in all likelihood No. 10’s first option for Commissioner will be ‘Junck-ed’ in petty retaliation. While in the past, Downing Street have allowed reshuffle rumours to last for months, cunningly keeping everyone on best behaviour, they’re running out of time to bed in new ministers in well before the election. It’s hardly like they’re going to be legislating much, mind.

UPDATE:

 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Blogpost Criticising Cameron Removed From the Internet

There is growing concern this morning over Google removing articles from their search results in order to comply with a European court ruling giving individuals with embarrassing pasts a so-called “right to be forgotten”. Talking of awkward things disappearing from the internet, the House of Commons Library last night decided to remove a blogpost on its website laying into Cameron for being generous with his figures at PMQs this week. Commenting on the PM’s boast about improving hospital waiting times, the Library originally judged that the data “did not support” Dave’s claim, accusing him of a “simplistic reading” of the facts. Labour were naturally very pleased that parliament’s impartial research service had gone after the PM so strongly.

Now the blog has been deleted by the Library:

Though they aren’t taking back the criticism made in the original post…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

‘Red Princes’ Gets Box Office Treatment

It has been two years since Guido applied the ‘Red Princes‘ neologism to Labour’s nepotistic sons, who are  seeking to inherit power from their political parents. Sorry Bercow, but someone has been reading…

“We’ve got son of Blair, son of Straw, son of Prescott, son of Dromey. When you take out the Red Princes, you’ll find that 80% of their candidates are union sponsored. They bought the candidates, they bought the policies, they bought the leader, we must never let them near the country.”

Is Joe Dromey going to get his mum to complain again?

Friday, June 27, 2014

WATCH: Forgot About Dre

Poor Craig Oliver. Arriving at the Brussels summit with the PM and his entourage earlier today, Downing Street’s Director of Communications was hauled aside by security and stopped from going in, leaving him stranded at the door as Dave and the rest of his team strolled on through:

“Motherf**kers act like they forgot about Dre…”

Via Sky.

WATCH: Dave: Juncker is the Wrong Man

“It is the wrong person. Jean-Claude Juncker has been at the heart of the project to increase the power of Brussels and reduce the power of nation states for his entire working life. He’s not the right person to take this organisation forward. I’m very clear about the right thing to do. I know the odds are stacked against me but that doesn’t mean you change your mind, it means you stand up for what you believe and you vote accordingly.”

Going down fighting…

Doughty Dave Does Battle With Dastardly Continentals

20140627-084834-31714724.jpg

Dave isn’t backing down over Jean-Claude Juncker. Craig Oliver will be pleased that in the news clips being played this morning, he’s in full on plucky Englander mode, sticking it to Johnny Foreigner even if  he was outnumbered all along. It all sounds good, but Labour have been left with what they think is an open goal:

[Cameron has] turned a Europe divided over Jean-Claude Juncker into a Europe apparently united against David Cameron”.

Opportunistic from Wee Dougie as both Labour and even the LibDems quietly support the principle that Dave is fighting for, namely that national governments determine who is to be president of the European Commission, rather than the corrupt overgrown student union that is the European Parliament putting one of their own in charge.

Juncker is the past. As Fraser Nelson says this morning:

“The idea that the correct response to last month’s Euro elections is the enstoolment of a technocratic federalist is, of course, preposterous – but Cameron is the only leader with the courage to say so openly.”

Europe is moaning because the Prime Minister is not playing ball with them – no bad thing. The implication of their attack is that Labour are siding with the EU. Something they must realise is voter repellent right now, whatever misty-eyed ideological commitment to the project Miliband holds.

Meanwhile, “fears over Juncker’s drinking” have finally cut through to the front pages, with the Telegraph reporting his “drinking habits have been discussed at the highest levels by European leaders who privately have concerns over the lifestyle of the continent’s president-in-waiting“. Guido sees Juncker’s penchant for breakfast wine as his one redeeming quality…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ken Clarke Trolls Cameron Ahead of Reshuffle

Almost as if he knows he is about to be slotted at the upcoming reshuffle, Ken Clarke has turned up on the World at One to wind up No.10. First he had a dig at Cameron’s statement on Coulson yesterday, which was criticised by the judge but taken with the say so of the Attorney General. Despite that the Minister Without Portfolio insisted: 

“It’s clear that nobody took legal advice.”

Going on to defend Dave’s nemesis Jean-Claude Juncker: 

“I’m one of the few people that has met Jean-Claude Juncker. Nobody knows exactly what he is supposed to have done wrong. The idea he’s an arch-federalist is slightly exaggerated. He’s not an arch-villain.”

If that doesn’t seal his fate…

WATCH: Cameron v Miliband PMQs Clash in Full

Miliband’s Kinnock/Westland Moment

You can see the very moment that Ed realised he lost today’s potentially game changing moment in the House. A confident Cameron, armed with the Leveson report quotes, got his apology out early, before Ed could call for it. Just look at his face in reaction to the PM’s gag about Ed standing up to Murdoch, posing with the Sun and ultimately weakly apologising. Video to follow…

UPDATE: Video of the moment Ed knew he had lost it:

UPDATE II: In GIF form:


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


VOTER-RECALL
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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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