Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Smith Institute : Polly Advised Sith on the “Legend for the Left” Against Tories the Month Before 2005 General Election

MPs like Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne, Martin Salter discussing with Polly Toynbee anti-Tory political strategies is nothing new, discussing them at a non-partisan, non-political charity event would be very interesting. That is exactly what they did at a seminar held on Tuesday 22nd March 2005 on the very eve of the General Election.Also attending were – surprise, surprise – Deborah Mattinson and Scarlett McGwire from Opinion Leader Research, pollsters for the Treasury.

Polly advised the Labour team about the Tory’s tactics; “Dog whistling is exactly what it is: hitting and running day after day, leaving Labour looking lame, wrong footed, unable to keep up. All the more important is to be able to produce the kind of moral vision that is envisaged here or is beginning to be described here.”

All the more important for who? Ed Balls tells her he was “very taken by Polly’s language in terms of a need for a legend for the left.” The seminar transcript goes on and on. So the question is – does the Charity Commission still believe that the Smith Institute is non-political?

Isn’t it just Gordon Brown’s strategic campaigning arm?

UPDATE : Christopher Hope in the Telegraph has discovered that Ed Balls advocated a new NHS tax at another closed meeting of the Sith.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Labour’s "Fear Culture" in Scotland

Blair is losing it, this morning he dismissed the SNP-backing George Mathewson, the ex-Royal Bank of Scotland CEO as “self-indulgent and absurd” after he came out backing freedom for Scotland. He also implied George wasn’t a real businessman – despite the man leading RBS from a regional bank to what is now a global investment banking force.

As chief executive of the Scottish Development Agency, he is credited by many with creating “Silicon Glen”. He took RBS from losses to global profitability. In a letter to The Scotsman today George accuses Labour of scaremongering about the SNP and of creating a “fear culture” about independence – “I have never really seen myself as a political figure, but all I will say is I don’t share the fear culture that some people think we should have.” He dismisses as “absurd” Gordon Brown’s claim that investors would flee if Scotland was free.

All bang on the money, Scotland standing on it’s own two feet would be good for Scotland and good for England. Labour opposes independence because it knows without Scottish Labour MPs, England, which votes Tory, would not be ruled by Scottish Labour as it is now.

The whole Labour party thrust is that the Scottish can’t well rule themselves alone, when in reality it is the Labour party that fears it can’t rule England without Scottish Labour MPs. The scaremongering by Labour is an insult to the Scottish people. The similar sized Republic of Ireland manages to rule itself, have lower taxes and higher per capita GDP than the UK. In comparison, after a decade under Labour, parts of Glasgow now have third-world level health indicators.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Crash Avoidance

Quick history of recent train crashes:

  • Southall – Occurred 19 September 1997; DPM John Prescott (with
  • responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Ladbroke Grove – Occurred 5 October 1999; DPM John Prescott
  • (with responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Hatfield – Occurred 17 October 2000; Transport Minister, Lord
  • Macdonald of Tradeston, visited the scene the next day.
  • Selby – Occurred 28 February 2001; DPM John Prescott (with
  • responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Health Minister Yvette Cooper visited some of the injured at
  • Pontefract General Infirmary.
  • Potters Bar – Occurred 10 May 2002; Transport Secretary Stephen
  • Byers visited the scene the next day.
  • Ufton Nervet – Occurred 6 November 2004; Transport Secretary,
  • Alistair Darling visited the scene two days later.
Grayriggs – no ministerial visit. Branson was there within 12 hours despite being on a family holiday in Switzerland. Even the RMT’s General Secretary, Bob Crow visited the scene that night.

On Friday the 23rd of February Douglas Alexander was in Wales for the Welsh Labour Party conference. Returning to a Scottish constituency could have taken him through Cumbria. Labour is having some problems with their campaign in Scotland. Brownite loyalist Alexander is “steering strategy”. He is probably too busy fending off the SNP’s coming electoral kicking on Brown’s home territory to be bothered with his ministerial responsibilities.

UPDATE : Scottish Labour took a £6,000 donation from Network Rail Limited three months ago.

UPDATE II : Scottish Labour had a total of £11,000 from Network Rail Limited last year.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Caption Contest (Prat Petition Edition)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Douglas Alexander Listens

Douglas Alexander is said to be furious that his attempt to introduce trials for his poll-tax-on-wheels scheme has been derailed by a Downing Street e-petition, which is approaching one and a half million signatures – up 100,000 in one day.

“We cannot be seen to bend, but we have to listen. There is a difference between listening and capitulating,” said an anonymous government source yesterday. The unnamed source (not a million miles from Douglas Alexander) is said to have claimed that “whoever came up with this idea might be a prat”. Guido emailed his friend Tom Steinberg of MySociety for a comment about that on Monday, but unusually no reply has been received from Tom. He is presumably very busy.

Ooofy Wegg-Prosser is the “web-genius” at No. 10. He apparently saw the e-petition plan as an answer to the interactivity and popularity of WebCameron and, err, Guido. Well that worked brilliantly didn’t it Ooofy?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

+++ Gordon’s Non-Partisan, Non-Political Charity Paid forU.S. Pollster to Formulate Anti-Cameron Strategy +++

Bloomberg News is reporting that Bob Shrum, the veteran U.S. pollster and campaign adviser, was paid by the Smith Institute to formulate an anti-Cameron campaign strategy for Gordon Brown.

They have obtained a transcript of a speech given to a private Smith Institute invited audience, which included Brown acolytes Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander, as well as other media allies. Shrum advised the Brownites to brand Cameron as “an empty opportunist who will do anything to win”.

The event was held to review Cameron’s first 100 days in March 2006.

Guido understands that a formal complaint to the Charity Commissioners requesting a full-scale investigation of the Smith Institute under Section 8 of the Charity Act will be considered by the Charity Commission today.

++ more follows ++

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Demos Downhearted

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: Guido went along last night to Demos’ launch of Serving a Cause, Serving a Community by Douglas Alexander. Labour really are fumbling around trying to figure out how to do politics online and to re-engage with their activists. (Hint : try honesty and drop the control freakery.)

Douglas was speaking NewLabourSpeak most of the time so Guido read the pamphlet, which amusingly talks about Popbitch in awestruck terms. Why is it so popular? (Clue : it is funny and gossipy.) They touched on blogs briefly.

Noticed that all the furniture at Demos is Ikea. The leftie crowd was very demoralised. Guido almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Compass Bearings

Guido has had email exchanges from Compass supporters who deny it is some kind of pro-Gordon operation agitating to get rid of Blair. They point out that the upcoming Compass conference has now added Blairites to the speaker list – the Blairdroid herself, Hazel Blears is speaking, Oona King as well. If Compass is not about getting rid of Blair, what is it all about? Neal Lawson asks “At what point does Brown move, or a stalking horse emerge?” Guido thinks some of the necessary plotting for that move, certainly amongst Labour party activists, will take place at his conference.

Maybe Guido is wrong and Blears will be greeted with a standing ovation, perhaps Oona King, a good friend of Jack Straw and a supporter of the war in Iraq, will be cheered by conference attendees? Maybe not.

Let us examine the evidence; the keynote speaker at its inaugural national conference was Gordon Brown. Past Compass event speakers include Douglas Alexander and Ed Balls – Brownites to the bone. What does Blair himself think? At yesterday’s prime ministerial press conference, he said, “If you go into an election with Compass, you will lose”.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bring Back Unpaid MPs

Douglas Alexander and David Miliband in the Grauniad waffle on piously like shop stewards about work hours for MPs. But what caught my eye was a line that the traditional hours were designed for a time when “unpaid MPs looked into the chamber after a day spent at the Inns of Court or the City.”

Well nowadays City partners work ungodly hours. Mrs Fawkes is a City lawyer slaving away for an American investment bank and her hours are horrendous. 80 hours a week are common, 120 not impossible, yet the House sits for less than 40 hours a week, and MPs (apart from Dennis Skinner) never attend for all sitting hours. Hardly hard work in comparison.

Guido thinks MPs should be unpaid and part-time once again. That way they would do less damage. There would still be plenty of blowhards desperate to become MPs in any case. Did Britain need professional, full time politicans to run an empire or defeat the Nazis? No. Today we don’t need them to approve EU directives either…


Seen Elsewhere

How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie
Left-Wing Anti-Semitism is Nothing New | Dan Hannan
Coe Pulls Out of BBC Trust Race | Mail


new-advert
Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)


Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads