Wednesday, July 16, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: The Best Reshuffle in Modern Times

Animal noises greeted Cameron’s arrival in the Commons. Countrymen will have recognised the noise that hogs make when the swill bucket arrives. Oh, it’s such a time to be a Tory. The best reshuffle in modern times has put the party onto an election-winning footing. They express their pleasure in the most elemental way.

Emma Lewell-Buck couldn’t make a dent in their cheerfulness:

“There are more bald men with £5m property portfolios and sons at public school going out with girls called Tallulah than there are women in the cabinet,” she declared, nearly.

Cameron said the gynemetrics of the cabinet were pretty good and absent those hoary reactionaries of the Liberal Democrats they’d be even better: a third of Conservative cabinet is now female.

Every week Cameron looks easier, calmer, more in control of his party, his policy and his election plan – and every week his opponent dances at the despatch box like a spastic marionette. What a rout it’s turning into.

(more…)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SKETCH: Only Talking About Kids Makes Ed Look Grown Up

Consensual Ed. What’s that about? Again, he was picking a cross-party subject to consensualise on. It might from week to week be – Our Glorious Dead, They Died For Us. The Queen, God Bless Her. Those Evil Islamicists Are So Un-British.

This week it was Child Abuse Can’t Go On.

Good choice. It let Ed make his Who Will Speak For the Children? face. It stopped Cameron backing him into a corner and bashing his face in. And talking about children made him look more grown-up. Triple win.

(more…)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SKETCH: Ed’ Speech, Written by a Policy Poppet Intern

The speech Ed Miliband has just given to the Policy Network wasn’t a speech, it was a brief for a speech.

An intern, a 27-year-old policy poppet would have written a series of notes for the Leader:

We need to support a culture of long-termism. How do we say that in human?

It’s about people. People being the most important asset. Is there a way of saying that that isn’t fifty years old?

We need to celebrate business. Obviously we can’t just say that.

(more…)

Labour’s ‘Stop Steve’ Campaign Backfires
The Mystery of Dennis Skinner’s Ejection from the NEC

Bolsover’s famous beast, much-loved by Labour, was voted off the NEC yesterday to the bafflement of the party, the anger of members, and the curiosity of the political commentariat.

Dennis Skinner is the authentic voice of Labour at a time when authenticity is sorely lacking in its limp-wristed, intellectual leftiness. He works incessantly for the party, speaking, organising, geeing up the troops.

Why would  John Healey stand against him?

Maybe he didn’t.

Maybe he was standing against Steve Rotheram, the moaning member for Merseyside.

After Ed Miliband’s posing with the Sun, Rotheram criticised him. Said it shouldn’t have happened. Sought meetings with his leader’s office. Rubbed salt in the open wound that is the party leader.

Is it possible that the leader’s office was so petty, so spiteful, so incompetent as to organize against Steve Rotheram and end up decapitating one of Labour’s most prominent assets?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: When Teenage Ed Campaigned to Leave the EU

Cruel, cruel Tony Baldry. He told the House about the 1983 election and Labour’s anti-Europe commitments of the time. And how a 13-year-old boy had delivered a leaflet through his letterbox on behalf of Michael Foot. “That boy, now leader of the Labour party,” he said in his large, deep, fat-uncle manner.

“That boy, now leader of the Labour party.”

Little Ed’s pain was visible. And for those who have an appetite for that sort of thing, palpable.

There he was on the front bench, shoulders down, smiling wanly, slightly angling his smooth, young face towards the big bruiser next to him. He had grown up by four or five years since 1983 but was clearly the junior partner as Big Ed joined in the joshing and rollicking that Cameron was dishing out.

“Not my idea of fun,” Cameron laughed about delivering leaflets at the age of 14. “What was your idea of fun?” Big Ed kept jabbing. “Not hanging out with the shadow chancellor,” Cameron said. “I feel sorry for the Leader of the Opposition who has to hang out with him all the time!”

Tories were entering a stage of pre-climactic pleasure, Big Ed was pointing, pouting, heckling, laughing back.

Little Ed sat shyly, too young to join in the game.

(more…)

Monday, June 30, 2014

SKETCH: Juncker Statement Gives Ed a New Purpose

We may have found a use for Ed Miliband. We’re going to put him in for the Turner. He’s art. He’s an installation. Not lifelike of course, not comprehensible, very expensive and widely agreed to be useless.

Art!

This afternoon he looked like the conductor of a hyper-nationalist Last Night of the Proms. The Tories were the orchestra. He pointed his finger at the horn section. They blared patriotic fervour. He jabbed at the strings, they hit the high notes. He waved his arms at them all, “More! More!” he screamed, and they rose en masse to his level. “Wilder!” he cried. “More passion, more fury!” Oh, how they responded, louder still and louder.

The prime minister had been humiliated, isolated, routed, he said. Tory spirits soared. The prime minister was incompetent, absurd, toxic. Tory cheers lifted the roofbeams. He had failed, he was in tatters, he’d been outwitted, outmanoeuvred and outvoted.

The Conservative party felt themselves heading towards the fourth or fifth of their seven heavens.

One after another they rose to congratulate, thank, encourage the Prime Minister: Howarth, Redwood, Cash, Lilley, Edward LEIGH!

Five points up in the polls. A party united as never before. Cameron’s lordly ease and gentlemanliness has returned.

And the opposition is led by Tracey Emin’s unmade bed.

After very many years, it’s time to be a Tory.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Labour’s Criminals in Downing Street

Ed Miliband achieved the impossible today. He finished his J’Accuse an even more diminished leader than when he began.

Weak, weak, weak! The Tories chanted. “I’ll tell you what’s weak,” Ed said weakly, “it’s failing to stand up for the right thing.”

Cameron’s definition of weak was more detailed: “Attacking Rupert Murdoch, posing with a copy of the Sun and then apologising for it! That’s weak!”

And then, of course, Alastair Campbell, Jo Moore and Damian McBride.

Ed’s lead-line, his headline, his top line was: “You brought a criminal into Downing Street.”

It’s not a bad line, in fact. It’s nasty. It resonates at a childhood level of right and wrong. And it’s sinister.

But then, but then . . . Criminals in Downing Street.

Ed himself has an adviser publicly accused of Class A drug use. His predecessors, as Cameron pointed out, have a variety of real victims to their account. From David Kelly to the Paddington rail crash survivors to Conservative MPs to half a million Iraqis…

(more…)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SKETCH: The Ghost of Coulson Reaches Treasury Questions

Treasury questions began with the single most depressing sentence that can fall on Labour ears. The fact is, Osborne declared, we are experiencing the fastest growth in employment since records began.

What a terrible time to fight an election from the left – its ideology is being cut to ribbons by events.

In a time of public sector cuts, employment is unaccountably soaring.

Tax cuts are perversely producing higher tax revenues.

Austerity refuses to stifle growth even though anyone who is anyone knows it must.

And while the Right keeps talking about its long term economic plan (14 mentions today), the Left has neither a long term communications strategy – or even a short term one (their Leader’s Welfare reforms from last week: 0 mentions).

Ed Balls looked like the stuffing had been knocked out of him. That’s a lot of stuffing. (more…)

Monday, June 23, 2014

SKETCH: What Happened to Ed’s New Welfare Pledge?

Readers may remember the Labour’s chief Conehead promised last week that industrious parental units would be rewarded by a government of the Left, but young feckless, jobless, unqualified cones would be kicked about a bit, in the way that Tory voters like.

The daring initiative had a difficult start. Before the speech there was World Cup action. After the speech, the Labour press office announced that every voter would be given a free owl. Guido’s joke (ring Labour on 28 28 20) got as much coverage as the policy bombshell.

But stop it. Settle down. Be serious. Let us practise grown-up commentary. How is this bold, one nation, predistributional policy faring, longer term?

It was Work and Pensions questions this afternoon. Just the opportunity to pitch the new message into the parliamentary arena.

The policy was completely, comprehensively ignored by the Labour front bench. Shadow minister after shadow minister stood up to say, “Our leadership isn’t worth listening to, let alone arguing for, let alone supporting. We have ambition, we have purpose, we will make our own way in the post-Miliband utopia we glimpse ahead.”

(more…)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

SKETCH: That Miliband Speech in Full

“Greetings earthlings. Voters. Citizens. Please select appropriate honorific.

“Yesterday, I talked to Danny at the Job Centre. I said to Danny, ‘Tell me, Danny, has the Job Centre been good enough in getting you training?’

‘It’s been completely useless.’

“Completely useless, eh? There you have it, the Job Centre has broken the bargain. Shall we destroy them? That is the tough decision we shall be right to take. Because the country has broken the bargain too. It’s supposed to be working for you, and is it? I have answered my own question. It’s not good enough. Some say I’m not good enough for Britain, but neither is Britain.

“So what do? Is this the question?  A big problem needs a big solution. My first solution was Predistribution. This was such a big solution it had five syllables. But it was not enough. Britain deserved more. Contributionariness is two syllables longer and yet it does not cost extra. Its revenue-neutrality sends a message that we are facing up to tough decisions as Britain deserves.

“So we shall abolish Job Seekers’ Allowances for young people and replace it with Job Trainers’ Allowance worth the same aggregate of monetary units. The cost of living crisis will be addressed by this long-term economic plan. And the evil Tory hegemony shall be destroyed. It is the right thing to do and right to do it we are. Thank you. Good night. I shall return.”


Seen Elsewhere

David Ward’s Holocaust Denier Friends | Harry's Place
Grayling: Bercow Faces Questions | Sun
Paul Flynn Could Learn a Lot From a Trip to Israel | Breitbart
50 Shades of Grayling | Speccie
Bercow’s £12,000 of VIP Sporting Freebies | Sun
Aldous Huxley v George Orwell | FatPita
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth


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Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:

“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”



TJ says:

And i’ve noticed that 100% of Guido Fawkes staff are men. Looks like Guido has a woman problem. Or is it an hypocrisy problem?


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