Miliband Was Right About Blair

Miliband made his forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. YouGov confirm that Labour would be better off (25% v 32%) with voters if Blair was back in charge…

The thing Guido doesn’t understand is that 1 in 7 people believe Gordon is up to “getting on with job”. Who are these people? Where are they? Nobody really thinks Gordon is up to being PM do they?

LibDems Ask "Did Abrahams Illegally Finance Sedgefield By-Election?"

Defeated Sedgefield LibDem candidate Greg Stone has written to Phil Wilson MP, the Labour victor in Blair’s old constituency, demanding an explanation for his campaign’s funding.
As you will be aware, there has been considerable recent media coverage of illegitimate donations made to the Labour Party by Mr David Abrahams. Both the local press and the national press are reporting that donations totalling £62,000 were made by Mr Abrahams via his associates Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd to the Labour Party on the day the Sedgefield by-election was declared.

The LibDems have also made an official complaint to the Electoral Commission. It is noticeable that Abrahams was given a front-row seat at Sedgefield when Blair retired. Front row seats don’t come cheap…

Read George’s Lips "No Spending Cuts, No Choice for Voters"

In the Times this morning George Osborne writes “We have the highest tax burden in our peacetime history… Today I can confirm for the first time that a Conservative Government will adopt these spending totals. Total government spending will rise by 2 per cent a year in real terms, from £615 billion next year to £674 billion in the year 2010-11.”

Last month the Economic Research Council identified 883 New Labour quangos costing £167.5 billion in 2005/06, up from £24.1 billion in 1997/98. That is five times the size of the Defence budget (£32 billion). Does George really think spending has to grow?

This is straight out of the New Labour play book in 1996, when Blair and Brown promised to stick to Major’s spending limits. Post-election, they then PFI’d a spending splurge off the PSBR books that will mean taxpayers are paying on the never-never for a generation.

Some say it is clever politics, some will say it is cowardice in the face of the enemy. Osborne’s intention to stick to Labour’s spending plans, despite the high tax burden, begs the question; what is the point of the Conservatives? What real choice do they offer voters?

Image credit : David Osler

Labour’s Anti-Heir-to-Blair Campaign Poster

If Cameron is the Heir-to-Blair, and the Brownites have been fighting Blair for so long, is this any surprise? They have recycled an anti-Blair poster from the 2005 general election. Michael Howard’s Tories had a poster of a grinning Blair, with the slogan “wipe the smile off his face”.
If the Labour party carry on like this it will be cathartic for them. They will be able to attack Dave for all his Blairite traits and in doing so they will purge their guilty consciences.

UPDATE : Here is the old Tory advert.

Stand Up, Speak Up Progressives!

The Tories are taking their Policy Review recommendations on the road around the country because Dave says
“I want us to end the age of top-down, ‘we know best’ politics. Politics should be bottom-up and open – driven by the passions and priorities of the public. Many hundreds of experts have worked on our Policy Review, and I’m hugely grateful to them for the time and dedication they have brought to the task. But no experts have a monopoly on good ideas, and I want us to be the party that harnesses the ideas and enthusiasm of everyone in this country, not just the political elite.”

This will be fun. When CCHQ types meet the great unwashed and even their own members they are going to be in for a shock. There is also going to be “online discussions hosted at conservatives.com and moderated by the Policy Review team.” Moderated? As in censored? That seems a bit “top-down, shut-up, we know best” doesn’t it?

Dave is really going on-the-road to sell his policy shifts to the party. Team Cameron is positioning itself well to the left of Tory activists who are sick of hearing about windmill-powered huskie sleds and the like. Only Redwood’s recommendations on economic competitiveness are likely to provide red meat for those wanting to hear the old credo rather than tree hugging and fluffy bunny policies. The effort to reach out to the party faithful will have the slogan “Stand Up, Speak Up”. In the Observer this morning Dave is claiming to be a “progressive”. The activists will love that…

Happy Birthday GordonTories Poll 40% Against Blair / 42% Against Brown

As Gordon celebrates his 56th birthday this morning, we learn that an ICM poll in the Guardian puts Cameron’s Conservatives on 40 (+3), Labour 31, LibDems 19% (-4). A gap only seen three times since Margaret Thatcher’s day. Labour hasn’t polled as badly as this since Michael Foot. On a 40% share the Tories could achieve a parliamentary majority.

When ICM compared Cameron’s Conservatives vs Brown’s Labour vs Ming’s Lib Dems – it got even worse for Labour. The margin widened further to Conservatives 42% (+2): Labour 29% (-3%): LibDem 17% (-3). Happy Birthday Gordon…

Osborne Tried to Lure LibDem’s David LawsOver to the Liberal Conservatives

Peter Oborne has a fascinating article on the extent of the Team Cameron outreach mission to LibDems. In it he claims that George Osborne surprised David Laws with a Cameron sanctioned proposition – a shadow cabinet position for the Orange Booker. Also mentioned as a high value acquisition target is David Owen, the original social-marketeer.

In the article Oborne mentions also that Peter Mandelson has twice met Cameron in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a “brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum”.

Guido can reveal that Oborne is wrong on this point. In fact the Heir-to-Blair has met Mandelson three times in the past two months. The other time being on December 18, after Dave spoke at the Royal United Services Institute [pictured].

Can the Heir to Blair Match Blair?

According to newspaper reports Blair’s speech to the Labour party mesmerised Cameron when he was watching it. Tony’s last turn was without doubt an undeniably class act. Cameron’s leadership winning speech last year was good, but brilliant only in comparison to David Davis. Dave prowled around the stage empathatically, he did passion, he did fresh and they lapped it up. The act isn’t so fresh and we know most of the lines now. The media narrative for the conference is already focusing on the speech, which is highly risky for the Tories. Team Cameron had already decided to focus on “Brand Cameron” exclusively before knowing that the Blair speech would be such a tough act to follow. Dave’s performance at PMQs has been equal to Tony, will his conference speech match him?

Blair Heir : Picture Exclusive

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Blair’s Heir

Some people think he is too young, but punters are putting their money on the kid on the right in the sandpit. He is now second favourite after Gordon (16/1) to take over from Tony Blair. Impossible? David Miliband is

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time there was a King, his daughter the Princess was very unhappy. The King was very busy waging war on his enemies. The Princess ate a poison apple. The King was very worried and full of despair.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

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