Labour Lost London the Day they Chose Ken Why Didn’t Labour Choose Oona?

Months before Labour selected a candidate for Mayor of London, Guido chatted with a senior City Hall Tory politico, asking him who he really preferred to fight; Oona or Ken? Without hesitating he said “Oona so long as Ken stands as an independent again. If not, Ken”. He got his wish…

That was a real fear for Labour. If Ken wasn’t their candidate, he would still be a candidate. The Labour machine could have selected Oona if it really wanted. It didn’t kick into action against his cynically parasitical organisation. Not because Ken outwitted them, it was because they feared a rogue Ken again, be in no doubt that if the Labour establishment and Labour HQ really wanted they could have stopped Ken being their chosen candidate. Implicit blackmail by Ken when Labour was reeling from losing the general election got him the candidacy.

Labour will spin and blame it on a ruthlessly negative Lynton Crosby campaign, and in many ways it was a classic, however it was only workable because Ken has so many negatives to mine. That type of campaign could not have been run against Oona. She is too fresh, too funky London and too centrist. Labour lost London they day they succumbed to Ken’s blackmail.

Police Coming for Mensch Trolls

The Chief Constable of Cumbria Police Stuart Hyde says that they are looking into the “pretty horrendous” and potentially illegal comments about Louise  Mensch made on Twitter.

Given many of them were in people’s own names, it shouldn’t be too tricky to track them down.


More Labour Not Backing Ken

Yesterday’s cack-handed plea by Labour’s campaign supremo Tom Watson for Labour supporters who can’t stand Ken to “hold your nose, vote for Ken” follows on from Labour peers Lord Sugar and Lord Winston expressing anti-Ken sentiments.

Labour have now roped in Oona King, who was once described by Ken as a Blairite “she-devil” to support Ken in a transparently false show of party unity. What Oona really thinks about Ken was revealed before he was selected as the official candidate. She said ‘I don’t think Ken Livingstone is the way to go. He may qualify for Britain’s Got Talent but only on UK Gold’. Not the most ringing endorsement…

Guido was intrigued to hear on the grapevine that Tom Watson’s tame attack-puppies at the left-wing union-sponsored website Political Scrapbook can’t stand Ken Livingstone either. He searched their website for evidence of support for Ken and found none – months of anti-Boris material, not one single article so far that is pro-Ken. Last night Guido challenged them on Twitter to back Ken with a bet. They refused to back Ken…

Labour Too Positive About Economy

On the day the recession returned with GDP coming in at what Gordon Brown would describe as “negative growth” the Labour Party released their first fancy Obama-style infographic on Facebook.

Unfortunately it was what is known in the trade as a ‘SMOG’ – a Social Media Own Goal. The bar chart was all too positive…

Digital Dave Drags in Nick

Seems the PM got grumpy on the plane over to Japan. Talking to hacks about snooping laws, he’s fighting back on the indefensible:

“You’ve got to remember that this was agreed a national security council where sitting round the table was Chris Huhne, Nick Clegg, Ken Clarke – people from impeccable civil libertarian backgrounds. I think when people see the detail they will understand this is a very sensible way of keeping up with technology and not a snoopers’ charter. And I wouldn’t as Prime Minister sanction something that was.”

Hug ’em close Dave.

Via Dan Knowles.

Team Ken Send Out Tax Lines to Tweet Script

Labour have often denied they use command and control techniques on Twitter, yet strangely their Shadow Ministers, MPs and activists always end up singing from the same hymn sheet. Guido has long suspected this unity is fake and that lines to take are pushed out by spinners. Well it turns out that hunch was right:

From: “Tom Copley”
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 13:47:37
Subject: Ken’s tax and income: urgent online engagement

███████ —

Details of Ken’s tax and income – signed off by his accountant – is now online here:

This shows that last year he paid the full income tax required on all his earnings at a rate of 35%. This is higher than Brian Paddick but lower than Boris Johnson because unlike Johnson Ken does not fall into the 50p tax bracket.

Guido Fawkes is using dodgy maths to try and claim that Ken only paid 14.5% in income tax last year:

This is deliberately misleading. They’ve calculated this figure by dividing the amount Ken paid in tax on dividends by all the money in the company. This is ridiculous – Ken does not own the whole company and money in the company was used to employ other members of staff. Ken has paid the full income tax required on all the money he has taken out of the company as shown in the accounts.

The truth on Ken’s taxes, from that “left-wing stalwart” the Spectator (of which Boris Johnson was a former editor) – is here:

We need you to urgently engage @GuidoFawkes, @MrHarryCole, @DaveMorgan25, @BackBoris2012 and @Boris_Backer on Twitter to rebut their lies. Please tweet the link to the Spectator article too.

Best wishes,

Tom Copley
Digital Campaigns Coordinator
Ken Livingstone for London

How’s that urgent engagement going?

UPDATE: Well badly is the answer. The Spectator have now updated the article that Labour were so keen to push:

“It seems Ken’s campaign is trying to use our chart as proof that he isn’t avoiding tax. It isn’t. Our figures for Ken are simply the amount he’s declared he pays in tax divided by his declared personal income. It’s what he claims his effective tax rate is, not what we claim it is.”

Urgent engagement required. 

Come Back Nasty Ken, All Is Forgiven

Now that Ken has neutered his entire campaign by promising not to say anything negative, ever, he’s stuck with terrible and desperate email stunts. This one is off the cringeworthy scale:

From: Simon Fletcher Chief of Staff
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 13:23:35
Subject: An email I wanted to you to see

Guido —

I’ve just been sent an email by our Head of Digital and Volunteers and I really wanted you to see it.

He says that we have been overwhelmed with the response for our huge day of action on Tuesday, “Fare Deal Tuesday”.

It promises to be a big day as we leaflet hundreds of stations and thousands of commuters.

I really hope you can be a part of it.



Simon Fletcher
Chief of Staff
Ken Livingstone Campaign

From: Mike Joslin
To: Simon Fletcher 04/04/12 12:15
Subject: Overwhelmed

I wanted to let you know that hundreds of people have signed up for Tuesday morning.

It is quite incredible that so many people have signed up.

It shows that we can out organise the Tories.

Do you reckon we could send out an all supporters email to tell people the scale of what they’ve done already and give other people the opportunity to take part?


Who actually speaks like that?

Hugh Grant Calls for Twitter to Be Regulated

The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a Chinese Communist:

He was on air on behalf of the Hacked Off campaign who were quick to distance themselves from his absurd comments. A glimpse into a dark mind…

Vid via @LiarPoliticians

UPDATE: Friends of Hugh get in touch to point out that he doesn’t really believe what he said. Glad that’s all cleared up then.

Potem-Ken Campaign Battle Bus

Basically Boris announced a battle bus tour, within hours Ken’s digital campaign team Photoshopped a battle bus from a picture on Wikipedia. Just as they copied his “Better off with Boris” logo on Wednesday. Digital campaigning at its lamest.

Faked Potemkin villages might have fooled Russian empresses in 1787 but nobody in 2012 is going to be fooled by a digitally faked Potem-Ken bus.[…]


You’re Either in Front of Guido, or Behind…

From: Iain McNicol
Date: 9 March 2012 15:01:06 GMT
To: All Staff
Subject: New Executive Board

Dear All

I was personally very sorry to see that a number of the appointments were publicised on various blogs earlier today before staff had been fully informed.



Andrew Breitbart Dead: Provocateur and Internet Journalism Innovator Dies

Andrew Breitbart has died. He was originally a Drudge Report editor who was also involved in the Huffington Post when it launched before he set up his own chain of conservative websites. Provocative and brave, he broke stories about Washington beltway sleaze and corruption.[…]


More Bunkum From Labour

Morning Kenny,

When recycling old attacks on Brown, it’s probably best to clear the line with everyone…[…]


Labour Suspend IRA Liking Councillor

According to Labour Party sources Councillor Florence Anderson of Sunderland City Councillor has been suspended with immediate effect after Mark Wallace spotted that she had “Liked” a post on Facebook calling for the IRA to bomb the next Tory conference. Good.[…]


GP Playing Politics

With the prospect of Commons debate about dropping the health bill being forced by an government e-petition, lots of noise is being made about it being a sign of ordinary GPs fighting back. It was hardly an accident though. The GP that started the petition, Dr Kailash Chand, was taken on by former Shadow Health Secretary John Healey to run a policy review and is trying to become a Labour candidate.  […]


Tory Whips: Follow These Rules or Avoid Twitter

Dear Colleagues

Please see below a link to some good advice from Grant Shapps about how to get the best out of Twitter.

For those in doubt, the best advice is to maybe avoid it altogether.

Enjoy the recess,

Stephen Crabb MP
Assistant Government Whip

Sky News would be proud![…]



The Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst, who once claimed £12,000 on his expenses for the gardening costs of his Essex farmhouse, has excelled himself today. According to PA’s James Tapsfield, as Chairman of the Commons Admin Committee, Haselhurst has has recommended that every MP is “issued with an iPad style tablet device”.[…]


Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Trump jokes about media bias…

“The media is even more biased against me than ever before. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. It’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My Wife Melania gives the exact same speech! And people get on her case! And I don’t get it! I don’t know Why!”

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