You almost have to admire the persistence of serial loser Katie “Ghastly” Ghose. The woman who turned a 27% referendum lead for “Yes to AV” into a 36% victory for the “No to AV” campaign has had similar luck in her several ill-fated attempts to find a safe Labour seat to stand in. Now she has thrown her hat into the ring to take the Stoke-on-Trent North seat being vacated by retiring Joan Walley. Ghose’ other half, Fabian Society general secretary Andy Harrop, has been doing his best to boost Katie’s profile, getting her on stage with Owen Jones and Jackie Ashley at his conference last weekend. One word of advice: perhaps she should change the name of the constituency at the top of her new Stoke-on-Trent North website:
“Inspiring, leading, winning.” First time for everything…
Well this is embarrassing. At last night’s Dods parliamentary awards, editor-in-chief Paul Waugh proudly presented the award for Tweeter of the Year to iPad-loving Labour MP Tom Harris. Dods explained that they felt Harris was a worthy winner “for his daily usage of Twitter.” Just one problem: Harris isn’t actually on Twitter.
Porn blocking has claimed its first victims: stopping users from reaching the deep dark parts of the internet like the Lib Dem LGBT website and Guido, among others. TalkTalk and BT are now getting it in the neck for blocking rape crisis centres and gay lifestyle sites. Who could possibly have predicted the filters wouldn’t work.
Fortunately there is a solution. GoAwayCameron.co.uk lets you install an extension on your Chrome browser so you are free to access blocked sites. Which basically means 15 year olds don’t have to tell their mum they want to access porn after all. Politicians not understanding the internet, who would have thought it.
Meantime until everyone installs porn blocker hacks it would be much appreciated if the boffins at T-Mobile could remove http://www.Order-Order.com from their porn blacklist. Guido doesn’t want to have to sue them for loss of earnings…
Labour’s digital strategy is still having some pretty unfortunate teething problems. For some strange reason they have had to take down this week’s big video by Miliband guru Arnie Graf from YouTube. At the time of going to pixel it is marked as private:
Guido understands it was BBC News boss James Harding who intervened over the use of BBC Parliament footage. Doh!
Guido has always been a firm believer in Douglas Carswell’s prophecy that the “birth of iDemocracy” is key to rolling back the state:
“The West’s Big Government model is bust, things are going to have to change. It is on the cusp of dramatic changes driven by the failure of her elites, technology and maths. At the precise moment Big Government becomes unaffordable, the internet revolution makes it possible to do without it. Be optimistic. We are going to be able to manage without government – and thrive. The old political and economic order is about to give way to something vastly better.”
Well that prediction is a step closer to coming true today as the Speaker announces a Commission on Digital Democracy, with the aim of “creating a Parliament version 2.0″. It will report in 2015, Parliament’s 750th birthday, looking at how countries such as Estonia have enhanced democracy through internet voting and citizen engagement in parliamentary activity. Given that it was Carswell who knifed the last Speaker, could Bercow be trying to keep him sweet as knives are sharpened?
Parliamentary history made at today’s PMQs, with Dave reading out the live tweets of a former Labour minister, who lost his seat in the wake of the expenses scandal:
Public desperate for PM in waiting who speaks for them – not Leader of Opposition indulging in partisan Westminster Village knockabout.—
Tony McNulty (@Tony_McNulty) November 20, 2013
A note was passed in the middle of the session from a sharp eyed backbench MP. Presumably a big glass of claret this lunchtime for Cameron’s new PPS Gavin Williamson for that little hit.
Immediately Ed’s outriders kicked off. Here is what the Labour leader’s former Chief of Staff had to say:
The Reagan Doctrine rolled back communism across the world, now we have what LabourList has – with a straight face – dubbed the “Dugher Doctrine”, which presumably consists of polluting Twitter with North Korean-style synchronised tweeting.
Miliband attack dog Michael Dugher is in charge of sorting out Labour’s social media strategy, or “transforming the party for the digital age”. The competition is weak, he will have to go some way to do worse than the Tories’ current standard of hashtags and videos. Though the first signs of the “Dugher Doctrine” are hardly encouraging either. As much as Labour talk about how many people their online campaigning has reached, Guido does not really think preaching to the converted while annoying everybody else is a well thought out strategy. If they think getting MPs to obediently tweet a slogan simultaneously will win an election, go ahead, tweet. Seal Team, engage…
Bribes, Lies and Curry in Tower Hamlets | Standard
Tory MP Breaks Cover on Canberra Crisis | BBC
Labour MP: Wimmin’ Stop Us Bombing ISIS | Speccie
Peace Envoy Arrives on Italian Coast | Mail
Golden Age of Trusting Politicians is a Myth | Irish Times
More Ed Criticism | Damian McBride
Hague to Weigh into Bercow’s Canberra Crisis | Times
Shadow Cabinet: Who’ll Johnson & Darling Replace? | Labour Uncut
Damian McBride’s Spinning Against Ed Miliband | John Rentoul
Boris Fails the Character Test for Social Conservatives | Laura Perrins
No Charges After Two Years On Bail | Patrick Foster
Damian McBride offers some more of his helpful advice:
‘Mr Miliband will not survive the televised leaders’ debates trying to have it both ways on every policy from Syria to an EU referendum. The prime minister may be entirely wrong on issues such as HS2, but at least his position is clear.The Labour leader’s attempt to keep his options open is all very well, but to what end? If he thinks he can avoid taking any big decisions until he’s securely installed in Downing Street, Mr Miliband unfortunately hasn’t a prayer.’
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.