Friday, March 23, 2012

Leaked Labour HQ Letter Shows Staff Anger Over Charles Allen
+ Row Set to Flare Up Again Over More Job Appointments
+ Labour Staffer Preparing Industrial Tribunal Against Leadership

Some of the  heat was taken out of the stand-off between the Labour high command and their unhappy HQ staff last week by a promise that all future jobs would be advertised internally. The row over the appointment of a new Labour Party Executive and a reorganisation of the party structure reached a peak with HQ staff calling in the unions to try find a solution. Guido has now got hold of a letter from the Joint Trade Union Committee (GMB and Unite), to the Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol outlining the complaints:

The new confused chain of command and  in particular the ex-Goldman Sachs adviser turned Labour Chief Exec Sir Charles Allen comes in for serious criticism, as does Ed’s leadership on this and his team’s handling of the whole process. Now the row looks set to boil over again. Despite a promise from Ed’s Chief of Staff Tim Livesey that all future jobs would be advertised, Guido can reveal this lunchtime that various senior positions have been filled without due process. Staffers claim that there were not even interviews for the following jobs:

  • Mr Paul Harrington – Head of Field Operations
  • Mr Joe Derrett- Head of Press for Ken Livingstone’s Campaign
  • Ms Veronica King – Press and Campaigns Officer for Ken Livingstone
  • Ms Anneliese Midgley – Head of Events and Visits for Ken Livingstone

Guido hears that at least one Labour staffer is preparing to take the Party to an industrial tribunal…

Friday, March 9, 2012

Labour’s Not So New Directors

After a big recruitment campaign, the new £65,000-a-year directors of the Labour Party are set to be unveiled next week, and they seem to have recruited from within. As Guido understands it, the three leading directors are likely to be:

  • Director of Communications: Bob Roberts.
    Currently Ed’s press man, this is a good move sideways and sort of upwards for the former Mirror Political Editor, some confusion as to if he wants to stay in the Norman Shaw building’s leaders office rather than go to the Labour HQ. Also means his career in the party is not over with a change of leader.

  • Director of Strategy: Greg Beales
    Currently Ed’s policy wonk and general consigliere. His other quarter is Katie Myler, the daughter of the former Screws editor Colin. Not much change here. 
  • Director of Policy: Torsten Henricson-Bell
    This former Alistair Darling SpAd was on the inside when they “not only saved the world, but saved the banks too”. He’s been sniffing around for a seat since. He didn’t go far away, and has been advising Ed on economic policy.

There are other less exciting back room roles, but these three will be the significant players. The biggest loser of this reorganisation is the unfortunately titled “Director of Strategy and Communications” Tom Baldwin, who has effectively had his job divided up and handed to other people, in particular Tim Livesey, the former diplomat and adviser to the archbishop. When Tom started, it was made very clear that he was Bob Robert’s boss. It doesn’t really look that way any more…

UPDATE: According to LabourList, who are now catching up with us on this story, Beales will stay in the leader’s office. They also reveal Patrick Heneghan for Field ops and Emilie Oldknow for the dubiously named Governance and Services Director.

UPDATE II: Or not:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second Policy Salvo Against Miliband
Mandelson Backed Think-Tank Launches Another Broadside

For the second time in a month Peter Mandelson’s think-tank, Policy Network, has launched a policy salvo against the direction the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. Mandelson privately is contemptuous of young Ed, these high-minded wonkish policy exhortations are the respectable manifestation of that contempt.

Last month his think-tank published “In the Black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand” is a discussion paper in which the authors; Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen, called for Labour to embrace fiscal conservatism. The paper was an explicit rebuttal of the kamikaze economics of Ed Balls endorsed by Ed Miliband, which poll after poll shows is not seen as credible by the public. Despite the state of the economy Cameron and Osborne are supported by the British public to a far greater extend than Miliband and Balls.

In exactly the same vein shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont MP and Oxford historian Ben Jackson have written a paper for the think-tank warning that austerity governments often defeat opponents and that historically the Tories have achieved this on multiple occasions. They also urge Miliband to abandon his “predators and producers” rhetoric and “put forward a more convincing strategy for private sector growth than the Conservatives”. McClymont and Jackson further warn that Ed Miliband must avoid the “tax and spend” trap and “a simple defence of the public sector and public spending”Alas that is Labour policy in a nutshell..

See also: Labour-Centrists Laying Down Reality-Based Policy Ideas

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Labour Membership Flatlining Under Miliband

Over a year ago Harriet Harman, speaking at a Labour delegates reception, claimed that the Labour Party had gained 65,000 new party members. This morning a Labour press spokesman, while defending Ed Miliband’s leadership, again claimed 65,000 new party members.

If the party’s press spokesman is telling the truth that means in over a year since the start of Ed Miliband’s leadership the Labour Party has not made a net gain of any more members. No surprise really, Ed hardly inspires enthusiasm…

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exclusive: Ed Miliband Sacks His PMQs Joke Writer

Ayesha Hazarika – a former stand-up comedienne – who previously crafted one-liners for PMQs has been sacked by Ed Miliband as his spokesperson. Labour sources say that the Political Adviser (PAd) wasn’t sacked over yesterday’s dismal performance in particular. The decision was made some weeks ago, in part because Ed Miliband felt she wasn’t performing well in the role of presenting him to the media and he was also increasingly uncomfortable over her close relationship with Tom Watson. Ayesha has been consoling Tom during his marriage break-up.

On hearing that her former SpAd was to be sacked by Ed Miliband, Harriet Harman offered Ayesha her old job back working for her. This didn’t go down well with Ed Miliband who took Ayesha’s re-appointment by his deputy-leader as something of an affront to his authority. Such is the weakness of his leadership that Harriet Harman ignored Ed’s protests.

UPDATE: Ed’s people now spinning Ayesha wasn’t sacked, she was “made redundant”, that must be because Ed Miliband doesn’t need a media spokesperson and Harriet needs another? Paul Waugh was told this morning that she left by “mutual consent”Hopefully they will get their line straight by lunchtime.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

After PMQs Labour Insiders Doubt Ed Miliband Will Last Out 2012

Peter Hain is considered by Ed Miliband’s people to be something of an elder statesman, he was an early backer of Ed for leader and has reaped the benefit of that since. After what was a mauling at PMQs, judged one of Ed’s worst outings by many, Hain’s judgement was up there with the legendary Comical Ali. He reached for that old standby, blaming the Tory press…

Unfortunately in reality even the friendly left-wing press were underwhelmed. The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt, the Indy’s John Rentoul, Newsnight’s comrade Paul Mason, ubiquitous leftie Owen Jones and LabourList’s Mark Ferguson were all shaking their heads wistfully.

The more neutral observers such as the BBC’s Nick Robinson said that Miliband had “taken a pasting”, Total Politics described it as excruciating to watch. It was especially excruciating for Labour’s backbenchers and frontbenchers alike who go home for Christmas behind in the polls and on the wrong side of the public on Europe and the economy. Some are even talking of a Yvette Cooper / David Miliband dream ticket next year. That is how desperate they are getting…

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dead Ed’s Poll Ratings Sinking

In the Guy Newsroom we regularly debate the Labour leadership, should we campaign to “Save Ed” or “Back Balls”. We are not the only ones who have this dilemma, within CCHQ there is a wary faction who think that the Tory machine should go easy on Ed for their interests are well served with him as opposition leader. His brother David might be more trick to deal with they fear.

When even the activists on LabourList think with a 53% majority that Ed is doing a poor or very poor job he is in real internal difficulties. The shadow cabinet and former supporters feel the same.

Others look with glee at the prospect of another Labour leadership fight that could see Ed Balls become leader, the kamikaze choice for Labour. Some fear that Yvette could take the crown and she might be a game changer for Labour. It would be much harder for Cameron to duel with her as she carries less baggage. Daughter of Brown has less of a ring to it…

UPDATE: Graph “Hari-ed” from PoliticsHome.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ending Labour Cabinet Elections Could Boost Union Control

Team Miliband has earned plaudits for promising to end elections to Labour’s shadow cabinet team. There has been an outbreak of support for Labour’s version of the Führerprinzip from all corners. While this may put a block on the more loony elements of the Labour left getting into the shadow cabinet, perversely it may increase the control of the unions. They put Ed Miliband into office and they pay the Labour Party’s bills.

He who pays the piper calls the tunes: Miliband will not be able to resist demands from union bosses for their placemen to be in the Labour cabinet. Unite already have a well developed programme of putting their approved candidates on the parliamentary list. They will soon be able to control the composition of cabinet. No wonder Labour is too craven to stand against children being locked out of schools with single-parents being forced to lose income staying at home to care for their children. Union-owned politicians are not in the public interest.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

Dan Hodges writes…

“Labour’s leadership team have a new narrative, one that charges Cameron and Osborne are trying to drag us back to the 1980s. They’re right, they are. And the reason they’re trying to do that is the eighties was a period of total, uninterrupted, unassailable Tory domination, and total, uninterrupted, unprecedented Labour failure.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read Ed’s Speech, Not Impressed

“Being rooted in people’s lives is not about a slogan, it’s not about going out and just saying ‘tell us what we should think’, but it is about saying we need to be reconnected to the hopes and aspirations of the people of Britain.”

Having read Ed’s speech twice and learnt nothing from the platitudes, Guido fears he still knows where Ed wants to take a Labour Party “rooted in people’s lives”. Ed says he is a “socialist” and wants to tax people who are successful more than half their earnings, which sounds like a Labour government too rooted in people’s bank accounts. More of a blank cheque policy than a blank policy sheet.

Guido was never going to be impressed with a younger, more humanised but still wonky version of Gordon Brown, unfortunately for Ed his own cabinet also seem unimpressed; on the Sunday shows Alan Johnson told Marr, in coded language, that he wants to dump the 50% tax rate policy before the election, Douglas Alexander confirmed to Adam Boulton the shadow chancellor was looking to dump it and Liam Byrne said just now on the Politics Show “…you have to decide your tax priorities closer to the time”, translation “we’ll dump it before the election”. They all know that Ed stood for the leadership ideologically committed to squeezing the successful: ‘Let me say plainly: I would keep the top rate of income tax at 50p permanently’.

Punters are beginning to write Ed off and the left-of-centre commentariat is unimpressed. The only conclusion to draw from all these cabinet David Miliband supporters opposing Ed’s key policy objective is that they don’t really want him to lead them into the next election.


Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,466 other followers