Late Night Sessions

One of the great things about EyeSpy.MP (or the “phantom blogger” as Sir Michael White mistakenly calls it) is that it reveals the truth about MPs actual behaviour.  Next time an MP whines about being poorly paid and hard working because of all those late night sittings, ask him what really happens during those sessions? Do they scrupulously scrutinise legislation and make speeches of great oratory?

No they get drunk and gossip. Last night the PLP was getting pissed and occasionally wandering into the lobbies to vote. Here are a selection of EyeSpy.MP tweets from last night:

4 out of 5 Lab leadership contenders on the terrace taking advantage of rare late night sitting to be matey (or trying to be in case of D & E Miliband).

Last night: Balls, Burnham and Ed Miliband in the Kremlin buying pints for down-market North East Labour MPs

Why aye man, it’s Sharon Hodgson pet! Skulling a vat of white wine. Drunk as a skunk.

0130: Tired and emotional Dennis Macshane stinging drinking companions for expensive glasses of Sancerre on the Terrace

0200: Ed Balls the last Labour leadership contender left on the Terrace – still drinking pints with the NE mafia!

Bear in mind some of these MPs will have been drinking subsidised beer since tea-time.  In many cases they will be completely drunk when voting and the whips basically roll them into the lobbies. In how many jobs outside the entertainment industry is it acceptable to be completely intoxicated in the workplace? Makes you proud of our great parliamentary democracy doesn’t it…

Godless Socialists

Tonight the Labour leadership hopefuls participate in a Christian Socialist Movement hustings in London. Apart from Andy Burnham, are any of them actually practicing Christians? Aren’t they mostly atheists?

Calamity Kenny Spinning for Ed Miliband

In a quick update to the Labour Political Advisers list, Guido was most amused to hear that omnishambolic press officer Kenny Young has managed to keep his job. If you reward the slavish loyalty of greased-up party hacks who come up through the youth ranks with cosy press office jobs, you may find they don’t exactly have the talents required for such a high-pressure environment. Kenny is about as loyal as they come, a co-conspirator reports that he openly told people he styled his hair on Gordon Brown’s while chairman of Labour Students. So loyal he was assigned to be Gordon’s political press officer for the election campaign. Which went well.

First there was the infamous door opening for his hero Gordon, which the Tories quickly turned into an attack poster:

If that wasn’t bad enough in late April young Kenny was accompanying the Prime Minister on a trip to Rochdale. What could possible go wrong? Well any experienced press officer would have checked that their boss’s microphone was switched off after an event. Kenny was inside Mrs Duffy’s house as part of that hugely successful contingent of Brown staffers begging her to come outside after the apology.

Instead of firing this inept and useless spinner he’s got a new job. He’s now Ed Milband’s Head of Press… what could possibly go wrong?

UPDATE : Punters give Ed a 25% chance of becoming Labour leader versus a 62% chance for his brother David. No odds available on Kenny’s chances one day.

Cancelled: Diane v Brillo Part II

The Daily Politics is currently interviewing all the Labour leadership contenders. Well almost all, the usually media friendly Diane Abbott was scheduled for another pasting by Brillo this Thursday.

She is, for some reason, now no longer available…

Labour Leadership's Lingering Deficit Denial

Guido isn’t normally one for line-by-line analysis, but when glancing over Ed Miliband’s speech from earlier something very obvious stuck out. Take a look at what Ed was talking about the most:


What the speech boils down to is “People Want Labour and the State”. The election reality clearly hasn’t set in.

Compare the weight of words like “state” and “want” to “cut” and “deficit”. They are in utter denial.  The Labour leadership candidates aren’t going to get any cut through with their campaigns unless they stop talking about themselves and denying the hell-hole of a situation the country is in. They slam the coalition for their plans and far from offering any alternatives, simply whine.

Hypocrisy of Diane Abbott Rolls On

Diane Abbott’s campaign has had a horrific week. She isn’t picking up much support and frankly every time she opens her mouth she shoots herself in the foot. It’s going to take her TV career, let alone backbench reputation a very long time to recover from her pasting by Andrew Neil on This Week last Thursday. Another week of the campaign begins with her saying something stupid…

She was straight out of the blocks today attacking IDS for his plans to allow people to move to areas where there are jobs available. Her criticism of the policy would be more credible if her parents hadn’t emigrated to the UK in the 1950s as part of a wave of economic migrants looking for work. Where would Diane Abbott be now if she her steel welder father hadn’t sought better career prospects somewhere new? Certainly not a contender for Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition.

UPDATE : Punters give her and Andy Burnham each an outside 3% chance of becoming Labour leader.

Quote of the Day

Dianne Abbott told the Observer

“The most stupid thing that fellow candidates have said is that immigration cost us the election. The wisest thing they have said is ‘I agree with Diane.’”

Diane to Brillo "I Have Nothing More To Say"

Guido was out on the terrace of the Commons last night quaffing the last of the subsidised wine so missed This Week.  Diane Abbott may well come to regret the reputational damage resulting from her running for leader. It was as some have commented a humdinger, by popular request here is the five minute battering that Brillo gave to her. Something tells Guido her contract won’t be renewed…

Balls Website Goes Live

Ed Balls has finally got his website up and running. It’s a bit of a mess to be honest and Guido had to laugh at the Coronation Street “man of the people” look and feel:

How many people from the real-world depicted by Corrie went to elite public schools, Oxford and on to Harvard, flip multiple taxpayer funded properties on top of their his ‘n her’s income of nearly a third million per year?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Is David Running Scared?

If ever there was a true “heir to Blair” it would be David Miliband. Mentored and politically raised by Tony and Cherie, his old boss is staying out of the race publicly, though he has apparently loaned David some of the Blair Foundation’s staffers for the duration of the campaign.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Déjà vu Debate

It’s hardly radical to suggest the Labour Leadership contest hasn’t set fire yet. A flutter of excitement on nomination day, but the long summer of hustings and a few beer and sandwich sessions doesn’t exactly make for cut-throat stuff. But could it be about to be blown open by a TV debate?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ed Gets Taste of Poison

Despite the protestations of the Labour leader candidates that the days of spin and backstabbing anonymous briefings are over, the memo clearly hasn’t reached all the campaign teams yet as someone has been having quite the chat with the Mail’s Andrew Pierce.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Younger is Gaining

Though caveated by the obvious fact this is hardly an independent poll, LabourList’s surveying of its readers shows some interesting patterns emerging in the otherwise still dull Labour Leadership race. Amongst Labour members David Miliband is, as expected, out in front on 37.7% of first preferences.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour's Loonies Linger On

Guido hears that organisers of the weekend’s Compass conference were pleasantly surprised by the attendance. The fact there was a Labour leadership hustings certainly helped. If anything the conference should serve as a much-needed reminder for the candidates of quite how unelectable the left of the Labour Party is.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Balls Plays Sympathy Card

Ed Balls is looking for sympathy with claims in the Mirror this morning that he was bullied at school

“I was teased and bullied right through my school years about my name and stammer and it was merciless.

I wouldn’t say it reduced me to floods of tears but it was really tough.”

Guido has personal testimony from his former school-mates that he was indeed bullied because he was as insufferable then as he is now.  […]

+ READ MORE +

Ellie (and Guido) Want #Balls4Leader

Remember Ellie Gellard (pictured) launching Gordon’s manifesto? She is hoping to repeat her campaign success all over again and is leading the online Twitter campaign to make Ed Balls the next leader of the Labour Party. It is going well, punters on the Political Smarkets betting exchange give him a 10% chance of winning.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris campaign team member Jake Berry not taking well:

“There is a very deep pit reserved in Hell for such as he. #Gove”

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