Balls: “Knocking on Doors in My Constituency was Hard-Going”

After a shocker of an interview with Eddie Mair on Wednesday, in which Ed Balls was unable to give an answer to where he had differed from Gordon Brown in terms of policy over the last three years, his Mirror piece today shows just how tainted he is. He tries to admit, like all the others, that now they see that they lost and that they need to listen more, not that they weren’t listening before of course. This seems to be the only message of the whole contest so far.

Most interesting was what he didn’t say. There is not one mention of the deficit in the whole piece. Instead he uses cheap shots of the sort that Brown was churning out in his lowest days:

“And then on Monday, I watched George Osborne on TV struggling to contain his glee as he announced that the Tories, now backed by the Liberal Democrats, were going to cut £6billion from public services this year and put the school-building programme on hold.”

No wonder he is struggling to get the signatures to even get on the ballot. Many of the new Labour intake are holding back their support, waiting to see who else comes out of the woodwork. How long before it all gets rather nasty as Balls fights for his life?

Diane Dives In

While the line seems to be that Diane Abbott’s entry into the Labour leadership race is welcomed, spare a thought for young Andy Burnham whose launch day has been spectacularly derailed by the shock Today program announcement from the Hackney MP.

Burnham had written for The Mirror this morning and had the day’s media planned, yet that has gone out the window now the race finally has some diversity. Within two to three minutes of being in the race Abbott also managed to upset fellow left-winger John McDonnell who has instantly refuted her claims that he would not be able to get enough signatures.  Abbott’s no-love-lost attitude to the Ancien Régime might just make this an interesting  few months…

Evidence Based Blogging

Everything you need to know really.

Graphic via Stephen Bray

The Milibands’ Brotherly iCampaign

In an intriguing, yet ultimately geeky discovery, it seems that the Miliband brothers could well be sharing a PayPal donations account. Parts of David Miliband’s website refer to images and files hosted on a “miliband.org” server. His brother Ed however is also using the “miliband.org” server through his donate@miliband.org email address:

Which begs the question, if these two are fighting each other, why are they sharing the same miliband.org server? A fraternal campaign indeed…

Milibrothers Favourites, Balls, Burnham, Cruddas Undeclared

Amazing isn’t it that only a week ago Labour politicians were telling us they were right and everyone else was wrong, yet now they are telling us they were actually wrong and now need to renew themselves. Politicians are nothing if not flexible.

Clegg was right on lowering taxes for the lower paid, the Tories were right on immigration and C2 voters stayed at home or voted BNP because Labour had lost connection with the working classes.  So say candidates to be next leader of the Labour Party.  Astounding about turns.

Guido isn’t really sure what change the Milibrothers are offering, more “fairness”, more “progressiveness”, more of the same without the vote losing bits.

Cruddas is dithering, Balls is claiming he is a martyr to a bad press, Burnham is getting his act together. Guido can’t wait to hear the Balls manifesto; he barely held onto his own seat, is hated even within his own party and he now says he is going to consult friends before making a decision.  Should only take 5 minutes to consult all his friends…

Burnham is a bit of a wild card, he wan’t even on the original bookies list of candidates (he comes under “other” now). David Miliband is the bookies favourite, having sewn up the most MPs pledges (shades of David Davis), Ed is the wonk’s favourite and Cruddas the favourite of the left. Balls is the favourite of only Charlie Whelan…

It all remains to play for, and it looks like we won’t know the result until Labour Party conference. Thrilling, eh?

Odds and image courtesy of Political Smarkets.

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

Finally got Yvette to agree not to stand, had to restrain myself from throwing my Costa coffee in her face when she started errmming and aahhing about it.  I will be the leader.

Can’t believe 20,000 people have watched that disgusting video of me pissed in Nazi uniform, that is more people than actually bloody voted for me.  I was a student for heaven’s sake.  At least nobody has got hold of the pictures of Yvette in the full leather-booted SS uniform.  If she stood, I’d give them to Damian, that’d stop her leadership bid dead. It would be the reich thing to do.

Charlie’s strategising has me a little worried, he reckons Miliband major and minor will split the wonk/careerist vote, with Burnham sewing up the “look at me I’m normal” vote formerly owned by Alan Johnson.  Burnham might well appeal to ordinary voters but they thankfully don’t get a say in who is leader of this Great Party of Ours, which explains how we got Gordon in.

That apparently leaves me with the “Tory hating, take no prisoners segment of the party”, which is most of the unions and a fair proportion of the Great Party of Ours. I will be leader.

Don’t trust Liam Byrne or that bitch Harman. Damian has a media grid to deal with them if they try anything.  Tom Baldwin, Paul Waugh and Toby Helm all lined up to run articles. I will be the leader.

The therapist says the positive self-reaffirmation is overcoming the blinking and stuttering, which is good because the surgical glue is painful as buggery to remove from the eyelids.  I will be the leader.  I WILL BE LEADER!

(*As leaked to Guido)

Coronation or Will Cruddas Stand?

Over at Politicalbetting.com thinks Jon Cruddas might throw his hat in the ring for the Labour Party leadership. Guido has spoken to a number of Labour insiders who are divided on the issue. Some say he has to come off the sidelines as a critic and do something now Brown is banished. Others doubt he has the bottle and think he’ll calculate he can’t win and chicken out. If he doesn’t stand it will be another coronation for David Miliband.

The bookies have this morning marked Cruddas up to second favourite ahead of Balls and Ed Miliband. Burnham hasn’t ruled himself out either…

UPDATE : On the basis of a tip and some clues Guido called Matthew MacGregor from Blue State Digital’s London office to ask if his firm was going to be running the Cruddas online operation.  No denial has been forthcoming, so with those clues and the sudden overnight movement on the betting markets it is “Game On” as they say in Labour’s new media circles…

Labour Leadership Fight Starts Next Week

Target GordonWhatever the formal line is in public, Gordon Brown is finished.  After Clegg’s rejection the Labour Party is hoping he will now quickly accept it and make way without any requirement for any unpleasantness.  John Mann obviously hasn’t got the memo and openly called for him to go yesterday.

Guido is quite surprised that David Miliband is such a hot favourite to be the next leader of the Labour Party.  He is somewhat handicapped by being the anointed Blair-Mandelson candidate, perhaps it is just because he is not Ed Balls or Harriet Harman.

Ed Balls is the Brownite kamikaze candidate, if you liked the last three years, you’ll love a Balls-led Labour Party.  He is now very weakened personally, his reputation and standing diminished by turning a safe Labour seat into a marginal requiring a recount on election night.  Despite Charlie Whelan’s Unite throwing union money and manpower behind him in a big way he was ominously unappealing to the public.  His characteristically graceless post-count speech with an aggressive “New Labour lives on” tone was authentic Balls and he did himself no favours  with it within the Labour Party.  All of which perhaps explains why he is behind Harriet Harman at the bookies.

Ed Miliband and Alan Johnson have some backers, but Guido wonders if they are really up for the fight.  Alastair Darling or Jack Straw might be a safe pair of hands until the next election if the Labour Party collectively really thinks we will have another in the autumnSources close to Hain say he won’t let his vanity get the better of him this time.

HARRIET4LEADERGuido has a few quid on Harriet.  She is her own woman, she isn’t tainted by being seen as the creature of  Blair and Mandelson like Miliband.  She is not an unpleasant Brownite bullying thug like Balls.  What she lacks in intellect she makes up for with determination and the fight in her.

She is not to be underestimated.

The Next Election Battle : Labour Leader

All that jostling for TV face time and visiting of far-flung candidates by Ed Balls, David Miliband and Harriet Harman is of course nothing to do with the upcoming election, it is all about the election after that – the […]

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Balls : Blame Blairites If Labour Loses

A Blairite source tells Guido that Ed Balls is already telling Labour colleagues that the blame for a potential Labour defeat lies with the Blairites for (a) rocking the boat with repeated attempted coups (b) getting caught money grubbing. Coincidentally […]

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Balls : It Wasn’t Me

Ed Balls may be an unpleasant bully, but he is no fool.  He knows Labour is going to lose the election and he knows he will be blamed almost as much as Brown, for he is Gordon’s homunculus.  The politics […]

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“Save Our Gordon” v “Labour Unity” Campaigns

Fresh from calling for an immediate general election last night on Sky News because the “government is in disarray”, LabourList editor Alex Smith has set up an email petition calling for party unity. In just under twenty-four hours they have […]

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Out of the bubble prole Andy Burnham tells Mumsnet

“I’m afraid I’m going to depress you all by saying that I don’t have a sweet tooth and don’t eat biscuits… Give me a beer and chips and gravy any day.”

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