Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Plot Thickens…

Ed Balls has been on the phone to a friendly ear to unequivocally deny he was behind the Burnham briefing Guido mentioned earlier:

There is no truth in these allegations, in these smears about me or my supporters. It is complete nonsense. Andy and I get on very well and no one from my team was involved in these briefings. Andy Burnham and I spoke this morning and we both agreed that any suggestion of him pulling is out rubbish. We both agreed that no one surrounding me has made this allegation. And both of us think there is mischief being made — but it’s not coming from my team or his team. It’s coming from a third party.

But then he would say that wouldn’t he, or is a Miliband being clever?

Miliband’s Millionaires

For all the hustings and the hype, what really makes leadership campaigns successful is the hard cash. And no surprise that favourite David Miliband has raised nearly five times that of his closest financial rival Ed Balls.

  • David Miliband -£185,000
  • Ed Balls – £28,000
  • Ed Miliband – £15,000

Abbot and Burnham haven’t even raised enough to need declaring yet. Ouch.

So where is Miliband’s money coming from? He has declared that there are three Lords pulling his strings. Blair’s old chum Lord Sainsbury gave £20,000, Lord Alli used a proxy company to give £50,000 and Lord Puttnam threw in a cheeky £10,000. The novelist Ken Follett gave Balls the bulk of his money. Cha-ching.

Burnham Blames Balls for Briefing

Andy Burnham reportedly “nearly fell out of his chair” when he read in the papers that he was considering pulling out of the Labour leadership race to avoid the embarrassment of coming last. Guido “nearly fell out of his chair” last month when he read Ed Balls describe the political tactics he is an expert in as “pretty unedifying”. He went on to say “there will be no off-the-record briefings from anybody involved with me.” Funny then that this morning fingers are being pointed at Team Balls as the source of the what Burnham describes as “a malicious briefing”. Ed’s “I’ve changed” act was never going to last long. Here comes the mudslinging…

UPDATE : Latest Labour leadership odds from Political Smarkets:

David Miliband 63.6%
Ed Miliband 23.8%
Ed Balls 8%
Andy Burnham 2.1%
Diane Abbott 2%

Balls is fighting the most aggressive, high visibility campaign…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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…

Monday, July 5, 2010

Godless Socialists

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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…

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Quote of the Day


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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