Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cash for Equestrians
Steve Rotheram Swaps Questions for Racing Freebie

Whiny Steve Rotheram likes asking questions in the House about Aintree. He also likes free boozy days out at Liverpool’s premier race course. His question in 2011 was particularly friendly, by chance of course:

“As people will know, Aintree has world class facilities and race meetings. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the levy [for bookies to help fund horse racing] is important even to racecourses at the top end so that they can continue to improve the racing that they offer, which will then attract tourism to cities such as Liverpool and contribute wider economic benefits to the sub-region?”

Earlier this month Rotheram was generously handed another two tickets for lunch and racing at Aintree worth £800. Guido awaits his next gushing question…

Monday, April 29, 2013

Awkward Ed Miliband Guru Moments

In yesterday’s Sun column Guido revealed an awkward moment Ed Miliband would be proud of for his American campaigning guru Arnie Graf. Hoping some of his Obama community organising magic would rub off this side of the Atlantic, Labour sent Graf door knocking with Tessa Jowell. When she later invited him along to her surgery, he was not so keen, awkwardly asking whether she might like to go with someone closer to her. Maybe a friend or family member for a hospital visit, Graf optimistically suggested. America and Britain, still divided by a common language.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mary Creagh’s Lectures in Dodgy Attack Lines

Idiot of the day goes to Richard Benyon, the Environment minister and richest current MP who told poor families to stop wasting food this morning. You could always rely on Labour foghorn and Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh to shoot herself in the foot with her response, however:

“Mums struggling to feed their families don’t need lectures on wrapping cheese from a Tory Government which has created a cost of living crisis with its failed economic plan.”

Roll back four years and then Labour DEFRA man Hilary Benn had a rather different attitude:

“As a nation we waste around £10 billion of food each year – a third of what we buy. Part of the problem is how food is labelled. Some 370,000 tonnes of food are chucked out each year after passing their ‘best before’ dates, despite being perfectly good, safe and edible. When you buy something from the supermarket it should be easy to know how long you should keep it for and how you should store it. Too many of us are throwing things away simply because we’re not sure, we’re confused by the label, or we’re just playing safe.”

Presumably it’s just Tories who aren’t allowed to lecture people, right Mary?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Galloway Endorses Physically Impressive Red Ed

Gorgeous George is enjoying himself this morning:

red ed“I want to see Ed Miliband as prime minister and the sooner the better. I thought he was quite impressive, physically and intellectually. I respected his father very much. He said we should do this again. Possibly now we never shall. I have always said that I love the Labour Party a lot more than those who led it. If Labour became Labour again, everyone on the left, including me, would have to reconsider their attitude. I’m too socially conservative for the Lib-Dems, but Vince Cable’s instincts on the economy are better than Ed Balls’. Ed Balls is the City’s man.”

That faint sound you can hear in the distance is Ed praying that he shuts up…

UPDATE:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Imagine If Bryant Were Still a Tory

Chris Bryant caused a stir on Newsnight last night with a clumsy comment on immigration. Perhaps he was harking back to his days as a member of the Oxford University Conservative Association:

“It would be nice sometimes when you go into a British hotel if the receptionist was British.”

One might have thought Bryant would choose his words more carefully given the vigour with which he jumps on “offensive” comments from his opponents, such as  “pantomime dames”. Imagine the enormous hoo-haa Labour would be kicking up right now if Bryant were still a Tory…

Vid via @liarpoliticians

Monday, April 22, 2013

Whatsa Matter EU?
Labour Euro Candidates Are Failed Italian Politicians

Six-figure salaries, generous expenses and first class seats on the gravy train to Brussels, no wonder there were hundreds of applicants to become Labour candidates for the European Parliament. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, two of their London candidates are Ivana Bartoletti, who in 2007 was elected to the Italian parliament in Rome, and Andrea Biondi, an unsuccessful candidate for the Italian parliament in January. His campaign website is still in Italian and he has yet to replace the Italian socialist party logo with the Labour Party’s logo.

Ed says he wants more ordinary working class candidates, so it seems odd that Labour wants to send two academic Italian political insiders to represent London’s interests in Brussels. Couldn’t they find any Brits good enough to do the job?

Ed Spends a Penny at Goldman Sachs

As Guido revealed in his Sun column yesterday, Maggie’s funeral played host to a classic awkward Ed Miliband moment. Dropped off some walk from St Paul’s Cathedral, Guido hears Ed was caught short and ended up popping into the plush marbled reception of a nearby bank. Given Labour’s banker bashing, the investment bankers inside would hardly be ecstatic about his impromptu visit. Friends of the Labour leader insist he merely wanted a mirror to ‘straighten his tie’. All credit to Ed for being one of the few people in the City to walk through Goldman Sachs’ front door and leave having only spent a penny…

Friday, April 19, 2013

Labour Members Desert Gordon

Here is University of Bristol professor Mark Wickham-Jones’ analysis of Labour Party membership figures in Dunfermline during Gordon’s time as their MP at yesterday’s One Nation conference:

“The reality is the grass-roots model is gone, I think. I mean, you know, Dunfermline – Gordon Brown’s constituency in Dunfermline – had nearly 1,000 members in the mid-1990s. At the time of the Labour Leadership election when they gave us fantastic data – which they’ll never do again – it had 163 members. Where did those people go?”

Guido has an idea…

Balls Spins Indy Spending Splash

Labour are getting into a spin over this morning’s Indy splash claiming they will pledge to outspend the Tories in 2015. Balls has told LBC the story “is an exclusive but it’s wrong”, blaming a report from the Fabians: “it is not our policy, it is not our position”. As Damian McBride speculates, the Indy front page is manifestly true, Labour just won’t confirm it until they release their manifesto in two years’ time.

Labour pledging to spend more is a case of when rather than if. They say they don’t have a position now, but you can bet the scoop will be confirmed by election day…

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Red on Red Ed Attacks Mount

The bigger stories of the week have understandably seen Ed’s internal party troubles slip under the radar. Over the past few days both Labour big beasts and the party’s new blood have been queuing up to snark at their leader. Whether it is welfare, immigration or One Nation, the red on reds are adding up:

Tony Blair:Parts of the political landscape that had been cast in shadow for some years, at least under New Labour and the first years of coalition government, are illuminated in sharp relief. The Conservative Party is back clothing itself in the mantle of fiscal responsibility, buttressed by moves against ‘benefit scroungers’, immigrants squeezing out British workers and – of course – Labour profligacy. The Labour Party is back as the party opposing ‘Tory cuts’, highlighting the cruel consequences of the Conservative policies on welfare and representing the disadvantaged and vulnerable.”

David Blunkett: “One Nation’ cannot and should never be simply the avoidance of the most obvious injustice or collective suicide. It has to be about a great deal more than politics built on grievance and the unhappiness of a resentful and selfish public sphere.”

John Reid: “You have to move from being a voice of protest to offering solutions as you move from being an effective opposition to a potential government.”

Ben Bradshaw: “On the button as usual, Tony Blair’s article for the New Statesman centenary edition”

Tessa Jowell: “Tony Blair won three elections, he published what I think lots of people think was a very good analysis of the way forward for Labour… (Jo Coburn: “Is the advice right?”) Yeah, absolutely.”

Simon Danczuk: “I go knocking on doors in Rochdale on a very regular basis and the people in Rochdale are quite clear that the trust in the welfare system has broken down. They see people on a daily basis who they perceive to be ‘swinging the lead’ and I think that’s probably true. There are people who are on benefits who should be in employment.”

As Dan Hodges notes, the Blairite zombies have risen. A broken wrist is the least of Ed’s worries…


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP Reshuffles | James Forsyth
David Ruffley’s Future Under Discussion by Tories | BBC
The LibDem’s Jewish Problem | Jeremy Brier
Israeli Ambassador’s Letter to Clegg | Twitter
What Became of Cameron’s Big Society Network? | Indy
SpAd Reshuffle | PR Week
Clegg Under Pressure to Expel Ward | Telegraph
Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart


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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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