Envy of the World Update

nhs

36 hours after the Tories launched their election campaign, these are the headlines in the popular press. It could hardly come at a worse time for the Sun to inform its 2 million readers that under Cameron:

  • A&E waiting times at worst since records began
  • Record low Christmas performance for major A&E units
  • 21,000 patients waited 12 hours on trolleys in two weeks up to Christmas
  • Number of people using A&E over Christmas period up 70,000 on last year

Andy Burnham is gleefully touring the TV studios this morning demanding a summit where he can tell Jeremy Hunt how he “repeatedly warned throughout this Parliament that severe cuts” would cause an A&E crisis. Forget the actual long-term structural causes, this is a political gold mine for Labour…

Pic via @DavidPrescott

Labservatives

Matt Hancock and Chris Leslie spoke as one on Channel 4 News last night:

Frei: “The only way I can really tell you apart is by the colour of your ties.”

Hancock and Leslie: [In unison] “That’s not fair!”

Do they all look the same to him?

Quote of the Day

 

The FT profile a known party animal:

“One former ally recalls being served glasses with minuscule quantities of wine from a half-empty bottle at the Miliband home: “It was like receiving communion,” he says. On the few occasions Mr Miliband attends a social event, he is usually armed with briefing notes on the guests…”

RED ON RED: Audio of Murphy v Abbott Mansion Tax Bunfight

Jim Murphy’s mansion tax raid on London to fund nurses in Scotland has descended into an almighty slanging match with Diane Abbott. The Hackney MP couldn’t even remember the Scottish Labour leader’s name on Wato today:

“I am very surprised John Murphy is making these boasts… Jim Murphy can’t surely mean he is going to expropriate money from London to Scotland… he is jumping the gun in an unscrupulous way.”

Murphy hit back:

“It’s hard to take this argument seriously when she can’t even remember my name… I am leader of the Scottish Labour party, not Diane. I don’t have to consult Diane Abbott… I don’t have to clear things with Ed Miliband.”

Shots fired!

Miliband Election Chief Wants Gong For Sex Assault Star

lucy

Labour’s walking election disaster Lucy Powell showed what a woman of the people she is with this tweet about darts champ Phil “The Power” Taylor:

Correct: Taylor never got a knighthood, though he was awarded an MBE in 2001. Only to have the gong annulled after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting two young women in his caravan. Bullseye!

Hain: “Labour Needs to Learn to Love Spending Again”

hain

Peter Hain’s article in today’s Guardian reads like loony left bingo. Apparently focusing on the deficit is a “suffocating neoliberal orthodoxy” created by “the Mail, Telegraph and Murdoch stables”, and of course the Tories will take “public spending back to levels not seen since the 1930s when there was no NHS or decent state school system”. Hain insists “the deficit debate is a trap” and argues “Labour needs to learn to love spending again”:

“Labour will prioritise reviving Britain’s failing recovery by scrapping austerity… We urgently need (as some economists argue) £30bn a year for two years of extra capital investment in infrastructure, housebuilding, education, skills and low-carbon industries. This would rapidly expand the economy and cut the budget deficit by boosting tax revenues as people earn and spend more, working hours rise, and fewer families need to look to the state for support. 

Yes, the shock headlines would announce: “Higher Labour borrowing early in the next parliament”. But higher public spending and borrowing on capital investment today means lower borrowing tomorrow with the economy growing and tax revenues rising.”

Best of all, Hain accuses Blairites and Tories of subscribing to “Alice in Wonderland economics”. Says the spending-addicted debt junkie…

Labour Hit Back With Their Own Misleading Poster

Labour’s new poster out tonight is as deliberately misleading as the Tory effort earlier this week. What do the OBR say about Osborne’s spending plans? In 2020 public spending will fall to 35% of GDP, “below the previous post-war lows reached in 1957-58 and 1999-00 to what would probably be its lowest level in 80 years”. So as a proportion of GDP spending falls to 1930s levels, but in actual day-to-day real terms the OBR says: “by 2019-20 day-to-day spending on public services would be at its lowest level since 2002-03 in real terms. Five more months of this to go…

PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Mrs Danczuk’s New Year Message

What a year 2014 was for Guido’s favourite Labour councillor. Selfie star Karen Danczuk kindly took a few moments out from her holiday in Spain to send Guido these exclusive snaps from the pool, revealing her New Year’s resolutions are to “take on new challenges, live each day like it’s my last and to continue my weight loss”. Which incidentally are exactly the same as Guido’s. Here’s to more of the same from Mrs D in 2015…

Review of 2014: Gordon Brown’s £10,000-a-Week Expenses

The most shared story on the blog this year was Guido’s investigation into the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown. Since leaving Downing Street, Gordon has raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a […]

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Ed Miliband in rift with party election chief Douglas Alexander[…]

Review of 2014: 10 Unforgettable Awkward Ed Miliband Moments

What a year for Ed Miliband. Guido hopes to provide you with some festive cheer with this compilation of the Labour leader’s finest moments of 2014, starting with Ed: The Man Who Hated Bitter.

Of course, no one will […]

Diane Abbott Pockets £110,000 of Licence Fee Payer Cash

Not only does the taxpayer fork out £67,000 a year to keep Diane Abbott in the style to which she has become accustomed, her salary is also subsidised by the licence fee payer to the tune of £110,000. As Guido […]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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