Monday, April 1, 2013

Balls Distances Himself From McBride, Again

It always amuses Guido when Balls and Brown refer to the Prime Mentalist’s old spin doctor as “Mr McBride”. As Guido revealed in his Sun column yesterday, Balls has been quick to dash speculation that he might bring McPoison back into the fray.

The Shadow Chancellor’s spokesmen tells Guido Balls and McBride have only “bumped into each other twice” since Easter 2009, once at an Arsenal match and then at a Labour fundraising dinner. He insists “they’ve never discussed him coming back to work for the Labour Party”. McBride’s tales from Number 10 will certainly spice up Labour conference this September…

Tom Harris’ Taxpayer-Funded Game of Thrones Session

Apple addict and Doctor Who fanatic Tom Harris, the likeable if slightly geeky Labour MP, got into a bit of bother when it was revealed he successively claimed for three iPads on expenses, insisting that they were for his staff and, according to the rules, that they were needed “wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the performance of their parliamentary duties”. When Guido queried the use of iPads by staff versus cheaper computers with keyboards on which to type letters to constituents, Tom assured Guido that it wasn’t just him upgrading to the latest models. Very disappointing therefore to see his tweet to SFX magazine:

Busted…

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WATCH: David Miliband Interview in Full

“You’re brothers for life… it’s important we try to conduct ourselves in the right way.” Ouch…

Via @liarpoliticians

Double Standards in Labour Education

Backbench dunce Ian Mearns wasted no time in sticking his oar in to the bitch fight between Tim Loughton and the anonymous @ToryEducation yesterday. The Member of the Education Select Committee must have thought he was onto a right wheeze up there on his high horse:

“This extraordinary attack is another example of derogatory language…. There is no place for these kind of personal attacks in public life. The Education Secretary needs to take action.”

Guido is looking forward to the poor delicate flower press releasing his concern about another Honourable Member’s sharp words last night. Brownite boot-boy Ian Austin went off on one at Greg Hands, amusingly about the very same Ian Mearns:

Guido has asked Mearns whether he is standing by his line that “there is no place for these kind of personal attacks in public life”. For some reason he has yet to reply…

Complete Miliband Reaction Round-Up

So farewell then, David Miliband. We are about to hear from the man himself on the TV, but before then Labour’s good, bad and ugly, as well as some old friends from further afield, have been out in force to give him a rousing send off:

Tony Blair: “I hope and believe this is time out not time over.”

Alastair Campbell: “David Miliband will make big contribution in new US role. Sad for UK politics but understandable and takes away sibling story distraction.”

Peter Mandelson: “I don’t think this is the end for David Miliband. If I can come back he can. You should not rule him out.”

Ed Miliband: “We went through a difficult leadership contest but time has helped to heal that. I will miss him. But although he is moving to America, I know he will always be there to offer support and advice when I need it.”

Damian McBride: “David Miliband will go down as the Errol ‘Bomber’ Graham of UK politics: the best of his generation but no chin when it mattered. His huge moment was Summer 2008; GB was massively destabilised by his Guardian article; but we monstered him cos of his timidity.”

Ed Balls: “To David Miliband and Louise in NY, the best of luck – friends and close colleagues for over 20 years, we’ll all miss him in Parliament.”

Douglas Alexander: “David Miliband and I first became friends as students, before either of us had met Tony Blair or Gordon Brown and long before anyone talked about New Labour. Twenty five years on, he remains one of my closest friends in politics and in life.”

Chuka Umunna: “Very sad that one of Labour’s strikers has left the field.”

John Mann: “It’s fascinating how MPs who quit Parliament always see politics about themselves rather than about constituents.”

Bill Clinton: “I have known David almost twenty years. He is one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.”

Nick Clegg: “He was one of the few big characters in Labour who understood that an opposition can’t just shout but has to come up with an alternative.”

Jim Murphy: “The understandable fascination by the media and others on the relationship between David and Ed Miliband was really hampering whatever he could say, and also getting in the way on occasion on what Ed Miliband was trying to achieve. So I think it’s the sensible thing for him to do.”

Ivan Lewis: “By putting interests of party 1st David Miliband has shown the class + integrity his friends so admire. Alternative, never ending soap opera.”

Austin Mitchell: “Dont go Dave. Your party needs U. NY is so far from Ed. So close to Mensch.”

Dan Hodges: “David Miliband realised the game was up in January: his every move was seen as a knife in his brother’s back.”

You can read Guido’s goodbye here

Will the Last Blairite to Leave Switch Out the Light?

red-light-milibandThis morning Nick Robinson observed on the Today programme of David Miliband “He was not just the other brother, he was the New Labour brother.” Robinson also reported that one senior figure on the left of the Labour Party told him late last night: “It’s important for the left to avoid triumphalism but it obviously marks the date when New Labour finally accepted that the crisis requires us to turn the page… Now there can be no excuse for timidity [from Ed Miliband] because the Blairites are decisively weakened.”

Milburn, Reid, Purnell and now David Miliband are all gone as they see the writing on the wall, a frontbench packed with more supporters of Ed Balls than David Miliband despite him having won far more support from the parliamentary Labour Party. Dan Hodges identified it yesterday before the news from David Miliband – his brother Ed is a hostage to the left of his party together with the unions who put him in place and hold the purse strings. He can’t move towards the voters on policy without undermining himself and party unity. The Owen Jones digital Bennites are in the ascendant supported by the siren calls of Polly Toynbee, fronting the drive among activists for more left-wing policies – the inherent problem for a party with socialist activists far to the left of the electorate on, for example, welfare reform. As they rise in the polls and scent power the left becomes more furious in its policy demands…

byrneEd’s current poll lead means the left-wing of his party is in no mood for compromising with the electorate. The remaining Blairites like Liam Byrne are on the receiving end of vitriol last seen when Derek Hatton was in his prime. The unions are in no mood for moderation, Len McCluskey last week wrote to congratulate  the 44 MPs who defied a three-line party whip to vote against Liam Byrne’s official line on welfare reform.   They enjoy principled opposition, the Blairite accommodation with reality was an aberration, it matters not a jot to much of the rank and file that it was the most successful period in history for the Labour Party. The capacity of the Labour Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is legendary – a left-wing Labour Party will not form a coalition government in 2015…

Above was how Owen Jones greeted the news of David Miliband’s exit from British politics. Tony Blair hints in his more generous statement of his fears “He is obviously a massive loss to UK politics… I hope and believe this is time out not time over.” It is over, all that remains for Labour moderates is for the last of them to switch off the light…

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Owen Jones and the People’s Front Against t’Cuts

Rejoice, comrades! This lunchtime Guido infiltrated the Unite headquarters to run the rule over the People’s Assembly, Owen Jones’ new sinister sounding union-funded anti-cuts campaign. Under the watchful eye of Keir Hardie in a rather austere room, a panel of NUT “Enemies of Promise”, PCS strike-mongers, loony left MPs and a bad comedian bleated about “the cuts”. Former SWP luvvie Mark Steel’s awkward jokes fell flat and Labour foghorn Katy Clark did her best to contain herself over Liam Byrne consorting with the enemy. Ironic that as the panel discussed the need for a united left to stand together, Blairite refusenik Dan Hodges pointed out two different hard left factions have launched on the same day. The workers, united, will never be defeated…

Faced with Guido’s austerity facts at today’s presser, Owen refreshingly slammed the government for borrowing too much:

“To quote that bastion of socialism, the Standard and Poor credit agency… fiscal ‘austerity’ risks being self-defeating. You’re quite correct. This government risks borrowing over £200 billion more than projected, the underlying deficit is 11% higher than a year ago.”

When even Owen Jones thinks you’re borrowing too much, you know you have a problem…

Eric Joyce Appeal For Witnesses

Nearly two weeks on from Eric Joyce’s latest brush with the law, this is still up on the door of parliament’s Sports and Social bar. Researchers hawking videos of the commotion around the papers should get in touch…

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baldamort’s Showdown With Labour Rebels
Liam Byrne Meeting With “Friends of Benefits” Right Now

An awkward afternoon for Baldamort, putting it lightly. Last week that well known Labour MP Ian Mearns quit as Ivan Lewis’ PPS, as over 40 of his Labour colleagues rebelled over Liam Byrne’s decision to abstain on the welfare sanctions vote.  The party’s hardline “friends of benefits wing are baying for blood against one of the few Shadow Cabinet members to understand that Labour are on the wrong side of the handout arguement. They are meeting with him at 4pm to, er, discuss their differences. Oh to be a fly on the wall…

Call Me Chuka O’Munna

As revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, two-faced Chuka Umunna isn’t so shy about the ‘British Obama’ tag when he’s away from the public eye. When the President visited Ireland in the summer of 2011 he delighted his hosts by telling them of his Moneygall ancestral roots and dubbing himself Barry O’Bama. This year it was Chuka’s turn, speaking to guests at the Labour Irish Society’s St Patrick’s Day shindig of a relative from Sligo. Telling them they could call him Chuka O’Munna may have given the game away…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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