“A Labour Government Would Not Have a Referendum”

Former Labour spinner and one time librarian John McTernan has let the cat out of the bag speaking about Europe on the Daily Politics.

JM: I think a referendum is ridiculous.

DP: People want it…

JM: I don’t care if people want it. People want lots of things…

DP: Do you think it will actually happen?

JM: No I don’t, no. I think that a Labour government would not have a referendum.

Guido would wager that McTernan is channelling, accidentally or otherwise, Miliband’s exact thinking there.

Chuka’s 50 Shades of Grey Session With Mystery Lady Friend

As Guido reported in yesterday’s Sun, Chuka Umunna has admitted to enjoying a saucy poolside 50 Shades of Grey session with a mystery lady friend. “I was sitting by a pool and one of my friends – who I will not name – she was reading extracts to me,” Chuka says. And he liked it: “I thought it was quite racy.” Bachelor Chuka, who don’t forget dated Luciana Berger, was coy about the identity of his companion, telling intrigued fellow guests during the pre-show ice-breaking: “I’m not saying any more.” Sadly the cameras hadn’t started rolling.

Red Princes: Kinnock’s Son Eyes Safe Wales Seat

Neil Kinnock’s son Stephen is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the sizzling Danish PM in the selfie-sandwich between Obama and Dave. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, young Kinnock has let it be known he would be interested in the Aberavon seat in Wales, where Hywel Francis plans to retire in 2015. The latest Red Prince to throw his name into the ring following Guido’s scoops on Euan Blair and Will Straw, and persistent rumours about Joe Dromey.

Winning that rock-solid Labour seat might make married life difficult for Stephen with his wife Helle back in Copenhagen. They are used to it – until last year he controversially lived in Davos, Switzerland, and saw his wife on fewer than 33 weekends so as to avoid high Danish taxes.

Ken’s Khan Plan

Friend of a convicted terrorist and London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan has been getting some advice on his campaign today. From Ken.

An “unrivalled insight” it may be. Though maybe someone who was told where to go by voters in the capital, twice, is not the best person to teach him “what our London needs”…

Mr Harman in Hot ‘Pikey’ Water

Poor Jack Dromey is going to get an earful from his right on Mrs after a morning of banter with the lads down at Erdington Royal Mail Sorting Office:

Someone should tell poor Jack that since 2007, bizarrely, you can be prosecuted for racially aggravated harassment for using the word ‘pikey’. It has not been a good few weeks for Mr Harman.

UPDATE:

UPDATE II:

This isn’t going very well.

McTernan’s Record: Sacked, Lost, Resigned, Beaten, Booted Out

Self-styled “Writer, Thinker, Strategist” and freshly sensitive lamb John McTernan got all upset when he was mocked yesterday. So much so that Labour’s permanent back-room boy has taken to the Times today to tell us how everyone except him is terrible at their job. As Guido was pointing out as far back as 2007, McTernan’s own CV is a catalogue of humiliating failures:

  • Special Advisor to Harriet Harman at what was then the Department for Social Security – Harman was sacked.
  • Helped run Frank Dobson’s mayoral Campaign – Dobson lost.
  • Special Advisor to Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish – McLeish had to resign over expenses.
  • Helped run Labour’s Scottish Parliament Campaign in 2007 – Labour were beaten in Scotland for the first time in 50 years.
  • Went to spin for Julia Gillard down under – Gillard was booted out by her own party.

Down under McTernan liked to play up his reputation as something of a Malcolm Tucker figure. A senior Labour source says there is one key difference: “the thing about the comparison between him and Malcolm Tucker is that Malcolm Tucker had talent.” Sign him up Ed!

Unite to Labour:
No Reform, No Primaries, Unions Control Selections

redlen
The Collins review into Labour’s links with the unions has evoked a response from Len McCluskey. Guido has the official response of the Unite Executive Council. In summary it is “Sod Off Mililband”.

  • Unite refuses to accept any reduction in the 50% union conference vote.
  • Unite still intends to support the selection of their own candidates.
  • Absolutely opposes open primaries which would dilute their power to control selections.

The unions have pretty much killed off Miliband’s reform plans…

N.B. Unite’s response, in full, is here [PDF].

McTernan’s Tactics Revealed

Guido is enjoying reading leaked emails sent by John McTernan, the former Labour spinner turned Julia Gillard’s henchman and inspiration for the Crossest Man in Scotland. The press down under reckon he comes across a bit Malcolm Tucker, though Guido has always seen him as Jamie. ABC report:

“When Ms Gillard’s chief of staff declared a “war on crap'” and ordered staff to tidy their workstations to make the office one befitting a prime minister, a colleague jokingly referred to “McTernan’s office” as one needing attention.

Mr McTernan replied: “C***, you will be c**ted too” in a reply-all email to the office.”

In one of his more amusing meltdowns McTernan blacklists an ABC journalist who dared to criticise him:

From: McTernan, John
Sent: Tuesday, 5 March 2013 3:19 PM
To: PMO – Media
Subject: Simon Cullen

Gets nothing,

Ever.

No alerts.

No transcripts.

No returned calls.

Nothing.

Ever.

Not a whim.

Dead.

An order.

Feel free to forward to him.

Dom Cummings eat your heart out.

Hodge in Hypocrisy Shocker

The Department for Education are putting about a classic case of Margaret Hodge double standards this morning. Hodge has been spinning hard following today’s National Audit Office report on free schools, which it said had “achieved clear progress”. Hectoring […]

+ READ MORE +

Two-Faced Chuka Falls Out With Own Party, Again

Two-faced Chuka Umunna has managed to make himself even more unpopular with his own party. Emails leaked to Guido reveal that Chuka backed out of a meeting organised by Labour MPs to discuss human rights in Colombia when he refused […]

+ READ MORE +

Eagle Has Landed Herself In It

A brave tweet from one of the Eagles this weekend. Shadow Leader of the House Angela could not believe her eyes when she saw this photo of Danny Alexander smiling at a food bank:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Vaz Pays Tribute to “Mandella”, Three Times

Keith Vaz can’t seem to get anything right this week. This morning he sent out this press release offering his thoughts on Mandela’s death, misspelling his name not once, not twice, but three times:

“I am deeply saddened to hear

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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