Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Spending Balls Up

As Ed Balls let out a huge sigh of relief, having narrowly avoided decapitation from Tory rival Antony Calvert last May, he couldn’t help put the boot in:

“You can come along with all your posters, and all your leaflets, and all your advertising, but you cannot buy this constituency”

Despite having his office funded by the unions and a parliamentary communications allowance to fall back on, Balls made the wholly incorrect assertion that Calvert was being funded by Ashcroft cash, when the opposite was true. Calvert used YouFundMe to raise money from small donations from across the country that tapped into the low regard the Shadow Chancellor is held in. Now neighbouring Tory candidate Nick Pickles has digested the election spending figures and guess what:

Yes, despite accusing his opponent of trying to buy his seat, Balls spent £26,659 to Calvert’s £24,911. Has there ever been a sum he’s got right?

One thing is for certain, Balls is terrified now his seat has been put into play by an outsider. There is a very high chance he will lose it under AV. There is nothing Guido enjoys more than seeing constant Twitter pictures of him canvassing his ultra-marginal in the pouring rain every Saturday morning. This weekend he had to stoop even lower to beg for funds:

Please make cheques payable to the “Washed Out Celebrities and Transvestite Fund” c/o The Labour Party.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ed’s Cyber Spinner Out

Alex Smith will no longer be carrying Ed Miliband’s bags or fighting his fight on Twitter. The successor to Derek Draper as LabourList editor was an early backer of Ed Miliband during the leadership campaign. He has confirmed the rumour that he is off to pastures new. Word is that a combination of his ambition to be more than just a junior bag carrier cum social media spinner plus Alex’s refreshingly direct tendency to say what he really thinks, even without being asked, meant that his card was marked.

At 28 it is probably about time he got a proper job anyway…

Loyal Balls Blames Blinking

The long interview with Ed Balls in the Staggers tickled Guido. The humanisation project is rolling on:

So what does he think his biggest weakness is? There is a long pause. “I think three or four years ago, people would have said my biggest weakness was that sometimes I was awkward on television, with my stammer, but I think they’d say that much less now.”

Yeah that must be why everyone hates you Ed.

I try again. What would he say his biggest weakness is now? Another long pause. “I’m a very loyal person and I allowed myself to be defined as somebody who was doing Gordon’s bidding. I should have fought back harder to define myself at an earlier stage.”

Blinky BallsNothing that a good unleashing of the “forces of hell” couldn’t have fixed. Balls topped Guido’s poll yesterday for the most annoying MP, with 39.4% (2600 of the 6,600 people polled) in agreement with the PM that he was the one. A smaller poll for The Times had 66% of those responding opting for Balls as the prime irritant.

But only because he’s a bit awkward and too loyal!

Justice Day

Back in 2009 eagle-eyed Scottish journalist Paul Hutcheon, who is the investigations man at The Herald, cornered Labour’s Jim Devine. His dodgy receipts, VAT numbers and mystery shelving reeked. As the expenses scandal progressed, The Sunlight Centre saw an opportunity to further the exposé and reported Devine to the Met. This morning he is facing a lengthy spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Devine didn’t exactly help his cause before the trial:

It’s taken time, but justice looks set to be served at the Old Bailey – jail for stealing from the taxpayer. Law makers can not be law breakers and should be treated harshly in view of their position of power.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Ed’s “Refounding”

Ed Miliband has apparently promised to ‘refound’ the Labour. When he is done with that he is going to town on the English dictionary.

The document is straight out of the Cameron-detoxify playbook but interesting to see the unions being diluted by the public potentially having a say over the leader. It’s lucky for Red Ed that this rule wasn’t already in place. It’s pretty cosmetic stuff…

Guido can’t help think that a lot of these measures would have been unnecessary on a Miliband (D) and Cooper ticket.

Harris Ain’t Happy

Guido saw that this video had only got 2 views and thought it deserved a wider audience:

Though Tom Harris might want to have a quiet word in the ear of his fellow Labour MPs Tom Blenkinsop, Ronnie Campbell, Martin Caton, Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, David Crausby, Jim Dobbin, Jim Hood, Kelvin Hopkins, Gerald Kaufman, John McDonnell, Alan Meale, Linda Riordan, Virendra Sharma and Marsha Singh. They all signed up to heap praise on UK Uncut, whose spokesman last night refused to condemn the violence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Stella is a Bit Off

In somewhat poor taste Labour MP Stella Creasy decided it would be a good idea to try to flog the order paper from Monday’s Libya debate signed by Ed Miliband for a Labour fundraiser. Someone clearly pointed out it was a bit off and it quietly disappeared from her website. Google got it though:

Surely a self-proclaimed social media expert should know the internet lasts forever?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MacShame Shunned

Guido noted last week that Denis MacShane was still sitting in the core rump of Labour MPs, despite having the whip removed. It seems someone has had a quiet word with him though, as today he is sat far away from his party and plonked himself with the nationalists and other opposition types. And rightly so…

+ + + Chaytor Loses Appeal + + +

James Sturman, convicted fraudster and ex-MP David Chaytor’s QC, argued in the Court of Appeal yesterday that he could not receive a fair trial because of media scrutiny. The briefed claimed that the 18 month sentence failed to take into account the public vilification Chaytor had been subjected to in some quarters of the media, and particularly in the blogosphere.“Calls for his death, pictures of him mocked up being hung – it really was quite a horrendous time” said the silk.

The judge didn’t agree and refused to reduce the thieving bastard’s sentence. Oink oink!

Labour’s Leaky Legacy

The word has gone out from Labour to moan about the number of Budget leaks that have happened. It’s easier than offering up real arguments. MPs and the dutiful Twitterati have fallen in line and are evoking the spirit of Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor who resigned in 1947 after briefing the Lobby before his Budget speech. But when did that precedent go out the window?

The BBC noted back in 2008:

“During former Chancellor Gordon Brown’s time at Number 11, he installed a system of briefing for the press around his pre-Budget Statement.”

In 2005 the entire Budget made it into the first edition of the Standard before Gordon had even started his speech. Amazing how quickly a party can develop a new set of principles once it is in opposition…

UPDATE: Leaks to Labour are of course in the public interest:


Seen Elsewhere

Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Labour Will Lose Commons if Scotland Votes Yes | Times
Miliband Blanked Gordon | Damian McBride
Cameron Surrenders Keys to Union | Rachel Sylvester


VOTER-RECALL
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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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