Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Murphy’s Law

When Wee Dougie stands up there is something about him you just cannot quite take seriously. When monotone Jim Murphy stands up, you are normally asleep before such a judgement can be passed. The dour Scot, who makes Gordon look like Cicero, hasn’t had a very good day. When doing the rounds of Millbank this morning he dutifully stood by the government’s intervention and held his tongue if he had any complaints. It’s odd that Labour, and their sympathisers in the media, aren’t using Tom Baldwin’s “Tory-led” government this week.

Sky’s new political correspondent Sophy Ridge tweeted a few minutes later:

Anyone with an eye on the clock would have immediately worked out which Shadow Cabinet Minister had just walked out of the studios. If Murphy wanted to put Fox back in his box why didn’t he just say so? If he wanted to try to politicise the issue, why was he too afraid to put his name to it? Murphy ended up having to out himself as the the source after a hoohaa, on his normally neglected blog of all places. Hardly a master of the dark arts. Any credibility he might have had in his brief has been shot to bits.

Labour’s Offshore High Net Worth Fundraiser

At last count 88% of Labour donations came from the unions, up from 36% in the same period a year ago. You would be right to think Miliband might be targeting High Net Worther’s personal donations for some big money to reduce his dependency on the brothers. They’ve found plenty of innovative ideas in the past; “loans” that never have to be repaid, peerages for sale…

Reliable senior Labour sources say that Development team staffer, Amy Fowler, she of targeting cancer sufferers with scaremongering leaflets fame, is in charge of bringing in the big cheques from High Net Worth millionaires. Our source told us Amy was soliciting millions for Labour from Estonia. Guido put a call in to Labour HQ:

GF: Hi can I speak to Amy Fowler please…
LPHQ: Err… she doesn’t work here anymore.
GF: Oh really?
LPHQ: Yeah she’s moved on
GF: Oh…Where’s she gone?
LPHQ: Err… Estonia?
GF: Oh right. What’s she doing there? I thought she was still working for the Party?
LPHQ: Yeah well she sort of does. Well she does. But it’s on like a freelance basis…

Apparently her boyfriend moved to Tallinn and Deputy General Secretary Chris Lennie has, to the consternation of other Labour staffers, let Amy carry on doing her job from there.  Political fund raisers often work on commission. Guido hopes she will be paying her UK taxes for the work originating here rather than at the more attractive 22% flat tax rate in the Baltic state…

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Is MacShane Fund-raising For Labour?

Tomorrow disgraced Rotherham MP Denis MacShane is hosting a conference about how the Labour Party can get out of opposition. Ticket sales are obviously very low as a last minute desperate PR job is currently going on and the requirement to pay in advance has been lifted. MacShane is using his constituency office to organise the event and all profits are being donated to the Rotherham Labour Party. Yet MacShane has been given the boot as a Labour MP.

His taxpayer funded office being used for blatant party political uses:

Why are the likes of Polly Toynbee, David Walker, Jessica Asato, Tristum Hunt and a host of other Labour figures willing to turn a blind eye to the fact MacShane is currently under police investigation for corruption and help raise funds for him? If they are wondering why Labour were booted out of office, perhaps some soul-searching would be a good place to start.

Darling Bangs Eds Together

Guido has a feeling that history will judge Alistair Darling far kinder than any of the other bunker dwellers. With his new book coming out, apparently we will be hearing more about the Prime Mentalist and forces of hell, and the Sons of Brown too.  Darling barely disguises his dig at his Labour successors in the Indy:

“It is not enough to say this Government is not doing well and say it is damaging important things in this country. We have to show we have a vision of what Britain can be that is better. If we don’t establish in the public mind we are more competent [on the economy] than the Tories, then we won’t make any headway.”

Looks like Darling is as unimpressed with the blank sheet of paper as David.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baldwin At It Again

Man of letters and Labour spinner extraordinaire Tom Baldwin has penned another of his now infamous rants to the media with a host of outlandish demands and decrees.  Labour are too broke for a proper spring conference, instead their one day event in Nottingham next week looks set to achieve all the press coverage it deserves. Baldwin has other ideas though. Writing to the broadcasters he demands:

“We are keen to resolve this amicably and would suggest a couple of options to you going forward… give us coverage of this event with no comment from other parties… Alternatively, you could reflect the fact the Conservative-led Government has thus far been given far more coverage, given the two party political conferences covering four days in total, and restrict the air time given to the government parties in the run-up to the balance period.”

Clearly designed to rile Guido and everyone else in order to generate coverage and get people talking, the tactic seems to work though Baldwin hasn’t got  a leg to stand on. A quick peek through the weekend telly round ups from the weekend of the Tories conference found on the Saturday, Channel 4 News covered Miliband’s speech to Labour councillors on the squeezed middle. Sky had the same speeches live. The BBC trailed an interview with David Hansen on fuel duty. On the Sunday David Miliband was on Marr while Alistair Darling did Sky.

Fair and balanced…


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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