Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Labour Party Social Mobility in Action


Labour’s socially mobile Gloria de Piero is not very happy with the civil service, writing in the Guardian that fast stream civil servants still overwhelmingly come from privileged backgrounds: “There is clearly something wrong here, and we need action”. Perhaps she should talk to Rossendale Red Prince Will Straw about what might be done. Will was a fast stream civil servant who worked for the Treasury and whose mum was also a fast stream civil servant and career mandarin. Now he wants to be an MP, following in the footsteps of his dad. Social mobility in the civil service is great if you are a wannabe Labour MP with mummy and daddy helping you along…

Monday, October 20, 2014

WATCH: Gloria’s Porky on the Doorstep

Guido was tickled by this clip of Gloria de Piero, filmed on the campaign trail putting leaflets through people’s doors. Deliciously followed by Gloria telling the Beeb, and Guido quotes, “we’re not putting loads of leaflets through people’s doors”. Telling fibs is second nature to them…

Friday, October 17, 2014

Eagle Crash Landed
Watch Question Time Audience Turn on Labour Over Freud

Angela Eagle assumed she would automatically carry the Question Time audience with her as they discussed Lord Freud last night. Instead the room turned on Labour, jeering and heckling, coming down on the side of the stitched up welfare minister:

One audience member called Labour’s position “extremely disingenuous”, another was applauded by the whole room for calling out their “hypocritical point-scoring”, describing them as “disgusting”. Another said “the smirk on her face” showed Eagle knew she was telling fibs. If Labour can’t convince even the audience of Question Time, it suggests their attack on Freud may not have cut through as well as they’d hoped…

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Charities Attacking Freud Backed Same Plans Under Labour

Guido has found more from Mencap on whether or not some disabled people should be exempt from the minimum wage. Here they are in February 2000 once again backing the very idea Lord Freud has got in so much trouble over:

“The minimum wage has helped many people with learning disabilities. But people who have severe learning disabilities are also employed, even though they may have a productivity rate of 30% of the average. An employer may say that they will pay someone £15 a week for doing 15 hours work – and generally everyone is happy with this. The person with learning disabilities isn’t excluded from a working environment, and gets to go on works dos and generally join in with the team. And it’s good for the rest of the team too. Unfortunately, if employers have to pay the minimum wage, they may have to let these valuable members of their staff go.”

Under Labour, Mencap used to support the proposal. Yesterday Mencap described it as “disgusting”A cynic might say their condemnation of Lord Freud was political…

And what about Scope, another disability charity? They were consulted on the 2003 Labour government document backing a policy more draconian that what Freud proposed. Yesterday they said Freud’s comments were “unacceptable”. Surely a reaction completely unrelated to their patron being Cherie Blair, their trustees including former Labour adviser Agnes Fletcher and Brent Labour member Jacqui Penalver, and their Director of External Affairs Mark Atkinson being a former Labour candidate. Not like a charity to be overtly partisan…

Ashcroft Poll Shows UKIP Turning Tory-Held Marginals Labour

Sobering polling for the Tories from Lord Ashcroft today, who has a snapshot of voting intentions in ten Tory-held marginals with Labour currently in second place (plus Corby, which went Labour mid-term). Nine of the eleven are Labour gains. Ashcroft concludes “swings to Labour appear to be related to the UKIP presence”, finding:

“UKIP could hamper Labour in Tory-held target seats by diverting voters who might otherwise switch straight from blue to red – though the evidence so far is that this effect is not yet strong enough in these seats to counteract the erosion of the Tory vote.”

28% of UKIP voters polled say they’d prefer a Labour government, 35% want a Tory win…

Mencap Called for Disabled to Be Exempt From Minimum Wage

This Guardian article from February 2000 reports calls for an “urgent revision” of the rules to enable “low output” disabled workers to be exempt from minimum wage legislation. The proposal said some disabled workers should be classified as “special provision” and as a result be exempt from statutory provision, thus allowing employers to pay them less than the minimum wage. This was not an off-the-cuff remark from a Tory peer, but a detailed proposal from Mencap, Britain’s leading charity for disabled people. 

Mencap said at the time that while they otherwise support the minimum wage, an exemption should be allowed because “Most people with a learning disability want to work and we urge the government to give them that chance.” Which is almost exactly the point Lord Freud was making. On the News at Ten last night the only mention that the entire Freud row was contrived at best came in the last line, so regardless of the rights and wrongs it’s a Labour win…

UPDATE: Sentiment below speaks for itself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Miliband Slammed for “Shameful”, “Disgraceful” Attack on Freud …But Welfare Minister Offers Grovelling Apology

Interesting that Labour’s Anne Begg admitted on Sky News that she had not been told the context of Lord Freud’s comments by party spinners, heavily caveating her criticism accordingly. The Adam Smith Institute have come out in support of Freud, condemning Labour for misrepresenting what he said:

“Lord Freud has been shamefully mistreated by Ed Miliband. His point was that the market value of some people’s wages is below the minimum wage. This is often true of the severely disabled and can have appalling consequences for their self-esteem and quality of life. Fixing this problem was the justification for Remploy, a government-funded firm that gave jobs to disabled people who could not find work elsewhere.

To point out that someone’s market value is less than minimum wage has nothing to do with their moral value as human beings. Freud’s point was that we should help people in this situation by allowing them to find jobs paying below the minimum wage and topping up their pay directly to make up the difference.

Even if you don’t agree with this method, it is motivated by compassion for the disabled and an understanding of the unpleasant side-effects of our minimum wage laws. Freud’s only crime was to speak bluntly: it is disgraceful to use his words against him in the way Miliband has.”

Not like a spinner to take something out of context…

UPDATE: Freud mea culpa:

“I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else.

I care passionately about disabled people…. I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.”

Classic Labour Ambush: Welcome to Election Season

Notable that Labour have got their press operation in gear on this one. DWP minister Lord Freud’s comments about disabled people have been sat on for two weeks then released five minutes before PMQs. No coincidence that Esther McVey was on the Daily Politics and forced to give an off-the-cuff response. No leak, tape ready to go, solid ambush…

Cameron told the House “these are not the views of anyone in the government”, perhaps forgetting Lord Freud remains a minister. McVey said afterwards “Those words will haunt him”. Apology in 5,4,3,2…

Oi, Ed, Shut Up You Slaaaaag
VOTE: Who is More In Touch: Boy George or Danny Dyer?

Who is more in touch with public opinion: Boy George or Danny Dyer?

In scenes reminiscent of Malcolm Tucker’s Zeitgeist tapes in the Thick of It, Ed Miliband revealed to Danny Dyer at the Attitude awards this week that he “researches” Eastenders online to keep up to date, even though he doesn’t watch the show. A source tells the Sun:

“[Ed] immediately made a big point of saying he knew a lot about the show. Then he started saying how the character of Martin Fowler has had three different actors playing him and how Ben Mitchell’s character has had five. Danny was a bit confused so asked him if watches the show. Ed shook his head and said, ‘No, I don’t have time any more but I’ve been doing a lot of research about it online’.”

Soap hard man Danny later reflected: “It was all a bit too heavy for me. I had to sit the f*** down.” Perhaps he could use the experience on the next series of “Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men”. But who is more in touch with reality?

Voting open until Close of Play…

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

McBride: “Labour Must Be Willing to Change Its Leader”

Kremlinologists will enjoy Damian McBride’s article in the Times this morning. He says Wee Dougie Alexander has been sidelined and the paranoia from Team Ed about Andy Burnham’s motives has seen the Shadow Heath Secretary exiled too:

“Douglas Alexander, one of the leader’s few confidants, now finds himself ignored, clinging to his role of election co-ordinator in title alone. Less than 30 weeks to polling day, and no one is actually managing Labour’s campaign; it’s certainly a novel approach… instead of Mr Burnham being handed the lead role in a campaign geared around the NHS he finds himself in internal exile”

McBride concludes that Ed has to go, if he can’t change:

“before Labour can even think about fighting that campaign effectively — it must address the question of its leader and how he manages the top of the party. If Mr Miliband continues to operate in isolation for the next seven months, refusing to listen and treating senior colleagues like strangers or rivals, Labour will lose. To avoid that, either Labour must be willing to change its leader, or its leader must be willing to change himself.”

Ed should listen to Mr McBride – he’s spent plenty of time around isolationist Labour leaders who refuse to listen…


Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,538 other followers