Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ken Wins Election Again Despite Promising to Never Stand
More Blairite Purging in Labour’s NEC Elections

Victory for the anti-austerity brigade as Labour’s NEC results are published this afternoon:

LIVINGSTONE, Ken 39,548 Elected
BLACK, Ann 36,496 Elected
REEVES, Ellie 31,278 Elected
SHAWCROFT, Christine 29,558 Elected
OSAMOR, Kate 28,484 Elected
BAXTER, Johanna 24,325 Elected
+
McMAHON, Jim 1,894 Elected (Local Gov)
PERRY, Alice 1,510 Elected (Local Gov)

Don’t tell Austin Mitchell, but now five sixths of the CLP representation on the Party’s governing body are now women.

“Left, left, left” says one Labour source. Progress candidate Peter Wheeler has been booted off, to be replaced by Kate Osamor from the ambitiously titled Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. She was elected on a promise to “reject austerity as a solution to the economic crisis.” Apparently, “instead of cuts, we will work for a Labour government committed to a plan for public investment.” Spend, spend, spend!

Joining Ken on NEC will be Ellie Reeves, the sister of Rachel Reeves MP and partner of John Cryer MP. She was endorsed by Unite, Tom Watson and his on/off young girlfriend, Stephanie Peacock. Who you know, not what you know…

Ellie will be in good company. Christine Shawcroft describes herself as being on the “extreme left of the Labour Party”, a CND supporting fan of Hugo Chavez and former Tower Hamlets councillor.  Ann Black said before the ballot “there are further challenges as the economy crawls out of recession. First, Labour needs a …positive alternative to Osborne’s endless austerity”. At least she publishes decent minutes of the meetings.

There is no doubt who the winner is. One seasoned Labour insider tells Guido:

“The NEC results are a shift to the Left with Grassroots Alliance (Left) candidates winning 4 out of the 6 slots. Popular young leftie Kate Osamor replaced the veteran old Right Peter Wheeler while right-wingers Akehurst, Nosegbe and Peel also lost out. The ambitious Johanna Baxter won as an independent and is well placed  to continue her hunt for a seat.”

A further purge of the Blairites at every level of the party.

Given how dismally Labour are represented in the South East, its is rather ironic that all of the CLP representatives live there. As LabourList notes: “only one candidate (Jim McMahon, the leader of Oldham Council and the Labour LGA Group) lives outside London or the South.”  And he’s only there as a councillor.

Perhaps the least surprising result saw Ken Livingstone breaking yet another pledge. In 2012 he promised that the London Mayoral battle would be his ‘last election’. He topped the ballot. It’s pathological…

UPDATE: Just in case you think Guido is overstating the swing to the left, the neo-Bennite Left Futures blog says it represents “a 14% swing to the left from right-wing and independent candidates… It is the best result for the Left since the mid-1980s.” The 80s were when Labour was loony and in permanent opposition…

WATCH: Austin Mitchell Sticking to His Sexist Guns

“Are they more leadable? I don’t know, I think they probably are. The problem will come if we have, say, a 1974 situation or 1951 situation where Labour does not have a powerful majority…”

Classy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hollibande Update: 2nd Quarter of Zero Growth in France

“What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward. We are in agreement in seeking that new way that needs to be found and I think can be found.”

Ed Miliband, 2012.

The graph below shows just how things have gone en France in the two years that followed. Growth has stagnated at zero for a second quarter, Hollande’s government has slashed its growth forecasts, and has admitted it will miss its target for cutting the deficit.

Allister Heath is worth reading in the Telegraph today:

“It is hard to exaggerate the trouble that Francois Hollande, France’s president, now finds himself in. It is not just that his popularity has collapsed and that his misguided stewardship of the French economy has crippled his country, helping to deliver a second consecutive quarter of zero growth.

The real problem is that France is slowly but surely emerging as the eurozone’s weakest link… There was a time when economists thought that Greece, Spain or even Portugal would trigger the real, final eurozone crisis that would threaten the single currency and potentially lead to the unravelling of the entire bloc. Increasingly, it feels as if it will be France that will eventually emerge as the euro’s biggest threat, though of course the whole rotten structure is likely to stumble on for years to come.”

What was that about “the choice“?

THE CHOICE: Tories Draw Level With Labour

At the end of July Labour launched their summer offensive, drawing up the battle lines for next year with the catchy slogan: “The Choice: The Labour Future, The Tory Threat”. Well, after three weeks of shadow cabinet speeches up and down the country outlining “the choice” faced by voters, the people have spoken. YouGov’s poll for the Sun today sees the Tories draw level with Labour for the first time in three months, both parties on 35%. This confirms yesterday’s Ipsos Mori poll which also had both parties level. Labour are telling voters what “the choice” is, and the voters are making it…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mrs Danczuk’s Now and Then Bikini Snaps

When Labour wife Karen Danczuk isn’t tweeting photos of her baps on sale at her Rochdale deli, she spends her time giving MP husband Simon plenty of support online. Karen has delved into the archives however to mark Throwback Thursday, a Twitter hashtag where people share old pics of themselves. Lucky followers have been treated to a past poolside holiday snap:

And then a more recent selfie:

Still got it…

Burnham ‘Owes’ Tax Efficient Lobbyist Aide £20,000

The Times and Mail are on the case of Andy Burnham’s health lobbyist aide Kevin Lee over his tax arrangements, a story Guido broke over two years ago. Readers will remember how back in 2011 this blog revealed how Lee was being paid as Burnham’s spinner not on a normal PAYE contract, but through his company, Lee Communications. Since Labour advisers are paid for by taxpayer-funded ‘Short Money’, this seems particularly creative. And the murkiness doesn’t end there.

When Burnham was Health Secretary, Lee Communications raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds in NHS cash, which is somewhat ironic given Burnham’s apocalyptic warnings about the Tories privatising the health service. Lee also splashed himself all over the internet boasting about his connections with Burnham and his expertise in public affairs. He was a health lobbyist with NHS clients.

As if Burnham employing Lee’s company and giving him a parliamentary pass permitting a health lobbyist access to parliament was not suspicious enough, Lee also “loaned” £20,000 to Burnham’s failed leadership campaign. Burnham has never managed to explain why he gave a lobbyist donor unfettered access to the parliamentary estate. As for that £20,000 loan, did Burnham ever pay it back? Let’s see if he can clear it up once and for all two years on…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tories Thrash Labour in Donation Stakes: Q2 Figures in Full

Electoral Commission figures out this morning show the Tories are amassing a decent pre-election war chest, raking in £7,185,709 in donations in Q2 of 2014. That’s almost double Labour, who banked just £3,761,615 by comparison. The biggest single donation was given to UKIP, £1,079,567 from Paul Sykes’ Highstone Group.

Those posters don’t pay for themselves…

Hapless Tristram’s 14 Corrections and Clarifications

Tristram Hunt, one of the great minds of this or any other generation, showed just how clever he is last night by publicising a correction about him printed by the Mail. The story was about Michael Gove finding 14 historical errors in Tristram’s new history book, so it was a double win that the Mail had withdrawn the claims.

If you read the actual correction, however, poor Tristram is left red-faced once again:

“A comment article on 14 July repeated unsubstantiated claims that Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt’s new book contained certain errors. We are happy to clarify that the error referred to appeared only in the uncorrected version sent to reviewers and apologise accordingly.”

The explanation that the errors “referred to appeared only in the uncorrected version sent to reviewers” and not in the final version found on the shelves hardly does his reputation for historical accuracy any favours. Not only that, it suggests Tristram’s publishers had to rewrite his book to correct the errors pointed out by Gove. Well done him for pointing that out…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spinners “Hit Hardest” By Labour’s Unimaginative Slogan Crisis

Labour’s uninspiring Shadow Treasury minister Shabana Mahmood didn’t really have her heart in it when she gave the government a limp-wristed slap today: “While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut families with children have been hit hardest…by the cost of living crisis.” Where has Guido heard that before?

Lazy Labour spinners have thrown the “hit hardest” line into just about every quote they have sent out recently. It isn’t just families with children who have apparently been “hit hardest”, but also: the self-employed, mothers, women, Londoners, ethnic minorities, the elderly, the disabled, the north-east – and Guido’s personal favourite – Women in Rutherglen and Cambuslang. Make your mind up…

Crook Who Took Looks to Get Off Hook While Plugging Book

Jailed expenses cheat Denis MacShane couldn’t stop himself from trying to weasel out of admitting he thieved from the taxpayer as he plugged his book on Channel 4 News last night. “I have no problems at all with what happened to me,” he began, before trying to convince viewers that actually he had been terribly hard done by and didn’t deserve to spend Christmas in the clink. Quelle surprise.

“I claimed money back, all of it expended. Unlike some of my other former colleagues there isn’t a single bit of personal profit for me. As several prisoners said to me, ‘You’re the only guy who’s in here from parliament who didn’t make any money’. But I’m not complaining about it, I’m really not.” 

Of course you’re not, Denis.

Asked repeatedly by Cathy Newman if he accepted he stole from the taxpayer, MacShane refused to show remorse: “No, I was reimbursed for money expended, alright, you can trundle around this as much as you like.” Worth watching the interview just to see MacShame’s face when Cathy reads his charge sheet to him…

Vid via @liarpoliticians.

Seen Elsewhere

Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester
Scotland Surges for Freedom | Times
Carswell Left Because Cam Can’t Be Trusted on Reform | ConHome
Top 100 Most UKIP-Friendly Tory Seats | ConHome
Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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 1,439 other followers