Spencer Livermore and Douglas Alexander spending the campaign budget on lunch at Cinnamon Club, SW1. Pull the ladder up, comrades!—
Eye Spy MP (@eyespymp) November 27, 2013
Guido imagines that Iain McNicol was on the menu.
Lots to talk about at tomorrow’s big strategy day at Labour HQ. Mainly how to whine, sorry win. Bargain basement strategist Bruce Hawker’s cry baby tactic is on display again this morning. Here is more of his wisdom, as told to Progress:
“Utilise social media as a strong alternative means of disseminating your message. It is also a very effective medium to lampoon and expose media bias. And enlist their competition to expose bias.”
The Labour press team has been noticeably more whiny over the last few days, calling Times editor John Witherow a “Tory mouthpiece”. As Guido pointed out last week, this is a deliberate shoot the messenger strategy.
Now they are going after that well-known bastion of right-wing bias, the Today programme:
Strewth! It’s going to be a long 18 months with all this moaning…
IPPR clearly think it’s kids stuff…
Sour grapes from Australian Labor. Not content with getting pummelled down under, bargain basement strategist Bruce Hawker is over here to train Miliband and his troops at how to scream and scream and scream until they are sick about press coverage:
“It is important to hang a lantern on any media-led campaign against Labour well before the election is called so you do not waste precious campaigning time exposing the motivation behind their attacks, as we were forced to do. Second, enlist allies and third parties to reinforce your message about media bias. Research and publicise the concrete examples early and often.”
Which would explain Ed’s daft article in the Indy on Sunday and the attempts to paint all criticism as an evil smear.
Hawker is in town to give Labour a rousing pep-talk. Ever helpful, Guido would recommend that they take his advice with a pinch of salt. Shall we have a look at his previous record of success?
After running Kevin Rudd’s abortive attempted coup in February 2012, Hawker’s loyalty was rewarded with the dubious honour of running Rudd’s election campaign this year against Tony Abbott. Polling day saw Labor drop to their lowest primary vote share since 1931. Brilliant Bruce admitted the wipeout was his fault, telling the Australian: “I have to take my fair share of it, I’m not going to shy away from it.” Not that it stopped him from attacking party staff in a tell-all-book, writing that Labor HQ was “second rate”.
In 2012 Hawker was “the key architect” behind one of the worst defeats in the history of Australian politics when Labor were wiped out in Queensland. They lost all but seven of their previous 51 seats in the lower house – thanks to heroic Hawker.
The year before in New South Wales, Hawker predicted that the campaign he was running for Labour was “potentially facing political Armageddon”. And correct he was: they lost 60% of their seats.
Guido, for one, welcomes Labour’s new antipodean overlord. What could possibly go wrong?
Full marks to Labour foghorn Tom Blenkinsop, who is missing no opportunity to line the pockets of his paymasters with taxpayers’ money. Blenkinsop is a classic ‘re-renter’, he claimed £4,000 last year for constituency office rent in a building owned by his own local Guisborough Labour Party. Apparently fleecing the taxpayer by recycling cash to his party is not enough for Blenkinsop, however.
The Middlesbrough MP also claims £10,200-a-year on expenses to rent his London home. IPSA documents show that Blenkinsop’s landlord is one Christian Matheson, who also happens to be Unite’s industrial officer and the Labour parliamentary candidate for Chester, one of Unite’s infamous list of 41 seats they planned to take over. Coincidentally, Unite have given Blenkinsop £2,000 since 2010. A prime example of a Labour MP pushing the limits of the rules to sort out his party and his trade union with taxpayer cash…
We’re making up a Labour smear story.
We’re going for their most cherished example of mutual, collective endeavour. The Co-op. Ethical, modest, decent. Let’s make it go bust through filthy capitalist greed. And let’s get it taken over by US vulture funds who have the power to call in Labour’s loans, but don’t because they act more ethically than the previous management.
But you want more.
Okay, let’s have the outgoing chairman of the ethical bank to be a most complete representative of the Labour movement – a Co-op member for years, a Methodist minister who could be your dad, who gives money to Labour from Co-op funds. How much?
Half a million! Why half a milion? It’s a smear, make it a million!
Let’s have him only being an amateur in banking with no qualifications except “a professional requirement to be charitable”, and he gives a million to the party generally and also smaller donations to – who do we hate most? – Ed Balls.
Let’s get this perfect Labour guy who looks like your dad to give, what’s a really large private sum, fifty thousand pounds to Ed Balls’ office. Perfect.
But you want to have him personally corrupt? Is that really necessary? What, watching porn on his work computer as a Labour councillor? Okay, it’s a Harriet Harman sort of crime but -
You want him to be contracting rent boys? The chairman of the Co-op bank hiring rent boys? I guess it’s not imposs-
You want him to be doing DRUG DEALS? Now it’s too much. What sort of drugs? CRYSTAL METH?
You want him to look like everyone’s father, chair a Labour bank, give money to Labour shadow cabinet names, and be a rent-boy-seeking Labour councilor buying CRYSTAL METH in a car? It’s too much.
Smear-wise it’s beyond anything previously attempted.
More seriously, it will damage the whole smearing industry.
Jack Dromey hard at work this morning in the chamber. Careful now.
Dissent will not be tolerated. Ever since Ed’s deliberate war with the Mail over a mere headline, any story that displeases the Labour Party is billed a smear or an attack on Miliband without substance. It’s a deliberate strategy to try to hamstring the coming media onslaught in the run up to the next election. By billing Ed as some self-appointed moral media guardian who is only being attacked because of his stance of standing up to the press, they hope to blunt the multitude of legitimate blows. In reality, it’s just another attempt by a worried party that has a penchant for strong-arming the media. Labour should save the word “smear” for a morning when one of their donors and advisers hasn’t just been nicked.
Further to last Tweet, Times has twice splashed in last fortnight worrying about A&E crisis + IDS' Universal Credit. ToryHQ didn't complain.—
Tim Montgomerie (@TimMontgomerie) November 22, 2013
UPDATE II: Worth noting a Miliband flunky retweeted the tweet on his behalf, so Ed is fully behind the shoot the messenger strategy.
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Gordon Brown pretends:
“I learnt courage from Nelson Mandela.”