Thursday, January 15, 2015

Burnham Bounces Balls into £11 Billion Spending Pledge

BURNHAM-BALLS

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has been out and about this morning pushing Labour’s public health manifesto. It basically amounts to yet another series of caps – the usual series of nanny state, anti–business policies.

It wasn’t the detail which interested Guido – more then timing of the announcement. As part of the policies, Burnham has reiterated his pledge to introduce plain packaging on tobacco (despite dismissing it back in 2008 when he was Health Secretary). Such a move could result in a future government facing an £11 billion compensation bill to Big Tobacco, according to a report by analysts at the BNP Paribas and other legal experts.

Guido wonders why the future Labour leadership hopeful chose today of all days to make his announcement? Could it be because Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is in the US – that he decides today to announce what is effectively a £10 billion deficit busting new spending pledge?

UPDATE: A co-conspirator shrouded in  smoke reminds Guido that in government when he was Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham wrote in a November 2009 letter to Tessa Jowell:

“No studies have shown that introducing plain packaging of tobacco products would cut the number of young people smoking, or enable people who want to quit, to do so. Given the impact that plain packaging would have on intellectual property rights, we would need strong and convincing evidence showing the health benefits of this policy before it would be acceptable at an international level.”

What has changed?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dozens of Labour MPs Posed With Price “Freeze” Sign
“Ed Miliband Will Freeze Bills Until 2017″

Mandy Behind New Generation Of Blairites
Lord of Darkness Star of Intimate Right-Wing Gathering

The Blairites are not quite done yet. Peter Mandelson’s former SpAd Matthew Doyle organised a £100 per head “exclusive event… at Lord Alli’s home in Covent Garden” last week to raise cash for two up and coming Labour right-wingers. Though he admitted it won’t be “an overly large group.” Will the last Blarite to leave Westminster for Scotland please turn off the light…

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ed “No More Celebrity Politics” Miliband Sups With Clooney

Last year Ed Miliband rejected celebrity politics, where “things are judged far more on style than substance”:

“…this political culture, this photo-op politics, denies people a debate about the things that really matter. And does deep harm to our country. It leaves politics a game that fewer and fewer people are watching, or believing. People’s sense of the artificiality, the triviality, the superficiality of politics is more highly tuned than ever. And the more it seems this is what matters to us, the more the public are put off.

Unless we stand up now and say that we want to offer people something different, more and more will simply turn away. Assuming that it has simply become about celebrity. And C-list celebrities at that. And if we allow that to continue to happen, we will also rob people of the debate they deserve. About the things that matter.

But here is the good news: I am determined that at the next election we give people a choice about the kind of leadership they can have. David Cameron is a very sophisticated and successful exponent of a politics driven by image. I am not going to able to compete with that. And I don’t intend to. I want to offer something different.”

That didn’t stop Ed sucking up to George Clooney and leaking the fact that they had dinner togetherStarf*cker.

Yet Another Lucy Powell Gaffe

This is a Lucy Powell leaflet encouraging people to register to vote. In it she claims that the first election she voted in was 1997, when she was 22 years old. Apparently it was “important because it was the first time in my life that the Government was going to change.” Well if she was 22 in 1997 she would have also lived through the 1979 election that also saw a change of government. With maths like that, no wonder Labour’s election chief thinks they can get a majority…

Monday, January 5, 2015

Labour Staffer’s Online “Gestapo Royals” Rant

Someone might want to have a quiet word with Labour regional organiser Rob Sherrington and tell him to step away from the Twitter:

If social media is going to win Labour the election, do they really need their paid staffers tweeting “f**k you” to the Queen, or calling her family Nazis?

Miliband’s Intro From Granny Rape Joker
Biz Backer Says ‘Trafficking Underage Hookers’ Key to Success

Labour hope that social media is going to win them the election, so you might have thought they would have a look at the online presence of those chosen to introduce Ed Miliband at his speech in Manchester this morning.

Amman Ahmed took to the stage talk about the economy and business.

And what is the secret to his profit making success?

Apparently “trafficking underage hookers” and “raping elderly women and stealing their handbags”. According to his Facebook…

Social Media Sentiment is Mythical – Just Ask Alex Salmond

Labour are playing the best of a bad hand by bleating on about being outspent by the Tories, but they should be careful to avoid choking on their own Kool Aid. Pretending that Twitter can level the playing field did not work in 2010…

Guido has warned before, and will say it again; Twitter is just an echo chamber, not a voter battleground. Anyone following politics closely on there has already pretty much made up their mind how they are going to vote. Whilst it might be good for Labour morale, it’s not going to help them in the long run. 

There are 45.5 million voters in the UK, yet only 15 million people on Twitter. Only a fraction of those active users actually follow politics, so to pin your hopes on swinging an election by targeting this already partisan demographic is at best naive…

And it goes badly wrong. Alex Salmond was drafting his victory speech at 10 p.m. on Referendum Day because he was relying on social media sentiment analysis over reality based numbers. Euan McColm reports in the Scotsman:

“But, still, Salmond believed he had won. This was because of his secret Canadians. At huge expense, and amid considerable secrecy, the former SNP leader had brought in polling experts from across the Atlantic. With their new methodology, they’d be able to give him the most detailed predictions yet seen in political analysis. Or something like that.

The reason I mention these secret Canadians, apart from the fact that their existence remains a fascinating, if little known, aspect of the referendum campaign, is that unlike most traditional operators in their field, they placed great store on the use of social media among voters. By monitoring interactions on Face­book and Twitter, a fuller picture would be painted.

In the end, the fuller picture turned out to be a fake, but the fact that Salmond was willing to invest so heavily in his secret Canadians shows us how seriously the SNP – and, naturally, all other political parties – take social media as a campaigning tool.”

Has Douglas Alexander hired the same Canadian voodoo pollsters? 

Smoke and Mirrors on Tory ‘Treasury’ Doc Cover

It looks like a Treasury document, it’s laid out like a Treasury document and it reads like a Treasury document. That doesn’t make it a Treasury document…

Ironically, Osborne won’t actually let Labour’s figures be analysed officially (by the OBR), stalling until the next parliament citing a lack of resources.

From the red cover, to the green and black text inside the Tories really, really want you to think this is an official document. Still brave of Labour to use the expression “dodgy dossier”…

UPDATE:

Another happy reader…

Amateur Hour: New Scot Dep Leader Blows Labour Negotiation

Labour’s newbie Deputy Leader in Scotland is clearly not a poker player. “I have no qualms whatsoever about working with the SNP,” says Kezia Dugdale. What a great bargaining position she is building for her party’s real leadership there.

Such a blunder should come as no surprise. After staying at university to work for her student union, Dugdale progressed to the dizzy heights of the NUS before becoming office manager to piss artiste peer and MSP Lord Foulkes. She replaced him in the Scottish Parliament in 2011. What was it about her CV that qualified her for this sensitive job?


Seen Elsewhere

100 Tories to Rebel on Plain Packs | Telegraph
May 2015 and the Art of Political Betting | MAY2015
Fate of Eurozone Rests in Hands of Videogame Expert | TechnoGuido
UKIP After Farage | Asa Bennett
Eichmann Called on Arabs to Continue War on Jews | Speccie
Mirror Hacking: 50 Legal Action Claims | Press Gazette
Mandy’s £400,000 Tax-Free Loan From Own Company | Guardian
Why We Must Remember the Holocaust | Hugo Rifkind
“Adjustments” Not Cuts | Gary Gibbon
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
British Minister in Watch Gaffe | Straits Times


Rising Stars
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George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


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