Friday, July 4, 2014

Who Said It: Miliband or Kinnock?

Which Labour leader responded to a major continental showdown involving a Tory Prime Minister by warning: “Is it now clear that last weekend the Prime Minister managed to unite the rest of the European Community against [them]? Not Ed Miliband, that was actually Neil Kinnock to Maggie in 1990.

Ed’s own response to Dave’s Juncker defeat was almost exactly the same: “He started with a divided Europe over the Juncker candidacy, and he ended with a united Europe against him. That’s not the only similarity…

Which Labour leader asked of the PM: isn’t the answer that [their] combination of threats, insults and disengagement turned out to be a master class in how to alienate your allies and lose the argument for Britain? That was Ed on Dave this week.

Eerily similar to Kinnock on Thatcher 14 years earlier, when he asked: “Does the Prime Minister not understand that, with her method of conducting affairs, she is throwing away that sound argument and losing both potential allies and necessary influence?” More evidence that Miliband is the heir to Kinnock…

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dugher and Dougie Rearrange Deckchairs

Superficially it looks like Michael Dugher has been elbowed out to some degree as the party rearranges the deckchairs this afternoon. Wee Dougie has three brand new campaign deputies to work under him as chair of election strategy: Gloria De Piero will work with broadcasters, Jon Ashworth with candidates and Toby Perkins with the Parliamentary Labour Party. They all receive warm words from their new boss:

“Gloria, Toby, and Jonathan have all contributed significantly to our work in recent months and I’m pleased to now formalise their places within Labour’s election team. I’m delighted to appoint them to key roles as Labour gears up to fight the next General Election.”

A footnote to Labour’s announcement is that Dugher “will continue to oversee communications and will lead negotiations for Ed Miliband on the TV Leaders’ Debates”. And Dougie has no kind words to say about him either. Ouch…

Alternative Kremlinology is that Gloria, Toby and Jonathan are actually Dugher’s allies and that they will act as a buffer between him and Wee Dougie – given they are barely on civil terms. Dougie, according to this analysis, is now encircled by deputies who are loyal to Dugher. And the band plays on…

SKETCH: Ed’ Speech, Written by a Policy Poppet Intern

The speech Ed Miliband has just given to the Policy Network wasn’t a speech, it was a brief for a speech.

An intern, a 27-year-old policy poppet would have written a series of notes for the Leader:

We need to support a culture of long-termism. How do we say that in human?

It’s about people. People being the most important asset. Is there a way of saying that that isn’t fifty years old?

We need to celebrate business. Obviously we can’t just say that.

(more…)

Labour’s ‘Stop Steve’ Campaign Backfires
The Mystery of Dennis Skinner’s Ejection from the NEC

Bolsover’s famous beast, much-loved by Labour, was voted off the NEC yesterday to the bafflement of the party, the anger of members, and the curiosity of the political commentariat.

Dennis Skinner is the authentic voice of Labour at a time when authenticity is sorely lacking in its limp-wristed, intellectual leftiness. He works incessantly for the party, speaking, organising, geeing up the troops.

Why would  John Healey stand against him?

Maybe he didn’t.

Maybe he was standing against Steve Rotheram, the moaning member for Merseyside.

After Ed Miliband’s posing with the Sun, Rotheram criticised him. Said it shouldn’t have happened. Sought meetings with his leader’s office. Rubbed salt in the open wound that is the party leader.

Is it possible that the leader’s office was so petty, so spiteful, so incompetent as to organize against Steve Rotheram and end up decapitating one of Labour’s most prominent assets?

Godfather Ed: What Have I Done to Deserve This Disrespect?

Badabing! Another day, another former fan of Ed gives their damning assessment of the Labour leader. Jenni Russell’s critique, headlined “Ed and his team would be a disaster at No 10″, is particularly cutting given the Times specifically hired her as a Miliband sympathising columnist. Tonight, she sleeps with the fishes:

“When the Labour party found that it had elected Ed as leader, even the doubters hoped that he would be transformed from awkward chrysalis to confident butterfly. He hasn’t done it. Nearly four years on… he doesn’t exude competence, and charisma eludes him. His personal ratings have ben falling steadily and now stand at -39, a record low. Only a fifth of voters think he is doing a good job; three fifths say he isn’t. Mr Cameron scores far better at -5.”

Accusing him of “arrogant indifference” and warning of the “stifling sterility of Mr Miliband’s lack of interest” in radical ideas, Russell concludes:

“This strategy might just win Mr Miliband the election, but it is a hopeless strategy for government. A leader who can’t inspire confidence, build alliances or enthuse his colleagues will fall apart in No 10. One shadow minister told me that there was little time left to change. He was afraid of losing, but winning might be worse.”

‘What some of us fear is that we’re going to win, but Ed could be such a terrible leader we’ll be out for a generation after that.’”

The real stinger comes in the fact that – as revealed by the Staggers in 2010 – Miliband is the godfather to Russell’s child. Perhaps it really is time for Ed to find a wartime consigliere…

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WATCH: Miliband Asked to Retract Botched PMQs Sums

Another day, another Point of Order raised in the House following a story that appeared on this blog. This afternoon Matt Hancock asked whether Ed Miliband should be made to correct the record after botching his sums at PMQs by 134%, Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing ruled that it was sufficient that the Labour frontbench were aware of the error. Guido is happy to have provided this public service…

‘Red Princes’ Gets Box Office Treatment

It has been two years since Guido applied the ‘Red Princes‘ neologism to Labour’s nepotistic sons, who are  seeking to inherit power from their political parents. Sorry Bercow, but someone has been reading…

“We’ve got son of Blair, son of Straw, son of Prescott, son of Dromey. When you take out the Red Princes, you’ll find that 80% of their candidates are union sponsored. They bought the candidates, they bought the policies, they bought the leader, we must never let them near the country.”

Is Joe Dromey going to get his mum to complain again?

LISTEN: Lord Glasman Slaps Down Lord Glasman

Miliband guru Lord Glasman has leapt to the defence of the Labour leader, dismissing criticisms made yesterday in the FT from Miliband guru Lord Glasman. Lord Glasman says that Lord Glasman was “wrong” to have criticised Miliband’s lack of direction, insisting that, despite what Lord Glasman said yesterday, “there isn’t a problem”:

“I think we’ve got the direction. I was really impressed with Ed’s speech yesterday about the Adonis report, which is excellent. All the policies are there. There’s also the local government taskforce coming. So, a sense of redistributing power, people participating … I’m saying there isn’t a problem… I was wrong.”

Nobbled…

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

IPPR Roll Call of Labour Cronies

Political Scrapbook tried their hardest to give the Policy Exchange think tank a slap earlier, finding only a pitiful number of connected people in comparison to Labour wonkshop IPPR. Safe to say the list of Labour-linked acolytes over there is considerably longer:

IPPR Trustees

Lord Andrew Adonis – Labour Peer; Shadow Infrastructure Minister

David Clayton – Economic Advisor to David Miliband, FCO , 2008 – 2010

Caroline Daniel – Worked as researcher to Gordon Brown for 18 months

John Eatwell – Labour Peer; Economic advisor to Neil Kinnock, 1985 – 1992

David Pitt-Watson – Management and Business Policy Adviser to Labour

Jane Roberts – Ex-Labour Councillor; Leader of Camden Council 2000 – 2005

 

IPPR Staff

Nick Pearce (Director) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Lisa Perrin (Events Manager) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Anthony Vigor (Former Fellow) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Richard Darlington (Head of News) – Former Special Adviser in DfID

Graeme Cooke (Research Director) – Adviser to James Purnell 2008 – 2009

Ed Cox (Northern Director) – Policy Adviser to Hazel Blears

Tony Dolphin (Associate Director –  Economic Adviser in HM Treasury

Rick Muir (Associate Director ) –  Labour Councillor in the Hackney

Will Straw (Associate Director)  Labour PPC for Rossendale and Darwen.

Sarah Mulley (Associate Director ) – Senior Policy Analyst at HMT

Graeme Henderson (Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North) – Labour member

Kayte Lawton (Senior Research Fellow) – Labour supporter

Bill Davies (Research Fellow, IPPR North) – Labour Councillor

Mark Rowney (Research Fellow) – Labour member

Luke Raikes (Researcher, IPPR North) – Labour Councillo

 

Policy Advisory Council

Lord Kumar Bhattacharya: Labour Peer

Neil Kinnock: Leader of the Labour Party 1983-1992

Charles Leadbetter: Former Advisor to Tony Blair in No. 10 Policy Unit

 

Associate IPPR Fellows

Will Cook – Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, June 2005 – March 2009

Joe Farrington-Harris – Health Policy Adviser, Labour Party, 2011

Andy Hull – Labour Borough Councillor, Islington Borough Council;

Michael Jacobs – Special Adviser to Gordon Brown at Number 10

Sophie Moullin – , Prime Minister’s Strategy

Will Paxton –  spent two years in Number 10

Nigel Warner – Former Special Adviser to Tessa Jowell at DCMS

Marc Stears – Chief Speechwriter for Ed Miliband

Rob Allen – Executive Committee Member of ‘Labour in the City’,

Gabriel Scally – Aide to Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham

Guido awaits the Charity Commission’s decision on whether IPPR has breached their strict rules on political impartiality with great interest. As will the Centre for Social Justice and the PM’s favourite think tank…

Ken Breaks Pledge Not to Become Peer

Following his defeat in 2012 Ken Livingstone promised us he would leave public life for good, specifically that he would not become a peer. Asked by the BBC at the time if he would consider joining the House of Lords, Ken replied:

“Oh God no. For the first time in my life I’ve got a week without any meetings planned. It’s quite remarkable.”

Even out of office Ken is failing to keep his promises. Speaking to Total Politics this week, he has now u-turned on that pledge and signalled he would accept a peerage:

“That’s a question you need to put to Ed. I’ve always said to him, this is the last chance in my lifetime of getting a Labour government that works, I will do anything to help you get there. You can’t turn down your party leader if they ask you to do something — how could you?”

Arise Lord Livingstone of Silveta

UPDATE: Some, er, less than helpful words for Ed later on in the interview too:

“Ed is much more normal than I am. He’s actually interested in detail and facts. Ed does not give a damn about what he’s wearing, his hairstyle – I’m sure he’s surrounded by people telling him he needs to do this and that but he really doesn’t care any more than I did, and therefore he will change Britain.

Ed is like me, he doesn’t want to be there, he wants to do something. He will hate all the trivial crap. People have always thought I’m weird – I collected reptiles for god’s sake, I make Ed look normal Everybody thought I was weird – and with my voice, and my lack of any fashion sense.”


Seen Elsewhere

A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts
Pragmatists v Romantics | Rachel Sylvester
I’m Sorry | Colin Brazier
Blair Was a Gradualist Prime Minister | Janan Ganesh
Why Blair Will Worry Ed | Steve Richards


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Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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