Tuesday, July 8, 2014

LISTEN: Harman Condemns ‘Sexist’ Brown and McBride

Harriet Harman has launched a bitter attack on the former Prime Mentalist, using a speech hosted by John Bercow this evening to accuse Gordon of sexism:

“Imagine my surprise when having won a hard-fought election to succeed John Prescott as deputy leader of the Labour Party, I discovered that I was not to succeed him as Deputy Prime Minister!” she is expected to say. If one of the men had won the deputy leadership would that have happened? Would they have put up with it? I doubt it. And imagine the consternation in my office when we discovered that my involvement in the London G20 summit was inclusion at the no10 dinner for the G20 leader’s wives.”

Harman’s broadside has invoked the wrath of Damian McBride, who hits back: “Have you no sense of decency, Harriet?” McBride blogs that Brown had other ways of discriminating against people other than their gender – “Gordon divides the world into only two categories: useless and not useless” – going on to snipe:

“Harriet seems to think she should have been invited to the leaders dinner instead, or perhaps to the meetings of the G20. To which I’d respectfully ask….erm, why? What on earth would Harriet have contributed to the meetings and dinner where Gordon, Obama, Sarkozy and Merkel were hammering out the global financial stimulus to bring the world out of recession? I mean seriously, what? But if she thinks she was excluded from those discussions because of her gender, Harriet needs to remind herself that Gordon’s key advisor throughout those meetings was Baroness Shriti Vadera. Why? Because she was the world expert on what needed to happen. With all due respect, Harriet was not.”

Ouch!

Safe to say Hattie didn’t take that too well. Here is her riposte on LBC just now:

“Damian McBride, you’ll remember, was sacked from being in the employment of the government for denigrating women, and he’s doing it again right now. It’s why he got fired, he’s learnt no lessons, he’s doing it again. When we have to listen to Damian McBride’s views on women, we really are in trouble.”

Calm down, dears!

Senior Welsh Minister Sacked Over Smear Emails
Read Bombshell Emails That Exposed Labour ‘Cabinet’ Member

The one party state of Wales has sacked one of its most senior cabinet members, condemning his “unacceptable” behaviour. Environment minister Alun Davies ordered non-partisan civil servants to use taxpayer-funded resources to dig up dirt on his political opponents. In emails produced here by Guido, Davies told his private secretary to send him details of payments made to the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, leader of the Welsh LibDems and a senior Plaid Cymru politician, in breach of the ministerial code:

The civil servant then emailed the, hilariously titled, ‘Welsh Cabinet Secretary’ to raise concerns that Davies’ request was “for party-political purposes” and that “I do not think it is appropriate”. He goes on to report that despite advising Davies that he was not allowed to release the information, “he has now requested this information verbally again”.

The Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said Davies’ actions were “poorly judged” and “inappropriate”. And he’s just been fired.

Bigmouth Strikes Again: Classic Hodge PwC Dodge

Question-dodging Margaret Hodge chaired a panel discussion in parliament this morning on tax transparency, wasting no time in piling into the ‘Big Four’ professional services companies for failing to use “copper bottom schemes” to prevent tax avoidance. Awkward then, that sitting two seats along from Hodge the Dodge on the panel is Shadow Exchequer Secretary Shabana Mahmood, who has just hired a new technical support analyst paid for by Big Four firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Indeed, a grand total of three Labour Shadow Treasury ministers have just brought in PwC staffers, paid for by the company, to help them with the Finance Bill. Not to mention Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna and a host of other Shadow ministers hiring from PwC in the past. The same Pricewaterhouse, of course, that Hodge herself used to work for. She really isn’t very good at this whole tax-y moralise-y thing, is she…

Monday, July 7, 2014

Margaret Hodge’s Double Standards on Abuse

It wouldn’t be a row without an unprompted contribution from Margaret, Lady Hodge, rent-a-quote extraordinaire. Today’s Morning Star reports:

‘Senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge condemned the “veil of secrecy” that has shrouded the Establishment for far too long. “Now the Establishment who thought they were always protected find actually they are subject to the same rigours of the law and that’s right”’

Could that be the very same Margaret  Hodge who was forced to apologise for branding a sex abuse victim as ‘extremely disturbed’, and was accused of failing to act on child abuse claims as leader of Islington Council. As the BBC points out:

“Mrs Hodge led Islington Council from 1982 to 1992, when it emerged that children in the council’s care had been abused. She has been accused of failing to act, despite receiving warnings – an allegation she denies”

A veil of secrecy…

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…


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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