Friday, May 2, 2014

Mike Hancock’s Lawyers Claim He Lacks “Mental Capacity” LibDems Back His “Independent” Campaign to Hold Council Seat

Hancock crosshairs

Despite theoretically being thrown out of the LibDems, pervy Mike Hancock is standing for the council unopposed by the LibDems, with his campaign implicitly supported by their resources. The party of Cyril Smith never learns…

Friday, April 25, 2014

Coalition Memorial Coin

2-sides-coalition

With some LibDems calling for their party to split from the Tories sooner rather than later Labour have minted a new coin (on leaflets anyway) featuring the heads of the coalition parties. Guido suspects that some of the few remaining coalicious types would really like to mint this coin as a memento…

Friday, April 4, 2014

Clegg Brings Yet Another Lobbyist into the Heart of Government

Ssssh no one mention lobbying reform! Clegg has replaced his not-up-to-the-job Comms Director with Edelman’s public affairs managing director Stephen Lotinga. It’s a bit of a slap to Edelman considering the spin-merchant had only been there for a few weeks after signing from those paragons of virtue Bell Pottinger.

Fresh from spinning for the likes of ATOS, Russian banks and Kazak private equity firms, Lotinga’s only other job recorded on his CV seems to be working for the LibDems. Hiring a communications director who has never had a job outside politics or PR is sure to help the party connect to voters. Clegg will be hoping this one lasts more than two months…

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

UKIP Try for Salted Earth Putin Briefing

Why are UKIP leaking their attack lines ahead of tonight’s debate, giving the LibDems six hours to sort a line? According to the Telegraph, Farage will fight any Putin allegations with fire:

“Why does Nick Clegg’s CV and his profile on his website make absolutely no reference to his time as a lobbyist? Why is that that omitted? I have no links whatsoever with these sinister global figures, but his links are really very close and very embarrassing. The Clegg family are very closely linked to the European project and to big corporate business and so in a sense the debate tonight becomes a clash of cultures,” he said. “I represent the mercantile, trading, entrepreneurial end of society and he represents big banks, big government and big business.”

It seems Farage has been doing some reading, yesterday Breitbart London had a mudslinging session at Clegg’s lobbying past with just enough links to Putin and Gadaffi to make a story. They went after Miriam Clegg too. Which she’s sure to love…

It feels like Farage is trying to put Clegg off even going there by leaking this stuff early, but Guido is not sure it will have the same cut through as his ‘praise’ for Putin. That one will resonate more than dragging in the wives…

Farron’s Bedroom ‘Tax’ Peacocking

20140402-090138.jpg

Tim Farron is showing some leg to Labour again this morning, committing to withdrawing the LibDems’ support for the spare room subsidy cut. In a speech to the Centre for Social Justice that could have easily been cobbled together from old Labour Party press releases, Farron will say:

“The onslaught of divisive rhetoric that demonises the poor can never help us to create a fairer society. The bedroom tax causes huge social problems and distorts the market – we as a party cannot support this.”

Farron needs to get his Labour-friendly rhetoric up to date, these days they admit the bedroom ‘tax’ is not really a tax. And does the welfare transfer cause “huge social problems” as Farron claims? The number of evictions caused by the spare room subsidy is tiny, there is evidence it is nudging people into work, it is bringing empty homes back into use and it is saving up to a million pounds a day. But why let the evidence get in the way of another chance to position yourself for 2015…

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Clegg’s “Facts” Turn Out to Be Fiction

Former Clegg spinmeister Olly Grender had no answer when told by Brillo that, despite the LibDem leader’s assurances, the House of Commons library did not back him up on his claim that only 7% of UK law was made in Brussels. Their figure is actually between 15% and 50%. If you’re going to sell yourself on “leaving the rhetoric aside for a minute and sticking to the facts”, telling porkies might not be the best way to go about it…

LibDem Poll Spin: Clegg Actually Lost 65%-28%

LibDem press office is trying to spin its way out of last night’s 22 point thumping, selectively quoting three lines of YouGov pollster Peter Kellner’s methodology to suggest the results were unfair on Clegg:

Yet if you look at Kellner’s reasoning in full rather than the heavily edited LibDem version, if YouGov had done what the LibDems wanted and not “skewed” the poll Farage would have actually beaten Clegg 65% to 28%:

“An alternative approach would have been NOT to have corrected the political skew among our original 3,000 sample. The argument for doing this is that any assessment of audience reaction should take the audience as it is – in this case, accepting that UKIP supporters were much more likely to watch or listen to the debate than supporters of other parties. Had we done this, I estimate that the verdict of the audience would have been Farage 65%, Clegg 28%. Those who prefer to cite this figure, rather than to adjust for the UKIP-rich nature of the audience, are of course free to do so.”

A spectacular trajectory of toys from pram.

How Farage Won Last Night’s Debate

The YouGov/Sun poll speaks for itself: Farage had a 12 point boost in his personal approval rating after last night, narrowly winning the debate on jobs and leaving the EU. Worth noting Clegg also saw a 4 point rise in the “positive impression” category. The LibDems are in full damage limitation mode this morning, claiming “the real winners are the voters” and “it’s a marathon not a sprint”. We’re getting closer to the finish line…

UPDATE: Blurt’s Twitter worm analysis confirms a narrow win for Farage:

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That UKIP Expectation Management Strategy in Full

Godfrey Bloom is on as message as ever:

“Well Nigel Farage has to win. He can’t draw. A draw is not enough. It’s Nigel’s subject, it’s Nigel’s baby. It’s UKIP’s thing, so consequently he can’t come away having just drawn the game… He has to win and he has to win convincingly… I think he will because Nick Clegg has an Achilles heel in his argument as I discovered when I was in Sheffield.”

Talking the talk…

Clegg Denies Inappropriate Use of Civil Service for Debate Prep

Has Nick Clegg been using civil service resources for party political preparation for tonight’s debate against Nigel Farage? He is not appearing at the LBC Debate in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister rather, as a LibDem spokesman told Guido this morning: “Tonight is the leaders’ debate so Nick is appearing as the Leader of of the Liberal Democrat Party”. It’s a very political event…

As Deputy Prime Minister Clegg is allowed to request factual briefings on government policy whenever he likes, yet sources familiar with the situation have indicated to Guido that they believe he has strayed beyond this and into party political territory. “He’s asking for all sorts of things, beyond government policy on Europe”, one told Guido this morning. It is believed by some that the briefings have been prepared to back up attack lines on UKIP –  a big no, no for civil servants.

Nick Clegg’s spokesman denies that they have done anything wrong, but did confirm that civil servants have briefed the DPM for this specific political event:

“Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister as well as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is regularly briefed on all aspects of Government policy, including Europe, before public appearances, such as DPMQs or Call Clegg on LBC. It is very likely that during the debates he be asked about Coalition Government policies and the relationship between the British Government, of which he is Deputy Prime Minister, and the European Union. To that end, he has been given factual briefings and facts and figures on Coalition Government policy and how the EU works in relation to Britain. But the briefings for the debates are being done by political advisers and HQ staff.”

Guido has requested a copy of all the debate preparation from the Cabinet Office under the Freedom of Information Act.

It is worth noting that the ‘General Principle’ of the Ministerial Code states:

“Facilities provided to Ministers at Government expense to enable them to carry out their official duties should not be used for Party or constituency work.”

Point 6.3 makes things a little clearer:

“Official facilities and resources may not be used for the dissemination of material which is essentially party political.”

Should it emerge that Clegg used civil servant briefings on issues beyond government policy on Europe to prepare for tonight’s debate then Guido cannot see how he has not fallen foul of this point. 

 


Seen Elsewhere

Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times
Stop Bercow | The Times
Speaker Cornered | Times
Britain’s Beheaders | Speccie
‘Underclass’ Is Dave’s Fault | Conservative Women
Civil Liberties/Privacy NGO Hires New CEO | Big Brother Watch
Why I Won’t Join UKIP | Dan Hannan
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? | Ron Lauder


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Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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