+++ Cleggs Expecting Baby +++

Good news for the Cleggs, a baby due in February.

Nick is the same age as Guido, fortysomething fatherhood has its blessings. Sleep however is not one of them…

Tory Candidate Pleads Guilty to Harrassment of LibDems

Councillor Ian Oakley, the Conservative PPC for Watford, today pleaded guilty to five charges of criminal damage and two of harrasment. He also asked for 68 other offences to be taken into account, making a total of 75 offences.

Pictured here standing behind Ming, the LibDems were on the receiving end of most of Oakley’s activities, which crossed the line by a long chalk. Although it was actually Vince Cable who stabbed Ming in the back in the end…

UPDATE : Danny Finkelstein admits that at the final selection committee he “thought Watford hadn’t necessarily selected the best future MP but they had chosen the one who seemed most assured, self confident and politically mature. I thought him a very stable, solid choice even if he didn’t do all that much for me.” The Fink, in his judgement, also thinks promising tax cuts is a vote loser for the Tories.

*He has quit as Conservative candidate and left the Conservative group on Hillingdon Council.

Clegg Does Realpolitik, Ends Policy of “Equi-Distance”

Nick Clegg says he is shifting resources to target what they see as the 50-most winnable Labour seats, pouring efforts and campaigners into fighting Gordon.

This is a sensible strategic move in the face of the reality of the polls, a change of government won’t happen if LibDems and Tories swap seats, a change of government will only happen if the LibDems and Tories take seats from Labour.

Guido advocated a Tory – LibDem non-aggression pact when Labour were riding high (Time for Tactical Decisions from CCHQ and Cowley Street). It still seems like a good idea. Having the LibDems as the official opposition to a Tory government would realise Margaret Thatcher’s oft stated ambition – to have a non-socialist alternative to the Conservatives, that would be her final victory. If Labour are attacked by Lib-Dems from second place and don’t waste money attacking second placed Tories in Labour seats they have a chance of becoming the official opposition. Over the border in Scotland the SNP have also removed Labour’s perpetual grip on on power. The total destruction of the Labour Party as a political threat is within grasp if the opposition parties are imaginative…

Can Clegg Carry His Party?

Yesterday Clegg announced plans to “streamline” decision making in the LibDems, in reality giving him more control, today he announces that the party will reduce the overall tax burden. Effectively he is moving the party away from social democracy and back to liberalism, shifting the party from the centre left to the centre right.
Promising to slash Whitehall waste and cutting taxes, reducing the number of MPs – all good stuff. We have been here before, Ming muttered the same kind of thing – talking about deregulation and reducing the scope of the state. Yet the press releases continued to pour out from his shadow team calling for more regulations and more state spending. The modern successors to the Liberal Party seem to have lost the language of classical liberalism. They are always clamouring for “something to be done” by the state. Cameron’s personal responsibility agenda and assertion that “there is such a thing as society, it is just not the same as the state” is an authentically liberal stance.

Clegg can probably carry the parliamentary party, however the activist base is way to the left of his voters. Clegg’s party is in collective denial that it faces annihilation at the hands of the Tories in much of the South East. How will he get the legendary sandal-wearing, lentil-loving weirdy beardies to sell the new message?

Called to Account

Clegg’s office just called. They will be handing the aforementioned expense claim details for Clegg over* on Wednesday. Can’t wait to find out if he has spent on bedroom furnishings…


*See what Guido did there?

Where Are Clegg’s Expenses?

It is 43 days since Nick Clegg told us with regard to MP’s expenses

“…there is no earthly reason why the rest of the information should not be published immediately. Any delay will only add to the British public’s distrust in their politicians.”

It is a month since they were due to be delivered according to the time-table given to Guido by his spin-mistress Hannah Gardiner. Where are the expenses?

Hannah gave an entirely different (and somewhat irrelevant) explanation to Sky’s Cheryl Smith. If there is one thing Guido learnt from Hain’s expenses scandal, is that delay is a sign of something to hide. Guido has called Clegg’s office repeatedly asking when his expenses will be published. As Clegg told us himself, delay will only add to distrust…

Still No Sign of Clegg’s Expenses

Do you remember back in March when Nick Clegg righteously boomed that the delaying of publication of MPs’ expenses is a “hammer blow” to public confidence in the Commons?
Do you remember Guido called his office and asked when he would be publishing his expenses. They said in two weeks. The two weeks passed and no publication was made. Things got very testy, they denied telling me what they had told me. So Guido pressed them. They would be publishing them “in a few weeks” said Hannah his spin-mistress. So that meant “that month [April] not next month?”, pressed Guido There was some “humphing” from Hannah.

The month has passed.

Vince Backs McCain

He has just told Brillo on the Daily Politics that he would rather support McCain against Hillary Clinton. This puts him to the right of many Cameroons…

+++ Cable : Clegg’s Position “Unassailable” +++

Vince has just recorded an interview for GMTV, telling Jackie Ashley that the LibDems were not doing well enough. She asked if Clegg’s position was “unassailable”? The ballroom dancing Ming assassin said Clegg was “completely unassailable”.

Be afraid Nick, very afraid…

+ READ MORE +

Clegg : the FCS Days, Denials and Delays

Calamity Clegg is denying this story that he was a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association, unfortunately nobody believes him. Greg Hands MP says “There was only one Nick Clegg at Robinson College, and Nick Clegg was a member of CUCA.” He should know, he was counting on Clegg’s votes in the internal CUCA elections.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Poor the Sarah

Spotted last night – Sarah Teather eating alone. Maybe Recess Monkey’s campaign on her behalf should be re-started? Fact: she has a large collection of Paprika jars.

Guido fears she could in a few years turn into a liberal version of Anne Widdecombe…

UPDATE :

While Hague had 14 beers a day, Clegg tells GQ magazine that he has dabbled his pork sword with some 30 different women.[…]

+ READ MORE +

LibDemVoice has a copy of a press release from Nick Clegg about the speaker blocking the full publication of MP’s expenses in full.
“There are legitimate grounds for appealing the decision to publish private addresses. However, there is no earthly reason why the rest of the information should not be published immediately.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Party That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Guido exceeded the age limit for the guest list for the launch of Liberal Youth last night on Brick Lane. The Liberal Jugend Führer, Mark Gettleson, wanted to rename LDYS because he wanted “a name that sounds like a youth movement rather than a sexually transmitted disease”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guido is in Hong Kong…

Hong Kong is nominally now under communist control, yet has a low income tax rate of 16%, a free market economy and limited government. This combined with its free trade port status makes it a reform model for the developing post-communist world.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Economic Incoherence

The Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Philip Hammond, gave an off-camera briefing ahead of the Budget yesterday lunchtime. Not quite sure how this squares with Dave’s commitment to the New Politics of openness and transparency or his boss George Osborne’sopen source politics 2.0 which he said would see a Tory government “become more accountable, more transparent and more accessible – and so bridge the growing gap between government and governed.” Having an off camera briefing in the Lobby room seems less than transparent and rather inaccessible to the governed.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cowley Street Press Release : “Clegg Has Bottled It” On Europe

Guido just received this via email. The perfect end to a perfect week for Clegg. Well it is late on a Friday night…

+ READ MORE +



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