Knowing Me Steve Coogan, Knowing You Tom Watson

Steve Coogan and Tom Watson embark on a Save the NHS tour of North London tomorrow, in what sounds like the worst episode of The Trip ever. Guido recommends Ottolenghi when they reach Islington at lunchtime.

What is it about Labour’s manifesto that attracted coke and hookers fan Coogan to Miliband?

“Labour will take steps to protect the principle of media plurality, so that no media outlet can get too big, including updating our rules for the 21st century media environment. We remain strongly committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry.”

Perhaps Coogan and Watson can talk about all that phone hacking at the Mirror when they’re driving around tomorrow…

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday Column Online

Well, this will be interesting on Friday morning. On election night in 2010, one Ed Miliband said that the “constitutional position is clear” and “very simple”: in the event of a hung parliament “the Prime Minister gets to have the first crack”. Fast forward five years and that means the now Labour leader has conceded that David Cameron gets the first go at forming a majority.

Don’t miss out on Guido’s bumper pre-polling day column, free to read and not behind a paywall over on SunNation:

  • Emily Thornberry’s latest slap in the face of voters, just days before polling day

EXPENSES

  • When you vote on Thursday, beware the ghosts of expenses past
  • Ed Miliband is “terrible with kids”
  • Francis Maude strikes up an unlikely friendship with Katie Price
  • Chuka gets hands-on with a constituent
  • Miliband’s advice to hard-up customers facing big energy bills

Read today’s column for free, here

Michael Gove Slams BBC for #EverydaySexism

Michael Gove was unimpressed this morning when Radio 5 Live’s Rachel Burden had the cheek to assume he agreed with his wife:

“It was interesting to read your wife’s column in the Daily Mail referring to Labour’s position on the North, she says Labour will unite with Sturgeon and take power; the North and then Scotland will leech off us until we die… do you agree with your wife on that one?”

“I’m a feminist and therefore I think that my wife’s views are her views not my views… I’m afraid this is an example of what’s become known as everyday sexism.”

He’s not that (chief) whipped…

Guardian Backs Labour

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Though they warn:

“Of course there are misgivings. The party has some bad instincts – on civil liberties, penal policy and on Trident, about which it is too inflexible. Questions linger over Ed Miliband’s leadership, and whether he has that elusive quality that inspires others to follow…

This newspaper has never been a cheerleader for the Labour party. We are not now. But our view is clear. Labour provides the best hope for starting to tackle the turbulent issues facing us. On 7 May, as this country makes a profound decision about its future, we hope Britain turns to Labour.”

And they say vote for the LibDems in blue-yellow marginals…

Blue ‘un: FT Endorses Tory-Led Coalition

As predicted by Guido two weeks ago, the FT backs the Tories over Miliband:

“Mr Miliband is preoccupied with inequality. His prescription is an increase in taxes such as restoring the 50p level for high earners and imposing an ill-conceived mansion tax.

Mr Miliband has too often found himself on the wrong side of the argument. He promised to freeze energy prices shortly before world prices collapsed. An already heavily regulated banking sector and private landlords are now in his sights. He has stepped too far away from the New Labour position that markets can be harnessed to progressive outcomes. At times, he appears to be fighting his campaign in the style of France’s François Hollande in 2012. True, Mr Hollande secured victory but at the price of a weak economy and an exodus of talent, often to London.

At this delicate moment, the best outcome would be a continuation of the 2010 coalition between the Conservatives and Lib Dems… The country would benefit from the countervailing force of Lib Dem moderation at Westminster. In seats where the Lib Dems are the incumbent or the main challenger, we would vote tactically for them.

Ultimately, however, there is only one leader and one party that can head the government. There are risks in re-electing Mr Cameron’s party, especially on Europe. But there are greater risks in not doing so. Its instincts on the economy, business and reform of public services are broadly right. Mr Miliband has not offered a credible economic prospectus and would apply a brake on enterprise. In the circumstances, the FT would like to see a Conservative-led administration.”

You read it here first

Economist Backs Tory-Led Coalition

“Mr Miliband believes that living standards are squeezed because markets are rigged—and that the government can step in to fix them. He would freeze prices while “reviewing” energy markets, clamp down on the most flexible “zero-hour” labour contracts and limit rent rises. Along with this suspicion of private markets is an aversion to competition in the public sector, leading to proposals for, say, a cap on profit margins when private companies contract to provide services for the NHS.

Mr Miliband is fond of comparing his progressivism to that of Teddy Roosevelt, America’s trustbusting president. But the comparison is false. Rather than using the state to boost competition, Mr Miliband wants a heavier state hand in markets—which betrays an ill-founded faith in the ingenuity and wisdom of government. Even a brief, limited intervention can cast a lasting pall over investment and enterprise—witness the 75% income-tax rate of France’s president, François Hollande. The danger is all the greater because a Labour government looks fated to depend on the SNP, which leans strongly to the left.

On May 7th voters must weigh the certainty of economic damage under Labour against the possibility of a costly EU exit under the Tories. With Labour, the likely partnership with the SNP increases the risk. For the Tories, a coalition with the Lib Dems would reduce it. On that calculus, the best hope for Britain is with a continuation of a Conservative-led coalition. That’s why our vote is for Mr Cameron.”

Paving the way for the FT?

The Sun Opposes Labour

And the Scottish Sun endorses the SNP:

BBC Jumps on Guardian’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Bandwagon

beeb logo

BBC Environment Correspondent Helen Briggs has an explainer article out today on the pros and cons of the campaign to get people to divest from oil and gas companies. The piece could easily have been part of the Guardian’s own fossil fuels divestment coverage launched this month.

The ‘scientific’ viewpoint on divestment is dealt with in one sentence:

Scientific studies show that existing fossil fuel reserves are several times greater than can be burned if the world’s governments are to fulfil their pledge to keep global warming below the limit of 2C regarded as the threshold of dangerous climate change.

Just read Helen’s conclusion and see if you can tell which side of the ‘lets screw over the third world by forcing them to keep cooking over wood stoves’ debate she stands on…

“One view is that the recent drop in oil prices presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for governments to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and introduce a price on carbon. This generally goes against government thinking and concern over job losses in the oil and gas industry. With the divestment campaign gathering pace – and momentum building for the Paris climate talks in December – there is renewed hope among campaigners. But with environmental policies getting little attention in the UK election, and coal, oil and gas companies continuing to spend billions on exploration, NGOs are already upping their rhetoric in calling for renewed government efforts over climate change.”

Fair and balanced…

New IPSO Director Fits the Stereotype

Press regulator IPSO’s new Director of External Affairs is Niall Duffy, the latest appointment to join the team working under Sir Alan Moses. You might think impartiality would be part of the job description for an independent press regulator, but […]

+ READ MORE +

Suzanne Speaks on “So Embarrassing” Gaffe

Suzanne Evans’ Krishnan-Faisal gaffe has made it on to the Daily Politics:

“Can you put some name badges on?” UKIP’s deputy chairman asked Brillo and JoCo…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Suzanne Evans Confuses Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Faisal Islam

If you are a UKIP spokesman doing an interview about your party’s problems with racism, you probably should try not to confuse Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy with Sky News’ inimitable Faisal Islam.

Yet, spectacularly, that is what Suzanne Evans did […]

+ READ MORE +

Biased BBC Election Website At It Again

Here’s the BBC election website at the opening of play this morning. It’s a Labour wet dream:

Labour’s lines and policies feature prominently and are completely unquestioned.

The only mention of the Tories links back to an ancient story about […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris tells the Sun:

“I think it’s a measure of his desperation, isn’t it, that yesterday we had one of the most absurd political spectacles that this country has ever seen. Not since the Tsar and Tsarina prostrated themselves and asked for economic guidance from Grigori Rasputin, has there been such a ridiculous political pilgrimages as the mission of Ed Miliband – the heir of Keir Hardie for heavens sake – to seek economic guidance from Russell Brand.”

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