Thursday, April 17, 2014

Austin Mitchell Resignation Confirms Guido Story, Despite Denial
Guardian Scrub Report of Miliband Seat Stitch Up From Website

Labour’s Austin Mitchell has announced via YouTube that he is standing down in 2015. However, this was well known after Guido revealed it was on the cards in the Sun back in January. At the time Mitchell said:

With a more lucid quote given to the local press:

“There is no truth in it. I haven’t said anything to anyone about stepping down. That will be decided by me and the local party which will meet to discuss it and nothing will be done or decided until then. I don’t know who has been shouting their mouth off. It could be an attempt to try to discredit the unions, but I am totally mystified. Meanwhile, I am getting better and am feeling younger and more vigorous.”

Bizarrely the original Guardian report about Mitchell’s announcement, published at 19.48 last night, included details of how Labour and the unions are stitching up the seat for former Miliband apparatchik Melanie Onn. By 21.10 history had been re-written and the intrigue had disappeared from the Guardian’s website. Regular readers will remember that Guido also revealed the details of this plot back at the beginning of the year:

“Austin Mitchell isn’t going to be running again in Grimsby and all the stops are being pulled out to secure the seat for former Labour HQ staffer Melanie Onn. Miraculously Onn was given a cosy regional campaigning role with Unison. Labour insiders say she got the gig at Ed’s personal request. That must be Ed’s promised ‘new, more open politics’ in action.”

So who got on the blower to shut that one down?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unite Annual Report Mocks Ed’s “Seismic” Reforms

In February Ed Miliband promised “seismic changes” to Labour’s relationship with the trade unions, vowing that reforming the unions’ grip on the party would be “bigger than Clause IV“. Red Len’s baby mama Jennie Formby, Unite’s meritocratic political director, explains how that is going in their political report for the last year. Firstly she calls Ed’s reforms “a distraction that nobody wanted”, before confirming that it’s business as usual for Unite.

Describing the Labour politicians in the union’s pocket as “Unite MPs”, Formby reveals how Unite have successfully lobbied Labour MPs to raise issues in the House, going as far as influencing voting:

“Chair of the TU Group of MPs, Ian Lavery, secured time for a 10 Minute Rule Bill on the Bedroom Tax and we worked hard both with Ian and with the Labour Party to get them to impose a three line whip on this.”

She admits “we have been involved in discussing a number of other issues with MPs in order to build support for key issues” including welfare, the NHS and low pay. And, ironically, the Lobbying Bill. 

In a section titled “parliamentary selections” Formby reports target seats are now nearly completed” but “we wait for retirements in other seats”. There is also a new “candidate training programme”, where “successful candidates will be expected to give a commitment to participate in all the training modules” and will be “judged” on their suitability to be an MP on important issues to constituents such as “commitment to working class values of the Trade Union” and “active membership of the union”How’s that seismic change-y thing working out for ya, Ed? 

* Do nothing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Ed, the Final Victim of Miller’s Resignation

Six questions on Maria Miller’s resignation, or five questions and a peroration.

Is that what’s meant by “holding the Executive to account”? It’s just as well Recall isn’t in place, Ed’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

He fired five blanks, got two potshots off and finished with a summary of his discontent in four disjointed sentences. Viz:

1) “He just doesn’t get it.” (Did someone shout Bingo?)

2) “He needs to learn profound lessons about how he runs his Government.” (Does he? From this, the passing zephyr of an insignificant minister?)

3) “The Culture Secretary went not because of her bad conduct but because of her bad press.” (This must have been a line left over from the pre-PMQs planning session.)

4) “He promised in Opposition to be an apostle for better standards and he’s spent the last week being an apologist for unacceptable behaviour.” (It was the big line. Apostle/apologist. Ed put the ass in assonance.)

It wasn’t an easy topic, and while friends and foes will have different reactions, objective observers will agree the Leader of HM’s Opposition made a complete **** of himself. Too strong? A complete @£$% of himself.

(more…)

Ed “Westland” Miliband Misses Open Goal

Britain deserves better than this.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Balls Loses Another Internal Labour Battle

Ed’s snoozefest about local government infrastructure reorganisation in Birmingham today has not set the world on fire, despite the protestations of his adoring fans:

There is one interesting thing to note though, this is yet another nail in the Ed Balls coffin. As Rawnsley deigned to tell us a week or so ago, Balls has been fighting the local devolution policy, which he described as a “profound and important fault-line with big implications for how Labour might govern”. On one side of the fight was Cruddas, Andonis and Byrne with opposition “coming from more conventionally-minded types on both left and right”. Like Balls:

“Ed Balls is regarded as a key figure in this debate. There is a traditional Treasury objection to loosening the reins of control, which is almost invariably shared by chancellors and would-be chancellors.”

Well Miliband sided against Balls. Again…

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kim Jong Ed

Steve Richards has written in the New Statesman about the mood of paranoia and suspicion around Ed Miliband. His fearfully supportive team resembles the North Korean inner circle daring not to offer even constructive criticism of their dear leader:

“Miliband’s staff are loyal to him personally but in their determined or fearful supportiveness there is little space for critical candour. Nearly all those who work for Miliband are dependent on his patronage. He chose them and they are pleased to be close to him. They do not want to say things that he does not want to hear. The contrast with Tony Blair’s office is marked. Blair had to plead with Alastair Campbell to join him, going out to see him while Campbell was on holiday in France as part of the energetic wooing process. Campbell could be brutally candid because he knew Blair wanted him so much. Other advisers, such as Peter Mandelson, had been senior to Blair in the 1980s. They, too, could be ruthlessly or constructively critical, sometimes both. This does not happen very much in Miliband’s office; indeed, the opposite can happen. I am told that sometimes his staff applaud him when he returns from making a mediocre speech.”

Shame he doesn’t have the cult of personality to go with it…

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Muppet Miliband and Balls

“You know what Mr Speaker, I will take a lecture from almost anyone in the country about the sale of Royal Mail, but not from the two muppets who advised the last Chancellor on selling the gold.”

An attack lined ruined only by the manifesto blunder by the PM – Dave claimed Labour promised to privatise the Royal Mail – actually they were going to part privatise it and keep the majority shareholding in the government’s hands.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Arnie: I Won’t Be Back

Arnie Graf has left the building. As a casualty of the ongoing internal Labour Party power struggles, Ed Miliband’s illegal foreign-worker community organiser has organised himself out of the community. The party are saying they haven’t sacked Graf, but as the Mail on Sunday reports, he’s nowhere to be seen:

“Mr Graf’s own credibility suffered a hammer blow when it was revealed he was in the UK without a work permit. The leak came shortly after he crossed swords with Mr Alexander.”

Dan Hodges has more. Graf had admitted to working in Britain for the Labour Party, despite not having the required paperwork. Bye…

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ed Gets Up, Close and Personal With Small Biz

Well there is at least one small business owner left in the country who likes Labour.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

True Scale of Labour Welfare Rebellion was Closer to 50

In reality, the rebellion from Labour over the welfare the cap was was much higher than just the 13 MPs who defied Ed’s whip. Taking out the Deputy Speakers, a further 37 Labour MPs abstained in the vote yesterday. Taking the total number of Labour MPs not backing the welfare cap to 50.

The list is peppered with hard lefties, yet notable abstentions include Tristram Hunt and Liam Byrne, who has talked the tough welfare game in the past:

  1. Abrahams, Debbie
  2. Anderson, Dave
  3. Barron, Kevin
  4. Bayley, Hugh
  5. Byrne, Liam
  6. Cryer, John
  7. Cunningham, Tony
  8. Donohoe, Brian
  9. Glass, Pat
  10. Godsiff, Roger
  11. Greenwood, Lilian
  12. Hamilton, Fabian
  13. Heyes, David
  14. Hunt, Tristram
  15. Kaufman, Gerald
  16. Lavery, Ian
  17. Mahmood, Khalid
  18. Mccann, Michael
  19. Mcgovern, Alison
  20. Mcgovern, Jim
  21. Meacher, Michael
  22. Meale, Alan
  23. Mearns, Ian
  24. Mitchell, Austin
  25. Morris, Grahame
  26. O’Donnell, Fiona
  27. Owen, Albert
  28. Pearce, Teresa
  29. Phillipson, Bridget
  30. Seabeck, Alison
  31. Sheridan, Jim
  32. Spellar, John
  33. Thomas, Gareth R
  34. Vaz, Keith
  35. Williamson, Chris
  36. Winnick, David

The member of for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was also absent.


Seen Elsewhere

Guido’s Column | Sun
NUT’s Loony Defence of Status Quo | Jago Pearson
A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV


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Kevin Maguire on the less than electrifying Ed Miliband…

“I bet if you went into a pub tonight and started a conversation about ­politics you’d hear strong opinions. David Cameron would be out of touch and Nick Clegg despised while Nigel Farage would divide people sharply. Miliband? In a lot of boozers he’d be the fourth most interesting man in British politics.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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