Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WATCH: Miliband and Harman Divided on Tax

Look closely at the contrasting reactions of Miliband and Harman to Cameron’s PMQs ambush. Dave reads Harman’s words back to her: “I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes”. Miliband looks at Harman, then turns back towards the PM, shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively. Harman, meanwhile, nods and says, “they should… it’s true”. Cameron doesn’t realise, but the Tories behind him do.

The Labour leader and his deputy are completely at odds…

UPDATE: The contrast is even more evident in GIF form:

The Death of the ‘Squeezed Middle’
Miliband Ambushed By More Harman Comments

The last PMQs before the summer break is one of the most important of the year, as it leaves a lasting impression about the leaders before MPs disappear off for the summer to stew. Poor Ed.

Miliband was just ambushed by Cameron on Harriet Harman’s comments to LBC that she thinks middle income earners should pay more tax. She’s having a great week…

Unsurprisingly, the audio is now being pushed out:

‘Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’

According to Ed, pointing this out the death of the ‘squeeze middle’ line is ‘desperate’. Expect to hear this line a lot more. Nightmare last outing before the long, hot summer…

UPDATE: The in-house journal of the Labour Party are not impressed:

Nor is the Tory press:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kinnock: Yes, Ed is Weird

Neil Kinnock tried to do his natural heir a favour this afternoon, giving an interview to Labour Uncut offering Miliband his support. Somewhat unfortunate, then, that the only really quotable part of the piece is the moment when he calls him weird:

“Ed is gutsy, brainy and as cool as hell. There’s all this stuff in the press, ‘Is Ed weird?’ Well, yes he’s weird, but then so was so was Churchill and Wilson, and Thatcher was the weirdest of the lot. I guess leadership produces some ‘oddness!’”

Kinnock argues that “the press is focused on [Ed's] destruction which certainly compares, if not exceeds, my own experience”. Not exactly helpful that he’s now joined those providing the ammunition…

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ed Miliband: I’ve Got My Eyes on You

Mesmerised Ed got lost in Yvette’s words as she spoke at the despatch box earlier. Well, he was checking something out anyway. Guido thought he would put their touching moment to music:

“You’re everything that I see…”

It Was Meant to Be a Joke

As revealed by Guido yesterday – and followed up on the front-pages today – government files relating to Diego Garcia and rendition have mysteriously suffered from flood damage.

Co-conspirators point out, this excuse is hardly watertight.

As Yes, Minister puts it:

“It is possible to remove everything of significance from a file released under the 30-year rule by saying that it is complete except for: 
a. A small number of secret documents. 
b. A few documents which are part of still active files.
c. Some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967.
d. Some records which went astray in the move to London.
e. Other records which went astray when the Department was reorganized.
f. The normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel of breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.”

Appropriately, Sir Humprey’s quote is from an episode called Skeleton in the Cupboard.

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

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

Redwood Exposes Constitutional Vandalism | Nick Wood
No Campaign Has Been Inept | Mail
PM Faces Friday Bloodbath | Mail
Will Miliband Bottle English Devolution? | Mary Riddell
Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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