Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Craig Oliver Image Success

Tory MPs first clocked something was  up when Rachel Reeves almost sat on Ed Balls’ knee to try and squeeze into shot on the Labour front-bench, along with Harman and Caroline “window dressing” Flint. A nice distraction trick for Ed to point out Cameron’s woman problem, but can only really be used once. Still, it’s not like the Downing Street director of communications has a background in TV management or anything…

Pic via @suttonnick

Friday, January 31, 2014

Richest Hit Hardest Since Recession

Miliband wowed us all with the stunning originality of his attack on Cameron at PMQs this week:

“With every answer, the Prime Minister shows who he stands up for: a few at the top, not the ordinary families of Britain. That is the truth. This is a country where, after four years of this Government, people are worse off. This is a Prime Minister who has already given those at the top, millionaires, a £100,000 tax cut, and he wants to give them another one. He can only govern for the few; he can never govern for the many.”

Which fits cutely into Ed’s increasingly dull narrative. Buried within the spin about today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies numbers is the proof that, whatever Ed wants to believe, the richest have been hit hardest. The wealthiest decile have seen their incomes fall by 9% since the recession, while by comparison the poorest decile have suffered a relatively smaller drop of 2.4%. Add that to the richest paying more in tax than they did under Labour and Ed’s line falls apart. Guido does not agree with the Tories line that taking more in tax from the rich is something to be proud of, though it makes a mockery of Labour’s attacks either way…

Have Your SayAnother thing to take away from the report is that the IFS data model also supports the emerging consensus that the “cost of living crisis” is coming to an end and barely touched those on inflation indexed benefits. Whilst those famous hardworking voters saw a real terms decrease in spending power, Labour’s core shirking voters saw no real terms fall in spending power on Benefits Street until this year’s reforms.

It was way past the time that the Tories made good on their promise that work would always pay better than benefits… 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Have You Seen This Man?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hard Graf: Catch 22 for the Guru

Chris Bryant’s Rivers of Blunder immigration speech last summer outlined Labour’s tough new approach to tackling the problem of people working in Britain illegally. He vowed:

“We need to make it easier to bring prosecutions; Labour will double the fines for minimum wage breaches and for illegal employment of illegal migrants… Labour will put forward serious proposals to tackle illegal entry. I want to see more companies providing assurances and demonstrating what they are doing to train and recruit local staff, rather than… bringing in workers in from abroad.”

How many unemployed British Labour gurus were overlooked when the job was given to Graf?

Labour are arguing this morning that Miliband guru Arnie Graf “is not employed by the Labour Party”, despite admitting they “reimburse him for lost earnings”, and directly contradicting Graf’s own confession that he works for the party. Either Graf is not paid a wage, does not pay income tax and so Labour reimbursing his earnings has serious tax implications, or they are paying him a wage and he is working here illegally. Which is it, General Secretary?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miliband Using Unison to Fix Grimsby Seat for Melanie Onn
Stitch-Up For Austin Mitchell Seat Before He Even Resigns

Dozens of Labour MPs are expected to quit before the next election yet even before they’ve gone the stitching-up of seats has begun. Ed Miliband claims he wants to weaken the union hold over his party, yet he’s happy to play their games when an ally is involved. Guido is expecting an announcement that Labour MP 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.

Back at Labour HQ, increasingly isolated General Secretary Iain McNicol does not enjoy the confidence of Ed Miliband. Since the arrival of Spencer Livermore,  McNicol has been further sidelined. Bored of spending lots of his time touring constituency branches to keep him out of harm’s way in Labour HQ, he is now insisting on being involved in campaign planning meetings. This has proved somewhat irritating to Livermore who wants him out, something to which Miliband is sympathetic. McNicol, who owes his appointment to union votes on the party’s National Executive Committee, is now calling in favours from his union friends to make sure his position is secure against him being pushed out. Given the unions pay Labour HQ’s wages this means Ed Miliband may not get his way. So much for redefining that relationship…

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ed Miliband: The Man Who Hated Bitter

And now we know why he doesn’t go to the pub

Friday, January 17, 2014

SKETCH: Ed – I Am A Leader, Just Watch

So we move further into the new phase of Miliband’s leadership – the phase of I Am A Leader, Just Watch.

He launched the new product to widespread mockery at PMQs this week with his sadder-but-wiser quiet voice.

Today, he turned up the volume.

“Friends,” he began. And two-thirds of his TV audience left the room. Even his allies don’t count him a friend.

Too remote. Too odd. Too made up.

Not to say that he hasn’t improved over the last year. Transcending the plasticine, stop-frame caricature he has achieved human form. A powerful, single-minded, self-possessed four-year-old. No longer Gromit, he’s Max in Where the Wild Things Are.

Dressed in a wild wolf onesie he points at the roaring, gnashing capitalists who flash their teeth and claws at him while realizing they are better than that and that hardworking people deserve more and they are tamed by the power of love, friends, and carry worried mums and dads around on their backs, playfully.

You don’t think that’s a proper manifesto? It’s better than Michael Foot’s.

The Miliband manner: Mouth more under control, still some writhing at the edges, some wind tunnel effects when excited. But no drooling at all, not even foam. The fingers flash about but come to rest decorously, steepled. He had learnt his words and practised his moves, but he can’t be said to be inhabited with them, as leaders properly are. It’s all a bit put together.

The matter: Risible as ever, but with a harsh undertone in the observers’ laughter. So, not as genially comic as Predistribution or Predators vs Producers.

The big idea is two more banks.

Two! More! Banks!

Three things.

If Gordon Brown hadn’t pushed HBOS and Lloyds together, and if Labour’s pet bank the Co-op hadn’t been chaired by a raving drug fiend there would even now be Two! More! Banks!

Second: He wants to dismantle big commercial entities into smaller, more competitive units. But this is what capitalism does as a matter of course. It is the business model for private equity, short-sellers, asset-strippers, hostile take-over pros. Miliband is putting himself up as a predator. What a noodle he is. Mind you, he knocked a billion off the banks’ cap just by talking about them so he’s not entirely without teeth.

Third: He said that lending to small business is woefully inadequate. It may or may not be. We do know, however, that a proximate cause of the sub-prime mortgage market was politicians demanding lenders make loans to bad credit risks.

Responsible capitalism via irresponsible capitalism. Only Ed Miliband.

IoD Sniff at Ed’s Big Speech

Unsurprisingly business leaders weren’t impressed with Ed’s speech either. Institute of Directors boss Simon Walker has his say:

“The state has a very poor history of creating competition in banking. The last time the Government told a bank what to do, Lloyds was ordered to sell branches to Rev. Flowers, and we all know how that ended.”

Wounder.

Ed’s Speech – the Reaction

Developing…

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WATCH: Maths With Miliband

Doh!

With thanks to the must-follow @liarpoliticians for the footage.

Seen Elsewhere

Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice
Why Britain Needs to Leave the EU | Douglas Carswell
Who Tells Ed When He’s Wrong? | Speccie
Hands Off Our Cojones, Mr Clegg | Laura Perrins
London Live Averaging Just 2,400 Viewers | Forbes
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome


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Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:

“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


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