Tuesday, June 24, 2014

WATCH: Miliband: “This Taints Cameron’s Government”

“I think David Cameron has very, very serious questions to answer because we now know that he brought a criminal into the heart of Downing Street. David Cameron was warned about Andy Coulson, the evidence mounted up against Andy Coulson, David Cameron must have had his suspicions about Andy Coulson, and yet he refused to act.

I believe this isn’t just a serious error of judgement, this taints David Cameron’s government because we now know that he put his relationship with Rupert Murdoch ahead of doing the right thing when it came to Andy Coulson. I think David Cameron must do much more than an apology, he owes the country an explanation for why he did not act on these allegations against Andy Coulson, why as the evidence piled up he didn’t do anything, and he’s got to explain.”

Roll on PMQs tomorrow…

Monday, June 23, 2014

COMPETITION: Why Would You Want to Work for Ed Miliband?

While the Tories seem to prefer not to pay their interns, Ed Miliband is offering the ‘living wage’ – £8.80 an hour – to hire a “parliamentary apprentice”. Candidates are required to send a cover letter answering, in no more than than 250 words:

“what interests you about working for the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP?”

Guido thought he would put the question to his readers, so leave your 250 word response (or there abouts) in the comments. The wittiest entry will win a bacon sandwich…

Pic via @generalboles.

SKETCH: What Happened to Ed’s New Welfare Pledge?

Readers may remember the Labour’s chief Conehead promised last week that industrious parental units would be rewarded by a government of the Left, but young feckless, jobless, unqualified cones would be kicked about a bit, in the way that Tory voters like.

The daring initiative had a difficult start. Before the speech there was World Cup action. After the speech, the Labour press office announced that every voter would be given a free owl. Guido’s joke (ring Labour on 28 28 20) got as much coverage as the policy bombshell.

But stop it. Settle down. Be serious. Let us practise grown-up commentary. How is this bold, one nation, predistributional policy faring, longer term?

It was Work and Pensions questions this afternoon. Just the opportunity to pitch the new message into the parliamentary arena.

The policy was completely, comprehensively ignored by the Labour front bench. Shadow minister after shadow minister stood up to say, “Our leadership isn’t worth listening to, let alone arguing for, let alone supporting. We have ambition, we have purpose, we will make our own way in the post-Miliband utopia we glimpse ahead.”

(more…)

Former Miliband Insider Defects to the Government

In yesterday’s Sun on Sunday column Guido exclusively revealed that Ed Miliband’s former speechwriter Phil Taylor has sensationally defected to the government, becoming a political adviser to LibDem justice minister Simon Hughes. Taylor, who worked at the heart of Miliband’s leadership campaign in 2010, tells Guido he believes it would be “a disaster” if his old boss Ed wins a majority in 2015, because Labour’s economic policy is “nonsense”. Lifting the lid on the divisions at the top of the party, Taylor says Labour is still blighted by “Gordon Brown type leadership”, warning that “Miliband­-Balls is just as bad as the Blair-­Brown era, everything has to be agreed by both of them and signed off by both of them. Miliband is too weak to stand up for himself.” Taylor is an experienced Westminster operator having advised ministers in the last Labour government and serving in opposition as a spin­doctor for shadow cabinet minister Maria Eagle until earlier this year. He blames the Shadow Chancellor for Labour’s woes: “I fell out with Ed Balls because Labour’s economic policy is nonsense. I tried to push through policies on cuts but Balls blocked them.

20140623-092932-34172565.jpg

Elsewhere, it’s a Code Red Save Ed situation in the rest of the weekend papers. The Sunday Times is particularly brutal, quoting one of Miliband’s inner circle, when asked what they would do if he became PM, as replying: “I’d get the hell out of there as fast as I could“. A Labour frontbencher twists the knife: “We communicate in a language most people neither speak nor understand“. Meanwhile in the Express a Labour MP reports “It is back to the Michael Foot era, if not worse, in terms of capability and the ability to lead” while in the Guardian a frontbencher warns “We are at the mercy of Brown people who lost it for us last time“. Labour spinners like John McTernan are insisting in a panglossian way that Miliband is the victim of “bullying” from his enemies in the press, despite the most damaging quotes coming from Labour insiders…

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Joined Up Policy Thinking From Labour

Labour’s policy announcement this morning has been lost in the parliament of owls, but something is still bugging Guido. Why are the party promising to create a new Youth Allowance for unemployed young people? They don’t need one because they’ve already promised a Jobs Guarantee for every unemployed young person.

This jobs guarantee is compulsory.

It’s even called the Compulsory Jobs Guarantee.

Today’s policy is about benefit sanctions for those young people out of work, but why do they need that when they’ve already promised to guarantee everyone a job?

We’re Owlright: The Best Ed Miliband Owl Tweets

This afternoon, the Labour Party press office tweeted this:

The internet reacted beautifully:

What a hoot.

McBride: Ed’s Team Are Not Election Winners

Damian McBride is back and blogging for the first time in almost a year, giving both barrels to Miliband’s inner circle. Stewart Wood look away now:

“There are many positive things to say about the people managing Ed Miliband’s operation and running Labour’s campaign. They are well-spoken, well-read, well-connected, and if you stay on their right side, quite genial. You’d feel safe sitting them next to your mum at a wedding.
 
But what they are not is fighters. They will never give their press team and foot-soldiers the ammunition required to win the next 40 weeks in the media and on the doorstep, not just because they lack an understanding of what might do the trick, but also an appreciation of why doing so matters. Not when they could be attending a Thomas Piketty symposium instead.
 
Just like David Cameron, Ed Miliband has been guilty of recruiting his innermost circle of advisers entirely in his own image. That’s alright in peacetime if it helps him shape his political philosophy and refine his personal blueprint for government. It might even be OK if basking in a large majority in office.
 
But with an election to win – an election Labour can win – Ed urgently needs to add some ‘wartime consiglieres’ to the mix, not in place of the very capable and trusted people he’s got, but working alongside them…

Ed Miliband’s Labour party is genuinely blessed with countless advisers, MPs and top shadow ministers who not only – to quote Patton again – “love the sting and clash of battle”, but know exactly what war needs to be fought and won each week of the year ahead. The problem is that none of them are currently managing Ed Miliband’s operation or leading Labour’s campaign. And that needs fixing fast.”

It’s almost a job application…

SKETCH: That Miliband Speech in Full

“Greetings earthlings. Voters. Citizens. Please select appropriate honorific.

“Yesterday, I talked to Danny at the Job Centre. I said to Danny, ‘Tell me, Danny, has the Job Centre been good enough in getting you training?’

‘It’s been completely useless.’

“Completely useless, eh? There you have it, the Job Centre has broken the bargain. Shall we destroy them? That is the tough decision we shall be right to take. Because the country has broken the bargain too. It’s supposed to be working for you, and is it? I have answered my own question. It’s not good enough. Some say I’m not good enough for Britain, but neither is Britain.

“So what do? Is this the question?  A big problem needs a big solution. My first solution was Predistribution. This was such a big solution it had five syllables. But it was not enough. Britain deserved more. Contributionariness is two syllables longer and yet it does not cost extra. Its revenue-neutrality sends a message that we are facing up to tough decisions as Britain deserves.

“So we shall abolish Job Seekers’ Allowances for young people and replace it with Job Trainers’ Allowance worth the same aggregate of monetary units. The cost of living crisis will be addressed by this long-term economic plan. And the evil Tory hegemony shall be destroyed. It is the right thing to do and right to do it we are. Thank you. Good night. I shall return.”

Tories Troll Miliband IPPR Speech

Ed is at the IPPR this morning giving a speech to launch the Labour wonk-shop’s latest “independent” report on the ‘Condition of Britain’. The EU-funded think tank enjoys charitable status, so of course they would be very careful not to breach Charity Commission rules which specifically prohibit “any purpose directed at furthering the interests of any political party”, wouldn’t they? Apart from all that work done by IPPR that has been commissioned by the Shadow Cabinet. Tory MP Charlie Elphicke has this morning grassed them up to the Charity Commission and also written to the Electoral Commission over Labour’s failure to declare all the work done for them by IPPR as a donation-in-kind.

And now the television feed is down. Going well then.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ed Smashes His Negative Polling Record, Slumps Below Clegg
Osborne’s Shock Positive Approval Rating Grows

Ed Miliband has hit his lowest ever personal rating by gold-standard pollsters ICM for the Guardian. The Labour leader has dropped 14 points in the last month to -39, below even Nick Clegg, who has a rating of -37. Cameron has lost last month’s positive rating of +2, dropping to -5, though Osborne has seen an increase in his own rating from +5 to +6.

The force is strong in that one.


Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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