Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Awkward Ed Miliband White House Moments

Ed arrived at the White House last night hoping President Obama might take a moment out of dealing with several world crises to help him with his election campaign:

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The Labour leader got his 25 minute ‘brush-by’ with the President. This was the least bad photo:

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They discussed Ukraine, Gaza, the EU and the economy. Just over six minutes each subject.

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What was in Stewart Wood’s bag? Surely not a gift from the Commons shop. Fortunately he just went for some DVDs, including House of Cards. The British version, obviously.

Ed didn’t exactly look comfortable:

Of course, within minutes the internet had delivered its verdict:

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Well at least it went better than Gordon, just…

Monday, July 21, 2014

What is Happening to Miliband in the White House Right Now

Washington Unmoved By Miliband Visit

There is no mention of Ed Miliband’s unscheduled ‘brush-by’ with President Obama in Mike Allen’s Playbook, the morning round up of anything going on in Washington that matters to anyone who is anybody in Washington. Sebastian Payne at the Post reports that Ed is scheduled to meet national security adviser Susan Rice this afternoon, officially the White House pointedly says there is “nothing to announce on the president’s schedule”. Presumably at this point Obama will drop in, if he doesn’t have a world war to avoid. Damian McBride, recounting the President’s five snubs of Gordon Brown and subsequent humiliating chat in a kitchen, has his fingers crossed:

“Team Miliband will have left nothing to chance before their man’s meeting at the White House today. For starters, they will have ensured he gets at least as much ceremony and time as David Cameron enjoyed in his first visit to President Bush as leader of the opposition. Aides will have their stopwatches out, ready to squash any suggestion that Mr Miliband was given less time than he was due…

The reality is that every presidential summit, visit, brush-by, drop-in, and walk-and-talk is nowadays so stage-managed that only someone as afflicted by bad luck as Gordon Brown could ever come a cropper. Provided Obama turns up and the White House doesn’t serve bacon sandwiches, today’s meeting will be the diplomatic equivalent of the speaking clock.”

Miliband’s intellectual henchman Stewart Wood was responsible for White House relations under Gordon Brown, surely he will ensure that this time there is no screw up. Interestingly McBride names Dougie Alexander as the source of the leak of the ‘five snubs’ story back in 2009. Which goes some way to explain the enmity between him and Michael Dugher, then Brown’s comms chief…

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…)


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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