Thursday, December 15, 2011

As Polls Plummet New Labour Control Freakery Returning

Michael Dugher was until recently Ed Miliband’s PPS, he wants to beEd’s Mandelson and is clearly keen on enforcing “the line”. However implausible it may be.

Yesterday’s Post-PMQs collective head-in-hands moment by the left-wing commentariat really has upset the dwindling Miliband true-believers. LabourList editor Mark Ferguson, who yesterday implicitly called for Ayesha Hazariki to be sacked (PMQs Verdict: Cut the Gags, Ed), is only reflecting what the Labour grassroots are saying in private. According to YouGov only 8% of Labour voters think Ed Miliband is a natural leader. Enforcing New Labour style discipline on propaganda isn’t going to change that fact.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dolly and Mandy Reunited

Mandelson told a Progress faction seminar at Portcullis House last night some home truths. “People will not support further tax and spend unless they can see clear value for money. Further enlarging public sector employment is not an option in the coming decade and we need to look to the real economy, to the private business sector, to deliver sufficient numbers of decently paid skilled jobs.”*

Among the Blairite acolytes (Rentoul was in the chair) was Guido’s old friend Dolly Draper. Westminster is seeing too much of Dolly. Mandelson told the Progress crowd “If I talk about the past it is to learn from it, not to go back to it.”

We can but hope…

*A co-conspirator points out that in an oddly Orwellian piece of censorship this “money quote” is missing from the official report on the Progress website.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How Liam Byrne Could Help the “Squeezed Middle”

Liam Byrne says that the “squeezed middle” are those on between £16,000 to £50,000 and Labour’s task in reviewing policy is to help them. Guido is glad to hear it. Presumably he would therefore support those struggling on middle incomes being taken out of the higher-rate tax bracket, which kicks in at a ridiculously low £37,401? That is smack bang in the middle of the range he defines, surely it should kick in at £50,001, above the income levels of those hard squeezed middle classes. C’mon Liam, review that policy…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Red Ed The Taste of a New Generation

Red Ed’s speech is going to be, in the words of one who had seen a draft of it yesterday, “vacuous” and full of talk of a “new generation”. It will be a saccharine speech sharing not just a slogan with Pepsi, its content will also be sugary and vague, without New Labour’s ideologically bitter edge. Red Ed is the synthetic taste of New New Labour…

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Miliband Disses Brown Again

David Miliband is being less and less coded in his criticism of Brown, by New Labour’s standards of neo-Leninist loyalty these muted criticisms of the past are pretty strong. Following on from his Keir Hardie speech it looks increasingly like he and Mandelson intend to bury Brown and his allies with the historical truth.

UPDATE : The Blairite plot thickens, Tony himself is letting it be known that contrary to reports, “I specifically have said to all who have asked that I’m NOT angry!” that Mandy’s book is out. Let the bloodletting begin…

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is this Labour’s Khrushchev Moment of Truth?

When Rawnsley’s The End of the Party book came out in January on the heels of Peter Watt’s Inside Out and the allegations of Prime Mentalism committed by Gordon Brown were again denied, Guido predicted that Labour Will Have a Khrushchev Moment of Truth in the End:

When Brown has gone after the election it seems inevitable that we will eventually have a Khrushchev moment, where a senior Labour figure articulates what everyone knows.  It will be devastating.  Gordon Brown is a malevolent, deeply damaged and unpleasant human being.  He is at the centre of a culture of political bullying that has been unhealthy for the Labour Party and the government.  The loyalist cabal around him are unpleasant people who have no place in a healthy political culture, they are as secretive and malicious as they are vindictive and vicious.

Gordon Brown was often compared to Stalin, but who will be Labour’s senior Krushchev figure who condemns the previous regime? Mandelson has laid to rest any continuing pretence (if there was any) about the TeeBeeGeeBees, the vicious infighting that paralysed Whitehall for a decade, yet was denied on camera in barefaced lying by Labour politician after Labour politician, including Mandelson. Mandelson is getting all the coverage for his book The Third Man highlighting the failings of Gordon Brown. Less focus is on David Miliband, Mandelson’s new protege gave a speech yesterday that comes near to that Krushchev moment

I agreed completely with Gordon Brown, when he became Prime Minister in 2007, that we needed renewal.  I supported and voted for him.  I agreed that we needed greater moral seriousness and less indifference to the excesses of a celebrity drenched culture.  I agreed with him when he said that we needed greater coherence as a government, particularly in relation to child poverty and equality.  I agreed with him on the importance of party reform and a meaningful internationalism that would be part of a unified government strategy.  I agreed that we needed a civic morality to champion civility when confronting a widespread indifference to others. But, it didn’t happen. It was not just more of the same.  Far from correcting them failings – tactics, spin, high-handedness – intensified; and we lost many of our strengths – optimism born of clear strategy, bold plans for change and reform, a compelling articulation of aspiration and hope.  We did not succeed in renewing ourselves in office; and the roots of that failure were deep not recent, about procedure and openness, or lack of it, as much as policy.  That is a political fact and now words are cheap but the stakes are high.

It was a backhanded condemnation of Brown’s failure. If David Miliband wants Labour to move on, a frank, uncoded, reflection on the period of Labour brutalism is required. Brown was a disaster for the Labour Party and the country, if Miliband wants a reborn Labour Party he first has to bury Brown in the truth.

UPDATE : Punters give David Miliband a 63% chance of being the next Labour leader.

Friday, February 19, 2010

+ + + Sky: Purnell Standing Down at GE + + +

Sunday, June 7, 2009

+++ Source : Purnell Organising Drinks Party Monday Night +++

Target GordonIn the circumstances it will be viewed with suspicion by Brown central that he is organising a drinks party at Manchester town hall to coincide with the meeting of the PLP on Monday night. Is Purnell  expecting to have something to celebrate?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Post-Election On-Message “Lines to Take” from Labour HQ

If you have ever wondered how it is that all the broadcasters always seem to end up with on-message Labour talking-heads spouting exactly the same drivel after an election, here is why – Labour HQ emails everyone a briefing on “lines to take” before they go on air.  The degree of control demanded by New Labour means ambitious MPs can’t be allowed to think up their own answers.

Hence we end up with a series of robotic talking heads mouthing the party line.  Backbenchers and cabinet ministers alike will all parrot the same form of words regardless of the question asked.  If you were watching the news yesterday you will have heard the script.  Guido is grateful to a “real socialist” co-conspirator for providing yesterday’s “lines to take”.  If you want to see it, Guido has uploaded the dull script to here.   Hopefully the next leader of the Labour Party will be less Stalinist and permit Labour MPs to think for themselves…

UPDATE : It appears that Paul Waugh has blogged this already.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is Labour Sincerely Sorry?Labour Fakes ‘Personal’ Letters of Apology

The SNP have got hold of the formulaic HQ-drafted fake apologies being sent out by Labour’s MPs, MEPs and local councillors.

The suggested letter to be sent by MPs (see full letter here) begins

Dear [Insert Name]

I thought twice about sending this letter because I know how rightly angry people are with MPs. I suspect that you are fed up to the back teeth as day after day more stories come out showing greed and, in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I’m sorry that the political system and some MPs have let you down.

The letter for Labour’s local councillors

Dear [Insert Name]

I know how angry people are with Westminster politicians. I suspect you are as fed up I am, as day after day more stories come out showing greed and in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I am sorry that the political system and some MPs have let you down.

The suggested letter to be sent by MEPs is more of the same

Dear [Insert Name]

I know how angry people are with Westminster politicians. I suspect you are as fed up as I am as day after day more stories come out showing greed and in some cases, serious wrongdoing. I would like to echo Gordon Brown’s words – that I am sorry that the political system has let you down.

They are echoing Gordon’s words alright, he finds it difficult to say sorry, they can’t even be bothered to find their own words.  Don’t they really mean “we are sorry we got caught?”


Seen Elsewhere

Apple’s Tim Cook: iGay | Techno Guido
Insurgent Parties Plunge Labour Into Crisis | Alex Wickham
Mind-Bending Politics of Drugs | Mark Wallace
PC Worries Prevent Police Protecting Young Girls | Jill Kirby
Miliband Should Win Rochester | Martin Kettle
Thatcher Minister Sir John Nott ‘Voted for UKIP’ | Times
Time to Listen to Drugs Experts | Guardian
Drug Laws Don’t Work | Times
Our Moral Duty to Cut Taxes | David Cameron
Greens Ahead of LibDems | Guardian
Channel 4 to Spoof UKIP Election Win | Guardian


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