Whatever Happened to an “End to Spin”?

The return of a troika of three New Labour high priests of spin is striking. Draper is never off the airwaves, Campbell is popping up more and more often. Now the Prince of Darkness himself returns to Westminster from across the sea. New Labour lives!

UPDATE : Am beginning to think that Brown has been quite clever, with the return of Mandelson, he will no longer be the public’s most hated Labour politician. This is going to be more fun than an Irish wake.

The Labour Left Looms

The lumpen left of the Labour Party reckons the answer to voter disenchantment is to abandon the centre and turn back to the old ways. A fish rots from the head, the weakness of the party leader makes it more likely that this rot will take hold.

Paul Mason, Newsnight’s shop steward, could barely contain his excitement last night reporting the prospect of a battered Brown introducing higher taxes on high earners, windfall corporate taxes and the expected soon to be announced “equality agenda” – in other words leveling down. This will be kamikaze left-wing stuff. Britain is already sliding down the economic competitiveness league, the Irish are welcoming FTSE 100 companies making the taxodus from HMRC’s demands. Gordon will now be weighing up a shift leftwards, to shore up his position within the party, giving some red meat to the activists and pundits like Polly Toynbee. It will be a change of policy direction based entirely on self -preservation.

He could survive the party conference whatever the polls by promising a left-wing lurch…

+++ Dougie Apologises +++

Just in from the Press Association:

“I, of course, apologise for any actions or omissions on my part which contributed to the problems encountered in the Scottish elections…”

A sign of the underlying weakness of his position.

When in trouble apologise and try to move the story on. Rule 3 from the Blair/Mandelson/Campbell Media Play Book.

UPDATE : The Lobby today asked the PMS again “if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Douglas Alexander”. This is the formula the Lobby uses when they mean “is the PM going to sack ‘im”. Two days in a row, not a good sign…

Dougie Alexander is a Liability

The damning conclusion of the Scottish Election Review, commissioned by the Electoral Commission was that ‘both the Scotland Office and the Scottish Executive were frequently focused on partisan political interests in carrying out their responsibilities, overlooking voter interests and operational realities’ and that ‘characteristic of 2007 was a notable level of party self-interest evident in Ministerial decisions-making’.

That should be a resignation issue, but if one thing is key to understanding New Labour at the highest level, it is the putting of party interest before the national interest. That is a given in all circumstances. Soldiers die because of political expediency, hospitals are photo ops, school children are leadership campaign props and spin is the narrative reality.

Dougie Alexander is Gordon’s election co-ordinator, he co-ordinated the recently and expensively lost non-election, he directed the disastrous campaign that led to the loss of electoral control in Scotland by the Labour party for the first time in living memory. He writes pamphlets for think-tanks on how to win elections by turning political parties into “community hubs”. In his spare time he is the Minister in charge of DFID, where he oversees electoral assistance to developing countries – beyond satire.

He is an asset to Labour’s opponents and a liability to Gordon according to Labour colleagues. Hopefully Gordon will ignore the criticism because he so values Dougie’s loyalty.

Labour Base Not Happy With Gordon’s Transvestism

One of the key reasons given by Brownites for their long putsch against Blair was that Tony was resented by the activist base and traditional supporters. Some of the Labour base see Brown’s co-opting of the three Tory “useful idiots” as clever politicking, but many others are uneasy. The symbolism of Thatcher back in No. 10 has proved too much for many. With his tough stance on public-sector pay plus his PFI’ing of the NHS and schools many socialists are wondering if they haven’t got another right-winger in Downing Street.

Even Brownite media stalwarts like Kevin Maguire are choking on the latest Thatcherite symbolism – “The sight of her in Downing Street still turns my stomach after all these years…. It was a calculated political gamble by Mr Brown. But for a Labour PM to flaunt a Rusty Lady despised, yes despised, with good reason by Labour voters is provocative political transvestism… gut reactions still count in politics, with many Labour folk wanting to throw up.”

The GMB’s Paul Kenny reckons “This is a huge mistake which will cost Labour credibility with their voters and communities up and down the land that still bear scars of the damage she caused.” John McDonnell MP says “It is hard to imagine a greater insult to the Labour and Trade Union movement.” “Don’t forget misery Thatcher caused” rants the Mirror’s political editor Oonagh Blackman at Gordon.

Activists on LabourHome are reflective but not impressed. “Personally I’d much prefer the Government to actually start making some fundamental policy decisions instead of being in permanent campaign mode. It’s all very well having a so-called ‘big tent’ but what’s the end game?” Others complain “there does have to come a point when he stops trying to woo the right-wing and comes up with some solid policies.”

“It’s all very well inviting Thatcher around and recruiting Tory MP’s/Lib Dem MPs to head task forces. Not actually sure how it’s a vote winner down my local pub?” One disaffected activist sums up the feeling of many about Brown treating with Thatcher: “Disgusting. Insulting. He just lost us thousands of votes from Labour supporters.”

Political transvestism may seem like clever politics in Westminster, but it doesn’t go down so well with the people who got rid of Tony Blair and want Labour to return to its roots.

UPDATE : Tribune has an editorial attacking Brown.

Tom Watson Breaks His Promise, As Predicted

Back in October last year Guido wrote of Tom Watson:-

“was overheard telling senior party officials in his constituency recently that he expects “to be back in government” after Gordon takes over… Gordon wouldn’t reward the treachery that he has publicly disavowed advance knowledge of and claimed he would have advised against. Would he?

Tom got very upset and posted in the comments

For the record: I do not want to go back into government whoever leads the Labour Party. I’m very happy being a constituency MP.
10:28 AM, October 26, 2006

He went on to write

I’m an overweight opinionated member of parliament, I embarrass my relatives all the time. That was the only accurate bit of your post. But you know this.

The bit about returning to government is the inaccurate part of your post. But then I suspect you know this too. You are asking people to comment on a story that isn’t true. It doesn’t do you or political bloggers any service. Then again, why am I bothering to say this to you? You know all this as well.
11:15 AM, October 26, 2006

With a reputation for accurate and balanced reporting to protect, Guido was troubled by this, perhaps Tom Watson was not a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of his coup attempt against Blair. Maybe he was not going to return to government under Brown. Guido offered to retract the allegation if he promised not to return to government.
Tom said…

It shouldn’t be neccesary but to amuse you: I promise never to return to government.

Good enough?
11:26 AM, October 26, 2006

Tom Watson rejoined the government as a whip today. But we never really believed him did we? Nor did we really believe that he only chatted to Gordon about the kids. As politicians go, Tom Watson is one of the most mendacious shits in parliament. The thing is, he is proud of it.

PMS First Briefing : The Spin Begins

We must now learn to call the PMOS the PMS, he is no longer the PM’s Official Spokesman because that would imply an Unofficial spokesman doing off-the-record spin. That is apparently not going to happen anymore in our changed spin-free-Brownite era.

But lo, the age of spin may not be completely dead. At Michael Ellam’s first briefing as Brown’s mouthpiece on Wednesday, he announced the symbolic first move in office: stopping Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell from telling civil servants what to do. When sharp-eyed and unusually on the ball Lobby hacks pointed out that neither man still worked in government, Ellam, suffering perhaps first-day nerves, conceded: “It is a meaningless gesture.”

This is not quite how the exchange is reported on the No. 10 website, though:

“Put to him that the Orders of Council applied to just two people, one who had already gone and one who effectively went today, and did not actually apply to anyone else, the PMS replied that while this was technically correct, this was not a meaningless gesture.”

If Mr Ellam dares to contradict Guido there is a recording…

No Cabinet Minister Has the Experience to Run A Whelk Stall

The cabinet re-shuffle analysis in the press will be detailed, so Guido will skip it. One blogger’s analysis struck Guido as critical – not a single member of the cabinet has had a business career. Absorb that fact. Is it any wonder that Gordon felt the need to draft in Digby Jones?
Digby Jones is a talented operator and he will no doubt do a good job as minister for trade promotion. He is not however a new face, Guido recalls that the then Chancellor used his pre-budget report to announce Digby’s appointment as his “skills envoy” only six months ago. So he is being re-announced as a Brownite ally. Ironically he always struck Guido as a business leader with a libertarian streak – see his pronouncements on taxation, regulation and political correctness – perhaps that is why he won’t be joining the Labour party.

Gordon’s offer of a peerage was enough to get him go over to the dark side and join a government with no business nous whatsoever.

++ Bercow Pulls Out of Party Parliamentary Dinner Tonight ++

Usually reliable sources…

[…]

+ READ MORE +

New Labour is Washed Up

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Yippee Aye-Ay

Outriders coming… If you believe all that guff about Milburn and Clarke having a friendly chat with Brown about the “need for a debate” and emailing the PLP for just that reason, you’ll believe the tooth fairy took all the WMD in Iraq away.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

New Improved New Labour “Will Wash Whiter than White”

Yesterday Tony told the hacks at his monthly press conference that:-

“I believe that provided we hold our nerve in the reform and change programme, provided we go to New New Labour if you like, and don’t retreat from New Labour, we will come through this with the renewed sense of leadership and energy and drive that we need”

He went on to confirm that he planned to stay for the EU summit in June.[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Burkini Unbanned Burkini Unbanned
Who Said it: Blair or Smith? Who Said it: Blair or Smith?
Labour MPs Love Theresa May As Well Labour MPs Love Theresa May As Well
Labour Adviser Created “Theresa May for PM” Campaign Labour Adviser Created “Theresa May for PM” Campaign
FARAGE TO TRUMP “I COME TO YOU WITH A MESSAGE OF HOPE AND OPTIMISM” FARAGE TO TRUMP “I COME TO YOU WITH A MESSAGE OF HOPE AND OPTIMISM”
Max Mosley Funds Tom Watson’s 11 Advisers Max Mosley Funds Tom Watson’s 11 Advisers
“JEREMY, JEREMY, JEREMY” “JEREMY, JEREMY, JEREMY”
FANCY A JOB IN DANCZUK’S OFFICE? FANCY A JOB IN DANCZUK’S OFFICE?
TEAM GB SING NATIONAL ANTHEM ON VICTORY JET HOME TEAM GB SING NATIONAL ANTHEM ON VICTORY JET HOME
HOW BRITISH EMPIRE BEATS EU FOR OLYMPIC MEDALS HOW BRITISH EMPIRE BEATS EU FOR OLYMPIC MEDALS
PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass
Oily Smith the Devolution Dodger Oily Smith the Devolution Dodger
Times Runs Full Page Ad for “China Heroes” Times Runs Full Page Ad for “China Heroes”
SONG FOR JEREMY SONG FOR JEREMY
DROMEY CUTS SHORT ATTACK ON CORBYN TO GREET CORBYN WARMLY DROMEY CUTS SHORT ATTACK ON CORBYN TO GREET CORBYN WARMLY
LABOUR MP GIVES LOBBYIST PARLIAMENTARY PASS LABOUR MP GIVES LOBBYIST PARLIAMENTARY PASS
BILL ETHERIDGE SPEAKS: “IT’S BEEN HARD TIMES” BILL ETHERIDGE SPEAKS: “IT’S BEEN HARD TIMES”
JAMIE OLIVER’S SUGARY, FATTY ADVERTISING HYPOCRISY JAMIE OLIVER’S SUGARY, FATTY ADVERTISING HYPOCRISY
LABOUR CONFERENCE CRISIS TALKS BREAK DOWN LABOUR CONFERENCE CRISIS TALKS BREAK DOWN
BRUTAL TORY ATTACK AD SAYS LABOUR SOFT ON ISIS BRUTAL TORY ATTACK AD SAYS LABOUR SOFT ON ISIS