Monday, December 19, 2011

Kellner Makes the Case for Clegg to Support a Referendum

The pollster and commentator Peter Kellner has written an open letter to Nick Clegg suggesting that to save himself in 2012 he backs an In/Out referendum, he argues that the Yes side would win because Cameron would join Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond in campaigning for a Yes. Kellner believes, somewhat optimistically, a united political class would overcome entrenched popular opinion and press opposition.

They would, in Kellner’s view, sway currently €uro-sceptic public opinion in the course of the campiagn to the Yes side. Given that Clegg’s negative public approval rating has gone from a terrible -40% to a catastrophic -55% this would for once put Clegg on the public’s side of an argument. Kellner argues that if Clegg called for a referendum he would receive the public’s credit, Cameron would have to concede. Tory backbenchers would demand it and Cameron would not be able to resist the Tory right and the LibDems combined.

Kellner is a technocratic pollster and this has a certain Machiavellian logic to it. Guido has one other reason why Clegg should call for an In/Out referendum: he promised one without any Cameron cast-iron “if the treaty isn’t signed” wiggle room or qualification.

Clegg promised in writing

The Liberal Democrats believe that Britain should have a referendum, not on the narrow question of adopting this new treaty, but on the big question that faces Britain, whether we remain a part of the EU or not.

The question of Britain’s place in the European Union has poisoned our national politics for decades.  As a nation, we need to lance this boil and decide once and for all if we want to be a part of this European Union or not.

So he can outflank the Tories on Europe and restore some of his lost trust. Why is he waiting to honour his promise?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Où est Clegg?

It seems Clegg is taking this fake row thing a little too far…

UPDATE: Cleggies tell the Sun that Nick doesn’t “want to be a distraction”. Yeah right…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Watch: Clegg Slaps Khan’s Donor Connections

There may not have been Prime Minister’s Questions today, but Guido wouldn’t want you to miss out on your weekly dose of Parliamentary bashing. Over to Nick Clegg, who has clearly been reading Guido’s work on Cash for Votes and Sadiq Khan’s dodgy connections with the GMB:

See how they squirm…

Video via Liar Politicians

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Very European Coup Part II

The only attempt at a solution to Europe’s doom seems to be the EU forcing out democratically elected leaders and replacing them with trusted stooges who are loyal to the project. In Greece the incoming Prime Minister Lucas Papandemos was Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002-10. Mario Monti, who is favourite to take over in Italy, was a European Commissioner in the nineties. Not a referendum or election in sight…

Luckily for the UK our cost of borrowing has dropped to a record low. Ten-year gilt yields fell to 2.106% yesterday. If however the UK was in the €urozone and things took a turn for the worse about now the European establishment elite would be forcing Peter Mandelson on us as PM. Or Clegg…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clegg Lends Dave a Hand In His Hour of Need

When asked after his speech this morning about yesterday’s promised repatriation of powers from Brussels, the Deputy Prime Minister stuck his oar in:

We should stop tilting at windmills about threats and challenges which simply aren’t there right now… You don’t change Europe by launching some smash-and-grab dawn raid on Brussels…”

If Clegg promises something won’t happen, that means it will, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Clegg SpAd James McGrory Accused of Leaking Cam Kids Story

A good rule of thumb when feeding negative stories to the press about a Prime Minister, whose administration you work in, is not to do it from the office phone. A mighty row has blown up in Downing Street after a leak hunt has found the Deputy Prime Minister’s spokesman up to his neck in it after giving the Mirror a story about the Cameron and Osborne children playing in the Rose Garden. The Mail on Sunday reported the row yesterday without naming James McGrory as the leaker…

Cameron hit the roof and his staff got in Scotland Yard to trace the leak. McGrory’s study looks out over the Rose Garden and his phone made three calls to the Mirror just before they put a call in to Downing Street for a comment. On the day that Clegg announces that he is going to spend half a million on seven new LibDem SpAds across Whitehall, he should probably start thinking about an eighth…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clegg’s Other Lobbyist

With the LibDems trying to have their “told-you-so-moment” over a register of lobbyists, Guido drew your attention yesterday to the controversial spinmeister Clegg has brought into the heart of his operation – Olly Grender. Overnight many a co-conspirator also pointed out that Clegg’s Chief of Staff Jonny Oates is another flesh presser…

Starting at Westminster Strategy in the nineties, Oates worked his way up to become a director at Bell Pottinger in 2004. With a host of international and UK clients that would put any sandal-wearing LibDem member off their lentils, Bell Pottinger are the largest UK firm to refuse to take part in any of the voluntary regulation schemes that are around. Their chairman Peter Bingle has been at the forefront of defending the industry this week. Almost a lone public voice…

So two of Clegg’s closest advisers right now are former lobbyists. His promised clean up of the body politic clearly doesn’t start at home…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Controversial Lobbyist at the Heart of Downing Street

In those heady days of spring 2010 Nick Clegg told the ITV leadership debate that he wanted “something I’ve supported all my adult political life, which is a complete clean-up from top to toe of politics.” This included an end to murky lobbying and he subsequently convinced the Conservative coalition negotiators of the need for a compulsory register of lobbyists. So it is odd then that the lobbyist Olly Grender has gone to spin for Nick Clegg out of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. Grender is in Downing Street covering the maternity leave of Clegg’s gatekeeper Lena Pietsch, which means she will be back on the outside practising the dark arts very soon….

After spinning for the Liberal Democrats in the run up to the 1997 election, Grender turned to the dark-side of lobbying at Neal Lawson and Jonathan Mendelsohn’s scandal ridden and now defunct LLM Communications, which became notorious for their level of access to the Blair government. Eventually she moved on to PLMR – Political Lobbying and Media Relations. Leaving the quack green energy companies represented by the firm aside,  the organisation boasts that they represent Frankenstein doctors  like PLMR client Reneuron who experiment with stem-cells taken from new-born children, and pro-puppy-torturing and mouse-probing animal research organisations like UAR. PLMR also spin for the Brazilian Beef food processing industry, which George Monbiot accuses of “deforestation, slavery and murder”. Classy stuff…

Given the unfettered access that Grender now has and that her appointment is only temporary, what measures have been taken in Downing Street to make sure that her firm’s clients, who until very recently were paying her to represent them, do not have undue influence? The Cabinet Office can instigate a cooling off period after officials leave the government before they can jump through the revolving door. Will this “two years in the cooler” apply to Grender and her corporate lobbying career? With Nick Clegg leading the charge against the spinmeisters, what has he done to get his own house in order?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Huhne Not Hanging About for Clegg’s Leader Speech

UPDATE: Huhne didn’t miss anything.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

LibDems Question Clegg’s Long-Term Leadership

Andrew Rawnsley is one of the pundits who has found it more difficult than others to cope with the change of regime since May 20101. His contacts at the highest level in the Labour Party were unrivalled, Guido suspects he is not such a popular dinner party guest in government circles. This morning he takes a look at the LibDems in the Observer and tells us that:

One senior Lib Dem says delicately that “there is a question for the longer term” about whether Nick Clegg will be the right face to lead them into the next election.

The “longer term”? That has a familiar ring to it, it is the kind of term that an economist would use. A quick Google reveals it to be a favoured phrase of Vince Cable:  “Economic growth must be about long-term commitment…  a sustainable solution for the long-term…  long-term issue…  A Long-Term Focus for Corporate Britain… in the long term”. So Guido thinks we can safely say Cable was the “senior Lib Dem” who briefed Rawnsley as to whether Clegg will be leader in the “long term”.

A few days ago Chris Huhne told Prospect magazine that Nick Clegg in Brussels would indeed “be a tremendous commissioner.” The position becomes available in 2014. That appears to be the long-term…


Seen Elsewhere

From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton
Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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