Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

Nick Clegg says…

“The Labour Party has become consumed by collective bile towards … the Liberal Democrats. That portrays a rather nasty arrogance. They can’t believe that [we] could have done anything but fall into line with them. I get the impression, listening to the juvenile vitriol of the leadership candidates, that they can’t believe the Liberal Democrats decided to make up their own minds. I just think their leadership contest has been very dull and very dispiriting. You get the impression that none of them is up to the task of asking what’s happened to them as a party and to Britain. They seem strangely conservative, if I dare say it.”

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Should ‘Cleggeron’ Speak at Tory and LibDem Conferences?

Next month it will be decided, according to the Guardian, as to if Dave will speak at Nick’s party conference and vice-versa:

The issue is due to be discussed at a joint political cabinet at the end of July, when the two parties will also decide how to co-ordinate policy announcements at their respective conferences and how to sell the success of the joint government’s first few months.

Risky. Very, very risky. It could end in tears since the grassroots of both parties have fought viscerally for generations. A lot of booing won’t look good on telly…

Currently punters on specialist bookies Political Smarkets lean towards it happening, giving a 60% chance of Clegg addressing Tory conference and a 70% probability that Cameron will try to charm the sandalistas. Guido reckons they are asking for trouble…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Palin Coming to the Party

A flurry of articles this morning have picked up on Sarah Palin’s very excitable Facebook declaration that she was coming to London meet “one of my political heroines, the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher.” The Guardian is predictably sneering. The Mail on Sunday had the scoop first and raised the question of whether Cameron would meet the former Vice-Presidential nominee and potential Presidential candidate of the American sister party.

In Downing Street you can imagine the battle lines being drawn already. This is the stuff that Steve Hilton’s nightmares are made of, yet Palin has an obvious glitzy appeal to the right of the party and tabloid media, something Andy Coulson will know instinctively. As PM it would be extremely discourteous for Dave not to meet and be photographed with Palin if she was in town, a coutesy British PMs have extended to lesser known American politicians. Guido’s transatlantic sources indicate that she could be over on this side of the pond in the Autumn, perhaps around the time of Conservative Party conference, just when Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell will be launching their Direct Democracy version of the American Tea Party movement.

Another headache for the Cameroons will be what the Deputy Prime Minister has to say about all this, since Clegg was perhaps expecting to be invited to be the surprise speaker in Birmingham

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Few Takers for Clegg Speech

Nick CleggClegg’s press secretary, Rae Stewart, was “strictly” limiting attendance for a keynote speech by Nick Clegg tomorrow to “one journalist per publication” on Thursday.

From: rae.stewart@xxx.gov.uk
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 14:26:37 +0100
Subject: Advance extracts of DPM speech on Monday

Please find attached (and in text form below) embargoed extracts from the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech to the Institute for Government tomorrow. Please also note that access to hear the speech is limited, which is why I asked that those of you who would like to attend email me by 17.00 Friday. Not many have done so yet, but as I suspect that quite a few of you will want to be there I’ll extend the deadline until 11.30 tomorrow morning.

Rae seems to have wildly overestimated the box-office appeal of Clegg who is basically going to say “There is nothing progressive about condemning ourselves and our children to decades of debt, higher interest rates, fewer jobs.” Guido will give it a miss, and suspect it won’t be quite the sell out event they anticipate…

UPDATE :The media grid in Downing Street doesn’t seem very coordinated, Cameron is making a statement on Afghanistan at 14.30, the same time Clegg is giving his speech.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Clegg “Simply Not Good Enough”

Nick Clegg went to great efforts before the election to voice concerns about the extradition of autistic hacker Gary McKinnon. He even went as far to stand side by side in solidarity with Janis Sharp, Gary’s mother, at a protest and also said “It’s simply not good enough for Alan Johnson to shrug his shoulders and claim that nothing can be done”.

Fast-forward a few months and it’s quite a different tune “What I haven’t got the power to do, neither has the home secretary, neither has even the prime minister, is to completely reverse and undo certain legal aspects of this. It’s legally very complex.” Who was it that said the Lib Dems could say whatever they wanted without a hope of getting into government…

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nick’s Three Marriages

Guido’s operatic eyes and ears report that Nick Clegg spent last night’s performance of the Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House seductively charming his wife in Spanish. New politics is clearly alive and well as he found time in the interval to smile and nod to his cultural fans. Meanwhile the coalition faced its first crisis weekend and you might have thought the Deputy Prime Minister would have been tending to his other marriage…

UPDATE :A little bordie tells Guido they were out celebrating that it was Miriam’s birthday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Labour Deal is Dying

The fervent  intensity of the negotiations is waning, the LibDems are now merely holding up proceedings. Two clear offers have been made to them and the fact there is still no firm conclusion proves they are stuck in a rut. They need three-quarters of both their parliamentarians and their Federal Executive to give the nod to any deal. Why the delay? Clearly there is a stumbling block toward the approval of the Lib-Con deal, but are there three-quarters in favour of a Labour deal?

A Lib-Lab pact has the backing of old timers like Paddy Ashdown and Vince Cable, who told Nick Robinson today that “he would have stayed in the Labour Party – he once co-wrote a pamphlet with Gordon Brown – if he hadn’t moved to London where the so-called “loony Left” had taken the party over.” However with even prominent Labour MPs speaking out over such a deal, Clegg is in an impossible position. Within his own negotiation team can you really imagine right-winger David Laws being willing to prop up Gordon for another four months or subject the country to yet another un-elected Labour leader? After the vocal outrage for the last three years from the Liberals about unelected leaders and the need for mandates, they would still look ridiculous. But it looks as if the Lib Dems are left with just one option…

The Labour pact is fundamentally weakened, fatally wounded in fact, Mandelson cannot bring the Scottish Labour MPs with him since they refuse to cosy up to the SNP, locked as they are in a bitter war north of the border. 

The Tories now believe Clegg to be in a weaker position than he was 24 hours ago, having flirted with Labour, without being able to consummate a deal….

UPDATE : Latest prices – from bookies shows money shifting back on to a Lib-Con coalition, now quoting a 65% probability versus giving a Lib-Lab coalition a 45% chance.

UPDATE II : Clegg met Cameron this morning and Tory negotiations are restarting at 2 p.m. according to a tweet from Hague. Looks like some punters were in the know…

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deal Making and Deal Breakers

Sources say the negotiating teams have a deal to sell their respective parties.  We’ll know what shape that deal takes shortly…

LibDemVoice has just released a poll of LibDem members – 80% say that without significant progress on electoral reform the deal is off.  So that is one part of the triple-lock that the key may not be in in.  The Federal Executive is the other part of the lock – some 35 strong, which means that if 9 liberal-lefties or PR purists say nay, it will have less than 75% support and the deal is off.

It ain’t going to be easy for Clegg to get 75% support from his MPs and the Fed Exec for a full blown coalition with the Tories unless there’s a solid deal on PR, which it doesn’t seem there is (at least in the eyes of LibDem activists – some of whom think securing anything less than immediate legislation for STV would be a sell out).  So, say the LibDem triple lock stays locked, what next?

It may be that in that situation some of the more right-wing LibDem MPs are willing to propel Cameron into Downing Street anyway. Cameron may also be willing to offer ministerial positions to any LibDems who do go for UDI if the weirdie-beardie party machinery hampers a deal…

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dave Wants Deal

Dave has just written to Tory supporters:-

I want to make clear that I do not believe any future government should give more powers to Brussels, be weak on immigration or put the country’s defences at risk. So we will stand firm on these issues.

But I also believe there are many areas of common ground between us and the Liberal Democrats – such as the need for education reform, building a low-carbon economy, reforming our political system, decentralising power, protecting civil liberties and scrapping ID cards.

There are also areas where I believe we in the Conservative Party can give ground, both in the national interest and in the interests of forging an open and trusting partnership. For example, we want to work with the Liberal Democrats to see how we can afford to reduce taxes on the lowest paid. Of course, we hope to see a similarly constructive approach from the Liberal Democrats – not least on the urgent issue of tackling the deficit. Inevitably, these negotiations will involve compromise. But that’s what working together in the national interest means. I hope we can sort things out as quickly as possible, for the good of the country.

Game on for the “Change Coalition”…

UPDATE : Betting is pretty frantic on the Political Smarkets What form will a coalition government take? bet – if you fancy your luck.

Clegg : We’ll Build New Economy from the Rubble of the Old


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


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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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