Boris 2020

owen-boris-2020

The Commentariat that told you the Tories couldn’t win a majority and Corbyn was a no-hoper now tell us that George Osborne is a shoo-in to succeed Cameron in 2019 before becoming PM in 2020. Unfortunately Boris hasn’t got the memo…

Last night at a drinks reception (excellent cheese and cracker canapes sourced by the host’s favourite artisan cheesemonger) for his 2020 think-tank, Owen Paterson announced that he would be drawing up a set of robust Tory policies for whoever wants to stand as leader to adopt. The room was a who’s who of right-wingers, from Norman Tebbit to Charles Moore, though no likely leadership candidates showed their face at the actual event. Timely then to mention that the night before Guido spied Owen Paterson and Boris Johnson deep in a conspiratorial conversation in parliament…

Dan Hodges’ Labour Leadership Journey in Full

Dan Hodges has had more flip flops in the Labour leadership race than an Ibiza beach rave:

June 9: “Will Labour choose a Tony Blair or a Neil Kinnock? Liz Kendall is Toni Blair. Young. Tough. Single-minded. Kendall has already set out the most challenging critique of why her party lost in May. She represents the best chance of unleashing the slingshot that downs the Tory Goliath… Yvette Cooper is Toni Kinnock… Keep a close eye for whether it’s Neil Kinnock or Tony Blair who tops the ballot.”

July 2: “The Labour Party should elect Yvette Cooper as its next leader. And – more importantly – it should be the Blairite, modernising faction within the Labour Party that delivers her victory and is seen to deliver her victory.”

July 27: The only way Labour can win the next election is to elect Corbyn now… I’ve signed up again precisely so I can be part of that wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn myself. It’s 23 months since I left Labour because it opposed the bombing of Syria. Now I’ve rejoined so I can vote for a man who helps lead the Stop The War coalition. Which I suppose indicates I’ve been on a bit of a journey.”

August 13: 

With four weeks to go he still has time to change his mind at least another couple of times…

While Guido is at it, how many days is it since Hodges promised to streak naked down Whitehall? 97 days have passed since the election and we still haven’t seen Dan in his birthday suit…

Lobby Boris Bubble Deflates Embarrassingly Quickly in Newark

Astoundingly incompetent analysis from much of the political media this evening speculating on Boris standing in Newark. Only one problem – the local Tories have already selected their candidate back in November. CCHQ have been on a by-election footing for weeks as Guido reported in The Sun two weeks ago.

Michael Crick on Channel 4 News and the BBC’s Nick Robinson as well as Norman Smith have both been speculating that Boris might stand in Newark.  A little bit of investigative Googling would have revealed Robert Jenrick’s web page on conservatives.com.robert-jenrick

And his Twitter feed:

robert-jenrick

Or the press release

Cllr Stuart Wallace, Chairman of Newark Conservative Association, said:

“The Association wish to express our thanks for the work Patrick has done for Newark and for many of his constituents individually, over the last 13 years, both as a Conservative and as an Independent MP.

“Following Patrick’s earlier decision not to stand again, we selected a superb candidate, Robert Jenrick, who has already been very active locally.

“The Association are united in support for Robert and will be campaigning to ensure that he will be elected as Newark’s next MP.”

Doh!

Pundit’s “Budget for the Old” Wins Youth Vote
Weird Ed Has Lost Younger Voters Since Budget 

If you read the pundits, for example  and , the budget was aimed at older voters to counteract UKIP’s attraction to older more traditional small ‘c’ conservative voters. This is the pundit’s explanation for the poll lead collapse by Labour – now down to just 1%. Pundits claim Osborne has cunningly found granny’s political g-spot.

Has he really? Here is the move post budget in Tory support:

tory-budget-poll

Younger voters up 5%, middle years up 3%, grey-haired support unchanged for the Tories. Whereas for Ed Miliband:

lab-budget-poll

Labour has actually gained older voters perhaps nostalgic for the Kinnock type socialism now offered by Miliband. Weird Ed has lost 6% support from young voters, slightly less from middle age voters and gained 2% more support from aging lefties. Don’t think this is a random poll error – the YouGov results above are based on combining 8 polls to give some good sample sizes. Pundits will no doubt mull this over and recalibrate their musings. Guido has a working hypothesis, backed up by some data: Ed just isn’t cool. He’s an uncool weirdo that younger voters don’t want to be associated with, he has loser written all over him. 51 per cent of 18-24 year olds describe Ed Miliband as weird, the percentage of the Shadow Cabinet that agrees is even higher…

Today’s Newspaper Health Advice in Full

Guido’s off to lunch…

Data Shows Cost-of-Living Crisis About to End

The consensus of broadsheet pundits is that Ed has, with his cost-of-living crisis line that prices are rising faster than wages, nimbly and cleverly switched from a losing argument on the economy to a winning “retail offer”. Guido thinks this successfully plays into the British national psyche; grumbling about both the weather and the cost of things rising. However as the economy rises unemployment falls and earnings will caeteris paribus begin to outstrip inflation as sure as the sun rises. The ONS data shows this is about to happen…

cpi-v-median-earnings

Guido is beginning to worry that Miliband, like his former mentor Gordon Brown, hasn’t really got a strategy. The whole “too far, too fast” thing was bound to end in tears unless there was a permanent recession. As it happened the predictions by Ed Balls of a triple-dip turned out to be über-pessimistic, statisticians say there wasn’t even a double-dip. The only recession the UK suffered originated under Gordon Brown.

The energy cost argument still generates headlines, however international comparisons show that UK energy costs are middle of the league table for Europe – though US fracking and shale gas means their energy costs are way below ours. Fracking however is opposed by Ed Miliband.

What then? Having lost the argument on debt and the economy, followed – food banks notwithstanding – by the cost-of-living crisis evaporating, Labour will have to change tack again. Labour can’t fight on economic competence, because so contaminated is Ed Balls that he even loses to George Osborne. Labour are blamed for the economic mess and are suspected by the voters of still being untrustworthy on dealing with the deficit and debts. They would be unwise to fight on leadership; “weak and weird” Ed versus “posh and out of touch” Dave is not a great prospect for Labour.

Guido’s guess is they will try to have it both ways, partially accept the coalition’s spending envelope and pretend they can tax their way to prosperity. A policy Miliband’s socialist frère Hollande has now abandoned. All the chatter (spun by his adviser Stewart Wood) about Ed’s plans for “big changes in our economy” – a strategy based on East Coast academic theories from Harvard professors on new “Varieties of Capitalism” – will have Lynton Crosby crying with laughter into his (Australian) Chardonnay. Doesn’t mean Miliband isn’t going to try it…

UPDATE: The FT has surveyed economists and they mostly think households will start to feel better off – this is after consumer confidence surged 20% in 2013. Well spotted economists…

ft-survey-economists

Another Underw-Helm-ing Week at the Observer

Another stunning scoop from Westminster’s finest political editor. Fresh from his “someone was mean to me on the internet” splash a few months back this journalist of unrivalled political acumen has revealed in the Observer that leaders of rival political parties are not welcome in the secure zones of their rival’s conferences. So Farage will not be allowed to speak at Tory conference, nor presumably will Ed Miliband. This narrative smashing revelation is surely worthy of some sort of prize? Lets all give Toby Helm a big round of applause…

Guido will have another struggling Sunday pundit getting desperate later…

Andrew Wrongsley

Super-connected and popular sage Andrew Rawnsley told his dwindling Observer readers on Sunday that “the ministers who are resisting the chancellor most fiercely are nearly all concentrated on the bluest end of the Conservative party”. He highlighted Eric Pickles and Chris Grayling as some of the fiercest fighters refusing to give in to the Treasury. This morning the Chancellor announced that both Pickles and Grayling had “agreed to significant savings”. Cringe…

Where Grayling was concerned “quite radical reforms” will lead to further savings in in prisons and  court service, sources familiar with Eric Pickles’ thinking say he always believes that more savings can be found, especially in Whitehall. They point to his pushing of the transparency agenda to highlight government overspending. A Treasury insider was scathing: “Mr Rawnsley should check his so called facts. As today’s news shows the Spending Round process is making good progress and what he wrote on Sunday was well wide of the mark.” Another must read column…

Guardian Accuses Jew of Not Being “Good Christian Person”

The Guardian’s Zoe Williams writes this morning:

“By its own terms, [marriage] must be lifelong. It is, in other words, beyond them. It is beyond Boris Johnson, it is beyond divorcee Nadine Dorries, just as going back to basics

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Smart Money is on Matthew Goodwin to Get it Wrong

On Sky just now was a talking head “expert” who claimed “I was like every other analyst and everyone in the Westminster village”. Lorna Dunkley saw straight through him:

Whereas Guido will be enjoying a glass or two this […]

+ READ MORE +

Polly Inflates Cuts by 5100%
Guardian Forced to Retract Toynbee Yarn

Polly Toynbee was on particularly dramatic form yesterday as she attacked council tax benefit reforms in the Guardian. However those revisiting her scaremongering online today might notice one glaring correction:

“This article was amended on 24 July 2012. The

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Peston BBC Blithering Budget Special

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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