Friday, August 15, 2014

THE CHOICE: Tories Draw Level With Labour

At the end of July Labour launched their summer offensive, drawing up the battle lines for next year with the catchy slogan: “The Choice: The Labour Future, The Tory Threat”. Well, after three weeks of shadow cabinet speeches up and down the country outlining “the choice” faced by voters, the people have spoken. YouGov’s poll for the Sun today sees the Tories draw level with Labour for the first time in three months, both parties on 35%. This confirms yesterday’s Ipsos Mori poll which also had both parties level. Labour are telling voters what “the choice” is, and the voters are making it…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Burnham ‘Owes’ Tax Efficient Lobbyist Aide £20,000

The Times and Mail are on the case of Andy Burnham’s health lobbyist aide Kevin Lee over his tax arrangements, a story Guido broke over two years ago. Readers will remember how back in 2011 this blog revealed how Lee was being paid as Burnham’s spinner not on a normal PAYE contract, but through his company, Lee Communications. Since Labour advisers are paid for by taxpayer-funded ‘Short Money’, this seems particularly creative. And the murkiness doesn’t end there.

When Burnham was Health Secretary, Lee Communications raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds in NHS cash, which is somewhat ironic given Burnham’s apocalyptic warnings about the Tories privatising the health service. Lee also splashed himself all over the internet boasting about his connections with Burnham and his expertise in public affairs. He was a health lobbyist with NHS clients.

As if Burnham employing Lee’s company and giving him a parliamentary pass permitting a health lobbyist access to parliament was not suspicious enough, Lee also “loaned” £20,000 to Burnham’s failed leadership campaign. Burnham has never managed to explain why he gave a lobbyist donor unfettered access to the parliamentary estate. As for that £20,000 loan, did Burnham ever pay it back? Let’s see if he can clear it up once and for all two years on…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

O’Flynn It to Win It

Once upon a time, a cynical silver-haired Lobby correspondent like Patrick O’Flynn would have been first to take the mickey out of a politician announcing that they would be making an announcement:

And so, this morning we had the big UKIP selection news that everyone was waiting for. Paddy will seek the support of his local party to be UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Cambridge. He will be trying to unseat weirdy beardy LibDem Dr Julian Huppert, who has a majority of 6,792. Again UKIP are sticking to their policy of running local candidates, O’Flynn went to a Cambridge comp and made it to Cambridge University. Huppert will be praying the student vote doesn’t completely collapse or else he’s in real trouble. Still no news on whether UKIP have managed to convince anyone to take Paddy’s widely-touted old job as head of comms…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spinners “Hit Hardest” By Labour’s Unimaginative Slogan Crisis

Labour’s uninspiring Shadow Treasury minister Shabana Mahmood didn’t really have her heart in it when she gave the government a limp-wristed slap today: “While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut families with children have been hit hardest…by the cost of living crisis.” Where has Guido heard that before?

Lazy Labour spinners have thrown the “hit hardest” line into just about every quote they have sent out recently. It isn’t just families with children who have apparently been “hit hardest”, but also: the self-employed, mothers, women, Londoners, ethnic minorities, the elderly, the disabled, the north-east – and Guido’s personal favourite – Women in Rutherglen and Cambuslang. Make your mind up…

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Government Spending Spinning Out of Control
DfT Advertising for £184,000-a-Year Comms Director

Are you an expert in “cost effective marketing solutions”? Are you capable of “ensuring effective penetration into target markets”? Would you be able to “develop a social and new media strategy”? Then the Department for Transport might have just the job for you.

DfT are offering a budget-busting £770-a-day to their new Director of Communications, which, if he or she works 240 days a year, puts the successful applicant on £184,800. Making them considerably better paid than the Secretary of State. Talk about jumping on the high-speed gravy train…

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Worst Political Slogan Ever

Labour’s slogan for the summer really runs off the tongue:

“The Choice – The Labour future / The Tory threat”.

Of its eight words, three of them are “the”. Catchy.

Worse still, the party has now deleted a tweet plugging another new slogan to accompany Ed Balls’s speech on the economy:

“A choice between a Labour plan to make Britain better off and fairer for the future or more of the same from the same old Tories.”

Tough on punctuation, tough on the causes of punctuation. 

Could they have come up with anything clunkier than “make Britain better off and fairer”? It has a grand total of 2 ‘a’s, 3 ‘the’s, 2 ‘same’s, an ‘of’, an ‘off’, a ‘for’, a ‘to’ and a ‘from’. It is supposed to clarify “the choice” between Labour and the Tories, yet you have to read it three times before you can work out where the praise for Labour ends, and the criticism of the Tories begins. Britain can do better than this…

Friday, July 25, 2014

Miliband: Don’t Vote for Me

Monday, July 21, 2014

Washington Unmoved By Miliband Visit

There is no mention of Ed Miliband’s unscheduled ‘brush-by’ with President Obama in Mike Allen’s Playbook, the morning round up of anything going on in Washington that matters to anyone who is anybody in Washington. Sebastian Payne at the Post reports that Ed is scheduled to meet national security adviser Susan Rice this afternoon, officially the White House pointedly says there is “nothing to announce on the president’s schedule”. Presumably at this point Obama will drop in, if he doesn’t have a world war to avoid. Damian McBride, recounting the President’s five snubs of Gordon Brown and subsequent humiliating chat in a kitchen, has his fingers crossed:

“Team Miliband will have left nothing to chance before their man’s meeting at the White House today. For starters, they will have ensured he gets at least as much ceremony and time as David Cameron enjoyed in his first visit to President Bush as leader of the opposition. Aides will have their stopwatches out, ready to squash any suggestion that Mr Miliband was given less time than he was due…

The reality is that every presidential summit, visit, brush-by, drop-in, and walk-and-talk is nowadays so stage-managed that only someone as afflicted by bad luck as Gordon Brown could ever come a cropper. Provided Obama turns up and the White House doesn’t serve bacon sandwiches, today’s meeting will be the diplomatic equivalent of the speaking clock.”

Miliband’s intellectual henchman Stewart Wood was responsible for White House relations under Gordon Brown, surely he will ensure that this time there is no screw up. Interestingly McBride names Dougie Alexander as the source of the leak of the ‘five snubs’ story back in 2009. Which goes some way to explain the enmity between him and Michael Dugher, then Brown’s comms chief…

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It Was Meant to Be a Joke

As revealed by Guido yesterday – and followed up on the front-pages today – government files relating to Diego Garcia and rendition have mysteriously suffered from flood damage.

Co-conspirators point out, this excuse is hardly watertight.

As Yes, Minister puts it:

“It is possible to remove everything of significance from a file released under the 30-year rule by saying that it is complete except for: 
a. A small number of secret documents. 
b. A few documents which are part of still active files.
c. Some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967.
d. Some records which went astray in the move to London.
e. Other records which went astray when the Department was reorganized.
f. The normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel of breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.”

Appropriately, Sir Humprey’s quote is from an episode called Skeleton in the Cupboard.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harman’s ‘Deliberate Misrepresentation’

“It’s really a deliberate misrepresentation to have the few Tory women MPs clustered around the Prime Minister so that they can be picked up by the TV cameras while the rest of the government benches are nearly exclusively men.”

- Harriet Harman, 8 July 2014

Now what sort of self-respecting, proud feminist would ever allow herself to be used in a wheeze such as that?

gordonpmqs

- Harriet Harman, 25 July 2007

Oh Hatty.


Seen Elsewhere

Why Newmark Story Was Not Fishing Expedition | David Banks
Longlist to Succeed Hague | ConHome
Newmark Nonsense An Excuse to Bash Tabloids | Spiked
Kay Burley’s Top Twitter Zingers | Buzzfeed
Why Tory Tax Cut Pledge is Good News | Allister Heath
ONS Admits Economy Stronger Than It Thought | Speccie
Cameron’s Concessions to UKIP | Nick Wood
#TM4PM: It’s On | Speccie
Path to Defeat Obvious for Both Labour and Tories | Rafael Behr
It’s Boris v May | Sun
Farage is Outflanking the Tories | Guardian


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


David Cameron on political promiscuity…

“On May 7 you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband. Not one bit of that works for me.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,480 other followers