Monday, September 15, 2014

Burnham B*****king Falls on Deaf Ears

Team Ed are getting increasingly irritated by Burnham’s less than subtle leadership posturing. “Burnham has been told to shut up”, says a Labour source, “but there is no telling him”. As Guido reported in yesterday’s Sun, there has been particular anger aimed at the Shadow Health Secretary after his over-dramatic scaremongering about NHS privatisation was leapt upon by Salmond and the Yes campaign, leaving Darling spluttering and almost defending the Tories. Guido is amazed anyone still cares what Burnham even says after his “24 Hours to Save the NHS” shtick fell flat when hospitals remained open and free at the point of use…

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Miliband Fails to Land Big Hitting Telly Spinner
Former Mandelson Protégé Joins Team Ed

Ed Miliband has failed to secure a much needed broadcast news expert to help his struggling TV presence. Having doubled the initial offering of around £45,000, made back in March, Labour have had to settle for a former One Show, Politics Show and Westminster Hour producer whose previous image making skills honed Gloria Hunniford. Perhaps it was his experience on “Rip Off Britain” that tipped the balance in his favour. Labour were ideally seeking the services of a frontline broadcast news expert. Friends describe Matthew Laza as a ‘good New Labour man, through and through.’

Slipped in under the cover of the Scottish chaos and a royal baby six months late and hardly a hire to set conference season alight. One of the biggest obstacles to finding someone for the gig was that no one wanted to risk ruining their reputation for less than a year in one of the toughest jobs in politics – making Ed look normal eating:

Laza does have some image issues of his own, having recently gone a bit Bullingdon in an upmarket Manchester restaurant popular with BBC luvvies:

degrees-restaurant

Laza’s appointment comes on the back of his ‘old mate’ Gloria De Piero joining Labour’s election team. The two are said to enjoy a shared curiosity in German socialism. Though his bona fide New Labourism does not end there. The former NOLS activist is alumni of the Blairite €uro-loving campaign group Britain In Europe, Guido understands that Peter Mandelson took a special interest in personally tutoring a young Laza in every aspect of the dark arts…

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gravy Train Stops at No. 10 for Transport Super Salary
No. 10’s Head of News Heads to Siberia

Three weeks ago Guido reported:

“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…”

Well all aboard for Scot Marchbank, one time Deputy Spokesman to the PM and latterly N0. 10’s Head of News. It’s one heck of a promotion in cash terms and into the Whitehall wilderness in terms of power. Guido is suspicious of the timing. Jumped, or pushed? You choo-choose.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beeb Cliff Spin Mystery

Earlier today, the BBC’s “head of newsgathering” sought to counter speculation about how the Beeb managed to get camera crews down to Cliff Richard’s apartment in time to film the police walking in:

This afternoon, South Yorkshire Police released this statement:

“When a media outlet contacted SYP with information about an investigation, we took the decision to work with them in order to protect the integrity of that investigation.

“Since the search took place a number of people have contacted the police to provide information and we must acknowledge that the media played a part in that, for which we are grateful.”

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s all this then?

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…


Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



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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