Welcome Back, Damian…

This tweet from EyeSpy suddenly makes a lot more sense – Damian McBride has been hired to be Emily Thornberry’s spin doctor. On the day of her resignation, McBride told the BBC she should’ve lied about the meaning of her flag tweet. News of the move was slipped out at 5:50pm on Friday night, the old tricks are the best…

LibDems Blame Public, Media and Blazing Rows

nick clegg sad

A good day for the LibDems to quietly slip out their report into why they were wiped out last May. So, who was to blame? The public of course:

“the weak public understanding of our party and political opinions meant that our move into government was not well understood”

And the media, obviously:

“media system that did not wish to demonstrate that the first peace-time coalition at Westminster could deliver stable government worsened the experience”

Though to be fair, the LibDem report is considerably more candid than Labour’s whitewash. Tuition fees was top of the list:

“critical disjunction between what we had published on the front page of our 2010 manifesto… namely, the abolition of tuition fees”

Intriguingly, they all ended up having blazing rows with each other:

“Some of the most problematic staff relationships came with overzealous party committee members, who took their frustration with the structure out on staff members”

No one was in charge, despite hiring expensive South African strategist Ryan Coetzee:

“lack of a single, professional campaign director responsible for taking strategic decisions about all aspects of campaigning”

They were seen as Tory patsies:

“we unwittingly manoeuvred ourselves into a position of appearing content to be willing appendages to our coalition partners”

Remarkably, due to “dwindling finances”

“no polling activities of note were undertaken at all during the first years of Coalition”

And morale was, well…

“these factors combined to lead to a daily reality for the party of public rejection, falling internal morale, and consistent electoral destruction”

Despite all this they bizarrely conclude:

“the political plight of the party could have been far worse”

How?

That No.10 Pantomime in Full

Thursday

8:00pm: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “I would say the going is tough, this could be a long night. Some real outstanding issues to resolve, it’s not clear how we’re going to do that.”

8:20pm: BBC reports No.10 source: “impasse… we thought there might be talk of bridges but still big gaps”, “talks pushed back”

Friday

5:29am: Times reports No.10 downbeat: “problems across the board”

7:50am: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “It’s hard going. Some signs of progress but nothing yet agreed and still a lot to do.”

8:15am: Amber Rudd is sent on Today“The deal is out of reach at the moment”

10:52am: No.10 brief the Lobby: “We may have a deal today, we may not. We may have Cabinet today, we may not. Tusk has told us he’s prepared to go into Sunday”

As the President of Lithuania said yesterday: “Everybody will have his own drama, then we will agree…”

Just Add Smoke

hall-of-mirrors

Dave’s Copenhagen press conference is perfectly placed…

Hat-tip: Kate McCann

BSE Apologise: “Work of Fiction” Claim is… Work of Fiction

Yesterday Britain Stronger in Europe sent out a press release describing a new Institute of Economic Affairs report on the EU as a “work of fiction”. Quite a hostage to fortune…

The BSE briefing claimed: “Matthew Elliott CEO of Vote Leave is a former Director of the IEA”. Er, no he isn’t. Elliott has never been a director of the IEA.

BSE then claimed the Elliott (non)link meant: “The Institute for Economic Affairs, Business for Britain and Vote Leave are a revolving door”. About as much as Stuart Rose and Marks and Spencer. Or, indeed, not, since Elliott was never at the IEA.

BSE have now privately apologised to the IEA for the error, they tell Guido: “We do regret any confusion caused”. Though they haven’t sent out a correction. They are instead waiting for journalists to call up before they tell them their briefing was, to coin a phrase, “a work of fiction”. 

Cabinet Fury Over Cameron’s 18 Day ‘Free Reign’

EU REFORM

Downing Street have cleared the grid for the next two weeks so Cameron can sell his renegotiation deal to the public. Eurosceptic ministers are furious that he will have two weeks’ “free reign” to make the pro-EU case, while they remain gagged. Ministers who want to campaign to Leave are barred from doing so until the conclusion of the post-EU council Cabinet meeting, which will take place after February 19. This is from Cameron’s letter to ministers:

So in the 18 or so days between today and that Cabinet meeting, Cameron is free to defend his deal without opposition from Eurosceptic ministers. They are seething…

Ken Pushes New Zac Attack on Sadiq

This is the new Tory attack poster on Sadiq Khan released this morning, ramming home the line that Labour’s mayoral candidate is “Corbyn’s man in City Hall”. Sadiq nominated Corbyn for leader and has since been attempting an unconvincing differentiation strategy. So he won’t be thrilled to see Ken Livingstone has just helpfully parroted the very same Tory attack line in the Standard.

In an article headlined “London needs to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of a better city”, Ken tells voters that “Corbyn has the right economic policy” and “he is the last chance we’ve got to create a fairer world”. The former London mayor agrees with Zac – Sadiq is Corbyn’s man in City Hall. Good news for Khan is at least Ken isn’t backing his old mate George Galloway…

‘Senior Labour Source’ on Putin

Wonder what a “senior Labour source” thinks about the Litvinenko findings?

Here is an idea of Seumas Milne’s view…

McBride Knifes Baldwin

baldwin mcbrde
It appears our old friend Damian McBride couldn’t resist sticking the knife in to Ed Miliband’s shambolic media operation. McBride was happy to recount the following anecdote about a grim-faced Tom Baldwin, the ex-Times hack who became Ed’s press guru.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boys Keep Spinning: Corbyn’s Today Programme Porkie

Jeremy Corbyn told the Today programme that he did not know which member of his team briefed the press that he intended to sack Hilary Benn: “I’m not sure where the briefing came from”. Seumas Milne is widely believed to be responsible for the first two anti-Benn briefings that appeared, in the Telegraph on Christmas Eve and in the Sindy three days later.[…]

+ READ MORE +

McDonnell Wipes Mao From Official Video of Speech

Just when you thought today couldn’t get any worse for John McDonnell, he decided to tweet out a video of his response to the Autumn Statement. Yet mysteriously, when he starts his section on China, the film oddly fades to black and then skips forward a couple of minutes.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Prang Spin

momentary-prang

The PM’s official spokesman says his official car “momentarily touched” another vehicle while manoeuvring in Downing Street. “PM was not inside, no damage done”, they also deny it was a “car crash”Never believe anything until it is officially denied…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Seumas Milne’s Closeness to Guardian Editor

There has been consternation in Labour circles and at the Guardian over Seumas Milne being allowed to work for Jeremy Corbyn while “on leave” from King’s Place. The bizarre arrangement suggests he still has his column waiting for him if and when things go south with Jezza.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Seumas Milne: “It Wasn’t Only Negative What Happened in the Riots”

As ‘anarchist’ rioters (who want a bigger state) rampaged through London last week, setting a police car ablaze and blinding a horse with a firework, it’s worth asking what Team Corbyn think. Here is Seumas Milne speaking after the London riots.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Corbyn’s New Spin Doctor is a Pro

Which spin doctor broke the cardinal rule of SpAds and walked into shot not once but twice as Corbyn was being interviewed by Sky? And who let Jezza be filmed in front of a load of posters showing Labour in the 70s?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another Labour Opponent Linked to Top Corbyn Job

Speculation is swirling in Labour circles that Corbyn is about to appoint New Economics Foundation chief and hardcore ex-Socialist Workers Party member James Meadway as his new economics adviser. This won’t be the last time you hear his name if it becomes official…

Just like Andrew Fisher, Meadway has openly backed non-Labour candidates in a number of elections, writing for the SWP splinter group Counterfire after George Galloway defeated Labour in Bradford West:

“All those who oppose austerity and war should be walking a little taller this morning… The gap between Britain’s corrupt and squalid political class, and those they claim to represent – already large – yawns wider as a result.”

He endorsed Tower Hamlets First (then independent) candidate Rubina Khan, who fought against Labour:

Meadway is an apologist for the disgraced wrong ‘un Lutfur Rahman.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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