SKETCH: Ladies Tennis, ISIS and EVEL MacSporrans

Were they tails that the Speaker was wearing, and a waistcoat? Is he finally dressing the part? It’s cruellest trick he’s playing on his critics. He’s turning himself into a decent Speaker. Acting the part, dressing the part, sounding the part. He doesn’t even intervene with his tortured Macaulay-isms to kick things along (and as a result, for the first time ever he didn’t get through the order paper). He’s obviously settling in for the duration. He will die in office and even then he will not quit.

Harriet played a pleasant, polite and perfectly charming game of ladies’ tennis with the prime minister. In their exchanges, they mused about Heathrow, the death of tourists, the Prevent program and how it hadn’t succeeded in preventing anything. So now, it appears there is “a statutory duty on public bodies to challenge radicalisation.”

But how?

For politicians the first tactic is to manipulate the language. Continue reading

When Burnham Used to Court the Media

An easy crowd-pleaser for Andy Burnham at Labour’s trade union hustings this lunchtime:

“When we were in government I observed it. We courted the media, didn’t we. And we allowed ourselves to get so close to parts of the right-wing media, so close that we couldn’t hear an entire city crying injustice for all those years of our time in government. I saw that and learned obviously from that. And it’s to Ed’s credit that he changed that.”

Here is Andy Burnham just five years ago… After he had supposedly “learned” from his time in government:

Nor has this new found moral crusade stopped Burnham from hiring the daughter of the last editor of the News of the World to spin for him… her contacts will be handy for Andy…

UPDATE: And here is Andy Burnham in the back of the Sun cab:

Progressive Hillary: “Marriage is Between a Man and a Woman”

Hillary Clinton 2004:

“I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman …the fundamental bedrock principle that [marriage] exists between a man and a woman, going back into the midst of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.”

Hillary Clinton 2015:

How did her intern fondling husband feel about that “sacred bond”… 

Sad Press Release of the Day

Former MP Stephen Lloyd lands West End director role

After narrowly losing his seat as the MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, Stephen Lloyd was one of many former parliamentarians looking for a fresh challenge after May’s general election. However, it hasn’t taken the popular politician very long to re-start his career in business after being appointed Business Development Director at West End, an international event, broadcast, multi-media communications and exhibition company based in Eastbourne.

Less “Who, What, Where, Why and When”, more “Who, Who, Who, What, Why”?

No, 250,000 People Did Not Protest On Saturday

_83757829_de27-1

Numbers have never been a strong point for the left. Hence why Owen Jones and his new mate Charlotte Church were pushing the quarter of a million figure for Saturday’s march in London. It’s nonsense.

Even lefties are sceptical:

While the police will not publicly give a figure, a source tells Guido this morning that Parliament Square can hold around 20,000 people. With a bit of overflow, the working estimate is around 25,000…

250,000 would fill not only Parliament Square but Whitehall and Trafalgar Square too. Twice over.

In order for the comrades to have achieved 250,000 people on their march, 5,000 people would have to have left the starting point at Bank every minute – almost 100 per second – in the time they claimed to have achieved this fantasy number. “A tight military formation couldn’t even do that,” Guido’s public order numbers bod derides. 

Are the lefties really saying they had the same number of people who marched on Washington in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement – put at between 200,000 and 250,000:

Landscape

Is Owen Jones really saying he is a bigger draw than Martin Luther King?

250,000 was also the figure given for Obama’s famous speech in Berlin in 2008:

obama

Notice a difference in the size of the crowd?

This is what 250,000 people looked like when Paul McCartney played in Mexico in 2012.

Shall we look at Saturday’s picture again?

_83757829_de27-1

Looks about a tenth of the size… pretty shoddy journalism for the papers to just regurgitate the number given by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity without so much as a raised eyebrow. Continue reading

Burnham Gaffe Wasn’t Even First Time

country comes first

Liz Kendall is making Burnham’s ‘the party always comes first’ gaffe really hurt. Burnham supporters are attempting to spin it as out of context, but it was clearly a daft thing to say and it teed up his quick witted opponent perfectly.

As they spin, perhaps Burnham’s allies could explain why this was the second time this week their boy declared party over country? Speaking to ITV Wales show the Sharp End, Burnham said on Monday:

“I’m always someone that will put the interests of the Labour Party first, and that is in the end what matters – what is in the best interests of the Labour Party.”

This is the man who promised last night to take politics out of the elitist bubble.

Quick career recap:

  • Cambridge University.
  • Tessa Jowell SpAd.
  • Chris Smith SpAd.
  • Elected to Parliament in stitch up.
  • David Blunkett bagcarrier.
  • DCMS Minister.
  • Chief Secretary to Treasury (pre-crash).
  • Health Secretary.
  • Failed leadership contender.
  • Shadow Health Secretary.

You would have thought that somewhere along the way, Burnham might have realised you have to at least pretend you’re putting the interests of the country first…

Cooper Scrapes the Barrel

A spokesman from the Yvette Cooper campaign writes today:

So, on behalf of Yvette’s Leadership Campaign, I am today making these promises:

If anyone is speaking on behalf of the campaign, they will do so explicitly on the record. There will be no unattributed negative briefings about other candidates because that’s not the kind of politics Yvette has ever wanted to champion
If anyone else is speaking to you and claiming to do so on Yvette’s behalf and wants to criticise opponents – you can take it from me that they do not speak for the campaign or Yvette – and if she or I get to hear about it they will have lost our trust and our respect. I hope that all of the candidates will join me in making that pledge
If Yvette disagrees with things the other candidates are saying she will say so herself – on the record or in interviews.

We want this campaign to be about the best Labour has to offer. Negative briefing has no place in this debate.

This would be the same Yvette Cooper that is married to Ed Balls.

Pity, there was Guido beginning to enjoy the incoming chatter…

Harman Forgets When Labour Tried to Abolish Human Rights

hatty

Harriet Harman, at her pious worst today, declared in a speech about Human Rights:

“Labour values are about social and economic rights. And they are also about the civil and political rights embodied in the Human Rights Act. But these are not just Labour values – they are British values and universal human values. Simple but powerful, enshrining: The right to life, liberty and security…The right to a fair trial.”

Harman must have forgotten that when she was last in government. Here is a flavour of her voting record:

“Harriet Harman voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.”

“Harriet Harman voted yes on Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill — Indefinite detention of suspected terrorists.”

“Harriet Harman voted against giving a greater role to the courts in relation to the imposition of control orders.”

After previously voting for ID cards, detention without trial and house arrest for enemies of the state, today she says:

“What an irony that yesterday the Prime Minister was presiding over the celebration of Magna Carta at the same time he’s planning to undermine the Human Rights Act. No wonder that though he mentioned human rights in South Africa – and preyed in aid Nelson Mandela – and mentioned human rights in India – and preyed in aid Ghandi – he could not bring himself to mention Europe and our Convention.

But we believe that, together, we can prevent the government eroding human rights. Their policy is intellectually incoherent and, worse, it’s wrong in principle. Though Labour is in opposition, not in government, we believe that in this case, on an issue of such profound importance, they can and should be held back.”

Labour will stand up against the erosion of Human Rights?

Let us rewind to 1999 when Labour tried to scrap trail by jury for thousands of people every year:

“Plans to limit access to trial by jury are being criticised by the legal profession and human rights groups. Unveiling the plans, Home Secretary Jack Straw said he intends to stop people accused of theft, burglary and assault from opting to be tried in a crown court, rather than by magistrates. The home secretary unveiled the move during a speech to the Police Federation Conference in Blackpool on Wednesday.”

There is certainly a case against the reform of the Human Rights Act, but Labour are in no position to make it or lecture on the erosion of rights. 

Amy Fisher New Head of Press at CCHQ

amy fisher showcase_3bea2c4e6574bbb6d162a9de46bdb148
Chris Grayling’s SpAD Amy Fisher replaces Giles Kenningham as Head of Press at CCHQ.

Long time press office stalwart – and tax justice campaigner – Richard Jackson will be her deputy.

Fisher used to be at Policy Exchange before spinning […]

+ READ MORE +

Part-Time Khan: Bad Week for Sadiq

khan

April 2014:

Labour is planning to launch a full-scale assault on Boris Johnson, labelling him a man with two part-time jobs if he stands for a seat in the House of Commons before quitting as Mayor in 2016. Senior

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour’s City Spokeswoman Begs for Internships

Labour’s relationship with the City is dire, so dire in fact that they are starting at the bottom. From the Prawn Cocktail Offensive to making the tea…

Alison McGovern, formerly Gordon Brown’s PPS and now Labour’s spokesman for the City, […]

+ READ MORE +

Dave’s Balls Up in Bavaria

Tory unity has lasted exactly one month, as has Dave The Winner’s honeymoon with the press. Needless to say his EU-turn today and then an arrogant schooling G7 news conference has gone down like a cup of cold sick with […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

William Hague on Tony Blair…

“To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.”

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