Milne Orders Corbynistas to “Isolate” Moderate MPs

Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne has ordered the Labour leader’s army of social media ultras to “isolate” and “counter” moderate MPs online. According to the Labour Party Marxists group Milne attended the AGM of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy last week, where he called on those present to target moderates:

he correctly pointed to the “symbiosis between some in the Labour Party and elements of the media and the establishment”. We must counter this, using social media to “isolate those who want to create a feeling of confusion and failure”

Not sinister at all. And yes, that is Labour’s chief spinner on secondment from the Guardian decrying links between “some in the Labour Party and elements of the media”.

The meeting also discussed Labour’s anti-Semitism problem, dismissing claims of anti-Semitism at Oxford Labour club and claiming links between those investigating and Israel:

All complaints around the YL election, along with the outrageous charges of anti-Semitism made against the Oxford University Labour Club for its stand against Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians, have been referred to an “enquiry” under Baroness Jan Royall – who, Ann Black reminded us, worked for Neil Kinnock and is a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel. Labour Party ‘enquiries’ can last years, and may never reach a conclusion.

A reminder that Oxford Labour club members face allegations of harassing Jewish students and abusing Jews as “Zios“. This is how Corbyn’s allies respond to claims of anti-Semitism, by defending the perpetrators and claiming conspiracy…

UPDATE: Labour MP John Woodcock hits back:

“Tawdry.. explains a lot. Tactics hallmark of ultra-left apparatchiks, should have no place in British Labour party.”

Seumas Milne Floored in Guardian Game of Chicken

Some Easter holiday reading: don’t miss WikiGuido’s profile of Seumas Milne in this month’s GQ. Read Milne’s extraordinary defence of a self-confessed KGB stooge, the inside story of the ‘revenge reshuffle’ and how he was floored in a game of chicken in the Guardian newsroom:

Former colleagues reveal how, despite his slight figure, Milne had a remarkable habit of refusing to give way in corridors. Over several years, his fellow journalists grew tired of his insistence that oncoming co-workers make way for him. Eventually, one snapped, telling his desk, “I’m not going to do it again. Next time he plays chicken with me, I’m not going to get out of the way.” The whole office waited for the inevitable confrontation. Soon enough, it happened. As Milne walked down a corridor, the six-foot colleague approached from the other direction. They smashed into each other, sending Milne flying, along with the papers he was carrying. “Seumas was in shock,” recalls an onlooker. “No one had ever done that to him before. He expected people to show deference to him. There was a horrible silence in the office. It was a moment that demonstrated how aloof he seemed from the rest of the working environment.”

Read the full profile here

Seumas Milne Calls Labour MP “Mentally Ill”

MILNE ON PHONE

A co-conspirator gets in touch with an account of their mid-morning commute last Thursday, during which they eavesdropped on a conversation a fellow passenger was loudly having on the phone. Guido reproduces their note of the journey verbatim, our annotations are in bold

Travelling on the District Line train from Richmond the other day, I sat opposite Seumas Milne. He was constantly on the phone as he proceeded towards Westminster. I was struck by how indiscreet he was in his conversations to various callers, and in public, about his fellow Labourites. Anyone interested in politics could pick up some useful scuttlebutt on inter-Labour wrangling.

Here is what I picked up:

Seumas castigated John McDonnell for arranging an interview about his budget statement, with an Indie journo, when the latter organ was about to cease hard copy publishing, and had a small circulation. Seumas could not shift John about arranging an interview with another, larger circulation paper, since the latter was ‘very stubborn.’ There was also talk about Heather Stewart but I did not catch the gist because of train noise.

[Heather Stewart is the new political editor of the Guardian. Is this who Milne wanted McDonnell to do the interview with instead of the Indy?]

Someone called Heidi was being difficult over an NHS bill;

[This would be the Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander]

Someone called Lewis was ‘mentally ill’.

[There aren’t many Lewises in the PLP. He could be talking about Ivan Lewis, but more likely it’s a comment on Clive Lewis, the… err, interesting, Corbynista MP]

Seumas Milne was renowned during his time at the Guardian for striding through the newsroom while talking loudly on his mobile, much to the consternation of fellow journalists who were trying to concentrate on their work. Did Seumas really describe a fellow Corbynista as “mentally ill”? Being overheard on the train is the mark of a rank amateur…

UPDATE:

Milne’s “Vote Maoist” Poster

John Whittingdale, who attended Winchester College with Seumas Milne, reveals the now Labour comms chief’s election pitch from their schooldays. Read Milne’s Maoist manifesto here

Pic via Sam Coates

Alastair Campbell Confused Between Truth & Fiction

Bad Al seems to be having trouble remembering which stories he made up and which were true…

Nick Clegg Photographed at Dogging Site

You know how it is, you’re arranging a photo op for the Deputy PM and you accidentally take him to a dogging site. We’ve all done it. Well, no, but former LibDem press officer Ben Rathe did:

“It was the Liberal Democrat Conference 2013, and my role back then was planning all of the visits that Nick Clegg was doing over the course of the 5 days in Glasgow. This included finding somewhere suitable to announce a new 5p charge on plastic bags.

I picked out a lovely nature reserve just south of Glasgow called Cathkin Marsh, which allowed us to tell the story of how discarded carrier bags murder cute, furry animals, damage the environment and ruin picturesque landscapes.

Now, as part of arranging any visit for Nick, who at that time was obviously DPM, you had to recce the site with his Metropolitan Police protection team. As we were in Scotland, we were also accompanied by some officers from Police Scotland, who opened my eyes to a startling fact.

‘Interesting place for a visit’ said one officer after the recce, which had mainly involved walking around a marshland on a wooden boardwalk.

I, thinking he meant they usually take politicians to schools, factories or nursing homes, launched into an explanation about why we’d chosen this location, the environmental impact discarded bags can have etc etc. I was swiftly cut off.

‘No, I mean because of what the locals use it for’ he said.

Now, ‘what the locals use it for’ is never a good sentence to hear, because usually ‘the locals’ are never using ‘it’ for anything good. I didn’t want to ask what he meant, mainly because I knew what he was going to say if I did, but felt that I had to.

So I did. And then came the reply I had both expected and dreaded.

‘Oh, it’s a dogging site.’

A dogging site. I’d arranged for the Deputy Prime Minister to visit a dogging site…

I’d just about accepted that I had to come clean when my phone rang and James Holt, a Number 10 Special Adviser told me that the policy had been leaked and that we’d need to bring the visit forward to the next morning.

Decision made then. There was no way we could find an alternate location in that time, and the announcement needed a visit for the pictures. So I made the very brave (or very stupid) decision and told James that would be fine. 

So the next morning came, and off went the Deputy Prime Minister and Lord President of the Council on his morning visit. To a dogging site.”

Read the whole story on Rathe’s blog here. Armando Iannucci eat your heart out.

Cameron Confirms Civil Servants Helping Remain

Nadine Dorries has grilled the PM about Guido’s revelation that a pro-EU letter supposedly from FTSE 100 bosses, due to appear in tomorrow’s papers, was actually drafted by a Downing Street civil servant. Cameron said Chris Hopkins wrote the letter with his authorisation:

“He’s a civil servant working in No.10 and his authority comes from me, and he’s doing an excellent job… the government’s view is that we should Remain in a reformed European Union and the civil service is able to support the government in that role”

Your taxed euros hard at work getting pro-Remain front pages…

Downing Street Soliciting Big Business Support For Remain

Guido has got hold of a draft letter sent to FTSE 100 bosses by Downing Street business adviser Chris Hopkins yesterday, soliciting support for Dave’s deal. It was due to appear in tomorrow’s Times, but you can read it on Guido today:

From: Chris Hopkins
Sent: 21 February 2016
To: XXXXX

Dear Sirs

We run businesses representing every sector and region of the United Kingdom. Together we employ hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Following the Prime Minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union. He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.

Businesses like ours need unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk.

We believe Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union.

Give me a call if you have any issues.

Regards,

Chris

The letter was sent around yesterday, after the new rules limiting what Leave ministers are allowed to do with public resources came into effect. No.10 are unsportingly using the taxpayer-funded civil service machine to campaign for Remain, within the rules…

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.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Just Add Smoke

hall-of-mirrors

Dave’s Copenhagen press conference is perfectly placed…

Hat-tip: Kate McCann
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

‘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…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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