Thursday, January 9, 2014

Attack Dog Holiday

John Rentoul has been analysing the Miliband mantra to make PMQs all nice and fluffy:

“But something had changed. If I had been more observant, I would have noticed that Michael Dugher, the Labour noise machine, was not sitting in his usual place on the steps of the gangway next to the opposition front bench.”

If he had been more observant, Rentoul would have noticed that Michael Dugher has been Tweeting about being in Israel all week.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chuka Squirms Over Anti-Balls Briefing

Chuka Umunna was confronted on the Daily Politics with allegations that he may have been behind the Economist piece about Labour expanding BIS to neuter the Treasury if Labour make it back into government. Ed Balls will be delighted…

Yesterday Labour Uncut made the link that the author of the piece, one Jeremy Cliffe, who used to work for Chuka. To be fair it’s denials all round:

But fun to watch Chuka squirm.

Video via @liarpoliticians

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Labour PPS: ‘One Nation’ is Rubbish

Finally a Labour MP has said what everyone was thinking. Simon Danczuk has gone tonto about Labour’s messaging. Writing in PR Week the Rochdale MP and Labour PPS hits the nail on the head:

“We’ve already been told, from the very top, to intertwine ‘one nation’ into every policy statement we make, to build it into speeches, to continually repeat the phrase ‘one nation’ at every opportunity. I’m beginning to worry we haven’t moved on from the 1990s. But please, it’s not a General Election winning strapline is it? The public isn’t as accepting of such simple messaging any more. Indeed, I’ve come to believe the public is actively turned off by the torturous repetition of political mantras.”

Discussing Labour’s campaigning magazine, Danczuk coughed: “I was at least grateful they hadn’t bothered with Eddie Izzard for a change.” Aren’t we all.

UPDATE: Labour are taking this stoically:

“We believe in Britain being a country where everyone plays their part and we’ll continue to make the argument for One Nation Labour.”

Apparently Danczuk was ditched as PPS last year.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ed Balls Denies He Predicted a Double Dip Recession
(Except of Course He Did) 

Ed Balls told Adam Boulton on Sky  News that he had never predicted a double dip recession:

Except of course he did…

See also: Ed Balls denies that he denied there was a structural deficit.

O’Flynn Makes it Official with UKIP

Patrick O’Flynn of the Express will spin, officially, for UKIP as their new Director of Communications. O’Flynn is already a UKIP candidate for the EU elections, though he’s taking on one of the hardest jobs in Westminster: dealing with ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racist’ stories. No news on who will take over as the Express Chief Political Commentator…

Friday, January 3, 2014

Labour’s Gym Spin Machine Needs to Row Back

Top Labour thinker Luciana Berger has already been widely derided for her spandex-clad election winner that she unveiled last night:

“Millions of people across the country will want to kick-start 2014 by getting fitter and more active. There is a real risk however that many people will be put off from keeping to their New Year’s resolutions by soaring gym charges and David Cameron’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

Berger went on to claim: “A yearly pass now costs £368 on average, an increase of £15 since 2010″. Before this intervention is allowed to shift the entire political narrative, it should also be pointed out that it’s complete nonsense.

An increase of £15 since 2010 constitutes a 4.1% rise. However, if subsidised costs had risen in line with CPI over the same period (10.5%) a pass would cost an average of £390. So in fact that is a real terms cut of £22 in gym membership costs since 2010. Not only was Berger’s intervention completely vacuous, it was just plain wrong. Roll on 2014.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wrong Type of Power Comes To Kent

The ministerial Land Rover was splattered with mud for some good telly pictures of the PM working hard for the flood victims of Kent this afternoon. It seems the ghost of the 2007, when Dave went to Rwanda instead of his own waterlogged constituency, still haunts the Cameroons.

The people of Yalding were not exactly enamoured to see him. Just what you would want after losing power on Christmas Eve and having your home destroyed. No wonder he got heckled.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shamed: Pictures of MPs Laughing in Food Bank Debate

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves was outraged at MPs laughing in the House when the topic of food banks were on the table. Outrage and hysteria levels are maxed out by Labour this morning:

Guido is shocked and appalled at how many MPs were opening laughing, jeering and giggling through the most serious thing ever to be discussed in this or any other Parliament. Here’s Reeves herself laughing away. Not once:

Not twice:

But three times:

Stephen Twigg found it all particularly funny, though was at least self-aware enough to try to hide his arrogant and belittling smirk behind his hand:

Permanently outraged Luciana Berger and Labour attack pup Jon Ashworth, who has been rather vocal about Tories’ behaviour in the debate, spent the afternoon chuckling together:

And look how much fun the usually sour-faced Shelia Gilmore was having:

Well it is nearly Christmas.

Balls Launches Career Saving Cost Review For Third Time

Fighting for his job, Ed Balls has done what Ed Balls does best and relaunched an old idea to try distract from his current woes. Labour have today announced a zero-base cost review of all public spending: “a root and branch review of every pound the government spends from the bottom up”. Which is all well and good.

Labour are saying that they are launching this review today. Except for the fact that Labour already launched it. Here is Ed Balls in September 2013

“Of course Labour will always make different choices. We will combine iron discipline on spending control with a fairer approach to deficit reduction. And with our zero-based review – a review of every pound spent by government from the bottom up – Rachel Reeves and my Shadow Cabinet colleagues have begun the work of identifying savings so that we can switch resources to Labour’s priorities.”

And here is Ed Balls launching it in September 2012:

 “The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending. For a Labour government in 2015, it is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way.”

Ed Balls should know by now that just because you say something three times, it doesn’t make it true.

He’s going to have to try harder than this.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NHS Accuse Burnham of ‘Misreporting Facts For Political Gain’
Senior Official Says Shadow Health Secretary Misled Commons

A senior NHS official has accused Andy Burnham’s office of “misinterpreting and misreporting” evidence about taxis being used as ambulances “in order to present a grossly inaccurate picture for the purposes of apparent political gain”. Ken Wenman, the chief executive of the South Western Ambulance Service, says that Burnham’s team spun a Freedom of Information response from the service to make the stats look worse than they really are. Guido has his damning letter to the Shadow Health Secretary, in which he concludes “I am astonished that anyone would present such misleading information to the House of Commons.”

This is one he couldn’t cover up…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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