No Diary Clash: Ed Spent Today in His Office

Labour claimed that Ed Miliband had a very important diary clash that stopped him speaking to all of his friends at the British Chamber of Commerce today:

Though Ed Balls didn’t know what it was:

It turns out he was hiding in his office:

Gordon Brown levels of incompetence. It’s not as if Axelrod was even in town…

Mrs Miliband Goes Massively Off Message

Remember when Ed claimed that “boasts from George Osborne” about the economy don’t reflect “the experience of everyday families” because his figures “ignore the growing number of self-employed” and the impact of “Victorian” flexible hours contracts on mothers?

A clampdown on zero-hours and self-employment will be a key part of Labour’s election message, but it seems Ed’s ‘secret weapon’ Mrs Miliband did not get the memo. Justine spoke out last week in favour of flexible work that is “fantastic for being family-friendly”:

“Because I’m self-employed. So that means if I want to see my kids in a school play, I don’t have to ask anyone, I carry on working in the evening.”

Violently off message…

Labour Campaign Guru Sends Attack Six Months Late

Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary / Sidelined Election Boss / Soon To Be Former MP has jumped on comments from Sajid Javid, who told a Lobby lunch that he would not shed a tear should Britain leave the EU.

Just as he said in an interview last week, and just as he said last year.

This is nothing new, yet here come the press releases:

“We already know that the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, would contemplate a British exit. Now the Culture Secretary has added his name to the list of Tory politicians who would be willing to put jobs and investment at risk by pulling Britain out of Europe.”

Now? Six months late. If this is the level of attention Wee Dougie is paying, then no wonder he’s up the creek…

Bi-Textual:  Letter Is Cut ‘N Paste Job
Sham Business Endorsement Written by Chuka

Goldman Sachs predator turned Olympics boss Charles Allen has a letter in the Mirror today praising Labour’s plans for British business. It does not mention he’s actually the Chairman of Executive Board of the Labour Party, but who cares for such details. The letter is so generous it could almost have been written by Chuka Umunna. In fact, it was.

Lord Allen, ennobled by Labour, uses the exact same words in his letter as this article by Chuka for LabourList last year:

Allen: “We cannot and we should not push Britain towards the EU exit door or putting Britain’s future at risk for the sake of party management.”

Chuka: “Not pushing Britain towards the EU exit door or putting Britain’s future at risk for the sake of party management.”

Allen: “This plan means creating a new high-quality technical baccalaureate to give our young people the skills they need, with all young people studying English and Maths until they are 18.”

Chuka: “Creating a new high-quality technical baccalaureate to give our young people the skills they need, with all young people studying English and Maths until they are 18.”

Allen: “It means more rigorous standards so that apprenticeships last a minimum of two years and using the money the government spends to create new opportunities by requiring suppliers on large contracts to offer apprenticeships.”

Chuka: “More rigorous standards so that apprenticeships last a minimum of two years and are level three qualifications, and using the money the government spends on procurement to create new opportunities by requiring suppliers on large contracts to offer apprenticeships.”

Allen: “It means investing for the long term and making sure businesses of all sizes can get access to the finance they need to grow, with a proper British Investment Bank supported by a network of regional banks.”

Chuka: “It means investing for the long term and making sure businesses of all sizes can get access to the finance they need to grow, with a proper British Investment Bank supported by a network of regional banks.”

Allen: “It means giving the Green Investment Bank – initiated by the last Labour government – borrowing powers to enable it to support low-carbon industries of tomorrow.”

Chuka: “Giving the Green Investment Bank – initiated by the last Labour government – borrowing powers to enable it to support low-carbon industries of tomorrow.”

Allen: “But most importantly it means an open, outward-facing approach to the world: engaging positively with our European partners and reforming the EU so it is more focused on growth.”

Chuka: “It means an open, outward-facing approach to the world: engaging positively with our European partners, reforming the EU so it is more focused on growth.”

Where’s Bill Somebody when you need him? 

Axelrod and Miliband in the Sights at Punchy PLP

Guido hears that David Axelrod came under attack at a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last night, where tempers frayed over the “disastrous direction” of Labour’s election campaign. Labour MPs sobbing into their bitter late into the night in Strangers, as reality dawned on them…

Apparently things got really gloomy when Scotland was discussed, but it was the general campaign that was the main cause for concern. “It’s said we are paying for all these experts but it’s clearly not working” sums up the general thrust of the complaints, and demands were made for more control of the party’s messaging and strategy to given to elected MPs rather than leader’s pets and expensive – yet absent -American consultants. Wishful thinking…

Legacy Hague: I’ve Solved the West Lothian Question, Sorta

William Hague sensationally claimed to have finally solved the West Lothian question in a snoozefest speech in Westminster this morning. He inserted a hefty caveat, however…

The Tory plan that would be put to Parliament in the case of a majority is apparently a “non-symmetrical” solution. In other words it is unbalanced. In other words it is a not a solution to the age old riddle.

Guido pointed out afterwards that Hague’s old flatmate and colleague Sir Alan Duncan claims that the Tories do not understand vast parts of the UK including Scotland, and given that they are on the brink of a fourth consecutive wipeout north of the border, didn’t he have a point? Hague responded saying the Tories were “aiming” for significantly more than their current single seat in Scotland. He did not say, however, that he believed they would achieve that ambitious goal. Which all but proves Dunky’s point…

WATCH: Tristram Hunt: “I Don’t Like the Language of War”

For a former telly historian, Tristram Hunt is notoriously bad on television. Bumbling his way through C4 News last night, the only interesting thing that Labour’s turbo-sloane managed to say was something critical of Ed Miliband. Discussing attacks, Hunt claims he ‘does not like the language of war’ used in a political context. Which is only one degree from the word ‘weaponise’…

Former Brown Business Adviser Savages Ed

Former M&S boss Stuart Rose is the latest big business panjandrum to fall in line and slag off Labour. Instead of taking a moment to listen to the words said, Labour types have immediately branded Stuart Rose an evil Tory, as he took a peerage last year. Although, they seem to have some amnesia at another role that Rose has played in his long and illustrious career. As the BBC reported in those heady days of summer 2007:

“Gordon Brown is creating a special council of business leaders to advise him directly as Prime Minister, the BBC’s business editor has learned… Members will be available to Mr Brown to give him advice as and when needed.”

And who was on this council?

BUSINESS COUNCIL MEMBERS
Damon Buffini, Permira
Stuart Rose, Marks & Spencer
Tony Heywood, BP
Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco
Arun Sarin, Vodafone
Stephen Green, HSBC
Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce
Mervyn Davies, Std. Chartered
J-P Garnier, GlaxoSmithKline

Ah.

Dam-ascene Conversion: McBride Says Vote Tory

The final pint was poured at the O’Reilly’s pub in Kentish Town  last night, which is being re-branded as some sort of awful hipster dive. With locals gathering to mourn, one person was conspicuous by his absence. The local Labour […]

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Miliband’s Red-Facebook

Smarting from the stinging attack by the boss of Boots, Ed Miliband has rehashed his vague promise to clampdown on big corporations not paying UK tax.

He made this pledge while taking part in Sky New’s ‘Stand Up and […]

+ READ MORE +

Shapps: Defection of “Mr Bashir” Was “Successful”

Grant Shapps’ speech this morning bashing Labour’s “month of chaos” descended into a Q&A about Amjad Bashir. Asked by Guido about Amjad’s links with Respect, the Tory chairman insisted “I welcome anybody, regardless of where they’ve been in the past… […]

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EU Fan Boys: Euroscepticism = Anti-Semitism


To celebrate Holocaust Memorial Day, EU lobbying group British Influence have published a tasteful piece attempting to link anti-Semitism to Euroscepticism:

“It is no coincidence that rising anti-Semitism and warnings of a “Jewish exodus” from Europe come at a time

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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