Thursday, May 29, 2014

LibDem Hissy Fit at Being Dropped From Question Time

Guido isn’t sure that publicly declaring your relegation to the fourth party of British politics is a wise media strategy, but that is what the LibDem press office has decided to do this afternoon:

Turns out 7% doesn’t get you much representation on the Question Time panel. Instead tonight you can tune in to see Piers Morgan and Joey Barton. Who are still probably more popular than the LibDems…

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Knives Out for Miliband
Round Up of Pre-Results Night Infighting

The Shadow Cabinet are sharpening their knives. One Shadow minister tells the Sindy: “Miliband has got to go. He’s damaged goods, he’s not a Prime Minister,” helpfully adding that “he’s odd-looking and is a bit weird”. Andrew Rawnsley quotes a Shadow Cabinet minister’s verdict that: “the campaign made it all about Ed. That was not sensible.” Another admits in the Sunday Telegraph: “there are people in the country who quite regularly say he is a problem”. A view shared by another Labour MP: “I did not meet a single voter who said anything positive about Ed Miliband out of all the hundreds whose door I knocked on”. Then to top it all oil painting muse Diane Abbott went on the Sunday Politics to lay into her leader’s staff and note that “no-one is going to confuse Ed Miliband with George Clooney any time soon”. Which is just mean.

Tory discipline is holding more steady but that didn’t stop David Davis telling Guido in the Sun on Sunday that Tory HQ are “cheeky little sh*ts”. A Tory insider responds that DD is a “selfish” loser. Basher adds in the Sunday Times his view that “it is time for the government to press the reset button on its European policy” and bring forward the referendum to 2016. Mark Reckless is a bit jumpy in the MoS and Adam Afriyie is off on one again, though the one interesting intervention is from Jackie Doyle Price, who said on Sky News that “there’s definitely a problem with the perception [of Cameron as an out of touch old Etonion]“. That said almost all the Tory jitters are from the awkward squad backbenchers, while Miliband’s snipers are in the Shadow Cabinet…

Friday, May 23, 2014

WATCH: Neo-Guido v McPangloss on Labour’s Campaign

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dougie v Dugher: It’s a Deathmatch

The splits in Labour boiled over again yesterday, as Ed Miliband pointedly refused to call Farage a racist, only for Yvette Cooper to emerge on TV an hour later to do just that. Despite public assurances to the contrary, inside tension is still high as Labour realise they have the most to lose if this week goes badly wrong for them.

As revealed over the weekend, the fight between Douglas Alexander, who is running the election campaign, and Michael Dugher, who wants to run it, has reached a point where some colleagues can’t see a situation where they both survive. ‘It’s a pub car park fight and only one of them is walking away,’ says one. “That’s b*****ks” says Dugher, adding “the only fighting that’s going on is the election – and that’s against the Tories, Lib Dems and UKIP!”

However, party sources claim the latest barney is over tonight’s episode of Newsnight where either Wee Dougie or Dugher will appear to talk about Labour’s campaign. It’s just they can’t decide who. Guido suggests they go discuss it in the street like gentlemen. 

 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Government Telly Hire

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has shunned the luvvies and hired a telly person to be his media Special Adviser. Salma Shah, a former producer on The Wright Stuff, 10 o’Clock Live and latterly at the BBC, is the latest in a line of TV producers brought in by top Tories to guard their image, instead of the usual political insiders.  Following the appointment of Craig Oliver by Cameron and Thea Rogers by George Osborne, it’s fair to say this direction has had varying degrees of success.

The gig with Javid – a disciple of Osborne and destined for great things – was highly sought after in Westminster, and although Shah has previous experience working for the Tories, the impact of telly in the turn around of the Chancellor’s fortunes has clearly not gone unnoticed by his Padawan. The svelte new Osborne has recovered from the initial amusement about his new barnet and is rarely seen in public without a carefully crafted, visually on-message, backdrop. Though, as Craig Oliver proves, these telly hires are not always was a good thing. Simply obsessing about the News at Ten, whilst waging war with newspapers, does not an election win.

Friday, May 16, 2014

WATCH: UKIP Comms Chief Interrupts Farage LBC Interview

Nigel Farage’s LBC interview with James O’Brien went so badly that UKIP comms chief Patrick O’Flynn felt compelled to interrupt the presenter live on air to tell him he had gone over time:

Farage did not look impressed, presumably because he knew it would look absolutely horrific. 

Axelrod Can’t Even Spell Miliband

What Exactly is Axelrod Here to Win for Labour?

20140516-085926.jpg

Labour have focussed on what really matters in this morning’s papers; briefing out every single detail of David Axelrod’s movements and first meeting with the Shadow Cabinet to the Times, FT and Guardian. However it is unclear from the spoon-fed lines whether his warning that “people are working harder and getting nowhere” is about the British people or Labour themselves.

All this begs the question, what is Axelrod actually here to achieve? Do Labour want him to win the election or merely the odd news cycle? Is this a gimmick that gets them a bit of coverage, or is he actually here to restructure their sprawling organisational mess and install some much needed discipline? This morning it looks like it is much more about PR than anything else…

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wee Dougie Not Letting Axelrod Out of His Sight

The Labour fan-boys will be pleased to know where they can spot their guru:

Given his hourly rate, would it not be more cost effective to send someone else to get his packed lunch?

Guido hears that it was actually Caxton Street branch near the St. Ermine’s Hotel and Axelrod was being escorted by Douglas Alexander and four others. Presumably they were worried he might try do a runner under the pretence of popping out for sandwich. “TAXI! …Heathrow please.” 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Labour Claims Austin Mitchell Has Apologised, He Says Not
Veteran MP Stands Firm Over Calling Pfizer “Rapists”

Austin Mitchell is unapologetic, saying he accidentally wrote “rapists” instead of “rapaciousness”.

But “roll up rapaciousness” makes no sense. What is it with MPs called Mitchell coming up with less than credible excuses?

He has told the Huffington Post that he has no regrets about using the word:

“He explained that he used the term “rapists” as he was referring to the rape “of a company”, warning that their prospective takeover of AstraZeneca would see a “dismantling of a company and the loss of jobs”.

“I don’t know why they want to defend the company. They object to the word so I’ll substitute rapaciousness – as they are a rapacious company.”

Asked if he had any regrets for using the word “rapists”, he replied: “No.””

Yet, a Labour spokesman tells Guido:

“The Chief Whip has made it clear to Austin Mitchell this tweet was unacceptable. He has now apologised for an obvious error of judgement.”

Where is this apology then?

UPDATE: Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women weighs in:

‘It is wholly inappropriate to use rape to make a political point in this way. Ed Miliband needs to show some leadership. He should make it clear to Austin Mitchell that this vile comment is unacceptable and demand an apology immediately.’

UPDATE II: Mitchell speaks to Grimsby Telegraph“Those wanting me to quit are daft and are too sensitive on the issue.”

UPDATE III: 

UPDATE IV: Nicky Morgan has written to Ed Miliband:

“People across the whole country will be appalled that anybody would try to link a proposed corporate takeover with the horrific crime of rape. I am sure you will agree with me that such a comparison is deeply offensive as it trivialises sex attacks and the horrific and traumatising effects such attacks can have on victims. I am clear that these comments are totally unacceptable and that Austin Mitchell must withdraw what he has written immediately and issue a full, unreserved apology. As the Leader of the Labour Party I look forward to hearing what action you intend to take in response to this totally unacceptable behaviour.”

UPDATE V:  He won’t stop. Mitchell tells the Guardian“I’m not going to apologise, don’t be silly. What about people who talk about the rape of the countryside – do they have to apologise?”


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


VOTER-RECALL
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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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