No, 250,000 People Did Not Protest On Saturday

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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?

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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

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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 for Caroline Spelman (remember her?) at DEFRA.

She escapes the Grayling graveyard of Office of Leader of the House.

PFL?

Part-Time Khan: Bad Week for Sadiq

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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 party sources say Ed Miliband is backing the attack, which would be spearheaded by shadow London  minister Sadiq Khan.

June 2015:

Sadiq Khan has told members that he will remain as MP for Tooting until 2020 even if he becomes Mayor of London.

Guido hears there is serious local concern that if Khan wins and forces a by-election, then the Tories will take the seat as they almost did in 2010 and 2015. Khan’s platform for Mayor is a seriously reduced majority as more yuppies and dinkies move to his gentrified constituency. Not a great sell.

Tellingly, his own CLP nominated both Khan and his deadly rival for the job Tessa Jowell…

UPDATE:

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, is off on a listening exercise. She’s so keen to learn that she’s taking up an internship:

“Alison is also keen to do workplace shadowing with Labour in the City members, particularly those who work in front line financial services jobs. If you would like to offer this, please contact her office.”

Let’s hope it is a paid internship!

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 the travelling press pack.

The PM’s suggestion that “if you’re not certain about something I said yesterday, then ask”, has gone down particularly badly:

If Cameron 2.0 is so keen on journalists asking questions, perhaps he might like to reinstate those monthly press conferences that he dodged for the last five years?

#EdStone Update: No Confirmation of Destruction

edstonejones

Patrick Wintour’s Labour campaign post-mortem has some interesting detail on the only thing Miliband will be remembered for: The Ed Stone:

“The stone’s demolition, in the event of a Labour loss, had been agreed at the time it was commissioned. After the election, the party drew up two plans for its disposal: one was simply to smash the stone up and throw the rubble onto a scrap heap.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Truth About “Dr” Eoin Clarke

eoin-librarian

Much amusement as Andy Burnham’s favourite blogger continues to damage the Labour cause. After Burnham moved yesterday to distance himself from dodgy photoshop nutter ‘Dr’ Eoin Clarke, it emerges that Team Miliband also viewed the proven bullsh*t artist as an asset:

“When one Labour staffer attempted to dismiss Clarke’s latest laughable graphic, the two staffers were heard saying ‘we must not underestimate Éoin Clarke’.”

Guido suspects that there was a touch of academic solidarity occurring here…

Much has been made of ‘Dr’ Eoin’s eminent thesis on radical Irish feminism, but what does he actually do as a day job?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Robbo Finally Confirms Baldwin Briefed “Milly Dowler Moment”

After Nick Robinson reported that “The Labour leader’s aides say that he sees this as another Milly Dowler moment”. There was a storm and it was a contentious front page news story about which he tweeted:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ex-Balls Aide Slaps Miliband’s “Squeezed Bottom”

Former Balls spinner Alex Belardinelli has been giving his prescription for where things went wrong under Miliband on the Daily Politics:

“We didn’t do enough. I think there are things we could have done differently. I think we could have had a message that was more pro-business.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Rivals and Trade Unionists Briefed Chuka “Whispers”

Readers will remember the rumours being pushed by Chuka’s left-wing rivals in the days before he stood aside from the Labour leadership race. The union funded propaganda blog Political Scrapbook even added the words “nudge nudge wink wink” to a story amplifying “dog whistle” attacks.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Curse of McTernan

The scalping of Jim Murphy and the capitulation of Scottish Labour are a cruel addendum to the long and illustrious CV of Labour spinner John McTernan. Such other career achievements of the party’s panglossian media cheerleader should not be overlooked.

  • Special Advisor to Harriet Harman at DSS. 
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Airbust: Plane Stupid EU Spin Contradiction

Airbus UK, who employ 16,000 people in Britain, have given a gentle warning about leaving the EU: “The best way to guarantee this is by remaining part of the EU.”

In light of JCB saying it would be no biggie to leave, and the CBI organising companies to come out in favour of staying in, Airbus have put down a marker. […]

+ READ MORE +

Reckless in Running to Take Over as UKIP Policy Chief

Will the next victim of the UKIP un-putsch be Suzanne Evans? Speculation mounts that there are plans afoot to sack Suzanne as party policy chief and replace her with defeated ex-MP Mark Reckless. Guido put it to Reckless this afternoon:

“I don’t want to comment on my future plans.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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