There is a Big Yellow Storage place in Kennington…
There is a Big Yellow Storage place in Kennington…
I am writing to you to advise that I am, from this morning, standing down from the position as Labour’s spokesperson for Local Government and Community Empowerment in the Scottish Parliament.
I said yesterday at the meeting of Labour MSPs that I thought your speech on Friday stating that you would stay on and lead Labour into the 2016 election was a mistake, and that it would also be a mistake for the team you put in place, including your Chief of Staff, to remain in post.
As you know, I praised the level of hard work and dedication that you brought to the campaign over the last six months and I absolutely agree that the challenges facing Labour in Scotland will not be fixed solely by a change of leadership. However, we have a leader in the Scottish Parliament and much of the focus of the next year will be on the Scottish Parliament and the performance of the SNP government over the last 8 years in Scotland. I sincerely hold the view that you continuing as leader whilst not in the Scottish Parliament, and not in an elected position holding a democratic mandate, means you will become an unhelpful distraction from the real issues that Scottish Labour must focus on.
Over the coming weeks rank and file Labour Party members must have their say on the way forward for Labour in Scotland and I want to be part of that discussion. It is clear from the discussion yesterday that dissent in public from the leadership view is perceived as disloyalty, but I am convinced we need a fundamental change in direction and strategy and therefore cannot sign up to your leadership as one of your shadow team.
From an early age my memories are of my parents talking about politics and the need for working people to organise and fight for a better and fairer society and that is why I joined the Labour Party. It was suggested to me at the weekend that it would be disloyal to the Labour Party if I were to speak publicly on these issues. I have given that a lot of thought and consideration and I concluded that it would be disloyal and damaging to Labour were I not to speak out. I believe now, more than ever, that we in Scotland need a strong relevant Labour Party and we will not achieve this under your leadership therefore I have no choice but to speak out.
Alex Rowley MSP
Seems John McTernan is in the sights as much as his boss…
During the election campaign Danny Alexander claimed that he would be leaving a reply to Liam Byrne in the drawer of the desk of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It wasn’t very witty:
Well sadly it seems he’s broken that promise. Incoming Chief Secretary Greg Hands has found the drawer empty:
Is nothing sacred?
“The thing I’d say to you though about this, these people are less powerful than they used to be,” Ed Miliband told Russell Brand during their enlightening discussion about his critics in the newspapers. Someone should tell the man Labour are paying £300,000 to consult on messaging.
In an interview with Politico today, David Axelrod is asked whether he thinks Britain’s right-wing press is more powerful than Fox News, beamed into 87,058,000 American households. He replies:
“Yeah, I do.”
He goes on to admit he only visited the UK six times while working for Ed. That’s £50,000 a trip…
LibDem Duncan Hames got down and dirty in 2010, blasting his Tory opponent for being “a Devon farmer who splits his time between his three homes, leaving him out of touch with local people”. Five years on and the MP defending a perilous 2,000 majority has done rather well for himself during his time in parliament.
Hames declares on his Statement of Persons Nominated that he lives at an address in Holt, in his Chippenham constituency.
His wife, fellow LibDem MP Jo Swinson, discloses on her election forms that she lives in Bearsden, in her East Dumbartonshire constituency. Mr and Mrs Hames either live separate lives or must be spending time at each other’s ‘main’ homes.
Swinson also claims on expenses for another property in London, where they live together during the week.
Five years after attacking his opponent for the very same thing, Hames is now: “Splitting his time between his three homes, leaving him out of touch with local people…”
Stan Collymore, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan.
Do celebs help or hinder parties?
A Labour spokesman speaks, finally:
“Labour fully supports gender equality in all areas of society and all cultures. Equally, we support those who are breaking down barriers where inequality remains. There was no forced segregation. Speakers at the event included both women and men. Everyone was together in one room and all were treated equally and respectfully.”
So apparently it wasn’t forced and just happened naturally. Of course…
Funny looking definition of “all were treated equally”.
Put your spade away, Lucy:
Such as the Guardian’s political editor:
And the BBC:
Including their Labour election correspondent:
And the ‘right-wing’ Manchester Evening News:
You can’t misquote her actual words…
Lucy Powell has dropped another spectacular clanger. Asked on 5Live this morning whether having to carve their pledges into stone was a sign the public didn’t trust them, Labour’s election chief inexplicably replied:
“I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the fact that he’s carved them into stone means, you know, means that he will absolutely, you know, not going to break them or anything like that.”
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So there you have it.[…]
New video has emerged that further weakens Labour’s latest line that the PM should leave Downing Street immediately if he has not achieved a majority. On election night in 2010, Ed Balls was very clear about our constitutional position: the Prime Minister gets to stay in Downing Street, regardless of the result:
“The first question is, can the Prime Minister form a government… it’s about the way our county is governed… the question will be, can the Prime Minister form a government?”
As Guido revealed at the weekend, Ed Miliband was saying exactly the opposite back in 2010 to what Labour are saying today:
“The Prime Minister – the constitutional position is clear – gets to have the first crack… the Prime Minister gets the first go at that and that’s just very simple.”
As the Guardian agrees today:
“Constitutional experts are united that Cameron is entitled to sit in Downing Street to see if he can form a government and might even be entitled to put his Queen’s speech to a vote in the Commons.”
Yet the order has gone out from Labour HQ: say the exact opposite to what they were saying in 2010 when it was their man in Downing Street. […]
One important face was missing from the backstage ‘spin room’ at last Thursday leaders’ Question Time encounter: Ed Miliband’s controversial media henchman Tom Baldwin.
In the last year Baldwin has been criticised for comparing a tax row to the death of ‘Milly Dowler’, making a sick jibe about cancer to a journalist, using the term ‘weaponise’ about the NHS and finally, last Monday, blaming the Prime Minister for migrant deaths in the Med, triggering a huge political row.[…]
Head over to the controversial BBC Election hub if you DON’T want to read about Ed Miliband and his massively derided stone pledges stunt, that united the nation in laughter at the Labour leader. Not a squeak of it on the front page:
The one time it’s not littered with sympathetic Labour lines, it is conveniently not reporting Labour disasters.[…]
And lo, the Lord thy God spoke unto Miliband the Younger, and said: thou must control immigration.
Today’s Observer is not a spoof. It seems Ed has been hanging out with Russell Brand a little too long. Labour really have “commissioned a giant stone inscription bearing Labour’s six election pledges that is set to be installed in the Downing Street Rose Garden if he becomes prime minister.”
“The 8ft 6in-high limestone structure is intended to underline his commitment to keep his promises by having them literally “carved in stone” and visible from the offices inside No 10.”
They might as well write it on the barn wall…[…]
In an ITV London health debate last night former Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott tutted when the Mid-Staffs scandal was mentioned:
When called out by the presenter, she justified her response by claiming that the Tories “always harp on about Mid-Staffs”.[…]