Dear Labour, Here is Something to Actually Moan About

George Galloway last night attacked his Labour opponent Naz Shah over whether she was 15 or 16 when she was raped. Somewhat makes Michael Fallon’s comments pale into insignificance…

Smear Test: Labour Trident Wriggle Room

Outraged! They are outraged! It’s all a smear! Someone mentioned the fact that Ed Miliband knifed his brother and broke his mother’s heart and Labour are feigning outrage – you hear far worse from Blairites. Leaving the hysteria aside, Labour have actually left themselves some considerable wriggle room on Trident. In between their cries of anguish…

This morning the soon-to-be peer Douglas Alexander denied that Trident was on the table for any future SNP negotiation, but then left the door open to just that:

‘Now the experts say that requires 4 submarines, we’ll review that’

Presumably they will be able to find some more “independent experts” to support their chosen view, just as they did during yesterday’s NonDominishambles, where they managed to produce just one name. A Labour member who admitted he wasn’t an economist, and then borked his own numbers. 

Of course there is a compelling post-Cold War case for scrapping Trident.

But Guido would not recommend Labour citing this particular expert

No Natalie, Capitalism Has Delivered an 80% Decline in World Poverty

As newsrooms across the land stop what they are doing to read the Green Party’s response to Labour’s non-dom announcement, it is worth picking Natalie Bennett up on this:

“The last four decades have seen wealth accumulate at the top of society while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Now hold on just a darn prosperity-spreading cotton-picking second. Over the last four decades the world poverty rate – people living on a dollar a day or less – has plummetted. As this graph from CarpeDiem shows, in 1970 almost 30% of the globe was impoverished. 40 years later that number is as low as 5%:

Rather than more of “those at the bottom struggling to get by” over the last four decades, the world poverty rate has fallen 80%. For all the ideological socialist rhetoric, the cold hard facts show that capitalism has freed hundreds of millions from the clutches of poverty.

LISTEN: Ed Balls Says He Will Abolish Non Dom Status

Ed Balls told Radio 5 this morning that he would abolish Non Dom status:

He was backed up in a car crash outing by his deputy Shabana Mahmood on the Daily Politics.

Yet Labour are briefing that they are not abolishing and there will be temporary status for some.

So which is it?

Balls in Jan: Non Dom Reform “Will End Up Costing Britain Money”

balls-miliband-460

Having spent the last four months bringing a spoon to a knife fight, it seems Labour’s press operation has finally woken up to the fact there is war on. Yesterday’s flurry of activity over Labour’s NHS letter leaking out was a nice distraction technique from the much bigger bomb dropped on the front page of this morning’s Guardian. But are Labour really as united on the policy as today’s coordinated TV and Tweetathon would suggest?

Here is what Ed Balls told the BBC just a couple of months ago about tinkering with non dom status:

‘If you abolish the whole status it will end up costing Britain money because some people will leave the country.’

Yet in a political stunt – that makes no sense economically and will raise little more than the reforms to shotgun licencing – three months later, Ed Balls is out pushing the line…

Labour’s “Counter Business Letter” Flop Leaks

Here’s how not to organise a super secret letter campaign amongst Miliband supporting medics:

From: clare gerada
Date: 3 April 2015 16:38:55 BST
Subject: Fwd: Urgent NHS Letter

This letter this to counter the business letter to the Telegraph and show the depth of feelings that many of us have about the risk to the NHS
It is going to be from Doctors and other health leaders

Some of you receiving this email are doctors or health leaders – but have links to some – so please pass on to those who you think might be happy to sign.

We are aiming for Wednesday

If you agree to sign can you please email clare gerada

Please distribute amongst your colleagues

Thanks

Nobody expects the NHS inquisition!

Tony Blair: Public Too Thick For EU Vote

Well reading between the lines:

“Remember the relief we felt when Scotland voted no. Why was that? Because towards the end, having paid only intermittent attention to the enormity of the decision, we awoke to it and realised – I think with shock – how close we had come to relegating ourselves from the Premier League of nations. Now think if the vote had gone the other way. It doesn’t bear thinking of. It would be exactly the same with a vote on Europe. We’re frankly not much focused on it now. But that is the same semi-conscious torpor that almost led us to disaster in keeping the UK together.”

Basically he is saying the people don’t think about these things hard enough, so we can’t risk them getting it wrong by giving them the chance.

Because Tony Blair never got anything wrong in the face of popular opinion now, did he…

 

Patrick O’Flynn is Watching You

UKIP are the party of straight-talking and free-thinking, so much so that this morning Patrick O’Flynn sent a stinging missive to the party’s candidates warning them not to step out of line. “Unity is Strength” says Paddy, lifting the charming slogan from the totalitarian regime in 1984:

“Just to stress that during this campaign most media organisations are of a generally anti-UKIP disposition. The Express group of newspapers (Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday) is the only national newspaper group that is generally sympathetic in its coverage. Many broadcasters are also drawn from social backgrounds in which UKIP supporters are to say the least thin on the ground.

Therefore if you as a candidate get approached by a national media representative you should realise that they may well be seeking to create division or otherwise damage our efforts to maximise support. So don’t get bounced into saying things that will give them ammunition to use against our party.

There was, for instance, a big media effort to divide us over Nigel’s comments on health tourism and HIV. The party generally held together extremely well and then, lo and behold, a YouGov poll found that half the country agreed with what Nigel had said (including 89% of UKIP-minded voters).

The moral of the story is that during election campaigns unity is strength. Those who freelance with their own lines that contradict overall party policy or what the leader has said are of more use to our opponents than they are to us. I know that none of you will want to find yourself in that position.”

You have been warned…

More Fantasy Election Numbers

It’s Labour’s big health day, so Guido was amused to find this leaflet in his inbox over the weekend. Under the Representation of the People Act 1983 it is illegal to knowingly provide false statements on election literature. Just ask […]

+ READ MORE +

How Much Did Ed Pay For This Training?

Ed reportedly blew £10,000 a day on Obama’s debate coach before last night. Value for money? […]

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Looks Like a Zero Hours Contract, Sounds Like a Zero Hours Contract…

zero-ed

Much squirming over semantics as Ed’s pledge to end the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts becomes embarrassing following revelations that over a quarter of Labour MPs as well as their biggest funder, the Unite union, employ workers on essentially […]

+ READ MORE +

Girls Night Out for Labour Ladies

Guido hears Labour are planning an all female onslaught in the spin room tonight with Yvette Cooper, Caroline Flint and – amazingly – Lucy Powell lined up for the post match analysis/spin war. Telly sources suggest no men have been […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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