Monday, October 20, 2014

Craig Oliver Faces “Smear” Misconduct Hearing

Craig Oliver is facing a misconduct hearing as smears return to the heart of Downing Street. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Labour have reported him to the Cabinet Office for breaking the Special Advisers Code of Conduct after he accused Peter Oborne of being “tired and emotional” on Newsnight. The rules prohibit any adviser from the “preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks.” Labour MP Sheila Gilmore has written to Jeremy Heywood calling for an investigation:

“It is disgraceful that such a senior adviser to David Cameron has behaved in this way. This shows Craig Oliver to be as nasty as the rest of the Tory party. Jeremy Heywood should treat this incident with the utmost seriousness. The taxpayer should not be paying the wages of someone so unprofessional.”

When the spokesperson needs a spokesperson…

Friday, October 17, 2014

Delingpole Coy on Tory Return Rumour

As this video of Michael Gove wandering through James Delingpole’s garden went viral yesterday, Guido wondered if James, who joined UKIP but then failed to pass the party’s selection process, might be heading home to the Tories. He certainly seems to be enjoying Owen Paterson’s return to the limelight, and his tweets on UKIP have been very critical of late:

He tells Guido:

“It’s a great rumour. I think where UKIP and Conservatives are concerned I’m going to remain bisexual. Basically, I f**king hate politics.”

Having it both ways…

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ashcroft Poll Shows UKIP Turning Tory-Held Marginals Labour

Sobering polling for the Tories from Lord Ashcroft today, who has a snapshot of voting intentions in ten Tory-held marginals with Labour currently in second place (plus Corby, which went Labour mid-term). Nine of the eleven are Labour gains. Ashcroft concludes “swings to Labour appear to be related to the UKIP presence”, finding:

“UKIP could hamper Labour in Tory-held target seats by diverting voters who might otherwise switch straight from blue to red – though the evidence so far is that this effect is not yet strong enough in these seats to counteract the erosion of the Tory vote.”

28% of UKIP voters polled say they’d prefer a Labour government, 35% want a Tory win…

Mencap Called for Disabled to Be Exempt From Minimum Wage

This Guardian article from February 2000 reports calls for an “urgent revision” of the rules to enable “low output” disabled workers to be exempt from minimum wage legislation. The proposal said some disabled workers should be classified as “special provision” and as a result be exempt from statutory provision, thus allowing employers to pay them less than the minimum wage. This was not an off-the-cuff remark from a Tory peer, but a detailed proposal from Mencap, Britain’s leading charity for disabled people. 

Mencap said at the time that while they otherwise support the minimum wage, an exemption should be allowed because “Most people with a learning disability want to work and we urge the government to give them that chance.” Which is almost exactly the point Lord Freud was making. On the News at Ten last night the only mention that the entire Freud row was contrived at best came in the last line, so regardless of the rights and wrongs it’s a Labour win…

UPDATE: Sentiment below speaks for itself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Who Wrote O-Patz’s Big Speech Tonight?

Miliband Slammed for “Shameful”, “Disgraceful” Attack on Freud …But Welfare Minister Offers Grovelling Apology

Interesting that Labour’s Anne Begg admitted on Sky News that she had not been told the context of Lord Freud’s comments by party spinners, heavily caveating her criticism accordingly. The Adam Smith Institute have come out in support of Freud, condemning Labour for misrepresenting what he said:

“Lord Freud has been shamefully mistreated by Ed Miliband. His point was that the market value of some people’s wages is below the minimum wage. This is often true of the severely disabled and can have appalling consequences for their self-esteem and quality of life. Fixing this problem was the justification for Remploy, a government-funded firm that gave jobs to disabled people who could not find work elsewhere.

To point out that someone’s market value is less than minimum wage has nothing to do with their moral value as human beings. Freud’s point was that we should help people in this situation by allowing them to find jobs paying below the minimum wage and topping up their pay directly to make up the difference.

Even if you don’t agree with this method, it is motivated by compassion for the disabled and an understanding of the unpleasant side-effects of our minimum wage laws. Freud’s only crime was to speak bluntly: it is disgraceful to use his words against him in the way Miliband has.”

Not like a spinner to take something out of context…

UPDATE: Freud mea culpa:

“I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else.

I care passionately about disabled people…. I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.”

Classic Labour Ambush: Welcome to Election Season

Notable that Labour have got their press operation in gear on this one. DWP minister Lord Freud’s comments about disabled people have been sat on for two weeks then released five minutes before PMQs. No coincidence that Esther McVey was on the Daily Politics and forced to give an off-the-cuff response. No leak, tape ready to go, solid ambush…

Cameron told the House “these are not the views of anyone in the government”, perhaps forgetting Lord Freud remains a minister. McVey said afterwards “Those words will haunt him”. Apology in 5,4,3,2…

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finding NiMo Another Special Adviser

Nicky Morgan hid in her office while she had the three SpAds she inherited from Michael Gove sacked back in July. Now she has finished replacing them. Guido is told Morgan has hired up Holly-Lee Davis from the Centre for Social Justice – which is becoming the government holding pen once embodied by PX. The LSE-educated brainbox who also works with an “initiative aimed at promoting peace amongst school-aged children in the Middle East”. Davis joins gay rights activist Luke Tryl and Lynton Crosby’s former assistant Chris Wilkins at DfE. She should be able to spot a Trojan Horse plot a mile off…

Long Old Rochester Slog Begins

Incoming kitchen sink. The Tories are offering a massive choice to the people of Rochester: which Kent(ish) female councillor would you like to be their candidate?

“Kelly Tolhurst is a life-long resident of Medway and was elected to the council in 2011. She is the cabinet member for school improvement. She now runs her own marine survey business in Rochester and has served as a local councillor for over three years. In a statement, the Conservative association said she had “seen the strain that excessive immigration has put on housing and our local services.” Anna Firth lives in Sevenoaks with her husband and three children and was brought up in Essex. Formerly a barrister, she now serves on the Sevenoaks council. She was shortlisted for the Thanet South constituency but lost out to Craig Mackinlay. She is a governor of Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls.”

While every voter in the seat will be invited to take part, the pool is somewhat limited. Labour already have a female candidate in place and knocking on doors.

Dates for your diary:

October 23 – candidate announced.

November 20 – polling day.

November 21 – panic stations for someone.

UKIP remain bookies’ favourite but plenty of time for the wheels to come off…

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tories Love Bomb Irish
Northern Ireland Corporation Tax Cut a ‘Done Deal’

Quietly and with a sense of purpose the Tories are making plans for a hung parliament.

A key part of the contingency plans include an increased effort to woo the Unionists. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, promises are being made and the outlines are being drawn of a deal to be struck should the eight MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party hold the balance of power next May.

One canny senior unionist cheerfully tells Guido that he thought a cut in corporation tax for companies in Northern Ireland was a done deal. The rate would be cut from 20% to “12% or 13%” to compete with the lower tax rates offered by Dublin. “Anything but 12.5%, we’re not harmonising with the Republic. No!”


Seen Elsewhere

Revealed: Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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