Classic “Don’t Let The Other Party Wreck It” Campaign Poster

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They say there are only two types of political campaigns, “Time for Change” and “Don’t let the other guy wreck it”. Guess which one Lynton Crosby is running?

Guido vaguely remembers a wrecking ball featuring in a previous Tory campaign which he can’t find, though it is a bit reminiscent of this old Saatchi poster:

img-3[1]

Or maybe it is a bit Miley?

miley

Tory Stunts: Sol Campaign Sparks Spurs Backlash

Guido’s revelation earlier today that the Tories were using Sol Campbell to campaign in Spurs’ backyard of Enfield has upset plenty of voters, but local MP Nick De Bois is defending the stunt:

Clearly no one from CCHQ was at White Hart Lane when they released 4,000 balloons with the word Judas on them to celebrate last time Sol was in town:

Back of the net.

Campbell Sells His Sol to the Tories

Yesterday Sol Campbell said he was taking things “step by step” when asked on Sky if he would run in Kensington. Today Tory HQ have already got him putting his name to cringey campaign emails to young activists inviting them to campaign in Enfield, less than 5 miles from White Hart Lane, home of Spurs:

From: Sol Campbell 
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 12:06 PM
Subject: Your chance to defend for England
To: xxx

Dear xxx

I know what it’s like to work hard, and to keep fighting right through to the 90th minute.

In this General Election it’s neck-and-neck and we need our strongest team out playing on the pitch.

On Saturday 7th March, we are organising a Team2015 action day in Enfield North to support our great MP Nick de Bois in his campaign to keep Enfield North blue.

Can you join the team along with David Burrowes MP?

…Hope you can make it!

Best wishes,

Sol Campbell

Former England Captain

Hope they don’t come across any Spurs fans

UPDATE: Describing him as a “former England Captain” is a bit of a stretch, too. He was never given the title officially, as Campbell himself vocally made clear on several occasions. More Tory spin…

Victoria Borwick Calls in the Professional Spinners

When will Kensington select their Tory candidate? According to a CCHQ spokesman:

“We don’t give a running commentary on these things. Imminent though, but not that imminent.”

Meanwhile the Standard tip long-time Cam SpAd Laura Trott and mega-loaded Victoria Borwick really, really wants to win:

“I have decided to put my name forward to be the Conservative candidate in Kensington. I have lived and worked in this wonderful part of London all my life and raised my four children there. I have been a councillor on Kensington and Chelsea council for more than 10 years and a member of the GLA for seven years. I feel I know Kensington inside out. There is hardly a street I haven’t canvassed. As a school governor for Golborne and Maxilla under the Westway, I am not just talking about the leafy parts of the borough. I regard myself as the ultimate local candidate. I love campaigning and I love meeting people and helping them sort out their problems. In political terms, I love getting my hands dirty – so much so that I have even been lowered through a manhole cover into the new Thames Tideway sewer. But then, as Boris’s deputy at City Hall, I get all the best jobs. I am fiercely opposed to Labour’s mansion tax, which would hit Kensington very hard and penalise many cash-poor, asset-rich people, who bought family homes 20-30 years ago and now face an extra annual tax of £10,000 a year or more. I would do all I can to stop it.”

So much so that the current Deputy Mayor of London has retained the services of a professional spinners from Nick Wood’s Media Intelligence Partners to help her in her quest.

Just as she did in 2006

“Kensington and Chelsea” Embarrasses Hacks

Nothing like a political scandal to flush out some sloppy journalism. Malcolm Rifkind is standing down from Kensington. Not Kensington and Chelsea. The parliamentary constituency of Kensington and Chelsea does not exist any more: it was scrapped in 2010 when the seat was redrawn. What was once one of the safest Tory seats in the country now has a majority of just over 8,000. That hasn’t stopped national newspapers, broadcast journalists, lobbyists and assorted political hacks displaying a shameful lack of knowledge about their patch:

Nope

Guido wouldn’t ‘bet’ on that!

But Boris has a bigger majority in Uxbridge, oh wise hack?

Really?

BBC.

And Sky…

Et tu, FT?

Partial reporter? Partial with the facts more like!

Even self-proclaimed Parliamentary experts get it wrong.

Perhaps most embarrassingly the Indy even ran this terrible headline:

Don’t tell Peter Oborne, but there’s another subbing error in the Telegraph:

Tut tut.

Kirstie For Kensington

Malcolm Rifkind has won the sympathy of at least one of his constituents: TV Tory Kirstie Allsopp:

Before the last election Kirstie advised the Tories on housing policy. Would she stand to lead the fight against the mansion tax?

A Tory’s what got them into trouble last time, so surely it is time for a rocking rebel. It would be a top location, location, location for her to stand…

Tory Runners and Riders For Kensington

Boris - No. He already has a seat with a larger majority.

James Cracknell – Early favourite with the bookies, though Guido is sceptical given recent appearances.

Tim Montgomerie - Quick to distance himself, but not ruling it out:

Donal Blaney – Lifelong Conservative supporter, former local councillor in the area. Would continue the Lady’s legacy in the House.

Joanne Cash - Tatler Tory who did so well in neighbouring Westminster North last time round, but was just pipped at the post, only 2,126 votes out.

Toby Young - For services to local(ish) education.

Ruth Porter – Surely time for a woman in this male-dominated seat?

David Skelton – Top Tories are determined to see this man in the Commons.

Andrew Strauss – Decided against running in Corby, is it time for the former England cricket captain and Tory donor to put his name forward?

Hugo Rifkind - Surely he’s entitled to go for it…

Sol Campbell – Current CCHQ darling. Local, well, he lives in Chelsea.

Greg Smith - Guido’s outside tip, currently leader of the Tory group in Hammersmith and Fulham council.

Who will be the MP for the 1%?

UPDATE:

Malcolm Rifkind Steps Down as ISC Chair and MP

The Chairman of the ISC, the Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has this morning issued the following statement:

None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

However, I have today informed my colleagues that while I will remain a member of the Committee, I will step down from the Chairmanship.

The Committee is due to be dissolved in little over a month with the prorogation of Parliament for the forthcoming General Election. The main substantive work which needs to be completed will be the publication of our Privacy and Security Report during March.

I do not want the work of the Committee and the publication of the Report to be, in any way, distracted or affected by controversy as to my personal position. I have concluded, therefore, that it is better that this important work should be presided over by a new Chairman.

Will it be enough to lance the boil?

UPDATE: Rifkind also stepping down as an MP at the election. Kensington is in play.

UPDATE II: Personal statement from Sir Malcolm Rifkind:

“I have received tremendous support from my Constituency Association and from many constituents in Kensington over the last two days. However, I have been pondering whether it is fair to my colleagues and friends in Kensington to remain the prospective Conservative candidate for the forthcoming General Election. I warmly welcome the Committee that has been established by the Party to examine the controversy with which I have been associated and to report by the end of March on its conclusions. It will be an excellent opportunity for an objective assessment of the allegations that have been made and I will be happy to cooperate closely with the Committee. However, it is unlikely that it will be able to finish its deliberations until well into March and there, obviously, can be no certainty as to its conclusions. I am conscious, therefore, that Kensington Conservatives are faced with serious uncertainty until the end of March as to whether I will be able to be their candidate. If I could not they would have little time to choose a new candidate. I am also aware that even if the Committee reach a favourable conclusion as to these allegations the controversy will remain during what is certain to be a heated General Election and, indeed, for many months thereafter until the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has completed the necessary enquiry. I had intended to seek one further term as MP for Kensington, before retiring from the House of Commons. I have concluded that to end the uncertainty it would be preferable, instead, to step down at the end of this Parliament. This is entirely my personal decision. I have had no such requests from my constituency association but I believe that it is the right and proper action to take. As regards the allegations of Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph I find them contemptible and will not comment further at this time. Although I will retire from Parliament I shall continue my public and political life and am much looking forward to doing so over the years to come.”

UPDATE III: No. 10:

UPDATE IV: 

Tories:

“Sir Malcolm has had a long career of distinguished service both to the Conservative Party and the country.  We respect and support his decision to stand down.” 

POLL: Should Rifkind Resign From Intelligence Select Committee?

Should Sir Malcolm Rifkind stand down to spend more time with the lifestyle to which he aspires?[…]

Rifkind: It’s All About the Price Tag

Sir Malcolm Rifkind:

“I want to have a standard of living that my professional background would normally entitle me to have.”

Perhaps time to get out of ‘public service’ then, Sir Malcolm…

Vid via @LiarPoliticians

[…]

Tories Silent on New “Volunteer” Allegations

Following this morning’s unpaid Tory “volunteer” row, more stories are coming out of the woodwork. A Tory activist gets in touch to report:

“I recently volunteered at CCHQ and travelled from outside of London to volunteer at a cost

[…]

Tories in ‘Economic Plan’ Row With Campaigners

The Tories landed a cool £8,345,687 in donations last quarter, but a row has broken over whether the miserly skinflints at CCHQ are failing to pay their reams of election “volunteers”. The well respected Graduate Fog campaign site highlight how […]



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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