Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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!”

Friday, October 10, 2014

If the Tories Lose in 2015, Blame Cooper Not Farage

andrew-cooper

Matthew D’Ancona once quoted a “Cameron ally” dismissing the long-term threat posed by UKIP. D’Ancona’s soothsaying source predicted Farage’s party “should reach its peak in the European elections on May 22″, leading the Telegraph columnist to urge Dave to “forget UKIP”, warn “too much time is still devoted to soothing those who might jump ship” and profess “UKIP will not be Cameron’s biggest problem”. 

The ill-fated “peak UKIP” analysis adopted by Downing Street up until recently was based on the fatally flawed insight of Cameron’s über-modernising gay-marriage architect and pollster Andrew Cooper, who told the Prime Minister two years ago that UKIP would just be a “flash in the pan”. He once argued via Powerpoint slides in a presentation to Tory MPs that UKIP’s rise was down to “mid-term grumbles” rather than anything more serious. Since then UKIP have stubbornly maintained their position in the polls, two Tory MPs have defected, thousands of true blue activists have joined the purple army and they have just taken a formerly safe Tory seat in a by-election. If the Tories lose in 2015, Cooper is the man most to blame – he may well go down in British political history as the worst adviser/pollster of the modern era…

Huge Tory Swing in Bath

Carpet-bagging wannabe MP and renowned bon viveur Ben Howlett has been getting to know his constituency, sampling the delights of Bath’s night-life. These photos were taken at the Po Na Na club, which Guido can confirm from personal experience is a dive. A fellow reveller reports:

“He was wasted and bumping into people, he even said ‘don’t you know who I am’. This was only at 11pm. Lightweight.”

One way of swaying the voters…

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oliver Dowden Finally Finds a Seat

Congratulations to No. 10 Deputy Chief of Staff Oliver Dowden who has, after many years of trying, finally found a seat. Hertsmere has a majority of 17,605, which should be UKIP-proof for even the ultimate political class lobbyist turned government spinner. Croydon South’s loss is Hertsmere gain.

Tories Demand Investigation Into Speaker’s Spokesperson
Bercow Spinner Accused of “Serious Breach” of Impartiality

The Tories are very angry about the Speaker’s official spokesperson going native and accusing them of “aim[ing] to buy the election”, a story followed up by the Mail and the Times this morning. Guido understands Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has written to John Bercow accusing Justine McGuinness of “a serious breach of the guidance on Speaker’s impartiality.” Zahawi demands that an investigation is carried out by “one of your deputies” because of Bercow’s “close working relationship with Ms McGuinness”, so that “full confidence and transparency and upholding the integrity of your esteemed office” can been guaranteed. As Zahawi writes:

“The guidance on Speakers impartiality is clear: “The Speaker must be above party political controversy and must be seen to be completely impartial in all public matters. All sides in the House rely on the Speaker’s disinterest, and understand that he or she must stand aside from controversy.””

He concludes: “I’m sure you will agree with me Ms McGuinness’ actions constitute a serious breach of impartiality and must be urgently investigated.” Perhaps Eleanor Laing could take a look. As someone once said, when the spokesperson needs a spokesperson…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WATCH: Have I Got News For You on ‘Sophie’

LISTEN: Boris Can’t Name Tory Clacton Candidate

The Mayor of London has evidently never seen Bread. Any connoisseur of eighties sitcoms knows that the Tory candidate in Clacton is actor Giles Watling, but not Boris on LBC this morning:

BJ: “We’ve got a fantastic guy called… bloody… superb man… Stirling? Girling? Something like that. What’s he called? You tell me.”

NF: “Giles…”

BJ: “Giles… come on what is it again?”

NF: “Giles… the Bread actor? Remember Bread?”

BJ: “No. Come on stop sitting there like a great big fat Buddha and tell me the name of this guy.”

NF: “No need to get personal Mr Mayor… It’s Giles Watling.”

BJ: “Giles Watling, that’s right. I knew it. Something to do with ling. Tingaling.”

Close…

Monday, October 6, 2014

Third Post-Conference Poll Puts Tories Ahead

Dave’s post-conference bounce continues this afternoon, with a national poll from Lord Ashcroft putting the Tories two points ahead of Labour. That’s the third poll since the PM’s speech to give the Tories a lead, following YouGov in the Sun on Friday and then in the Sunday Times. Still pointing toward a Labour victory…

Meating of the Clans: Osbo and BoJo BBQ

Boris and Osborne have been having secret narrative-busting family barbecues. Apparently, we are all mi-steak-en to think the Chancellor and the Mayor are anything but best buddies without a leadership ribbing in sight. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, the Johnsons and the Osbornes broke bread over the summer at the Mayor’s Henley pad. Guido grilled both teams to find out what was really going on…

BBQ sauces close to the Chancellor says this is nothing new and there is “no hatchet to bury”. Meanwhile the Mayor’s people insist it is a “regular thing” and a “chance to catch up informally, away from Whitehall and their officials”, and that “they are friends”. This one has legs; delicious, flame-grilled legs.


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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