Monday, September 15, 2014

The Two Eds Effect: Tories Open Up 25% Poll Lead on Economy

The gap between the Tories and Labour on trust on the economy has widened by 22% since Ed Balls became Shadow Chancellor. In March 2011, two months after Miliband gave Balls the job, Ipsos Mori had the Tories three points ahead at 31% to Labour’s 28%. Today they report the Tories are now up at 45%, while Labour have sunk to 20%. Who would have thought putting the two closest advisers to Gordon Brown in charge of Labour’s economic strategy would result in a lack of trust from the voters?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Clegg Faces Recall Rebellion

Nick Clegg is facing a rebellion over his Recall fudge denying voters the chance to sack disgraced MPs unless the Commons or the law agrees. Chief opponent Zac Goldsmith has dissected yesterday’s Bill:

“As before, it is a weak pretence at reform. If the Govt’s Recall Bill goes through as drafted, voters will be no more empowered to hold MPs to account than they are today. At the very first scandal, people will realise they’ve been duped, and the resulting anger will do our democracy harm. A [very] serious mistake.”

The Sun reports Michael Gove will give Tories a “free hand” to rebel against Clegg’s government proposals, with 70 MPs from all parties signing Goldsmith’s rebel motion, which you can read here. The David Ruffley case shows exactly why we need a proper Recall Bill which gives the public a say; local voters in Bury St Edmunds are and would be prevented from booting Ruffley out immediately under Clegg’s proposals. A Recall Bill which only lets the public act when an MP has been sent to jail or suspended by his colleagues is no Recall Bill at all…

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nigel Evans Makes £21,000 From Post-Sex Trial Media Interviews

Cleared Nigel Evans was paid £21,000 for selling the story of his trial to the press. Evans is being paid £1762.50 a month until June 2015 by management company Exclusive Press & Publicity, in respect of three media engagements with the Mail on Sunday, Mirror and ITV. Following his not guilty verdict, Evans gave emotional interviews to the MoS, Sunday Mirror and ITV’s Daybreak. He says he spent three hours with each outlet, so it wasn’t a bad way of helping towards paying his £130,000 legal bills. If he’d been found guilty he would have got a column in the Guardian…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WATCH: Don’t Give “Effing Tories” a Kick Pleads Cameron

After an hour’s delay parts of Cameron’s speech finally trickle out:

“Because it’s an election, because it’s a ballot, people can feel like it’s a general election. That you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision. If you’re fed up with the effing Tories give them a kick. This is totally different.”

How long before Salmond uses that one…

Monday, September 8, 2014

TORY WARS: Home Office Threat Level Raised to Severe

The Tory threat level has been raised to ‘severe’ as the rumbling conflict between the Home Office and Downing Street goes nuclear. Theresa May is struggling to disguise her contempt for the Craig Oliver and, as revealed in yesterday’s Sun, it boiled over recently with the Super Spinner doing himself no favours by going shouty crackers and demanding the Home Secretary show him some respect. Eye rolls all round. “Craig did a great job briefing the counter terrorism statement,” says a Home Office source.

Knittaz With Attitude
Leaked Plan Reveals Left-Wing Charities Target Tory Minister

Brooks Newmark is feeling the sharp end of the needle after commenting that charities should “stick to their knitting” and stay out of politics. Below Guido unravels details of a plot to stitch Newmark up coordinated by Friends of the Earth, spinning a yarn by organising a group letter to be printed in the national press. A conspiracy by left-wing charities to fight the idea that there’s a conspiracy by left-wing charities.

Dear Minister/ Dear editor

It was very ill-considered for you/the Minister for Civil Society to tell charities to “stick to their knitting”.

We are pleased that you have/ he has clarified your/his view that “charities absolutely have the right to campaign but should stay out of the realm of party politics”.

Charities, by law, cannot and do not take part in party politics and it is misleading to suggest this is a problem that needs to be tackled. We are proud to be party politically independent and to speak truth to power – even if that is uncomfortable for politicians.

The Lobbying Act, coming in to force on 19 September, was opposed by over 150 charities and campaign groups – from Cancer UK to the Quakers, Water Aid to WWF. We are concerned that it contains provisions that may well limit the ability of charities and other organisations to speak out on some of the most important policy issues facing the country and the planet.

From women’s suffrage to stopping the sell-off of our forests, campaigning on politically contentious issues is vital to democracy and to Governments making the right decisions. No ill-considered new laws or comments by ministers should stop charities and campaign groups from this important work.

Signed lots of NGOs..

The seamless plan also aims to buttonhole Newmark on social media, in what the charities minister will be hoping is a vain attempt to make him reap what he has sewn:

If you can take a photo of yourself knitting that would be great. (We actually have a box of knitting in the Edinburgh office. It turns out charities really do like knitting!) If you can’t get hold of any knitting a text tweet will do! Just remember the hashtag! Some examples:

In between knitting, I like to help solve youth unemployment in Scotland. #stickingtomyknitting

After a hard day’s knitting, I like nothing better than to help get disempowered people get online #stickingtomyknitting

European Funding Policy is fun and all, but I’d rather be knitting! #stickingtomyknitting

The email has been sent out to left-wing charities by Liz Hutchins, a former CND agitator who describes herself as a “senior political campaigner” and currently works for the Friends of the Earth “Political and Legal Unit”. Somewhat giving the game away. Other proposals of direct action suggested by Liz include turning up at Newmark’s constituency office in Braintree and making him undergo re-education in a meeting at the Cabinet Office. You can read the email in full here and have your say in the thread below…

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Matthew?

probelm-matthew-parris

Even if they privately agree with him CCHQ strategists don’t appreciate the media interventions by Matthew Parris. Lynton Crosby has decreed that UKIP is to be downplayed and all but ignored insomuch as that is possible. The Clacton bullet is to be bitten and the pain taken without too much complaint or squealing. Hence the lack of Tory MPs in the studios stoking up the row or giving biting anti-Carswell soundbites to be lapped up by the media and inserted in stories of Tory splits and infighting. So in their place we have Matthew Parris, a former Tory MP and the arch voice of the Tory left, on the Daily Politics, Newsnight and in his columns he is stoking up the euro-row, amplifying it and providing soundbites, inventing motives and attributing malice to the eurosceptic wing of the Tories. Matthew’s latest column in The Times paints Clacton as full of people so infra dig that they should just be ignored by the Tories. The column is so patronising and sneering that it could be reprinted by UKIP and delivered as a recruiting leaflet to every former Tory voter in Clacton…

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tories Implementing iDemocracy in Clacton

clacton-con-ads

There is a certain irony in the Tories holding an internet driven open primary in Clacton to select their candidate and UKIP HQ imposing Douglas Carswell, the prophet of iDemocracy, as their candidate. Carswell will be pleased his ideas are being taken up…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charities Minister Warns Third Sector to Stay Out of Politics

A welcome move from the new charities minister Brooks Newmark, who has this afternoon launched a stinging attack on partisan charity sock-puppets:

“We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics. 99.9 per cent do exactly that. When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money. The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others.”

Predictably a minister daring to suggest anyone in the third sector might possibly do anything wrong has gone down like a cup of cold sick among charities themselves. Newmark is however making an important point and speaks from experience too, having himself set up his own charity in Rwanda. Guido has written previously on how sections of the third sector are stuffed full of Labour acolytes, spin for Labour and even write policy for political parties. Good to see the new charities minister is on board with the campaign to get charities out of politics…

PMQs Order Paper: Quitting Chris Kelly to Question Cam

Douglas Carswell’s decision to do the honourable thing means we will likely be denied a box office showdown with the PM for a few more weeks. There is however a question for the departing Chris Kelly on today’s PMQs order paper:

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Eric Joyce (Falkirk)

Q2 Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) 

Q3 Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) 

Q4 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) 

Q5 Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) 

Q6 Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington) 

Q7 Richard Drax (South Dorset) 

Q8 Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon)

Q9 Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) 

Q10 Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes)

Q11 Jim Shannon (Strangford) 

Q12 Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East)

Q13 Mark Menzies (Fylde) 

Q14 Chris Kelly (Dudley South)

Kelly famously denied bursting into tears during his last showdown with Dave in 2010. And emotions are still running high among Tory backbenchers…


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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