Yesterday the immigration figures were out and they were a disaster for the government. After promising to reduce them to “tens of thousands” they overshot by hundreds of thousands, with 187,000 Bulgarians and Romanians alone applying for National Insurance numbers in 2014, entitling them to work and claim welfare. This is UKIP’s signature issue, EU immigration. After the LibLabCon parties mocked the idea of a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians coming it was an open goal for Nigel to show he had been proved right again on the issue that really moves the dial for UKIP. Where was he?
Speaking to an empty room in Washington D.C. to a handful of political nerds before flying back for UKIP’s spring conference this weekend. The media priorities are crazy, the press operation is amateurish, Paul “Gobby” Lambert was brought in to get a grip on the party’s media handling. Gobby knows that forward planning is key to setting the media agenda. Nigel himself may be on his way from Thanet to Westminster, however there is still a long way to go for UKIP HQ…
David Axelrod was caught off guard by Christiane Amanpour on CNN and asked about Ed Miliband. Watch his face fall:
The most positive thing Axe says is that that polls say Ed could win and that no one likes the Tories. A minute later he says to ignore the polls.
Unsurprisingly, Axelrod refuses to compare Ed to Obama. He doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about things though.
You would have thought for £300,000 Labour could have given their star guru at least one or two talking points about what their leader is up to?
It is 95 days since David Axelrod has bothered to mention Miliband on Twitter, the PLP are sharpening their knives and Labour’s six figure strategist has let slip that he is done with campaigning. Today Axelrod earns his dollar by telling the Guardian that his star British client “falls short of Obama”:
DA: “I had been spoiled. The thought of starting over with someone new – and almost certainly somebody who would fall short of Obama – was unappealing.”
Guardian: Would he put the Labour leader into that same category?
DA: “I think Obama’s a once-in-a-lifetime candidate. I can’t think of another person who I would put in his category in my experience of consulting. So I wouldn’t put that burden on Ed or anyone. I think Ed is a smart, earnest guy.”
The Axe was then asked for his six word summary of Labour’s election message. He replied:
“The promise of fixing Britain and creating jobs is that it says nothing about raising wages or economic security. That’s what’s fundamentally missing. If you are willing to proliferate zero-hour contracts and encourage policies that undercut wages you may claim that you’re creating jobs but you are also creating jobs that don’t support families. The question is do you have economic policies that are going to promote living wages, put people who are working hard in a position to support their families? Are you making education and training accessible to young people or are you going to make it so costly they are burdened with debt when they leave? The Tories just don’t look at the British economy through the lens of everyday people. They don’t have a kitchen table philosophy of economics and that’s why the recovery hasn’t reached kitchen tables around Britain.”
That’s 145 words. In the same interview Axelrod admits “my colleagues” deal with Labour rather than him. No kidding…
The next PM and President?
After a shaky start, it seems the Mayor’s East Coast tour is finally beginning to get going: ie he’s getting the pictures he wants. Let’s hope Hillary can forgive what Boris once said of her:
“She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital… represents, on the face of it, everything I came into politics to oppose: not just a general desire to raise taxes and nationalize things, but an all-round purse-lipped political correctness.”
He’s got more in common with her husband…
David Axelrod is really earning his crust from Labour, telling a book-promoting interview that he’s retiring from campaigning: “I’m not going back on that circuit. It’s exhilarating, it’s addictive, but it’s not good for you. I’m done”. With his comments picked up by the Sun this morning, and sure to wind up already tetchy Labour MPs, Guido has crunched the numbers. Today it has been 90 days since Axelrod even bothered to mention his star British client on Twitter. He was reportedly in London for a brief visit in December, but is embarking on a book tour around the USA for the duration of the British election campaign. Worth every penny…
The Daily Beast exclusive that Mitt Romney is to run for President again will be staying exclusive. Romney says:
After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee…
I’ve been asked, and will certainly be asked again if there are any circumstances whatsoever that might develop that could change my mind. That seems unlikely. Accordingly, I’m not organizing a PAC or taking donations; I’m not hiring a campaign team.
I encourage all of you on this call to stay engaged in the critical process of selecting a Republican nominee for President. Please feel free to sign up on a campaign for a person who you believe may become our best nominee.
I believe a Republican winning back the White House is essential for our country, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen.
To all my supporters, friends and family who worked both tirelessly and loyally to support my campaigns in the past, I will always be deeply appreciative. What you have already done is a tribute to your patriotism. We are overwhelmed and humbled by your loyalty to us, by your generosity of spirit, and by your friendship. God bless you all.
Read the statement in full here. Stupid idea in the first place.
John Kerry reaffirmed his status as international diplomacy’s leading pillock this afternoon with his excruciatingly embarrassing apology to France. After no senior American official could be bothered to attend the unity rally in Paris last week, John Kerry stowed James Taylor in his hand luggage for his visit to the French capital. Taylor was paraded at a press conference to sing “You’ve got a friend…” Which wasn’t at all awkward…