By-Election Scenarios and Permutations

Good morning, it’s by-election day! It is wet and windy up in Stoke and Copeland and by 4 a.m. tomorrow morning one of several possible scenarios will be playing out. Guido takes you through your by-election scenarios…

Stoke-on-Trent Central

Labour win, UKIP second, Tories third

If Gareth Snell holds Stoke for Labour then the man who once called Jeremy Corbyn an “IRA supporting friend of Hamas” will, ironically, have helped save Jez. He will have won a seat that has always been safely Labour. Defeat will see Paul Nuttall face criticism from UKIP’s Faragists – remember Farage last week piled on the pressure by saying Nuttall had to win. Jez will be safe…

Labour win, Tories second, UKIP third

If the Tories come ahead of UKIP then the Faragists will actively move against a humiliated Nuttall. Hillsborough, rightly or wrongly, will have damaged him beyond repair. UKIP could have their sixth change of leader in under two years.

UKIP win

Should Labour lose to UKIP, the PLP will be mutinous. Corbyn’s office will blame Tony Blair’s Brexit speech, accusing him of a deliberate act of sabotage. Corbyn will face huge pressure from the left to hand over to Rebecca Long-Bailey or Clive Lewis. Moderates will demand his resignation and discuss another leadership challenge. UKIP will have its second MP, Nuttall becoming a loud Brexiter in the Commons and a credible new voice for working class voters. UKIP will be on the verge of a mainstream tipping point…

Tories win

Should the Tories come from nowhere to win, Corbyn could be toast. The realisation of a Tory one party state and a Scotland-style wipeout of Labour across England will dawn on the Corbynistas. Even Jezza’s closest allies will tell him his time is up. 25 year-old Jack Brereton will be the youngest Tory MP.

Copeland

Tories win

Tory victory in Copeland means Corbyn will face renewed calls to quit from Labour moderates. Owen Jones types will air further doubts about the Corbyn project. Eyes will be on Long-Bailey and Lewis. There will be talk of a summer leadership challenge. Corbyn’s views on the nuclear industry will have been key. Theresa May’s approach to Brexit will be emboldened. A Tory win is already priced in, this will not be a shock to SW1…

Labour win

Labour victory against the odds means Corbyn is safe, or safer if Labour has lost Stoke. Fighting dirty on the NHS will have worked. Talk of a Tory takeover of Northern seats will be deemed premature. An ardent Remainer will have won in a big Leave constituency. May’s awkward visit, in which she failed to answer questions on local NHS services, will be a major embarrassment for Number 10.

UKIP win

You are kidding.

Stay with Guido for coverage during the day and through the night…

12 Things You Won’t Read About Milo Elsewhere

  1. Despite being tarred in the failing media as a white supremacist he has a penchant for picking up gay black men. For years he would leave late-night parties flamboyantly telling friends that he was “off to KFC” in the hope of getting lucky.
  2. Milo is completely disorganised. Punctuality problems have been the cause of him losing many jobs. By “punctuality” we mean actually turning up daily. Only two years ago he was working for Sky TV in an inexplicable technology guru role. Briefly.
  3. Milo’s political philosophy is fluid. He has at various times been an ultra-conservative Catholic, libertarian and now a Trumpian alt-right fellow traveller. His lifestyle has always been enjoyably libertine.
  4. As a nerdy child Milo was a gamer into Warhammer and bragged his paintwork on the game figurines was “impeccable”.
  5. Milo has terrible eyesight and is so worried about going bald he uses an expensive hair re-growth serum.
  6. Milo owns a pink swastika fashion piece. Lately he has been claiming Jewish ancestry.
  7. His parents gave him the name Milo Hanrahan, he also went by the name Wagner before settling on Yiannopoulos. God knows why.
  8. Milo’s father Nicolas Hanrahan is a geezer, you know what I mean.
  9. Milo tells friends he likes to try to have sex with a woman “once a year”.
  10. Milo kept a spreadsheet of his friends where he ranked them for looks, intelligence and how much he likes them.
  11. Milo is surprisingly shy and has difficulty looking people in the eye.
  12. If Milo self-publishes he will make far more than $250,000 from book sales this year. He will also spend it all.

Milo’s life is a performance. Don’t take it more seriously than he does.

DAB PMQ

Readers of this sketch will remember its recurring and heartfelt concern for the sanity of poor Tom Watson. First chronicling his deepening existential despair here, in subsequent months I went on to speculate it was only a matter of time before he would finally lose it and go the “full Bill Murray and turn up to PMQs stark bollock naked”, all in a desperate attempt to break this cycle of Groundhog Day-style self-immolations by the Labour Leader. Today was that day…

He’d almost made it as well, valiantly surviving most of Jeremy Corbyn’s rambling monologues by nodding his head slowly back and forth in scenes eerily reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. That lasted right up until Mr. Corbyn finally took the plunge into complete self-parody and used his last question to spit at Theresa May that she needed to “INVEST IN OUR. ENN. AITCH. ESS!”, dementedly hammering his fist on the despatch box like a toddler to punctuate each syllable of “NHS”. At this point something broke in Mr. Watson, and he decided to do what any normal 50 year old politician would in such a situation and throw his arms maniacally in the air, performing an urban youth dance-craze known as a “dab”. Well, at least he didn’t go full Miley Cyrus and twerk on a dwarf in the chamber. Then again, Bercow may have been game…

Continue reading

The One-Man Lobbying Machine

Marc Etches’ dream of Vegas-style casinos and £1m jackpots is coming true”, was the prediction made in 2004 by the man who now heads up the bookmaker funded, and recently rebranded, Gamble Aware.

Etches who headed up the doomed bid to turn Blackpool into the UK’s Las Vegas was described as “the gambling lobby’s most visible face” and “a one man lobbying machine”. No wonder the bookies kept him on as CEO when they rebranded their discredited Responsible Gambling Trust after its Chairman was found lobbying to defend FOBTs.

Despite Etches narrowly avoiding the chop, word has it that the Parliamentary Office of Information Science and Technology is investigating UK gambling research and their early comments should spark a little concern for the one-man lobbyist “..with funding and research grant awarding largely determined by the industry-funded RGT. There is a debate as to what extent this arrangement encourages high quality independent research on gambling to take place.” There certainly is!

More direct criticism of Etches came from the recent All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into FOBTs which noted “… the Group urges [the RGT] to consider undertaking research in this important area [FOBT stake reduction] and was not convinced by their explanation as to why they had not.”

You may not have heard of Marc Etches, but this “one man lobbying machine” has been and remains to be, the bookmakers’ “Maginot Line” defending FOBTs, but in the end we all know what happened to that!

Content produced and sponsored by Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFFG)

Mosley Gives Watson Half a Million

Max Mosley has given Tom Watson another £300,000, meaning Labour’s deputy leader has accepted £500,000 in donations from Max in the last eight months. Imagine what Labour would say if a Cabinet minister had taken half a million quid from a former black-shirt who once punched a policeman in the face at a fascist rally…

200 Staff Went Through HS2 Revolving Door

Earlier this month Guido reported that HS2 Ltd had given half-a-billion pounds worth of taxpayer-funded contracts to CH2M, a US engineering firm that just happened to be the former company of the HS2 CEO. Well, now a rival construction business which lost out on the contract is threatening to sue HS2 Ltd over this alleged conflict of interest. Mace say they are “looking closely at our options”. Their case: CH2M was awarded the latest £170 million contract during the tenure of HS2 CEO Roy Hill, a former employee of CH2M. And the revolving door spins even faster than that – industry insiders claim CH2M currently has around 200 members of staff working for HS2. A CH2M man took charge of HS2, HS2 hired 200 CH2M staff, and then HS2 awarded CH2M a huge contract… Hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money spent without a rail being laid…

Guardian Finds Support for UKIP in Stoke

Watch this Guardian video by John Harris and you might think UKIP are going to win in Stoke:

You can get 3/1 at the bookies

Snell Sexism Cuts Through to Stoke Voters

Gareth Snell’s sexist comments about women, first uncovered by Guido, have cut through to Stoke voters according to a focus group carried out by BritainThinks for the Guardian:

“He’s the one who says negative comments about women on TV and doesn’t like Janet Street-Porter,” said garage-owner Jamie, 48, when the group was shown a photo of Snell. (Snell described Porter as a “polished turd”.) “You can’t make flippant sexist comments and not have some sort of backlash from it,” said Lisa, a 38-year-old student.

Only three out of ten Stoke residents who voted Labour in 2015 told the focus group they would definitely do so again this week. Feelings towards Theresa May were “generally positive”, while Paul Nuttall was the candidate they most wanted to go for a pint with. If this is replicated across the constituency, Stoke is in play…

Blair Takes Down Mail, May Was Home Sec When Jihadi Compensation Agreed

Today’s Daily Mail lambasts Tony Blair for securing the release of Guantanamo detainee turned ISIS suicide bomber Jamal al-Harith, asking “Still Think He Wasn’t a Danger, Mr Blair?” A fair question, yet also one that could be asked of… the Daily Mail. As Blair himself points out in a delicious take down:

It is correct that Jamal al-Harith was released from Guantanamo Bay at the request of the British Government in 2004. This followed a Parliamentary and massive media campaign, led by the Daily Mail, the very paper that is now supposedly so outraged at his release and strongly supported by the then Conservative Opposition. The Mail headline shortly after he was released after months of their campaigning was “Freedom At Last for Guantanamo Britons”. They then quoted with approval various human rights activists saying “clearly by what‘s happened they’re not bad guys. they are entirely innocent’

Blair also notes it was the Tory government in 2010 which secured al-Harith’s £1 million compensation. The then Home Secretary? One Theresa May…

Tom Watson’s PMQs Dab

Tom Watson performed a “dab” at the end of PMQs. For readers not familar with the Atlanta hip-hop dance scene, a dab is a dance move popularised by various musicians and sports stars, and copied by naff people trying to be cool. Was it for a bet?

PMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

Q2 Caroline Flint (Don Valley) 

Q3 Andrew Bingham (High Peak) 

Q4 Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) 

Q5 Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)

Q6 William Wragg (Hazel Grove)

Q7 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)

Q8 Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)

Q9 Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)

Q10 Dr Tania Mathias (Twickenham) 

Q11 Chris Davies (Brecon and Radnorshire) 

Q12 Crispin Blunt (Reigate) 

Q13 Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)

Q14 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) 

Q15 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Comments in the comments…

New McDonnell Video Piques Interest

This new John McDonnell campaign video has been noted in Labour circles. Two minutes of McDonnell delivering decent, punchy attack lines on UKIP and a succinct up-sum of Labour’s offer. Better production values than usual for a bog-standard MP’s by-election video, clearly filmed and edited by someone who knows what they’re doing. And – most intriguingly – no mention of Gareth Snell’s name whatsoever. A Labour insider comments:

“Just goes to show that the only election Old McDonnell cares about is the one against Clive Lewis and Rebecca Long-Bailey in 2018.”

Certainly more professional than the by-election offerings from other top Corbynistas…

Fallon’s Fashion

Following in the style footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Marck Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, the defence secretary keeps it simple with an “edited” wardrobe. Commendable…

Hat-tip: Henry Mance

“Non-Party Political” Copeland Hospital Campaigner is Tory-Hating Labour Activist

A Copeland “hospital campaigner” claiming to be non-party political can be revealed as a Labour member who wished death upon David Cameron. Siobhan Gearing has been kicking up a fuss about services at West Cumberland Hospital, teaming up with Labour MPs to criticise the government. She has been described in the local press as just an ordinary “local resident” and “mother of two”. Gearing has herself said of her campaign: “This is not about party politics”. Except that just isn’t true, is it Siobhan…

Firstly, Siobhan Gearing is a paid-up member of Copeland Labour Party, something neither she, Copeland Labour nor the local press have mentioned.

Second, she has some views of Tory politicians which one might describe as partisan. Such as that David Cameron is a “w*nker” who should be killed.

Impressive that Copeland Labour have managed to spin that this membership card-carrying crank is just an ordinary non-partisan local mum…

UK GDP Beats Predictions and Exports Up… Again!

UK GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 has been revised higher this morning to +0.7%, higher than the expected +0.6%. The Office for National Statistics revealed export growth of 4.1%, which alongside a fall in imports of 0.4% means net trade added 1.3% to growth. […] Read the rest

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Sign Guido’s #Piegate Pietition Now

Guido today captains the team backing pie-munching hero roly-poly goalie Wayne Shaw. Sign Guido’s #piegate pietition – as featured in The Sun – now at: order-order.com/piegate[…] Read the rest

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Top Merkel Ally Slaps Down Juncker Over Brexit Bill

A top ally of Angela Merkel has strongly criticised Jean-Claude Juncker for threatening Britain with a “very hefty” Brexit bill on day one of the negotiation. CDU Home Affairs spokesman Stephan Meyer told the Today programme:

“I am not very happy, to be frank, with the statement of Jean-Claude Juncker.

[…] Read the rest

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Shami Was “Delighted” at Release of Guantanamo Detainee Turned ISIS Bomber

The BBC is reporting that a British former Guantanamo Bay detainee turned ISIS fighter has carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq. Abu-Zakariya al-Britani was formerly known as Jamal al-Harith and before that Ronald Fiddler. In 2004 al-Harith was released from Guantanamo after intense lobbying by the Blair government, who said he was mistreated.[…] Read the rest

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Milo Quits Breitbart, Watch Press Conference Live

He says he’ll publish his book anyway and give 10% of the royalties to child abuse charities…[…] Read the rest

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Sutton MP: Wayne Shaw Added Colour to the Cup

After Sutton United goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was sacked for eating a pie, Sutton MP Paul Scully told Guido:

“It’s a sad footnote to an amazing week for Sutton United. I lost a few quid on some outside bets for a Sutton win.

[…] Read the rest

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