CIPR, the trade body for the spin industry, is in big trouble. The confidential minutes of the latest council meetings reveal that they expect income to fall by £1,593,000. Through pay cuts, redundancies and furloughs they have reduced direct expenditure by £861,000 of which staff costs were £261,000. Overall they expect to make a loss of £326,000 rather than a surplus of £145,000. This loss will reduce the CIPR’s reserves to zero by the end of the year.
The back-slapping at CIPR’s awards ceremonies has come to a halt as a result of Covid, so there are fewer opportunities to sell tickets to see everybody giving each other awards. They plan to seek a £750,000 government-backed Business Interruption Loan to be repaid over an extended term. They have already abandoned their offices to become a virtual organisation…
Labour members have been emailed by the party this afternoon with the worrying news that they have been “the victim of a sophisticated ransomware attack, which occurred earlier this year.” Cybercriminals successfully stole data on Labour members and donors from software company and Labour Party supplier Blackbaud. The party today confirmed that the stolen data included:
Blackbaud has told the Labour Party that they have paid a ransom demanded by the hackers, and “have received assurances that the data was destroyed as a result.” The Tories did warn Labour were a threat to the nation’s security…
Read the email in full below:
Sir Keir Starmer has had literally nothing to say in response to one of his own MPs being stopped by the police over the weekend. Even Boris Johnson has put out a statement in sympathy with Dawn Butler, after she was pulled over in Hackney at the weekend when she was a passenger in a BMW driven by a black friend. Boris’s response was released this morning:
“Police have made a statement saying they made a mistake. But obviously it’s very important Met continue to do everything they can, as indeed they do, to show they’re serving every part of our country + serving every part of our community with fairness and equality”
Guido has also reproduced Sir Keir’s response in full:
Even LabourList has had no luck in drawing out a response from the Labour leader, embarrassingly for the party publishing that “LabourList has requested comment from the Labour Party and from Keir Starmer’s office, but has been referred back to Butler by the party and not received a response from the leadership.”
Starmer is clearly equally frightened of appearing ‘soft’ on law and order, or – on the other hand – of stepping into the political minefield of backing stop and search after one of his MPs – herself a vocal critic of the policing tactic – has been subjected to it. Running from both the public and his own MPs is not a good look.
UPDATE: Following Guido’s story, Sir Keir has finally issued a two-tweet statement.
“I reached out yesterday to Dawn Butler to discuss the incidence she reported and to offer our support. All allegations of racial profiling must be taken extremely seriously by the Metropolitan police.
It is imperative that the Black community have trust and confidence in our police. The abuse Dawn has received over social media is wrong and must be condemned.”
Why did that take so long?
It always seemed paradoxical to Guido that UKIP opposed Scottish independence, all the arguments about supra-nationalism they applied to Brussels rang true for Westminster from Edinburgh. The historical baggage of the Conservative & Unionist Party was more understandable, though increasingly contradicted by the observed attitude of party activists who, unlike the party leadership, are more likely to see Scotland and Wales as a burden on English (Tory) taxpayers. Emotional arguments don’t play so well with practical-minded voters.
The media frequently tells us this is a “Vote Leave” government, so Guido has dug into a recent June 2020 YouGov poll of English voters and their attitude to independence for England, which effectively translates into their attitude to Scottish and Welsh independence, given they won’t have a vote in another Scottish referendum. Their attitudes are telling…
Of those who expressed a view, over 55% of English Leave voters supported an English exit from the union, that is striking. When it came to Tory voters, the majority of Conservative & Unionist Party voters do still support the union, by a smaller margin. It is still something extraordinary for nearly half the party’s voters to reject the stance towards the union expressed in the party’s very name. The trend suggests that the English Conservative Party will soon have to consider dropping “unionist” from their name if they want to reflect the modern views of the party’s membership.
If Scotland had to stand on its own fiscal feet it would soon discover that having a Sovietised economy, with a dominant massive public sector, is just not sustainable. An independent Scotland would mean that English taxpayers would no longer have to subsidise their public sector…
Labour’s Blairite prince across the water David Miliband is back on the airwaves today talking about the migrant crisis from his cushy $450,000 a year charity job in New York. When asked the perennial centrist question – if he would consider returning to frontline British politics – the arch-Blairite gave a typically media-savvy evasive answer. Miliband Senior told Times Radio:
“I don’t want to get into the ruling in ruling out, but there’s a new generation and I want to see them doing well, not badly.”
However tempting a place on Starmer’s front bench might seem, Guido’s not sure David would take the pay cut…
With the PM set to do another day’s touring of schools in his push to enforce the fact kids will be returning in September, Labour is continuing to both ignore the science on school Covid transmission between kids and, in turn, scaring parents away from letting their kids go back. This morning SAGE member and President of the Royal College of Paediatrics Russell Viner told Times Radio there are “at least five studies from around the world” that suggest “there’s very, very little transmission of this virus in schools.”. Unequivocal, some might say…
This scientific advice on children isn’t new, yet over the weekend on the radio Labour’s new Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green refused four times to say whether Labour thinks it’s safe for children to return to the classroom. Again this morning, Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said teachers in Scotland “are right to be worried” about the return of Scottish pupils tomorrow:
“They are right to be worried and the reason they’re worried is because they don’t have confidence that decisions that are being made are the right decisions.”
Labour claim to have been listening to the science throughout the pandemic, not the unions. The science is straightforward on this, however teaching unions are intent on wrecking the plans. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who Labour is listening to…