Is Bell Off His Rocker?

Many co-conspirators have pointed out that Steve Bell has decided to depict Gordon in a nappy. Now that was a picture Guido did not expect to see… in the Guardian.

Benn Scrapes Through

Team Benn seems to have relaxed and the word is they have scraped together enough nominations to see Hilary through.

Even the prayers of atheists get answered…

UPDATE : Maybe not. As of this evening still officially 3 nominations short? Time for some more prayers? Although over at LabourHome they say he definitely has the numbers.

Shop-a-SpAd : Gus O’Donnell Warns “No Ifs, No Buts”

Guido has been in touch with the Cabinet Office, and a few cocky SpAds should watch their step – you know who you are – the boss of the civil service seems to agree:

Gus O’Donnell has reiterated the ground rules for civil servants, including special advisers, on their conduct during the subsequent election campaign.

This note also provides guidance to ministers in relation to the requirements of the Ministerial Code.

Ministers
During the leadership/deputy leadership election campaign, ministers remain in charge of their departments. Government business continues as normal.

All costs associated with the leadership/deputy leadership campaign – travel, accommodation, printing and so on – should be met by the individuals or the Party not the taxpayer.

Under the terms of the Ministerial Code, ministers must not use government resources for party political purposes. They must uphold the political impartiality of the civil service and not ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code.

So off the office computer, desist from using the taxpayers’ Blackberry and take your leave. Guido is being sent more and more examples day-after-day that show SpAds breaking the rules.

Cameron’s Old Boss’ Firm to Rebuild Labour Party Website

Michael Green’s Tangent Communications has won the contract to rebuild the Labour Party website. Green backed Cameron’s leadership bid with a donation. How ironic…

WebCam-Man Deleted

Sam Roake, formerly the Head of Web Campaigning at CCHQ, has left the building. He is keeping tight-lipped about the reasons why, as is CCHQ. Presumably there has been a falling out since as far as Guido can determine he has not got another job to go to.

Last week they quietly re-launched the WebCameron site, it is actually a step backwards technically from the one Roake created. It now focuses on Dave’s Diary (tip: make the posts shorter and more often Dave, like errm, Dale’s Diary). It has a forum which is based on off-the-shelf software. Gone is that pesky “Ask Dave”, gone is the uploading of user generated content, gone is all the cutting edge stuff.

WebCameron now has all the capability and cutting edge cheap look and feel of the LibDem Youth and Students website but with videos. In short it is a step backwards. Simple geeky details like the RSS feeds changing without warning meant that subscribers didn’t notice, they just stopped getting their feeds, Guido didn’t notice any email warning either. Sloppy.

The Tories are now looking to hire a replacement, with a wish-list of abilities that are much in demand in the Clerkenwell-Soho hot-spots of the Web 2.0 mini-bubble. Rishi Saha, of Pimp-My-Party fame, is searching for a Tory leaning geek. Roake won’t be unemployed for long.

UPDATE : Guido now understands that Roake has received offers already. Bubble 2.0 is definitely out of Beta.

Number Twos Through

With one more day to go Jon Cruddas needs one more nomination to be through. Benn looks finished, unless he has a last minute surge, which is not impossible. Although Johnson’s people have been blamed for smearing Benn others have suggested that Blears’ people had more to gain.

Blears’ salary as Party Chairwoman is paid for by the Labour Party. During the leadership elections she is not doing any work as Chairwoman (for obvious reasons), organising the elections is all being left to Jaquie Smith. Given the cash-strapped nature of the Labour party some are calling for her to forego her salary during the campaign – she is after all not doing the job she is paid to do. Seems fair enough…

Gordon Backed by 81% of Labour MPs

Alan Milburn somehow found the time to nominate Hazel Blears, but not Gordon Brown. What a surprise…


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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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