I am writing you this email from our newly created “election war-room” in Cowley Street. We have just had back-to-back meetings of our Shadow Cabinet and Federal Policy Committee to put the finishing touches to our general election manifesto.
Of course, I can’t tell you the details just yet. [TOP SECRET DOUBLE HUSH HUSH] But it will be a very strong document setting our distinctive values with a strong emphasis on the environment.
Throughout this week the General Election Management Team has been planning things like our press conferences and Ming’s extensive tour across the country. [CALL HELP THE AGED]
The reports from constituencies this weekend are very good. We have had thousands of party members knocking on doors and making telephone calls as part of “community canvass week” Ming himself was out canvassing earlier this week in Scotland.
Whether Gordon Brown calls the election next week, the following week, or at any time in future – we will be ready ! [LIKE THE BOY SCOUTS]
With best wishes
Chief Executive, Liberal Democrats
Last night the Tories took a seat off Labour in Sunderland, elsewhere in Dover there was a big double-digit percentage swing to Cameron, in marginals Labour lost votes. The Tories will also get a bounce from next week – despite the BBC trying desperately to develop a narrative of disillusionment and more defections – which should move the betting prices.
Why take the biggest party bet? Four reasons; Scotland and boundary changes are going to hurt Labour, thirdly the Ashcroft marginal machine is where the real battle is, not in Labour’s heartlands where traditional voters disillusioned by Blair can return to Labour without making a blind bit of difference. Finally, when politics re-starts for real in parliament, Gordon’s big-tent gimmicks will be forgotten in that adversarial atmosphere.
Guido could be wrong, but something tells him Gordon is bluffing.
Afterwards one of the organisers thanked me – “Yeah, thanks for that, I’m sure all the teachers who brought sudents along were overjoyed when you recommended that the world would be better off if they became honest drug dealers and arms traders rather than politicians.” Glad to be of service.
Guido need hardly remind readers that Bob Shrum was paid by Gordon’s think-tank, the Smith Institute, to advise him on political strategy. It was documentary evidence of that blatantly illegal activity (provided by Guido) which triggered the ongoing Charity Commission investigation. Ed Balls also berthed at the Smith Institute between leaving his job as a Treasury SpAd and becoming an MP – he was paid a little short of £100,000 for writing a couple of pamphlets.
With the transfer also of Konrad Caulkett from the Smith Institute to Downing Street as well, it is abundantly clear that the Smith Institute has served its purpose – preparing the ground for the Brown premiership. All unlawfully subsidised by the taxpayer…
Mariella is, errm, a famous TV presenter…
Of more interest to Guido was the information that in CCHQ
“a new map hangs in George Osborne’s office, showing the latest parliamentary boundaries for the next general election. It could have been designed to soothe the nerves of a Conservative party election co-ordinator, for it is dominated by Tory blue. A few tricks have been used to achieve this optical illusion. There is no Scotland“.
Perhaps George is hoping that Scotland will be coloured yellow…
Chris Hope in the Telegraph agrees: it is the right-wing blogs that are shaping coverage in the dead-tree-press.
We know the ususal Tory suspects he is talking about – Guido Fawkes, Iain Dale and Tim Montgomerie’s. There are left-wing blogs like LabourHome but they seem to lack the spikiness and must-read edge of Guido, for example.
After a lot of thought about this, Guido has come to a simple conclusion as to why British left-wing blogs are unsuccessful. It is not because Labour is in government. It is because they are boring.
Is it time for them to consider tactical voting? Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting.com has made the case for this before, if you want to get rid of this government, vote for the party best placed to beat New Labour in your constituency. In Scotland that seems to have happened already, the business community has switched from the no-hope Tories to the SNP. In return the SNP has begun to talk more about “Enterprise Scotland” and is now polling even stronger than during the recent local elections.
The problem is that LibDem and Tory activists hate each other. They would not countenance any explicit instruction to vote for the other party. Often at each others neck in local government, the idea of a non-aggression pact is unpalatable. Rather than going into any protracted negotiations the Tories should just direct resources away from LibDem incumbents and into the battle in Labour seats. The LibDems political antennae would detect the shift, they would consequently be able to shift their more limited resources away from defending LibDem seats against Tory insurgents and towards attacking Labour incumbents.
The campaigners at the Taxpayers Alliance have also produced a Political Trumps pack, with 52 cards doubling as a normal pack of cards as well – with Lembit and Boris as the Jokers of course.
The Taxpayers Alliance version rates politicians for Years per Department, Media Skills, Integrity, Scandal Avoidance, Private Sector and Front-Bench Experience. Revealingly different metrics from the Sky pack – where the ratings were made by Lobby hacks.
Guido has packs to give away to the three best entries in his competition for a limerick that wittily sums up Gordon’s speech from yesterday. Entries in the comments please.
If you don’t win you can always order a pack here.