Kay Burley’s face says what the whole country is thinking…
Kay Burley’s face says what the whole country is thinking…
Is he really going to keep his cool in a TV debate? He says he has made his mind up, so why doesn’t he say if he will do a debate and when he will do a debate? Dithering won’t make the issue go away…
He got slaughtered on BBC Breakfast as well:
[bbc-news video=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ojlvRG-yGQ width=480 height=320]
On his somewhat dark looking blog, Nick Assinder, fresh from resigning from PoliticsHome on a point of high principle, suggests this morning that as a result of The Sun switching “Brown will be hurling staplers and mobiles across his hotel room tonight.” Suggesting that the Prime Mentalist is prone to uncontrollable rages and throwing office equipment around the room.
So, here is a classic example of a dark, unsubstantiated rumour about the Prime Minister’s personal life that owes its existence entirely to a single blog.
about allegations that the Prime Mentalist pops pills?
Does Nick Assinder have a shred of first hand evidence that Gordon Brown is prone to Nokia throwing? Or is this just a classic single example of a blogger’s hypocrisy?
The Sun stopped backing Labour the day Blair left Downing Street, today they formalised their position and came to a testy accommodation with David Cameron, merely giving him a grudging endorsement.
The Sun is ur-Thatcherite in outlook, reflecting the true beliefs of Rupert Murdoch, who does not deny acting as a “traditional proprietor” setting the editorial direction of the tabloid. Murdoch liked Blair’s hawkishness and is suspicious of Cameron’s timidity on economics. Trevor Kavanagh is also less than impressed with Cameron, don’t forget when Gordon became PM he predicted that Brown would win the next general election and “win big”. The Sun is fallible.
People who think Andy Coulson is overpaid should reflect on the timing of The Sun’s endorsement. At the most neuralgic point for Labour, in the midst of Mandelson trying to change the media narrative, when party morale just blipped up from flat-lining, The Sun disrupts the storyline.
Spin is about timing, a story works best in the right context, at the right time. Andy Coulson knows a good headline, it is his sense of timing that is priceless. Guido will bet a currant bun that Coulson suggested to his successor on the “Bizarre” column, Dominic Mohan, the new Sun editor, that the night of Brown’s fightback speech might be the best time to knock him back to maximum effect.
Courtesy of Lancaster Unite Against Fascism this was the motion debated at the BNP’s Party Conference and adopted by Gordon at the Labour Party conference:
Teenage mothers – the problem and the solution
Any amount of sexual health education is not going to reduce Britain’s high teen pregnancy rates, whilst the ‘rewards’ for becoming an unmarried teen mother remain so [relatively] attractive. The cycle of girls getting pregnant by man A, then being allocated a council flat & welfare benefits, then getting pregnant by man B, and being allocated a bigger council flat & more benefits, then getting pregnant by man C, and being allocated a council house & yet more benefits has got to STOP. It leads to all sorts of social problems, resulting from mothers who are not mature enough to parent effectively, and end up raising dysfunctional families in poverty. It also costs tax payers a lot of money, to fund these ‘alternative’ lifestyles.
Furthermore, people who have been on housing waiting lists for several years, and who conduct themselves in a responsible manner, find themselves being ‘queue-jumped’ by these feckless members of society.
So, I suggest that there be no council flats and no welfare benefits available to unmarried mothers under the age of 21. Instead they will be placed in ‘mother & baby homes’. Here they will receive academic education as well as parenting classes, plus courses covering all aspects of their social development. The homes will be run by ‘matron’ type figures. The homes should not be ‘institution’ like, but at the same time there will be rules which must be adhered to; such as a curfew of approx 9pm, a dress code which states skirts must come to at least the knees & no cleavage to be on show. Failure to comply with the homes’ rules will result in the mother being sent to prison, and the baby being taken in to care.
This is not a short-term remedy, but a long-term solution. Eventually I believe the implementation of this policy will result in a vast decrease in teenage girls becoming pregnant – as the consequences will be positively unattractive. Of course, teenage pregnancies will never be completely eradicated, and the homes will allow for the girls who do still become teen mothers to learn how to be good parents, whilst not being fast-tracked to the top of the housing queue.
If an 18-20 year old pregnant woman is married [marriage should not be an option available to 16/17 year olds, even with parental consent] and her husband has a job, then she will be exempt from going in to one of the homes.’
Nick Griffin will be applauding Gordon Brown’s new policy change. Last year it was the slogan “British Jobs for British Workers” this year it is wholesale policies. Norman Tebbit described the BNP as Labour with added racism. The policy parallels* are increasing…
*Nick Griffin also has only one eye. Not a lot of people know that.
Locking up teen mums is so New Labour. What struck Guido was the interesting choice of music at the beginning. “Sit Down” by James which includes the lyrics:
Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they’re touched by madness
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me
A somewhat insensitive choice for the Prime Mentalist’s entrance…
UPDATE : Nice to see the illegal donor and odd ball David Abrahams back in the audience for the speech again. Guido hears he has been given a “free” ticket for tonight’s Gala Dinner. That will cost him…
UPDATE II : David Miliband’s close adviser Sarah Schaefer was mightily embarrassed last night – so she might want to tap Abrahams for a donation for David’s campaign – her card bounced at the bar when she was getting the drinks in.
Gordon’s economics are a sham based on debt, government debt and consumer debt resulting from cheap credit. Remember prudence? The nation is now more indebted than ever before. Remember an end to boom and bust? This is the mother of all busts.
Thatcher was right: “The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Ben Bradshaw gets a small cheer from the hall for attacking Thatcher. Two decades after she left office…
Bloomberg surmises that although June 3 is the last date the Prime Mentalist can call the election, the locals scheduled for May 6* is the date implied by a 34-page Labour document, “General Election Handbook Part 1 — A day-by- day planner for your general election campaign,” issued to candidates at the conference.
The handbook is an idiots guide for activists detailing tasks to perform every day. For example on Thursday, March 18, it instructs them to “follow up budget coverage.”
At the beginning of April, candidates are told “increase the campaign activity to a maximum level” and switch to the “Short Campaign Handbook,” which details what to do once an election is called.
The Labour Party is stretched financially and the union paymasters know that Labour is set to lose, so they would rather throw money at one not two elections, therefore combining the two campaigns makes sense. The sooner the better…
*Chief Crazy Horse of the Sioux famouly surrendered to the United States on May 6. Somehow seems relevant.
UPDATE : It is also Tony Blair’s bithday, so it will be nice for him to see his heir take his old job.
Charlie Whelan on Mandymania
“I am going to get a Peter Mandelson sick bag.”
Cameron was quick to offer fraternal congratulations to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. So far no word from Clegg, the Free Democrats are their sister party and sit with the LibDems in the European Parliament.
The German FDP have had their best showing in decades on a pro-business, tax-cutting manifesto which has driven the Social Democrats out of the government. Most LibDems seem disinterested, only LiberalVision is ecstatic. Makes you wonder if they prefer permanent opposition…
Oddly Guido doesn’t recall anyone in the media saying it was unreasonable to ask Cameron if he took drugs in the past, why is it suddenly unreasonable to ask questions about the use of drugs by a politician? Kevin Maguire seems to have had the most dramatic change of heart on the issue.
Maguire says in the Mirror today that Andy Marr crossed a line and was disrespectful. Yet in February 2007 Maguire listed “10 unanswered questions” about Dave’s spliff habits, claiming “The character of a future Downing Street tenant is of crucial importance” and “David Cameron’s lofty refusal to discuss what he took and when he took it is contemptible”. This from the man who obsessively refers to Cameron as “druggie Dave” in the Mirror and the New Statesman. Is this an example of the kind of phraseology that Gordon Brown now thinks shouldn’t enter the political lexicon?
The always smiling (and first openly gay) leader of the German Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle, is pencilled in to become the country’s new foreign minister, after the FDP won its best result in 60 years allowing the center-right Christian Democrats to kick the left-wing SDP out of their governing coalition. The FDP stood for election on a platform committed to promoting free markets and small government. Tax cuts are at the heart of his party’s election programme – he wants the top rate of tax to be cut from
The FDP is promising to cut taxes by up to €35 billion, citing 400 spending cut proposals for the budget, by January 1, next year he wants the basic tax-free threshold to be raised to €8,004 per person, which factoring in other allowances, would mean the average four-person family would only start paying taxes once its earnings exceed €40,000. He wants to financially incentivise taxpayers to have children, whereas in Britain we incentivise welfare claimants to have children. He wants to cut the top rate from 42% to 35%, flattening and simplifying taxes with a starting rate of 10%. George Osborne should note that he is committed to abolishing all federal inheritance taxes. The liberal FDP is allied with the LibDems in the European Parliament. Hopefully Cable and Clegg are taking note of how a liberal third party offering tax cuts succeeds.
The Speccie might have been started in the early 19th century but it is, as far as Guido knows, the first British magazine to become available on that 21st century icon the iPhone.
The Speccie App is available via iTunes (link) and gives seven days access for 59p.
This is the future of journalism, the sooner the mediasaurs grasp this truth the more likely they are to survive into the future.
You can’t say you have not been warned…
Andy Marr is quoted on the front page of the Daily Telegraph as saying: “I thought very carefully about asking the question. So many people in the Westminster village and beyond are talking about it that it seemed to me a fair question to ask.”
By way of counter-attack Peter Mandelson is throwing accusations about “We have seen out there on the Internet, the blogosphere, all these extreme right-wing people trying to put these smears and rumours about…” Of course in private emails, as we know from reports he never denied, Mandelson drips his own poison “Gordon has developed fewer ways of masking and managing his insecurities… He is a self-conscious person, physically and emotionally. He is not as comfortable with his own skin as, say, Tony was (is).” Hardly a ringing endorsement from Mandy of Brown’s state of mind.
It is the unchanged, firmly held and often stated view of this blog that Gordon is manifestly a weirdo. In the words of Alastair Campbell, the master of making the political personal, Gordon is “psychologically flawed”…
Note to editors : It was not this blog that was the first widely read publication to refer to the specific pill-popping-PM allegation. The laurels belong to the Indy’s Matthew Norman, it was only then followed up here (“Who Will Ask the Prime Minister?“). Andy Grice, the Indy’s political editor might want to correct his front page story accordingly and give credit where credit is due.