Yes Wee Can

In this video wee Dougie Alexander shows why he won’t be a leadership contender after the election. His less than inspiring back-room boy style briefing from Labour HQ is somewhat reminiscent of Eric Pickles’s efforts, yet it has all the joy and excitement of a game of bowls. Labour are spinning all they want that “people win elections – not posters” but it’s a poor effort at hiding the fact the party have no money. Did the Labour Party claim they didn’t need posters in 1997 when the money was rolling in?

What Labour are doing well at though is the virtual-phone-banking. It’s a move right out of the Obama play-book and with the full weight of the Unite machine organising behind them, it seems that Labour are outdoing their Tory counterparts in making sure their wavering core wake up. People in marginals are already complaining of the near constant bombardment. Still many weeks to go and it will only get worse.

UPDATE : You must read this fantastic piece by Dizzy about Wee Dougie: Labour Unveils its Radical New Strategy.

The Race to Be Dave’s Downing Street Mouthpiece

As Tory flutters begin to subside, the race to become the next Prime Minister’s Spokesman is hotting up. Given that the Tories have hinted at American-style televised lobby briefings to open up politics, someone with a pretty face as well as a way with words is needed. Andy Coulson is being deliberately sketchy about whether he will go to Downing Street or return to the Murdoch fold, if he does stay he will be wanting to be the person telling  the spokesman what to say. Cameron’s current spinner Gabby Bertin is said to have her eye on the job and apparently gets rather grumpy when people discuss other contenders, though there is no doubt that candidates are emerging. Henry McCrory shouldn’t be ruled out completely either.

The BBC’s James Landale, a fellow Old Etonian, has publicly denied he is interested in the job but his name keeps popping up. He was tipped for promotion at the BBC but Guido understands he privately hints he might be off elsewhere.  Talking of leaving the BBC, Boris’s man Guto Hari has been mentioned, he was supposedly first offered the job which Coulson eventually took, but is very loyal to the prince-across-the-water. Ian Birrell, the former deputy-editor of  The Indy is apparently rather close to Cameron and another mooted candidate.  Julia Hartley-Brewer of the Sunday Express is an outside bet.  Prize for most obvious brown-nosing (of late) has to go to The Telegraph’s Ben Brogan though, wired into CCHQ he has certainly written some pleasantly glowing pieces in recent weeks, one of the few journalists to refrain from having too much of a dig during the recent wobbles. His loyalty to Team Cameron when they were under fire will not have gone unnoticed…

Gabby BertinUPDATE : When Guido was preparing the graphic above he eventually gave up on finding a picture of Gabby Bertin, Cameron’s seemingly very elusive Press Secretary. She is clearly quite good at her job as it took a good six hours for one to finally turn up. Sadly it is not the famed karaoke snap apparently out there.

It’s a rare moment any way.

Quote of the Day

Nick Clegg said…

“Charlie Whelan and Lord Ashcroft are exactly the same. One is the baron of the trade unions, and the other one is the baron of Belize. Both are bankrolling political parties, both are trying to buy seats.”

Beware the Whelan in Sheep's Clothing

Co-conspirator Colleen points out that Whelan (pronounced /ˈhwiːlən/) is an anglicisation of the Irish surname, Ó Faoláin. The surname originates from the Middle Irish ‘Úa Faeláin’ (plural, ‘Uí Faeláin’) the name of the 10th to 11th century ruling dynasy of the Déisi, a population group inhabiting the area of the modern county of Waterford and south county Tipperary in the early medieval period.  The word “faolán” is derived from the Old Irish word “faelán” meaning a small wolf.

Did anyone else spot Charlie Whelan’s ridiculous claim that he wasn’t allowed to give a view on the merits of the BA strike?  In reality he knows that it is unpopular and a negative for Unite’s political wing, the Labour Party.  So he is sidestepping the clash of interests between his paymasters and their beneficiaries.



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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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