Guido brought you the news of Edward Leigh’s meeting for Euro-sceptics last night. The plan was to convene immediately after the last vote at 10pm to coordinate the backbench reaction to Cameron’s EU sell out. Canny Tory whips clearly had a better idea though – they texted Members at half an hour before to tell them not to worry about the last vote and to go on home.
Guido isn’t sure that will be enough to quell the anger though…
Another day and another defection from Labour by a young activist claiming that Ed is leading the party off a cliff. Tara Hewitt, 26, is “a diversity consultant from Liverpool and former Labour Students National LGBT Officer”. She was on Luciana Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree team, but now she’s a “proud new member of David Cameron’s “new” Conservative Party.” Luke Bozier seems to have started a trend, and Hewitt is rather blunt:
“Once it was Tony Blair’s Labour party that held the progressive ground in UK politics supporting business and encouraging wider participation within the party. But now times have changed we see Ed Miliband isolating the labour party from businesses and isolating himself from the Trade Unions that supported him just 15 Months ago.
We are facing one of the most difficult economic periods in history and the message from the labour leader and Ed Balls is “we cant make any promises” political speech for “we have no solutions”. Unlike the two Eds, David Cameron is leading the conservative led government by making bold decisions on welfare reform, education, health and imigration and George Osborne has been honest and frank about what is needed to help fix Britain’s broken economy.”
On her website she thanks Louise Mensch for all her helpful advice…
There wasn’t much of his famed “grit and steel” on display from Ed Miliband this morning. He repeated his Davos trick of trying to look hard by just wearing a suit on Sky earlier, but with frozen breath, and even funnier than usual facial contortions, he looked absolutely freezing. Guido isn’t sure what the logic is here. Someone buy the lad a coat…
Laurie Penny lets the truth slip on Channel Four News:
“I don’t think sovereignty in people’s own homes is something we should be striving for.”
When he’s not fibbing on Twitter, Denis MacShane is sounding off in the House. Take yesterday’s gem of an intervention during DCLG Questions:
“Frankly it’s not good enough because the department is not publishing spending between 50p and £500 and that is where on credit cards and other areas a lot of things go wrong, so can we actually have some transparency in this wretched department instead of the cover-up they are currently practising?”
Not only did MacShane’s facts “go wrong” – credit card spending under £500 is published, but this is from a man under police investigation for his dubious use of public money and the subsequent “cover-up”. Scotland Yard are still looking into those “wretched” invoices, laptops and that garage. Labour have withdrawn the whip from MacShane, yet he still insists on hanging around on their benches like a bad smell.
Time for someone to have a quiet word…
Back in October Guido wrote:
“Though we all know that Red Ed is grubby statist at heart and painfully pro-European, he is also a shameless opportunist. If he really wanted to make an impact with ordinary, hard-working, sensible voters he should back the calls for the referendum. It would distance himself from lies of Brown and Blair over the issue and the betrayal of “cast iron” Cameron. “
Though he missed that boat, it seems Ed is up to something this morning. With Cameron retreating from Europe last night, failing to return with anything particularly substantial and giving up on his EU institution fight, this morning Ed fearlessly entered that den of interrogation know as the Daybreak studios to retaliate. And he caught Guido off guard:
“I’m very concerned about what David Cameron has done…He’s sold us down the river.”
Dave is in the Commons at 3.30. Let the Purple Alliance begin…
Guido was just thinking that blog-favourite Steven Purcell had been quiet for a while, and then just as Miliband headed for Scotland, up he popped again. In another stunning PR success, Labour’s one time Glasgow golden-child, was questioned by police over the weekend about an “assault” that took place at his flat at 5:30am on Sunday morning. Guido understands that Glasgow councillor had been out celebrating the fact that the Crown Office had dropped their investigation into his time as chief of the Labour-led City Council. As we covered extensively at the time, Purcell’s career ended with him in rehab and his criminal associates under the microscope.
Police were called to an “after party” that got out of hand and punches were thrown in a dispute with an invited guest. Having had their investigation into corruption shunned by the powers that be, Guido imagines that the police were only too happy to wade back in to this one. Purcell was questioned for ten hours.
A younger man was also arrested…
UPDATE: Anna Raccoon has more.
While Dave’s away, the backbenchers come out to play: Guido hears that the Eurosceptics and other assorted agitators on the Tory benches will be meeting to war-game and plot around the possible compromise on EU institutions and the European Stability Pact, in advance of the PM’s statement tomorrow. A meeting is scheduled for immediately after the 10pm vote tonight in Edward Leigh’s office. Strictly backbenchers only…
Sarkozy and Dave’s bromance peaked on a balcony in Benghazi, but hit a new low when the half-pint refused to shake hands after Dave’s veto before Christmas. Well blink and you would have missed their forced man-love in Brussels this afternoon:
Given that Sarkozy claimed last night that the UK “has no industry“, you might have thought Dave would be playing it cool, but he instigated the smiles and bat backs. All ten seconds of them…
After Guido pointed out the inappropriate smearing of Gove and his links to a Jewish antisemitism Charity, carefully timed for Holocaust Memorial Day, the paper has backtracked and apologised. Not with due prominence in their paper, but in a quote to the Jerusalem Post instead:
“The story does not in any way suggest that the funding ofsecurity guards for Jewish schools was inappropriate, only that Mr. Gove should have stood aside from the grant giving process given his relationship with CST. It was scheduled for publication on Thursday but pushed back because of the volume of news that day. We should have spotted the unfortunate timing and regret any offense caused.”
A textbook non-apology, but interesting that they didn’t see fit to say sorry for including a quote from SpinWatch’s David Miller in the same story. The same David Miller who is rather fond of printing neo-Nazi essays and believes in vast “Jewish lobby” conspiracies. Perhaps the Guardian should have had a look through their own archives before giving Miller coverage. Here’s what they published about him in July:
“SpinProfiles and Neocon Europe are projects that, under the guise of academia, are used to carry out campaigns of smear and harassment by creating selectively produced profiles of people and groups with different political outlooks, often ignoring facts that do not support their agenda. This approach characterises both of Miller’s projects, and to treat them as academic endeavours is to do a great disservice to British academia’s long tradition of neutral and unbiased inquiry.”
One of these factors alone can be spun as an oversight. But two…
Channel Four’s FactCheck is rarely disputed with much vigour. Most people seem to take their rulings on the chin and move on, except of course if you are Ken Livingstone. Last week his supporters were frothing that C4 had dared to challenge their voodoo “Fare Deal” figures. Retaliations were pushed to unpopular parts of the blogosphere and the usual level of Twitter vitriol was thrown about. Well it seems that didn’t go unnoticed with the FactCheck team who have given Ken another slap this morning:
“Fares might be soaring, but the service is plummeting! Delays and line closures have become a daily part of Londoners’ lives.”
“Sack Boris” election leaflet, 30 January 2012
The figures speak for themselves, and the difference in passenger hours lost – an average of a million a month more under Ken – is particularly striking.
It’s like shooting fish…
Hester wasn’t going to get his hands on his bonus for over a year, it wasn’t even going to come directly from treasury funds and most of it would have ended up in Treasury coffers, yet this morning £320m has been wiped off of the value of the British taxpayers’ forced investment. With mob mentality over-ruling contracts, there are obvious jitters around the banks this morning.
Despite the cost, as well as the glaring hypocrisy of sitting in the cabinet that drew up Hester’s contract, this is a short-term political win for Miliband. At the beginning of the year Guido explained how the Labour leader was planning on adopting a role similar to that taken by George Osborne in opposition. It’s all about timing…
This submarine strategy will see Ed only surface for key fights, such as he has done this weekend. It has paid off today, but is Ed really planning on spending his entire career as Leader of the Opposition waiting for events to try to react to first? Miliband-wagon…
Who would have thought that a threat made at four in the morning would prove impossible to implement in the cold light of day. Before Christmas, while on a relative high from his EU spanner in the works, Fightin’ Dave was all mouth about EU institutions, but the dampening of expectations has begun this morning. A full retreat will be signalled when the Prime Minister arrives in Brussels this afternoon, but Hague has hit the airwaves to say that they were “not intending to take action about that now”. Another reverse move that could easily have been avoided. Many more of these and the words “defining” and “feature” will stick…
Last week’s shrinking GDP figures were spun by George Osborne as due to the crisis in the €urozone. The decline in GDP could hardly be blamed on the US market which is picking up and growing at a respectable 2.8% last quarter, nor on Asian markets where China grew at an annualised 8.9% and India at 7.8%.
Is the decline in UK GDP really, as George Osborne implies, down to economic trade with the crisis ridden continent falling? The answer is no.
UK exports to €urozone states actually rose a healthy 11.3% last year:
It is a myth that the decline in GDP has anything to do with the €uro-crisis leading to a decline in exports to the €urozone. The barriers to growth are a domestic problem…
George Osborne gave a cast iron promise last October:
“Britain will not be putting money into the bailout fund either directly or through the IMF… the IMF exists to support countries, it does not exist to support currencies. The IMF contributing money to the eurozone bailout fund, no; Britain contributing money to the eurozone bailout fund, no. That is Britain’s clear position.”
Ed Balls and Tory backbenchers are at one on this, it is for Germany through the ECB to support the €uro. The American and Chinese Treasury ministers agree, it is not the purpose of the IMF to bailout an ill-conceived currency union. Don’t forget your promise George*…
*Guido hasn’t forgotten his IMF promise.
Some 110,180 visitors made 317,354 visits to view 504,939 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:
- Internship Available in Tom Watson’s Office
- Newsnight Fashion Report
- Huhne Charges Expected Within Weeks
- The Million Pound Pilgrim
- Essex Police Pass the Huhne File to the CPS
- Diane Abbott Slept Through Meeting of Group She Quit
- Meet Julie Davies the £300,000 Teaching Pilgrim