Gordon Brown Bullying Editors Again

Guido forgot to link to an article sent to him yesterday from the website of Fife’s Courier. When Guido went back to the piece today though, it had mysteriously disappeared:

The “Opponents accuse Gordon Brown of failing to perform duties as MP‎” headline is very clear on Google News:

Essentially the errant former Prime Mentalist has faced calls from his local council to quit due to his spectacular efforts to avoid representing his constituents. Smelling a rat Guido decided to make some calls. As far as he can piece together, at some point yesterday Gordon picked up the phone and with characteristic charm and friendliness, politely asked the editor of the Courier to reconsider the article. After a calm negotiation the paper claims that a “compromise about future articles” from Gordon was reached. Thus a mutually agreeable conclusion was reached and both parties went their separate ways amicably. 

Sadly for Gordon though, an eagle-eyed hack at the Scottish Express thought fit to lift the entire story from the Courier’s website and even mooted an upcoming by-election:

Their editor should prepare for incoming fire…

DUEMA: Ed Fearlessly Slays His Mythical Critics

Watch how Ed effortlessly strikes down his critics and dismisses any speculation that he is losing control of his party as “Kremlinology”. Murdoch’s agitators fail again.

Balls on the road to Damascus:

“I think you should debate not about smear but about policy.”

High Speed Spinning

There are a lot of number floating around today regarding HS2. Tory spinners proudly say that the project will create 40,000 jobs. Given the woefully underestimated price tag is currently at £32 billion, it seems that the Tories have no problem with the taxpayer paying a cool £800,000 for each job. Given that the final cost is likely to be closer to £60 billion, the “expected” generation of £45 billion in “cash benefits for businesses around the country” looks equally shaky.

Add to that the extra half a billion for the new tunnel to avoid upsetting the NIMBYs, as well as helpfully staving off a rebellion in Parliament, and you have political spending of Brownite proportions. 

Dirty Hari Returning to Indy in “Four or Five Weeks”

Despite Chris Blackhurst admitting that the paper’s reputation had suffered great damage at the hands of Johann Hari, the Indy editor also confirmed to Leveson, taking a sip of water and looking directly into the camera,  that the disgraced fraudster will be “returning as a columnist” in the next four or five weeks. He’s banned from conducting interviews though…

Apparently the fact Hari produced a doctor’s note saying he was mental was enough to satisfy the internal investigation, and subsequently the fearless inquiry into press ethics. No mention of late night racist, incest fantasy stories though..

Food in Parliament is Twice as Expensive for Public as MPs


Despite a couple of MPs yesterday backing the idea to privatise and outsource Parliament’s catering, most of the time the subsidy in Parliament is defended on the basis that it helps out the assorted staffers and bag carriers as well as the gorging Members. Leaving aside the fact that this argument fails to consider other low paid public sector workers who receive no such perk, it is also complete baloney. Take a look at these two menus from the very same day in Parliament:

Firstly steak and chips in the Strangers’ Bar, where MPs can invite; constituents, voters, taxpayers and staff to dine with them:-

Then have a look at the very same item on the menu in the exclusive Members Private Dining Room:-

Same meal, same day, very different prices. Subsidy for the MPs, who incidentally vote on their own subsidy, is in this case over 50%. They make us, the taxpaying public pay for their subsidised troughing. One price for them, one for us…

Ed in Words

He even managed to get “Kremlinology” in to an answer to a question…

Ed Re-Launch Going Not So Well

Invitations said 10.45, it is 11.35 and still no sign of David Ed.

Not a good omen…

Pic via James Dwyer

UPDATE:

It’s not going well…

Where’s the Beef? Keynote Speech at Oxo Tower 

Ed’s eagerly anticipated fightback started this morning with a grilling on the Today Programme where he was cruelly told he wasn’t “too ugly” to be PM. This is being followed shortly by a widely trailed speech at the Oxo Tower on London’s Southbank. Brilliant news for those of us in the Don’t Unseat Ed Miliband Association…

Wags on Twitter may mock about Rubik’s cubes and Oxo cubes, but Ed won’t crumble easily and we in DUEMA are excited. It is a welcome chance for Ed to beef up his performance by delivering more than a stock speech. Critics of Ed always have wanted him to flesh out his definition of predatory capitalism by attacking  the City gravy train, this will be his chance to provide more ‘granularity’.  Oh yes.

So far even loyalists like Mark Ferguson of LabourList are underwhelmed by the advance spin

Pundits expect this to be another stage in the promised journey the Labour leader is taking from awkward Rubik’s cube-solving geek, via the current gaffe-prone ‘Block Ed’ to, hopefully, Oxo man appeal…

… if he doesn’t get into too much of a stew.

Hat-tip for puns:
@DavidJonesMP@DavidMills@GregSwinn@lambgraeme@heckmonwyke.

Labour Insider’s Miliband/IDS U-Turn

Former Labour No.10 man Darren Murphy took to Twitter moments after Ed’s Today programme performance to declare, though “painful to say it”, that the interview had “more than a touch of the Iain Duncan Smith about it”. Like many Blairites he is off making money away from frontline politics, Murphy remains well connected in the party. Funnily enough the tweet soon disappeared, and was replaced with this:

https://twitter.com/#!/MrDarrenMurphy/status/156658575589126144

All together now: The Leader is good. The Leader is great.

John Humphrys to Ed Miliband…

“I am not suggesting for a moment that you, Ed Miliband, are too ugly… What I am suggesting to you is that there are some qualities needed in a leader that you may decide at some point you don’t have and that you’re become a bit of a drag on the party.”

Deckchair Movements

This morning’s Today appearance was the first outing for Ed, apart from “Blackbusters”, since Dec 29. Despite the SNP pushing Labour into fourth place yesterday in terms of party profile, the new plan to keep Ed below the surface, only to be deployed at key strategic moments, is being stuck to. Labour sources compare it to the role that Osborne played in opposition. As Ed surfaces today, it’s worth looking at some of the tweaks being made below the waterline.

Former ITV chief Charles Allen, who recommended hiring Tim Livesey for the job of Ed’s Chief of Staff, is still trying to streamline the Labour operation in readiness for the arrival of six new Executive Directors. The jobs are currently being advertised, but word is they are filling up fast. Current press spinner Bob Roberts is likely to be going to Labour HQ, most probably in the Comms Director role. All agree that this is a promotion, though Guido wonders why you would want your main spinner based in a different office from your leader? Greg Beales is said to be mulling over whether to take the Policy and Rebuttal role that Guido mentioned yesterday, though apparently he is wary of leaving his master’s side. Though Labour HQ will be moving closer to parliament, a big shift away from the Leader of the Opposition’s suite is still happening.

While some people talk of a “refocus” for him, other speculate that Tom Baldwin is the loser of this reorganisation. One source even suggested Tom had lost a up to a third of his responsibilities, leaving him only with weekly key messages and strategic lines to take.

Lower down the ranks, the extraordinarily high turnover of demoralised political advisers leaving for jobs outside politics is rather telling…

UPDATE: Well we know what Tom’s first line was this morning:



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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