Andy Williams on Obama

Ol’ Blue Eyes Andy Williams has died at age 84. Guido will leave you with some of his final public words. About President Obama:

“Don’t like him at all, I think he wants to create a socialist country. The people he associates with are very left-wing. One is registered as a Communist. Obama is following Marxist theory. He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.”

Rest in peace, oh speaker of truth…

Dave's Plebs

Guido hears that Janet Daley’s article about the rudeness of Cameroons did the Whitehall round via email chains very quickly yesterday afternoon. One Westminster figure who is in and out of No.10 on a daily basis whispered to Guido last night that many of the characteristics detailed by Daley rang true with plenty of disgruntled advisers and one time Dave fans. The freezing out over minor criticism is the Cameroon trait that is apparently irritates the most, with anecdotes of text messages being sent to advisers at midnight informing them that something in their patch will be announced first thing the next morning.

And now Dave’s former guru Philip Blond, a man who was very much in vogue a few years ago, has penned a devastating critique in today’s FT entitled “modern conservatives make plebs of us all”. It’s not pretty:

“Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic are narrowing opportunity, concentrating wealth and protecting monopoly interests. The centre right has almost ceased to do majority politics. It defines national interest in terms of the already powerful and increasingly abandons the middle and lower classes to their fate. They are persuaded by past fictions that what is in the interest of the winners percolates to those below them. In short, conservatives are unknowingly creating an oligarchy, one which will make us all plebs. By following the interests of a vested minority, conservatives may not win a general election for years. Of course, this is not conservative intention or wish but the rhetoric should not conceal the reality.”

Blond told Guido this afternoon:

This is not a personal attack. It’s a remark about how conservatism is risking never being popular again. None of this is a personal attack, but the right is in a mess. Something has gone horribly wrong.”

Guido understands the PM has read the article, he doubts Dave will see it like that…

 

Read Kelvin going after his rival’s Hillsborough coverage over at Media Guido

Kelvin: It Wasn't Just Me

More extracts of Kelvin MacKenzie’s Spectator article are emerging this afternoon. He’s hitting back hard at his then rival publications:

“I was by no means the only man in Fleet Street who believed the police’s story. The Daily Star headline on the same day said ‘Dead fans robbed by drunk fans’. The Daily Mail said, ‘They were drunk and violent and their actions were vile.’ The Daily Express said, ‘Police saw “sick spectacle of pilfering from the dying”.’ All of these stories are collected in the Hillsborough Independent Panel report: I was far from alone.

As the report also shows, even a fine journalist like Peter McKay was taken in by police deflecting their mistakes on to the fans when he wrote in the London Evening Standard that the ‘catastrophe was caused first and foremost by violent enthusiasm for soccer and in this case the tribal passions of Liverpool supporters [who] literally killed themselves and others to be at the game.’ And closer to home in the Liverpool Daily Post, John Williams wrote: ‘The gatecrashers wreaked their fatal havoc … Their uncontrolled fanaticism and mass hysteria… literally squeezed the life out of men, women and children … yobbism at its most base … Scouse killed Scouse for no better reason than 22 men were kicking a ball.’ It is difficult to accuse him of an anti-Liverpool bias.”

Justice for the Wapping one…

Clegg "Trust" Line Provokes Delegate Walk Out

You couldn’t see it on the telly, but as Clegg shamelessly insisted “only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted” a group of ten or so delegates got up and left. Sorry was not enough for some then…

The line that “to make blue go green you have to add yellow” provoked groans from the press, though there was laughter in the hall.

Clegg’s frankly weird habit of raising his voice at inappropriate moments made the whole thing even more awkward. 

Return of the Pantsdown

Nick Clegg has announced that Paddy Ashdown will be returning to the political frontline to coordinate the LibDems 2015 General Election campaign.

Given that Pantsdown was one of the loudest Tory coalition critics, even after the agreement was signed, you can bet where he will be aiming his stick…

Leaders' Wives – Conference Fashion Reaction

Guido’s Fashion Correspondent has filed her first of three conference dress reactions:

“If the history of the coalition can be told through the details, what to make of Miriam Clegg’s white hot look? The £390 dress is by Scottish designer Henrietta Ludgate, apparently using sustainable materials.  The white dress has a tiny peplum, a trend SamCam has also embraced – the idea is that the extra shape on the hips makes your waist look small.

One wonders if Miriam has been converted to her husband’s ex friends Colin and Livia Firth’s green carpet challenge. (Mrs Firth persuades her contacts book to wear sustainable fashion at high profile events, proving that you don’t have to be clad in hemp, to be green.) 

As the Emmys showed, hot citrus colours are still an autumn trend, as much as in Brighton it would seem, as Los Angeles. Red plus yellow makes orange?! Presumably the footwear is an aesthetic not a political choice.”

 Guido is liking the shoes, reaffirming Clegg as an Orange Footer.

Via @OliviaCole1

Farron Struggles to Defend LibDem Tax Avoidance Scheme

24 hours after Danny Alexander warned tax avoiders “we are coming to get you”, LibDem President Tim Farron has unveiled the party’s new tax avoidance legacy scheme. Rich delegates were plied with red wine and chocolate gateaux in the Grand Hotel’s Empress suite as Farron and his team explained how wealthy donors could reduce their inheritance tax bills.

Following in the tax avoiding footsteps of Labour and the Tories, rich donors were told how “a gift in your will to the LibDems will be tax efficient as gifts to a recognised political party are deducted from your estate before inheritance tax is calculated“. Guido asked an uncomfortable Farron what he thought about his party encouraging members to avoid tax, but the party president attempted to shift the blame by holding his hands up and insisting “I didn’t put it together”. It was later emphasised to Guido that the scheme was “within the law”. It seems Danny Alexander’s promise does not extends to the after life…

Nick Clegg in Birmingham Post

“If you don’t like me, vote Labour” 

Justice For the Wapping One Kelvin Tells Spectator He Has Called in Lawyers

Kelvin MacKenzie has lawyered up against South Yorkshire Police accusing them of ruining his life and putting him in physical danger with the lies their officers told. He’s given his side of the story to the Spectator:

Now I know — you know, we all know — that the fans were right. But it took 23 years, two inquiries, one inquest and research into 400,000 documents, many of which were kept secret under the 30-year no-publication rule, to discover there was a vast cover-up by South Yorkshire Police about the disaster. Where does that leave me?’

His lawyer is demanding an apology, with terms….

UPDATE:

Breaking: Coulson & Co in the Dock – September 2013

The trial of Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brookes, and other News of the World figures will begin in September 2013.

That should make 2014, the year before the election, fun for the Tories…

Chuka Leaves His Shadow Minister Hanging Labour Backtrack on Policy Pledge to Review State Spending

He may come across as a smoothy in public, but two-faced Chuka Umunna is perfectly willing to leave those below him taking fire while he hides behind closed doors. Just when it looked like Labour could be at least trying to regain some economic credibility, they’ve panicked and gone to ground.

Guido, and others, have been trying to squeeze support for Ian Murray out of his boss for days now, after the junior Shadow BIS Minister endorsed Labour MP Stella Creasy’s calls for “zero-based policy” in the next Labour manifesto – in other words a pledge to review all state spending.

Speaking as a Shadow Minister, Murray told an interview last week:

“If you start from a zero budget spending review, you can always work forward if you have money available. It’s a bit about priorities isn’t it? I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that you have to look at where your money is best spent.”

Despite countless opportunities, Chuka  Umunna’s team are refusing to support their Shadow Minister, instead choosing to leave him hanging. Balls is silent too. The Adam Smith Institute, IEA, TPA, CCHQ and the LibDems are all weighing in over at London Loves Business, but poor Mr Murray is being humiliated by his big spend boss.

Guido will have to take it that Chuka does not want to review wasteful state spending were he to get into power.

Find out what happened when Guido bumped into Steve Coogan on the LibDem conference fringe…

Only over at MediaGuido

Local Labour Fury at Blair Coventry Stitch Up Euan Parachute Plan Unravelling Fast

Jayne Innes is a Labour councillor in Coventry. Having unsuccessfully stood for Parliament twice before, she’s obviously very concerned about the prospect of a stitch up in her local area for a safe seat:

More details are emerging in the better sections of Coventry press about what exactly Euan is doing in that part of the world. Unsurprisingly it looks like Cherie swung the do-gooder local job for her son. Guido can still not think of any other reason why Euan would be so keen to connect with the local area unless he had his eyes on a bigger job. It would seem the Blair’s quiet dynasty plan has been well and truly blown open. Sorry about that…



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