Where’s Gordon?™ Day 17

Yesterday Gordon was, once again, not next to Tony at PMQs. He seems ever more unwilling to attend PMQs as the preciousss gets nearer to his grasp. Is it because he just can’t stand Tony being PM any more, or because he knows Cameron will poke fun at him and Tony?

Where was he? Check the Where’s Gordon?™ interactive map.

Dale Launches Video Advertising on Blogs

Some of you may have spotted that there are videos playing across the blogosphere starring Iain Dale.

In the video advertisement launching MessageSpace’s new user-generated “Lite” advertising service he amusingly demonstrates two ways of advertising on Iain Dale. Press play to see for yourself.

Guido should declare an interest in that his broadband bills (and a little bit more) are paid by MessageSpace.

Rumour has it that Kerron Cross is to star in the next video advert!

Liberal Conservative Mayoral Candidate?

Iain Dale says he has checked and Greg Dyke was a serious proposition as the joint Liberal/Conservative Mayoral candidate.

Neither the Tory or LibDem high commands have so far managed to find the candidate to take on Ken. Combined perhaps they can do it. Dyke has technocratic ability, a combatitive personality and a track record. He is only a recent convert from Labour to LibDem, so sticking a blue and yellow rosette on him would be a shock. Not least for the activist base who might not be too keen…

UPDATE : The story is true, Greg Dyke confirms an approach was made, which he turned down.

Lord Offshore

Lord Laidlaw may have good reasons why he has not returned to the UK as he promised when he was put up for a peerage. The food is much nicer in Monaco after all and he may need to work on his tan.
Nevertheless, if he is going to honour his promise he should get a move on. If the retired billionaire can’t be bothered to come back he should never have been put up for a peerage.

Robert Peston broke the story. Guido wonders if he got the tip from the Labour peer, Baron Peston?

Guido will be reporting soon on one of Gordon’s favourite businessman and his use of Cayman Islands offshore vehicles. Gordon likes him so much he even backed him for a peerage….

Liar, Liar

Tony Blair is holding talks with the Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

To help them get along better Guido has compiled some handy Hungarian political phrases for Tony to use:

“No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. Obviously, we lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years.”
“Európában ilyen böszmeséget még ország nem csinált, mint amit mi csináltunk. Nyilvánvalóan végig hazudtuk az utolsó másfél, két évet.”

“I almost perished because I had to pretend for 18 months that we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, night and evening.” “Majdnem beledöglöttem, hogy másfél évig úgy kellett tenni, mintha kormányoztunk volna. Ehelyett hazudtunk reggel, éjjel meg este.”
The Hungarian PM was caught on tape last May uttering the above and plenty more, resulting in rioting in Budapest. Tony Blair’s lies resulted in Iraq…

Witty Winners in Guido Prize Shock

Breaking with tradition prize tickets have been awarded to Chris Smith and Michael Dearden. Sally has the details here.

The News is Not News

Guido was off getting trashed so missed this “live”, but Benedict Brogan* has decoded it for us all.

At lunchtime Nick Robinson told us that David Miliband was not standing for leader. Something Miliband tells us weekly. This time it was news. Benedict thinks that this time Miliband was saying – “No fucking way am I standing. End of. Drop it. Got it?”

Clear?

*Likely to soon supplant Iain Dale as the second best political blogger going – if Iain doesn’t watch it.

When Pop and Politics Collide

It is a very weird world. Lembit Opik might like to know that the Tory Mayoral hopeful, Mike Read, is “currently writing for and recording with both The Cheeky Girls”.

Get Lembit to do a duet!

Hat-tip: Border Reiver

What Gordon Wrote to Mervyn

The big news is that on the day the house debates a no-confidence motion in Gordon Brown inflation news busts the pound through the psychological $2 barrier. Raising mortgage hike worries and putting exporters under extra pressure. Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, is obliged to write a letter explaining the situation and the proposed remedy. Guido suspects Gordon wrote to him first…Of course that still doesn’t explain why the other major European economies have lower inflation than the UK, after all, don’t they pay the same price for oil as we do?
Blaming the oil price is convenient – it means it has nothing to do with Gordon’s handling of the fiscal side of things. Gilt prices are falling, dragging long-term rates up because the City is increasingly wary of taking on even more government debt, despite Gordon’s off-balance-sheet manipulation of the PSBR. If he was a corporate CEO hiding debt off the books as he is, he would be looking at doing jail-time…

Where’s Gordon? Day 15 : At the Treasury, writing buck passing letters to the Governor of the Bank of England.

Cheeky Boy

Guido met Lembit recently for the first time, he seemed a decent sort. He does add to the gaiety of the nation doesn’t he?

Sith Pollster Believed UnderProfessional Standards Investigation

As if Gordon’s Sith allies didn’t have enough problems with the Charity Commission investigation, it appears that the Market Research Standards Board is to investigate Opinion Leader Research, Gordon Brown’s pollster. Guido called the Standards Board to get confirmation, but they said they could not comment on individual cases. When Guido asked them to confirm they weren’t investigating OLR, they declined.

Guido has previously noted the cosy closeness of the relationship between OLR, HM Treasury, the Smith Institute, Deborah Mattinson and Gordon Brown. Whenever more objective polls are gloomy for Gordon, OLR can be relied on to produce “Gordon more popular than sliced bread” stories.Other pollsters are very sniffy about OLR’s methodology and the fact that despite not even having a field team they still manage to win juicy government contracts, most recently for the polling for the London Olympics. It obviously helps to have contacts at the highest levels of government when bidding for those contracts…

Hat-tip: Pendennis

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View(Goldplated Edition)

Where’s Gordon?™ – Meeting Bush in Washington

The Where’s Gordon?™ map goes transatlantic.

Where’s Gordon?™ [April 11 & 12]

What has he been up to today and yesterday? Forgot to update the interactive Where’s Gordon?™ map. In the comments please…

MySpacers Don’t Vote

Politicians including Hilary Clinton think getting down with the kids requires a MySpace site. Research by Heather Hopkins at Hitwise suggests it is an ineffective way of reaching voters. In the UK MySpacers are more likely to be welfare chavs on council estates* who don’t vote. Peter Hain’s leadership campaign has a MySpace site. Is that smart targeting of his likely supporters, or just stupid?

*Heather didn’t describe them in those words.

Doughty Street Moves Away from Tory TV

As Doughty Street heads towards a more commercial footing, ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie is moving out to become a programme producer in a separate unit, which backer Stephan Shakespeare thinks will enable the station “to develop as a truly independent, commercial broadcaster of non-partisan, interactive and innovative political, news and current affairs programmes.”

The technology is proven and the emphasis is now on making the channel pay for itself with a less partisan nightly news programme. “That doesn’t mean we shall be less opinionated, but it does mean we will be giving more opportunities to people with different perspectives” Iain Dale says. Guido thinks that the recruitment of Peter Tatchell and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown as presenters will definitely take the online broadcaster in a new direction.

A Newsnight Producer writes…

Dear Guido,

I am writing to you to check your availability the weekend of August 24-26th.

It would be fantastic if you might be available at some point that weekend (most likely the Sunday) to take part in this year’s MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. We were hoping you will be free in principle for a high-profile session we intend to put on titled “The Power of Gossip.” This session which will involve panellists including the author of the websites/mailouts “holymoly” and Adam Bullmore of October Films – will entail discussing the power of blogs and the internet and will question whether TV will ever be able to produce gossip as successfully.

It would not be a problem to arrange your participation behind a screen of sorts if you wish to protect your identity.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

With best wishes

Lucy

Lucy Crystal | Interview Producer | BBC Newsnight

Guido is not falling for that one again…

Slippery as a Silverfish

Dizzy got a nice scoop* yesterday. Basically Silverfish TV have bought up gordonbrown4leader.com and similar sites. So what? Well Gordon doesn’t officially have a campaign and when he does he will be expected to list cash donations and donations in kind. The Electoral Commission is taking a tough line on this sort of stuff. Silverfish rushed out an explanation that they had bought the domain merely as a speculative punt to make money (something – as Dizzy points out this morning – is prohibited by the internet authorities). Guido frankly finds it unbelieveable that Silverfish really were going to try and make a quick profit out of Gordon Brown.

Silverfish.TV are Labour’s preferred new media / video producers, doing most recently Scottish and Welsh Labour’s Party Political Broadcasts. They also did the “Dave the Chameleon” video for Labour, for free. Obviously it costs quite a lot to do an expensive CGI animation, but they didn’t charge the Labour party a penny. They do however have a number of juicy contracts awarded by Labour cronies and paid for by the taxpayer.

Do you see a pattern here? The Smith Institute is paid thousands of pounds to organise seminars for HM Treasury at the taxpayers expense. The Smith Institute gets to use No. 11 Downing Street for seminars for free. Opinion Leader Research is paid huge amounts to do polling for HM Treasury. Opinion Leader Research does polling for the Smith Institute for free. Silverfish are paid by Downing Street at fat rates, subsidising them to do “Dave the Chameleon” attack videos and coincidentally buy campaign websites on Gordon’s behalf for free.

It is a corrupt practice, Gordon’s campaign bills are being picked up by the taxpayer indirectly. In a secretive, behind closed doors, third-world style, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours way”. He is running an undeclared campaign, it is funded, and no declarations are being made to the Electoral Commission because the funding is covert. Donors get tax relief from HM Treasury on donations to the Smith Institute, which is a charity of which Gordon is the only identifiable beneficiary. His pollster gets HM Treasury contracts and produces positive push polling for him. Labour’s friendly new media production outfit similarly wins Whitehall contracts and does work for Labour and Gordon for free. It has come to something when Nigerian newspapers are running stories about political corruption in Britain which feature the Smith Institute.

*Notice how despite Channel 4 News and the Times running with it, no credit was given to Dizzy. They say bloggers are parasitical leeches on the Dead-Tree-Press etc.

Recess Monkey on Newsnight

Looks like they really are having difficulty getting anyone on Newsnight these days…

See Recess Monkey’s Newsnight Interview on Guynews.

Recess Monkey on Newsnight

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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