A Happy Reflective Analyst?

Following on from Gordon telling us last week he doesn’t bear grudges, he now tells us, via his own handwritten aide memoire reproduced below,* that he is happy, relective and analytical.

Is that normal? Write a note to yourself so that you remember how to describe yourself? You know, must make a note just in case one gets forgetful, “I’m Guido, with a bit of cheeky rebellious streak, who is overly partial to a drink and likes to poke fun at politicians.” Wouldn’t a note to self like that be a bit odd?

According to a graphologist the handwriting shows

“He will dig his feet in over issues because he is so convinced he has the right answer. He is obviously forceful but he was very, very angry when he wrote this – and a bit shaken. He has a vulnerable side but is suppressing that. He doesn’t want to admit a weakness. Quite a few signs of being self-centred come through, even to the point of being egotistic. And he would not like people digging too deep – he wouldn’t be comfortable with that at all.”

*From the Daily Mail.

UPDATE : How does his handwriting compare to the Granita days when he got shafted by Blair in 1994? Here is the note where Brown wrote Blair “guaranteed this will be pursued”. Slightly less SHOUTY but still stroppy is Guido’s considered view.

Spin Cycle : Fiona Melville

Guido hears that another one of Daves’ babes is leaving CCHQ. Fiona Melville is off to pastures new. Anyone know where?

More stories of Tories off to spin merchants welcome.

Do email Guido names of newly minted Tory lobbyists…

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 1

Here are some pictures of recent difficult PMQ sessions for Blair. At many of them Cameron’s attack focussed on the Chancellor. Notice anything?

He is never there. Pension grab – not his idea – it was civil servants, CBI, former Chancellor’s twentysomething special adviser called, errmm, Cameron. Anyone but Gordon…

Smith Institute – 167 political meetings at his place organised by his best friend – nothing to do with Gordon.

Watch the local election campaign, if it looks bad for Labour you can bet he won’t be taking responsibility. He’ll be out of sight, out of mind – he hopes. So Guido is asking the co-conspirators to trail him and email in sightings of him on the campaign trail for the next month. Where’s Gordon? is the question to be answered – the blog will have an interactive map of his daily movements up and running soon. More fun than pavement policy analysis…

Blair Emails

The local government campaign kicks off from Labour with an email to supporters from tony.blair@new.labour.org.uk. The whole email is pregnant with subtexts. It defends his record over the last decade, refers to his 12 years of party leadership and most importantly he refers to “I” repeatedly. Unlike during the general election campaign, nowhere does it mention Gordon. Blair is going to take the rap for Labour’s showing, not Gordon, who is nowhere to be seen.

Pensions Pilfering

Just a simple question – if the Tories think Gordon’s pensions grab was wrong, will they reverse it? Guido suspects that the cunning stealthiness of the ploy means the political reward isn’t worth the fiscal hit. Will it be a manifesto commitment?

Smash and Gabb

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: A number of co-conspirators from the wonk-world have pointed out Sean Gabb’s demolition of Danny Kruger’s latest work. Dave’s speechwriter has been caught out before for lifting Dave’s foreign policy speech from After the Neo-Cons, a recent book Fukyama. This time nobody is accusing Danny of cutting and pasting, Gabb suggests Kruger’s book – On Fraternity: Politics Beyond Liberty and Equality – is an intellectual fraud in its intention, and shabby in its execution.
Guido’s classical education is a little sketchy, but prima facie Gabb has undermined Danny’s pretensions comprehensively. Ouch.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View(Kamikaze Klarke Edition)

GOTCHA!

Fooled some readers and bloggers yesterday. Guido will spare the blushes of the leading blogger who explained in detail why Guido’s traffic would and should be down. Despite the move and the resultant broken links, traffic is again up some 10% last month, unique visitors: 326,897, pageviews: 478,717. Iain Dale remain’s the main referrer – as if Tom Watson would ever be popular.

In the coming months Guido expects big developments in Loans for Lordships, including a new witness coming forward. Gordon Brown’s very own Smith Institute will be in Guido’s line of fire – expect a direct hit.

This is the blog you love, and they hate.

Traffic Surprise

Two surprises in fact – last month saw an unprecedented dip in traffic to this blog. Excluding the summer and Christmas holidays (when Guido stops posting) this blog has had a year-on-year, month-on-month trend of rising audience numbers. Today sees the end of that trend. Traffic dipped some 20% down to a mere 368,401 page-views, below even January’s 404,427 page-views. Guido presumes that last month’s website re-design and re-location of the hosting from 5thNovember.blogspot.com to www.Order-Order.com was a factor.

The second surprise was that Tom Watson MP has replaced Iain Dale as the top referring website, an indication that perhaps his traffic is either eclipsing Iain’s or that he writes about Guido more. Hard to say.

Beermatters

Not a photoshop job, genuine campaign beermat from Blears. Wonder where they were when thought up that idea?

Miliblogger Survey

From: Edemocracy@lse.ac.uk
Sent: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 2.31PM
Subject: David Miliband Blog Evaluation Survey

Hello,

As you are aware, David Miliband MP’s blog is being evaluated as part of the ‘Digital Dialogues’ pilot (www.digitaldialogues.org.uk). The ‘Digital Dialogues’ evaluations are being compiled by the independent, non-partisan Hansard Society.

You are being contacted because you have visited and posted on David Miliband’s blog. The purpose of this survey is to your ask your views on the Minister’s blog specifically, and also to pick up on your general thoughts about the contribution of technology to British politics.


You are not obliged to participate but your input is very valuable.
Please complete the survey online at http://www.digitaldialogues.org.uk/survey.

Your time is much appreciated.
Kind regards,
Barry Griffiths

________________________________
Hansard Society
40 – 43 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1JA
Promoting Democracy – Strengthening Parliament

Speech Writing This Morning

Best Man at a wedding this afternoon, so no blogging…

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee today told Dave he had been “ill-advised” to link funding to access to his office. Guido has been told that the modus operandi for the “Leaders Group” was to have proven donors over for PMQs on a Wednesday, have them watch the show and then give them lunch and a few drinks to loosen their wallets. Dave would do a bit of glad handing and not be around if and when they were directly hit up for dosh.
Cameron got a rap on the knuckles and had to grovel “unreserved apologies for inadvertently contravening the code of conduct in respect of the use of his parliamentary offices” and promise to be a good boy in future. Quite right.

Much as Guido hates to add to his troubles given his current mental state, Sleazy Levy had a very similar routine, although a little more direct. If he smelt money off you at a social or party event, he would invite you to visit him at the Lords and hit you up for dosh there. Perhaps, given the circumstances, we should skip the rap on the knuckles from the parliamentary authorities option. He has enough to worry about as it is…

New SpAds Please

Robert Philpot, director of Progress and editor of their magazine has just been appointed as the new SpAd to Peter Hain, replacing the departed cheating Phil Taylor.

All his hard work turning an admirably Blairite organisation into a Hain journal has clearly paid off. It was the articles like this from Peter Hain – which Guido would not be surprised to discover was ghosted by or had some input from Philpot himself, that got him the job

Shame he won’t be able to play any part in the boss’s campaign now he’s in a politically restricted, taxpayer-paid post…

Tories Set-Up Anti-Miliband Unit

According to the Telegraph the Tories have set up an anti-Miliband unit. Here is Guido’s favourite picture of the wonk for their files…
He sets out his manifesto here, it is a post-socialist analysis, but his prescriptions (elsewhere) are scary. The authoritarian approach to enforcing a green regime puts Guido in fear. All his talk of “social contracts” just smacks of state diktat based on anti-capitalist prejudice dressed up as environmental concern. One thing for sure is that freedom of choice will not enter into his plans.

The Sun to Set on Tony

Rumour has it that Tony Blair has arranged an interview with George Pascoe-Watson at The Sun to run the day before Local Election polling day (2nd May). This could well be the day we get firm news as to Tony’s departure date – some think he might announce it to be immediately after polling day to fit in with the assumption that the Labour leadership campaign will run for 7 weeks until the start of July. Would this help Labour in Scotland? Is Gordon any more popular than Blair? Guido still has money on Q3, but it is looking less certain that Blair has the will to to exit the stage as late as possible.

Guido Regrets…

Well the live interview was definitely a mistake and against my better judgement, as was the in-the-shadows idea of the Newsnight editor, but nice to have Sir Michael White go to full-frontal-abuse.
His denial of knowing his friend Prescott was even 68 is contradicted here

Interviewing Prezza for the Guardian on the 10.05 out of King’s Cross yesterday I was startled, not for the first time, by his resillient energy. It was his 68th birthday, which makes him eight years older than me and a good deal more energetic. Why hasn’t he got any white hair, I found myself wondering? What’s his secret? Pauline’s cooking? Grecian 2000? Tracey? Croquet? A zeal for the public good?

Incidentally – want to clarify something immediately re Nick Robinson – that last line about Nick being the source, did not mean he was the source for the original much contested Guido “email” second system story. Nick has never been a source. We had a discussion re the Ruth Turner document after doing his interview. That was what the reference was to, pretty sure that came over all wrong, and genuinely apologise for any embarrassment caused to Nick. Good night.

Nick Robinson Regrets…

Nick Robinson regrets speaking to Guido, well that may be, he probably won’t give Guido an interview again. Bovvered.


Maybe he thinks Guido should “pull his punches”?

Should Guido Audition to Replace Crick?

Guido occasionally gets calls from producers asking him to go on TV and turns them down. Newsnight have tried a few times without success. But they finally made Guido an offer he couldn’t refuse, his own production team, a free hand with the script and five minutes of prime time to do whatever he wanted. So despite never wanting to get his face on TV, Guido decided to take on our political broadcasters; Nick Robinson, Adam Boulton and Paxman. Crick’s old job is up for grabs after all…
The piece is online here. Now the editors have moved the goalposts and want a studio discussion as well. Sir Michael White will be defending the cosy lobby system, Paxman will be back to asking rather answering the questions. What do you think? Stay in the shadows or do battle with Sir Michael? Vote using the box in the middle column.

Miliband ‘s Pro-Labour Blogging is a Repeat OffenceMandarins Do Sock-Puppetry Too

Guido was (as normal) perusing the Farmer’s Weekly Interactive when he noticed that Peter Ainsworth, Miliband’s Tory shadow, has joined in the complaints about the Miliblogger making partisan pro-Labour propaganda points on a civil service run website paid for by the taxpayer despite promising he wouldn’t do that when he started.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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