Could it have something to do with George Bush’s timely $150 billion bi-partisan growth stimulus package in February? Both the Democrats and Republicans are running on tax cutting platforms. We have bi-partisan tax and spend sloth policies. Guido understands the politics of it, the economics of it are what disappoints. The Finkelstein “you can’t win promising tax cuts” approach was always timid, it is now the wrong strategy at the wrong time. The voters have moved on, they recognise the economy needs tax cuts to grow.
Here is the bit of the speech Cameron could lift with minor alterations:
“For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us – that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it – because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments.”
18 months or so to change in Westminster…
“starting and constantly promoting malicious narratives… [so] that it becomes a talking point for the mainstream media and that is how [Brown] becomes framed. The Republicans in the United States have been great at this for decades.”
Even Kevin Maguire is indulging in a bit of innuendo himself in the New Statesman.
Harry’ s Place disappeared, Guido asked them what happened:
Last Friday, Harry’s Place republished an email sent to the Universities and Colleges Union activists email list by a Sheffield based academic, Jenna Delich. In that email, she linked to the website of the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke and recommended an article by the racist conspiricy theorist Joe Quinn, on the Israel/Palestine conflict.
As a result, LSE academic, Mike Cushman recommended that Ms Delich contact the DNS service providers of Harry’s Place, to complain that the article was defamatory. The complaint was made and the DNS address was taken down by the gutless Daily.co.uk.
The attempt to censor Harry’s Place has failed. Harry’s Place’s DNS service has moved to a more ballsy ISP: the Positive Internet Company. The site will be up again over the course of the next 24 hours.
Jenna Delich claims that she did not know who David Duke was, and didn’t notice that his website contained lashings of old fashioned White Power material. She has, however, been banned from the UCU activists list.
Have just got back from the spa and am now off for cocktails. Baby and Ms Fawkes with their grandparents…
Bush and Sarkozy have solemnly met the coffins of their returning war heroes. Guido has never once seen a picture of Gordon Brown or Tony Blair showing their respects. It might not be such a good photo-opportunity, it would however be the right thing to do.
UPDATE : A co-conspirator asks in the comments “Yes, how come our armed forces have a part time minister and the Olympic games a full time minister?”
It is time to bring the question out into the open: is the Prime Minister of sane mind?
Going right back to the Blair charge that he was “psychologically flawed” this question has periodically arisen. Whereas in the past people made a joke of it, now the issue is becoming a genuine concern. Labour MPs discuss it semi-openly and political journalists report evidence of hysterical rants, the rages, the odd behaviour. The question comes up in private conversations all the time. Guido has heard it seriously suggested that Gordon suffers from “high functioning Aspergers”.
It is becoming harder to cover it up whatever it is – some interviews border on totally loony – the repetitive mantras, the uncorrelated bizarre smiles, the complete inability to empathise. When Kay Burley asked him this week would he still have the PM’s job at Christmas his reply was “Of course, because we have got to get on with the job… We have got to get on with the job. People want us to get on with the job. Getting on with the job is the most important thing at the moment.” He snapped at the Mail on Sunday “I’m happy to talk to you because you are here… I have given you special time. That is very good of me. You are very fortunate.”
He told smirking political correspondents on the flight to Beijing that he was going to win the next election, he tells confidantes that he believes the economy will turn around in a few months. We are told to expect an economic plan to turn things around – a plan which the Treasury is openly briefing it knows nothing about. He is clearly becoming increasingly disconnected from reality.
It is low politics to hurl cheap abuse at opponents, but this is not borne of malice towards Brown, Guido feels like the boy who pointed at the naked emperor and said what everyone was too embarrassed to say. The head of government is clearly at the very least deluded and unable to function under the pressure. The worst is frightening to contemplate, for his party and the country…
London 2012 will of course over-run in costs by billions, burden taxpayers in London in particular, cause immense problems for the host city, not get a return on investment and generally result in a lot of moaning. As a libertarian who would prefer it to have been run as a private venture – the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles made a $200 million profit – you would expect Guido to moan.
It will however also generate a lot of pride and excitement, so rather than begrudging it, maybe we should just make the most of it. Who knows, with Boris in charge and a Conservative government in power, it might, like Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Olympics, even make a profit – we can dream...
Not sure what special facilities bloggers really require. You can blog from your laptop with a 3G card, or at a push your Blackberry* or iPhone. Is it worth the parties making any effort to offer special access or have briefings for bloggers? Maybe if they want to shape the reporting. To be honest briefings tend to be worth very little, bloggers would be best advised going and getting their own stories rather than just regurgitating the spin handed out. That is what the lobby is for…
Guido is going to hit the bright lights of Birmingham for the Tory conference but is frankly unable to face going to all the conferences, even declining one corporate titan’s invitation to join his table at the Labour gala dinner – unarmed.
Biden dropped out of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination after a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses, but not before saying “I am not running for vice president, I would not accept it if anyone offered it to me. The fact of the matter is I’d rather stay as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than be vice president.” That quote will not hurt as much as other quotes McCain’s campaign will be replaying extensively – Biden gave a hard-hitting TV interview during his abortive 2008 run where he laid into Obama as too inexperienced to be President.
UPDATE : This just in from McCain ’08:
…the visit had a routine flavour for Gordon Brown, livened up only by Hamid Karzai, who was evidently bemused by the way British broadcasters all asked questions about the PM’s troubles without even a mention of Afghanistan or the British effort there. “Cabinet ministers plotting is nothing new. We have that in Afghanistan too. But not my foreign minister,” he told us. Ouch.
Gordon apparently managed to mumble something about “getting on with the job”. Sky’s Jon Craig notes that after his pep talk to the troops, delivered facing the press and away from them “rather oddly, I thought, the PM wasn’t applauded by the soldiers at Camp Bastion”. Humiliating though it was, this is how it will be from now on. Gordon is a weak leader, too weak even to risk trouble from a reshufle despite a desperate need to refresh his cabinet. The only question in British politics is: “How and when will Gordon Go?”
Picture stolen from Downing Street website. Guido’s taxes paid for it after all and it is not like they respect anyone else’s copyright, is it?
When not stealing other people’s creative products and passing it off as their own the Downing Street digital team ignore 50,000 petitioners to make funny videos. No one is laughing tonight.