SNP 44% versus Labour 25% Biggest Ever Recorded Lead

The latest poll (conducted 6-8 August) carried out in Scotland by YouGov recorded the biggest ever poll lead for the SNP with the party gaining a 19% lead over the Labour.

The poll is the first since John Mason sensationally won the Glasgow East by-election and shows the SNP on 44% with Labour trailing on 25%. On the basis of these figures all three prospective Scottish Labour leadership candidates would lose their seats to the SNP.

Scottish Parliament constituency vote [change from May 2007 in brackets]:

SNP: 44% [+11]
Labour: 25% [-7]
Lib Dem: 14% [-2]
Con: 13% [-4]
Other: 4% [+2]

Applying these figures to the Weber Shandwick Scotland Votes model, the SNP would win 58 of Scotland’s 73 Holyrood first-past-the-post seats.

SNP – 58 constituency seats (plus 37)
Labour – 8 constituency seats (minus 29)
LibDems – 6 constituency seats (minus 5)
Tories – 1 constituency seat (minus 3)

The SNP would gain the seats of all three Labour leadership contenders – Iain Gray, Andy Kerr and Cathy Jamieson.

Source : SNP

Normally a 51% constituency majority would be impregnable…

+++ R.I.P John MacDougall MP +++

The Scottish Labour MP for Glenrothes, John MacDougall, has died aged 60 after a battle with cancer.

UPDATE : Gordon paid tribute to Mr MacDougall. He said: “Over three decades he has been a good personal friend of mine and I visited him on Monday. Our heartfelt condolences go to his widow, Cathy, to his son and daughter, Scott and Julie and to his mother and sister.” He died on Tuesday.

Terror Attack in the Fawkes Household

After grappling with nappies and watching Teletubbies since 6.30 in the morning, Guido wandered bleary-eyed towards the kitchen in search of a coffee for breakfast, failing to spot the clear and present danger arranged by Ms Fawkes.

As a result of an improvised booby trap of which Al Qaeda would have been pleased, Guido executed a Chaplinesque aerial manoeuvre, kicking the wall barefoot and audibly crunching his toes before landing bum-first. Ouch. Ms Fawkes cackled hysterically and Baby Fawkes clapped gleefully in her high chair exclaiming “Dadda!” in an impressed “do it again” tone. Even the nanny giggled before regaining her composure and clearing away the booby trap toys.

The joys of fatherhood. Blogging may be light.

Number10.gov.uk

Dizzy got the scoop:

UPDATE : Just had a look under the hood. It is built using WordPress software. Downing Street has become a blog site…

Tender Welsh Pork Costs Taxpayers

Interesting how the expense claims swilling by Welsh Assembly members breaks down by party:
Lib Dems AMs: Total : £55,321. Average : £9,220
Plaid Cymru AMs: Total : £129,936. Average: £8,662
Conservative AMs: Total: £93,730. Average : £7,810
Labour AMs: Total : £121,977. Average : £4,691
Source: Assembly Commission figures for 2007-2008
Why are LibDem piggies twice as expensive as Labour porkers?

Well done to Labour’s Lesley Griffiths who managed to get the taxpayers to pamper her sty with a £2,000 sofa, LibDem leader Mike German, claimed £9,217.10, for a second home despite living only 17 miles from the Assembly, Tory Nick Ramsey spent £1,000 on a top of the range TV system and more than £2,000 on two beds. Clearly pork needs to be treated tenderly…

They only awarded themselves an 8.3% pay-rise in March. Oink, oink!

“Obama Nation” Bestselling Book in the World Today

Obama Nation is #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List and on Amazon. Is the book proof of The One’s popularity? Not really, it is written by the author who brought you “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry”.

Sub-titled, “Leftist politics and the cult of personality” it doesn’t pull punches. Obama is arguably shown to be the most left-wing candidate to ever stand a real chance of becoming U.S. president. It also highlights a lot of shady financial dealings and Obama’s association with some dubious characters.

The policy shifts made by Obama have been dramatic, his anti-nukes position has been dropped on the path to power, he now says he will do “whatever is necessary” to counter Iran becoming a nuclear power. A lot of interesting facts and history in this book explain why it is selling like hot cakes…

Soldiers’ Deaths to Be Kept Secret

The law pages of The Times carry a story about a clause in the latest Counter-Terrorism Bill which will give the Home Secretary the power to order Court hearings to be held in secret.

The Home Secretary could order a jury not to be summoned, replace the coroner with a government appointee and bar the public from inquests if it is deemed to be in the “public interest”.

It could be applied to inquests similar to those into the deaths of the weapons inspector David Kelly, “friendly-fire” military casualties or Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed. In future, inquests similar to that into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, which is due to start next month with 44 police officers giving evidence anonymously, could also be subject to the secrecy clause.

This is not about national security, it is about covering-up embarrassments for the government. The families of soldiers who die because of penny pinching would not be able to discover the truth. Anything embarrassing would be deemed a “national security issue”. The government is already doing this to protect itself from embarrassment.

For example: Guido, and other journalists have made Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to discover if Ed Balls still had a pass giving him access to the Treasury when he was supposedly a fellow of the Smith Institute. We believe he was actually continuing to act as Gordon’s bag carrier and political confidante, that he was in and out of the Treasury seeing Gordon regularly. The Treasury refuses to answer the question claiming it is a national security issue. It isn’t, it is a cover-up. This clause is about covering up politically damaging information.

Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty….

Labour Wage-Slave Hypocrisy

Many graduates are desperate to break into politics – sadly this exposes them to exploitation by unscrupulous employers who will take advantage of their desire to get political experience of any kind. Have no fear, Guido learns from the Labour Party party website that

“Labour has announced a new drive to crack down on rogue employers who abuse vulnerable workers… The crack down will be overseen by a new Fair Employment Enforcement Board which will co-ordinate the work… by using a single telephone helpline number for vulnerable workers to report abuses the agencies will be able to better share the vital information necessary to catch rogue employers..

Labour’s Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:

“We want to prevent unscrupulous employers who undercut honest competition and prey on people who are fearful or so desperate to earn a living that they are open to exploitation.”

Guido has just had a quick check of some job advertising and found a number of unscrupulous employers preying on desperately ambitious young workers keen to break into politics:

Work for no pay for Claire Curtis-Thomas MP.
Work for no pay for Fabian Society.
Work for no pay for Labour Party (North Regional Office).
Work for no pay for Diane Abbott MP.
Work for no pay for Barbara Follett MP.
Work for no pay for Andy Slaughter MP.

What is the number on which to report these unscrupulous employers?

UPDATE : MPs get a staffing allowance of £100, 205. Claire Curtis Thomas, don’t forget, is “Britain’s most expensive MP” racking up costs of over £170,000 a year.

The Horror that is FrankenBrown!

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

How Many Beeboids Does it Take to Watch US TV Coverage?

Reportedly “no fewer than 472 BBC staff were hanging on the telephone 10 days ago to discuss its coverage of the upcoming US party conventions.” Why? Because there is no serious budget control, no profit motive and unlimited access to funds courtesy of a feudal taxation system to the benefit of the broadcasting barons.

Realistically the coverage could be done by the BBC’s existing American correspondents. Every news and current affairs show however wants a jolly and to enjoy the buzzing excitement. Guido was told by one Democratic insider that the BBC had a bigger presence at the U.S. conventions than any other domestic broadcaster – more than ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Fox or PBS. It was ridiculous he said because none of the main players had the time to waste speaking to viewers who weren’t voters. The best they could hope for would be an answer to a shouted question.

It is a complete waste of money, there is no reason why the BBC could not provide a comprehensive service with one tenth of the 427 people on that conference call. Why does every news and current affairs programme have to send a team over the Atlantic at a cost of millions of pounds of telly taxpayers money? Reform of the bloated BBC should be high on the next government’s agenda.

Gordon : “I’m the Result of a Failed Experiment”

This just in from a cultured co-conspirator in Edinburgh:

Gordon was the guest interviewee at the opening event of the Edinburgh Book festival this morning. Interviewed by author Ian Rankin the PM told the audience that he’d gone to university aged 16 as the result of a school “hot-housing” experiment which had later been dumped. “I’m the result of a failed experiment….” he said.

Before the interview, as the audience waited, they were regaled with an appropriate piece of music, “The Dying Swan” by Tchaikovsky.

Guido still feels no pity.

+++ Stamp Duty Fiasco : Source – McBride Leaked Sun Story +++

Caroline Flint on Newsnight last night was hilarious – “Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty” she kept forlornly shouting on the two-way to studio.

In all fairness she has the worst job in government right now – Housing Minister. It can’t have helped that some moronic briefing to the Sun has brought a stagnant property market to a complete halt – why exchange now when if you wait until September you can save thousands in stamp duty? Which genius clumsily leaked the plan scheduled for September?

Damian McBride has the hotline to the George Pascoe-Watson

Friday Caption Contest (Only Way is Up Edition)

Another Day, Another Downing Street Press Officer

Remember the end to spin that Gordon’s premiership ushered in?

PR Week reports that a new spin merchant chief press officer role has been created at Downing Street.

When appointed, the new chief press officer will report to interim head of news Tom Hoskin. Downing Street is currently seeking candidates… the role ‘involves helping to run the press office day to day and ensuring that we have all we need to carry out the daily lobby briefings’.

However hard you try, you can’t polish a turd…

Number10TV

Gordon’s charisma and engaging personality are bound to make Number10TV a vote winner. Rosa Prince has written a story about the forthcoming launch of the channel. (The story mistakenly links to the spoof site Number10TV.com).

All this is so Gordon can reach voters without having to answer tough questions from TV interviewers. Don’t they already have a YouTube channel? Isn’t this just a waste of taxpayers money to promote the PM which should really be paid for by the party?

Wilf “We Had a Brilliant Report”

Sir Michael White this morning confirms the accuracy of Guido’s exclusive report yesterday. Through gritted teeth the left-wing journalist reported that “right-wing bloggers celebrated what they see as two Brownite scalps”. Too right.

Comical Wilf told Sir Michael that there is nothing to see here, the savaging that the Institute’s trustees got from the Charity Commission was “brilliant”, he told the Telegraph: “The Commission’s report was excellent in every respect and it is only because it was so good that I am able to step down now at this time” and that he always intended to resign as director, presumably Lord Haskel, donor to Brown’s leadership campaign and chairman of the trustees, always planned to resign as well.

Nothing then to do with the direct criticism of the trustees, finding “evidence of unchallenged party political comments being made at Institute events by politicians and also party political comments made by or on behalf of the Institute… combined with the predominant involvement of Labour Party politicians in the Institute’s activity, compromised the Institute’s independence. Bearing in mind the previous engagement between the Commission and the trustees in 2001/02 on this matter, the Commission concluded that the trustees had not safeguarded or adequately supervised the risks posed to the independence and reputation of the Institute… the trustees had allowed the Institute to become exposed to concerns that is supported Government policy and was involved in party political activity inappropriate for a charity”.

Haskel was damned as “not sufficiently engaged to ensure the proper supervision of the charity”.
click to enlarge
Guido doesn’t entirely agree with Iain Dale that the “Institute will cease to be”, it will however cease to be what is was, a slush fund for Gordon Brown. It will become a more normal think-tank, not a partisan vehicle for one politician’s ambitions.

+++ Wilf Stevenson Resigns From Smith Institute ++++++ Lord Haskel Resigns Chairmanship of Trustees +++

Guido has learnt that following the condemnation by the Charity Commission of the trustees of the Smith Institute, Lord Haskel has resigned as chairman of the trustees, Wilf Stevenson has also resigned as director after the unprecedented criticism of the charity for partisanship.

Paul Hackett, a wonk who has written some pamphlets for the Sith, is the “acting director”. The offices are closed and Guido has confirmed that the Smith Institute will no longer be based at the New Statesman’s offices. The rumour in wonk-land has it that the IPPR has taken pity on them and will be giving them space at their offices.

Mission accomplished, Sith in disarray. Guido won.
Don’t forget we also have the prospect of an Electoral Commission investigation into illegal undeclared “donations in kind” by the Smith Institute to Gordon Brown.

Vince’s Naivety on Nationalisation

Vince Cable is with some justice blaming almost everyone for the Northern Rock disaster:

“Taxpayers have every reason to be angry: with the private-sector managers and directors who behaved appallingly and have never been brought to book; the company auditors who passed last year’s accounts without spotting the big holes in the company books; the regulators (the FSA) who also gave the Northern Rock a clean bill of health; and the government, which was at best naive and at worst dishonest when it claimed to have secured the government’s loans.”

What about the naive politicians Vince, who welcomed the nationalisation, without having done any due diligence on behalf of the taxpayers?

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Jeremy Corbyn told by veteran Jewish MP Margaret Hodge…

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