The Crosby Effect Mapped

That was one successful strategy. Ken’s voters are under siege…

Hat-tip : Vote 2007

Sunlight Disinfects and Evaporates Expense Claims

At the European Parliament yesterday afternoon they held a hearing on the proposals from the Commission to limit access to information. Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner, was there and gave evidence. The most interesting thing he said was that when he ruled that all MSP’s expenses had to be publicly declared, the result was a 30% drop in the total expenses bill. He suggested the same might happen if the MEPs had to be open about their expenses.
Do you think that if the Tory MEP leader Giles Chichester knew that voters would be able to hold him to account for his expenses that he would have fiddled £500,000 through his family firm?. Stinks doesn’t it?

Incidentally if you are wondering why LibDem and Labour MEPs are not attacking Chichester, the answer is obvious. They are all at it…

+++ Internal Poll of Labour Activists Says “Ditch Brown” +++

Rumour going around Westminster.

Smith Institute Used to Sell 42 Days

Gordon Brown is in a lot of trouble over 42 days, his attachment to this Blairite legacy policy has become a trial of strength. Jacqui Smith is going round selling the policy to sceptical Labour backbenchers and implacable opposition.
Strange that tomorrow evening of all days, in the middle of this effort to sell this most politically controversial security policy, Jacqui Smith is giving a speech on the issue to a Smith Institute invited audience. Haven’t we been here before?

The Smith Institute is supposed to be an independent charitable think tank, set up “to undertake research and education in issues that flow from the changing relationship between social values and economic imperatives”. The Smith Institute during the first (2001) investigation by the Charity Commission undertook to stick to its charitable objectives – education in social and economic issues. The second investigation, now into year two, is yet to report.

How does the Home Secretary pushing government security policy in this controversial government policy area constitute “education”? Her speech is on “How can the state adapt its traditional security approach to manage a new and wider range of threats?” “Lock people up for 42 days without trial” will, Guido suspects, be the answer.

This is not even in the charity’s remit and is completely incompatible with the Smith Institute’s charitable status and stated aims. It is merely a politically convenient platform provided for Jacqui Smith when no respectable think-tank would touch the issue…

Mediasaurus-like Stat-Porn

Just got off the phone with Deborah Summers, Guardian Online’s Politics Editor. She doesn’t really dispute the figures, just that they are not “like for like”. She reckons we should include Comment is Free to boost up her numbers.

Not sure about that, since CiF re-distributes content from The Observer and the main site’s editorial pages as well as third parties. It also has an entirely different editorial team headed up by Georgina Henry.

The fact is, head-to-head, like for like, Guido and Dale each have more readers than Guardian Politics. Elsewhere in the MSM at The Times, the Fink’s Comment Central blog has a respectable record month with 608,143 page views from 491,351 visits. The Telegraph‘s blogs play it close to their chest and are in a war of words with the Guardian’s CiF over traffic and who provides a platform for the BNP / “anti-zionists” and their respective main-site traffic figures. Funny how the MSM don’t like to reveal how bad they are doing in absolute terms – the relative actual number of individual readers is not that impressive – which is why they don’t publish the stats transparently. The dead-tree-press, even in online form, is losing money…

De-Googlisation?

It is all very well CCHQ’s spinmeister, Steve Hilton, following his partner, Google’s spinmeister Rachel Whetstone, off to California – he can time shift his remote control of the Tories whilst waiting for Rachel’s stock options to vest. The much more important question: Who is Guido going to call now if the blogger software plays up?

Today Your Tax Serfdom is Over for this Year

According to the annual calculations made by the Adam Smith Institute, today is Tax Freedom Day:

that wonderful point in the year when the average taxpayer has finally earned enough to cover all their taxes and at last can start earning for themselves.

It may come as a shock that the average UK resident has spent the last 155 days working solely to support government expenditures, but that is the reality of it. More than two-fifths of an average earner’s wages is taken from them in taxes.

Medieval serfs were forced to work sometimes up to 40 days in the fields for their baronial tyrants. Progress means that taxpayers now work for 155 days to pay tribute to the state. It amazes Guido that slaves of yore effectively consented to their chains, when they so greatly out-numbered their slave masters or that millions of Indians accepted imperial rule by a few thousand British soldiers. How many tax bureaucrats are there?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

May Numbers, Never Knowingly Undersold

May saw 722,219 page-views from 530,201 visits by 102,459 absolute unique visitors. Top referrers in order: Iain, ConservativeHome, Coffee House, PoliticalBetting and PoliticsHome.com.

To get these figures into perspective – The Guardian itself claimed 67,000 absolute unique visitors online in February for the Guardian Politics pages as measured by comScore. Deborah Summers, Guardian Online’s politics editor, is going to have to increase her readership by 50% to match Guido. More people are interested in reading Dale’s take on politics – who is the mass media now?

Guido’s most popular story of the month was the Richard Littlejohn slapdown of Polly Toynbee

For comparison here are some (non-blog) comparative absolute unique numbers as measured by comScore (February 2008):

BBC News UK Politics 1,090,000
itn.co.uk 96,000
theyworkforyou.com 69,000
Guardian Politics 67,000
barackobama.com 56,000
conservatives.com 40,000
bnp.org.uk 37,000
democraticunderground.com 32,000
labour.org.uk 29,000

This was Guido’s best month on record, no taxpayers were harmed in the production of the blog. Many thanks to advertisers.

Follow up with Deborah Summers here.

Get Down to Grosvenor Place for Noon (and Free Guinness)

Midday today will see supporters of the I Want a Referendum campaign outside the Irish Embassy.

Guido will be supporting them in the sunshine and then moving on to the Guinness Guzzling fund raiser (see below for how to donate).

Guido will be out-drinking the national chairman of Conservative Future, Michael Rock. He is a big lad so it could be a close run thing…

Sponsor Guido in the Anglo-Irish Guinness Guzzling Competition

At midday tomorrow I Want a Referendum campaigners will be gathering outside the Irish embassy to congratulate the Irish on getting the referendum that Brown has denied the British. All over Europe pro-referendum campaigners will be turning up at Irish embassies.
Once the political niceties are out of the way the serious business of the day will begin. The first ever Anglo-Irish Guinness necking competition will get underway. In the green corner Guido will take on the might of the Conservative Future Chairman Michael Rock in the blue corner. Whoever manages to guzzle 4 pints of Guinness quickest will be crowned champion.

Get involved in this titanic struggle by pledging money. You can sponsor Guido or Michael through I Want a Referendum’s PayPal link:


All money raised will go to referendum campaigners
from the winner’s home country.
Depending on who downs the Guinness first, the funds will then be paid out to either Stuart Wheeler’s Fighting Fund by Michael Rock if he wins, or if Guido wins, he will pay it to the Irish No campaign being run by Libertas.* Michael will be wearing England colours, Guido will of course be wearing an Irish shirt…

By happy coincidence this knees-up is on the last day that Londoners will still be allowed to drink legally on the underground. All who are still standing after the Irish bash (and those light enough to be carried) will be heading over to Liverpool St for the Last Orders on the Underground party on the Circle Line. Unfortunately that starts at 9pm so Guido won’t be able to make it…

UPDATE : I Want a Referendum campaign just called – there will be free Guinness for all who turn up!

*Guido can legally donate to the Irish No Campaign because he is an Irish citizen.

Friday Caption Contest (Escher Edition)

Labour Polls The Lowest Since British Polling Began


The latest polls have Labour at the lowest ever recorded since polling began in 1943 and Gordon Brown is the most unpopular PM in history, he is polling worse than even Neil Kinnock or Michael Foot! How must it feel to be the most hated Prime Minister of all time?

Guido likes to remind all those Labour lemmings, like Tom Watson, who plotted and worked to get Blair out and Brown in, that we told you so. So here is a reminder, again:

John Hutton didn’t mince his words when he gave Nick Robinson his prediction. He was right.

He made this forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. He got it wrong, it took five months.

They are going to miss three times election winning Blair when he is gone. Wait and see…
26 June 2007

Labour have acted like lemmings, dispensing with their most successful leader of all time for a less popular, less likeable replacement. The more the voters see of Gordon, the worse it will get.
May 13, 2007

You have to wonder if the Labour party is having a collective moment of Lemming-like lunacy... The Brown bounce will be a dead-Lemming bounce.
April 27, 2007

We really did tell you so…

Downing Street Forces Purnell to Sack Adviser

Whatever the spin being put on this, the truth is that the Brownies do not want to hear criticism. Particularly when the criticism comes from media favourite James Purnell’s speech writer (who was once Blair’s speech writer).

Phil Collins has written in this month’s Prospect Magazine a wonky piece which can be summarised roughly as Brown is crap, Cameron is right. How did the man who after the local elections said he was “listening and would learn from [his] mistakes” react? Gordon and the Brownies went berserk.

Purnell has been forced to sack his speech writer.

The line coming out that Purnell has not sacked Collins, he just now has a civil service speech writer, is of course bollocks. Civil servants don’t write party political speeches. This is the spin from the same people who you may remember insisted that David Pitt-Watson was taking up the General Secretary position and contrary stories from Guido et al were wrong. Just a “few contractual wrinkles” to sort out they claimed. They subsequently admitted we were right and by implication they had lied shamelessly to their chosen interlocutor – Ben Brogan. This is what they do. Lie unattributably. Paul Waugh is their more sceptical chosen interlocutor this time….

Hillary Waits for the 3 a.m. Call,Brown Calls You at 6 a.m.

PR Week reports another failed PR putsch from the bunker…

“Hello? Gordon here. I’m calling about your letter…’

Clare O’Connor and David Singleton

Gordon Brown’s latest comms offensive involves cold-calling members of the public who have written him letters, according to sources close to Downing Street.

The initiative is said to be the brainchild of Downing Street chief of strategy Stephen Carter and is intended to humanise the Prime Minister as his popularity continues to wane.

‘Carter thought it was a good idea to have Brown call people personally,’ said one insider. ‘Carter will choose a letter or email at random, have one of his team at Number 10 prepare a response, then get Brown to call.’

The move is an attempt to spread positive word of mouth for the PM, especially in the regions.

However, one of the first phone calls backfired spectacularly, according to one anecdote told to PRWeek.

‘Brown made a phone call at 6am, without thinking,’ said a well-placed Labour source. ‘Luckily the person he called was a shift worker, so he was awake.’

The source added: ‘Carter’s idea is well meaning, but it’s not working. Improving Brown’s image through PR is now being looked at as a lost cause.’

Downing Street declined to comment on the story.

Source : PRWeek

Pundits Think Politicians Paid Too Little

PoliticsHome’s “Insider Panel” has been polled on politicians pay and surprisingly “Britain’s most authoritative survey of expert and inside political opinion” has a majority of the panel (56%) reckoning MPs are currently paid too little.
Hmmm, a poll of politicians, political insiders and their friends reckons they should be paid more.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Michael Gove to the Commons on Trident:

“The unilateralists opposite complaining today are in the position of eunuchs complaining about the cost of Viagra.”

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