Kevin Maguire and Charlie Whelan are two of the most high profile former members of the inner-circle of the TaliBrown, now they are at the core of the continuity-TaliBrownies. Both are allies of, and boosters for Brown’s heir, Ed Balls. Both of them today are not happy…
Our Kevin says Not-So-Red-Ed was “scared of his shadow – or at least the notion of making either Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper his Shadow Chancellor. So the timid new Labour leader fluffed his first big call and played safe with Alan Johnson. As a result he missed a glorious opportunity to recast his party’s economic policy and to turn the tables on the Tories.” Maguire, in his role as TaliBrown propaganda chief, makes no secret of his preference for deficit denial.
Despite swinging the unions behind Red Ed to win control of the Labour Party, the TaliBrown bully and union-fixer Charlie Whelan is still unhappy; mainly with Peter Mandelson and David Miliband. Telling The Times that David Miliband was annoying and should “get a life” after his failed leadership battle, adding for good measure that his exit from the Shadow Cabinet was ungracious.
“It was slightly self-indulgent to just go off. It didn’t look good. It would have been best for him to say straight away what he was going to do. It’s a tragedy when you lose your job, you are on the dole and you have no money for your family. Politician losing top job is not a tragedy. It’s personally uncomfortable but that’s all. This is why David’s attitude annoys me. He didn’t get the job but it’s not a disaster. Get a life.”
Whelan also backs Ed Balls to be Chancellor in the Shadow Cabinet claiming “He’s got a grasp of the economy and his position on the economy is the right one”. Charlie adamantly rejects the accepted wisdom that Labour’s defeat in the last election was in any part down to Gordon Brown’s deficit denial, claiming
“We could have won that election. Peter Mandelson went round at Christmas saying it’s going to be a catastrophic defeat. Well, if you’re going into the election with your main man telling you you’re going to be defeated then you might as well pack up and go home. Obviously the campaign was an unmitigated disaster.”
Guido can see Balls and his boosters waging low intensity political warfare on Red Ed for as long as he seeks to get on the reality-based side of the deficit denying dividing line. That is something Balls and the rest of the continuity-TaliBrown will be determined to block…
Finally we know how Charlie Whelan had free reign of the parliamentary estate:
Mr. Dunne: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood of 24 March 2010, Official Report, column 295W, on Charlie Whelan, what type of pass Mr. Whelan holds; when it was issued; and who the sponsor is of the pass.
Nick Harvey: Mr. Whelan holds a temporary pass (light blue) issued in June 2009. It is sponsored by the parliamentary Labour party from within an agreed allocation.
It was speculated that he was there on as a union officer, but in light of this revelation, his claims that he is not officially connected to the Labour campaign look particularly shaky. What was the justification for this high level access granted to, essentially, a lobbyist for vested interests?
UPDATE: PA are now reporting that Bercow is to look into the reasons behind why Whelan was given the pass. Michael Fabricant asked the House: “You will recall that the Prime Minister asserted in previous Prime Minister’s questions that he is in no way connected with the Labour party. Has any indication been given to you that the Prime Minister now wishes to correct his original assertion, which was untrue?” Quite.
Charlie Whelan will be wanting his money back: the once McBride/Draper controlled website now under new management has gone way off message tonight. Advised by Labour supporting YouGov pollster Peter Kellner, the website is using various statistical methods to forecast the May 6 result. Using polynomial trending (no, Guido doesn’t understand it either) they are forecasting a 9% lead for the Tories on polling day. In other words, a comfortable Tory majority…
Co-conspirator Colleen points out that Whelan (pronounced /ˈhwiːlən/) is an anglicisation of the Irish surname, Ó Faoláin. The surname originates from the Middle Irish ‘Úa Faeláin’ (plural, ‘Uí Faeláin’) the name of the 10th to 11th century ruling dynasy of the Déisi, a population group inhabiting the area of the modern county of Waterford and south county Tipperary in the early medieval period. The word “faolán” is derived from the Old Irish word “faelán” meaning a small wolf.
Did anyone else spot Charlie Whelan’s ridiculous claim that he wasn’t allowed to give a view on the merits of the BA strike? In reality he knows that it is unpopular and a negative for Unite’s political wing, the Labour Party. So he is sidestepping the clash of interests between his paymasters and their beneficiaries.