Profundity of the Punditry: Amber Rudd Edition

Some absolute classics from Fleet Street’s finest over the weekend. The usually sagacious John Rentoul’s Saturday column for the Indy declared Amber Rudd to be in a “surprisingly strong position”:

Dan Hodges at 5:13pm yesterday evening was almost onto something with his view that the latest Guardian story “supports Rudd”:

Top prize however goes to Paul Mason, who confidently tweeted at 9.56pm: “It’s become easier to imagine the end of the world than a Tory minister resigning for probably lying.”

News of Rudd’s departure broke just minutes later. Mason immediately fired off another 20 tweets to bury the take and cover his modesty. Peak neoliberalism? Peak punditry…

Hodges v Hendopolis

The two egos guilty of ruining Sunday night Twitter this week were the Mail on Sunday’s Dan Hodges and Neil Henderson of the BBC’s #TomorrowsPapersToday. Henderson kicked things off by countering criticism over his failure to tweet last week’s MoS Brendan Cox front page citing “legal advice”. Dan then reached Peak Hodges when he proceeded to attempt to explain libel law to specialist libel barrister Greg Callus.

It ended with Dan unfollowing Neil and Neil then blocking Dan…

“So, Boris Can Wait…” Tory Karaoke in Full

Tory conference finally saw the energy and passion it has been lacking this week courtesy of the InHouse Communications karaoke night. Partygoers witnessed peak Matt Hancock as he took to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to himself, before performing a high octane duet of Don’t Stop Me Now with Therese Coffey (watch above). James Cleverly and Kelly Tolhurst attempted Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before Clevz redeemed himself with a more impressive rendition of Twist and Shout, complete with memorable hip action. Will Quince demonstrated surprising depth as he had the room hand-waving to My Way. Nigel Evans gave us Delilah, David Mundell just about made his way through 500 Miles and a Brexit-backing cross-party trio of Paul Scully, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ian Paisley Jnr had the room rocking to Sweet CarolineThen it was the turn of the Lobby…

Faisal Islam took great pleasure in adapting the lyrics of Don’t Look Back in Anger to belt out “So, Boris can wait” – just the latest MSM smear. Dan Hodges and Glen Owen teamed up with Number 10 Sunday Lobby specialist Kirsty Buchanan to murder Mr Brightside. An emotional David Wooding, one arm raised aloft, sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, the only time he’ll be able to do that in Manchester. The night ended with Number 10’s Richard “Tricky” Jackson nailing You Raise Me Up. Hic…

Owen Jones Backs Air Strikes in Iraq

Owen Jones, asked by Dan Hodges if Britain should take out terrorists in Iraq replies: “Yes“.

Always said Owen liked to drone on…

“Labour is Chocolate Gateau: Too Much Makes You Sick”

How is it that some of Labour’s policies poll as popular yet the party polls dismally?

Dan Hodges explains the paradox of the Labour Party manifesto nicely…

Trump Victory: Who Got it Wrong?

qwerty
Guido brings you the roll call of “expert” pundits who got it wrong:

  • Guardian: Hillary Clinton Will Win   (Martin Kettle – Associate Editor)
  • Telegraph: Hillary Clinton Will Win the Presidency (Janet Daley)
  • Financial Times: Trump Will Lose, Can the Republicans Recover? (Roger Altman)
  • Independent: The mathematical reason why it is impossible for Trump to become President (Bryan Cranston)
  • Dan Hodges: “Even I can’t lose this for her…”
  • Polling guru Nate Silver predicts a 81% chance of Clinton winning.

Anyone had enough of experts?

Owen Campaign’s Strategic Divide

OWEN-DILEMMA

Owen Smith is particularly desperate to try and win Wales and shore up his vote on home turf to avoid personal humiliation. When it comes to events and phone banking his campaign is very Welsh-centric – he’s focusing on South Wales disproportionately. Make that a hell of a lot of effort for a small part of the electorate.

In the latest of many South Wales campaign events Owen made a “keynote” speech in Rhondda yesterday to a handful of people – he just can’t break out of the Valleys. If you look at his campaign pictures (see below) from the event they are all tight on him because the crowd was so small.

oily-close

Truth is he’s not liked much in Wales. Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones has been silent and no Welsh minister has backed him. His own Pontypridd Assembly Member and Welsh Government Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, is backing Corbyn. Former Pontypridd AM and Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson, who knew Owen and worked with him closely when he was first elected, is also backing Corbyn and tweeting Owen attacks. Reportedly the only CLP in Wales to nominate him was fixed

In private the campaign knows it has lost and fears it may lose by over 60% to 40%. His campaign manager Dugher is said to be arguing for a strategy shift to a tough bare-knuckled fight, hitting Corbyn hard, perhaps having learnt his lesson from managing Andy Burnham’s disastrous soft-left leadership campaign. The whole idea of projecting Smith as a “competent Corbynista” has been disastrous from the off because nobody believed thechildishly transparent lie. Owen Smith does not however want to tack to the centre and tell the membership hard-truths, because he needs to “protect my brand” for the future. Oh boyo…

Could this dilemma within the campaign explain the vitriol of that Dan Hodges polemic on Sunday against spineless, incoherent, incompetent Owen? Hodges is close to Dugher…

UPDATE: A source gets in touch to clarify that initially Dugher was for all the full-on lefty campaign because he thought that’s where he/Andy screwed up last time, “If Andy had been more left-wing Jeremy wouldn’t have had space to emerge. Problem is it’s the right strategy for twelve months ago. Doesn’t work now Corbyn is out of the bottle which they now accept.”

Friday Caption Contest (Don’t Pussy Out of Your Bet Edition)

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Dan Hodges with the Downing Street cat. Entries in the comments please…

Which Remainer are you? Post-Brexit Edition

You can take the pre-referendum quiz here

Fallon Welches on £1,000 Piers Morgan Bet

Both Michael Fallon and John Whittingdale made pre-referendum bets that, should Cameron lose the vote, he wouldn’t resign. Now Piers is calling in his bets, promising to donate the winnings to charity. Pay up, Fallon…

People occasionally ask Guido, with a sense of foreboding, when will the pundit and polling analyst Dan Hodges do his naked Brexit run? Guido will be negotiating the time and location with the sagacious streaker this week. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: Piers wants Guido to remind Whitto as well:

Dan Explains His Streak

Hodges “Streaks” Down Whitehall

The going was wet and it was a dark dawn for the “Dan Hodges Streak Down Whitehall Charity Stakes”, the forfeit for having lost his bet that UKIP would get less than 6% of the vote in the general election:

Ladbrokes were there and took £20 from Guido that he would not complete at 25/1:

There was a bit of a “Stewards Inquiry” given there was no sign of either a Farage mask or promised Hodges’ bare arse…

Despite Hodges refusing to sing “Land of Hope and Glory” at the finish, Guido paid up anyway and it was £20 to Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope to add to another £100 bet that Hodges lost to Guido – 243 days ago. Hodges promises he is giving that betting loss to the charity as well… 

Hodges Streak Date Confirmed

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Guido can happily reveal that, 243 days later, Dan Hodges has confirmed he will finally make good on his promise to streak naked through Westminster. Hodges has set 7 January in stone as the date for the run. Which gives him three weeks for his beard to grow long enough to protect his modesty…

Ground-Hodge Day: Dan Quits Labour, Again

Dan Hodges has quit Labour, again:

“I’m done. Yesterday I cancelled my direct debit to the Labour Party. “Why don’t you just sod off and join the Tories“, Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters regularly ask anyone who dares to challenge their rancid world view. I won’t be joining the Tories. But I am sodding off…”

It’s punchy:

“Jeremy Corbyn is the Left’s Enoch Powell. His views and stances are equally repugnant. It’s just that because he is leader the of “my party” that I have refused to acknowledge it… By remaining a Labour Party member, and by continuing to fund Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, I am complicit. Both morally, and practically. I am paying for his propaganda. I am funding his henchman. I am financing his own campaign of terror. And there comes a moment where you have to say “enough. Not in my name”. For me, that moment has finally arrived.”

Though readers with good memories will be feeling a sense of deja vu. Flashback to 2013:

So bad he quit them twice…

Cameron’s Speech: Left Wing Commentariat Reacts

Not only did the PM’s speech go down a storm with his Tory colleagues, but it appears also to be winning plaudits from the left-wing twitterati:

Why don’t they just join the Tories?

Hodges on Labour’s Demise

Dan Hodges on the coming financial emasculation of the Labour Party…

“The Conservatives – ever with an eye for the main chance – have borrowed the principle of Labour’s rule change and inserted it into the new Trade Union Bill. Any trade unionist who wants their money to be paid into the their union’s political levy – which is then used to finance the Labour Party – will have to proactively sign a form to that effect every five years. And it’s now possible to judge how many trade union members will bother to sign up in this way. Around 180,000. That compares with 4.5 million members who pay the levy now. Labour is about to lose 95 per cent of the income it receives from the unions. At precisely the same time it is about to elect Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. I don’t know how much Jeremy Corbyn is planning to secure for Labour in major corporate donations. But I can hazard a guess.”

Dan Hodges’ Labour Leadership Journey in Full

Dan Hodges has had more flip flops in the Labour leadership race than an Ibiza beach rave:

June 9: “Will Labour choose a Tony Blair or a Neil Kinnock? Liz Kendall is Toni Blair. Young. Tough. Single-minded. Kendall has already set out the most challenging critique of why her party lost in May. She represents the best chance of unleashing the slingshot that downs the Tory Goliath… Yvette Cooper is Toni Kinnock… Keep a close eye for whether it’s Neil Kinnock or Tony Blair who tops the ballot.”

July 2: “The Labour Party should elect Yvette Cooper as its next leader. And – more importantly – it should be the Blairite, modernising faction within the Labour Party that delivers her victory and is seen to deliver her victory.”

July 27: The only way Labour can win the next election is to elect Corbyn now… I’ve signed up again precisely so I can be part of that wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn myself. It’s 23 months since I left Labour because it opposed the bombing of Syria. Now I’ve rejoined so I can vote for a man who helps lead the Stop The War coalition. Which I suppose indicates I’ve been on a bit of a journey.”

August 13: 

With four weeks to go he still has time to change his mind at least another couple of times…

While Guido is at it, how many days is it since Hodges promised to streak naked down Whitehall? 97 days have passed since the election and we still haven’t seen Dan in his birthday suit…

50 Days Later: Hodges Dodges Naked Run

It’s the question on everyone’s lips:

A full 50 days after Dan Hodges lost his bet that UKIP wouldn’t poll above 6%, we still haven’t seen him in his birthday suit.

“I have to fill in a form, and then get synched with a couple of people’s diaries,” Dan protests.

Don’t make Guido dust off his chicken suit…

Owen Jones v Dan Hodges: “The Katie Hopkins of the Blairite Right”

Jones: “You’ve never, ever, ever, ever come up with a single constructive policy proposal about what you’d like to see Labour doing. You don’t add anything constructive to the debate. What does Dan Hodges stand for?”

Hodges: “Actually, I did Owen. I said look at what Ed Miliband’s doing and do the opposite.”

#ComeOnCorbyn…

Labour Rivals and Trade Unionists Briefed Chuka “Whispers”

Readers will remember the rumours being pushed by Chuka’s left-wing rivals in the days before he stood aside from the Labour leadership race. The union funded propaganda blog Political Scrapbook even added the words “nudge nudge wink wink” to a story amplifying “dog whistle” attacks.[…] Read the rest

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*everyone holds out their hands in front them*

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