McDonnell v Green Handbags

Damian Green gets under John McDonnell’s skin by claiming he doesn’t understand how the government borrows money. This pointy fingered exchange was revealing:

Green: “You don’t understand capitalism.

McDonnell: “You certainly do, don’t you.

Worth watching to see the famous McDonnell space invasion, usually only experienced by Labour MPs and staff…

Was McDonnell Handed Deficit Note?

Nick Robinson: “What is Britain’s deficit at the moment, Mr McDonnell?”

John McDonnell: “If I can say to you… [pause]… If I can say to you that what’s happened as well in terms of day to day expenditure, we need the investment… [ruffling]… we need the investment… [pause] [more ruffling]… we need the investment…”

Nick Robinson: “Is somebody passing you a piece of paper?”

John McDonnell: “Not at all.”

Nick Robinson: “Just sounded like there was a bit of paper being handed across.”

John McDonnell: “[Laughs nervously] Not at all.”

Nick Robinson: “What is our deficit at the moment, Mr McDonnell?”

John McDonnell: “The deficit at the moment is £68-£70 billion.”

Nick Robinson: “I think you’re being a bit too kind… It’s £52 billion.”

McDonnell eventually got the deficit wrong by £18 billion, so if he was handed a note or a mobile phone it didn’t do him much good…

UPDATE: Was that ruffling some quick googling? You get McDonnell’s out-of-date £69 billion figure if you google “deficit uk”

UPDATE II:

McDonnell Admits Manifesto Not Fully Costed

Labour have made a big play of their manifesto being “fully costed”, yet when gently asked by Nick Robinson how much their water nationalisation policy would cost, McDonnell admitted they don’t have a number. That’s tens of billions missing…

Mullin on Marxist McDonnell

Chris Mullin on John McDonnell…

“One suspects, however, that behind that affable exterior he is drawing up lists of those to be shot on Day One of the revolution.”

John McDonnell Lies About Being a Marxist to Marr

Marr: “Are you a Marxist?”
McDonnell “No.”

Why so coy about his belief in Marxism? Has he changed his mind after decades of struggle since he has gone mainstream? He has said clearly many times before “I’m a Marxist…” Watch below:

Earlier this week he claimed he hadn’t noticed the Communist flag he was speaking under on May Day. Now he’s forgotten what he believes. Is he going senile or is he a liar? You decide…

UPDATE: Brillo follows up Guido’s line…

McDonnell: I Didn’t Know That Communist Flag Was There

John McDonnell today claimed he didn’t know hammer and sickle and pro-Assad flags were flying above his head as he addressed a May Day rally – despite standing just yards away from them. McDonnell was asked if he knew the flags were being held – almost within his arms reach – as he spoke:

“No, of course I didn’t know”

Which led to this reaction from Tom Blenkinsop:

Look again at the pictures and judge Pinocchio John for yourself…

McDonnell Addresses Stalinists Under Communist Flag

Sensible setting for the Shadow Chancellor to be delivering a speech during an election campaign, under the flag of the Communist Party of Great Britain which stood down its candidates and endorsed Labour. By the way that Syrian flag is the red, white and black one used by Assad. The audience look lovely:

Too easy…

Pic via @niallmulh

UPDATE: Communists at McDonnell’s march chant “Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin”:

Ridge on Sunday Highlights

Rich’s Monday Morning View

McDonnell Contradicts Corbyn on NHS Tax

Delivering his pre-Budget speech this morning, John McDonnell outlined his support for a hypothecated NHS tax to “restore trust” in taxation and government spending:

“Hypothecation, allocating taxes raised to specific purposes, can absolutely make clear where tax money is being spent. It can help restore the trust and confidence in taxation and government spending that has otherwise started to break down… It needs a clear commitment, over the long term, that specific taxes will be used for specific purposes, and that this spending will be properly monitored.”

Yet just six weeks ago Jeremy Corbyn seemed to say a hypothecated NHS was a bad idea. Speaking on Marr on 15 January, Jez said:

“I am not one that’s generally in favour of hypothecated taxation… Whether we’d have a specific tax I doubt, but I’m prepared to consider it and discuss it as I’m sure all my colleagues are. But if you go down the road of hypothecated taxation then you’re going to do hypothecated taxation for every other service.”

Well, which is it?

McDonnell’s “Late Night Typewriter” Blamed For “Soft Coup” Claim

Shadow Cabinet member Barry Gardiner tells the BBC that John McDonnell “has retracted” the “soft coup” warning, brilliantly blaming his “late night typewriter”. An excuse that is not used enough…

McDonnell: “Soft Coup Underway”, Murdoch and Moderates Behind Plot

John McDonnell has issued an extraordinary warning to the Corbynite left that a “soft coup” is in progress to unseat Jeremy Corbyn. McDonnell accuses an alliance of Labour centrists and “the Murdoch media empire” of working “covertly” to undermine the leader, taking the unusual step of naming Sunday Times journalist James Lyons, suggesting Lyons has “regularly received leaks from within the Labour Party – usually used to attack Jeremy and his team“. The text appeared yesterday on the hard-left Labour Briefing website. Here are the key excerpts:

“WE HAVE TO ALERT PARTY MEMBERS and supporters that the soft coup is underway. It’s planned, co-ordinated and fully resourced. It is being perpetrated by an alliance between elements in the Labour Party and the Murdoch media empire, both intent on destroying Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for…

“The plotters are effective in distorting the media coverage because they have extensive contacts and allies in the media, many inherited from Mandelson’s days. The professional planning of interventions in which attacks to undermine Jeremy are framed evidences an exceptionally well resourced ‘dark arts’ operation of the old spin school.

“Both quantitative and qualitative polling is undertaken by the Party regularly under the direction of Jon Trickett, the Party’s National Campaign Co-ordinator. Jon arranged for one focus group to be carried out by the Party’s polling agency in Manchester to assess how our frontbench members appearing on television programmes at the time were being perceived in the north west. This polling took place back in November and its results were only accessible to a small number of party officials, Jon Trickett and the polling agency. To this day I have still not seen the results. The polling was leaked by someone to James Lyons, a Times journalist who has regularly received leaks from within the Labour Party – usually used to attack Jeremy and his team.

The Murdoch media had already run earlier in the week fake news stories in The Times and Sun alleging that Jeremy was planning to stand down as leader of the Party… The media then invented the story that the polling on the perception of Shadow Cabinet members in the north west was the Party testing the perceptions of potential successors to Jeremy.

“…we can defeat the plotters again. This is the testing time for the Corbyn transformation. The challenges are great and the times are tough – but we all know that this is the socialist opportunity of a lifetime.”

Siege mentality…

UPDATE: McDonnell’s spokesman says:

“This article was written over a week ago in response to the intervention from Tony Blair. It was published in print last week and only went online last night. However, as John said yesterday he wants us all to focus on party unity following last week’s by-election results. And he is looking to reach out in the coming days to those across all sections of the party and none.”

McDonnell Blames Blair and Mandelson for Copeland Loss

McDonnell did the Corbynista media round this morning, the leader’s office is blaming Blair as Guido reported they would. Some other notable quotes from McDonnell: “They weren’t convinced that the party supported the nuclear industry”, “There’s mixed views on Jeremy”. #SaveJez…

New McDonnell Video Piques Interest

This new John McDonnell campaign video has been noted in Labour circles. Two minutes of McDonnell delivering decent, punchy attack lines on UKIP and a succinct up-sum of Labour’s offer. Better production values than usual for a bog-standard MP’s by-election video, clearly filmed and edited by someone who knows what they’re doing. And – most intriguingly – no mention of Gareth Snell’s name whatsoever. A Labour insider comments:

“Just goes to show that the only election Old McDonnell cares about is the one against Clive Lewis and Rebecca Long-Bailey in 2018.”

Certainly more professional than the by-election offerings from other top Corbynistas…

McDonnell and Diane Abbott Want to “Take Back Control” of UKIP Areas

John McDonnell and Diane Abbott are to head to Sunderland and Barnsley as part of a new series of Labour events aiming to “Take Back Control” of “UKIP areas”. Momentum’s “The World Transformed” hipster Corbynistas will be travelling up to Sunderland in April to dispel the idea, in their words, that “every remain voter is part of a croissant munching metropolitan elite”. Subsequent events will be held in Barnsley, Bradford and Dagenham. Guido has checked and this is not a joke:

“John McDonnell, Clive Lewis, Rachael Maskell and Diane Abbott to speak at ‘Take Back Control’ events in UKIP areas. Take Back Control’ is a series of events about Brexit, the establishment and bringing power back to communities that will take place in marginal constituencies and those under threat from UKIP.”

They are really going to send John McDonnell and Diane Abbott to Sunderland to convince them they’re not “croissant munching” London elitists…

Friday Caption Contest: Shadowy Chancellor Edition

We’ve teamed up with Arena Flowers this week to give today’s winner a special, one off prize for the Brexiteer in their life, a red, white and blue Valentine’s bouquet:

If you don’t win you can still get 10% off your Valentine’s bouquet using the code “guido” from ArenaFlowers.com.

Entries only accepted in the comments…

Labour Leadership Rumblings Latest

A flurry of Labour leadership speculation this morning after the Manchester Evening News reported, to the Lobby’s consternation, that Jeremy Corbyn has given a departure date to his inner circle. Naturally Team Corbyn deny this, telling Guido there is “No truth to it”. Worth noting that they also denied Jez had a wobble back during the leadership crisis of July last year, when it is widely believed he considered resigning. What’s clear is that some Corbynistas are on manoeuvres…

Rebecca Long-Bailey is being heavily tipped as the next Labour leader. She is a 2015 intake novice who rose quickly to Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – readers will remember her best from her car crash interview with Andrew Neil in November. Long-Bailey is a protege of John McDonnell. The Shadow Chancellor, while remaining close to Corbyn, takes a more realistic view of his chances of success. Team Corbyn have previously had suspicions about McDonnell’s motives. Long-Bailey is highly-rated by the leader’s office, but this tweet by McDonnell tipping her as the “next generation of our socialist leadership” is the furthest any Labour MP has gone to talk her up:

Is McDonnell merely being generous to his Shadow Treasury junior? Or is it a sign Long-Bailey is being pushed by McDonnell as a successor to Jez…

Then there is Clive Lewis. He majorly fell out with the leader’s office over that infamous autocue row with Seumas Milne at conference. He is Paul Mason’s choice for next leader and has the backing of Owen Jones as well. All eyes now on tonight’s vote, which could see Lewis sacked from the Shadow Cabinet if he rebels against the three line whip and votes against Article 50. Lewis is weighing up whether becoming a martyr for the Remain cause and a traitor to Jez will help or hinder him with Jez-loving Remain-backing members. The government’s so-called ‘concession’ yesterday – and how it was immediately seized upon by Keir Starmer – is indicative of the perilous situation. In reality nothing has been conceded, yet if the Corbynistas can claim victory then potential Shadow Cabinet rebels might be persuaded not to break the three line whip. So the Tory ‘concession’ could have the effect of helping the Shadow Cabinet stay together. Almost as if the Tory whips are fully signed up members of the #SaveJez campaign…

McCluskey Plans to Shaft Corbyn

Back in October last year Guido reported that:

“After Unite’s internal elections in 2018 the expectation is that McCluskey, having secured his own re-election, will decide to flex Unite’s financial and organisational muscle to put someone more competent and electable in as Labour’s leader.”

It was pretty much an open secret in Labour Party circles, today confirmed by Len to the Mirror:

“Let’s suppose we are not having a snap election. It buys into this question of what happens if we get to 2019 and opinion polls are still awful. The truth is everybody would examine that situation, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. These two are not egomaniacs, they are not desperate to cling on to power for power’s sake.”

Given the public have made their mind up about Jezza, who might succeed him? Guido is not as sure that about John McDonnell’s lack of ego as Len. Clive Lewis is the preferred option of the likes of Paul Mason – that we know due to the audio exposure of his two-faced support. Guido detects Lewis also has leftie luvvie media support from the likes of Owen Jones. Lewis himself has been publicly shifting his position on two litmus test positions; Trident replacement and immigration. Conventional Labour Party wisdom outside the Corbynistas is that they are unelectable if they don’t shift on these two issues. Remember Lewis was humiliated by Seumas Milne, a humiliation that may prove costly.

Guido wonders if Jezza might not be relieved to surrender the leadership to Lewis. McDonnell on the other hand…

This will all play into May’s general election timing calculations. She will thrash a Corbyn led Labour Party. Will she thrash a younger more vigorous Labour Party leader repackaged as Britain’s version of Obama? Would that prospect have her make an election dash…

Corbyn Hits Back at Christmas Party Row Claims

Labour moderates descended on the 5-star Sheraton Park Lane last night to glad-hand small business owners and donors at the annual SME 4 Labour dinner. It was an uncomfortable gig for Jeremy Corbyn: his night took a turn for the worse when former leadership rival Yvette Cooper won the group’s “Labour MP of the Year” award to rapturous applause from the packed dining room.

Corbyn used his speech to attack the Mail and the Evening Standard for having “grotesquely and inaccurately reported” Labour’s embittered Christmas party: “I haven’t got time to list all the papers who have done it wrong”. Some comfort was offered when John McDonnell won an Italian meal for two in the raffle. Yvette looked confident throughout.

Shadow Chancellor Sold Out on 100% Top Rate of Tax

mcdonnell

These days John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn are aligned with the right-wing capitalist running dogs of the Labour Party on income tax, favouring a 50% top rate. This is yet another policy position on which they have massively sold out. Just five years ago McDonnell’s pamphlet for the Trotskyite group Permanent Revolution, which Guido yesterday revealed included calls to arm the working class, demanded a 100% top rate of income tax for the richest in Britain.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

“The blame is with the terrorists, but…”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews
Tory Lead Down 19 Points During Campaign Tory Lead Down 19 Points During Campaign
Corbyn: Foreign Policy A Cause of Manchester Attack Corbyn: Foreign Policy A Cause of Manchester Attack
Sneering Thornberry Sneering Thornberry
Ministers Wheeled Out to Defend Ditched Care Policy Ministers Wheeled Out to Defend Ditched Care Policy
Watch: Crick Roasts “Weak and Wobbly” May Watch: Crick Roasts “Weak and Wobbly” May
Protester Arrested at May Wrexham Visit Protester Arrested at May Wrexham Visit
Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report
Read Tory Manifesto In Full Read Tory Manifesto In Full
Green Leaders Cringe Skit Green Leaders Cringe Skit
Never Ending Tory Deficit Reduction Horizon Never Ending Tory Deficit Reduction Horizon
LibDem Collapse Explained LibDem Collapse Explained
Taxpayers’ Alliance Updates Iconic Tory Poster Taxpayers’ Alliance Updates Iconic Tory Poster
Cult of Corbyn Cult of Corbyn
“Labour is Chocolate Gateau: Too Much Makes You Sick” “Labour is Chocolate Gateau: Too Much Makes You Sick”
Labour Election Broadcast Star’s “Tax Efficient” Accounting Labour Election Broadcast Star’s “Tax Efficient” Accounting