Mellow Yellow Numbers

Last year Guido reported on the concern of close Clegg family friends, who were worried the Deputy Prime Minister was ‘in a really bad place’. Despite Cleggy claiming he is far chirpier than his demeanor let on, today’s Survation poll of his Sheffield seat makes for grim reading:

LAB 33% (+17), LD 23% (-30), CON 22% (-2)

Even though this union funded poll is not weighted to take into account previous voting intentions, that ten point Labour lead will be eye-watering for Lib Dem strategists.

Nationally the Tories lead by a point:

And the LibDems a point behind the Greens…

Ashcroft Focus Group: Cameron is Like Dick Dastardly

Lord Ashcroft has asked a focus group which cartoon character they think the party leaders most resemble:

Ed Miliband is “Elmer Fudd, in perennial but fruitless pursuit of the Prime Ministerial wabbit”…

Broke LibDems Hire SpAds for Last Days of Government

libdem-spads

The gloves are coming off between the Tories and the LibDems in the dying days of their coalition. Downgraded Business Secretary Vince Cable has been allowed to appoint a new taxpayer funded adviser – his third – despite there being only 2 months left before the government is dissolved. This infuriates the Tories, and they have let rip: “We all know the LibDems are on the brink of bankruptcy”, says Tory MP Julian Smith; “this is a naked attempt by the them to plunder the public finances to bankroll their faltering election campaign.” Victoria Pine, a former lobbyist, will be paid by the taxpayer until the end of March, during which time there will be almost zero government activity. Cable’s other two spin doctors are paid £60,000 each, though Pine’s salary remains a mystery. “You can’t trust a word the Lib Dems say,’ claims Labour’s Sheila Gilmore. “They used to say Special Advisers shouldn’t be paid for by the taxpayer but in Government this has become just another broken promise. Taxpayers will rightly be asking why, at a time when this Zombie Government is barely staggering along, the Libs think it’s appropriate to add more and more advisers to the payroll.” A spokesman for Vince Cable tells Guido lamely: ‘There are already 3 Tory special advisers in BIS and so, as approved by David Cameron, we have brought the number of LibDem spads in BIS up to parity’.

Nick Clegg has also pulled a similar stunt. The Deputy Prime Minister has two dozen taxpayer-funded Special Advisors, and has added another to the list just in time for the election. Ruwan Kodikara has joined Clegg’s team as the his spin-tastic “Head of Media & Brand”. It would be a tough job for anyone to turn around the Lib Dems’ toxic image in just 107 days, but Kodikara has years of experience spinning for the bad guys. Having been a lobbyist for big energy, bad banks, private healthcare and nuclear energy, is he ready for his toughest job yet? Presumably Clegg’s promise to clamp down on lobbying and create a “cleaner, better politics” has gone the same way of his pledge not to raise tuition fees…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Nick Clegg Refuses To Back Green Party To Join Leaders’ TV Debates

Clegg: “Iain Dale Will Have to Eat His Words”

Iain Dale has been brave and made his ridiculously detailed predictions for the general election. Something Guido has resolved not to predict – for now at least – even Guido’s betting has been relatively limited. Dale will be looking forward to making Clegg eat his words…

Clegg’s Facebook Q&A on Education Goes As Well As Expected

For some reason the DPM thought it would be a good idea to hold a Q&A session on Facebook about education today. The results were entirely predictable:

Anyone would have thought Nick Clegg was a masochist…

WATCH: Ben Bradshaw’s Below the Belt Pickles “Size” Jibe

Bit rich for Bradshaw to have a go at smokers too. Remember he likes to share his sister’s rollies

DPMQs LIVE: See Who Is Asking the Questions to Clegg Today

Q1 Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde)

Q2 Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon)

Q3 Charlie Elphicke (Dover) 

Q4 Gordon Banks (Ochil and South Perthshire) 

Q5 Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) 

Q6 Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) 

Q7 Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) 

Q8 Mr Mark Spencer (Sherwood) 

Q9 Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) 

Q10 Robert Jenrick (Newark) 

Q11 Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East) 

Q12 Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)

Q13 Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)

Q14 Mr Graham Allen (Nottingham North)

Comments in the comments please…

“Grumpy” Dave “Rather Rude” to Stonehenge Staff

grump

Guido leaves no stone unturned to bring you all the latest news. As revealed in yesterday’s column, staff at the Stonehenge visitors’ centre much preferred the Deputy PM to bad-tempered Dave and his jumbo entourage. “Nick was very friendly,” says a tour guide, pointing out that Clegg took time to talk to all the staff. “But the PM was very grumpy and rather rude.” Druid sources claim Cameron was only “interested in talking to Mr Lickarse from English Heritage… No one was as great as Obama though. At least he posed for selfies.” Not the first time Merlin’s caused a Tory to lose his temper…

Exclusive: Merry Clegg-mas – DPM’s Card

cleggmas

Godless.

#SaveEd: How Miliband Became Less Popular Than Clegg

YG leader rating

Last week Ed Miliband’s tanking leadership rating reached a 33-month low. This weekend they reached an all-time low. Below Nick Clegg…

10 Illiberal Policies of the LibDems

Nick Clegg, that bastion of liberalism, is going around blaming David Cameron’s illiberal policies for the deaths of drug users this morning. Even a LibDem voter on an acid trip could see through Clegg’s conversion to a fearless crusader for the cause of freedom. This is the same Nick Clegg whose party wants to tax fizzy drinks more, tax booze more, change the definition of cider so they can tax it more, ban branding on fag packets, ban houses that are not zero carbon, ban smoking in cars, ban smoking in pubs and restaurants, ban petrol and diesel cars, implement state regulation of the press and regulate goldfish. What would Gladstone say?

90% of MPs Don’t Support Real Recall

Parliament will debate Nick Clegg’s Recall fudge this afternoon. A clear choice for MPs to choose between Clegg’s Bill, which only lets the public boot out corrupt politicians if their fellow politicians agree, or Zac Goldsmith’s Real Recall amendment, which actually gives the public a say. Imagine Guido’s surprise that 90% of MPs are not supporting giving voters the power to sack them without their approval… 

Leaders’ Wives: Cos-t of Living Lib Dem Edition

Miriam complimented a business-like white shirt by showing her true LibDem colours with a yellow below-the-knee wool mohair skirt with folded front pleat, designed to sit on the waist, available from Cos for £89. Stylishly accompanied by a taste of home: gold heels from Spanish brand Uterqüe.

Nick wore a navy Hackett suit, with a white shirt and red tie from M&S…

Poor BBC Social Media Execution

Speculation that Nick Clegg is going to use his speech this afternoon to announce his resignation has been replaced by a much graver threat:

bbctweet

He’ll do anything to get people interested. Seven months to wait until he actually gets the bullet…

Flood of Pre-Speech Bets on Clegg to Quit

As Clegg decides what he is going to wear for his speech at 1pm, Paddy Power have slashed the odds on him to announce he will quit as LibDem leader before the election:

This comes on the back of an element of stirring last night:

If you reckon he’s got a very big rabbit coming this afternoon you can put your money where your mouth is here

Coalition Relations Update: “Nick Clegg is a W**ker”

Once source at the Home Office said what everyone was thinking after the Deputy PM described Theresa May’s conference speech as “a new low for coalition relations”, telling MailOnline: “Nick Clegg is a w**ker”. 216 coalicious days to go…

Clegg Faces Recall Rebellion

Nick Clegg is facing a rebellion over his Recall fudge denying voters the chance to sack disgraced MPs unless the Commons or the law agrees. Chief opponent Zac Goldsmith has dissected yesterday’s Bill:

“As before, it is a weak pretence at reform. If the Govt’s Recall Bill goes through as drafted, voters will be no more empowered to hold MPs to account than they are today. At the very first scandal, people will realise they’ve been duped, and the resulting anger will do our democracy harm. A [very] serious mistake.”

The Sun reports Michael Gove will give Tories a “free hand” to rebel against Clegg’s government proposals, with 70 MPs from all parties signing Goldsmith’s rebel motion, which you can read here. The David Ruffley case shows exactly why we need a proper Recall Bill which gives the public a say; local voters in Bury St Edmunds are and would be prevented from booting Ruffley out immediately under Clegg’s proposals. A Recall Bill which only lets the public act when an MP has been sent to jail or suspended by his colleagues is no Recall Bill at all…

PMQs Off: Joint Statement From Cam, Clegg and Ed

They’re very, very rattled. A joint statement announces that, in the panic, PMQs is off tomorrow:

“There is a lot that divides us – but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together. That’s why all of us are agreed the right place for us to be tomorrow is in Scotland, not at Prime Minister’s Questions in Westminster. We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choice they face. Our message to the Scottish people will be simple: ‘We want you to stay.’”

Crisis mode. Accountability out of the window for a last minute flap.

UPDATE:

There's Already Been a Clegg Movie…

James Kirkup pitches his script ideas for Clegg: The Movie.

“My name is Nicholas William Peter Clegg, commander of what’s left of the Army of the South West, deputy chair (acting) of the Federal Executive Committee, loyal servant of the true emperor Paddy Aurelius.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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