Owen’s Sources Dry Up

Guido knows quite a few right-wing journalists and as well as people at CCHQ, none of whom are panicking. So Owen’s now deleted tweets were not congruent with Guido’s sources. Could it be that Owen is looking for new sources?

Guido hears Owen Jones has been complaining bitterly to friends that Team Corbyn and Team McDonnell are shutting him out, not replying to his calls and not letting him interview them. He is apparently upset and baffled that this is happening…

Maybe it’s because he publicly lost faith in Jeremy being the Messiah and has been trying to talk up Clive Lewis as a future prospect? Just a thought…

Leak: Cui Bono?

Leaking the manifesto, a sacred political document, would normally be seen as treachery. Something tells Guido that someone, somewhere thought it be in their interests to leak it. Guido got his copy of the manifesto late last night, he would have had it out an hour or two earlier if he hadn’t been in the pub. It was a scan of a document marked “DRAFT CONFIDENTIAL”. It has marks from a copier or a scanner and wasn’t an original digital file in original word document or PDF format.

So Cui Bono?

  • Moderates in Labour HQ leaked it to undermine Corbyn.
  • A Corbynista (Andrew Fisher) leaked it to get the full manifesto – undiluted by the sell outs at the NEC Clause V meeting – out there in front of the membership with the hope of building support for the left-wing agenda.
  • Some speculate that The Telegraph got it originally and called the Labour leader’s office for comment, in a classic attempt to get some favourable top-spin they then counter-leaked it to The Mirror to spike The Telegraph’s exclusive.
  • MI5 / Mossad / the Russians / the Tories got it. Expect to see that run on The Canary.

It could of course have been a cock-up, the classic document left on a copier scenario…

Disloyal Mandelson Questions Corbyn’s Loyalty

On Newsnight last night Lord Mandelson was less than helpful on the eve of Keir Starmer setting out the party’s nuanced Brexit policy, designed to respect the result and not upset voters in Labour’s heartlands whilst placating Labour’s overwhelmingly pro-Remain MPs. He called it an “equivocal, fence sitting position”…

The Prince of Darkeness then said that Corbyn should go after losing the general election “I hope he doesn’t stay”. He said that “any Labour leader with an ounce of loyalty to the Labour Party” would go after losing an election. Conveniently forgetting that Neil Kinnock appointed Mandelson as Labour’s director of communications in 1985 and stayed on as leader even after losing the 1987 general election…

Labour’s left will see this as Mandelson getting his betrayal in early. Why Labour moderates keep undermining the election campaign baffles Guido. Tom Watson is wisely keeping his powder dry and every utterance loyal. Watson knows Labour’s selectorate will not back a candidate tainted by regicide.

#Starmer2017 Kicks Off Tomorrrow

The bookies’ new Labour leadership favourite is Yvette Cooper at 5/1. Her 2017 campaign is off to a strong start and the other runners are jostling for position, tomorrow the bookies’ former favourite Keir Starmer (6/1) will get a chance to show a bit of leg with a Brexit focused press conference in SW1.

It says something about the state of the Labour Party that, despite not even being an MP, David Miliband (repeat David) is joint second favourite with Clive Lewis and Lisa Nandy at 14/1.

Guido has put a few quid on outsiders Tom Watson (30/1) – who will be in a powerful position should Corbyn resign immediately after his crushing defeat – and John McDonnell (30/1), just in case Jez limps on until the autumn party conference and the Labour left manage to fix the rules to make McDonnell their candidate on a “we was betrayed” platform.

David Miliband Phoning Around Veteran Labour MPs

In the last 48 hours David Miliband has privately contacted at least one veteran moderate MP to ask if they might step down and grease his path back to parliament. The impression from one very senior Labour MP is that David has decided not to return at this election. He has until noon on Sunday to put in an application for a “safe” seat…

#Clive2017: Lewis Cancels Honeymoon, Wedding Could Be Postponed

Clive Lewis will be taking the next six weeks very seriously indeed. His 7,654 majority means Norwich South isn’t in the bag yet – anything under 8,000 is under threat. And he will be carefully and quietly positioning himself for a leadership bid after June 8.  Things are so serious Clive says he’s cancelling his honeymoon and may even call off his wedding!

“I was getting married on 6 May. Theresa May kind of has thrown a clanger into my life. We’ve had to cancel the honeymoon and we don’t even know if we’re getting married now, so I don’t know. It’s a bit of a disaster personally. And you know, the worst of it all is the stag has had to be cancelled. If my other half is listening that was a joke!”

An ambitious male politician* getting married is invariably a sign of him being on leadership manoeuvres…

*William Hague, Gordon Brown, Chuka Umunna.

#Yvette2017 Underway: “We Can’t Believe A Single Word May Says”

Huge cheers from the Labour benches as Yvette Cooper skewered Theresa May on her broken snap election promise. Manoeuvring underway, Yvette is 13/1  (UPDATE: Now into 8/1) to be next Labour leader…

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.”

Who Are You? Labour’s Unknown Leadership Hopefuls

If tomorrow Corbyn has led his party to a by-election double disaster, speculation will turn to who will replace him. Since all those new £3 members will want another left-winger rather than a Blair-era tarnished figure, YouGov have taken a look at the hopefuls. They found that voters have never heard of them…

To be fair Guido had never heard of Rebecca Long-Bailey until a merciless Brillo took her apart, she is apparently the great next hope of the Corbynistas and known to just 5% of the public. The truth is only politicians who have been around for a decade or two are known by more than half the public. Even Tom Watson is known to just a third of voters…

For the moderates Dan Jarvis (11%) and Sir Keir Starmer (19%) just about manage to get double digit recognition. The ambitious Sadiq Khan (74%) has the highest name recognition…

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…

Chaos in the Court of Corbyn

Curiously Paul Mason’s confidante to whom he slags off Corbyn is the Podemos’ foreign affairs chief, Pablo Bustinduy. Podemos is Spain’s radical left party, where we have just seen the ousting of the rival socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez by his own party. In Spain socialists can apparently organise a coup.

Mason is tweeting all manner of excuses and throwing up all kinds of diversory chaff to cover his embarrassment. His timeline is a joy to behold.

The ramifications of this for the Court of Corbyn are magnificent. Milne will now be able to cite Mason’s disloyalty and lack of faith as a means to marginalise him. McDonnell will seethe that an ally like Mason is now without doubt passing him over for the younger, prettier Clive Lewis to be Corbyn’s successor. 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. That is what Owen Jones means when he caveats his support for Corbyn as conditional….

Paul Mason on Corbyn

Paul Mason has been caught on tape by the Sun saying what he really thinks about Jez:

“Corbyn doesn’t appeal to the mainstream working class vote. It’s to do with a cultural thing about London. Corbyn goes to England on a bike and cycles round. Working class people go to Ibiza. He has no cultural references to the way they live”

He is taking it particularly badly:

Report for reeducation, comrade Mason…

UPDATE: So what does Mason think should be the punishment for Mason?

Jez Constitutionally Confused

He’s wrong on the people, right on the point.

Theresa May and Amber Rudd fill two great offices of state…

Mandelson’s Aide Funding Owen Smith Support Group

wegg-prosser-owen-smith-2

Benji Wegg-Prosser, Peter Mandelson’s aide who is now his managing partner at Global Counsel, the advisory and lobbying operation set up to cash in on the corporate contacts of the Prince of Darkness, is one of the funders of Owen Smith’s leadership bid. Electoral Commission data released yesterday shows he lent £10,000 to Labour Tomorrow Ltd, which in turn gave the money to Saving Labour“, the anti-Corbyn organisation trying to sign-up moderates to the Labour Party to oust Jezza.

The idea that Owen Smith is a left-winger when he is privately backed by Mandelson and allies is just incomprehensible. Guido suspects Benji is wasting his money…

Owen Smith: UK Could Join Euro and Schengen If I Become PM

Oily doubles down on lunacy…

Oily’s Confused Advice to Corbyn for PMQs

confused

Oily Smith has helpfully written to Jezza with some advice on tactics at PMQs:

“Of course, with six questions, you could cover more than one topic … although you know from your own experience that covering too many topics in one session can make the scrutiny less effective.”

Oily as always faces both ways and then splits the difference. Yeah but no but don’t stick to one subject but don’t do too many…

UPDATE: Treated with disdain…

“Corbyn” Surges By 50% as New Baby Name

corbyn blair edit

“Corbyn” has surged in popularity as a new baby name in the last year, ONS data has revealed. The Labour leader’s surname, which means “raven haired”, increased in popularity as a boy’s name by 50% since 2014. There were also three Korbyns and 19 Corbins. “Corbyn” was 36% more popular than “Blair” in 2015…

favourability-survation

Who cares if he is 65 points behind Theresa May in a Survation favourability poll? He’s more popular than Blair!

H/T Jon Stone

Corbyn Leads Smith By 24 Points

POLL

Corbyn is beating Smith by 62% to 38% with YouGov, a lead of 24 points.

Labour leadership breakdown-01 (540x270)

Incidentally #Traingate encouraged people planning to vote for Jezza, 18% said the events had given them a more positive view of the leader, compared to just 5% who said it had given them a more negative view.

He’s on course for a bigger mandate than last time round. Jez we can…

Bus Artwork is Some Handiwork

What job is the red nail polished hand doing on the side of the bus?

Well Owen did tell us he doesn’t need Viagra…

Sainsbury Broke Labour Rules, Purging Likely

LORD SAINSBURY

Top Labour donor Baron Sainsbury’s grant of over £2 million to the Lib Dems this year means, without any doubt, he has broken Labour’s strict membership rules. The 2016 rulebook, Chapter 2 clause I section 4 paragraph B calls for the automatic exclusion of any members who “supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group”.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Former public schoolboy Chuka Umunna told the  ‘Exit From Brexit Dinner’…

“Remainians, Remoaners, I don’t care what the label is, I’m proud. It’s fashionable to label everyone in this room as the liberal metropolitan elite . . . This caricature is promoted by a bunch of former public schoolboys!” 

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