Attacking the media, “failing elites” and the “rigged system” – Corbyn’s campaign launch this morning was straight out of the Trump playbook. Jez had clearly had his Weetabix, he was energetic, punchy, pumped up and even Dan Hodges reckons he did alright. It was better than a Miliband speech…
The first Corbynista media boos of the campaign, for ITV’s Libby Weiner who asked Jez if he was part of an “Islington elite”. Corbyn’s response: “I am very proud to represent Islington and it’s true, there are many people who drink cappuccino every day…”
A very squeaky and excitable Barry Gardiner reached for the Trump playbook and piled into Adam Boulton on Sky News this morning, accusing him of letting the Tories off the hook: “Why did you let him of the hook on immigration? If that had been a Labour minister… You’re supposed to be the tough guy on Sky News and you let him off!” Expect a lot more of this MSM-bashing over the next 49 days. Poor Adam is getting it from all sides at the moment…
UPDATE: Top Corbynistas have dubbed Barry “The People’s Gardiner” after this morning’s outing on Sky.
Labour’s NEC has imposed emergency candidate selection procedures:
- Sitting Labour MPs will be automatically re-selected if they wish to stand again. So all the moderates can stand…
- Any vacant seats will be advertised this Friday (21st) on Labour’s website and applications will close this Sunday (23rd).
- Candidates will then be selected directly by NEC panels and Regional Board members. No chance for the Corbynistas to remake the party in their image.
A Labour internal communication says:
“It is with the greatest regret that local party members will not be able to select parliamentary candidates…”
Plenty of moderate MPs won’t be regretting that at all…
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…
It has long been assumed that the Tories have a ton of dirt of Jeremy Corbyn that they were holding back for the election. That somewhere in the archives at the bottom of a filing cabinet in CCHQ sits a dossier of new revelations about Corbyn’s links to various terrorists, extremists and all round wrong ‘uns. There has even been talk that the Tories would drop a “MOAB” – Mother of All Bombs – on Corbyn with weeks to go. Guido understands the MOAB isn’t quite as big as has been hyped, and that the Tories believe most of Corbyn’s IRA / Hamas links have already been factored in. There are however two or three front page newspaper stories ready to go over the next 50 days. Not so much a MOAB to wipe Jez out, more a couple of well-timed mortars to cause damage tactically during the campaign…
Labour HQ staff have been told tonight that the party has no election slogan, no agreed key seats list and no campaign budget signed off. Revealing the chaotic response to the snap election announcement in Victoria Street, Labour HQ sources tell Guido that, in a briefing to party staff, a defeatist General Secretary Iain McNicol warned “This is going to be tough” and unconvincingly, according to recipients of the briefing, that “we can win seats”. Optimistic.
Guido is told Labour staffers spent today repeatedly asking their superiors for a key seats list of constituencies where resources should be targeted, only to be informed the list had yet to be decided. Regional managers have no idea on what resource basis they can plan. An astonishing lack of planning from the fans of centralised state planning given that a snap election has been a possibility that Corbyn and McDonnell had been warning of for months. Staff were also told that Labour has no election strapline slogan, and that the campaign budget had yet to be signed off. Sources say discussions took place throughout the day between McNicol and trade union bosses to try to secure funding, yet no budget guidance has been given. 50 days to go…
Corbyn-hating Labour moderate John Woodcock, who has a majority of just 795, has said he cannot endorse his party leader to be Prime Minister and called for him to step down:
“I will not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn Britain’s Prime Minister… I cannot countenance endorsing him for a role which I think even he does not think he is fit to carry out… There is still of course time for Jeremy to stand down rather than lead Labour to defeat.”
Expect that won’t be the last he hears of this from the Corbynistas…
Jeremy Corbyn’s chief goal had been to remain as leader until the left had secured permanent control of the party. That meant staying on until the ‘McDonnell amendment’ had passed at conference and until the moderates in Labour HQ had been purged and replaced by Corbynistas. The imminent expected electoral wipeout puts this plan in peril – May’s decision is terrible for the left and the best news Blairites have had in ages.
There is “no chance” of an attempt by Labour moderates to remove Corbyn before the election. They need the left to own this defeat. That means six weeks of Blairites staying quiet about Corbyn and “talking about saving their local hospital”, being superficially loyal and trying not giving the Corbynistas an excuse to blame them for the outcome.
In 1983, after Michael Foot had led Labour to a huge defeat, a young Jon Lansman blamed the result on “the party machine” being “in the hands of the right”. Expect the Corbynistas to use the same excuse this time round – they need a ‘Blairite betrayal’ narrative to galvanise their grassroots if they are to stay in charge after June 8.
If Corbyn refuses to go when he loses, the party could well split. Moderates do not want to fight Corbyn in a third leadership contest. They hope he will stand down, departing before the left has succeeded in seizing the commanding heights of party structures. This means the moderates could lose dozens of MPs on June 8 but then win the next leadership election and regain control of the party. This election is a lifeline for the Blairites – they need to stay quiet for 51 days while they privately betray their party and hope Corbyn is annihilated at the ballot box…
I was going to spend this morning writing my Parliamentary Report for Thursday’s GC – then the news broke about an early general election. I have decided not to stand again as your candidate.
Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of my tenure as Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle. Every day has been a privilege and a pleasure but it can’t go on for ever and the electoral cycle means that each incumbent has to think again about what’s best for them, the constituency and the Party.
As far as the constituency and the Party are concerned, no MP wants to put them through the anguish of a mid-term by-election, so for me the personal decision is whether to retire now or in 2022 when I’ll be into my 70s.
I’ve decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it’s best for the Party.
If the Tories win again there is little doubt that they’ll implement the boundary changes that they commissioned which will drastically alter the make-up of our constituency whilst maintaining most of West Hull and Hessle at its core.
It’s far better for a new Labour candidate to fight the seat as it is rather than be a new face contesting a revised constituency in five years’ time. I wanted Labour Party members in Hull West and Hessle to be the first to hear about my decision – hence this e-mail.
The loyalty and friendship of those who’ve been stalwarts of the Party throughout most of my 20 years has been something I’ve cherished.
We’ve achieved a lot together and Labour in Hull can be equally proud of its past achievements and its vision for the future: that is now being realised.
As a resident of East Yorkshire I’ll watch that vision unfold from the sidelines – hopefully under a Labour government.
It’s been great working with you.
Goodbye Mr Postman…
Bit bizarre hearing these right-wing calls for a “Barista Visa”. God forbid the idea of waiting longer in the morning for their posh coffee.
— Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) April 17, 2017
Our Andy, who only ever drinks cold Bisto, is letting those southern softies on Twitter know what he thinks about their “posh coffee”. You’d never catch Burnham drinking overpriced la-di-da beverages from a high street chain. Never. Anyway, here’s a photo he tweeted two days ago:
Liquidised chips? Or was it a Moroccan mint tea…
UPDATE: Wasn’t long ago Andy was calling for posh coffee shops to expand…
Corbyn criticises Trump, no condemnation of Assad or Russia:
“The US missile attack on a Syrian government air base risks escalating the war in Syria still further.
“Tuesday’s horrific chemical attack was a war crime which requires urgent independent UN investigation and those responsible must be held to account.
“But unilateral military action without legal authorisation or independent verification risks intensifying a multi-sided conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of people.
“What is needed instead is to urgently reconvene the Geneva peace talks and unrelenting international pressure for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.
“The terrible suffering of the Syrian people must be brought to an end as soon as possible and every intervention must be judged on what contribution it makes to that outcome.
“The British government should urge restraint on the Trump administration and throw its weight behind peace negotiations and a comprehensive political settlement.”
For: Tories, LibDems, Labour moderates. Against: UKIP, Corbyn…
Point 2 of Siôn Simon’s 10 point plan for the Midlands is to rebuild “the West Midlands as Britain’s capital of technology”. A noble aim. As he says
“The collective geniuses of the West Midlands are game-changers – global and historic leaders. We should celebrate this more. As Mayor, I will champion our region”
So, besides soundbites, what has candidate Siôn done to champion his region?
Well to be fair there is not a lot he can do out of power. He does however have a fancy campaign website – so what Brummie web wizards did he get in to showcase Britain’s would be capital of technology by building his website? Errr…
His website was built by Tectonica, in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
So much for bringing those technology jobs to the West Midlands…
Labour’s candidate in the Gorton by-election accused Israel of “genocide” in a vitriolic rant revealed in a secret recording obtained by Guido. The bombshell tape shows Afzal Khan giving an angry speech at an anti-Iraq war rally, in which he says Israel has “been committing genocide against the Palestinian people” and claims this is a “far more pressing issue” than Saddam:
“There is a very real suspicion of President Bush, his motives for this war. He talks about weapons of mass destruction. I ask you, is it only Iraq who have these weapons?… What about America who even use the nuclear weapons? What right does America have? And what about the chemical weapons… it’s America who used it… And what about that man of peace Ariel Sharon? Who makes mockery of the word peace. Who’s been committing genocide against the Palestinian people. What about him? Of course we need to deal with Saddam, but far more pressing issue is the problem of Palestine.”
Khan made the inflammatory comments at an anti-Iraq war rally in 2002. In a statement to Guido he apologises and says he has changed his ways:
“I’m deeply sorry for my use of language 15 years ago and I strongly support a two state solution between Israel and Palestine.”
Labour members have been suspended for saying similar…
Ken has said “Hitler” 12 times in 15 minutes in an interview on LBC. Stats: Ken averaged 1 “Hitler” every 73 seconds. Over a sustained interview period we think this is a new personal best for him. And who does Ken blame for the whole furore? He tells Iain Dale: “It was all whipped up by the Guido Fawkes website to cause disruption for the Labour Party…”
Birmingham Labour is a magnet for controversy, and one of its councillors might be in the cooler after blaming “Romanians” for stealing motors from fly-tipped fridges during an official meeting. Mohammed Azim – who holds a Labour council seat in Sparkbrook – raised the matter as an item of urgent business at the City Council’s Hall Green district committee. Complaining about “hundreds” of fly-tipped fridges, Azim said:
“Fridges are there on the roads. Most of the people they took their motors off – and I don’t know why that they are, Romanian, are doing or who are they…”
A chill came over the councillor seated next to Azim as he boldly rattled off his un-PC gripe. Imagine if a UKIP councillor said that…
“Ken Livingstone’s comments have been grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community.
“Labour’s independently elected National Constitutional Committee has found Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and suspended him for two years.
“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.
“Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members.”
Guido has just broken the news of Corbyn’s statement over the phone to Ken. His response to the news that Jez has referred him to the NEC:
“That’ll be interesting. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day because we are subject to British law. You’re not going to get a British judge to rule against me for telling the truth. It may be that they have been following all the tweets accusing me of being anti-Semitic, I’ll find out when I speak to Jeremy.”
He then said he was off to pick up the kids…
Afzal Khan, Labour’s candidate in the Manchester Gorton by-election, is an associate of a radical Islamist who has supported the Taliban, ranted about Jews, defended Osama bin Laden and led funeral prayers for al-Qaeda jihadists. On 22 August 2015, Khan was photographed smiling alongside Siraj ul-Haq from the Pakistani Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami at a UK Islamic Mission event in Manchester.
Back in 2000 ul-Haq reportedly urged the Taliban not to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States, offering them the support of his party. This is a news report from the time:
“Jamaat-e-Islami has urged Afghanistan’s Taliban not to hand over Saudi national Osama bin Laden to the United States or any other country. The demand was made by Jamaat-e-Islami provincial Secretary General Sirajul Haq in a meeting with the acting Governor of Eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar Maulvi Sadr-e-Azam… Sirajul Haq assured every kind of help and support to the Taliban on behalf of the Jamaat.”
In 2010 Ul-Haq was quoted ranting about “the Jews”:
“The Jews and Christians can not defeat and defame Islam by their hollow threats but they are testing our pulses through sensational announcements across the globe.”
In 2015 Pakistani media quoted ul-Haq peddling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including that “Blasphemy is a Zionist plot to disturb peace… Blasphemy should be declared a crime globally and stringent laws should be made in this regard”.
According to a BBC report from 2006, ul-Haq led funeral prayers for 80 alleged Taliban and al-Qaeda militants killed in a bombing raid on a Madrasa in Pakistan. Haq has also opposed Pakistan’s Women’s Protection Act, a law aiming to protect female victims of violence.
Afzal Khan tells Guido in a statement:
“I spend a lot of my time going to community events, meeting people of all faiths, from a broad range of backgrounds. This was one of those events. I do not condone or endorse the views of Siraj-ul-Haq.”
Guido’s Labour Party vetting unit will have more on their extremist-linked Gorton candidate soon…
Tom Watson is getting a lot of credit for coming out and condemning the Ken decision. Watson says:
“My party is not living up to its commitment to have a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. I will continue the ﬁght to ensure that it does, and I will press my colleagues to do so too.”
These words might mean something if Watson hadn’t accepted half a million pounds in donations from a former blackshirt. When the donations were criticised, Watson replied:
“I’m proud to call Max Mosley a friend and I’m delighted he has made a financial contribution.”
This is what Watson thinks about a former fascist who has ranted about “ending coloured immigration”. Bizarre that Watson gets away with this, let alone has the nerve to portray himself as some sort of anti-racism campaigner…
In recent weeks a new Corbynista site called Skwawkbox has emerged. It is essentially a poundshop Canary, running conspiracy theories in support of Jez and attacking his enemies. Labour moderates have dubbed it “the hard-left Breitbart”. Last night Skwawkbox published an “exclusive“, claiming to have obtained a “secret Treasury memo” which “proved” Corbyn’s poor poll results are a “construct”. […] Read the rest