Watching Ruth Cadbury, Labour parliamentary candidate for Brentford and Isleworth, explain what is in her party’s manifesto is very painful…
“Are you going to make sure the Sikh vote turns out for us?” was Ed’s first presumptuous question when he met someone in a turban on the train back to London after his manifesto launch:
Unfortunately for him, the friendly Sikh in question was Amandeep Singh Bhogal, the Tory parliamentary candidate for Upper Bann in Northern Ireland. “Well I’m going to make sure the Sikh vote turns out,” said Amandeep before finally revealing all to the Labour leader by producing a Nicola Sturgeon mask from his pocket. Watch to the end for the “gotcha” moment when Ed realises he’s been had…
Bored civil servants have been handed a helpful memo on how to fill up their time until a new government has been selected by those pesky voters:
The bit that really caught Guido’s eye was the pen pushers’ idea of “a range” of recommended reading on governmental matters:
· Michael Barber, ‘How to run a Government’
· Tony Blair, ‘A journey’
· Alastair Campbell, ‘The Blair years: extracts from the Alastair Campbell diaries’
· Anthony King and Ivor Crewe, ‘The blunders of our governments’
· Damian McBride, ‘Power Trip: a decade of policy, plots and spin’
· Chris Mullin, ‘A view from the foothills: the Chris Mullin diaries’
Hardly an impartial list…
This tweet by Andy Burnham’s favourite Labour fantasist, “Dr” Eoin Clarke, has been shared over 750 times, including by a host of Labour MPs, Eddie Izzard and Alastair Campbell. Unfortunately for Bad Al, it’s a little sexed up.
“Dr” Eoin cunningly cropped his screenshot of the Times article so it looked like an editorial. In fact it was comment piece written by one Richard Layard. The Times helpfully explains: “Richard Layard is professor of economics at the LSE and a Labour peer”.
So “The Times” didn’t call anyone out. It isn’t proof of “something big” happening. Despite what hundreds of Labour supporters have been telling their Twitter followers. “Dr” Eoin Clarke, PhD History of Irish Feminism, strikes again…
Even after Labour’s manifesto mea culpa about fiscal responsibility, Ed would still not say he thought Labour spent too much before the crisis. He had his audience cheering as he yelled “absolutely we were right to invest in those things”:
Miliband told the Labour manifesto launch:
“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…”
The financial crisis caused the deficit that Labour ran in 2002/3?
And grew in 2003/4?
And in 2004/5?
And in 2005/6?
“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…” in 2006/7?
And in 2007/8?
Here is a hard-hatted Labour supporter captioned “Andy, docker” in the party’s manifesto:
Ordinary “Andy” looks remarkably similar to Andy Green, the Unite convenor at Tilbury Docks and a member of the union’s executive council.
Green proudly boasts that he attended the infamous 2006 dockers’ protest in Strasbourg, which descended into widespread violence.
The BBC reported that “protesters threw firecrackers, stones and metal missiles, smashing windows and causing considerable damage”. 13 dockers were arrested and 12 policemen were injured. But this is how Labour’s poster boy described the day, alongside a picture he posted of the chaos:
“It made me proud to be a docker, to be there fighting for my fellow dockers, fantastic solidarity.”
Green also gave a 5-star review to the ‘Union Thugs‘ Facebook page.
Surely they cannot be the same docker named Andy?
Labour are investigating…
In a piece of spectacular cognitive dissonance, today’s Labour manifesto managed to both hail the City of London as a world beating model for devolved industrial regions and to then malign the City for taking advantage of an “economy that might work for some.”
Page 62 – “From the City of London to Silicon Valley the world’s best industries tend to be clustered geographically….So a Labour government will unleash the potential of our city and county regions to drive economic growth and prosperity. “
Page 83 – “Either we can carry on as we are, with an economy that might work for some in the City of London but shuts out millions of people in the rest of the country.”
Hipster cluster good… Banker cluster (that actually generates money) bad…
Well that didn’t take long. The IFS verdict on Labour’s manifesto is in: “Literally we would not know what we were voting for if we were going to vote for Labour”. They aren’t the only ones who are confused…
Here is Jim Murphy blowing Miliband’s fiscal responsibility line out of the water this afternoon:
“Ed was really clear at the UK manifesto launch today. It’s only Labour that will end austerity.”
Which is literally the opposite of what Miliband actually said:
“it is a manifesto which shows Labour is not only the party of change but the party of responsibility too… A clear vow to protect our nation’s finances… The deficit will be cut every year… This commitment to fiscal responsibility is the foundation.”
Forcing Chuka to slap down Murphy on the Daily Politics:
“The leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”
It is almost as if in England Labour are telling voters they will make cuts and can be trusted to be responsible, but in Scotland they are vowing to end Tory austerity. As the IFS say, “Literally we would not know what we were voting for…”
Turns out Ed’s not tough enuss to stand up to Newsnight’s Allegra Stratton.
“Labour car war is over- New transport chief’s vow to help road users” screamed the Mirror late last year. The then new Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher promised: “to stop demonising motorists and start championing them as it declared its war on drivers was over… he admitted drivers have for too long been seen as a “cash cow” for governments who cream cash off them with fuel taxes and penalties.”
Fast forward four months and Labour’s manifesto promises to scrap two of the most vital road upgrades in the country, to freeze rail fares for just one year:
“The cost, of just over £200 million, will be fully funded by switching spending within the existing transport budget from delaying road projects on the A27 and A358 for which the economic case is still uncertain.”
The A27 is one of the busiest trunk roads in the UK, a vital connection to Portsmouth. Anyone heading toward the West-Country will know the A303/A358 corridor is a mess. It seems Labour have all but given up on the South…
The Tories “spent yesterday playing politics in the gutter, trying to smear Labour with lies,” moans a Labour press release sent out this morning. The delicate flowers are still upset with Michael Fallon and stories in the papers today about Miliband’s love life. Because Labour’s spinners would never spread innuendos about their opponents, would they?
Certainly not Miliband comms chief Bob Roberts, apart from his classic Mirror job on Dave claiming that MI5 had “uncovered a dark secret about Cameron” which would “fuel suspicions that Mr Cameron took Class A drugs”.
Definitely not Tom ‘Hoover’ Baldwin, apart from when he revealed in the Times how several top Tories had spent their university days “intoxicated”. Ahem.
And absolutely not Sunday Telegraph pol ed turned Labour spinmeister Paddy Hennessy, apart from when he told us all about Nick Clegg’s “sexual antics” and how he had “admitted to sleeping with ‘no more than 30’ women”. They must be going soft…
Responding to the news that a Labour candidate called for cars flying the England flag to be vandalised, Nigel Farage has come out guns blazing:
“It is clear Ed and his party have learnt nothing from Emily Thornberry and that Labour hate England.”
A Labour Party candidate has called anyone who flies an England flag “a simpleton” or “a casual racist”. Huw Thomas who is standing Ceredigion wrote online that cars flying the England flag should be vandalised during the 2006 World Cup. He even attacked shops for selling flags:
“The retail sector is also responsible for making the situation worse I think, and all across Britain not only in Wales. The World Cup, to a large extent, is just an opportunity for high street shops to ‘cash in’, using special offers and social pressure to create a fake group mentality – Nationalism Asda style!
“Having said this, I had the opportunity, when I had the opportunity to buy an England flag for half price in WH Smith, Oxford, to answer with the phrase: ‘Since I am neither a simpleton nor a casual racist I must decline your offer’. Poor ‘Stacey’ didn’t know where to look!”
Guido would like to say that he has never seen anything like it, but sadly he has before.
Wales Online has the scoop...
UPDATE: Tory MP Bob Neill calls on Miliband to sack Thomas as a candidate:
“These disgusting remarks have no place in Parliament and are utterly out of touch with the British people. Britain’s flags are emblems of our shared history and our common values – they should be flown with pride not treated with contempt.Ed Miliband rightly sacked Emily Thornberry for her disdainful remarks last year. He must show some backbone and block Huw Thomas from standing as a Labour candidate.”
“Tory press ignores, or underplays, polls putting Labour ahead” screams Roy Greenslade over at Media Guardian today:
“Labour’s positive poll ratings get precious little coverage in the Tory press. It must have been a day for the blue newspapers to bury bad news.”
Lest we forget the Guardian conveniently left off of the ComRes and YouGov polls that showed the Tories ahead off of their splash today, because it did not fit their narrative…
Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper are launching Labour’s ‘Crime and Justice manifesto’ this morning, yet for some strange reason there is no mention in the party’s press release of the man who did all the work. Labour’s top cop policy artichect was commissioned to carry out an “independent review of policing” in 2013, and when he published his findings Labour said they would spend “the next 12 months consulting on the report’s recommendations before setting out its plans in next year’s manifesto”. So where is he today?
Lord Stevens was last night placed under investigation over allegations of a cover-up in the Stephen Lawrence racist murder inquiry. Two years ago Cooper explained: “We asked Lord Stevens to lead the commission because we need a positive vision of policing for the 21st century”. Wonder what Labour peer Doreen Lawrence has to say about it all?
Labour have just about sorted out their message on Trident today, despite some confusion from Ed Balls. Meanwhile, the SNP are still toying with Miliband on the issue. “I can’t be clearer,” claims Nicola Sturgeon, while obfuscating on what the SNP will demand from Labour in return for a confidence and supply deal. This is her line today:
“Any confidence and supply arrangement would require the non-renewal of Trident.”
This line was backed up by Angus Robertson on the BBC today:
“There would be no confidence and supply arrangement with the Labour Party if there was a renewal of Trident commitment by the Labour Party.”
So would the SNP vote against a Labour Queen’s Speech – including plans to renew Trident – then?
Sturgeon won’t say, because she doesn’t want to: “get ahead of the election process”.
Yet during the Scottish Leaders’ Debate last night, the SNP leader implied her party would still prop up Labour even if they went ahead with Trident renewal:
“You can beat minority governments on policy issues and force them to change direction without necessarily bringing down the government”
Sturgeon’s deputy Stuart Hosie also confirms that even if Labour voted to renew Trident, the SNP could still do deals with Labour on other policies:
“there would have to be negotiations and we would want to get as many of our progressive policies through as possible”
So the SNP will vote against Trident, but possibly not against a Queen’s Speech that includes Trident, and may still prop up a Labour government even if Trident passes… Everyone got that?