Why You Should Never Photoshop an Election Leaflet

Busharat Ali is the Labour candidate in Lawrence Hill ward, Bristol. He didn’t like being attacked in a LibDem leaflet over Iraq. He responded with a leaflet claiming: “I was on the National March in London against the Iraq war” with the above photo next to those words.

Was he? It looks like somebody has done a bit of photoshopping. Inserting his head badly and deleting the “We Are All Hizbullah” banners. You decide…


Hat-tip : LibDemVoice

Ming “Focus on Principle over Fashion”

Friend of Kylie, Gordon attacked celeb culture and now Ming has a go at “principle over fashion…open-necked shirt photo ops with headlines attached”. “What we need is the dominance of principle over fashion…. What we need is real, tough decision-making.”

Ming has made the tough decision to have a (politically fashionable) Facebook link. Principle?

Smithson Decides Not to Risk It

Mike Smithson from PoliticalBetting.com has a book out The Political Punter, How to make money betting on politics. Guido was chatting to Mike at the book launch when in came Mark Oaten. He strolled over to Mike (interrupting our conversation) and congratulated him on the book.

Mike thanked him and being ever polite turned to introduce Oaten, hesitated for a second and quickly said “there is someone you must speak to”, smoothly diverting Oaten away from Guido. Just as well really…

Cheeky Boy

Guido met Lembit recently for the first time, he seemed a decent sort. He does add to the gaiety of the nation doesn’t he?

Huhne Wastes Paper

Four press releases from the LibDem’s eco-warrior Chris Huhne on environmental issues today. Do you think he is a bit miffed that Al Gore saw Cameron, praised Gordon and ignored him?

LibDem Head of Media Quits Over PR Blunder

Mark Littlewood resigns after serious briefing error over coalition with Brown.

LibDems: “Corruption is a Crime”

“We can cut crime” – that’s the message from the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Harrogate, they even launched two new websites last night: a special blog to keep tabs on the multiple failures at the Home Office (www.homeofficewatch.com) and an online petition calling for a full inquiry into corruption allegations.

Excellent news. Perhaps they will now repay the defrauded £2.4m they got from their crooked backer who languishes in jail? Strangely nowhere on www.corruptionisacrime.com is Michael Brown mentioned…

Scottish Question

Could someone point Charlie Kennedy in the right direction. He was just seen by a co-conspirator heading towards the Chamber via all four walls.

Happy Birthday GordonTories Poll 40% Against Blair / 42% Against Brown

As Gordon celebrates his 56th birthday this morning, we learn that an ICM poll in the Guardian puts Cameron’s Conservatives on 40 (+3), Labour 31, LibDems 19% (-4). A gap only seen three times since Margaret Thatcher’s day. Labour hasn’t polled as badly as this since Michael Foot. On a 40% share the Tories could achieve a parliamentary majority.

When ICM compared Cameron’s Conservatives vs Brown’s Labour vs Ming’s Lib Dems – it got even worse for Labour. The margin widened further to Conservatives 42% (+2): Labour 29% (-3%): LibDem 17% (-3). Happy Birthday Gordon…

Osborne Tried to Lure LibDem’s David LawsOver to the Liberal Conservatives

Peter Oborne has a fascinating article on the extent of the Team Cameron outreach mission to LibDems. In it he claims that George Osborne surprised David Laws with a Cameron sanctioned proposition – a shadow cabinet position for the Orange Booker. Also mentioned as a high value acquisition target is David Owen, the original social-marketeer.

In the article Oborne mentions also that Peter Mandelson has twice met Cameron in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a “brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum”.

Guido can reveal that Oborne is wrong on this point. In fact the Heir-to-Blair has met Mandelson three times in the past two months. The other time being on December 18, after Dave spoke at the Royal United Services Institute [pictured].

Liberal Conservative and Liberal DemocratCampaigns Against ID-Cards

The Tory anti-ID cards campaign (top) to be launched this morning emphasises the practical alternative uses for the money that would be wasted on ID cards, as well as Gordon’s support for them. The current LibDem campaign (below) emphasises the negative effect on liberty. The Tories now say the plan is a “BAD IDEA”. The LibDems have always said it was a bad idea.

UPDATE : The ConservativeHome poll results regarding dealing with the LibDems show that it is now being openly discussed by the Tory grassroots.

DD Says “NO2ID”

David Davis has written to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, giving formal notice that an incoming Conservative administration will scrap ID Cards. He has also written to all the major contractors* warning them of the same.
Guido said, at the time Basher negotiated the delay in the political decision-making watershed on ID-cards until after the election, that is was clever tactics. ID-cards may be popular in some quarters, but one section of the population is 101% opposed to ID-cards. LibDem activists.

Come election time the LibDems will be shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories on an issue that emphasises their shared ideological belief in the fundamental primacy of individual liberty against state power. New Labour’s authoritarians will be the common enemy.

*So all those donations to the Sith will have been wasted.

Official : Guido More Helpful to LibDems than Ming

As the mutterings about Mings leadership continue, this news will only add to his woes. Guido gets the LibDem message to more people than Ming, hell even Iain Dale does. In fact Ming barely pips Recess Monkey in getting his message out.

According to Cowley Street’s web guru*, Mark Pack, the LibDem party website gets more referrals from Guido and Iain Dale’s blogs than it does from Ming’s own campaign website.

Rob Fenwick, the former LibDem e-campaigner during the 2005 General Election, is very sniffy, telling Stephen Tall that “the power of ‘celebrity’ bloggers is massively over-hyped. Guido Fawkes is a Westminster Village distraction, the love of politicians and journalists.” Terrible, ain’t it?

*Top referrers in order: 1. Guido Fawkes, 2. Iain Dale, 3. Lynne Featherstone, 4. Ming Campbell, 5. Recess Monkey. Source: LibDemVoice.

Tonge Gobs Off Again

Baronness Jenny Tonge is a game trier. With all the grace and elegance of Euston Station. She’s the one who opined that if she had been born a Palestinian she’d probably have become a suicide bomber. Go for it, girl! She’s back in the news over her comments at the Lib Dem conference that the “pro-Israeli lobby has got its financial grips on the Western World” and on “our party”. That’s right, Jen. They also spread typhus, don’t they?

Of course, as everyone knows, the Lib Dems aren’t in the grip of Jewish finance, they’re in the grip of Quaker finance (following a timely £2m donation the Lib Dems are now in effect a trading subsidiary of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust) but according to the Today Programme (that fount of wisdom and truth) Spinning Jenny’s repeated her remarks at Edinburgh University. Despite a polite letter from Sir Ming asking her not to. Dear me. Lady Elspeth will be annoyed.

Let’s hope Sir Ming comes through this trying time with flying colours.
Catesby Esq
PS: Strapped for cash this Christmas? Hamper hopes gone up in smoke? Why don’t you apply for a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust? Contact the Trust’s Project Adviser, Mark Ross, on 01904 625744 or e-mail: mark.ross@jrrt.org.uk Weak business plan and/or poor credit history clearly no problem.

Wee Willie Rennie : Cluster F****r

PMQs yesterday saw wee Willie Rennie (Libdem defence spokesperson) asking the Prime Minister:

After the conflict ended, cluster bombs used in Lebanon by Israel had resulted in 159 casualties, including 23 deaths so far. In Geneva last week, why did the UK not support calls from the UN Secretary-General, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 27 nations for urgent action? In Oslo next year, will the Prime Minister push for a ban on those indiscriminate bombs, or does he agree with the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, who has responsibility for the armed forces, who strongly advocates the use of such bombs?

Willie should know all about cluster bomb manufacturing as a result of his association with Raytheon. He was a spin-merchant at McEwan Purvis who had the merchants of death Raytheon – the weapons manufacturer as their client. They make those indiscriminate cluster bombs. This is a picture of him taken at the weapons firm’s Scottish plant after he was elected.

Here is a picture of Willie meeting the boss of Raytheon taken from a press release drafted by his former workmates at McEwan Purvis. The F-18 pictured over Willie’s shoulder carries the very same cluster bombs. As you can see Willie is giving this death merchant a stern dressing down and urging him to support the UN/Red Cross call for a cluster bomb ban.

Hat-tip: FibDems.

LibDem Tit-Bits

Poor sound quality but Charlie really did say “the British public are too thick to understand how to operate a proportional system of voting.”*

LibDem leader in a visit to a non-alcoholic juice bar – what point was Ming making?

Kennedy’s pre-speech joke about no longer being in a position to recommend anyone for a peerage – bit dodgy in view of Yates of the Yard?

Sandra Gidley a.k.a. the Romsey redheadnot looking so red-headed.

“The pro-Israel lobby has a grip on the western media – a financial grip” – Baroness Tonge. Born again Christian Rupert Murdoch might not agree.

Who is Online Ollie?

*He did. No, really. Ok it might be an incomplete edit. Hat-tip : Yellow Peril.

LibDem Radioactivist

Ming is asking a lot of anti-nuclear questions of Blair to highlight the LibDem’s green credentials, he has even written a letter to Blair complaining that Tony, gasp, fibbed to him at PMQs. Ming could save himself a lot of time by asking these anti-nuclear questions of Kingston LibDem councillor Simon James. Simon was a staffer for Paddy Ashdown when he was leader and until recently worked for Ed Davey.

He now spins for the Nuclear Industry Association. Nukes are “climate friendly” says the LibDem with the mission to promote the commercial performance of the UK nuclear industry by assisting and supporting member companies to develop their businesses in the UK and internationally”. Guido hears Iran is a growth market.

LibDem Press Releases More On Message

Ming’s call to regulate less, legislate less and tax less seems to be seeping through to his frontbench. Whereas there were six press releases from his frontbench team on the day of the re-launch contradicting his slogan, today only two frontbenchers call for higher government spending. Baroness Miller actually opposes some over-regulation and Nick Clegg opposes another useless piece of legislation in their respective press releases. Guido makes that a 2-2 score-draw.

Best Odds

Pay £2.4m to the LibDems, Go Directly to JailDo Not Pass Go

How unfortunate for the LibDems that their biggest financial supporter could not be with them for their re-launch yesterday. Alas he is being held in Wormwood Scrubs prison on 53 charges and next week Michael Brown faces even more charges. Ming and the LibDems have been implausibly spinning a “it is nothing to do with us guv” line when in fact they are deep in shit. It seems likely they may be the beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime.

Ask yourself, who do you believe – HSBC bank or the LibDems?

That the LibDems are lying about it being nothing to do with them is demonstrated by the fact that the police have now obtained a court order forcing party officials to hand over documents and e-mails regarding the £2.4 million donation received from the jailbird before the general election last year. If they have to repay the cash it will leave each and every LibDem party member liable for £30. Which just goes to show, crime really doesn’t pay.

Norman Baker, the LibDem Over-Regulator

A co-conspirator points out that Norman Baker, the left-wing LibDem former Environment shadow backed David Taylor’s Bill to make it more difficult to light your cigarettes yesterday. Maybe he didn’t get Ming’s memo telling them we “must regulate less, legislate less”.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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