Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters will be partying like it’s 1983 at the Speakeasy Bar in Epping tomorrow night. The Corbyn campaign is sponsoring an official ‘Cocktails for Corbyn‘ bash, offering drinks such as “Dianne Abbotts” [sic], described as “Champagne Socialist Martinis”, and “Kier Hardie” Old Fashioneds. Also on the menu are “Bloody Margarets“, a rather tasteless reference to the late Lady Thatcher. Only 11 people have RSVP’d so far, seems Essex isn’t a Corbynista heartland. Bloodthirsty Reds…
As Harriet Harman’s plans to spend her election riding around in a pink bus campaigning on female equality are revealed, ironically it is 40 years to the day that Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Tory party. Labour have still never elected a female leader, though at least Hattie is fighting for the sisterhood in this interview with Mehdi Hasan today:
HH: “Unite has provided us with a driver and blow me down they’ve managed to find a woman with one of these licenses. We’ve had lots of doctrinal discussions, such as: should we be alright with a male driver?”
MH: “Has there been any discussion of the colour of her vehicle? Isn’t driving around in a pink van a bit patronizing? A bit clichéd?”
HH: “Well it doesn’t have big eyelashes on the front.”
A union official driving Labour’s sexist bus on the 40 year anniversary of Maggie becoming Tory leader. PMQs gold for Cameron…
UPDATE: The Times say the eyelashes were actually mooted by a Labour frontbencher and genuinely considered.
The Telegraph, Mirror, Metro and Mail have all followed up Exaro’s top scoop that Leon Brittan has been buried in an unmarked grave for fear it would be vandalised. The MailOnline headline has however since been changed with no explanation, though the URL remains the same:
Why the subtle change? As is being pointed out this morning, and as the new Mail copy states: “In accordance with Jewish tradition, the former home secretary is said to have been interred in an simple plot without flowers in Golders Green Cemetery”.
Stories about Leon Brittan buried in an unmarked grave are ludicrous – Jewish graves not immediately marked. Sick and pathetic muck-raking.
— Marcus Dysch (@MarcusDysch) February 9, 2015
@ExaroNews You are aware that Jewish graves aren't marked until a stone setting about a year later?
— Daniel Finkelstein (@Dannythefink) February 9, 2015
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) February 9, 2015
Wonder what other assumptions Exaro have failed to check…
The BBC have apparently found ‘killer comedy format’:
‘The BBC has commissioned a comedy murder-mystery series in which celebrities will be bumped off each week. BBC Three has given the green light to Murder In Successville, a hybrid series set in a fictional town inhabited by famous faces, following a successful pilot last year.’
In order to protect the Beeb’s impartiality, Guido has just the candidate for the show. After the Radio 4 caused uproar by making Hilary Mantel’s fantasy about assassinating Margaret Thatcher the Book at Bedtime, surely, for the sake of balance, it’s time to whack the author on BBC Three. It would be a ratings hit…
“Leon Brittan was a dedicated and fiercely intelligent public servant. As a central figurein Margaret Thatcher’s government, he helped her transform our country for the better by giving distinguished service as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He went on to play a leading role at the European Commission where he did so much to promote free trade in Europe and across the world. More recently, he made an active contribution to the House of Lords. My thoughts are with Leon’s family and friends at this sad time.”
He would have been fully briefed before giving this statement…
UPDATE: It took Clegg four hours to release his statement:
“Leon was one of the most intelligent figures in modern British public life.
When I worked for Leon in Brussels almost 20 years ago, his forensic understanding of detailed issues combined with his passionate belief in internationalism was evident to everyone.
His courage in sticking up for his pro-European views, despite huge pressure to the contrary, never wavered.
His intellectual curiosity about politics; the arts; history; and literature was encyclopedic. Even as illness affected him badly in recent years, he kept up his lifelong habit of reading a constant flow of books on a huge range of subjects.
My heart goes out to Diana Brittan and Leon’s family at this very sad time.”
John Micklethwait is leaving the Economist for Bloomberg. Generally perceived to have succeeded in meeting the digital challenge under his editorship, the highly profitable publication throws off cash by playing on the insecurities of the business class in the same way that Cosmopolitan plays on the insecurities of women. The magazine prides itself on being for homme sérieux. In a dumbed down globalised world it remains the premier business magazine.
Business affairs editor Zanny Minton Beddoes, US editor Robert Guest and foreign editor Ed Carr are said to be frontrunners for the top job, MediaGuido has no idea as to their respective merits. In the 80s the newspaper – it styles itself thus despite being a magazine – was on the cutting edge of the Thatcher-Reagan revolution. Which was as it should be for a publication founded to support free markets and repeal the corn laws.
Nowadays it is editorially in thrall to the fashionable guilty billionaire class that throngs to Davos, adding to global warming with all the hot air they release. This international elite wants to conserve the stable managed form of globalisation that has served them more profitably than a dynamic free trading world order would. Hardly surprising given that Micklethwait has been intimately involved with the organisation of the Bilderberg conferences for years. One example of how the magazine has politically lost its way, it endorsed Obama in ’08 and again in ’12 despite Mitt Romney being of their ilk and right on Russia being the primary geo-political foe. Obama ran on an explicitly anti-free trade ticket.
The next editor should perhaps come from outside, someone enthusiastic for more free trade rather than blocs of managed trade arrangements. The Economist is, like sister-paper the FT, weak on the deficiencies of the EU. An editor with a more realistic view of the EU could help change the mindset of the business class towards a more realistic appraisal of the EU. That would be true to the free trade roots of the Economist’s founding…