Respect: Labour Launch “White Van” Campaign

Look away now if your name is Emily Thornberry, but Labour are to launch a special “White Van” election campaign bus. Guido had never seen anything like it, until he got this exclusive picture:

After the disaster of the pink van, it’s time for the “respect-mobile”.

Though hardly very patriotic: it’s a Merc!

Where’s Ed? Labour Leader Missing

The excellent ElectionLeaflets.Org allows voters to upload and monitor the gazillions of leaflets currently being stuffed through letterboxes up and down the country as polling day approaches. Flicking through the site, Guido was struck by something:

Where’s Ed Miliband on all the Labour leaflets?

Miliband Speaks Out In Kitchen Row

Well done to Jonathan Walker from the Birmingham Mail for asking Ed Miliband the most important question of the day:

“I have only just been catching up with it. I think Justine would probably say she wishes I’d spend more time in the kitchen. The house we bought had a kitchen downstairs when we bought it. And it is not the one we use. We use the small one upstairs. This is the kitchen Justine and I use.”

If he can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchens.

At Last: A Brilliant Miliband Media Performance

Interesting timing for David Miliband to pop up on the Today programme:

Though the Tories would have had him in The Hague for war crimes by now, had he won.

Milimetres: Mystery of Miraculously Massive Miliband

As Guido revealed this morning, Labour MPs were invited to Miliband’s office last week for photos with their leader. One of the few to take up this vote-repelling offer was loyal Toby Perkins:

Though something is not quite right here.

Toby Perkins is 6 foot 6 inches, yet Miliband appears to be almost the same height as him. Other photos of the pair more accurately reflect their height difference:

edtoby

Is Miliband standing on something?

No, say his people, boldly:

“Ed is over 6 foot and he isn’t standing on a box.”

Yet they went very quiet when Guido asked them to explain the lack of height difference. Toby Perkins has also refused the opportunity to explain what is going on:

Despite the box ‘denial’, in other photographs taken that day – such as this one with Graeme Morris – Ed’s eye line is at a significantly lower level when compared to the panes of the window:

B-3jLrRXAAATIGV

Let’s remember what Ed said last year:

“If you want a politician  who thinks that a good photo is the most important thing, then don’t vote for me. Because I don’t. But here’s the thing: I believe that people would quite like somebody to stand up and say there is more to politics than the photo op.” 

Standing up on a phone book more like…

Low Demand For Miliband Snaps For Labour Leaflets


Don’t all rush at once:

From: PLP Resource Centre
Subject: MP portrait shots with Ed Miliband, Wednesday 25 February, 1.15pm-2pm, Ed Miliband’s Office, 2nd Floor, NSS

FAO Labour MPs

Dear colleagues,

There will be an opportunity for colleagues to have portrait photos taken with Ed Miliband on Wednesday 25 February between 1.15pm and 2pm in Ed Miliband’s Office, Second Floor, Norman Shaw South.

Please note that this is for MPs only.

Please RSVP to Max Wilson to confirm whether you will be attending.

Best wishes

PLP Team
__________________________________________________________________

PLP briefings are the property of the Labour Party. They are confidential and are for the use of registered members only. Any publishing or dissemination of PLP political briefing is prohibited and may be unlawful.

Team Ed were clearly not expecting much take up from Labour MPs looking to have their picture taken with their leader last week.

If all 250 had wanted a snap they would have got 10.8 seconds each.

Truth being pictures of Miliband are more likely to be on his opponents leaflets…

Axelrod Speaks: Guru Lukewarm About Miliband on CNN

David Axelrod was caught off guard by Christiane Amanpour on CNN and asked about Ed Miliband. Watch his face fall:

The most positive thing Axe says is that that polls say Ed could win and that no one likes the Tories. A minute later he says to ignore the polls.

Unsurprisingly, Axelrod refuses to compare Ed to Obama. He doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about things though.

You would have thought for £300,000 Labour could have given their star guru at least one or two talking points about what their leader is up to?

Rich’s Monday Morning View

unnamed

‘“If Tom Baldwin didn’t have at least one enemy in every newspaper office, he could have called in some favours,” fumes a close colleague.’

 

FLASHBACK: When the Milibands Avoided Tax

Miliband worded this answer about the Deed of Variation on his family home very carefully:

“This is something my mother did 20 years ago. That was a decision she made. Let me just say this: I’ve paid tax as a result of that transaction, I’ve avoided no tax in that.”

A Deed of Variation has the sole purpose of saving tax. That Ed paid capital gains tax is irrelevant – the Miliband family avoided paying in some part inheritance tax (how much is still unclear).

From the Sunday Times, 19 September 2004:

“DAVID MILIBAND, the schools minister, and his brother Ed, the chancellor’s economic adviser, are set to avoid paying thousands of pounds in tax through an Inland Revenue loophole which the Labour party pledged to close. 

The brothers, Labour’s rising stars, are poised to benefit after their family set up a scheme to share ownership of the family’s Pounds 1.3m townhouse in north London which was sold recently.

Accountants and the Inland Revenue say the scheme established by the Milibands is used to reduce inheritance tax.

The move is particularly controversial for Ed Miliband who is chairman of the council of economic advisers responsible for co-ordinating the Treasury’s long-term policy on behalf of Gordon Brown, the chancellor.”

The Sunday Times has learnt that after Ralph Miliband, the socialist father of David and Ed, died in 1994, he transferred almost all his assets, including homes in London and Oxfordshire, to his wife.

However, after taking professional advice, the family is understood to have posthumously rewritten his will to give 20% of the London home to both David and Ed.

David has declared a “20% share of family home in London” on the MPs’ register of interests since 2002.

This scheme is called a “deed of variation” and was highlighted by the chancellor in opposition as an unacceptable way in which the wealthy avoid paying death duties.

It allows people to inherit assets tax-free even if this goes against the wishes of the deceased. Had Ralph Miliband’s will not been altered, David and Ed would have inherited the house (or the money raised from its sale) when their mother Marion died and would have faced a tax bill equivalent to 40% of its value.

Instead they were able to cash in on their stakes when the family’s four bedroom townhouse in Primrose Hill, north London, was sold earlier in the summer.

For the record…

Lord Fink Responds to Miliband “Dodgy” Climb Down

Ed Miliband just clearly said that he was not calling Lord Fink dodgy. The vanilla peer has responded:

“Yesterday I challenged Ed Miliband to repeat the accusations he made in the Commons – that I used an HSBC bank account to avoid tax and that I was a “dodgy donor.”He did not. This is a major climbdown by a man who is willing to smear without getting his facts straight.”

Fink/the Tories are now focussing on the word dodgy. Which was not mentioned in his letter yesterday….

SW1 Snap Verdict: Miliband Misses Massive Open Goal

Five more of these sessions to go…

Axed: 90 Days Since Obama Guru Spun for Labour

David Axelrod

David Axelrod is really earning his crust from Labour, telling a book-promoting interview that he’s retiring from campaigning: “I’m not going back on that circuit. It’s exhilarating, it’s addictive, but it’s not good for you. I’m done”. With his comments picked up by the Sun this morning, and sure to wind up already tetchy Labour MPs, Guido has crunched the numbers. Today it has been 90 days since Axelrod even bothered to mention his star British client on Twitter. He was reportedly in London for a brief visit in December, but is embarking on a book tour around the USA for the duration of the British election campaign. Worth every penny…

No Diary Clash: Ed Spent Today in His Office

Labour claimed that Ed Miliband had a very important diary clash that stopped him speaking to all of his friends at the British Chamber of Commerce today:

Though Ed Balls didn’t know what it was:

It turns out he was hiding in his office:

Gordon Brown levels of incompetence. It’s not as if Axelrod was even in town…

Mrs Miliband Goes Massively Off Message

Remember when Ed claimed that “boasts from George Osborne” about the economy don’t reflect “the experience of everyday families” because his figures “ignore the growing number of self-employed” and the impact of “Victorian” flexible hours contracts on mothers?

A clampdown on zero-hours and self-employment will be a key part of Labour’s election message, but it seems Ed’s ‘secret weapon’ Mrs Miliband did not get the memo. Justine spoke out last week in favour of flexible work that is “fantastic for being family-friendly”:

“Because I’m self-employed. So that means if I want to see my kids in a school play, I don’t have to ask anyone, I carry on working in the evening.”

Violently off message…

Why Ed Needed Extended Paternity Leave

The deficit at conference was not even the most embarrassing thing that the Labour leader has forgotten. After it was revealed in 2010 that Ed was not on his son’s birth certificate, Labour claimed that “pressures of attending the Copenhagen climate change summit as the then energy secretary, as well as the forthcoming general election campaign” had “distracted him from completing the form after Daniel’s birth.” Perhaps if he’d had four weeks off, he might have got round to a trip to the Town Hall…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Miliband Sparks Minor Diplomatic Crisis

PMQs: Miliband’s Sixth Sense

The Sketch Team spent the morning drowning kittens to train for PMQs. Piteous sights and sounds we beheld, quite wither-wringing. On a positive note, we got through the carnage of Ed Miliband’s performance without a tear.

How the Tory dogs leapt on him. Tore at him. The noise (so chamber reporters said) has never been noisier. Cameron was on his best form for years and made a very decent joke.

“Bill someone,” Ed Balls had said last night on Newsnight, when asked to name a Labour business backer. “Bill,” Balls said. Bill who? It turned out to be Bill the chairman of Labour’s Small Business Task Force. Balls had just been having dinner with him, not an hour before the interview. Small business significance in the Labour cosmology can be determined by the fact that his name had escaped the shadow chancellor. Bill, Bill someone.

Cameron was laughing at him (and to be fair Balls was laughing back), “Bill someone! It’s not a person, it’s Labour’s policy!”

Several Labour MPs committed hari-kiri on the spot.

Continue reading

Axelrod and Miliband in the Sights at Punchy PLP

Guido hears that David Axelrod came under attack at a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last night, where tempers frayed over the “disastrous direction” of Labour’s election campaign. Labour MPs sobbing into their bitter late into the night in Strangers, as reality dawned on them…

Apparently things got really gloomy when Scotland was discussed, but it was the general campaign that was the main cause for concern. “It’s said we are paying for all these experts but it’s clearly not working” sums up the general thrust of the complaints, and demands were made for more control of the party’s messaging and strategy to given to elected MPs rather than leader’s pets and expensive – yet absent -American consultants. Wishful thinking…

Former Brown Business Adviser Savages Ed

Former M&S boss Stuart Rose is the latest big business panjandrum to fall in line and slag off Labour. Instead of taking a moment to listen to the words said, Labour types have immediately branded Stuart Rose an evil Tory, as he took a peerage last year. Although, they seem to have some amnesia at another role that Rose has played in his long and illustrious career. As the BBC reported in those heady days of summer 2007:

“Gordon Brown is creating a special council of business leaders to advise him directly as Prime Minister, the BBC’s business editor has learned… Members will be available to Mr Brown to give him advice as and when needed.”

And who was on this council?

BUSINESS COUNCIL MEMBERS
Damon Buffini, Permira
Stuart Rose, Marks & Spencer
Tony Heywood, BP
Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco
Arun Sarin, Vodafone
Stephen Green, HSBC
Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce
Mervyn Davies, Std. Chartered
J-P Garnier, GlaxoSmithKline

Ah.

Ed Miliband’s CV Outside of Politics

Asked by a young voter what experience he had outside of politics Ed Miliband replied that he had worked in the Treasury.

And taught at Harvard.

Where he lectured on politics…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, says….

“The UKIP vote is going to the Tories. That’s the story of the first week of the campaign.”

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