Tory Corbyn Spy Crick’d

To be fair to “Mr Watkinson from the Conservative Party”, he doesn’t half make a quick exit…

Faster than Crick could manage…

He doesn’t like it up him…

Baldwin Squirms Over “Milly Dowler Moment”

Miliband’s former psycho-spinner Tom Baldwin squirmed in his seat as the Daily Politics grilled him on his toxic press briefings during the election. On the infamous “weaponise the NHS” comment, Baldwin complained it was “intended to be off the record“. On his tasteless “Milly Dowler moment” remarks, he scoffs “this was another Nick Robinson exclusive… I did not use that phrase“. Though he refused to deny making any sort of comparison. Once a spinner…

Parliament’s Lawyer Shreds Tory Purdah Spin

Europe minister David Lidington has set out the government’s compromise on ‘purdah’ ahead of tonight’s vote – only to have his spin shredded by parliament’s top lawyer. In a damning email leaked to Guido, Speaker’s Counsel Michael Carpenter says Lidington’s arguments against letting the purdah rules apply in full are “unsound“.

One of Lidington’s main arguments against purdah is that “the legal advice we have received suggests that this could extend to individual elected representatives” – i.e. it would gag all MPs in the run up to the referendum. Carpenter dismisses this as “too literal a reading“. MPs would not face restrictions.

Another of Lidington’s key claims is that purdah would stop ministers from conducting European Union business. Carpenter says “I do not share the view“. Lidington suggests that the “full rigour” of purdah would prevent ministers communicating what is going on in Brussels. But Carpenter says the rules “expressly allow the issue of press notices without any restriction as to their content“.

He concludes of the Europe minister: “Mr Lidington seems simply to repeat the unsound arguments advanced before“. That’s two of the government’s main arguments on purdah torn apart by parliament’s top laywer ahead of tonight’s crunch vote…

“Security” No. 10’s Corbyn Attack Line of Choice

Jeremy-Corbyn-11_3328948b

There is one word we will be hearing a lot from Downing Street if and when Corbyn becomes leader. David Cameron mentions “security” six times in an article attacking Jezza for the Times today:

[Economic stability] is what makes it possible to deliver the security we all yearn for. At the heart of our election manifesto was that simple goal: to give people securitySecurity is formed of many things… getting the training you need to secure a worthwhile career… The most important source of security is a well-paid job… It’s that combination of recovery and reform that will enable us to help those who often have the least security

Got the message?

If that wasn’t subtle enough, George Osborne used No. 10’s new buzzword a total of eight times in a very repetitive op-ed for the Sun over the weekend, including three times in the first line:

“This is a Government that puts security first – our national security and our economic security… that consensus, which is so important for our security and reliability as an ally, risks being shattered…The UK’s future security is threatened… the return of the unilateralists to British politics threatens our nation’s future security… For the new unilateralists of British politics are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security”

That’s 14 times in 48 hours…

“My concern is that we do everything we can to protect and enhance the security of the United Kingdom” was Cameron’s only previous comment on Corbyn, made two weeks ago. The Tories were masters of thematic campaigning in May, and their new mot du jour has the benefit of ringing true…

Chicken Tories Dodge Migration Accountability

One of the many, many upsides for the Tories of Corbynmania and Labour’s complete absence of opposition is that they can now just stick two fingers up at accountability:

Weak.

No. 10 is also expected to announce details of the latest list of cronies and donors to be bunged peerages this afternoon as well. Probably not a coincidence that TfL have chosen today to announce that they are backing down to the union bullyboys over all night tubes, either. A good day to bury bad news, not so good for holding power to account…

Damian: The Omen

As China’s Shanghai Composite index slides by 8.5% in a day, its biggest one-day percentage loss since 2007, Damian McBride offers his prophecy of doom:

Zombie Apocalypse: This Time The QE Won’t Work…

Burnham’s 22 Hour Reverse Ferret

At 1:30pm yesterday, Burnham went on the BBC to criticise those in the Labour Party attacking Jeremy Corbyn:

“If we’re just attacking people and making dire warnings it is misreading what we are seeing… it misreads the mood of the party.”

At 11:17am today, Burnham went on the BBC to attack Jeremy Corbyn:

“Jeremy’s plans lack credibility. It’s not possible to promise free university education, renationalising the utilities, without that coming at a great cost… His plans lack financial and economic credibility.”

Which is almost exactly what he criticised Cooper for saying yesterday. Burnham flip flops on a weekly basis during this race, but a full reversal in under 24 hours is impressive even by his standards…

Hillary’s Chief Strategist Lined Up for Labour – So Long As Led By ABC

Multiple sources say top Obama pollster Joel Benenson, now working on the Hillary Clinton campaign, is lined up to work for the Labour Party – in particular on the London mayoral campaign. Benenson, who runs a consulting firm which advises Democrat politicians, was a senior adviser to the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and is now the chief strategist for Hillary’s presidential run. He also worked for Gordon Brown in 2009There is one obstacle…

The Hillary campaign guru won’t work for the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn is leader. Sources point to Corbyn’s extreme views on Israel-Palestine and Hamas as a major stumbling block to him coming on board. Benenson is described by GQ as the “go-to guy for any politico wanting to take the public’s temperature“. That he won’t work for Corbyn is a small indicator of Corbyn’s trans-Atlantic toxicity…

Burnham’s Big Pharma Fudge

You might have thought the Shadow Health Secretary would want to have his say on the brewing Pfizer scandal, which has seen the drugs giant accused of overcharging the NHS for epilepsy treatments. Surely this is an opportunity for the Labour leadership candidate holding the health brief to stand up to those big nasty drugs corporations?

Guido has invited Burnham’s people to comment several times over the last 24 hours, but alas they did not want to give a line. Only a cynic would think that silence has anything to with Burnham’s campaign director being uber-lobbyist John Lehal, managing director at Insight Consulting Group, whose clients include… Pfizer. Pure coincidence, Guido is sure…

Crosby on Farage

Sky News Australia have Tory strategist Lynton Crosby’s say on the election. You can tell he particularly enjoyed the UKIP result:

“I don’t think they’ve got a long-term future. You should never write anyone off but they will be a voice of discontent. They are very reliant on the performance of their leader Nigel Farage and even he couldn’t win a seat. Sixth or seventh time he’s tried to win a Westminster seat. I think he might be better coming to Australia and doing talkback radio than trying to run another seat in the UK.”

Well at least Nige’s boys are winning the cricket…

Bow Group Bunfight: Was Zac “Misled”?

Another stunning success for the beleaguered Bow Group. On Monday they announced Zac Goldsmith as the keynote speaker at their summer reception, rather an odd move for a think tank that spends its time condemning Tories who show the slightest ideological impurity as “unconservative“. Three days later, Zac has backed out and pointed the finger at the organisers:

Zac’s campaign chief Nick de Bois says he feels “misled” because the Bow Group billed him as their keynote speaker, telling the Bow Group-friendly Breitbart site:

“Without agreement the Bow group has been misleading attendees and the public, selling the event as a keynote speech – something very different. He will therefore not be taking part.”

Well, was he “misled“? These emails between the Bow Group’s Nic Conner and Zac’s people suggest they didn’t have that much of a problem with it being described as a keynote speech:

From: Nic Conner
To: Team Zac
4th August 12:46

I will call to order at 18:55 with the Chairman’s address at 19:00. We then aim to give Zac a chance to give his keynote at 19:10 for 15 minutes then 10 minuets [sic] of questions from the floor… After Zac has taken selfies and shaken hands I suspect he will be out the door by 20:00.

From: Team Zac
To: Nic Conner
4th August 16:06

Thanks Nic. The timings of 7-8pm look fine. Please could I make some small amends? In short, fine for the chairman to give opening remarks. Could it then go to Nick de Bois as Zac’s campaign chairman to give a couple of short remarks and set the scene as a former MP, and then Zac can give a speech of between 5-10 minutes and chair his own Q&A? If we then aim for 7:30pm for Zac to mingle.

Perhaps someone had a quiet word in Zac’s ear that the Bow Group might not be his ideological allies…

Burnham Train Derailed: Renationalisation Spin Unravels

Andy Burnham got the headlines he wanted this morning: the Mirror dutifully report he “promises to renationalise the railways if he takes power” on their front page. Rival Labour camps are quick to point out that Burnham’s plan has been lifted “word for word” from Ed Miliband’s manifesto, which pledged:

“Labour will legislate so a public sector operator can take on lines and challenge private train operating companies on a level playing field… We will end the situation where the only public sector that cannot run our railways is our own.”

“It is hardly the big, bold new policy it was promised to be,” says a spokesperson from the Yvette campaign.

What’s more, Labour sources point out that 90% of rail franchises expire in the next 5 years and won’t be up again until 2030. Burnham has confirmed that his policy is not immediate compulsory renationalisation, merely letting the public sector bid when franchises expire:

So even if he was to become PM in 2020, the policy wouldn’t come into effect for some ten years of Burnham governments. Almost as if it’s just an empty headline grabber to take Corbyn votes…

End of an Era…

End of an error, more like…

Where Eagle Dares… to Hire Unpaid Interns

eagle

Here is Angela Eagle slamming unpaid internships during the election campaign:

She could not have been clearer about them:

“Let me assure you, we will legislate to stop this happening, and everybody – whether it is our own party or any other part of the country – will have to make sure there is a level playing field for interns, so those that don’t have deep pockets or rich parents can have access to the same opportunities as everyone else.”

So, this advert from Angela Eagle’s campaign asking for two unpaid interns must be a mistake then?

She calls them ‘volunteers’, but Guido will let you be the judge on whether this sounds like a job or not:

Responsible to the Field Operations Co-ordinator, the post-holders should have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, provide leadership and have excellent organisation skills and attention to detail.

You will be required to work on:

  • Capacity building
  • Volunteer mobilisation
  • Event organisation
  • Liaising with local Labour parties
  • Social media
  • Policy inquiries  
  • Administration of an efficient campaign office
  • Entry of data
  • Other tasks as requested by campaign staff

Please note this role continues until the close of voting in the Labour leadership election.

The Angela Eagle for Deputy campaign values equality and diversity, and welcomes applications from candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

“Let me assure you…”

Will Straw’s Spinning Swingometer

will-straw

Will Straw is one of the editors of a pamphlet from the Fabians – Never Again” – which basically argues that under Ed Miliband their policy offer was too left-wing. It also boasts that in the seat in which he was standing – Rossendale and Darwen – he increased Labour’s vote by 2,000. Up to a point Will…

Rossendale and Darwen’s voter turnout was up by a similar 2,000, the Tory share of the vote went up by 4.8%. Tory Jake Berry increased his majority over Will Straw’s Labour. Expect more spinning of statistics like this when Will starts working for the “Yes to EU” campaign…

Yet Another Burnham Flip Flop

flipflop

Last night Andy Burnham told the LBC hustings that he would serve in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet:

“I would. I would serve the Labour Party at any level that it asked me to serve the Labour Party.”

Iain Dale pushed the ‘frontrunner’ on this:

ID: Any particular job you’d like in a Corbyn Shadow Cabinet?

AB: I would always put the Labour Party…

ID: Chancellor?

AB: I think it’s really important that coming from this, the Labour Party unites. That’s the most important thing and we have a clear sense of direction going forward.

Pretty clear he’s thinking about Shadow Cabinet roles…

Which is odd, given that last week he told the lobby lunch that he was not giving any thought to other jobs and he was only in the race to win it.

He could not have been clearer, he was not even thinking about any Shadow Cabinet, bar his own:

“No funnily enough, I’m not thinking about any other job.

I’m confident I’ve put forward the right change for the Labour Party to mean I will be the next leader of the Labour Party.

I’m not thinking about other jobs.

I’m very focussed on what I’m doing, why I am standing as I say, this party that I love, that I’ve given my life to is, I think, in quite a dangerous position right now. It is out of touch with millions of people around the country. It does need to make some serious changes if it is to win back their trust.

I am purely focussed on that, I’m not giving a thought to anything else.

I’m expecting to be leader and I want to make those changes to the Labour Party from day one.”

Another Andy flip flop…

Cooper and Burnham in Corbyn Tail Spin

Cooper says that last night’s poll proves that only she can beat Corbyn, when it fact it says the complete opposite:

“This doesn’t reflect our internal data and significantly understates the huge number of members and supporters giving Yvette their first preference. However, what it does show is that Yvette is now the only candidate who can win the leadership election and then reach out to the wider electorate to win the general election in 2020. We won’t do that by shifting a narrow party further to the left or by returning to the dismal days of the 1980s, with internal party warfare and almost two decades of Opposition. Party members know that to change the country, we need to deliver a Labour government. Yvette is the only candidate who can both win support across the Party but take the fight to the Tories as a credible Labour Prime Minister.”

Burnham supporters also suggest that their own canvass data shows Corbyn is ‘doing well, but not that well’. This piece of spin is lamentable though:

So if you change the rules, their boy will win. Riiiight…

Roll Call of Labour ‘Morons’

From Panglossian cheerleader to doomsayer in the space of two months, Labour spinner John McTernan had some choice words after last night’s poll:

“The moronic MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn to ‘have a debate’ need their heads felt. They should be ashamed of themselves. They’re morons.”

That list of ‘morons’ who nominated Corbyn in full:

Diane Abbott
Rushanara Ali
Margaret Beckett
Richard Burgon
Dawn Butler
Ronnie Campbell
Sarah Champion
Jeremy Corbyn
Jo Cox
Neil Coyle
Jon Cruddas
Clive Efford
Frank Field
Louise Haigh
Kelvin Hopkins
Rupa Huq
Imran Hussain
Huw Irranca-Davies
Sadiq Khan
David Lammy
Clive Lewis
Rebecca Long-Bailey
Gordon Marsden
John McDonnell
Michael Meacher
Grahame Morris
Chi Onwurah
Kate Osamor
Tulip Siddiq
Dennis Skinner
Cat Smith
Andrew Smith
Gareth Thomas
Emily Thornberry
Jon Trickett
Catherine West

The likes of Sadiq, Lammy, Cruddas and Emily Thornberry will be sweating…

Ey Up, Chuck: Yvette’s ‘Mockney’ Mystery

“I will be a leader whose voice can carry in to all the nations and regions of our country,” said Andy Burnham the other day, pledging to “appoint a front bench full of accents and diversity.” And fellow candidate Yvette Cooper is also offering a diversity of accents

When the Shadow Home Secretary speaks in the Commons chamber she takes  care to pronounce every vowel and consonants in a polished and clipped school mistress tone, yet since she’s been running for leader she’s dropping her T’s and has a distinctly more northern twang to her voice on the airwaves during interviews.

Don’t believe Guido? Have a listen:

Well it worked for Tony Blair…

BBC Accidentally Reveal Hand in Lobbying Letter

BLOODY-BBC

The circle jerk continues. In another stunning success for the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Shower, invited guest Michael Palin coughed live on air that BBC director of Television Danny Cohen had personally called up the celebrities that signed the ‘independent’ letter to the Telegraph that argued against a single cut to the BBC. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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