Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Seen Elsewhere


Leather Says Leave

Well you would want them on your side in a fight, so what better fight that the coming EU brawl. Guido was amused to discover the formation ofBikers for Britain, a leather clad campaign group for EU referendum enthusiasts from the biker community.
The group also has the baking to tattoo clad Tory MP Mike Weatherly, a biker. Apparently “the EU has chipped away at the freedom of motorcyclists with a seemingly never-ending stream of legislation.” Well it would be weird for one sub-section of society to avoid it…

That Shadow Cabinet Support in Full

The defence of Ed so far has consisted of MPs saying the leader can’t do it all alone and needs support from his team. So just where are the Shadow Cabinet, and what have they been doing to help their leader during his summer woes? A co-conspirator passes Guido this list:
Ed Miliband – hasn’t tweeted since 22 July
Ed Balls – hasn’t tweeted since 26 July
Yvette Cooper – hasn’t tweeted since 27 July
Hilary Benn – hasn’t tweeted since 24 July
Angela Eagle – hasn’t tweeted since 27 July
Liam Byrne – hasn’t tweeted since 26 July
Michael Dugher – hasn’t tweeted since 30 July
Call in the support… hello? Anyone…

Leaked Guardian Editorial Salaries

According to the ONS the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees in 2011/12 was £26,500. A lower sum than that paid to every single full-time editorial member of staff at the Guardian. Guido has been leaked the pay structures of junior staff, and it makes for an intriguing read in these austere times. Given the interest the paper takes in how much other people are paid, it’s only fair that this document sees the light of day:
For some reason the rates for columnists and executive level staff have been left off the list. And lets not forget all those workers on zero-hour contracts that actually keep the paper and website going…

Sun Hire Former PCC Director as New Managing Editor

Stig Abell, the former director of the Press Complaints Commissionhas joined the Sun:
Big summer transfer news.

David Ward’s Charm Offensive Continues

Despite being suspended from his party, David Ward is already making plans for LibDem conference. Officially his suspension ends the day before the yellow’s come together in Glasgow, though Nick Clegg hinted before he went on holiday that the punishment may be extended given that Ward is refusing to back down on his inflammatory claim that the future of Israel is not a given.  Two weeks ago a LibDem source said the Bradford MP’s return to the party fold would not be automatic. No doubt the leadership will be endeared by his words to his local paper today about the “inept” coalition. Ward is backing moves to raise the top tax threshold back up to 50p:
“I think this is a good idea. The economics of it, in terms of whether it brings in huge amounts of money, are not conclusive – but it’s about sending out a message that we are all in this together. It was politically inept to abolish it right at the time when so many other people are really struggling.”
Guido does enjoy seeing Ward using the word “inept” about someone else.

UKIP MEP’s Shortlist

Ukip claim a “exhaustive, multilayered assessment programme” for Europe candidates. Lets hope that included looking at their Facebook pages. Here is who made the cut:
Eastern – shortlist
Patrick O’Flynn
Stuart Agnew
Tim Aker
Andrew Smith
Michael Heaver
Andy Monk
Mick McGough
East Midlands – shortlist
Roger Helmer
Margot Parker
Jonathan Bullock
Barry Mahoney
Nigel Wickens
London – shortlist
Paul Oakley
Gerard Batten
Andrew McNeilis
Anthony Brown
Elizabeth Jones
Lawrence Webb
Alastair McFarlane
Peter Whittle
North East – shortlist
Jonathan Arnott
John Tennant
Richard Elvin
North West – shortlist
Paul Nuttall
Michael McManus
Louise Bours
Shneur Odze
Steven Woolfe
Lee Slaughter
Peter Harper
Simon Noble
South East – shortlist
Nigel Farage
Janice Atkinson
Ray Finch
Diane James
Nigel Jones
Simon Strutt
Patricia Culligan
Alan Stevens
Donna Edmunds
Barry Cooper
South West – shortlist
Gawain Towler
Julia Reid
Tony McIntyre
William Dartmouth
Keith Crawford
Robert Smith
West Midlands – shortlist
Jill Seymour
Phil Henrick
Bill Etheridge
James Carver
Michael Wrench
Michael Green
Lyndon Jones
Yorks & N Lincs – shortlist
Godfrey Bloom
Jane Collins
Jason Smith
Amjad Bashir
Mike Hookem
Gary Shores
Scotland – shortlist
David Coburn
Mike Scott-Hayward
Christopher Monckton
Otto Inglis
Paul Henke
Malcolm Macaskill
Ross Durance
Steven McKeane
Kevin Newton
Wales – shortlist
Nathan Gill
James Cole
Gareth Dunn
David Rowlands
Caroline Jones
Martyn Ford
Brian Morris
Members now vote, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Express hack Patrick O’Flynn is off to Europe…
UPDATE: For super-nerds here is the actual 1-60 ranking given by the UKIP NEC to each of their candidates.

WATCH: Chris Bryant claims “I was Always Going to Say Essex”

Chris Bryant’s tour of the airwaves, spade in hand, continues. This time it’s a tetchy outing with Jon Craig on Sky News:
Apparently he was always going to say Essex. So who is getting fired?
Via LiarPoliticians

Rivers of Blunder: Chris Bryant’s Today Implosion

Last week Chris Bryant claimed the Home Office “can’t even get the basics right, stumbling from one shambles to another”, this morning it is safe to say that he has been taught a valuable lesson about throwing the grenade after you’ve pulled the pin out:
Imagine the storm that Labour would have whipped up had a Tory minister confused two counties in the north. Home Office sources are enjoying proceedings: “We hope there isn’t a reshuffle as we’d like to keep him.” There is a fair point somewhere in what Bryant was trying to say, but surely if you are moaning about EU migration the answer is to vote UKIP rather than Labour?
UPDATE: Bryant’s attempts to diffuse the situation did not go very well either:
“So, err, good luck!”
Videos via @TheLeftardsThe Spectator

Guido’s Guide to Ed’s Silent Summer Rumbles

Briefing that you have left the country and turned off your mobile phone is a pretty weird move for any politician, let alone one purporting to be the leader of the opposition. While the odd-cat’s away, the Labour mice have come out to play. It was not a great weekend for Ed. Here’s your one stop handy Guido Guide to those who have broken cover, so far.
Most recently it was Graham Stringer on the Beeb:
“It’s not quite clear what our policies on welfare are, what our policies on housing are, what our policies on education are. I think the real worry is the sort of almost deafening silence that has been from the Shadow Cabinet at a time of the year is traditionally a ripe time for the opposition to attack the government. While the Government are on their holidays and thinking about other things, the Opposition has always used that as a way to put policies in the public’s mind and to have a go at anywhere where the Government has failed. So I think the party is genuinely worried about the lack of activity in the Shadow Cabinet. I think a huge opportunity is being missed. And I suppose the second worry is that I don’t believe that members of the Shadow Cabinet are lazy in any sense. I think it is stemming from the lack of coherence and cogence of our policies. Although I don’t expect Ed Miliband and other members of the Shadow Cabinet to write out what exactly is going to be in out manifesto in twenty months’ time, I do expect that the public should be told and the party should be able to support very clear and coherent policies.”
He also said bring back Mandy, an idea he stole off Brownite boot-boy Ian Austin:
Further up the ladder is Andy Burnham doing wonders for his campaign to not get booted out of the health brief:
“I think there’s definitely a need to shout louder, and speak in a way that captures how people are thinking and feeling. There’s definitely a need to put our cards on the table. Voters have decided the coalition is a disaster, but what they aren’t yet convinced is that we have the answers”.
Ominously, Burnham added Miliband had until the spring to fix these problems. This all followed the interventions earlier in the month fromGeorge Mudie:
“The real thing is, do you know, ‘cos I don’t, know our position on welfare, do you know our position on education, do you know our genuine position on how we’d run the health service? Now so if you’re not getting a clear enough message to me, and to some of my colleagues, what are you, what kind of message do you think you’re putting out there.”
…and Geriant Davies:
“The party’s challenge is to provide a compelling case as to why Britain would be better off with Labour. Firstly, the problem is that the electorate doesn’t yet see a clear choice between the parties on cuts vs growth. Secondly, the Tories have been relentless in asserting that Labour messed up the economy. Not rebutting this charge makes us look like a shamefaced schoolboy admitting responsibility by omission.”
And lets not forget the Mirror have been extra helpful of late:
“The truth is the Labour leader isn’t the decisive, dominant political figure he needs to become if he is to stroll into Downing Street.”
Happy holidays!