Guido Fawkes has noticed that one Margaret Thatcher is still getting quite a few mentions in the media. Labour of Love reported this phenomenon the best part of two months ago.
Unfortunately the new, soft, Cameron pillow cases mentioned in the piece proved as complete a confidence trick as Cuddly Nu Toryism itself.
Margaret was way ahead of all current leaders on eBay memorabilia. More than 250 items worldwide. Versus W Menzies Campbell's corrected total of ... precisely none.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
This week's PMQ rating session saw Doughty Tim, Shane and Sam giving Dave/id the number of the beast for his half lame performance. They were divided though on which half of his contribution was lame. The blue-on-blue incident, or the yahoo boo Blair-Brown baiting.
The panel agreed that Shilpa Shetty's presence in the public gallery at the invitation of Keith Vaz would dominate the headlines to a rather bog standard session. That Cameron's recent contributions on diversity debate were jeered to his obvious discomfort. And also that W Menzies Campbell remains a good asset for all parties but his own.
666 Lore HERE
By Chris Paul at 2:52 pm
Shameless! Above, Cllr John "Two Jobs" Leech MP, "Tone" Bethell, and "Norm" Lewis.
Supposedly the above are the councillors for Chorlton Park, which has been a ridiculous reign, blighted by talking the place down and doing absolutely nothing. Based on some very Shameless principles. This TV Drama for the so-called "Chatsworth Estate", could surely be based on "Chorlton Park" if these guys don't get their finger out?
The Chatsworth has rape, date rape, sleep rape, on-the-sick, assault, ABH, GBH, murder, petty crime, major crime, extortion, sex addicts, drunks, druggies, serious druggies, little orgies, bi-sex, het-sex, homo-sex, bestial-sex, all-the-above-sex, gangs and gangsters.
The Chorlton Park estates meanwhile have only "most of the above". 95% of the people on these estates are honest, hard-working and hoping that another world is possible. Unfortunately some of their representatives appear more in tune with the other 5%.
Excuse me. But having crucifixes, with jesus bodies on, all around your house is NOT a sign of being a pentecostal charismatic. More usual in Catholic homes really. That's a big mess from cult TV programme Shameless. Paul Abbot knows this and needs to more carefully protect the hand of history on his shoulder.
Frank's segregation of Catholics and Christians however is spot on. What a patronising smile I got aged nine when asked by a teacher (actually a non-Catholic TV tennis star, knocking up with Rod Laver) "what is our religion" I answered "christian" which was quickly corrected by others, with sneering and sniggering, to "catholic". Hey ho! What a mess!
Shiite, Sunni, Wahabi, Sufi. Muslim.
Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Bushy. Christian.
By Chris Paul at 1:17 am
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
LORENZO 23 has added a slightly subversive Flickr set to the Manchester Withington post commentary below.
Next, I reckon, this so called Lorenzo 23'll be blogging it. The more the merrier.
By Chris Paul at 11:23 pm
It was great to see Dominic Littlewood of Revenge TV dealing with the case of 'Red' the enterprising Lurcher dog of Battersea and a dab hand with doors, gates and locks.
My own Lurcher Dog Hooch might have been separated at birth both in his lunk-headed good looks and his houdini instincts. Quite capable of opening our front door by pawing round a classic Yale, and able to open an inward opening door through his advanced grasp of mechanics, he has thankfully been baffled by the new-fangled USA style Yale deadlock.
Hooch has been in the cells of Trafford Police just the once. After being told off mightily by the desk sergeant for he not having a dog tag, and insisting he did in fact sport one, I then listened while the sergeant collected the doggie and wrestled with him to remove his tag off stage. Terrific!
ABOVE: "Red" the resourceful lurcher; BELOW: "Hooch" the resourceful lurcher. Or vice versa.
By Chris Paul at 11:01 pm
LoL's reporter and photographer there. Eight candidates. Forty members. Some candidate machinery. Gossip. Tidbits nibbled. Atmosphere drunk in. Attempts to OUT "local voter" met blank expressions. Denials of NCTJ training. More tomorrow.
By Chris Paul at 12:07 am
Monday, February 05, 2007
Luke Akehurst spins the Rallings and Thrasher calculator on the BBC web here like there's no tomorrow, no yesterday and no today.
In essence the calculation projects what may have happened with the exact same votes cast in 2005 if the boundaries recommended by the various boundary commissioners were in place. Luke suggests that David Cameron is in the same shape as Michael Foot was all those years ago. But I don't think there's much point in providing an overspun analysis.
The figures show that Michael Howard was in similar shape to Michael Foot, though Mr Foot had thirteen more Scottish seats to shoot at back in the day. So Foot was arguably even worse off.
The numbers are quite encouraging and the loss to Labour's majority is less than the 20-plus that had been reported but 20 months, and two leadership changes with a third on the way, and events dear boy events mean that the table for 2005 on the new boundaries still leaves everything to play for.
The BBC say it's good news for Cameron, the Akehurst says it's good news for Labour. The truth is perhaps somewhere betwixt and between.
By Chris Paul at 6:26 pm
Triangulation tells us where to train our heavy artillery. Winning the odd battle. But what about the war?
Luke Akehurst quotes the case of the newly boundaried Dagenham and Rainham constituency and tries to use this as a stick to beat those of us in the Party who are not convinced that perpetual triangulation to hook swing votes is sustainable or desirable.
Luke says that people in MARGINAL seats will notice bloggers and deputy candidates arguing about the policy dog whistles aimed at them and close their ears. But it's people in NOT MARGINAL seats hearing this stuff and telling us where to get off to that concerns me.
Obviously we want to get first past the post and preferably 350 seats but we don't want to be screwing over 315 of these and giving tidbits to the other 35 ... or do we Luke?
As one commentator Nick said the minutae of policy and even to an extent the broad brushes are lost on many voters. They notice the biggest headlines, wars, the price of a pint, potholes and dog poo ... and, hold the presses, most could stand more honest to goodness Labour policies from the Labour Party! They don't like having NO CHOICE and that causes some to stay at home and not follow their tribal instincts.
From my point of view Tony Blair has been a class act as PR man, but he went too far with product reinvention in 1997 and continued to go farther. That's why we're right out on the right of whatever being Labour possibly is. If only he had been marketeering for the progressive democratic socialist programme the country was crying out for!
The core vote - that alleged 32% or thereabouts - that we and the Tories each have as instinctive, tribal voters is partly dying out, partly finding ready to dabble, partly finding themselves ready to ship out for good.
Good luck in Rainham and Dagenham. But anecdotal single constituency "reasons" are hardly enough for a generalisation. Swing voters are excellent if they come down on the right side in the end but the cost of wooing them in both policy and financial terms is a hard one to bear. In Manchester Withington - won in 1987 (close in 83) on unselfish principles and lost in 2005 on selfish triangulation at the centre - the picture is entirely different.
Perhaps Manchester Withington is Labour's wake up call rather than the aberration of urban intelligensia that New Labour spin central bashed out by way of excuse for the 17% swing to the Lib Dems.
Parburypolitica is picking up some new tricks, the old dog. The SPSS produced distribution shows how sadly lots of Lib Dems either lose seats immediately or see a drop in their votes. More than half of them polled a much lower percentage in 2005 than in 2001.
Whether they are vying with a government flavoured opponent or a not very resurgent Tory. John Leech's 667 majority has never looked a safer bet to be overturned. It'll take some doing of course as Lib Dems here are renowned for their lying, cheating and stealing. But these charts never lie. He's toast. And I'll drink to that.
FOLLOW UP: Can Mr Parbury please explain immediately why the Diabolical Liberties have so many dots? Or see me after class.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Iain Dale thinks this teacher's departure from his temporary teaching post in a Slough Secondary for allegedly saying, among other things: "Most (or All) suicide bombers are Muslim" to a class discussing an essay they had produced, set by another teacher, on the advantages and disadvantages of religion.
There doesn't seem to be enough evidence in the BBC text or the linked video tape for Iain to seem so certain that the decision to let the teacher go constitutes an outrage. Perhaps it does. But there is no evidence. Just the man's assertion of his innocence.
The reporter's question about racism, vehemently denied by the supply teacher, specifying as evidence in his rebuttal that he was a Christian as if that cleared him instantly of being capable of racism, completely misses the nuance between racism and religious discrimination.
Nick Griffin and Mark Collett are seriously damaged goods. But court claims "Not racist". Every one of these BNP men do however boast criminal records.
This is of course the main reason quoted on why Mr Nick Griffin and Mr Mark Collett of the fine, upstanding and eminently respectable BNP escaped justice in Leeds Crown Court recently. Slagging off Islam but successfully arguing that this was not racist or even aimed at muslims. Local Blogger's View: 2 February 2006 entry.
Let us wait and see what if anything emerges over time on this strange case of a certain Mr McCluskey, an allegedly loose and rather reprehensible remark, and the upset 12 year old students of Baylis Court School.
Suicide bombing is completely outwith the correct practice of Islam. Just as placing murderous bombs in Omagh Town is not within the teaching of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
I imagine that a supply teacher who went into the old school of Padraig O'Brien (BBC London's reporter) and made a similar remark about Catholics or Protestants would find that their feet would not touch the floor.
Dizzy picks up the Labour MP for Blaydon, David Anderson, claiming that on the 24th February, the BNP will "effectively be recognised as a trade union by the certification officer".
Dizzy goes on to follow the Telegraph in making out that the BNP are in fact lefties. But one of his correspondents calling themselves 'Charlotte' says they will join this union not run "for the benefit of marxists", which rather screws Dizzy's analysis.
The BNP are divisive communalists (on the south asian or old Nazi model) and fascists rather than "white-power socialists" as Dizzy asserts. A genius adds the following comment:
"Though it (the BNP's fascism) may be based on an illusion of worker interest it is of course in the interests of the few not the many, commencing with a divide and rule and common enemy format as dog-whistled by the Tory strategist Dave/id Cameron for 2005 before he became a Cuddly-Nu-Tory."
Thorough story on the stage Solidarity is at from Searchlight who also cover the BNP's subversion of Trade Union participation in Holocaust Memorial Day 2005.
HERE the Telegraph covered the story of the BNP's newspaper being printed by a Saudi owned firm alongside a host of Arab and Muslim publications.
By Chris Paul at 4:18 pm
Guido and Iain are only too pleased to be taken in by a Murdoch story in NOTW which quotes a CPS source - presumably a porter or cloakroom attendant or someone Guido or CCHQ made up - with all sorts of wild revelations and predictions about how the investigation is going and where it is heading.
Quite the opposite to what police sources were telling BBC Newsnight's Martha Kearney and others on Thursday. What do you reckon? News of the Screws? Or BBC TV? Who to believe?
"FA" Faria Alam is also successfully stitched up. But the saddest story of the day is of former Labour MP Fiona Jones who has died of hard drinking. This was triggered by both a degenerate drinking culture at the Palace of Westminister and by the campaign to oust her based on allegations of over-spending in her election campaign. Of which Fiona was quickly cleared on appeal.
On a day when Iain Dale is inaccurately calling sensible expenses capping rules for the between elections period "Gerrymandering" LoL would hope that more well-founded allegations of over-spending are acted upon, without the same tragic results.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
On today's showing my personal abridged notes (in batting order):
Jenny Lennox: Most feisty, Most visibly socialist, Most authentic (joint), Special mention for her locality;
Jane Evans PhD: Best anecdotes, Most green credentials;
Councillor Nargis Khan: Only one already elected to public office, Lib Dem basher, Most authentic (joint), Most heart;
Yogesh Virmani PhD: Most persistently local, Best poncho, Best chair-defying duration;
Casra Khan: Most experienced PPC, Audibly socialist, Most excellent on the NHS;
Jane Lewis: Most casual speech, Strongest Trade Union service;
Sandra Moorcroft: Greatest surprise, Very confident and clear, Will make someone a good PPC;
Lucy Powell: Best prepared, Slickest delivery, Clearly popular with constituency officers, Best dad in the room;
Naheed Arshad-Mather MBE: Most decorated, Strongest on housing.
All in all this is a very impressive collection of Labour women every one of whom has more integrity and vocation to serve than the incumbent rascal John Leech. Though one or two were I think slightly disingenuous about the currency and strength of their local connections.
The format used for this preliminary was a short speech and three 'identical' questions. There was some variation in the latter which made small differences at the margins. Advice to CLPs: Recite such questions WORD PERFECTLY and possibly provide wording of each on paper as they are asked.
John Leech's people were urged by a party lay officer to de-select an Asian woman who had stood with very successful swings in 1997 and 2001 on the grounds that as a black, a muslim, and as a woman she had no chance. Withington will at last have a chance to prove at least one, if not all three slurs on the electorate of Withington completely and hopelessly inaccurate.
APOLOGIES: To Yogesh Virmani, labouring under the wrong family name here. Now corrected. And the Naheed Arshad-Mather MBE who has now been redecorated.
UPDATE: Considering the rules under which this selection is being conducted I have now removed four comments from among the 50 comments to date. These are the ones that included particularly disparaging remarks - against the letter and the spirit of the rules - if anyone thinks I've missed anything serious please drop me a line at idea at mcr1 dot poptel dot org dot uk. Thanks.
If you don't enjoy gallows candour look away now.
This was a rather better week for one Guido Fawkes than enjoyed by his illustrious forebear. The illustration shows the closing stages of his long, ahem, drawn out execution.
After months of torture Fawkes tried to speed his own end by throwing himself violently off the gibbet in the hope of some neck snapping relief before they started cutting him up.
Plot foiled. Rope snapped. So poor Fawkes was more not less alive when they started cutting bits off him, burning them before his very eyes, pulling his guts out, and so on and so forth. Eventually they chopped his head off.
Presumably they are searching for his dark heart, and find alas that it had already gone to the one true heaven.
Has Yates of the Yard got his ducks in a row? On Thursday LoL reported the second questioning of Mr Blair but unlike the Tory bloggers included the news that police sources were also saying they may not have much of a case.
Martha Kearney reported this nuance too on Newsnight. While it's pretty clear that all the parties are pushing the envelope of the rules it does look like all the horse-trading of loans, gifts, Ks and Big Ps may have been entirely within the current law.
Today's Guardian reports extensively: Blair can't go early; Blair deftly passes Humphreys grilling; yet Labour still fears charges. Towards the foot of this third piece which reckons CPS and learned counsel may be pushed very hard, despite what police sources have already briefed is a bit of a thin case, Tony Wright is quoted:
The police should not be worried if they are not going to charge anybody over this because they have already done an invaluable service in shaking up the body politic by investigating in this area.
Whatever happens there will be a full enquiry by the Commons public administration committee which this Labour MP chairs.
LoL still think this epic rivals Moby Dick and that Yates, Fawkes and Cameron may end up sleeping with the fishes on this one.
By Chris Paul at 2:23 am
Friday, February 02, 2007
Unpopular though Mr Hain is with his loyal constituents, including one of my sisters-in-law in South Wales, with the fenians and orangemen alike in "the province", and with Tories who don't like the jaunty cut of his jib, he could easily have found himself even more unpopular with the paid officer classes in the Labour Party.
Guido leaked a list purportedly of Hain's supporters including a number who are expected to be neutral, and Dale's friends had Hain defending his possible use of (apparently inept) SpAds in his campaign, in answering a dark parliamentary question.
But thankfully at Labour's NEC on Tuesday Peter was able to assert that none of the paid officials on the leaked list were in fact in league with him in any way whatsoever.
So that's alright then. All sorted in 30 seconds. I'll drink to that! Obviously none of those paid officials would do such a thing. Or take sides in any internal party matter. Ever. Quite so.
UPDATE: At Withington selection pre-hustings gathering today I am assured that members of staff have been getting very humble apologies from the tanned one. He was very amusing at regional Conference last year with the eyebrow work of Whippy Woolas as Hain went from off-message to off-message, in a good kinda way, remarkable to behold.
Very interesting thread HERE about the shock by-election win for arms profiteer Willie Rennie MP. The last 50 minutes of the on the night thread are reproduced. Even after a result was known people were betting on Labour in case of a recount.
This reminiscence about a betting market failure was prompted by Manchester's win on the casino front.
The comments on the retaking of Withington strand show signs of Lib Dem trolls. John Leech MP has stood up with Rennie for his ridiculous, given his history, tilting at cluster bomb windmills.
For my money BOTH these crooked characters will lose and lose badly next time. In Withington the swing in local elections has already been SIX TIMES that required to get rid of lightweight Leech. Even minor Tory recovery would see them dead and buried. Nothing to grin about.
Luke Akehurst is being complimentary about grass roots Labour people and our ability to grasp and debate contentious policy areas in our constituencies. Hallelujah!
Once again Luke got the impression that most of those gathered to debate Trident supported CND's Kate Hudson rather than his good self.
Luke asks the National Executive Committee and National Policy Forum to take note of the fact that : "there are a lot of people out there in the party with intelligent contributions to make to policy debate and a lack of opportunities to contribute".
"It was one of those good debates where you come away with respect for the integrity and thoughtfulness of the position taken by your opponent".
The mystery for me then is why party managers - elected and salaried - make such an effort to keep these debates off the conference floor.
In Brighton 2005 delegates were urged to vote in the priorities ballot to include and then defeat nasty Trade Union resolutions on NHS Privatisation and Trade Union Rights (Gate Gourmet). The delegate (aw shucks) who stood up and suggested voting for four CLP resolutions got some hard stares I can tell you.
The same line was occurring in each of the regional briefings however and when followed by naive and/or loyal delegates kept Iraq and Trident Replacement off the agenda. At least this meant some of the loyal "resolutions" which had not been passed by CLPs but which were passed by CAC didn't need to be used to try for a pro-war resolution if worst came to worst. Probably for the best.
In Manchester 2006 the same line: "It's a tradition to vote for some of the Union motions, and they vote for some of ours" Anon Minister (BB), again kept Trident and Iraq and Civil Liberties and so on off the agenda.
Luke Akehurst believes I think that delaying or opting against Trident replacement could make Labour unelectable in the super marginals. I'm not so sure. And I don't believe that chasing the votes of some of the floaters in these places is a sustainable option for the party.
By Chris Paul at 12:10 pm
Great piece and graphic here from Dave Spart. But I do think that giving Lord Levy or New Labour credit for all the mutual masturbation that is fondly raising Labour's mighty big Ps these days is utterly wrong. Even giving credit to the Liberals who lined their own pockets rather than their party's.
Like Tony Blair himself Dave Osler should learn some history and credit the Robber Barons and Bashing Bishops of Runnymede 1215 with inventing the whole scam.
All those years ago. Bit of a double edged sword really. Monarch not above the law. Their Lordships however can keep whatever they can steal. Apart from what they have to give the King or Queen to join the crop circle.
How it all began.
By Chris Paul at 10:52 am
NOW LoL's original list of ten has been extended by well wishers to nineteen. Any more?
Iain Dale suggests that anonymous but he alleges "New Labour" trolls take up sticks and stones rather than throwing their ugly words at him. But he is very clearly very upset.
The Manic Tim Ireland has spotted that while Guido and Iain have been throwing a lot of stones at The Smith Institute, which does seem to have been coasting a little close to the cold wind of Charity Law, Mr Dale is being inconsistent.
Living in a glass house. He shouldn't throw stones. Iain is Trustee of a Tory-orientated Trust similar to but worse than the allegedly Labour-oriented one he is heroically nicking Guido's stories on.
It is The Policy Exchange which Timbo "Manic" Ireland thinks we should be told about. Detail on the Good Ship TPE and her Trustees HERE.
TOP IMAGE: ever ready Theo Spark.
Dr Rupa Huq has been blogging more which is great as this more than slightly raises the IQ and vastly raises the beauty, charm and etiquette (apart that is from her vile potty mouth swearing) of the whole damned political blogospere.
Here Roops is relating her taking-to-task of the Rt Hon David Blunkett, whose search (with The Sun) on google images still brings up this strange weed, a late panel addition to a general "Goody Goody Racists" debate at the University of East London.
Rubina, Roops' sometime undercover name, has it seems been promoted to Professor and returned to Manchester University, or else BLINK are sadly misinformed. No-one claimed Karen Chouhan was a Baroness. She doesn't have the readies to purchase a big P at today's prices.
Sadly the students will all have to retake Society 101 as they voted two-to-one that the happenings in the BBH really do reflect British Society rather than being some thick-and-rude-girls (TARGs?) on a Reality TV programme. The outcry - including in The Sun, Daily Mail and even The Sport with only The Daily Telegraph as LoL reported at the time bigging up the marvellous Jade (a funny way for an Arts Section Editor to resign) - and the various votes taken are EVIDENCE that post-Blair post-New Labour British Society is better than that.
By Chris Paul at 9:24 am
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The Guardian falls in with all the other media in once again providing - page one lead and double spread plus multi-linked web pages - a Media Storm to order over the arrest of some asian, muslim, brown terrorist suspects. This time the police may have got it right. But this has been the scene over and over again with such middle-of-the-night arrests of asian suspects whether they are eventually charged with anything or not.
Generally we get some hearsay suspect names, some addresses or at least streets. Sometimes we get pictures too.
What a contrast that is with the five column centimetres - in Jon Henley's diary which is the sum total of national daily newspaper coverage, neglecting the Morning Star, for the arrest of two middle-aged, white, right-wing, professional men found with 22 separate bomb making components as well as incendiary BNP literature.
In a remarkable twist the Police Superintendent on the scene told reporters all kinds of things about the arrest and his beliefs about the men's guilt or otherwise. I will not repeat these as they were facile. I cannot imagine the same mediation being spoken outside the home of a Mohammed rather than a David. But please do not assume that just because The Burnley Citizen tagged their picture of Robert Cottage's cottage "bomb" the ex-BNP boys were up to anything at all naughty with all those lovely chemicals.
Are the British Press institutionally racist? And were the local BNP having a laugh when they commented along the lines that they were glad the men had resigned as they would never want to be associated with such things. Shame there's a charge and conviction list as long as the arm of the law.
By Chris Paul at 3:40 pm
Will Parbury is dismayed that The Standards Board have let off Cllr Turner of the BNP for domestic violence, police assault, football hooliganism and racist chanting. It is not so long ago that the Lib Dem Mayor of Settle Cllr Heather was let off after assuring a conference of Black and Ethnic Minority RMT members that he wouldn't roll out his usual "coon jokes".
The Tories are of course legendary, and at times wax lyrical in this area of endeavour, up to and including the Dave/id Cameron inspired 2005 Manifesto and Campaign.
Labour of Love are still waiting to hear what words were spoken by that ever so nice Evening Standard reporter towards the end of the taped exchange with Ken Livingstone. No sign of the probably very nasty remarks on the tape or the transcript submitted to the court. The Judge laughed the Standard out of court when they claimed that Ken was lying over the content being grossly rude to himself and the lovely paper, now owned by former Mosley-backers, sadly failed to produce the missing link. Can anyone provide details?
This hair-raising news will no doubt have Guido Fawkes beside himself, not to mention very disappointed in his supposed insider sources. Mr Blair and Mr Yates can it seems both keep a secret from the Tory conspirators.
The BBC report LoL caught did also contain a Police-attributed opinion that they might well not have evidence to proceed to charges. Tory bloggers have not reported that bit.
GUIDO: actually controlling himself rather well HERE.
IAIN: Getting excited HERE.