Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Caption Competiton....

A correspondent (and fellow former party hack) sends in this image of a lightweight dancing..

Do your worst.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Links.. Ideas...

OK, so I was away for a while. Bloggers are fickle and give up and move around a lot (Sorry, I meant, the Blogging world is fast paced and never static).

Also, I'm shifting to all-new blogger today (ooh err)

So I need new links. So dear readers, Plug a blog. If it's good, I'll stick in in my links and read it regularly. If it's bad, I'll probably do the same, because I'm a pretty nice sort of guy.

PS. I'm glad to see that the drivelling idiots of the Lobby agreed with me about yesterday. Cameron flopped, the floppy haired fop.

PPS. I think Cameron has lost weight recently. Has he been in training, if so impressive achievement given that he's giving up smoking. Come on CCHQ, we need Cameron's top diet secrets.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

At last, a fight about policy.

The Queen's speech debate surprised me. Not because of the legislation, which is mostly sensible, intelligent but not world-shattering stuff like pensions reform, anti-terror measures and crime.

No, what was surprising was the way in which Blair and Cameron battled it out. One of the conversations Labour types sometimes have late at night is whether or not the PM is really passionate about taking out cameron, given that he doesn't have to win an election against him. Today settled that question.

Cameron didn't give a bad speech. He was, as is his style, rather witty, with good jokes. He recycled his complaints about poor governance quite effectively and showed the new political tactic of lauding the Prime Minister and blaming the Chancellor. However, he did go on a bit too long, and given only the last paragraph or so of his speech was about Conservative policy proposals (most of which were in the actual Queens speech), it seemed rather thin gruel, certainly not enough material on which to base a claim you were going to bring hope to the country.

The hope line gave Blair his starting point into his speech- contrasting rhetorical hope with real hope provided by economic success, education and opportunity He really tore at Cameron, both patronising him (for example picturing Cameron, sitting with the lights going out, asking his cabinet secretary to "rustle up a nuclear power station") and lambasting his political style- quoting his policy shifts on Climate change and Nuclear power, on terrorism and then finishing up with "and all this from a man who said his politics were all about consistency and sticking to your guns".

Intriguingly, Blair finished on a note which Labour will likely stress again and again- Stature, content and governmental drive campared to shallow political trickery, a lightweight versus a heavywight. This might sound a little strange coming from a man widely regarded to have elevated shallow political trickery to an artform, but I think the argument works. It has the merit of fitting into the media perceptions of Brown and Cameron.

Overall, it was the best performance for Blair in a long while, and one that might have confirmed Cameron's image as a policy lightweight, and go a long way to calming nerves in the PLP, especially the closing veiled endorsement of Brown.

Edited for typos since the Comment is Free link

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Are we neeeearly there yet?

God I'm bored of reading leadership speculation. Bored, BORED, BORED.

Listen carefully now: this is how it's going to go.

At some point in the next 6 months, most probably immediately after the May elections, if things are going badly, a couple of months before, Tony Blair will announce he's standing down.

Gordon Brown and John McDonell will definitely stand. John Reid, or Milburn, or Byers or whoever pops up next as the "blairite successor" won't except that John Hutton might well stand if he thinks he can get 44 signatures, a task which at the moment is beyond him.

Michael Meacher will almost certainly stand if he thinks he can get 44.

Whatever happens there will be a great call for an election, and if McDonnell or Meacher don't get 44 nominees there will be a move to either allow them through anyway or have a national affirmative ballot.

Brown will win with over 60% of the vote if Hutton and McDonnell both stand and over 75% if there's only a Lefty candidate.

The Deputy Leadership election will come down to a choice between one of Blears, Benn and Johnson and one of Hain and Cruddas. Pick one from column A to find your winner. Brown won't endorse any, but it'll be clear who he won't want.

Now I've told you all what will go down, can we please hear no more about it until the New Year please?

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Monday, November 13, 2006

I for one welcome our Rees-Mogg overlords.

I give up. I've tried to fight the oversized chip on my shoulder, I really have, but it's to no avail.

Resistence is clearly useless. We are destined to be ruled by generation after generation of Rees-Moggs and Corens and Stothards. Let us bicker no longer, and instead praise this brave new world, and hope perhaps that our children's children will one day have the honour of having parents who were Times columnists.

For today, let us simpy bow down to our masters.

They shall grant us wisdom from every broadsheet newspaper as soon as they reach the age of maturity.

They shall entertain us with their thoughts on pornography, or food, or politics, or student life, allowing us to see the everday anwith the fresh eyes of their wit and genius for observation.

We shall elect them to Parliament in cohorts, invite them to present TV shows and ask them to be the voice of our generation on endlessly recycled "best of" clip shows.

We shall, for no particular reason we can think of, buy their books, find them generally readable if hackneyed or a little try-hard, and then realise that it it is we who are repsonsible henceforth for their presence on the best sellers list, their ubiquity on television and in newspaper columns and even in the highest councils of our nation (well, in the Conservative party).

Clearly, this race of reasonably able, unobjectionably privileged children of writers have inherited an ability to control us through the written word from their fore-fathers.

Let us accept their hegemony, welcome their commands, for then at least they might give us rest from their celebrity.

After all, can there be any facet of our life than cannot be improved by having it explained to us by the privileged?

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