Saturday, June 28, 2008

Labour Tries To Counter-Attack On Tory "Sleaze"

There has been much scratching of heads and stroking of beards by Labour Party loyalists over the last few days and weeks who are struggling to come to terms with why they are so out of favour with the electorate. One of their notably smaller-brained "strategists" writing on Labourhome has come up with the totally unoriginal idea of attacking the Conservatives on their record on so-called "sleaze".

"We should ALL have Cameron on the ropes.... over the baker's dozen or so of his parliamentary groups in Westminster and Strasbourg who have not declared, declared late, tried to cover up etc embarrassing donations; or who have dipped way, way too deep in the gravy...... Leave Gordon alone. Go get Nanny Caroline and Oily Alan." (For those of you that don't subject yourself to the prolific and unmitigated drivel that Chris Paul writes on his blog, this is about par for the course.)

His point apparently is to exhort the head-scratchers and the beard-strokers to stop concentrating on why Labour is so bloody useless -" shift to the lefters claiming this proves we must shift to the left, Compassites calling for a headless-chicken of a seminar and yet another will-the-ends pamphlet, the triangulating roundheads getting their protractors out, the wannabe leaders' camps sharpening their knives, the "no strings" funders pulling stroke after stroke, and Progress concentrating on upsetting Shami Chakrabarti." (No, I don't know what he is talking about either but this seems to be the language that Nu-Labour use when they communicate between their various factions.)

So that's it - attack the Tories on "sleaze" and Labour will be back into the voters' favour - Gordon Brown will walk on water and go on to be Prime Minister for as long as Robert Mugabe will be President of Zimbabwe.

Ermm! What about the David Abrahams' case that is now being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service? Last year it emerged that Mr Abrahams had donated money to Labour using a series of conduits including his secretary and a builder. The property developer was one of the party's biggest backers and gave £670,000 but his identity had been kept secret. The police conducted a far more low-profile investigation into this case than that into the Labour cash-for-honours enquiry, although several key Labour figures have been interviewed under caution.

There was apparently a degree of murkiness about the Abrahams' donations (dodgy planning permission deals with Labour's North-East mafia?) but it is by no means certain that a prosecution will result under potential breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as a result of donations made through intermediaries. Time will tell.

If the Labour grass roots really think they can outflank the Conservatives by simply shouting "sleaze" then they are likely to be seriously disappointed. They need to look deeper and wider for their real problem. They have a leader who is not up to the job; they have a third-rate Cabinet; they have run out of ideas that inspire the voters; and they have a reputation for sleaze and incompetence which will not be forgotten by the wider electorate.

My advice to Labour supporters? Go back to your constituencies and prepare for non-government - for a very long time. And so say all of us!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Can King Brown Hold Back The Tide?

Faced with the disastrous Henley by-election result - even going so low in the voters' estimation as to come fifth behind both the Greens and the BNP and losing their deposit with only 3% of the vote - and the continued onslaught of the wider opinion polls, you would think that Gordon Brown would do the honourable thing and step down as Prime Minister, call a general election and face the consequences. Well, er, no actually - he's getting on with the job. "By-elections come and by-elections go and blah, blah, blah....".

That is entirely understandable because he knows he still has a majority in the House of Commons that he can corral when the going gets tough. At least half of them are terrified of losing their seats if he did go the people. Up to a point, he can use this fear factor to keep them under control while he waits for the political tide to change.

However painful for the majority of people who really want to see the back of him it might be, he can bluff it out until the last moment possible. Or can he?

According to the latest Ipsos MORI poll Brown's first year in office has seen the fastest fall in personal ratings for a Prime Minister ever recorded. His ratings are currently as low as John Major's were after Black Wednesday, in the years before Labour's 1997 victory under Tony Blair:

  • Brown's first year also sees the deepest economic gloom Ipsos MORI has recorded since 1980: seven in ten people (69%) now believe that the general economic condition of the country will get worse over the next 12 months.
  • Almost three quarters (73%) of the public are now dissatisfied with the way the Government is running the country, and just one in five (21%) are satisfied.
  • Seven in ten (70%) are dissatisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister. Among Labour supporters, equal numbers are satisfied and dissatisfied with Mr Brown (45%)
  • Half the population (50%) is satisfied with the way David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party, and three in ten (30%) dissatisfied, while one in five (21%) don't know.
  • 82% of Conservative supporters are satisfied with Mr Cameron, and just 9% are dissatisfied (and 35% of Labour supporters are satisfied with Mr Cameron, compared to just 9% of Conservative supporters satisfied with Mr Brown)
  • Seven in ten people (69%) now believe that the general economic condition of the country will get worse over the next 12 months; this is the lowest score Ipsos MORI has recorded since March 1980.

By any stretch of the imagination Gordon Brown is not perceived to be a popular or succesful Prime Minister. However, there is no one in the higher reaches of the Labour Party who is prepared to take on the task of opposing him. This is not surprising as only a fool would do it now - they would rather wait for the inevitable massive drubbing in the next general election and come in as the saviour who will restrict David Cameron to one term as a Conservative Prime Minister. Who is the fool that thinks he or she can do that, I wonder?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brown Slides - LibDems Bounce - Conservatives Continue to Soar!

According to an ICM poll in the Grauniad tomorrow Gordon Brown's trials and tribulations continue unabated.
"The figures record the dramatic decline in Labour fortunes since Brown took over as leader. A year ago, Labour had a four-point lead over the Tories in the June Guardian/ICM poll. Support for the party, at 39%, was 14 points higher than today."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Now It's All Thatcher's Fault

Gordon Brown continues to thrash around for more scapegoats to take the blame for the failures of this Labour Government over the last 11 years. Today we have yet another example of his propensity to re-write history to fit his analysis.

You can read the speech he gave on "social mobility" to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust here. Note that he blames the Thatcher era for stalling the rise in social mobility that had occurred up until then (about half way down page 6).

But Maurice Fitzpatrick, an economist at accountants Grant Thornton, says in the Daily Telegraph that analysis of official figures instead indicates that inequality has not been improved by Labour. He said: "The official figures show that income inequality under Labour so far has been higher on average than it was under Lady Thatcher."

And as John Redwood has written HERE: "Today’s speech is more spin about a broken strategy of spend, spend, spend, than about the problems of a broken society." As so often is the case, he hits the nail right on the head.

Chris Grayling, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: "The more we hear from Gordon Brown, the more you see that this Government has run out of steam. All we've heard today is a series of re-announcements and small scale pilot projects that will make virtually no difference to child poverty. What this country needs is big ideas on welfare reform and tackling family breakdown. We've heard none of that from Gordon Brown."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gordon Brown - The Wonder Year!

If you find yourself waking up more and more in the middle of the night sweating and feeling anxious that Gordon Brown is still the Prime Minister don't worry - you are not alone. Many people are experiencing these "night horrors" after a year of the "Clunking Fist" being our leader.

Help is at hand. Doctors recommend that you keep a copy* of the "Gordon Brown Annual Report: Do We Want Five More Years Of This?" by your bedside. If you wake up at 4.00am shaking with uncontrollable rage just dip into any of its sections and you'll soon feel calmed and realise that the end of this nightmare can't be far away.

*Hat tip: Guido Fawkes

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Dog Days Of Labour!

The Mail on Sunday has got one of the most bizarre graphics I have ever seen to illustrate the current state of the political parties according to a poll by BPIX.

Interestingly, the Conservatives are very close to the 50% barrier with Labour languishing on 26% - the LibDems are back to 14%.

UK Polling Report reports the unsurprising news that 44% think Brown should resign now but only 14% support David Miliband as his replacement - 10% for Jack Straw.

Woof, woof!

Respecting The Irish "No" Vote - Not!

Take a few minutes to read this wonderful piece from Robert Shrimsley reported on the FT Blog. It illustrates beautifully what the politicians that run the EU really think about the people whose views they are supposed to represent

"The great figures of Europe met in the wake of the Irish No vote to agree on a way forward. About one thing they were absolutely clear. “We must respect the Irish vote,” they agreed. “It would be a terrible sign of European arrogance to suggest we could just sweep aside a democratic vote of a member state.

"So they all agreed to go out and tell the Irish how much they respected their vote. And they agreed there must be no bullying; no warning the Irish to get their ungrateful Fenian butts into line or go it alone in miserable and obscure isolation. In fact, they were so clear on this point that they at once agreed to go out and start emphasising it in public. Several gave statements noting that there was pressure from some quarters for Ireland to be left behind but adding that the people of Ireland should not be frightened or feel disrespected because they were sure it would not come to this.

"And so, just to offer further reassurance, they would put up posters in Ireland making clear that the Irish had better vote Yes PDQ or get their miserable Fenian butts out of the EU. But maybe even this is not enough, said one. Perhaps we ought to get over to Ireland and give TV interviews stressing that under no circumstances will there be any miserable Fenian butt-kicking. While they were there, they would take the chance to add that so deep was their respect for the Irish No that Ireland could have as long as it liked to change its mind. Across the continent European leaders insisted there would be no pressure. “If the deadline slips by a few months, so be it,” said one, adding that to take any other view would be to “disrespect the Irish No”.

"But surely, they argued, the best way to demonstrate our respect to the Irish people is to show how we can move Europe forward. We need to change the agenda, said another.“The people have spoken,” they said. And the message was that they wanted to get away from all this talk of treaties and constitutions and referendums that had caused the Irish reaction that had to be respected. “We have to move the agenda on,” they said. We need to stop bothering the people of the EU with these referendums they do not understand. When you analyse this, they said, what the Irish - who had to be respected - were telling them was that this was far too complex a matter and they want us to drive this through without bothering them.

"Once you put it that way it was clear their views had to be respected. More importantly they had to heed the message that they were being told - to stop fussing about internal stuff and start talking about things that really mattered to the people, like jobs and the economy. That meant they needed to drive through those changes as fast as possible so they could get on to the important matters.

"So they got to work at once, working out how to secure most of the rejected changes without bothering the Irish again - out of respect for their democratically expressed wishes. After all, they noted, deep down the Irish are good Europeans. They know a convoy cannot move at the pace of its slowest member - unless, of course, that slowest member is France."

So there we have it! Stuff you Ireland - get off your butts and fall into line. We are going full steam ahead whether you like it or not. Democracy - don't ya just love it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

David Davis Gets His Freedom Show On The Road

In this concise piece for ConservativeHome David Davis sets out the key points of his campaign on the reduction in our freedoms by this Labour Government.

This passage seems to summarises the things that he wants to debate:

" ....there are now 266 state powers allowing officials to force their way into your home. Six hundred public bodies have the authority to bug phones and emails and intercept the post. And God help you if you put out the wrong kind of rubbish or attempt to get you child into one of the few schools not ruined by a decade of Labour government. Gordon’s neighbourhood spies are watching......My hostility to the Government's bloated and unworkable £19 billion ID card scheme and my dismay at its creation of the largest DNA database on earth stuffed with the details of a million innocent people are well known...."

On this basis, he seems to have got off to a good start and promises to run an unconventional campaign with debates involving people from all ends of the political spectrum. Let's hope it proves to be as interesting to the wider public as he intends.

Tomorrow, he launches his website to act as a sounding board for the debate. You can follow the debate there and put your views forward by emailing him at

I urge you all to do as he suggests and have your say.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Can Cameron Maintain The Momentum?

There are two new opinion polls this weekend. Both show the Conservatives are still well ahead of Labour. (The details of the YouGov poll are here and the link to the details of the ComRes poll is here.)

I hope Steve Hilton will have time to think how to ensure that this lead can be maintained while he is changing nappies (or is it diapers?) in California.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday 13th - Lucky For Some? (Part Two)

Thank God for the Irish!

Voting no against the Lisbon Treaty has probably stopped the final, and what seemed inevitable, step in the absorption of the UK into the "European Project".
Several pints of Guinness are now required to get the celebrations underway. My shout!

Friday 13th - Lucky For Some? (Part One)

Following David Davis's shock announcement that he was to resign as the MP for Haltemprice and Howden and to put himself up for re-election on the single issue of holding suspected terrorists for up to 42 days without charge he wrote this article in the Daily Telegraph. As a result I posted this comment on the Daily Telegraph website:

"We are into extraordinary territory, Mr Davis, as a result of your decision. My first reaction is to applaud you for standing by your principles - and I agree with all you say about the erosion of our fundamental liberties by this Labour Government.

"But I'm not sure that I understand why you have taken this step at this point in the electoral cycle. The Conservative Party has strong support at present and there is, for a very long time, the real possibility that we could form the next government at the general election.

"Why have you jeopardised that position now by handing our opponents the opportunity to show us as divided? You must act very quickly to spell out to the general public why your stand on this issue is important.

"I wish you luck because Joe Public is not always as well-disposed to the type of libertarian views you espouse. They will be confused and sceptical about your motives and be influenced by the mischievous (and misleading) media who will portray you as a cypher for the beginning of the self-destruction of the Conservative Party.

"I hope you have thought this through very carefully otherwise you might find Brown and his unworthy bunch of "never-weres" are here to stay."

Let us hope that over the next few days and weeks David Davis can indeed create the sort of debate he is hoping to achieve. My fear is that too many people will see the issue as relatively unimportant when they are contending with the higher costs of living, higher borrowing costs and the potential that they will lose their jobs. Who cares about a few "Islamist extremists" intent on bombing and maiming innocent people being locked up while the police build a case against them? According to a couple of recent opinion polls some 70% think this a price worth paying.

But, if he can widen this debate to show how we have all been suckered into this authoritarian society that Labour has been steadily building over the last 11 years then maybe they will sit up and listen. As soon as you get into your car to go to work you are already being tracked. Speed cameras can read your car number plate; call in at your local petrol station you are on CCTV; use your credit card and you've been clocked; make a "hands-free" call from your mobile - you've been logged - even to the extent that your exact position can be pin-pointed; your company can trace exactly when you arrive at work and can also record all the websites you visit.

There is no escape from this surveillance society. If the Labour Government are allowed to have their way every detail of our lives will be electronically recorded on ID cards, electronic medical records and other central databases that are all vulnerable to illegal access.

If Mr Davis can make a case that there is a grave danger that our fundamental freedoms are being eroded and cause us all to think very carefully before we give away any more, then his "noble gesture" will not have been in vain. At this stage I'm not so sure he can.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Poverty Of Labour's Policies

Reports today show that yet another key aspect of Labour's failed social experiments has been a failure. The number of children and pensioners now living below the Government's self-defined poverty line has risen again. Not much of a surprise there. As they describe it themselves - "It's like running up a down escalator". (See Gordon Brown running up the escalator on the left!)

But with all the other economic indicators going the wrong way - falling house prices coupled with the spectre of negative equity, lay-offs in the construction industry, factory gate inflation at 20% plus, energy, fuel and food prices rising faster than ever - it's no wonder that confidence is ebbing away.

It's no wonder, too, that the poor are getting poorer under this Labour Government. They have over-taxed, over-spent and over-reached themselves . They have created this unholy mess themselves and now have no way out. It's time for them to go.
Mike Smithson over on Political Betting has asked us to imagine the imminent demise of Gordon Brown which is actually quite attractive - apart from his last question!