Archive for the ‘campaigning conservatives’ Category

Iain Martin has provided, presumably from his sources inside the civil service, a fascinating and chilling insight into Brown’s autocratic, paranoid and hopeless (mis)management of day-to-day Prime Ministerial business. If you haven’t already read it, click through here.

It will take a lot of effort to work out just how much damage three years (or 13 years if you include his time as a diabolical, serially disloyal Chancellor) of Brown’s weirdness and chaos in Downing Street has done to this nation. The litany of disasters that can be traced directly back to Brown’s bunker door are emerging daily, of course, so the process could take less time than we think.

Quite frankly, I think how such a man was elevated to the level of the highest office in the land in the first place, without even the pretence of any form of democratic election, should also be a source of deep and urgent study. Why? Because it must never, ever be permitted to happen again and if that means radical alterations to the rules governing the way Prime Ministers are chosen, then so be it.

In the meantime we can be happy about a couple of things, and Martin alludes to these in his excellent piece: stable, reasonable, elected people are back in charge, cabinet government appears to have returned and the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility look like being rigorously reinstated.

We shall see, but after the cocksure, cowboy, sofa government years of Blair and the mentally disturbed, incoherent, mafiosi years of Brown, it certainly feels like accountability, professionalism and, crucially, normality have returned to Downing Street, Whitehall and, perhaps (just perhaps), even Westminster.

Well, you might disagree. But God help us all if I’m wrong!

Just remember, Brown’s chief hit man, Balls, is still around, waiting in the wings, shamelessly spewing his poisonous politics of propaganda, division, dishonesty and fear. He’s on This Week right now lying through his teeth about, in this case, his many crimes against Tony Blair on behalf of his boss, Brown, to whom he remains fanatically loyal. The chances of the evil Balls becoming leader even of his own party are pretty slim, I admit, (oh I do hope he wins!) but there’s still that chance, however slight, and the frailties of our system, exposed by the Brown 2007 coup d’état, mean that at that point, he would be a hell of a lot closer to Number 10 than is sanely conceivable.

If Iain Martin’s revelations reveal just how very, very, incredibly bad Brown was, just imagine what life would be like under Prime Minister Balls.

That would be a nightmare from which we might never wake up.


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Yesterday, we were greeted with the second morning in a row of that nauseating LibDum father and son double act (the Cable and Clegg show) on the BBC. Full coverage of two very dull press conferences. Today, it was the turn of the Marx (as in Karl) brothers: Mandy, Balls & Burnham. The BBC provided them with as much live airtime as they wanted to spread what I can only call, having read (bits of) the Conservative manifesto (it was free!), outright, barefaced, scurrilous, amoral, wickedly misleading lies. From start to finish, you had the three of these strangers to reality, let alone the truth, dishing out scaremongering propaganda that simply wasn’t true. None of it. Nada. Not a thing. Labour’s dirty tricks are big news for the BBC.

I didn’t have time to wait for the Q/A section. Was there one? Or has the BBC finally given up even the pretence of impartiality now and decided to allow any attacks on the Tories, however perfidious and, in this case, outrageously smearing, in some cases personally, to go unchallenged altogether? It’s a fair question and the answer to it, if the past two mornings of its coverage are any evidence, is disturbing.

Don’t get me started on the Today programme. Suffice to say, its editors appear to be attempting to maintain some kind of ‘balance’ – by at least allowing a few, you know, Conservatives actually to answer the critics wheeled on, conveyor belt-style to trash policies, especially good ones. But the agenda is crystal clear. Treat the Tories like they’ve been in power for thirteen years – and treat Labour like the official opposition. Clever. But a nightmare to listen to and watch, a sign of how corrupt and contaminated the BBC really is, and bad news for the Conservative party.

Even I’m beginning to think that the political bias of the BBC, ever-more flagrant, and the hard-nosed commercial agenda of Sky/Murdoch (hung parliaments sell papers and boost viewing figures) is beginning to influence the direction of this general election campaign. If these factors influence the outcome, then the outcome will be meaningless and the country will have been betrayed. That much is at stake so wouldn’t it be nice to hear a little more complaining from the big boy bloggers from now on, too? Or don’t they care?

If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask yourself this question: where is the BBC’s coverage of a Tory press conference? If there isn’t any coverage in the next few days, maybe then people will begin to realise what is happening; it’s not just tinfoilhattery on my part.

I’m assuming the Tories have planned a few press conferences. They have, haven’t they? Well, if they haven’t, they damn well should!

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I nearly missed this extraordinary piece buried in the business pages of yesterday’s Telegraph by half-decent economics commentator (and there aren’t many of those) Edmund Conway. The thrust of the piece, supported by an interesting flashback to the days when Blair was, apparently, Labour’s City spokesman, just when the ’87 bubble burst, is that a series of FoI requests have revealed that Blair knew about Brown’s mega housing bust as early as 2004, possibly before. Said Conway:

So concerned was the PM back in 2004 that the housing market was turning into a bubble that he asked the Treasury for a full briefing note (in fact he was prompted by an FT column by Martin Wolf, warning: “Nobody knows when the bust will come. But come, I believe, it will”.)

Fine, but nothing, as everyone no doubt recalls, happened. Why? I think we can guess. Conway continues:

Now, it probably isn’t a surprise to hear that the Treasury dismissed this view in its document, which PricedOut has attained under a Freedom of Information request. But I was surprised by the length of the document (eight chunky pages) and throughout its length a sheer unwillingness to countenance the possibility that the housing market would crash. It underlines the simple fact that the Treasury under Gordon Brown was blind to the possibility that things could go horribly wrong – even within the confines of Downing Street. It turns out no-one was allowed to challenge the “end to boom and bust” trope – even Tony Blair himself.

Blair’s role in this debacle simply demonstrates how weak a prime minister, and person, he actually was. And, of course, it shows how far he would go to keep the title. He knew and yet he did nothing. If he’d had a spine, he would have fired Brown when he had the chance. But he didn’t, and should be judged accordingly.

As for Brown. My God! Is it any wonder that I hate him (and I mean hate) and all he stands for? Is it really that surprising that I, and millions of others, believe he is the worst man ever to have held high office in this country? Should it really be that much of a shock that I am 100% sure that if this unelected, incompetent, vainglorious oddball is somehow given a mandate this year, the damage he will do to this country afterwards would make terrible harm he’s caused so far look like the good old days?
At least the politics are therefore very straightforward: you vote Labour in your constituency and you will get five more years of the lying economic wrecker. Vote Tory, you don’t.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a moral duty to vote Conservative this time around, and all that that implies if you don’t. That what’s at stake here. The documentary proof in Conway’s article provides the proof, as if more were needed.

And now, just for a bit of extra entertainment, and in case you can’t be bothered to click through to original article, is that video of Blair in ’87. Who’d have thought a wet-behind-the-ears political unknown, who’d never had a proper a job in his life, would one day be prime minister.

Well, so much for David Cameron. But it is interesting to see Blair back then...

…about the same as he looks now, only less suntanned and without the Yank accent.

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I nearly missed this funny Marten Morland cartoon summary of Labour’s and Brown’s whole campaign strategy from the Sunday Times. Never a truer word, as they say.

At least the Tories are committed to some genuine policies, which will be life-changing (if not life-saving) to thousands of people as they right Labour’s wrongs.

Brown plans to “create a million skilled jobs” if the country’s stupid enough to give him a mandate, or so he told us this morning. I think that comes under the “raise fuzziness” category. Or is it “build haziness”? It’s so difficult to tell with Brown what he or his party really mean.

And there you have the problem in a nutshell. Because they’ll say anything to try to woo voters, they end up saying nothing. And we’re all left wishing they’d just keep their noiseholes shut, especially the prime movers – you know, dissembling thugs like Whelan and Balls, strangers to the truth both and entirely.

“A future vague for all”. Indeed!

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It reminded me of a bit of commentary from Richie Benaud in 1981 when Botham was lashing the Aussie attack to all parts at Trent Bridge. After Beefy had just scythed another bit of wide dross to the boundary at point, he (Benaud) was moved to say, “They’re just not learning are they?” I’d like to think that if Sir Richie was a political animal, he would be inclined to say the same thing about Labour’s truly amateurish, pimply sixth former poster ‘campaign’, which so far has managed not only to backfire at every attempt, but also to provide their opponents with some morale-boosting hilarity, too. Take their latest feeble effort (see above) – winner of an Ed Millipede-inspired (if that’s the right word) competititon, no less (that would be the pimply sixth former influence, then).
As the Spectator said earlier:

Now, there are two immediate problems with this poster. The first being that I’d always thought the character Cameron is meant to be playing – DCI Gene Hunt – is actually quite popular with the public, despite his rough and less-then-edifying edges. Indeed, he even topped a recent poll as “Britain’s favourite TV hero”. If you’re going to go down that whole 80s route, why not pick someone genuinely nasty – like Gordon Gekko, for instance? Or Skeletor
And the other problem is that, with all the union action at the moment, and the state of the public finances, the Tories could just as easily produce their own alternative: Don’t let them take Britain back to the 1970s.

The third problem is, of course, that it’s childsplay for the Tories to bat these right back at the Labour hoons, with interest. This is what ConHome came up with first thing this morning (while I was still safely tucked up in the land of nod, I’ll have you know).

Now, I realise it’s not exactly brilliant, but it was put together in a couple of minutes, it makes the point directly (unlike the naff Labour school project effort), and, above all, it pokes fun at the limitations of the form itself by parodying the content of the anti-Tory one. Not bad.

Add to this the smart retort from CCHQ about the original, “David Cameron as Gene Hunt? We wish we’d thought of that”, or words to that effect, and all you are left with is yet more evidence that it’s amateur night in the bunker.
Since there have been rumours that he is struggling to cope with his brief, I’m left with the happy thought that this could be the sum-total of Ed Millipede’s entire election campaign strategy: a whole series of pisspoor, failed attack posters – or short wide balls outside the off stump if you like – that the Tories just keep on battering for six. Perhaps it’s a masochism strategy, which makes the nasty old Tories look like bullies for bashing Miliband minor’s best balls all over the place. Who knows? Whatever it is, it’s so bad it really is funny. And it won’t work.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, Brown’s abolished boom and bust. Not.” Best I can do.
You see, that’s why I won’t be submitting an entry to any Conservative slogan competetion for the general public, let alone having a crack at some dodgy artwork. And that’s probably why, thanks to the rather more professional approach of the Tory strategists, they have no plans to start one. Labour, strapped for cash though they are, should take note. Better still, let’s hope they don’t – and keep ’em coming. At least it’ll make their final defeat not only the best thing since the ZX Spectrum, but entertaining, too.

(Oh yeah, and lots of hat tips to Iain Dale.)


Oh dear:

“It was his idea”
“Shuttup Dave!”
“Well, it was.”
elbows Dave in ribs “Shut up!”
“Ow! I’ll tell.”

I mean, oh dear. Ministers of the Crown, remember, folks. Ministers – of – the – Crown. Dear God, we really are in the shit if this lot get back in.

So just keep those posters comin’ Ed ‘n’ Dave, you pair of pimply sixth form lightweights.

Ministers of the Crown. Unbelievable. I mean, how?

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