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Archive for the ‘mandelson’ Category

It’s incredible, really, how fast the political currents can shift when a couple of objectively true concepts suddenly coalesce into slogans. It’s extraordinary that within the space of 24 hours, Labour’s 1% NICS rise, conceptually a heroically dumb idea even in the worst of economic times, has now become known – and will be known henceforth until doomsday – as a ‘tax on jobs’, and ‘cuts in frontline public services’ has shifted, it seems to me as permanently, to ‘cuts in government waste’.

If that’s not a massive shift in the ‘narrative’, (if you like postmodernist critiques of this sort of thing), then I’m a stinking socialist!

Cameron and Osborne have been absolutely dead right on the mad Labour NICS policy since Budget Day (I wonder what Kenneth Clarke’s part was in all this), but the real consequences of being right in this case (they’ve been right a lot of times before, but to little or no political avail) is not merely that they’ve won the argument hands down, they’ve changed the very terms of the debate, and there is nothing, but nothing, that the Labour Party media machine can do about it. They’ve been linguistically neutered. For good. (At last!)

There is now, in everyone’s minds, judging by the late night media coverage of the papers, a very clear, articulated, choice between Labour and the Conservatives, between Brown and Cameron: Labour offer nothing more than a tax on jobs and more waste; the Tories will deliver no tax on jobs and they will cut government waste.

If you find this hard to believe (and you shouldn’t, because it true!), then read this Andrew Porter piece for this morning’s Telegraph. Brown is now under pressure to kill Labour’s National Insurance hike! Business groups, representing 10 million workers, have praised the Tory plan and say they will ‘fight’ for it to happen.

This is a tectonic shift in the mood of the nation, and the fortunes of the two main parties. I think it started with the hubristic vanity of Mandelson when, off the leash as always and carried away by a sense of his own superiority – as always – during Labour’s desperate damage control operation this morning (that went well, lol), he effectively branded a lot of high-powered employers “a bunch of mugs who should know better”. They should listen to him, he implied, because he knows best, according to his own estimation of himself.

Massive, massive mistake. And it will cost Labour the election, and then some. Big day, then, for everyone.

Halleluja!

Update:
Iain Martin thinks it was all part of a carefully choreographed Tory sting operation. I’m not so sure. I think this was, in addition to the media planning, a genuine, momentous outing of the truth, and therefore massively more significant in terms of historic political outcomes. No one could have planned an operation as successful as this one. He’s underestimated the terrible impact of the Mandelson intervention, in my ‘umble.

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He was wasting away from prostate cancer in a Scottish prison hospital, so the Scottish government, in a shady deal involving the Foreign Office, Lord Mandelson of Sleaze and flatulent nutcase Gadaffi’s son, released the only convicted Lockerbie bomber on ‘compassionate’ grounds. He had an absolute maximum of three months to live, after all, said a couple of hired quacks. The poor man would have become an ex-bomber by the end of October 2009, so we were told (and didn’t believe). Sorry to quote myself, but this was me back in November (three months after the Megrahi release):

Al-Megrahi: the convicted Lockerbie bomber might still not be dead as all the Labour stooge doctors and this Labour government ghoulishly promised everyone he would be (he’s a full five days overdue now), but he’s still about to come back and haunt at least one of them. Yes, you guessed it, the King of Sleaze himself, Lord Mandelson of Tripoli.

Now we learn from a number of sources that six months on, Megrahi is not only still alive and free, but he’s actually recovering – and free. Clearly, something is amiss. Instead, however, of branding this whole, stinking affair a web of deceit motivated by a Big Oil deal and reaching right up to the highest levels of the British government, let’s just praise the Libyan Health Service. Megrahi’s almost miraculous cure in the capable hands of Libyan doctors offers pretty conclusive proof that Libyan health care is comfortably the best in the world.

Toby Young, however, is rightly livid about the whole, grubby, insulting episode, just as everyone else should be. He also argues – and I think this is very important – that Megrahi’s conviction was absolutely safe, according to a relative of a victim who understandably took a very close interest in the trial.

Given the fact that Megrahi is a convicted terrorist, and given that thanks to these legendary Libyan healthcare professionals, he’s now on the road to recovery, isn’t it nearly time for him to be put right back in jail? We could even settle for a Libyan jail.

I suspect that that wasn’t part of Mandy’s backroom sweetener BP deal, however, so I won’t be holding my breath.

Truly sickening.

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Our ‘domestic’ market

Fanatical europhile Pete “Teflon” Mandelson has admitted Europe is our ‘domestic’ market. During what can only be regarded as an extraordinarily rude and thinly-veiled attack on the USA’s plans for regulating its own banking system, he revealed this peculiar – some might say unique – weltanschauung, presumably, by extension, believing that the United Kingdom is now no more than some kind of local trading area, rather than a sovereign nation.

Of course, we all know what he’s up to: softening-us up for entry into the eurozone without a referendum while simulatenously trying to reboot the “only Gordon can save you” routine. Pull the other one, it’s got Russian billionaire-paymaster yachts on it. “Dishonest” is simply far too weak a word to describe the depths of this hideous individual’s machinations. Here’s an example:

Asked specifically about critics of the single currency who argue that by retaining sterling, Britain had been sheltered from the worst of the market backlash against high public deficits, Lord Mandelson said: “That’s true.

“But it doesn’t necessarily mean that being out of the eurozone will always play to Britain’s advantage

“The truth is that Britain depends on a vibrant, growing European economy, this is our domestic market. The one on our doorstep, we don’t want it to fail. It will have a better chance of succeeding the more Britain is able to influence its policies.

Europe’s become our “domestic market” eh? (tell that to the French and Germans!). And a virtual admission that we’re heading for the eurozone, eh? Over my dead body.

Anyway, you can read the rest of the article here.

If anybody else is tempted to vote for these traitors, liars and thieves again, I will be amazed. That 30% of people still, apparently, are planning to, is amazing.

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We’ve just been treated to a ten minute, free Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Labour party, shown simultaneously on the BBC and Sky News. In it, the man who by-now people everywhere must be thinking is the prime minister, Lord Mandelson, accused the Tories, among other things, of having economic policies that were in “disarray” were “unravelling” and were “confused”. We all know that this is a fine example of the familiar Mandelson mendacity technique: strike out at your opponents by accusing them of suffering from your own weaknesses. Just to be clear, it is Labour’s economic policies that have been “confused”, have been “unravelling” and have been in “disarray” ever since Brown’s mega-bubble was pricked and burst all over him (and us) in 2007. We’ve been in recession for 18 months, a post-war record, following ten years of debt-fueled growth and now the “signs of recovery” that Mandelson slimed and slithered about are either in areas that have been artificially boosted with deficit spending (will vanish, in other words, when the cash runs out) or simply aren’t there. Manufacturing overall kept shrinking in the last quarter, for God’s sake. And Mandelson has the barefaced cheek to lecture the Tories on economy. But that’s the point, he is that brazen. But he is not unbeatable, even if the Tories are that pathetically scared and/or in awe of him. For one thing, when Mandeson is pinned down on detail, as Ken Clarke proved the other day, or on philosophy and underlying principles, he squirms and looks very dodgy indeed.

But there are two other points to make about this: if Sky and BBC are going to collude with Mandelson and his Labourist media managers in abusing the law of the land over party political broadcasts, then they should face sanctions. If they have merely been duped into covering – live – what they were presumably told would be a policy announcement but then turned out to be an utterly partisan assault on the Opposition (and Cameron personally more than once) and, as such, was a clear breach of rules, then someone needs to be disciplined or fired for being so damned stupid. And Labour need to be brought to book instantly for it. This must be nipped in the bud. The BBC, particularly, is not Labour’s personal advertising service. And neither, for that matter, are any other channels. Given the huge surge in government advertising since the New Year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this Labour government was really a giant, publicly-funded advertising agency, rather than merely a bunch of socialist incompetents desperate to cling on to power, and who will stop at nothing – and break any rule – to do just that.

Speaking of socialist incompetents, that brings me to the second point. David Lammy was on the BBC just after Mandelson had wound up his ten minute Labour party political special. His brazen lies about university cuts were worthy of the lizard lord himself. He talked about 5% cuts – and then decided that wasn’t a big enough lie so he then contradicted himself and said that spending on universities was, in fact, still going up in this “growth cycle”. There were other, equally awful, exchanges with Lammy accusing the universities (and the media, laughably) of “scaremongering” over the potential loss of 200,000 university places this year, as a direct result of government cuts, claiming, absurdly (175,000 failed to get in last year), that places were going up! He had the usual dig at Major’s Tories (“leaky roofs”) in spite of the fact that universities were booming by the time he was shown the door – but that’s ancient history now.

But Lammy was lying – and I have proof. My own university, for whom I work and in which I study, has had to up its projected level of cuts for this year from 15% to 17.5% as a direct consequence of government policy. It has already fired a number of senior lecturers, suspended building projects, abolished an entire department but must go much further to meet the enforced target. The university must find other ways of meeting these desperately deep spending cuts, though, and one of them is by expanding its private operations and income. It does this by opening its doors even wider to foreign undergraduates. By bringing in more and more and more overseas students (one third of the student body is now foreign, it is thought), however, post A-level British pupils are left at a severe disadvantage. Hence the fears that 200,000 British young people will not be able to find a place this year.

So it’s not scaremongering, as liars like Lammy would have you believe, you see. These fears are grounded in harsh reality, a harsh reality of a stealthy squeeze on spending by Labour, which, quite simply, they have lied about and are lying about. So you see, the real, Mandelson-style “choice” is between Labour cutting and then lying about it, and Conservative cutting – but telling the truth about it. Deceit versus honesty; mistrust versus confidence; and, in the end, failure versus success – Labour versus Tory. Simples!

“Now for change”? You bet. And, in point of fact, given the total invisibility of Brown this weekend, it looks like there’s already been a change at the top of the Labour party. Mandelson will be the face of the campaign and their chief target will be David Cameron. In which case, Cameron should relax and start smiling again (I used to like him when he smiled). If Labour want to name-check him every other sentence, then who’s complaining? It’s a sign of real desperation, on Mandelson’s part especially, that the best he can do is drone on about his soon-to-end car scheme thing and then wildly claim that David Cameron would wreck the recovery by taking it away (at least, that’s what I thought I heard him say).

For sheer bloody nonsense, that one was hard to beat. But then came Lammy…

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It’s not exactly Frost-Nixon (not least because Jon “Red” Snow is involved, letting Mandelbum basically do whatever he likes), but it is compelling, and it is a complete victory for the most effective, honest and no-nonsense post-war Chancellor of the Exchequer this country has ever had. That’d be Ken Clarke.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Smart people and people who remember will understand why Clarke won that confrontation hands down. Everyone else won’t be certain. They won’t know, for example, that Mandelson is one of the most dishonest men ever to have held – been fired from (because of that dishonesty) – held again – and been fired from again (again, because of his habitual dishonesty) – a cabinet post. But nonetheless, despite his desperate record of deceit, he now holds the second highest office in this land – to which he has never been elected. I’m astounded Ken Clarke gave him an audience.

Mandelson is the epitome of (New) Labour – but is, sadly, proof that Labour, even after its monumental lies, failures and inadequacies, are nonetheless still dangerous. Mandelson – and Labour – will stop at nothing to stay in charge of a country that no longer wants them, and an economy that desperately needs them gone.

Ken Clarke is a man that demands – commands – your support. And, regardless of his strange, undying European fetish, he still totally deserves it.

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Or, at least, he was in 1992.

What a great call, Gordo!

Lame duck Brown: wrong then; wrong now. Wrong about nearly everything. It was with good reason he was dissuaded by Mandelson and Blair in ’94 to stand for the leadership. They already knew what a loser he was, so they gave him the British economy to screw around with for a decade instead, until he managed to stage a coup of his own in 2007, after a long-running, deperately divisive and deceitful campaign against his boss, Blair. But if the last three years of his unwanted, undeserved and unearned premiership have proved anything beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s that the man is still a total loser.

If they could be honest with the public for ten seconds, Darling and Mandelson would be the first to agree with that summary, if recent events are anything to go by. That’s why, in one, final, desperate throw of the dice before the general election, they’ve taken over – leaving the loser to his thoughts.

I think it is safe to say now that it won’t work. All they’ve managed to do is to create a paradox. Everyone knows that keeping the loser in place simply means to most people that if they vote Labour, it probably means five more years of Brown. So they won’t vote Labour. Game over. If they did get of Brown now, then people would conclude that Labour is utterly divided (we know that anyway, but it would then be ‘official’). So they won’t vote Labour. Game over. I suppose one could speculate – and I wouldn’t put it past them – that there might be some sort of calculation there that in the event of a hung parliament, which is the best they can really hope for barring a miracle, Brown would ‘retire’ soon after as part of some dodgy deal with the Lib Dems.

But back to now – and, perhaps, reality. The fact is that Darling and Mandelson have stripped Brown of his authority, fearing a total meltdown for Labour had he been permitted to go on lying and spinning – and misleading a wised-up electorate – on the economy while trying to run just another negative, ineffective (remember Crewe?) Brown-Ballsian smear assault on Cameron’s Conservatives. Their eyes are on the future, yes. But not the future of Britain, the future of Labour. They’ve neutered Balls, before he and his fellow left wingers have a chance to mass their forces, to head off a post-defeat bloodbath before it starts. Whatever I might think about Mandelson, he’s certainly got game.

However, I don’t think people can forgive the depths of his cynicism, the tedious naval-gazing and vanity driving Labour’s endless infighting, or with what increasingly looks like a faked coup effectively leaving a technically legitimate Prime Minister with no authority, a prisoner of his own cabinet. In fact, there was a real coup – and it was successful. As I said, unelected Mandelson is now in charge of the UK. As this begins to dawn on people over the next few weeks, I reckon the horribly decayed state of the Labour party, and their attempts to mislead people about this reality, will begin to register in the polls.

So the Tories are dead right: this is all about Labour when it should be about the country. After these events, the country desperately needs to be permitted to grant a fresh mandate to govern – doesn’t matter who to – and to do it immediately, preferably with the first thaws.

A point for Labourists to bear in mind? The longer you wait, the angrier people will become, and the bigger your defeat will be. But hey, I know you’ll go on burying heads in sand (or snow). Fair enough. But don’t say you weren’t warned when you’re clearing-up the rubble of a total collapse in your popular vote at the general election. I can’t wait.

(Thanks to ajs41 for another great clip.)

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Official Government spending for 2008-9. Pdf here.

Guido, while analysing the impact of Darling/Mandelson’s outflanking of Brown and neutering of Balls, reaches some very interesting conclusions about the implications for Cameron.

“Peter Mandelson’s speech on Wednesday was overshadowed by events, parts of it sounded more right-wing than anything Cameron has said in years…Mandelson sounded positively Thatcherite. Can you imagine Cameron delivering a speech written by Steve Hilton which souonded like that? Cameron’s opening speech of the year promised a new high-speed rail network and the creation of 100,000 apprenticeships. Dave sounded more like Gordon Brown than Maggie.”

Ouch!

The fact is that now Brown is a lame duck Prime Minister, and Labour’s left wing has effectively been silenced, Cameron has the wriggle room to turn right – at least on the economy. He can keep his guarantee on the NHS (though not without powerful caveats about massive savings through restructuring and the complete abolition of trainwreck IT, PFI disasters, for instance). But he can now launch an all-out assault on Social Security (which last year cost the UK taxpayer £136Bn [it’ll be much worse this year – ed]) and public sector employment, especially in local government and NHS (mis)management.

Both of these have spiralled out of control under Labour. In these areas, the areas that really do count when it comes to saving the British economy from collapse, he can now be bold – but he must also be imaginative and make sure the banks are not let off the hook, too. Treasury expenditure has trebled since the bank bailouts and useless Brownite ‘stimulus’ packages. That can’t go on.

The point is, now that the Labour government is being run by a Darling/Mandelson axis, I think Cameron will be bolder – and good luck to him. Maybe it’ll get he likes of Fraser Nelson off his back (although I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one – Nelson appears to have gone bonkers).

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