Sunday, 30 September 2012
The Labour Party is to put a bill of 'positive discrimination' to a vote of confidence at its conference this Wednesday.
Labour List website says that - "The Labour NEC met this morning, and agreed on a rule change to include 'Sexuality, disability and social class' in the clause of the party rule book concerning the representativeness(?) of candidates."
This means that future Labour parliamentary candidate lists will favour minorities and almost require their selection in most cases. Some at Labour conference say Ed Miliband is fulfilling his pledge to get more working class candidates elected to Parliament.
tbg. thinks if Ed wants to run the country this way, he's definitely lost the plot and very out of touch with modern Britain. Freedom, liberty & democracy would be at stake.
tbg.can this afternoon confirm that Labour will be urged to condemn the pay freeze affecting public sector workers at its annual conference this week.
Its all hot on the heels of Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls being heckled at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton earlier this month.
tbg. understands that Unison has submitted a motion to Labour's annual gathering in Manchester which attacks the public sector pay freeze.
It reads: "Conference condemns the prolonged pay freezes that mean public sector workers have had their real terms pay cut dramatically."
"Conference believes that depressing workers' living standards in a recession is self-defeating and contributes to economic stagnation."
tbg. believes that this is very cheap coming from Unison who’s Leader Dave Prentis pulls in an annual salary of £92,187, who earlier this month threatened to help organise a General Strike over pension reforms, and who recently called the Blairite fringe group Progress "a party within a party that is funded by external interests" and "an influence we will not support."
On the eve of the Labour Conference in Manchester Ed Miliband is coming under fire again today for funding that he and his fellow Shadow Cabinet members have received from extreme union barons of the Left.
It's emerged that Red Ed's office alone got £171,640 including £119,690 from Unite and £40,450 from the GMB.
Jon Cruddas got £167,000 in union funding too and others who got handouts from the barons include Sadiq Khan, Ed Balls and Blairites Dougie Alexander and Chuka Umuna.
Its thought that since the 2010 General Election unions have funded over 80% of all of Labour's funding.
The funding row comes as the militant leader of Unite which has given Labour £6 million in the last two years, Len McCluskey, has vowed to cleanse Labour of Blairites completely and even boot them out of the party if they fail to toe Red Ed's new left wing approach.
David Cameron recently brandished figures which showed that the Labour Party received £3,138,443 between July and September last year.
This meant that in Ed Miliband's first year as Labour Leader, 86% of Labour's funding came from unions.
Under the last Labour Leader it was 50%.
Union Leaders aren't short of a bob or two either.
New figures show that the GMB’s Paul Kenny gets £114,000 pa, the PCS’s Mark Serwotka gets £113,354 and Len McCluskey gets £149,312 pa.
tbg. wonders if they are all in it together?
Croydon North MP Malcom Wicks sadly died yesterday aged 65 after a battle with Cancer. A by-election in Croydon North will now be held.
tbg. can reveal that it is already widely anticipated that former Tory MP for Croydon Central Andrew Pelling will stand in Croydon North for the Labour Party.
Pelling is a reported friend of Ken Livingstone and Labour Party activist since 2007 when he quit the Tory Party, allegedly saying he thought David Cameron was unelectable. It was also alleged by Pellings' ex wife that he thinks local Croydon voters are "chavs".
Some very good news for the Conservatives according to the latest You Gov Tracker Poll in today’s Sunday Times.
Not only has Labour’s lead been cut to five points but Prime Minister David Cameron is running rings around Ed Miliband in the likeability stakes.
It has Labour on 40%, the Conservatives 35%, the Liberal Democrats on 10% and UKIP on 7%.
It’s the lowest Labour lead since April, the worst Labour figure this month and best Conservative figure for whole of September too.
Government Approval is still very low at -36 though.
However, on performance whilst David Cameron’s Performance Index is a poor -34, Ed Miliband’s is -39 and Nick Clegg’s is a woeful -62.
When asked who they think is a strong leader Dave beats Ed 61-21, who is more decisive Dave wins 48-21, who is more likeable Dave wins 41-31, who has the best vision for Britain Dave wins 36-22, and when asked who has the better strategy to get Britain out of recession Dave wins 33-24.
Dave and Ed are tied on the question about trust at 28-28.
Ed’s only win comes when asked who is in touch more with ordinary people 40-19.
The European Court of Human Rights has accepted a submission for potential adjustment to UK law from unions just weeks after they threatened to hold Britain to ransom with a general strike over the governments austerity programme. Unions claim that the UK unlawfully prevents them taking industrial action.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called on Cameron for tougher laws to prevent union strike action and lambasted the intervention by the European Court as - "Totally unacceptable" - and said - "The Government needs to watch this like a hawk."
Union leader Bob Crow claims that "the right to strike is excessively circumscribed" and is in breach of human rights law.
The union claim that British laws infringe Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Article is designed to protect the right to freedom of association including the right to form trade unions. Article 11 does also say that countries may impose "lawful restrictions" on union rights in the interest of the "administration of the State".
On the eve of conference Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham are split on the way forward regarding healthcare policy.
Whilst Ed is saying he will not repeal Conservative Health Reforms Andy Burnham is saying he will.
What a shambles.
Maybe one day they will make their minds up.
Saturday, 29 September 2012
You Gov's Weekly Issue Tracker makes interesting reading again this week.
When asked which party would handle the NHS best Labour leads the Conservatives by 38% to 22%. This has traditionally been solid Labour territory as the Conservatives have only ever led Labour on the issue twice in four years.
When it comes to the best party to handle Asylum and Immigration though the Conservatives lead Labour but only by a margin of 30% to 18%. In July 2010 the Conservatives led Labour by 47% to 13%.
Law and Order is another issue where the Conservatives lead Labour this time by 33% to 25%. Shortly after the 2010 General Election the Conservatives led this one 47% to 22%.
Labour lead on Schools by 33% to 26% but again this has changed recently. The Conservatives led Labour on this one for four years between 2006 and 2010.
Taxation is another tricky one. The Conservatives led on this one more or less continuously between January 2008 and the Budget on March 23rd this year but as austerity has hit home so have the polls and as a result Labour lead on this one too by but only by 29% to 26%.
The Conservatives were considered best on unemployment throughout their final term in opposition and during their first five months of government but again this is one where Labour have recently built up a considerable lead which currently stands at 33% to 22%.
Finally however, in terms of the economy in general its neck and neck all the way with only one or two points in it all of this year and the latest standing showing the Conservatives in front 28% to 26%.
Maybe there is hope for Cameron's Conservatives after all?
Two thirds of Labour voters want to ditch Red Ed Miliband.
That the devastating figure rocking the Labour Party today.
And that's not all.
Only 25% of voters believe that he is the right man to kick start the economy.
All on the eve Labour’s Economic Relaunch, which is designed to show that the party is serious about tackling Britain’s debts.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said yesterday: "The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending."
"It is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way."
Excuse me but is this the same Ed Balls who presided over the worst economic mess left behind by a Labour Government ever?
An economy so inefficient and wasteful that it even used the state to mop up the mess created by free markets and let those at the top do what they wanted while using the state to clear up behind them without ever demanding a penny in return.
No wonder there was no money left. In Ed Balls we have a man and a party with no credibility left and that should never be trusted in government again.
The Hunter-Clarke defection to UKIP saga rumbles on, Chairman of the Skegness Conservative Party has today given his reaction to the defection of Robin Hunter-Clarke which was exclusively exposed here at tbg. last week.
Skegness Conservative Party Chairman John Cowpe told tbg. he was disappointed to learn of the defection saying:
"We are obviously unhappy about any defection from the Conservative Party and I think everyone including Robin Hunter-Clarke should be aware that support for UKIP will only result in improving the Labour Party's position."
In relation to the EU Mr. Cowpe went on - "We also totally reject the view that the Conservatives have been betrayed by the national party."
Skegness Conservatives also vigorously denied allegations of bullying in regard to Robin Hunter-Clarke.
Chairman John Cowpe also told tbg. - "I don't know of any and I would be very surprised if there had been any."
The Leader of the Conservative Group on Skegness Town Council Steve Kirk told tbg. -
"Councillor Hunter-Clarke has had public disagreement with his colleagues about the amount of work he was able to do within his ward."
"As Conservative councillors, we believe our important work is done in the ward and we expect all our colleagues to carry out that work."
Friday, 28 September 2012
tbg. can tonight exclusively reveal the Ineligible Alastair Wilsons' online attack ad aimed at his potential rival Conservative Future Chairman candidate Oliver Cooper.
The exclusive video produced by the Wilson & Walker media team and leaked to tbg. contains Monty Python humour and rejects Oliver Coopers acquired tag as CF's 'saviour'.
Wilson has recently selected Right-Wing running mate Walker for the CF top job.
Labour's conference in Manchester sounds as though its going to be equally as bloody as the Lib Dems in Brighton even though they have double digit leads in most polls.
tbg. has been told that for the second year running former Foreign Secretary David Miliband is to snub his brother Ed.
tbg. understands that David will leave Manchester one day before brother Ed makes his keynote address.
Another blow to Ed Miliband has come from former Home Secretary Alan Johnson.
Mr Johnson was today quoted as telling Ed "to do more to demonstrate he is a leader."
Mr Johnson points out that whilst Labour are ahead in the party polls David Cameron is still ahead of Ed Miliband in the personal ratings.
And Harriett Harman is also throwing her hat in the ring.
In a side swipe at Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls she today claimed that the government's deficit reduction plan is "self-defeating and hurting the economy."
Balls believes that the cuts are essential.
+UPDATE+ - Stand-by for Tony's take on the Labour Conference and the coalition.
tbg. has just been informed that Mr Blair is special guest on tonight's edition of Piers Morgan Tonight at 9.00pm on CNN.
Influential Conservative Future activist Stephen Hoffman is currently running a campaign on behalf of the Zionist Federation (ZF) calling for Jerusalem to be recognised by the UK Foreign Office as the Capital of Israel.
Hoff is seeking 100,000 digital signatures from Israel supporters and sympathisers for the ZF online petition so it can eventually be debated in the House of Commons.
One CF'er close to Hoffman who wished to remain anonymous argues that the result of the petitions' implementation would not affect any peace deal as - "West Jerusalem is considered as part of Israel under whatever peace negotiations".
The anonymous CF'er told tbg. - "It is time that the UK Foreign Office respected Israels' sovereignty and legal rights and recognised Jerusalem as Israels' capital. By doing so the strong relationship between Israel and the UK that benefit both sides can go from strength."
"We call on all of those who support national sovereignty to sign this petition and contact their MP on the matter. Doing so will not affect the peace process as under any two state solution West Jerusalem will remain part of Israel"
You can sign the petition and support this cause here.
Considering he's supposed to be the dark horse to succeed Clegg and have another shot at the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats he's keeping a remarkably low profile.
tbg. can report that as well as not speaking at ANY fringe meetings at conference this year Charles Kennedy was also absent from Cleggers' speech too.
Where could he be?
Under Kennedy's last term as leader the number of Lib Dem MPs shot up from 46 to 62.
tbg. has also today been told that one of the headings for the next Liberal Democrats General Election Campaign that Paddy will run will be titled: "Are you ready to trust Labour with your money again?"
Don't tell Paddy but Vince Cable seems to think we can.
Well done Conservative MP Henry Smith.
The Crawley MP has just launched a Private Bill in Parliament, which, if passed as law, will force the NHS to record and audit the cost of treatment given to foreign nationals not entitled to free healthcare.
Having researched the issue, Henry has discovered that the UK paid out £1.7 billion in 2011 to countries which treated British nationals abroad.
Yet in return Britain only claimed back £125 million for foreign nationals treated here.
Mr Smith told the Sussex Evening Argus recently: "Many hospitals do not even ask whether patients are foreign nationals, with one poll of NHS managers showing that a third of them did not routinely ask patients about their eligibility for free care."
"The issue of fairness is key."
"Fairness to the taxpayers that fund the system and fairness to those that use it."
Mr Smith wants to set up criteria for those eligible for free NHS care and to establish more robust methods to secure recovery of treatment costs because he believes the NHS could save "hundreds of millions of pounds a year" if money was pursued more vigorously.
Mr Smith added: "In Crawley, UK Border Agency officials see on average 150 cases a year at Gatwick Airport of heavily pregnant passengers arriving with visitor visas."
"East Surrey Hospital recently had to write-off debts of £425,000 for the treatment of foreign nationals who avoided payment."
"Even when overseas patients try to pay often they are unable to because the cost of their care is not recorded."
"A US citizen who asked for a receipt after receiving medical care in order to claim it back on their health insurance was told that an invoice was unavailable."
A senior Liberal Democrats Candidate for Parliament accused of orchestrating a £30,000 tuition-fee fraud has admitted overcharging some students.
Dr Vincent McKee was implicated after an investigation alleged extra payments for tuition had been taken from a credit card, over-and-above what had been initially agreed.
The university lecturer had been vigorously denying the charges during a trial over the last few weeks but just before entering the witness box pleaded guilty to one 'contravening requirements of professional diligence'.
Dr McKee is also charged with one count of perverting the course of justice after it was alleged he provided trading standards officers with an altered copy of his contract with students.
Dr McKee stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament in four General Elections and was previously head of policy for the Liberal Democrats in Coventry before being suspended after the allegations emerged.
Follow Up: Lib Dem found guilty of 25 counts in tuition fee fraud.
For the past few weeks tbg. has been publishing regular poll updates which have all shown big leads for the Labour Party over the Conservatives that have also shown UKIP and the Liberal Democrats running neck and neck.
But just why are Labour so far ahead despite the fact that they haven't shown any repentance for the mess they left behind let alone a sign of a change in approach?
Well, here's a clue:
Earlier today we exposed how, according to You Gov, 15% of Conservative voters have switched their allegiance to UKIP since 2010.
This in itself amounts to the equivalent of the Conservatives vote falling by six points from 36% in 2010 to 30% now which is probably about right for what the opinion polls have been saying for the last few weeks.
Yet this is nothing compared to the stark figure that's being published tonight.
A new poll shows that 40% of people who backed the Lib Dems in 2010 are now set to switch to Labour in 2015.
This in itself means a net increase of 9.2% of the overall electorate have since switched their allegiance to Labour from the Lib Dems since 2010 in exchange for virtually nothing but blatant political opportunism.
And if reflected in a General Election this would see Labour's vote rise from 29% in 2010 to 38.2% next time around which under current boundaries would be enough to give them a majority of 92 seats.
Which in itself begs the question Is Nick Clegg fast becoming the architect of Labour's 2015 General Election Victory?
Which is why tbg. reporter Geoff Brookings' advice for Cameron is:
1. Stand up to Clegg more.
2. Listen to your roots and your core supporters.
3. Give us a Referendum on the EU.
"Then watch how these figures would change" he says.
Today's You Gov Poll has Labour 12 points ahead of the Conservatives but the Lib Dems back in outright third.
Labour 43%, Conservatives 31%, Liberal Democrats on 11% and UKIP 8%.
Government approval back down at -39.
Labour take A 16% lead according to the latest TNS-BMRB Poll.
Labour 44%, Conservative 28% and Lib Dems 8%
A fifth of Labour’s pledges did not vote for them in 2010.
Labour 43%, Conservatives 31%, Liberal Democrats on 11% and UKIP 8%.
Government approval back down at -39.
Labour take A 16% lead according to the latest TNS-BMRB Poll.
Labour 44%, Conservative 28% and Lib Dems 8%
A fifth of Labour’s pledges did not vote for them in 2010.
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Boris Johnson today attacked Nick Clegg’s mansion tax plans saying that they are crazy and that Clegg knows it.
With Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps also against the idea most political commentators are now fast coming to the conclusion that it really is a non-starter.
The Mayor of London tells today’s Daily telegraph that “These taxes will disproportionately hit London and Londoners, penalising people simply because of circumstance, trapping people who in many cases are cash poor."
"London is the motor of the UK economy; kicking it hard makes no sense at all."
The news comes after delegates at the Liberal Democrats’ Autumn Conference in Brighton voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion calling for an "annual mansion tax".
The idea was first floated by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls under the last Labour Government.
tbg. believes that a mansion tax would unfairly penalise home owners and deter international investors from coming to the UK.
+UPDATE+ Boris Mania has now followed Cameron all the way to Brazil.
Rather than stick to policy the first question asked by a Brazilian member of the press was about... Boris.
ITV News reported last night that David Cameron has today fended off rumours that London Mayor Boris Johnson has his eye on the Conservative leadership and the country's Prime Minister role.
In an interview for Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, the British Prime Minister was asked: "With the economy in crisis, we see mayor Boris Johnson, also of your party, with greater popularity than you.
"To the point there are rumours that he might be the Conservative candidate for the next general election. Do you feel your post is threatened?" Prime Minister David Cameron tours and officially opens a new JCB factory in Sao Paulo today. Prime Minister David Cameron tours and officially opens a new JCB factory in Sao Paulo today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Mr Cameron responded by saying: "Not at all. Boris has been a great friend of mine for a long time and a first-class mayor of London.
"We're very lucky to have many big hitters in our party, but Boris still has much work to do as mayor, and so do I as Prime Minister."
Berkshire Area Chairman of Conservative Future James Pearson has resigned his position and is set to be sent overseas with the military.
The area chairman has wined and dined with esteemed politicians such as Liam Fox, Boris Johnson and Margaret Thatcher and is thought to have been an influential Chairman with great knowledge of his constituency.
Potential candidates now have until the 30th of September to submit applications for the position. The Conservative Future website says:
"We are, in line with the constitution, required to call an Annual General Meeting to elect a new Area Chairman. The timetable for which is outlined below:"
"Sunday 23rd September midnight Nominations and applications open
Sunday 30th September midnight Nominations and applications close
Tuesday 2nd October midnight Candidates announced
Saturday 6th October AGM will be called into session, details to be announced"
"The attached nomination form must be completed and signed in order to apply for the position and emailed to email@example.com before midnight on the 30th September 2012."
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
That's the question on my mind tonight.
He might not be an MP yet but already wee Dougie Alexander is taking no chances.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary has told this week's New Statesman that - ""It's time we took Boris seriously."
Mr Alexander went on - "It is not yet a probability but it is a possibility that he will lead the Conservative Party into the next General Election."
Remember how Ed Davey took over from Chris Huhne recently and the reasons behind it.
Well, tbg can tonight confirm this extract from Hughes draft speech which was due to be delivered to conference until someone with their head screwed on put two and two together.
It read "In Ed Davey we have a Secretary of State who we know is in the driving seat!"
They say you can always tell how well a speech went down by the response from your elders but don't tell Nick Clegg that.
Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves has just been quoted as saying this:
"Our Leader is at present, as they say amongst the chattering classes, politically toxic."
Hardly a ringing endorsement.
"If you think the eurozone crisis has turned violent then you ain't seen nothing yet."
Nigel Farage on Twitter.
"Putting Paddy Ashdown in charge of the 2015 Lib Dem General Election campaign is like giving a bankrupt a cheque book."
Conservative Activist Steve Bell on Twitter.
Nigel Farage on Twitter.
"Putting Paddy Ashdown in charge of the 2015 Lib Dem General Election campaign is like giving a bankrupt a cheque book."
Conservative Activist Steve Bell on Twitter.
Lord Sugar went to town on Nick Clegg last night after the Lib Dem Leader suggested that the Labour supporting businessman should "be stripped of his bus pass."
Sir Alan called Clegg a "twit" and said he hasn't even got one before retaliating by challenging Clegg to confirm whether or not he will be taking up his wife's "rich EU pension."
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Shirley Williams became the latest figure to have a pop at Cleggers today this time over his ministerial reshuffle which saw Nick Harvey, Paul Bustow and Sarah Teather all sacked.
She told a fringe meeting earlier that "Nick Harvey was greatly admired by the armed forces", Paul Bustow had been "steadfast" in protecting the NHS and said that Sarah Teather had always stood up for the "deepest wishes" of the Liberal Democrats.
Meanwhile, Danny Alexander has said that if the Lib Dems were to leave the coalition early it would lead to electoral oblivion at the polls.
Mr Alexander told the same fringe meeting (to the distaste of some in the audience) that "all those people who say you need to make some great strategic swerve in order to achieve success is wrong."
Mr Alexander hasn't been the most popular minister around this week and one delegate even accused him of being more right wing than George Osborne.
Nick Clegg has just hit back at Shirley Williams saying that the public will never reward a "squabbling party."
That's all the Party's been doing all week though Nick!
Coalition Government Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has told Lib Dem conference in Brighton that the Party will seek a further £16 billion worth of savings in 2015, as foreseen by Chancellor George Osborne in his budget last year.
Danny Alexander said - "Specific plans for £16bn of savings that are needed".
Danny hinted that Lib Dems would 'veto' Tory plans to cut the welfare bill then bizarrely went on to say that wealthy pensioners may have their welfare reduced among other "specific" cuts.
"At £220bn, welfare is one third of all public spending - and despite our painful reforms it is still rising. We will have to look at it" - said Mr Alexander.
This announcement comes the day after President of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron told tbg. that a second coalition term with the Tories was "plausible".
It has been reported this afternoon that Andrew Mitchell once claimed he was the "Big Swinging Dick" of the Shadow Cabinet.
Apparently Mitchell stormed into work one morning with his papers in hand and asked colleagues - "Why am I not on the bloody front pages!? Don't you know I'm the Big Swinging Dick around here!".
News of the quite frankly amusing comment comes as Boris told reporters he was, "Very glad to see the police proposed to arrest Andrew Mitchell" for allegedly calling a policeman a "Pleb".
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said in the past anyone who swears at a police officer should be arrested.
Monday, 24 September 2012
There's been two more Tory resignations in Hampshire tonight.
This time though its in the south of the county.
Fareham West Ward Councillor Nick Gregory and Fareham North West Ward Councillor David Whittingham announced they will be Independent Councillors with immediate effect by forming a group with Titchfield Common Ward Councillor Jack Englefield.
Cllr Englefield only joined the Conservatives after resigning from the Liberal Democrats in May 2011.
The resignations come as UKIP PCC Candidate for Hampshire Stephen West (Pictured) launched his campaign today after he defected from the Tories this past Friday.
Wests' campaign centres around six of what he say are, "clear no-nonesense", pledges:
No reduction in numbers of front line police
No real terms increase in Council Tax precept
Zero tolerance on anti-social behaviour
Reduce overall crime levels
Support victims of crime
Support campaign to tear down speed cameras
tbg. does like a bit of hypocrisy at times.
Former MP for Croydon Central, reported friend of Ken Livingstone and Labour Party activist Andrew Pelling thinks local Croydon voters are "chavs" it has been alleged by his ex-wife.
Pelling quit the Tory Party before the last election. He sparked controversy when seen partaking in a Labour fundraiser in 2008. His ex-wife claimed that he considered David Cameron unelectable, so he stood as an Independent in 2010, and lost to the Tories.
Andrew Pellings' ex-wife has publicly claimed that her ex-husband had no respect for his constituents and often joked he would open a shop called 'Chavs of Croydon' - "He thought it would be funny to sell fake Burberry, shell suits, scrunchies and Staffordshire bull terrier accessories."
Pellings ex-wife also claimed he even had his picture taken with a Staffordshire bull terrier, because it would help him "connect with his public".
The ex didn't stop there and also alleges that Pelling insisted their baby would be born in a private hospital. "He said there was no way his child would be born in the Mayday NHS hospital in Croydon. He felt it was not good enough for his children."
tbg. wonders what Andrew Mitchell thinks of his constituents.
Follow Up: Andrew Pelling Could Stand in Croydon North by-election.
Tim Farron is launching the biggest attack on the tory right wing so far this week tonight.
He's just told a fringe meeting here in Brighton that "it's crazy that the tory right think that David Cameron failed to win the election outright because he was not sufficiently right wing."
Farron said that he finds the Tories "unbelievably awkward bedfellows" but says that going into coalition was the right thing to do because if the Lib Dems had not gone into coalition, the Tories would have won a second 2010 election outright.
He went on to allege that a lot of Tory MPs opposed Lords reform because they feared for their seats under the boundary changes before suggesting that because of the fact that we are in a fixed term parliament a "supply and confidence deal" could now be possible.
Rather bizarrely though, when asked by tbg. reporter Geoffrey Brooking if he could forsee there being a second term of coalition with the Tories he replies "I guess it's plausible" before denying splits within his own party by saying that the gap between Orange Book liberals and social liberals is "minuscule".
You should have seen the faces on some of the party faithful faces when he said "its plausible".
You could have heard a pin drop!
Follow Up - Danny Alexander wants a further £16bn of cuts.
The fight for control of the Liberal Democrats took another astonishing twist today when Lord Ashdown became the latest senior figure to hit out at Nick Clegg.
The former Lib Dem Leader says that Clegg's pledge as regards tuition fees at the last election was "opportunistic" but also "understandable given that the party had been out of office for 100 years."
It wasn't just Clegg who he was calling an opportunist either.
At one point when pressed by a member of the audience at a fringe meeting he said that Ed Miliband's Labour Party had become "the most opportunistic opposition we have ever know."
At least Paddy won't be exchanging any text messages with our Red Ed for a while.
+UPDATE+ In all fairness to our Paddy not everyone get's described as a "strangely sexually alluring walnut" like he was in The Guardian this morning.
If that's what they think of Paddy goodness knows what they think of Mike Hancock.
Follow Up - Farron Launches Attack on Tory Right and says Second Coalition Term With Tories is Plausible.
Conservative Future West Yorkshire Area Chairman Peter Christopher Barnes has stepped aside and Samantha Magnus has been elected to take over the position. Barnes has moved away from the area and remains a Conservative Future activist.
On departure Barnes praised the Yorkshire & Humber region by claiming - "The lack of infighting and the real sense of friendship within the region is something that every area of Conservative Future should emulate and champion; the backstabbing and plotting does nothing for our national image.
Barnes then went on to tell tbg. -
"CF is about to enter into one of its most important elections in the organisations history; with all factions of the youth movement begging it to take a firmer stance on certain issues and it to sway toward their political ideals. Yet despite this CF must at all costs come together for the good of party when it comes to the 2015 general election in getting our message out to the public, speaking with one voice about the incompetence of Labour and the Liberal Democrats."
"The British political climate is a state of volatility and every vote will count."
The CF'er also says he now hopes to get involved much more with CF's London and Manchester scene.
Nadine Dorries has launched another attack on the coalition and also on how party conferences have changed over the years.
The maverick tory says that the Conservative Conference has changed from "a special time for activists to become involved and have their voices heard to a week when lobbying and the political class get to eat, drink and party on corporate accounts."
Dorries also hits out at recent defections from the Conservatives to UKIP by claiming that there was "row upon row of men and women who used to deliver Conservative leaflets and canvass our voters."
Nadine says that the party needs to offer a reason for euro-sceptic members on the right of the party to belong to the Conservatives such as a right to air their views.
She claims that because members feel isolated this is partly why membership of all political parties has plunged over the years.
Another Lib Dem has this morning admitted sharing text messages with Red Ed Miliband.
Simon Hughes, who was caught napping yesterday by a photographer working for the Metro newspaper, makes the admission in today's Sun newspaper.
The news comes on the same day that the other Lib Dem to share text with Red Ed, Vince Cable, has vowed to "go for shady millionaires with money in offshore tax havens."
Sarah-Jane gives Hunter-Clarke a bloody nose and codes potential platform for a chairmanship bid for the Tory youth wing.
Conservative Futures' one and only deputy chair' Sarah-Jane Sewell has graciously bloodied the nose of her former electoral nemesis Robin Hunter-Clarke.
Hunter-Clarke skipped to UKIP this past weekend in a blaze of publicity and rows that are still ongoing.
Sarah-Jane Sewell mocks comments made by Hunter-Clarke during the last Conservative Future election when he was defeated by Sarah to become deputy chairman. Sarah says she thinks CF needs a shepherd to look out for blood thirsty wolves and not concentrate too much on building its pen, could this be metaphorical code for a potential platform upon which a Conservative Future Chairman bid will be made?
Sarah, with ruthless clarity said - "Once upon a time, I knew a young man, that made a promise never to leave the Conservative Party. It was something he was passionate about. He claimed UKIP was merely a 'pressure group'...
Then buoyantly hinted - "Occasionally sheep do get lost and lose their way, and what they need is a good Shepherd. A shepherd that isn’t too busy building the pen that he forgets to look out for wolves".
Watch this space.
Sunday, 23 September 2012
There's a fresh new twist tonight in regard to the defection of Tory Youth councillor Robin Hunter Clarke to UKIP.
According to the social networking site Facebook, friends of Hunter-Clarke are claiming that he was threatened and bullied by local Tories for refusing to toe the Tory line.
One person is claiming that there are e-mails to back up their claims.
If that's the case then tbg. would be more than interested to see them!
Conservative Future Chairman Ben Howlett is the victim of a spoof Twitter account tonight. The account has posted tweets such as:
"When I step down as Chairman I plan to go out with a bang that is as least as big as the one in Brighton in 1984".
"CF doesn't need a cure, since I have been chairman not one person has left, membership is up 800%".
"I wish I was at Lib Dem Conference, it would be somewhere I fit in".
tbg. has been informed Conservative Future National Executive and CCHQ are trying to shut the account down immediately.
tbg. can tonight confirm that following his pop at the right wing of the Conservative Party Ed Davey is now the latest name to be linked to a plot to replace Nick Clegg.
Even though Davey only had the popular support of just 9% of Lib Dem voters in a poll out today asking who should replace Clegg its understood that Davey is the man being touted as the 'Stop Vince' candidate here in Brighton.
Surprisingly, whilst Cable topped the poll on 35%, David Laws came second on 25% but most members seem to feel that its far too soon for the new Education Minister to make his move.
Davey is highly regarded on the right of the Lib Dems and is reported to have "deadly serious" leadership ambitions.
There's even a rumour that Ed has recently started a diet so as to get in trim should a leadership contest be triggered.
The 46 year old is reported to be on strict salads in Brighton so as the MP for Kingston and Surbiton can get in trim and fit ready for a fresh challenge should the opportunity come along.
Follow Up - Quote of The Day.
Follow Up - Paddy Ashdown Says Clegg Was Opportunistic on Tuition Fees.
Rogue Cllr Stephen West defected to UKIP on Friday and issued this statement to tbg. today - "I will consider supporting the beleaguered Conservative administration on a case by case basis depending on whether individual policies are in the interests of the people of this Borough."
West has now launched his Police & Crime Commissioner campaign as the UKIP candidate for Hampshire.
Councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke sensationally quit the Conservative Party this week and skipped over to UKIP.
Hunter-Clarke says the Tory party abandoned him after not delivering Conservative polices in the 2010 manifesto and dismisses that it matters whether he is a Tory or UKIPPER at Council level.
Whether Robin Hunter-Clarke will be appreciated for taking the local Skegness voters for fools will be answered at the ballot box. Hunter-Clarke polled 455 votes with a majority of 71 in 2011.
Hunter-Clarke has just issued this statement via Social Media Site Facebook as regards his resignation from the Conservative Party.
"The Conservative Party has let me down nationally over so many issues."
"It has become very difficult to support them and so many young Conservatives are moving away from the party and joining the only real alternative for us - UKIP."
"At a local level - I have been a victim of a lot of bullying by some local Conservative members (not all) because I often vote at council for what I believe is best for the town rather than doing as I'm told and voting to toe the Conservative party line (Which isn't necessarily always right.)"
"This shouldn't be allowed to happen at town council level."
"Perhaps my age is also a factor why I'm often attacked."
"I promise I will continue to work hard for the people of Skegness as I have been doing."
"It changes nothing and although my allegiances have changed to UKIP - on the town council and at a local level this is irrelevant."
"UKIP are a broad minded party and although very much conservative they have a huge rage of policies - take a look on the website and their manifesto."
"Thanks for being so supportive however."
"It has been such a difficult decision having been involved in the Conservative Party for some time - however I hope people understand and all those who elected me - it changes nothing as I am still conservative."
"I have been betrayed and let down and UKIP now has more true conservative values than the actual Conservative Party itself."
"In Local Elections you vote for the candidate not the party."
"I still share conservative political views however and I have not abandoned the Conservative Party - they have abandoned me by moving away from what they promised in their manifesto in 2010 and moving away from their core beliefs."
"I see the point if I was moving to a totally different ideology, i.e to the Labour Party, etc."
"But I'm not."
"UKIP is a conservative and libertarian party which can appeal to anyone on the political spectrum."
"It also makes at local level no difference what party I belong to - I shall still do my best for Skegness regardless of what national party I support."
There's mixed news for the Lib Dems in the polls today.
The good news is that the party this morning stood at its highest poll rating for months in one poll on 18%.
The bad news is that both supporters of other parties and Mr. Clegg's own Lib Dems think that Vince Cable would make a better leader and that the other polls are not so good.
Cable entered the conference at around 2.00pm yesterday admidst protests against the government's austerity measures.
Here are the full poll details first.
First poll by Servation for the Mail on Sunday has Labour on 37%, the Conservatives on 31%, and the Lib Dems hitting dizzy heights of 18%.
When asked who they would prefer to lead the Lib Dems into the next election 32% of supporters from other parties said Cable amd 21% said Clegg and amongst Lib Dem voters Cable still leads Clegg by 30% to 23%.
The You Gov / Sunday Times Poll has Labour on 43%, Conservatives on 34% and UKIP and the Lib Dems tied on 8%.
However, Clegg's You Gov rating of minus 63 beats the previous record of minus 62 set by Gordon Brown.
And Opinium for The Observer has Labour on 42%, Conservatives on 30%, UKIP on 10% and the Lib Dems in fourth place on 8%.
Last night Nick Clegg launched a scathing attack on the tory right only for Douglas Carswell to tell him "Its not me who's been inconsistent, hypocritical and has broken my promises."
This morning the latest figure to attack Clegg is the normally loyal Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke.
Brooke claims that she has been pulled in all directions by the government over the tax and welfare policies and the u turn on tuition fees.
Brooke says "Lib Dems need to be clear about our seperate identity and really clear to the public."
Asked about Clegg's leadership, rather than back him she said - "You never know how things will turn out."
Hardly full backing is it?
And hot-on-the-heels of Clegg’s attack on the tory right Ed Davey has today also had a pop too.
In an interview with The Observer, the Energy Secretary says that "an anti-green movement within the Tory party is threatening tens of billions of pounds of investment" in Britain before later telling delegates in Brighton that his party was "not for turning" over low-carbon projects.
Mr Davey's comments come after July's announcement of a 10% cut in government support for onshore wind projects was preceded by reports of a stand-off between the Treasury and Mr Davey over this particular issue.
Follow Up - New Plot to Oust Clegg.
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Lib Dem President Tim Farron is tonight warning Nick Clegg that his party faces its biggest challenge yet at the next election.
In his annual report to the Lib Dems conference seen by tbg. Mr. Farron says that the Lib Dems - "Have made a lot of tough decisions and the electoral impact has been large."
"We've marched towards the sound of gunfire into the very midst of the battle and we've suffered."
Farron says that in 2015 the Lib Dems face their biggest challenge for generations but calls for a proper strategy to be put in place.
In a side swipe at Clegg as regards the cuts in local government Farron calls for the Lib Dems to be a party of stronger public services, for more new council houses to be built, and for more state intervention.
But isn't this socialist nonsense of making the state bigger how Labour failed and messed this country up in the first place?
With Cleggers already set for a rough ride in Brighton this coming week and a new poll suggests that its going to get even rougher with a double whammy of bad news in today's Survation Poll for the Daily Mirror.
It has the Lib Dems trailing in fourth place behind UKIP and some bad news for Clegg's leadership.
Labour on 40%, Conservatives on 30%, UKIP on 12% and the Liberal Democrats on just 10%.
What makes it worse for Cleggers is that only 25% of Liberal Democrat voters think they''ll be better of with him as Leader at the next election.
Over at the bookies meanwhile Clegg is still 4/7 to lead them into the next election and 5/4 not to.
But we all know that when the going get's rough those on the left of the Lib Dems get going.
Amidst the bitter infighting it seems as though Cleggers has already given in.
tbg. understands from sources in Brighton that Nick Clegg will use a rally at 6.30pm tonight to confirm that he is to veto George Osborne's plans for a two year welfare freeze.
Earlier this week Lib Dem MP Tim Farron voiced his concerns at such a move and another MP dead against such a move is Mike Hancock.
Seems as though they've both got their way.
More from sunny Brighton and the Lib Dem conference all week right here on theblueguerilla.co.uk.
Friday, 21 September 2012
One senior CF'er said - "He lost to Sarah Jane-Sewell, badly. Are UKIP collecting losers?"
Conservative Future's one and only Deputy Chair' Sarah Jane-Sewell, who indeed beat Hunter-Clarke at the last CF elections by some margin, quipped:
We broke the news earlier today that the CF'er and Tory councillor for Skegness is no more, Robin Hunter-Clarke has done the CF to UKIP skip. Hunter-Clarke is snubbing tbg. this evening and other press outlets.
Queue P.R staff.
Just by luck tbg. has acquired comments made by Hunter-Clarke on social media this week. So tbg. reckons his comments today may have sounded like this:
"(It's) Amazing how much the EU impacts on my life and everyone's lives."
"The amount of unnecessary health and safety that comes with being at University and in clubs and societies in-particular is unbelievable."
"Whatever happened to common sense?"
"The sooner we get out of this political union the better."
Follow Up - CF Deputy Sarah-Jane mocks Hunter-Clarke and codes potential platform for chairmanship bid.
"This afternoon UKIP secured the formal defection of Skegness Conservative Councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke. The announcement is the latest in a long line of young faces joining the increasingly confident movement that is improving its appeal with youngsters across the UK."
"Much credit for this strategy has to go for rather likeable leader Nigel Farage, who oozes energy in an irresistible cocktail of charm and intelligence. Once upon a time, the Conservatives were able to easily typecast UKIP as anti-European fruitcakes, obsessed with a single issue, with nothing further to bring to the table."
"However, this rather astute brand expansion exercise will make it increasingly difficult for the Conservatives to pin the tail on the donkey. Rewind back a few years and UKIP were not a serious threat, fast forward to the next election and they could well be."
David Laws today put the lefties in the Lib Dems firmly back in their box as he gave full backing to David Cameron and the coalition.
Laws states that after being on the "edge of a cliff" during the summer recess neither Cameron or Clegg "likes what he see's" before the Minister for Schools and the Cabinet Office goes on to say that "the public is hardly crying out for Ed Miliband."
Laws also praises Michael Gove for bringing rigour back into schools and George Osborne for delivering necessary cuts.
In probably his best article since returning to government the Yeovil MP also says that the coalition should not be afraid to admit that producing economic growth is proving harder and that Labour is only up in the polls because Labour is down.
All good stuff but not the type to gain new friends in his own party.
Yet another rogue Tory councillor has today defected to UKIP on the opening day of their conference. This time it's member of Conservative Future and Skegness Town Councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke helping UKIP drill home the message that the next generation of right-wingers are to be theirs.
Former Tory Youth National Executive member Alexandra Swann, who skipped to UKIP earlier this year, has just announced on Twitter that the CF'er - whom rival publication London Spin backed in 2011 for Conservative Future National Deputy Chairman when tbg. backed the eventual winner and current Deputy Sarah Jane-Sewell - was also defecting from the Conservatives to UKIP.
tbg. is awaiting the 19 year olds comments on the matter. Hopefully we'll bring it to you first.
Follow Up - Tory to UKIP defector Robin Hunter-Clarke Backlash.
As exclusively reported this morning rogue Hampshire Tory Councillor Stephen West has skipped to UKIP on the day UKIP national conference begins in Birmingham.
West told the leader of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council to "get a grip" of his cabinet earlier this week when tbg. reported that a Hampshire Borough Council was splitting over future plans for Hampshire.
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