This will be an expenses free blog today. I hope.
Pop over to Guido who has a fascinating 'what if' post, looking at what might happen to Gordon Brown after June 4th. He says David Miliband and Alan Johnson have campaign teams ready to roll.
PS I'll be on the Jeremy Vine Show at noon talking about... no, am not going to mention it.
So what's Miliband's campaign team going to do? Throw bananas at Brown?
Meanwhile the Supreme Leader is planning - wait for it - another relaunch!!! He's going to delight and astound us by unveiling a National Plan.The entire country seems to be suffering from rampant political insanity. I'm beginning to feel as if I've fallen down Alice's rabbit hole into Wonderland.
Why do these people treat us, the electorate they are supposed to represent, as if we are all congenital idiots with the attention span of a mayfly?
George Pascoe-Watson just reported the RESPECT angle.(Sun Talk at 10.48pm) Why doesn't he also put it in the paper?
If Brown does not go, and a General Election is not called please join and the One Minute Strike on the 4 July.
I think he will, this seesm to be what we always talk about every summer and then he makes a good conference speech and we forget about it.
One good thing for Brown is that Labour are going into the Euros on a low point anyway so he cannot loose much.
This may well be Gordons last year as PM, so i think they will just hang on to him for the election.
Iain, Sadly you are not going to get through the next day (or indeed five minutes) without Julie Kilbride dominating the discussion.
However unfair it may be, the pack has descended on Kilbride and she is no longer viable as candidate for Bromsgrove (or indeed elsewhere).
The reaction to her on R5 this morning should leave nobody in any doubt that the campaign against her has succeeded.
It's tough, it's not fair, there are others who have done far worse and are glad that she is in the spotlight. But she is gone and to delay announcing that she will not stand again can only start to damage the Cameron Conservatives more widely.
Oh, can Gordon survive 4th June? Of course he will because he has a plan. £150bn quantitive easing will create a sense of recovery at the same time that the Tories are deep in the mire on second jobs.
He will let it be known that there will be an election in the Autumn, effectively killing any notion of a change in leadership before the country goes to the polls.
Why ordinary people are turning to UKIPThis should cheer Gordon, up!
wv = shatizes. Why does that remind me of Gordon Brown?
All depends what happens over Labou MPs expenses and how he deals with Labour MPs who have had their snouts in the trough. Personally I think he will funk it.
What do you think Iain?
As a Tory, I certainly hope GB survives June 4th.
I’m getting very worried by these reports, which smell of disinformation and clever expectations management. Brown is crap at governing the country but very very sophisticated when it comes to infiltrating the press - and we know how hard he's been working at the blogosphere. This smacks to me of Glenrothes style media scare stories. After the elections we will no doubt be inundated with stories about how Gordon did miraculously well, while the Conservatives, despite all expectations, were the ones to get a kick in the ballots. The media narrative has clearly turned the expenses scandal into a Tory Sleaze story. I fear Tories will be punished, not Brown. Labour wants to split the opposition - and are using wiley tactics to get people to vote UKIP. Don't be fooled.
They're in scorched earth mode and want nothing to be put in the way of the Lisbon treaty which is the endgame for them.
Nothing short of a rebellion by Labour backbenchers would force him out:
don't really like Guido Fawkes' blog, although of course I read it. His article today on likely efforts to oust PM Brown if there is a disaster next Thursday at local and European Parliament polls is a must read.
My reading of the current situation, though, is that the Tories might be in as much trouble. Certainly many working class people (i.e. the people I live among in my nice little council estate) see annoyed at Brown, as do the left-wing commentariat I read daily. But people are now, which was not the case before, just as annoyed at the Tories, and it is the Daily Telegraph's Tory stories that have seemed to stick in the mind.
Although I have some - limited - human sympathy with Julie Kirkbride, David Cameron's support for her is probably reducing all the "fast acting superman" burnish he had built up.
And standing over all this is the Daily Telegraph's agenda, which is now dominated by its desire to drive the news, but also, perhaps, an awareness that it's stories are not leading TV news or other papers every day at the moment. Not even the Daily Mail today. It will probably try to pull out something big in the next week to impact the European elections.
I don't subscribe to the view that the Daily Telegraph necessarily wants to promote UKIP (and certainly not the BNP); but I do speculate that it's owners are enjoying screwing around with the political elite.
If Labour are slaughtered on 4th June I doubt very much if Brown will go as he is too thick skinned to understand just how much we wish to see the back of him.
As for the latest news, it seems that all the news channels are give Julie Kirkbride a hammering ALL the time whilst Labour MP’s are sitting pretty and are not coming under attack from the media.
I know Sky is a Murdock owned, anti Tory company and the BBC institutionally left wing, but fairs fair, I want to see some balanced reporting.
Suzy Quattro? Don't get too excited. Just remember, you can't wash leather trousers.
The story isn't about Brown at the moment. He's disappeared again, and nobody seems to give a toss.
This Kirkbride story is starting to become a PR disaster for the Tories.
Just watching Sky News - I was shocked by the amount of coverage this story is getting. Not a single Labour MP was mentioned - nothing about the Star Chamber, not a thing.
Kirkbride may well deserve to get the chop - but is she the only one?
Now this Butterfield story - this is becoming a vehement, calculated anti-Tory narrative.
Labour has virtually disappeared from the TV and the newspapers.
Why, for example, have the BBC and Sky not reported Lynn Jones, Labour MP, for her ridiculous excesses and claims? Not even a whisper.
If Brown does go then his successor will surely have to call almost an immediate election and gain the ignominious accolade of briefest PM in history.
Ok, we won't talk about expenses.
Let's talk about how Julie Kirkbride managed to get her grade 2 listed home extended in a green belt zone via a conservative council whilst she objects vehemently to green belt building
If he doesn't & is replaced by Alan Johnson who then follows through, credibly, on his promise of a referendum on PR then the Conservatives will be in serious trouble unless they promise the same & equally credibly.
I do not think the Conservatives could get an overall majority in such circumstances & possible that Labour could.
Too little too late for Julia, Iain. Today's R2 performance didn't save her. George Pascoe-Watson has just revealed that she's going later today
Off on a tangent but a home extension to a listed building in the green belt is perfectly possible without calling in planning committee favours (would probably be decided by council officers anyway. The lady probably has a bung of taxpayer cash to throw at a decent design which wouldn't adversely affect the building or its setting!
If you don't like Green Belts or countryside protection against development then visit Ireland or Northern Ireland to see what's happened there.
"Why do these people treat us, the electorate they are supposed to represent, as if we are all congenital idiots with the attention span of a mayfly?"
May 28, 2009 10:48 AM
According to at least 17 percent +/- 5 percent of those who still have the will to even bother voting my guess is yes still at lot of them about!
Time to stop defending the indefensible.
If it was a claim for 4 toasters or a new gate or even double glazing then she could brazen it out.
But the claims are many and of high value.
Her prattling is letting all the other guilty MPs play the stand very still and hope no one notices me game.
Kirkbride has become the story. it won't be long before claims are unearthed for tins of peas or an electric spaghetti fork or a whale song cd.
She has to go as she is now damaging Cameron.
Oh, and shes guilty as hell as well.
History rhymes, so we should look for interesting parallels with Thatcher's downfall. I wonder if any of the protagonists are dusting off their memories to see what can be learned from Lady T's demise.
As Heseltine reminded us, he who wields the knife never wears the crown. Expect some carefully worded statements in support of Brown over the coming days and weeks.
But all the characters in the Labour saga seem so dull in comparison - I can't imagine the Beeb dramatising present events in 20 years' time. At least with a Tory government we got people with real character, not to mention innate leadership potential. The Labour lot are mere world-weary journeymen plodding along the political treadmill.
Will Gordon go? After the Speaker's removal, nothing seems extraordinary anymore...
Straw has joined Brown in the bunker. (see Times article)
As an ordinary voter I will make sure that my vote is not wasted on Jun 4th. I will be voting UKIP.
It's precisely the fact that the Tories want Brown to stay in charge that disgusts me.
You don't get it.
We want change- not more of the same- and that is what Cameron is offering.The Tories need to come off the fence re Europe.
Europe is the problem. Our laws are made in Brussels. our MPS have too much time on their hands, so they steal us blind.
Alastair Campbell gives you a mention on his blog today - says Sven's ex is still going to vote Labour! What a blow...
"Why do these people treat us, the electorate they are supposed to represent, as if we are all congenital idiots with the attention span of a mayfly?"
A person with an IQ of a hundred is not very bright. But (by definition, and give a take a few points in practice), more than half the population have an IQ of less than 100.
All of them are equal under the law, as is right, and all should have political representation, but there is a real reason to draw a distinction between "highly informed about politics" such as the minute percentage of people who read this (or any other political) blog, and the "many" who are just as interested in BGT, and would not know where North Korea was on a map.
Honestly, I went on three day trip - by charabanc - to Paris, with my sister three weeks ago. When we got there, it turned out NONE of the 60 people on the trip though "museums were worth bothering about", and most claimed "Paris was boring."
It's possible that the Telegraph et al have concentrated their expense exposure efforts on the Conservatives up to the Euro election, not to especially promote the minor parties, but to humiliate the Conservatives (Labour will humiliate themselves here) but may switch tactics afterwards.
It will be interesting to see what gets dredged up on any challengers to the leadership and their supporters.
Julie Kirkbride is standing down which is regrettable but so is Margaret Moran which isnt !!!!!
Please god if he doesnt survive do not let the Moribund Millibands take over.
At least one of them does not understand the idea of the independence of the courts.
the sun has breaking news that Kirkbride is to quit
I think Chip has really misjudged this Kirkbride affair.
Anyway, she's going now.
Looks like rown isn't the only one behind the curve.
Poor show, Dale.
The expenses row will die down once we have rid ourselves of these corrupt troughers, and not before. Maybe Ian is getting just a little too comfortable now that he is in demand!
We need "change we can believe in"!
This is clear pish tosh promoted by a desperate UKIP who will be lucky to beat the BNP on 4th June never mind Labour.
On another note, Iain, I remember with a certain fondness your "just askin'" comments as regards the exchange rate and value of sterling some months ago. In view of these (fairly frequent) queries back then, why no comment yet on the soaring pound of today? Why aren't you "just askin" what this Telegraph report means for the currency and for the wider British economy?
Why aren't you "just askin" what this Telegraph report means for the currency and for the wider British economy?
It means little. Sterling is rising because it was undervalued. With the financial sector hit hard fears were that the UK could be the worst hit of all countries.
As it was, we were just one of the worst. But, given the massive bailouts, financial sectors are stabilised. Manufacturing isn't. So UK's stock begins to rise.
When it stays firm at $1.75 we can relax.
At the moment the increase is based mainly on hope.
@ Time To Go
Good: you steal from the taxpayer, then you deserve to go. Granted, her case has been overblown, and to one degree or another I support Ian on this one, but she's still a crook.
Good effort at shifting the agenda back to Gordon Brown, oddly enough on the day when Julie Kirkbride says she'll stand down. Funny that you and Guido take this up... not a coincidence I think!
"PS I'll be on the Jeremy Vine Show at noon talking about... no, am not going to mention it."
You did your best, I'm sure, but you are trying to defend the indefensible.
And any points you may have had about the 'hounding' of Kirkbride vs some of the other troughing scum went unnoticed because she once again opened her big fat trap on camera and then compounded it with her self serving article in the 'Times' on 'Oh, I am a weak and feeble woman, and the bullies are attacking me because of it!'....
Isn't it about time you gave up?
As for Gordon Brown, he's been noticably quiet of late, as other bloggers have mentioned.
Perhaps he's reached the same conclusion about June 4th, and is doing his paperwork to ensure maximum expenses haul before he goes....
Latest Update: Moran and Kirkbride quit
"Brown is crap at governing the country but very very sophisticated when it comes to infiltrating the press - and we know how hard he's been working at the blogosphere. "
Yup, that 'Operation LabourList' was a truimph, wasn't it?
Guido is spreading false rumours just to boost UKIP with a view to pulling down the whole edifice.
I don't think its a question of 'poor show'. If you think people deserve a hearing and fair treatment then thats not 'poor' - no matter what the actual result.
I think a lot of MPs will feel they have been led into an elephant trap - amongst those are probably some good ones.
I am still angry with Smith and cannot see how she has any moral authority to govern us - but its now clear that the whole system has been designed to allow virtually everyone an opportunity to do the same thing.
For me - where MPs have been effectively getting taxpayers money for what is their own home (by deliberately flipping) and also not paying taxes then this is where I draw the line. But then I read that some MPs are 'required' to change their 1st home. Insane.
BTW - just watched Cameron give an interview on BBC. As is the case he answered the same question for two reporters and gave the same answer. We than had the BBC newsreaders repeat it all AGAIN! Do they think we are so thick that we cannot comprehend for ourselves?
Needless to say Brown is nowhere to be interviewed over Moran. Strangely the BBC do not want to repeat that.
Brown will not resign over 4th June, however bad the results for Labour are- especially if UKIP/ greens/ BNP etc do quite well, as opposed to Conservatives getting huge vote. He has no shame- but hopes economy might pick up.
He also will not resign over having totally unjustifiable second home allowance while at 10 & 11 Downing Street, also payed by taxpayer- much more serious than moats, extensions etc. He has absolutely no shame.
We will have to suffer this disaster for another year.
I am happy to agree with perdix -- the public should be cautious about who they side with.
Lets face it it was the collapse of the regular political class which allowed Hitler into power.
Speculating that Brown will/might face a challenge after June 4 however is hardly news.
Pop over to Guido also if you want to see him bullshitting about his voting in Wexford.
He is not legally entitled to vote in Wexford. He is not resident. Residency is required.
His past vote about which he blogged was illegal and he could and should have been prosecuted. In voting against the Lisbon treaty he furnished his parents' address and testified twice that it was his own, when the electoral roll was amended a few months before the ballot and again when he voted.
Or are we to believe that he has mastered the art of bi-location, supposedly practised by the Catholic saint Padre Pio, and perhaps by a few tax dodgers in the course of history.
The Irish will change their minds about the Lisbon treaty, given the assurances they will get next month on retaining their commissioner and a few other issues.
Britain will stand alone.
Will the workers at Vauxhall have a future after June 1st?
Mind you the Telegraph says that Vauxhall "is one of the leading car brands in the world" - which is a load of rubbish
"Vauxhall remains one of the leading brands in the UK, accounting for 14pc of all sales" - which forgets that these cars ar rebadged Opels and can be sourced fro anywhere.
Luton for sure must be toast. And its public have just trashed the reputation of its MP. they had better ring up Esther quick-time.
And its hard to see Ellesmere Port surviving much after the election.
Any 'rationalisation' of FIAT/GME will inevitably result in the closure of Ellesmere Port - otherwise the operation will not be 'rationalised'.
As ever the govt just want to get us past the general election.
Can we survive Gordon, more to the point !
Brown wont go...full stop..no matter how bad things get for him..he wont call any election before he has to either. He is deluded enough to believe that this job is his by right, he had to wait too long for it, events have conspired against him and by Christmas will turn in his favour.
Dont kid yourselves neither Johnson nor Millibland have the balls to take it away from him.
He WILL soldier on which really is the best scenario for the Tories....
In my opinion Julie Kirkbride has not been unfairly treated. She deserves to go (and it is for others to say if there are further legal issues to consider).
It is true that there are others, allegedly at least as culpable, who have not had the spotlight trained upon them. I'm thinking of some members of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet. They may hope that it will all blow over - and it might for a while - until the campaign for the General Election starts.
Talking of which, I don't think Brown will voluntarily go before the last moment for the General Election. I do suspect that if he is 'pushed' his last action as PM will be to declare the General Election (the in-house version of the scotched earth policy he appears to be following aginst the Opposition). Indeed it may be the only reason he is still in power.
Be careful in what you wish for...
Gordon is toast.
Alan Johnson will be drafted in as 'the people's commmon man champy sort of guy'...
'No nonsense' will be the name of the game, Comrade Johnson will hold cabinet meetings in the snug of his local over a pint of best, a packet of pork scratchings and a plate of cheese butties.
Anyone who orders a sweet sherry (and that includes YOU Mandelson) will be denounced as a Tory reactionary spy and be taken out and made to collect the glasses from the beer garden.
Long live the Jonno revolution! Oh, and all you Labour supporters better get ready with the PhotoShop airbrush tool..... Comrade Brown is about to be rendered out of history....
To answer your question specifically, Iain:
I bloody hope he doesn't survive. Time for a change. He's not nicknamed Jonah for nothing.
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