Friday, 17 September 2010

Waiting for his invite...

Lobbydog has been chatting with both brothers Miliband over the last couple of days to weigh up how their campaigns are going.

I also took the opportunity to ask them both about whether they would be going to the unions’ rally against cuts on October 19.

Ed has been fairly unequivocal that he would go along, but David has been conspicuous in his wavering.

Earlier in the week he initially refused to commit, but realising he looked isolated perhaps, later said he would be happy to talk at any marches.

When I asked him whether he would go he said: “I don’t think the invitations have been sent out yet.”

Even if they were going to be, after that comment I‘m not sure he would get one.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The David Cameron Rap..

Clegg, the puppet on a string. Chortle.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A book in the making?

While Lobbydog was chewing over the Mandelson and Blair books with Ken Clarke the other day, the Justice Secretary said something that should make several generations of politician nervous.

“If I ever leave politics and have absolutely nothing to do and if I persuade myself I still have my marbles, then I may fall into that bad habit of politicians and try to write my memoirs.

“Posterity had better hope that I don’t get round to do it.”

Given that Clarke has been around since 1970 (see pic), has run five Whitehall departments, served in three Tory administrations and contended the party leadership an equal number of times, it’s likely he knows one or two decent yarns.

Older tales about Thatcher’s cabinet would be one thing – but I imagine, once free from the shackles of ministerial position, he might have a few interesting points to make about Cameron and Osborne too.

Gloria is watching...

I have to admit being surprised when I heard the stories about Kay Burley having written a book with thinly veiled references to “well known” public figures.

Not surprised because the references were so thinly veiled, but taken aback by news that Burley had managed to write a book.

Fiction is something that requires subtlety and nuance isn’t it? Burley often demonstrates on Sky News that she has about as much of those things as a rhinoceros.

The three main characters are women who vie for the affections of a Prime Minister – one of whom, a feisty journalist, apparently bares similarities to Notts MP Gloria De Piero.

When I tweeted at De Piero this morning to see if she was aware of what was going on she replied “my lawyers are watching”.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Brown-sueded thatcherites

This from the Guardian's live TUC Conference blog...

Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has been praised at the TUC. Well, sort of. Colin Moses, the national chairman of the POA, the prison officers' union, has just said this.

"It's an absolute disgrace that we had to wait for Thatcherites with brown suede shoes on tell us what was wrong with the justice system. That should have been told to us by the Labour government."

Moses was referring to the speech Clarke gave earlier in the summer.

That should further boost the Notts MP's popularity with the Tory Grassroots then.

We're working with unions, but we don't know how...

Downing Street was showing the unions an incongruous mix of disinterest and cordiality at Lobby briefing this morning.

The PM’s spokesman said the Government wanted to “work with the unions” and “to get them round the table”, etc, etc, in dealing with spending cuts.

But when it came to saying what that meant, details were so sparse that it was almost as if the Government was taking a backhanded swipe.

He did mention however that Andrew Mitchell was speaking, not to the TUC Conference, but to a fringe event at the conference.

It all left the lingering question – why is the International Development Secretary, a position mostly superfluous to union issues, the only minister anywhere near the unions’ main event.

Apparently Cameron had turned down an invitation because he thought he’d still be on paternity leave. Then an invitation for Vince Cable to speak was “withdrawn” by the unions.

When the PM’s spokesman was asked if there were going to be any other meetings with the unions between now and the spending review announcement (which would facilitate the ‘working with the unions’ thing) he simply said he didn’t know.