Tuesday, 29 June 2010

As If You Could Ever Forget

Go behind the scenes of Sky News, on that day:

Very cool.

Monday, 28 June 2010

LBC Tonight

Tune to the LBC 97.3 if you are in London or listen online
from 8pm to listen to TB having a wee chat.

You can tweet questions and comments to him live via

The Perfect Campaign Video

"I possess a sort of sociopathic narcissism that makes me think I should be in charge of everyone"

Also looks like that baby stole TB's suit.

Tip if the bear ears to


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Questions to Which the Answer is No

No TB hasn't turned into John Rentoul but he is laughing his head off about one of the most arrogant press releases he has ever received:

"Is this Braintree's next MP?

A 16 year old teenager from Braintree is fast cementing his place among Britain's political elite. Stephen Canning who is studying A levels at Colchester Sixth Form College has been billed as the next potential MP of Braintree or even Prime minister. As founder of the Braintree Youth Council and then Chairman of the Braintree Conservative Future, Stephen Canning quickly rose in the political ranks. But then he got bored. He wanted a bigger challenge. Much bigger. So he asked himself: What are the three largest, most largest, most important, most difficult challenges facing young people? The answer: health, education and crime - then he tried to tackle all three at once.

Braintree, Essex (BCF) June 22, 2010 -- Stephen Canning, a 17 year old student from Braintree has been given a position on the Youth Crime Stakeholder Advisory Group, directly advising the new coalition government on crime policy and implementation, and as an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Children's Group."
It is well worth reading the rest of the cringe-worthily self -congratulating tripe
. So is he 16 or 17?

Press releasing from an email address at thetoryboy.com doesn't help either. Talk about making yourself a target.

Labour's Budget Response:

Not much has changed has it.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

‘Take Back Parliament Sq.’ Protest

Intriguing press realease TB just got...

Free market protesters are tonight testing the inclusiveness of Parliament Square's 'Democracy Village' by organising an opposing protest there.

Young activists will legally enter the square and provide a vocal and visual challenge to the illegal camp. They will be protesting against the views espoused by the campers, including defending capitalism and necessary action to close the budget deficit.

Organiser Donna Edmunds explains why: "True democracy only happens when a range of ideas are discussed. But the illegal campers in 'Democracy Village' represent extreme fringe opinions. They want an end to Westminster politics, say that the recent election was illegal, and oppose the ownership of property."

"They don't represent democracy - they've hijacked democracy. By camping on Parliament Square, the villagers are stopping other people from being heard by those in Parliament. We all deserve the right to have our views heard, and that's why we're holding them to their promise. There's nothing democratic about Democracy Village."
Might have to swing by the Westminster Arms later and see if it kicks off... 6pm apparently.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Why We Need the EU

Ever wondered where we could save a little cash? A topical question today. Why not start with the ridiculous amount of money we pour into the European Union. And you're not going to like it when you see just what your hard earned bucks are spent on. TB wonders how long it took, and how much the EU Directorate-General for Infrastructure and Logistics (DG INLO) are paid:

What treat have they prepared for zee useless Parliament staff? Well a slide show of course:

So there we go mes amies, now you know how to use a trunk. Another victory for the Project!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Just incase you forgot...

...what they said in the election:

TB hopes the coaliton won't be that stupid. The softening up has certainly been sustained over the weekend but you would have thought the hints on VAT would have been stronger to weaken the blows. It's an open goal to the likes of Balls and is a tax that should be being slashed. We need people spending more not less right now. Grumble.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Racy Stacy's Dangerous Divulgence

Like John Prescott, Stacey Bott (known in Tory circles as Anastasia Beaumont-Bott) just won’t go away. She left the Tory party at the height of the election campaign because of “ingrained homophobia.” Nobody is quite sure why, just months after singing the party’s praises for being so inclusive, she decided to jump ship to Labour. Best estimate is that she no longer felt she was getting the exposure she deserved through being the self styled only gay in the Tory village. And so, with great fanfare, she denounced her former friends and colleagues and took to the stage with David Miliband to tell us all how nasty the Conservatives are and how the Labour party has always been her natural home. Inevitably, even Labour bored of her tokenism and self promotion. You can read some background here

So how can this political rubix cube propel herself back into the public eye? The answer, obviously, was to
sell a story to the Mail
about her sex life. Proudly boasting about how Caroline Nokes’s young lover James Dinsalde turned her gay - and on behalf of men everywhere, TB would like to thank him for that. She went on to moan about how he promised her trips to Paris and boasted of his wealth. Yet again, ABB litters the interview with references to her muddled and eclectic sex life. Is she bi? Was she ever gay? Is it all just an elaborate web of “who gives a shit” pre-teen style attention seeking? Who knows, if she is such a lefty now why is she whoring herself to the bastion of the right-wing press?

What we do know though, is that she should be more careful about commenting on other peoples’ sex lives when photos are currently doing the rounds of her engaged in some pretty steamy video chat via MSN . TB has seen these photos, as have most of Westminster. Sailing close to the wind by inviting tabloids to look into her private life much?

The sooner people see through this shameless self-promoting wannabe the better. TB has said it before and will say it again, Labour are welcome to her, though it seems even they are distancing themselves. The sign of the ultimate political failure is when someone starts their own political party. Answers on a post card as to what her political party would be called...

Guest Post: From Opposition to Government

Outgoing CF deputy chairman Christian May has some advice for whoever will be taking over...

Some things are certain. For example, John Prescott will always have a chip on his shoulder. Ed Balls will always be the least popular politician in the country. Ellie Gellard will always flog dead political horses. And, as surely as dawn follows dusk, Conservative Future elections will descend into spats, blog wars and cliques. I'm not going to condemn this, as it would be hypocritical of me to do so. However, I am going to suggest that for the first time in the history of Conservative Future, something genuinely exciting awaits the new team at the top.

Conservative Future has never existed under a Conservative government. Created in 1998, ours is an organisation that has only ever know opposition. A child of its time and a product of circumstances, CF focused its energy on campaigning - and rightly so. Mark Clarke in particular, and his successor Michael Rock, kept up a relentless focus on CF's role as a campaigning body with one thing in its sights; the general election. The membership, too, understood this need. When I stood for election to the CF Exec, I didn't quite understand that. I made grand statements about how CF should be an "agent of political debate." Etc. I had ideas that we could champion policy issues, raise money, launch campaigns, critique the Party if need be. Whilst these things sometimes developed at a local level, it never became the focus of the National Exec. And nor should it have. I'm pleased to say I quickly realised what Michael knew; that the purpose of CF was to help get Conservative MPs elected. That's what CF helped to do, and that's Michael's legacy.

However, whilst the general election may have marked the end of a project in one sense, it heralds great possibility for the future direction of our organisation. All that is needed is a Chairman candidate who appreciates, and I mean really appreciates, the unique opportunity that faces Conservative Future. Whilst I may be stepping back from CF, I would like nothing more than to see a Chairman who grasps the opportunity to lead a movement of young Conservative activists, free from the shackles of a relentless general election campaign. I'd like to see a Chairman that tirelessly champions the views of the membership, and stands up on issues that matter to them. I'd like to see a chairman that criticises the government if they feel it necessary, whilst promoting the ideas of a free market, a small state, social justice and civil liberties.

All of this is possible in a way that it wasn't during the last 18 months. We had our focus, now you must have yours. So this is my rallying call to chairman candidates; be bold. Be ambitious. Recognise the opportunity you have before you, and sell that vision to the membership with energy and clarity. Enjoy the chance we never had; to be part of a movement that stretches from Downing Street to college campuses. Conservative Future has only ever know opposition. Just think about that, and think about the opportunities it gives a new Chairman.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Two Front-runners

That pesky

London Spin
beat TB to reprinting the email to it but this did make him chuckle last night. Simon Cavalier Jones launches his leadership bid for the Tory youth wing in the same building as David Miliband was pitching for some other job:
"Miliband was not best pleased when I told him I was standing for CF chair and then ran away, thanked him for attending my Campaign launch but make it clear his attendance was not necessary."

The EU Don't Want Our Money?

Yeah right.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Another Hat in the Ring

Simon Cavalier-Jones is speaking at a big CF area meeting tonight in Leeds. TB understands the will be declaring he is running and giving a speech setting out his plans for CF and then asking for the endorsement Yorkshire CF. In terms of regions Yorkshire is on the biggest and most active and any candidate with their support has to be a runner in this election.

East Midlands CF have already endorsed his candidacy, so we're looking at the prospect of a Northern power base Not much is known about Cavalier-Jones, except that he is 25 and works in consultancy. He worked across the East Midlands on the target seat campaign during the elections. He is certainly looking like the outside candidate and is said to have a fair bit of cash behind his bid.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

PMQs Thoughts

A somewhat old school PMQs today with some heightened exchanges. We're not back to the Dave and Gordon boxing bouts but a certain escalation from the subdued exchanges of the last two weeks.

Cameron's Star Trek joke fell a bit flat but wasn't a patch on the shocking delivery of Harman's lines. She needs to ditch the script and act quicker on her feet. Lots of grumpiness floating around in the chamber. Did that IPSA debate upset a few of the poor dears?

PS. TB will be on Sky News tonight chatting about banking reform with Will Straw from Left Foot Forward. Tune in at 7pm.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A View From the Stump

So after a certain amount of wrangling TB managed to get a seat at last night's Fabians Society Labour Leadership hustings. After getting over the initial excitement of seemingly making Kerry McCarthy's day, things soon got underway.

What was immediately clear from the outset is Ed Miliband had the crowd, he just had to get close to something that resembled competent rhetoric and they erupted. He was good in a NUS sort of way, though one thing that seriously let him down was his constant muttering and laughing with Ed Balls whenever Diane Abbott was speaking. It looked pathetic and juvenile.

Diane Abbott was able to command the same sort of reaction. Much has been said of Abbott's husting performances and how she is able to "play the room". While yes she was sticking on her safe ground, it wasn't so much that she was playing the room, but that they genuinely agree with her outlook and stance, and she is capitalising on that. The whole event would have been mighty dull without her on the platform, if only for the loss of Balls and David Miliband's constant patting her on the back and painful attempts at trying to share a joke with her.

Andy Burnham was very good in a Home Secretarial kind of way. He isn't going to win but there is passion there. He needs to break away from simply talking about his background and dog whistling certain parts of the movement. It was like watching an early Cameron - nice rhetoric but very little bite.

David Miliband failed to live up to his promised prime-ministerial aura. Whoever is writing his soundbites needs to be taken out and shot. "A living memorial", the "poetry of change", "the two engines of progressive change" etc etc. It weakened what was otherwise a polished performance.

And finally what of TB's favourite candidate Ed Balls? To give him credit he can actually put some passion into his speaking which is more to be said than other mono-toned and dreary platform dwellers. He was desperate to be seen as a normal guy and constantly interrupted with attempted quips and one liners. Most of these fell flat leaving him looking like the guy in a nightclub who is still yelling in a girls ear when the music has stopped.

Balls took a long and deliberate moment to talk of the upset caused by his reputation and the treatment of him by the media and more specifically right-wing blogs. There was no denying he was talking about
Guido Fawkes
, though it was nice of
to give TB evils at that point. C'mon guys we are on the same team now.
Balls's should take a long hard think about why those of the right and Tories are so keen to see him elected. Fresh out of his bullying interview at the weekend, he continued to tout for the sympathy vote by essentially saying how upsetting the stuff he reads online is. Which is odd given he has previously denied ever reading blogs.

This "poor me" strategy is weakened further by what Balls's own campaign team are saying. Tom Watson made perfectly clear in a
Guardian article
that if you can't be heckled by Guido Fawkes you are not fit to be a leader. Ed Balls's media and online reputation is nothing but karma. 

Gender equality, Iraq, Electoral Reform, votes at 16, definitions of socialism. All these burning issues were what the candidates had to talk about last night. There were two mentions in the whole evening of the deficit. Labour didn't lose because they lost votes to the Greens and the Lib Dems at the election, (factors discussed,) they lost because people voted for David Cameron instead of Gordon Brown (not discussed.) Not one candidate gave any mention of a plan to make sure Labour win over the floating voters who backed them in '97, '01 and '05 and abandoned them in 2010. Until they address that on the stump, these fifteen odd hustings meetings are nothing but a waste of time, hot air, and anecdotes about their state school educations and SpAd days.

Democrats Getting Tetchy

A US Congressman assaulting a student?

Lucky he had his mobile phone camera...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Obama's Crude Comparison

As BP faces up to the reality that its share price has to sustain at least another two months of oil leaking and hurricane season spreading the spill far and wide, the political strategy for dealing with the mess seems more and more muddled by the day. Fresh off the phone from David Cameron, President Obama has walked straight into his next blunder. There has been a huge backlash against his comments comparing the BP oil spill to the 9-11:
"In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come"
You can see why he is so often glued to his auto-cue, almost every time he goes free-style he inserts his foot into his mouth. No end of New York police and fireman are cuing up to tear chunks out of the President for his insensitive remarks. It seems he has replaced his strategy of bashing the British by angering his own country.

A Simple Plan

The Sunday Mirror had the
of newbie Tory MP Caroline Nokes having an affair with well know tory bad boy James Dinsdale. Many a story about the man has hit TB's inbox about the guy but nothing more than idle, unsubstantiated gossip. Intriguing about the Mirror scoop though was the fact that they knew exactly where to send a photographer and Dinsdale's statement:
Yesterday he said: I can {confirm {Caroline Nokes and I have had a sexual relationship. I have no further comment.
The missing piece to complete the story. So then James how much did you get for selling it yourself?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

One Down...

This just hit TB's Blackberry:

Michelle Donelan will not stand for Conservative Future Chairman due to an impending career move which will act as a huge time constraint and requires her full attention. She wishes the candidates the best for their campaigns and hopes that Conservative Future can grow and flourish under their new Chairman.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Would have said Simon Jenkins has finally
lost it
, if he hadn't already years ago.


TB is reflecting quite what to do with this blog now work and the real world means his writing energies are exhausted elsewhere. In the meantime he has gone back to his roots and let some discussion about the upcoming elections in Conservative Future. As predicted this has turned into a mud slinging match in the comments. TB has no desire to get sued so if you could all kindly chill the fuck out about something that frankly isn't the end of the world that would be greatly appreciated. Ta.

The election is set to take place now in the last week of September. Confirmed runners Kit Friend, Patrick Sullivan, Simon Cavilier Jones, Michelle Donelan and Ben Howlett. Expecting cover to be broken by most of this lot next week. No wonder wiser and older hacks are calling for the whole thing to be
. TB wondered how long before that debate would rear it's rebellious head again.

PMQs Thoughts

After the utterly depressing start it was no surprise that today's PMQs was once again a subdued affair. With the excitement going on elsewhere today this wasn't the big show. The Labour Leadership closing nominations coupled with the Select Committee elections means minds were wandering elsewhere.

Harman, despite the best efforts of her comedian staffer, is still looking uncomfortable at the despatch box. She was muddled over redrawing boundaries and her argument was left wide open by the fact Labour had gone ahead with redrawing said boundaries on the very electoral register she now decries. There is a real fear on the left about the re balancing of constituencies. They have gerrymandered and manipulated the inner city system and are realising the game is up. Cue much hysteria.

High point had to be Dave's put down of Balls as the "new Alf Garnett of politics" though there was no subtle smack down of Harman like last week sadly. Balls's face after that was a classic though. The lack of Clegg is a good thing - a broad range of backbench questions certainly makes for a more interesting debate.

An uneventful no score draw though.

UPDATE: Late in the session Dave said the England flag will be flying over Downing St for the World Cup. So nice having a Prime Minister that the sporting world doesn't have to pray won't endorse a team or wish good luck in match. So long curse of Jonah.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Getting the Hang of this Polling Lark

Last week,

and TB launched the second straw poll to ascertain the membership favourite for Conservative Future Chairman. A vote is likely to take place toward the end of the summer, and we’ve seen some keen beans off the mark already. Keen bean KRO takes a look at what this all means...
Overwhelmingly, it seems the membership favourite at this point is none of the above, followed by Michelle Donelan current National Executive Press Officer and ex-PPC in Wentworth. Michelle received 15% of the vote, while her closest competitor was none other than some randomer Mr. Harry Cole (11%). (Ed: not going to happen by the way.)

A less than convincing performance for Exec members Chris Hampsheir and Patrick Sullivan, though that’s not to say they’re down or out yet. It’s still all to play for. The middle of the field is tight with the Murdoch pole climber Oliver Cooper pulling in 3rd, Newcy lass Emma Carr in 4th and NUS wannabee Kit (Friend) on the block in 5th. Ben Howlett, who announced his candidacy on Wednesday pulls in 6th place with 8% of the vote – nearly half that of the current favourite. An honourable mention goes to Andy Peterkin, who despite months in the wilderness has commanded 25 votes. Sure he’d say something along the lines of that being proof that there are 25 conservatives left in CF.

What’s interesting is that once again, there are a huge chunk of ‘Other’ votes – going primarily to the relatively anonymous ‘Simon Cavalier-Jones’, who when considered, pulls in 78 votes, pushing him into a healthy second place. Once again, the comedians were out as, ‘The Sexiest Totty’, ‘Scrap CF’ and ‘Al Cooling’ got write-in votes. This time around we asked who should be Deputy Chairman, too. The results of this once again put Michelle Donelan in front (14%), Emma Carr in on 13%, Harry Cole on 11% and Cooper and Friend level on 10%.

Chew that over kids. Wonder if Tweetminster reckon they could predict the result.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

And They're Off

A press release from Ben Howlett's "Press Officer"... In TB's day people sent their own pres... ok ok he won't start:

At 5pm this afternoon an email was sent to the Conservative Party Co-Chairmen Baroness Warsi and Andrew Feldman, declaring that I would be standing as a potential candidate for the position of National Chairman of Conservative Future.

While I know that the election has not officially been called, the campaign appears to have started in earnest. Michael Rock has had a fantastic term of office and I would be proud to succeed him.

Over the weekend an email was sent to over 600 Branch Chairman and Executive Members across the country under the message of “Conservative Future – Your Voice”. I wanted to find out what matters most to Conservative Future members across the country from Aberdeen to Brighton, Wrexham to West Cornwall. These were contact details I have collected over the last 5 years of my involvement in Conservative Future as the President of Durham University Conservative Association and as a Branch Chairman in Essex. The intention was to find out what mattered most to members before I decided to stand for the position of Chairman.

I have only had positive feedback so far, a few people have asked me “why on earth do you want to?” but even they believe I will do a good job, so I would like to take this opportunity to prove them right.

The hundreds of responses to my email so far have all been extremely valuable. These responses will become the basis of a manifesto that will enable their views to be implemented. I will continue this continual engagement by spending the following months meeting branch members across the country, asking them their concerns and ideas.

I promise that I will try my best to reinstate a grassroots organisation and creating an organisation ideologically led by the members, that is why I intend to give Conservative Future back it’s voice.
Interesting he chooses to discuss the positive feedback from the email sent to grassroots hacks. Not sure the Essex councillor would like to read some of the emails TB got about it. TB will let the inevitable cat-fighting run its course without fuelling the fire just yet. Apparently there is some Labour leadership contest on too. Pah.

PMQs Review - Primes Minister's Answers

A low key start for PMQs, but immediately it was clear that Cameron was careful to be seen to be answering questions given he attacked his predecessor so often for failing to give a straight answer. It was refreshing to see that when he didn't have an answer, instead of spouting reams of tractor stats he simply said he wasn't going to make something up on the spot and would get back to them.

Harman didn't seem as comfortable at the box as she was last week at the Queens Speech debate. Her tactics became clear immediately - she will go every week on the few things that Clegg and Cameron disagree on. A nice touch but will get old very quickly. It seems she will use these few opportunities in the limelight to push her warped sexist agenda which will of course provide a little light relief. She was sticking to a script and if she wants  to do well at these bouts she has to be able to break away from the prepared lines - something she was incapable of doing today.

The times they are a'changing. The Commons was calm and people were paying attention. Could well have been to do with the horrendous news breaking from Cumbria or are we seeing a new type of PMQs. Nearly half of the MPs are new members who would have watched the tired old scenes of the last Parliament's PMQs and know how off putting those scenes were. Will they be able to keep it up though? We shall see...

A win for Dave? Yes, but it was hardly a battle. Nice smack down on Harman's last question... more please.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Runners and Riders

CCHQ will be pleased that there is a big field so far for Chairman of Conservative Future. What could possibly go wrong?

These lot haven't declared officially but TB has seen or heard the makings of their campaigns from:

Michelle Donelan
Ben Howlett
Kit Friend
James Morton
Simon Cavalier-Jones

Patrick Sullivan
Oli Cooper

Fund-raising has started, though because the campaign is over the summer there will be none of the usual tactic of going to university braches, getting everyone drunk and promising them the world. Candidates are going to have to actually think up new ways of reaching out.

Little disappointed not to see Emma Carr on the list.

The straw poll is still running

Decided first week of September apparently.