Friday, 30 July 2010

Something For the Weekend

TB is off to deepest darkest Hackney, well Victoria Park rather to see Tiesto tonight... something he has wanted to do for a long time, not least of all because of this little video:

Will try ask the man himself what he thinks...

A Day at the Races

After a week of side swipes and bitching it's nice to see at least two of the candidates coming out today with some policy ideas.

First this morning we had Craig Cox flexing his sound muscles with

a call
for young members to back Gove's school reforms and push for the bill to allow Free Schools to make a profit:

"If a restaurant knew for sure that no matter what it did, it would always get 100 customers a day and make enough money to pay its overheads, what incentive would it ever have to make a nicer soup or update the furniture? None. And it's exactly the same with schools."

This afternoon has also seen Ben Howlett release the first batch of his manifesto commitments:

It's heavy on campaigning and pledges to fight AV. The first of ten such documents apparently. Intriguingly a lot of what was discussed by all the candidates at the hustings has made its way into the document, but fair play if you are first out of the block with getting it on paper. The downside is you give your opponents the ammo with which to pelt you with. Hopefully the fight will remain on these issues rather than getting bogged down in bitching as last week did.

A rumour hit TB's phone earlier. A good point raised - nominations haven't even opened yet. Have we seen all the declared candidates...?

Left Hand, Right Hand

Eric Pickles

"I’ve set about abolishing all the Rs. Regional Spatial Strategies, regional housing targets, Regional Assemblies, Government Offices for the Regions and Regional Development Agencies. We’ve said our goodbyes. The arbitrary regional tier of government administration and bureaucracy was unpopular, ineffective and inefficient. So it’s the end of regional government: we need a new era of localism. Nowhere is that more important than in the economy."
In other news, the Conservative Party youth wing has locked in a complete regional restructuring in their new constitution. Regional tiers of bureaucracy.

New CF Consitution Sprung on Members
- NME stripped to 4

Just in time for the election a new CF constitution. TB hasn't read it as he has better things to do, but he imagines someone out there will want to:

Let him know if there is anything interesting in it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

CF - News in Briefs

See The Blue Guerilla's
"Where is the Love?"

UPDATE: With regards to the email bitch-fight between Muheed Jeeran and Alexandra Swann that is referenced in
tBg's story
, Cavalier Jones writes:
"I would like to make it very clear that the only people authorised speak on behalf of my team are, myself and the joint campaign directors: Hamish Stewart and Philip Smith. No other individual has the authority to speak on behalf of the team."
That should end this email nonsense.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cox says Hiya

Following the

that general legend Andy Stephenson MP has been made Vice Chairman of the Party, one candidate has been quick off the mark:

Maybe Stephenson should swing by a hustings if he is looking for inspiration about what needs to be done...

CF News In Briefs

Compare and Contrast

"I have come to your country in a spirit of humility. I know that Britain cannot rely on sentiment and shared history for a place in India's future. Your country has the whole world beating a path to its door. But I believe Britain should be India's partner of choice in the years ahead. Starting this week, that is what we are determined to deliver." - David Cameron in
The Hindu
"David Miliband was beginning to look as accident-prone as Mr Bean last night after yet another adventure backfired. After ruining his chance of the Labour leadership by gurning at the cameras while brandishing a banana, the Foreign Secretary's visit to India last week was labelled a "disaster" by the country's leading politicians." - 
The Indy
Jan 2009

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


TB's bag-carrying amigo is raging. The £6.5m omnishambles that is the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has been forced to extend the deadline for MP’s first claims. Initially the organisation had insisted all claims had to be submitted within 90 days, but MP’s are so bemused by the system that most of them are yet to make a claim.

So far just 279 out of 650 MPs have claimed expenses, whereas the rest have funded office equipment, travel and hotels out of their own pockets. The deadline for their claims would be 7th August onwards but IPSA has rushed out a note to say that MP’s will have until 1st October for these first claims.

While TB has little sympathy with many Members, the fact that they can't even run an office is a joke. There is a difference between lining their pockets and actually doing their job. The staffer told him earlier; “We all agree with the new expenses rules, but IPSA itself is an expensive shambles. Anyone wanting to go into parliament today would need at least £10,000 in cash to cover IPSA’s inadequacies. The fact is that the system is confusing and bureaucratic. They need to abolish IPSA asap.”

Sounds like a plan. They should just give them all debit cards from Parliament bank account. Statement published monthly. Simples. 

CF News in Briefs


Ben Howlett launched his website this morning:

He's also managed to pick up backing of CF stalwart and once blogger
Caroline Hunt
. Check out his site

Monday, 26 July 2010

CF News In Briefs

Mandatory Self-Promoting Post

Given TB has dropped from sixth to the twenties on Wikio in the last few months he isn't expecting great things from this year's Total Politics poll. Traffic peaked in the run up to the election with well over a 100,000 pages views every month but obviously the traffic has dropped off with the rate of posting. Either way if you have enjoyed swinging by here then please do vote for TB in the poll... rules below!


Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2010

It's that time of year again, when Total Politics asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2010-11, which will be published in September. For the second year running, the poll is being promoted/sponsored by LabourList and LibDemVoice as well as this blog, and that of our publisher, Iain Dale.

The rules are simple.

1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and ranks them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count.
4. Email your vote to

5. Only vote once.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. No blog will be excluded from voting.
7. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count.

A Comment on Comments

TB knows that lots of campaigners are all very excited about the CF elections, but such a battle will not be won by bitching about each other in the comments of this site.

Over the weekend one IP address attempted to post 30 comments in favour of one candidate and presented  some pretty spurious and libelous allegations. You know who are. If you want to end up in the High Court, go get your own blog.

Moderation is going to be a lot tighter now and repeated offenders will be blocked. TB is all up for hosting a forum for debate, but when it descends into smearing from one camp pretending to be another, save your breath, the comments won't get though.

Here endeth the bollocking. Sorry to get all Tim Ireland on your for a moment.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

CF - News in Briefs

Friday, 23 July 2010

CF - News in Briefs

As you may have guest TB doesn't quite have the time to blog here like he used to. However in loyalty to those who have been readers from the beginning he is keeping an eye on the growing Tory-bun fight that is brewing over the internal Conservative Future elections. Without time to write vast analysis he will be trying each day to do a News in Briefs about the campaign. If you have any ideas for a good quick forty word hit, then do ping him an email.

Had to start somewhere...

"Would You Like A Chicken Supper Benny H?"

And so to Mahiki last night for the first of the Conservative Future chairman hustings that was piggy-backing on the Young Britons' Foundation Summer Party. Cocktails were flowing, though compared to years passed it was a relatively sober bout.

That wasn't to stop a howler though...

Questions began with an in-depth discussion on Europe. The floor probed the candidates far deeper than David Cameron was on the issue on the election campaign. Answers ranged from "No" to "Maybe" to "sort of in and out?" Other questions on reform were all rather dull and the usual lines about communications were pushed out.

It wasn't until a cheeky grenade was lobbed in that there was the night's only shocking incident. Candidates were asked "Which politician do you most relate to and respect... in Northern Ireland?"

Given that he was speaking in a room of Thatcherite right-wingers, Ben Howlett's attempt at getting the Fenian vote look spectacularly inappropriate. He cited Gerry Adams as "a conviction politician". Some were left speechless that Howlett, who had used a photo opportunity just 48 hours previously with Lady Thatcher to promote his campaign, endorsed the man who chaired the IRA Army Council that sanctioned the assassination attempt on her at the 1984 Conservative Party Conference in Brighton that left senior Tories dead and disabled for life.

After that the rest of the hustings seemed a little subdued and low-key. TB liked Cox's "Policy not Petrol" sound-bite and Cavalier-Jones did well to hold his own outside of his northern comfort zone and bloc.

Howlett has the chance to try to redeem himself tonight as the candidates will come together again for 
another hustings
at the Barley Mow on the Horseferry Road at 7pm. The event is in aid of Help the Heroes. Once again questions in the comments if you can't make it.  

Memo to Howlett - tread carefully. 

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

PMQs Thoughts - Amateur Hour

Well that was slow, messy, and amateur. Interruptions meant it never really got going but there wasn't exactly much to work with in the first place. It makes you realise just how far Dave has moulded PMQs to his own style and uses it to bash with ease. Clegg's opening joke was cheap and crashed. Not sure about the dissertation line either...

Straw isn't exactly suited to the combat style of PMQs and its pretty embarrassing when you make Harman look good at this. He started too quietly and by the end of his questions he was bellowing and came across rather dreadfully and gruff. Bit jumbled on the substance as well. Think Clegg would benefit from a bit of "practice" at this too despite his scathing put down.

Clegg warmed up once the questions were thrown open to the Backbenches, but the duel is really what mattered. His defence of the coalition at the end was very good, hit the Labour record hard too despite the best efforts of the Speaker.

Once again another piss poor performance from Bercow. Funny he never interrupted Gordon when he went on with reams of tractor stats and obscure defences of Labour's record. Who knows what point Clegg was going to make? He then completely cocked up the fact that Straw had only had five questions, it looked like it was his first time too. And once again he went with the "shut-up because people are watching" line. The public don't hate PMQs battles. Maybe Bercow could explain why it's the only Commons session that people watch? Every week. And enjoy?


VERDICT: Dull, amateur, pretty much a draw.

Cox out the Blocks

Craig Cox
has launched this video this morning outlining his supporters and ideas:

"Sound ideology" is quite the dog whistle and intriguing to see a candidate pledging to go up against the government.

While Cox is a late starter, Ben Howlett is still on his nationwide tour, last seen somewhere outside of Scunthorpe "listening". Just kidding, but it looks like he did have an intriguing chat
last night
Simon Cavalier Jones
is picking up endorsments of branches, but whether they will all fall into line outside of his northern heartland block remains to be seen. Cox's entry has raised the bar for the rest and they need to get their web and media stuff up to scratch quickly, especially Howlett.

There is a hustings tomorrrow. If you can't make it leave your questions in the comments below and TB will see what he can do.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Spot the Tory Mole

Ed Balls is showing off his London campaign team in a new

Not sure who the young Gekko is on the left? He doesn't look too progressive though...

What was that great line? "When I get a hold of the son of a bitch who leaked this, I'm gonna tear his eyeballs out and I'm gonna suck his f***ing skull."

Is Balls training a minion?

UPDATE: Has CCHQ spinner and CF darling Richard Jackson gone rogue?