Friday, 30 July 2010

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?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Just a quick reminder about next week's YBF summer party:

Date: Thursday, 22 July 2010, 8.00pm
Venue: Mahiki, 1 Dover Street, London W1S 4LD
FREE Mahiki Cocktails – but get there early!
Entry: £20 (£10 for full-time students and graduates)

There is a CF hustings before at 7pm, which as TB is apparently not allowed to chair he will instead ask awkward questions from the back at. All the details and tickets


Things will be quiet around here as TB is off to Russia. Back at the weekend...

Simon Says...

...please chill out.

TB wasn't sure what Simon Cavalier Jones was expecting in this race but:

"It's shocking how tribal and petty these elections have become. Elections should be fun, ideas should be banded about, people should be lobbying candidates and drinking with them. It's amazing the amount of rubbish talked about these Elections and the smearing.
CF should be fun, we after all are the Young Generation, it should be about meeting friends, politics and party's. Not spouting off arrogant nonsense and accusing people of things they have not done. Sadly this behaviour is what drives people away from us and it must stop.
Most people outside of CF see us as about as progressive as Cliff Richard! We need to show that as a Party, we are normal young people and the tone of these elections is not helping. Let's have some fun, have some laughs and reduce the amount of pomp involved. I for one promise to buy a beer for the funniest comment below (for or against me)."

Has that cold feeling of "what have I done?" dawned one of the candidates? Oh well.. will hold him to the beers.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Cox

So the CF bandwagon rolls on.

London Spin
is putting TB to shame with the coverage though there have been complaints about the accuracy of all the details...

Howlett is racking up the miles, and the bartabs apparently. Activists were left unimpressed when he told an hustings crowd he was going to "feed the parking meter" before attempting to drive to another campaign event elsewhere. "Forgetting" to pay his bill on the way out...

Simon Cavalier Jones has locked in the north if their reactions to visits from Howlett are concerned. His team are picking up momentum. Given the rate of bitchy emails flying about TB would say SCJ is gaining on Howlett who is still the frontrunner mainly on name association. Nothing like a bit of mudslinging to amuse TB.

But that is all set to change as it becomes clear that the rumours are true - Craig Cox, student politics supremo and NUS conversation starter, staffer to various MPs and bit of a lad, is due to throw his hat into the ring.

Cox who has reduced lefties to tears with philibustering NUS debates and adding (literally) hundreds of amendments. He could and probably should write a book on how to piss off student unions. He's not shy of a fight and whilst this is still unconfirmed, Cox's candidacy would certainly liven things up.

CCHQ  and the other candidates are going to love the rumour that the slogan is the rather harsh "Cox not Cocks."

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

PMQs Thoughts - Hypocritical Harman and Boorish Bercow

A strange mood at PMQs today, the leaders were actually quite funny and it was a much less stilted performance from Harman than usual. For a second TB thought that the honourable members had actually listened to Bercow and were chilling out a bit. Harman pulled off the joke about partners and mothers well but Dave was quick on the come back with the CND dig. Harman should know the rules state you leave the mothers out of arguments though.

Although it was clearly a joke, Harman continues to insinuate that Clegg and Cameron are in a gay relationship with her "partner" comparisons. Yes everyone has made the same joke, but this is Ms Political Correctness we are talking about. Imagine is someone made a joke about Harman being a lesbian, there would be outrage from not only her but her army of puppeting drones who weigh in whenever anyone dares to criticise. TB's beef is not with the joke but Harman's hypocrisy.

The good humour couldn't last for long though. The last few Harman questions were back to the more heated exchanges we know and love. Bercow had the audacity to tell the Prime Minister to shut up before he answered a question. He was quick to to defend the PM later, on more than on occasion, seeming like he was trying to make up for overstepping the mark.

The Speaker is on thin ice, he is a servant of the House not a leader. He should not be preaching outside of the House about how members should behave, it is completely outside his rightly limited and focused mandate. He is damaging his authority, a fatal flaw in a Speaker. He wont be able to stay for long if he is pushes his luck too far.

A few interesting questions from the Backbenches, but after a good opening ten minutes, it all tailed off rather.

Dave 4 Bercow 0 Harman 4 

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Exclusive: Leaked Chapter of Gordon's Book

The Speccie
is reporting that Gordon has been typing 10,000 words a day of his new book. That’s 580,000 words already. Tolstoy took 4 years and 460,000 words to write War and Peace and didn't have the taxpayer subsidising his writing time.

TB's man in the publishing world has slipped him one of the most explosive chapters of Brown's new book which his people are drumming up interest with:

It looks like it's going to be a cracking read.

Friday, 2 July 2010

TV's Shane Greer Cant Stop

Not content with talking head domination, TV's Shane Greer has taken to doing underwear ads:

Joking apart it seems

Peachy Pink
have poached the lovely Mrs Greer from the CCHQ digital team and she is now running the social media campaign for underwear company. Pants that smell of peach eh?

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 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."