Daily Archives: March 19, 2010

Jim Pickard

Innocently, I had thought that Lib Dem MPs were immune from the malodour lingering over the House of Commons after the expenses scandal. Hadn’t Nick Clegg given the impression that his party was whiter than white? What then to make of this – courtesy of PA? Read more

Jim Pickard

First of two multi-day strikes will begin at midnight tonight. Here is the FT news story. Anyone who predicted a compromise is (for now) wrong. This is bad news for Labour – coming on the day that the rail unions announce strikes over the Easter period. Read more

Jim Pickard

We had some coverage earlier in the week over the Labour internal battles to fill various candidacies for the election. Most striking was Lord Mandelson’s intervention to restore James Purnell’s chosen successor for Stalybridge and Hyde, his former aide Johnny Reynolds, to the shortlist for the seat.

I’ve now heard that another Blairite figure, the historian Tristram Hunt, could soon be parachuted into Stoke Central in a sop to Mandelson. The business secretary was reportedly disappointed when Hunt lost out to John Cryer, a Unite official, in the Leyton & Wanstead selection battle. Read more

Jim Pickard

* Britain rejects French overtures for sharing nuclear submarine patrols

* Here is the new Tory “policy triangle” on which their general election campaign is based: make any sense to you?

* Lloyds Banking Group will make a profit in 2010, says Robert Peston Read more

Jim Pickard

Unite’s membership is supposedly about 2m, according to The Economist, the BBC, the Sunday Times etc. I’m sure the union is happy to encourage this.

In fact Unite revised down its membership last summer from 1.95m to 1.64m members, as I revealed back then. In the UK the figure is just 1.54m. The revision came about after officials checked their membership lists and discovered a quarter of a million “ghosts” who were either dead or no longer members. Read more

Jim Pickard

Utterly, utterly silly. And not exactly new. But a bit of light relief after yesterday’s Ashcroft-heavy coverage.

(Meanwhile check out this Guido link for a rapping Gordon Brown…’I’m the rhyme minister…to the right, to the left, to the all-important centre ground……) Read more

Jim Pickard

Lord Mandelson hinted yesterday that taxes could have to go up in the next Parliament. It’s taken a little while for anyone in Labour to even mention the possibility. Two thoughts spring to mind.

 Read more