Daily Archives: April 7, 2010

The FT’s election panel kicked off its campaign watch today. Matthew Taylor, Tony Blair’s former policy chief, Charles Lewington, one time Conservative communications director, and Miranda Green, former press secretary to Sir Paddy Ashdown, joined me for the first of a regular series of discussions designed to guide you through the tactical minefields of the campaign. They placed their bets on the outcome and revealed the events and issues the parties will most fear as the election unfolds. You can watch the video below. Read more

1) Gordon brings out the soap box The prime minister succumbs to a sudden, irresistible urge to converse with the public while standing on a wooden crate.

2) Gordon rolls up the shirt sleeves Pictures emerge of bare-armed prime minister directing emergency COBRA meeting on fears of new Blue Tongue outbreak. “He’s never been a buttoned-up kind of guy,” says aide. Read more

Safe and marginal seats – The Guardian
McDonald’s to the hustings: the youngest election candidate – The Guardian
The final PMQs – Iain Dale
Political reform: The key facts – Nick Robinson for the BBC

There’s been one more victim of wash-up: the law to allow Lord Mandelson to leave the Lords and return to the Commons.

The “resignation” rule has been dropped by Jack Straw in an attempt to push the constitutional renewal bill through the Lords (which is proving very difficult). Read more

Who reads election speeches? Certainly not voters and, mostly, not the journalists whose job you might imagine it is to report them. As an editor friend at the BBC tells me, news these days is all about “impact” rather than content; and, unless you are Barack Obama, speeches just do not do it.

But some speeches are worth a second glance. This – from Peter Mandelson – is one of them. Read more

Jim Pickard

The Tories last week accused Lord Mandelson of rubbishing some of Britain’s leading businessmen -  68 of them so far – who had had the temerity to support David Cameron’s National Insurance policy.

In fact, the business secretary had not quite used those words. He had said the Tories were ‘peddling a cynical deception’ – and that their efficiency savings didn’t add up. That’s not quite the same as saying the business leaders were gullible. Read more

Brown so sure he will win he spends Good Friday making calls on G20 banking deal – FT
Simon Schama on the leader debates – FT
Voters remain wary as final act begins – Philip Stephens for the FT
The UK must look beyond the crisis – FT
Labour spinners caught out at the station – Guido Fawkes
Tony Blair disappears to Africa to top up his tan – The Times
Weak government may be our strongest option – Anatole Kaletsky for the Times
Election begins … and Blair slopes off on safari – The Times
Do you trust Dave, asks Danny Finkelstein – The Times
Inauthenticity, meet skewer – The Spectator
John Rentoul: I’ll back a Cameron majority of 16 – The Independent
Days of wild election pledges and perilous consensus – Simon Jenkins for The Guardian
The only thing you won’t hear in the next 30 days is the truth -Simon Heffer for The Telegraph