What the papers say…

Tories claim Labour is using taxpayers’ money to fund election advertising campaign – Telegraph, 15.1.10

“The Conservatives accused Labour of “raiding” taxpayers’ money to fund their election campaign. New figures uncovered by the Conservatives show that spending on advertising has increased to £232 million, which is a 39 per cent increase on the previous year.”

A tenth of schools fail to meet GCSE targets – The Guardian, 14.1.10

“One in 10 secondary schools in England failed to meet basic targets for GCSEs last summer and academies were disproportionately represented among the failing institutions, government statistics published today reveal.

“David Laws, the Liberal Democrats’ education spokesman, said: ‘Labour’s failure on education means that there are still thousands of pupils in schools in which most fail to get five good GCSEs, including English and maths. This is completely unacceptable in a rich country such as Britain. Instead of more daft gimmicks and initiatives from Ed Balls and Gordon Brown, we need action to reduce class sizes and improve school leadership’.”

May 6 is election day, blurts out minister – Daily Mail, 13.1.10

“The General Election will be on May 6, according to Labour’s Europe Minister.

Chris Bryant named the day while giving a speech to diplomats in London yesterday. When discussing tensions between Britain and states including Venezuela, he said: ‘I hope that by the time of the General Election on May 6, relations will have improved.’”

Poll shows failed coup hit Labour hopes hard – The Times, 13.1.10

“Labour’s support has fallen to its lowest level since September as the party pays the price for disunity after the third failed attempt to ditch Gordon Brown. But a Populus poll for The Times, undertaken over the weekend, shows that despite the short-term impact of the abortive putsch Mr Brown has sharply improved his personal ratings, especially among Labour’s core support of unskilled manual workers.

“Labour has lost two points since early December, falling to 28 per cent, while the Tories have gained three points to 41 per cent — their highest level since September and the largest lead since then. No party has ever made up such a gap so close to a general election. The Liberal Democrats are on 19 per cent, down one point.”

I’m not a team of one: After a week of trouble, Gordon Brown rallies jittery Labour MPs – Daily Mail, 13.1.10

“Gordon Brown has told jittery Labour MPs that he is ‘not a team of one’ as he insisted economic recovery would win the party a fourth term. The Prime Minister went out of his way to demonstrate a more collegiate leadership style following last week’s abortive attempt to oust him from Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister told MPs in a private meeting in the Commons: ‘We are all leaders of this campaign. I am not a team of one. I’m one of a team. We are lucky to have the people we have in charge of this election.’ Mr Brown revealed that he is pinning all hopes of closing the gap with David Cameron on voters crediting him for a recovery that senior ministers appear confident is now underway. The ‘hard-won recovery’, he told MPs, would be a ‘platform for victory’.”

Recession forces Nick Clegg to jettison spending pledges – Guardian, 12.1.10

“Nick Clegg confirmed today that the Liberal Democrats will have to ditch or dilute key policy pledges as a result of the economic downturn. Clegg, preparing for his first general election as party leader, insisted that the public realised that ‘the world has changed, that money is not growing on trees, and when money is short you have to make choices, you have to set out priorities’.

“He sought to contrast the Lib Dems’ approach with that of the two main parties, who had ‘managed to produce a greatest hits compilation of almost everything that has turned people off politics’.
‘David Cameron and Gordon Brown are playing the politics of the airbrush and the focus group. One doesn’t know what he believes, the other doesn’t know what to do with the power he clings to so desperately’.”

Liberal Democrats scrap key policy pledges – Daily Telegraph, 12.1.10

“Nick Clegg said it was important to treat voters ”like grown-ups” as he revealed that a promise of free universal childcare was being ditched. The leadership is also risking the wrath of the Lib Dem rank and file by delaying its long-standing commitment to abolishing university tuition fees.

”’There is a number of multibillion-pound policies we have advocated in the past that we can no longer afford’’ Mr Clegg told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.”

Labour MP Frank Field appears alongside Cameron at Tory launch – The Times, 12.01.10

“Frank Field, one of Labour’s most high-profile MPs, provoked his party today by appearing alongside David Cameron at an election event. The socially conservative MP for Birkenhead, a persistent thorn in the side of Gordon Brown, indicated he was not defecting to the Conservatives. But he risked an internal party rift when he said that “more of the same” would not end poverty.

“His appearance, at a Demos think-tank event, will be a fresh blow for Labour morale. Both he and Mr Cameron agree that politicians should give more attention to helping parents bring up children because this is an important way of helping their prospects later in life.”

Brown’s election shambles: Man who ran Labour Party reveals chaos at No 10 in devastating new book – Mail on Sunday, 10.1.10

“Gordon Brown is facing a new crisis after the man who once ran the Labour Party launched a devastating attack on his leadership and backed calls for him to step d own. Former Labour General Secretary Peter Watt said Mr Brown was not fit to be Prime Minister, had reduced No 10 to a shambles and was derided even by some of his closest Cabinet allies.

“In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr Watt said Labour’s best chance of avoiding Election disaster is to get rid of Mr Brown. ‘It was very brave of Geoff Hoon and Pat Hewitt to put their heads above the parapet,’ he said. ‘Labour should have replaced Gordon six months ago. We have to have this out – and fast. ‘It’s true that divided parties don’t win Elections, but leaders as unpopular as Gordon Brown don’t win them either.’ Blairite Mr Watt said it was nonsense for Mr Brown’s camp to claim there were no alternative leaders.”

Ed Miliband sets out stall to unite Labour party – The Observer, 10.1.10

“Ed Miliband today thrusts himself into the debate over Labour’s future by unveiling a personal agenda to unite the party after last week’s coup attempt against Gordon Brown. After one of the most turbulent periods in Labour’s recent history, the climate secretary – seen by many as a likely successor to Brown – positions himself as a figure of unity with ideas to end factional fighting and widen Labour’s appeal beyond its traditional supporters.
“Many MPs now believe the field may be opening up for the younger Miliband, after his brother David, the 44-year-old foreign secretary, disappointed his supporters by failing to act decisively during last week’s chaotic coup attempt. Another future contender for the leadership, the schools secretary Ed Balls, was also judged as a loser in arguments over economic policy that raged as Brown bought off his cabinet critics with policy concessions.”

Tories covered up cash donations from Zac Goldsmith – Sunday Times, 10.1.10

“The Conservative party hid donations of £40,000 from Zac Goldsmith, his brother Ben and two billionaire brothers in an apparent breach of the law. But The Sunday Times has discovered that in fact they came from Zac Goldsmith, his brother Ben, and Ben’s wife Kate, a member of the Rothschild family. Another donation of £14,390 came from the Reuben brothers, property developers and aluminium tycoons who made a fortune in Russia.

“This weekend Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said he would write to the Electoral Commission calling for an inquiry into the apparent breach of electoral law. He questioned whether the registration of the donations by a proxy donor was due to error. “Back-door gifts through front companies blatantly break the spirit of the law on cleaning up Britain’s moneybags politics,” he said.”

‘Toughest cuts for 20 years’ – Times, 9.1.10

“Alistair Darling has warned that Britain faces its toughest spending cuts for 20 years if Labour continues in office. The Chancellor, indicating a dramatic shift in the party’s election strategy, tells The Times today that sever spending restraints are ‘non-negotiable’ if he is to bring down the £178 billion deficit.

“The remarks suggest a big victory for Mr Darling and Lord Mandelson after the attempt to bring down the Prime Minister. Gordon Brown has apparently been dissuaded by two of his most powerful Cabinet colleagues from adopting a simplistic ‘investment versus cuts’ election campaign associated with his close adviser Ed Balls.

Rob Dobson is Constituency Organiser for Dover Liberal Democrats and is standing in for Philip Young, currently on an overland drive to the Congo.

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2 Comments

  • Silent Hunter 16th Jan '10 - 6:52pm

    Just so everyone is aware of it – The GUARDIAN is removing posts that are critical of Gordon Brown on his article there in todays paper thus trying to pretend that he isn’t getting the pasting he actually is – there is a mounting rebellion on their What do you want to talk about slot asking why they are politically censoring comment.

    So far the Guardian has remained quiet and not replied to any e-mails.

    Welcome to Labours New Mouthpiece.

  • Andrew Suffield 17th Jan '10 - 6:24am

    If the usual content of your posts here is anything to go by, I’m unsurprised that the Guardian (which is less tolerant of such things) removed them.

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