Politicians | Anorak - Part 173

Politicians Category

Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air

Nick Clegg Gets McCann’s Spin Doctor

NICK Clegg’s chances of winning the Liberal Democrat leadership are 4-9. He is the favourite.

This might be to do with his policies, or the fact that he is the most recognisable leading Liberal Democrat, albeit one often recognised as David Cameron chubbier and more conservative brother.

Clegg for leader is the cry. And, as the Times reports, helping him shake the tin and rattle his placard is Justine McGuinness. She is Clegg’s new spin doctor.

That’s right, she is the woman who once operated as Kate and Gerry McCann’s media operative.

And look how well known they are…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 26th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (6)

President 2008: Mitt Romney Moves On Abortion

IS America ready for a Mormon president?

Massachusetts Governor and Mormon Mitt Romney is entering the final stretch of the Republican primary race in a strong position.

Romney, a millionaire venture capitalist with a net worth of around $200 million, has run a tight campaign. He’s dodged the negative comments that have dogged opponents like Fred Thompson and John McCain. And he’s got millions of dollars to throw into the ring if he needs it. (He’s personally loaned his campaign $17.4 million so far this year.)

As the Politico blog points out, in a matter of one year Romney “has gone from being a little-known governor of a liberal-leaning Democratic state to the leading Republican candidate in public opinion polls in both critical early-primary states, New Hampshire and Iowa.”

If you wanted to throw a tenner on an outsider with a semi-decent chance of winning the presidency, Romney would probably be your man.

True, Romney’s Mormonism is bound to become more of an issue to conservative Christian voters as elections draw near. But Giuliani’s defense of gun control and abortion, and his succession of marital and family problems, hardly endears him to core values voters.

Miraculously, Romney’s views on abortion have become more conservative in time for the presidential race.

Assuming Romney can defeat Giuliani, he must fancy his chances against Democratic runaway leader Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a 31-point lead over her closest rival Barack Obama.

Clinton is the most divisive candidate the Democrats could hope to choose. She recently came out top in a poll of candidates whom voters would never vote for. And her candidacy is sure to stir up more grassroots oppostion than any other

Posted: 25th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

President 2008: Rudy Giuliani Sox Barack Obama And John McCain

IT’S the flip flop to end all flip flops -if you’re a baseball fan in New York.

One of the city’s best-known Yankees fans, Rudy Giuliani, told a New Hampshire crowd yesterday that he’s supporting the hated Red Sox in the World Series.

This morning’s New York Daily News brands the former mayor a “TRAITOR” and the New York Post calls him a “YANKEE FLIPPER.”

The Boston Red Sox play the Colorado Rockies in the first game of the World Series tonight.

By chance, the Red Sox haven of New Hampshire is one of the first, and therefore most important, states to vote in the Presidential primaries.

By the New York Daily News’ calculation the combined value of all Red Sox supporting states, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and half of Connecticut, is worth 30 electoral college votes. Colorado has nine votes.

Giuliani, who is a regular at Yankees games and owner of four Yankees World Series rings, recently taunted Hillary Clinton for becoming a Yankees fan while “growing up in Chicago.” Now this.

“The man really must want the job,” says the Op-Ed page of the New York Post.

Meanwhile, Democratic hopeful Barack Obama told a Boston crowd last night that he was a White Sox fan: “You don’t want somebody who pretends to be a Red Sox fan as president of the United States. You want somebody who is a principled sports fan. Even when his team is losing, he still stands up for them.”

In other news: John McCain told workers at a small weapons factory in New Hampshire that he would follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell and “shoot him with your products,” and a bleary-eyed Mitt Romney accidentally accused Barack Obama (not Osama) of “calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq.”

Posted: 24th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (6)

Hill And Bill Clinton’s Great Romance

SAYS Hillary Clinton in Essence magazine on the matter of husband Bill: “Oh he’s so romantic. He’s always bringing me back things from his trips.

“He brought me a giant wooden giraffe from Africa. Oh, he bought me this watch. I had dental surgery. And he said it reminded him of teeth.”

The giraffe or the watch?

Posted: 24th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (4)

President 2008: Republicans Attack Hillary Clinton And Each Other

WITH less than three months to go before Americans decide which two candidates will square off in the Presidential election, all eyes are fixed on the Republicans.

It’s not that Hillary Clinton’s Democratic nomination is assured. It’s just the race between the Republicans is closer, and turning a little bitchier.

At last night’s Republican debate in Florida, Fred “Fading Fast” Thompson, John “Vietnam Vet” McCain, Mitt “Don’t Mention Mormonism” Romney and Rudy “9/11” Giuliani exchanged barbs.

Thompson and McCain both played up their conservative credentials attacking Romney and Giuliani for their liberal records on issues such as gay marriage and abortion. Meanwhile, Giuliani played the “I Made New York a Safer Place” card while the telegenic Romney talked up his successes as a Republican governor of a Democrat-dominated Massachusetts state legislature.

When they weren’t bashing each other, the Republicans were attacking Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. McCain scored the biggest hit of the night, criticizing Clinton’s support for a $1 million museum to commemorate the Woodstock Festival that took place while McCain was a PoW in Vietnam.

“Now my friends I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event,” he said, before adding, “I was tied up at the time” to a round of applause and a standing ovation.

Whoever goes on to face the Democrats won’t necessarily be quaking in their boots if they face Clinton. A recent Zogby poll showed that half of Americans would never vote for her, compared to 43% who said they would never vote for Giuliani and 42% who said they would never vote for Romney.

At the other end of the poll, Democratic candidates Barack Obama (37%) and Bill Richardson (34%) fared much better. Richardson, who recently released a humorous video telling voters about his career, has turned to more serious subject matter. His latest campaign ad trumpets his success freeing a pair of American hostages in Iraq.

Posted: 23rd, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (4)

Hillary Clinton Socks It To Pets

HILLARY Clinton used Socks, the White House cat, to show that “chilly” Hillary had a “caring, maternal side”. And then…

Says the Times: “Clinton’s treatment of Socks cuts to the heart of the questions about her candidacy. Is she too cold and calculating to win the presidency? Or does it signify political invincibility by showing she is willing to deploy every weapon to get what she wants?”

“So where is Socks today?” asks the Times. Stolen to order? Replaced by a younger, chubbier model? Used as a makeweight batering tool in the Sino-American trade wars? No, no and no. As the paper reports, Socks was “dumped” on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, “who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky”.

Is there a message in this gesture? A cat. A pussy. Does Hillary do irony? If she did, would we warm to her?

Or, as the Times says: “Some believe the abandoned pet could now come between Hillary Clinton and her ambition to return to the White House as America’s first woman president.”

This is the Clinton who wrote the book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in which she said that it was the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” that made the White House “become a home”.

Readers learn that Buddy Clinton, the family’s chocolate labrador, was struck and killed by Halie Ritterman’s Ford Explorer on Route 117, a busy two-lane road at the end of Old House Lane where the ex-president and family now live.

One gone. One dead. “Ouch! Hillary Clinton’s softer image is clawed over dumped cat,” says the Times.

And Hillary bares her teeth…

Incidentally, Mr. Clinton’s dog Zeke, was run over by a car some years ago in Arkansas…

Posted: 21st, October 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (3)

Love Is Nicolas Sarkozy And…

THE Sunday Times sees “French tongues wag” as Nicolas Sarkozy separates from Cécilia, his glamorous wife, and plays the field.

As reported: “He was seen frolicking in a Paris nightclub recently with friends, among them Maud Fontenoy, an attractive yachts-woman whom he presented with France’s highest award, the Légion d’Honneur, in July in recognition of exploits that included a solo circumnavigation of the Antarctic”. The print edition includes a photo of La Fontenoy, noting: “[she] is just one of the glamorous women now being linked to Sarkozy.”

Where do they get their ideas from..? (See picure)

Posted: 21st, October 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment (1)

Gordon Brown Under Attack: The Sun’s Call To Arms

NO small polemic in the Sun where the lead cartoon illustrates the nations Armed Forces rising up and killing Gordon Brown.

An RAF fighter pilot spots Brown’s plane and screams: “Gordon Brown at 6 o’clock… On his way to sell Britain out…ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK.”

On the positive side, such direct action negates the need for Brown to call a General Election. Indeed, after the eulogies and the state funeral there would be a period of jostling as the next leader is selected by the military junta.

“Betrayal will haunt Gordon,” says the Sun’s editorial, the paper looking on as Brown dodges the RAF and arrives in Lisbon to approve the EU Constitution.

“They are taking us for fools,” says the Sun’s political editor. Readers are invited to go online and sign the Sun’s petition calling for an EU Referendum.

The paper columnist Fergus Shanahan is sequestered to note: “Some time between the port and the cheese at a Lisbon banquet last night, Gordon Brown looked likely to hand over Britain to Brussels.”

Why, this Gordon is the “LISBON LION”. He’s the Mirror’s hero who has the “historic deal” within his “grasp”. Sure, Europe will decide on Britain’s transport (Anorak nominates the Germans), environment (the Swedes) and business regulations (the Italians), but as Brown tells us: “Britain decides over justice and home affairs issues. Britain decides over foreign and security policy. Britain decides on national security issues.” It is what a patriotic Briton calls the acquis communautaire.

Look not at what he has given away but what he has not given away. Brown is “standing firm” says the Mirror, even if the ground beneath his mighty feet is made of Sun quicksand.

The Sun still wants a referendum. It want one now. But the Times says Brown has set aside three moths to ratify the new treaty.

Do we vote now? Or do we vote later? We have no constitution that dictates what we should do…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

Posted: 19th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (10)

I Was There When Gordon Brown Signed The EU Treaty

“10 MYTHS ABOUT THE EU TREATY,” announces the Independent’s front page. “FOR TRUTH ABOUT THE EU TREATY, SEE PAGES 2 &3.”

It takes a brave newspaper to begin with not one, not two but three pages of European newzzzzz…

The EU Summit is upon the people of Lisbon. They will sit enraptured before their television sets, ears pressed to radios and hands clutching at newssheets, marking the time when Gordon Brown signed the EU treaty.

In years to come, we and they will turn to one another and say “Where were you when IT happened?” And eyes will grow misty…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 18th, October 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment

President 2008: Hillary Clinton Is Ready For Action

RACE for the White House – Hillary Clinton is on:

America’s presidential hopefuls are using every trick in the book to get their message out. And it seems they’ve decided gimmicks and gags work far better than boring old party political broadcasts.Take this Pro-Hillary Rob Reiner ad for example. It urges Hill’s supporters to get behind their candidate without boring the rest of us to tears. It’s entertaining enough to ping around the interweb. And even though Hillary doesn’t make an appearance, the viewer still credits her with having the good humor to let it pass.

And Hillary isn’t the only one. Here’s Republican Bill Richardson telling voters all of his credentials in under 80 seconds without sounding like a politician. It’s the sketch show approach to politics. And it appears to be working. Richardson’s video has been viewed almost a quarter of a million times.

These are just a couple of the videos that are piling on top of earlier hits like Hillary’s Sopranos parody, Obama girl and Giuliani girl.

Imagine if pols in Russia and Britain used the same tactics for their campaign. Mobster lookalike Vladimir Putin could do a Sopranos parody that would put Hillary Clinton to shame. And the Tories could call on public school girls to entice voters with a Cameroony Girls Gone Wild video.And then there are the gimmicks: web users voted for Hillary’s campaign theme tune, the residents of Columbus, Ky (pop. 229) won a visit from John Edwards in a web competition, and Mitt Romney has combined gimmicks with videos by holding a “make your own ad contest” which was won by a 23-year-old college student from Utah.

The ad “Ready for Action” was supposed to debut the first week in October, but we couldn’t find it anywhere online. Could it have anything to do with the result you get when you type ”

Ready for Action” into YouTube’s search bar? Hardly the kind of thing that appeals to conservative Americans (unless they’re in the privacy of their own airport toilet cubicle).

Posted: 17th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2)

Menzies Campbell Resigns: That Letter In Full

WRITES Menzies Campbell in his resignation letter – with notes (and in big print):

“When I was elected Leader of the Party in March 2006 I had three objectives.

Live long and prosper

First, to restore stability and purpose in the party following my predecessor’s resignation and the leadership campaign itself, second to make the internal operations of the party more professional, and third to prepare the party for a General Election.

I may be old with a well-developed sense of fun but I am not a drunk

With the help of others, I believe that I have fulfilled these objectives, although I am convinced that the internal structures of the party need radical revision if we are to compete effectively against Labour and the Conservatives.

It’s not me it’s the party, and the loud music

But it has become clear that following the Prime Minister’s decision not to hold an election, questions about leadership are getting in the way of further progress by the party.

Gordon Brown stole my pension

Accordingly I now submit my resignation as Leader with immediate effect.

I shall be enjoying a glass of Asti Spumante and watching Strictly Come Dancing of a night

I do not intend to hold a press conference or to make any further comment.

I can’t trust myself to remember all your names nor my teeth

Yours sincerely,

Sincerely, yours

Menzies Campbell”

The Anorak Big Book Of Menzies Campbell Anecdotes will be out in 2021

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

Posted: 15th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (6)

Prime Minister’s Petitions: We The Undersigned…

“HE talks about a clamour for an election,” says Gordon Brown at Prime Minister’s Question Time, in response to David Cameron’s goading. “I looked at the Downing Street website this morning.

“Certainly there is a petition calling for an election. It is signed by 26 people and not one of them are the Conservative front bench.”

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Hold a general election in 2007.
Submitted by Mark Batty
The are now 12,621 signatures.

You can take a look here.

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

More petitions:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to not hold a general election in 2007
Submitted by Sid Cumberland Signatures: 4

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the current and any past or future Prime Minister and their immediate family from benefiting financially because of their association with that position
Submitted by Alan Miller

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make it a criminal offence for members of parliament and civil servants to lie to the electorate
Submitted by ian silversides

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that leaders of other countries stop their citizens using live cats and dogs as shark bait
Submitted by Linda Week We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Force train companies to charge only half their normal fares during planned engineering works.
Submitted by Gurusimha Krishnamurthy

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood
Submitted by Jonathan Pryor

We the undersigned
petition the Prime Minister to consider having a day celebrating white people’s culture. We believe that white people should have a celebratory day, to celebrate this country’s roots, not necessarily a bank holiday but just some recognition of what the white people who ‘founded’ this country have done in the past
Submitted by Micahel Seaman

(Let’s hear it for the Germans!)

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to not spend ten million pounds of tax payers money on the Diana & Dodi enquiry.
Submitted by julie ferguson

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop the global warming propaganda
Submitted by Ian Miller

Posted: 13th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (5)

Andy Burnham On Gordon Brown’s Marriage Of Convenience

DIZZY notes: I see the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andy Burnham, has given an interview to the Daily Telegraph and basically said that the next step for the Government is too recognise marriage and civil partnership through the tax system.

This comes just a few months after Gordon Brown said he didn’t believe in rewarding marriage through the tax system, and it’s less than a month since the Deputy Leader Harriet Harman said, to the Labour Conference that,

“sending a message about marriage [means saying] there’s something wrong with your family…. We will not stand for that…. That Tory message about marriage is just the same old back to basics. And the truth is that until they drop it, the Tory party is still the nasty party.”

This really is starting to get silly now isn’t it? I’m guessing that Brown is calculating that because they’ve been able to get away with stealing policies in the past they can get away with it now.

However, that doesn’t work if you (a) do the first one immediately as a panic move after some bad polls and general humiliation, and then (b) do the next theft within the same week. It simply shows that the momentum is with and the agenda is being set by the Tories.

Effectively the Government is no longer leading the country but following the Opposition in the hope of making short term electoral gain. So much for acting in the interests of the country.

Source: Dizzy; Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

Posted: 13th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment

Quote Of The Day: David Cameron Is Arnold Schwarzenegger

SAYS David Cameroan: “My wife said to me: ‘How are you going to explain to an American audience what sort of Conservative you are?’ I said: ‘I’ll say look at me and think of Arnold Schwarzenegger’.”

David’s wife Samantha closes her eyes…

Posted: 13th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (5)

The Biggest Boobs In Westminster: Jacqui Smith’s Knockers

JACQUI Smith, Home Secretary, has “hit out at male colleagues who ogle her cleavage (see all pictures) and “smutty journalists who obsess about her low-cut tops (see all pictures)”.

Sun readers know that a big chest equates to a big idea, and just today Peta thinks it is right police “probe” the Cardiff scandal. Says she: “The NHS bosses in charge at the time have a lot of questions to answer.” (Insert joke about taking down particulars here.)

Peta may one day stand for parliament, brandishing her manifestos in one had and picking the gusset out of her backside with the other.

But that for later. For now, to honour our Smith, the Sun produces a Downing Street honies section, taking a look at rivals for Smith’s attention. Welcome to “Breastminster”.

“Shadow Commons leader Theresa May has her knockers”.

Nadine Dorries has a Mid Beds constituency and a “massive majority”. “Don’t mention Bazookas” to Claire Short, who’s fervently anti-war. Diane Abbott is “well out in front”. Caroline Flint is anti-binge drinking and “not fond of large jugs”. “Barking” Margaret Hodge is MP for Barking. And Ann Widdecombe “gives a couple of good reasons why there’s a Double D in her surname” – if not why she has two Es.

Of course, this entirely sexist. And thanks to diet, lack of exercise and male emancipation, many male MPs can sit on the front benches. And boob…

Posted: 12th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (4)

The Greater (London) Boris Johnson Is Taken Back

BORIS Johnson is standing for London Mayor. He is MP for Henley, which in estate agent speak is to the west of Fulham.

Says Boris in his Telegraph column: “And I had a flashback, and I rememberer-London school…”

Boris is listening to Green Jade, featuring Wizdom, entertaining the kidz with a rendition of Brah-kah-kah, an anti-drugs tribute. But Boris is miles away…

“When we had morning assembly in 1970s Camden, we didn’t have songs…all about what happens when someone starts firing a sub-machine gun – and nor, I bet, did any other pupils across the Greater London area.”

That’s London for you. That’s Boris for you – the old Etonian MP for Henley…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 11th, October 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (3)

Gordon Brown Grimaces And Bears It: Bet On Him To Lose

“I COULD take you and show you one of our bottle banks,” says Bob Neill, a Tory MP at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Question Time. Gordon Brown gulps.

David Cameron then invites Gordon Brown to “discover a bit of bottle”. Gordon Brown, as the Times says is suffering a “mauling”.

The Independent’s Simon Carr notes: “PM’s image is falling to pieces before our eyes.” Shattering. Carr sees Brown as bear tied to a snake, the dogs snapping at him. The Times’ Ann Treneman sees the “Beast of Downing Street” crash and burn. Brown is possessed of the “incoherent fury of a wounded grizzly bear”.

And in the Mirror? “PM Battles back after savaging in the Commons.” Brown hit back “demolishing Tory plans. The Mirror sees “playground name-calling”. Cameron is “puerile”. Cameron is “silly”.

The Mirror would only say more, but will not swear, it will not stoop to Cameron’s standards and get “pissed” off with him. “The Tory leader seemingly forgot he was supposed to be above Punch & Judy politics as he shouted insult after insult at the Prime Minister yesterday.”

And to emphasise just how pure and anti-swearing Brown’s Labour are, the Indy shows us that John Burton, former constituent agent to Tony Blair, has been suspended from Sedgefield council for swearing.

Mr Burton is said to have told a Mr Kester Noble, the then Labour deputy deader of Sedgefield County Council: “I’m putting fucking pressure on you.”

So Mr Burton has been suspended. And, no, the story does not make it into the Mirror. What with the language and all, who can blame it…?

Latest odds: Gordon Brown is 4-1 to no longer lead his party between April and June 2009 – David Cameron is 6-1.

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

Posted: 11th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Presidential Race 2008: Fred Thompson Enters Stage Right

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful and former TV star Fred Thompson survived yesterday’s Republican debate. But he failed to make a big enough dent to emerge as a strong contender for the Republican ticket. That title seems firmly attached to frontrunners Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

While pre-debate attention had been all Thompson, post debate attention was firmly focused on a heated exchange between Romney and Giuliani over taxation and spending. The two have been engaged in a war of words over the issue via speeches and press releases during the past week, with each accusing the other of raising taxes during their respective administrations.

The majority of the US press pack couldn’t fault Thompson’s performance. But expectations were exceedingly low after a couple of campaign trail gaffes and a growing reputation for sending voters to sleep.

Thompson stood up to the test. He even managed to make light of a critique from Mitt Romney that he joined the race six months later than his rivals. Romney suggested the campaign was a bit like Law & Order, in that it has a huge cast, seems to go on forever, “and Fred Thompson shows up at the end.”

Thompson countered: “And to think I was going to be the best actor on the stage.”

But while Thompson will be happy that he didn’t attract the predicted headlines.He may also have been disappointed to be eclipsed by Giuliani and Romney, who dominated the debate according to the New York Times. Despite a gallant effort, John Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post, declared that Thompson simply lacked the energy to make it to the White House.

So with Thompson’s chances getting slimmer by the day, and Giuliani and Romney dominating the headlines, it’s looking increasingly like a two-horse race for the Republican nomination.

Posted: 10th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (4)

Gordon Brown The Magpie: One For Sorrow

GORDON Brown’s pre-election, pre-budget, campaign report, as delivered by Alistair Darling, has been given the bird, namely the magpie.

The Mail calls Darling “MR MAGPIE” on its front page. The Times heralds “The Magpie budget” on its cover. The Telegraph leads with Brown and Darling dressed in magpie black-and-white burglarising the Tory’s tax plans. So too the Sun.

And the Mirror? It says Gordon Brown has “seized the initiative”. Brown is dressed a boxer celebrating a win. The gloves and shorts may or may not be his own…

Pic: The Spine

Posted: 10th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (5)

US President 2008: Hillary Clinton V Hillary Clinton

IS this the calm before the storm or have America’s journalists finally dozed off? Today’s papers are practically devoid of election coverage compared to weeks of late.

It could be a post Columbus Day hangover. Or the fact that everyone is saving their energy for this afternoon’s Republican presidential debate in Dearborn, Michegan.

Anorak’s guess is that America’s reporters are just plain tired. This election feels like it’s been going on forever. And we’re only one-third of the way through.

With the Republicans no doubt prepping yesterday for their televised showdown, the minuscule spotlight -more a flashlight really – was fixed on the Democrats.

Writing in the New York Times today, Adam Nagourney warns that frontrunner Hillary Clinton is facing her toughest challenge yet as she attempts to negotiate the middle ground between appealing to Democratic primary voters and the electorate at large.

Nagourney zeros in on the apparent contradiction between the dovish Clinton who tells primary voters she will “bring the troops home” and the hawkish Clinton who voted recently to classify Iranian troops in Iraq as terrorists.

“In trying to appeal both to the Democrats’ liberal base and to a more centrist general-election audience, Mrs. Clinton, like her husband before her, risks feeding into the assessment of critics that she is more about political calculation than about conviction,” Nagourney writes.

The Times also looks at the struggle less well known Democratic candidates are having to get their message out (can you name two Democratic candidates other than Clinton, Obama and Edwards?). And it also reports on Barack Obama’s green ideas and his appeal among America’s younger voters.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal looks at Hillary’s raft of economic proposals that are aimed at middle class voters. And the New York Daily News reports on a controversial addition to Fred Thompson’s campaign team.

But it all doesn’t add up to very much, apart from the conclusion that yesterday was a slow campaign news day.

Indeed, scoop of the day goes to a non-American, Daily Telegraph reporter Toby Harnden, who met Clinton yesterday and had the opportunity to shake her hand.

On his blog, Harnden reports that Hillary’s handshake “is altogether firmer than Barack Obama’s. But not too firm. Kind of an assertive-yet-feminine handshake. Like her campaign. What does it mean? Damned if I know.”

Us too, Toby. Us too.

Posted: 9th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2)

Why Gordon Brown Did Not Call An Election: Official

IT was because, as the No 10 website reveals:

Gordon Brown has said there will be no general election this year following mounting media speculation.

In an interview with the BBC in Downing Street, the PM said he had a “vision for change” for the country that he wanted to implement. He added that he wanted the “chance to develop policies” following an initial period in office spent tackling a number of emergencies such as foot and mouth and July’s terror attacks.

That’s right. It was the media wot dunnit.

Not Douglas Alexander, International Development Secretary and general election co-ordiantor, who believed an autumn election would “close the deal” on David Cameron.

Not Ed Balls, Schools Secretary, who said during the Labour Party conference that it might be a gamble to delay.

It was the media that speculated.

Not Labour.

Not Gordon Brown, even though the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh says Brown looks like a “constipated ditherer” and “has only himself to blame for the non-election shambles”.

It was them. It was the media…

Pic: Poldraw

Posted: 8th, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (5)

Glass Warfare: Gordon Bown Bottles It But Daily Mirror Sees ‘Liar’ Cameron

HEADLINES like “LABOUR IN CRISIS” (Indy), “Battered Brown struggles to restore his image” (Telegraph) and “”HE’S IN THE BROWN STUFF” (Sun) have missed the essential point.

Thanks to the Mirror, readers know that Brown is a hero and David Cameron is “DODGY”. The Conservative leader has been branded a “liar” over his story of a pupil attacking a teacher.

Dave’s conference speech contained an anecdote about violence in school. It pricked Dave to call for more powers to be given to schools to enforce discipline. The great and good clapped had and without mercy.

Says Dave: “I stopped a boy as she was ruining to his GCSE exam, and said ‘What’s the problem?’ And he said ‘Well, I got completely p****d last night. I’ve got a hangover and I’m going to flunk this exam’.”

(The Mirror does not use the word “pissed” in full because such language, as it tells us here, is unbecoming a serious politician, which Cameron is not, much less a serious newspaper, which the Mirror surely is.)

Says Cameron: “I asked a teacher about him and I was told he’d attacked a teacher before and he trashed a classroom.”

But Anita Harrison, a governor at Kingswood Art College, where the alleged incident took place, says “nothing like this has happened”. As a school governor, she would of course know what goes on in the day-to-day running of the school. As her fellow governor Ray Drayton says: “Nothing like this has ever come before the board.”

Which makes Dave a “lair”.

And the Mirror wants to know if you are the boy Cameron spoke with. If you are, call the news desk and “we’ll call you straight back”. But don’t call in class time, lest the school governors hear of it.

Text instead…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 8th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Gordon Brown Bottles It And Prevents Change


At least that’s what the Mail on Sunday’s front page says.

Gordon Brown offers another explanation, something along the lines of the country not wanting him to call a general election, a dental appointment he dare not miss and nothing at all about worrying that he might lose and go down as the second-shortest serving British Prime Minister in history, behind George Whatshisname.

But the News of the World, the Sun’s sister paper, knows better. It has the inside take. And announces in now shy way: “News of the World poll kills election – BROWN AND OUT.”

Indeed. It was the “Sun Wot Dun It”.

Reading on: “Gordon Brown’s plans for an early general election were thrown into chaos last night when he learned the devastating results of a News of the World poll.”

It told Brown of “a Tory lead of SIX PER CENT in 83 key marginal constituencies—meaning almost 50 Labour MPs would lose their seats”.

The News of the World foresees a hung parliament and the Tories in power.

Says Brown: “I made the decision for a different reason—because I want to get on with the job of change in this country.”

Of course, he could call an election and bring about change overnight…

Pic: Poldraw 

Posted: 7th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (6)

Conservative Teresa May Puts Both Feet Wrong

THERESA May, Shadow Leader of the Commons, is doing a passable impression of Cilla Black birdie dancing on a cruise liner in the teeth of a mid-Atlantic storm.

But never mind the hair, the red lipstick and the teeth as she sways across the boards. Look at the shoes. Focus on the shoes. The Mail does. It’s Theresa ‘s 51st birthday and she is dancing.

The shoes, of course, it is always the shoes with the Tory MP, now performing as Shadow Leader of the Commons.

When May wore leopard-print shoes at Party conference 2002, aged men clacked their tongues. Women pursed their lips.

Theresa May had new shoes. Anne Widdecombe might have Rosa Klebb’s, but these were the real killer heels.

And then Theresa wore leopard-print Wellington boots. She had a look. This was her kit. She will be forever associated with leopard print.

To her mind, one imagines leopard-print stands for daring, edgy, stealth, strength and speed. But it works best on a leopard.

No-one dresses like Theresa May, at least no-one who should be in the public eye this side of a Bucharest alley.

And she runs the risk of appearing out of date. Doesn’t May realise that this season’s look is tiger-print, as modelled by Princess Diana’s miracle suit (‘Makes you look pregnant or your money back!’)?

Of course, if May hangs around long enough she will, like Margaret Thatcher’s handbag, return to fashion…

Posted: 3rd, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment (1)

Conservative Party’s Emma Claire Pentreath Appreciation Society

DOES Emma Pentreath, a researcher for Hammersmith and Fulham MP Greg Hands think that in blacking up her face she will be fast-tracked to political prominence?

Wear an eye-patch, shrug an “oye vez” and dance like Sammy Davis Junior and Emma will be the MP for a safe Tory seat quicker then she can say, “What you talkin’ about Mr C?”

The Mirror delivers a picture of Ms Pentreath, her face blackened by a burnt cork wielded by Tory Philip Clarke, who works for the former attorney general Lord Lyell.

The picture is taken from Emma’s Facebook page. The caption reads: “Emma’s career in politics lies in tatters after she follows Ann Winterton’s lead and dresses as a ‘Nigger Minstrel’ for the Tory black and white Ball.”

Winterton, says the Mirror, is the Tory MP who made a joke of the deaths of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.

But this is no joke. The Mirror can’t even bring itself to say the n-word.

The Mail is not so coy. It sees the “Nigger Minstrel” and anther picture. It is captioned: “The piece de resistance! Teeth shining, nostrils flared and eyes glowing. Truly terrifying.”

The pictures appeared on the network known as the Emma Claire Pentreath Appreciation Society.

And it is hard not appreciate a girl who sacrifices any political ambitions she might have held to equip her party’s Black and White Ball with a bit more ethnic representation…

Posted: 2nd, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (7)