Friday, November 13, 2009

Poster Boys Are So Last Year

An old Mirror and sparkling Sun are squaring up for the election battle with a taste of things to come. Today the Mirror reveals 'poster boys' to stop Tories in their tracks. So last year.

After the Sun bashed Brown over 'that letter', today the Mirror puts up a poster. The latest brainchild of the New Labour campaign team. Put on a bit of showbiz slap. It's like, so cool and modern.

The Orange Party has taken advice from a ten year old. Apparently they are a popular musical duo on a television programme.

According to the Mirror it shows Cameron and Osborne as the X-Factor 'Jedwards' of politics. What a sad state of affairs when the only hope for a struggling Mirror would be to bring back Piers Morgan.

All parties have used attack ads. That's par for the course. And in the distant past some have been very effective, capturing a public mood. But only when they are underpinned with a public issue.

Wheeling out a big poster is kinda old hat. A viral internet campaign? Now you're talking.

Mike Smithson over at politicalbetting is not impressed: "The message from this latest ad is that Labour has no real idea how to fight the coming campaign."

Attack and counter attack? Here's one prepared earlier: Another fine mess they've got us into.

Bottom Picture Credit: Someone with a sharp brain, mischievous mind and copy of Photoshop


Hollow 'Victory' For Team Brown

Team Brown is spinning a "resounding victory" at Glasgow NE, to prop up their lamentable leader. But the reality is bad news for Brown. Behind the hype lies record voter apathy.

A very different message from the spin has been sent to Westminster. Voters are deserting the Party in droves with two-thirds not bothering to vote.

With 'comfort', 'resounding' and 'victory' all in one sentence, the BBC proudly proclaimed: 'Labour has claimed a "resounding victory" after comfortably winning the Glasgow North East by-election and seeing off an SNP challenge'. The figures tell a different story.

If New Labour could not win in safe Glasgow NE they could not win anywhere. Resounding sure, resounding voter apathy is more accurate.

Out of 62,475 eligible voters the turnout was a pathetic 32.97%. Around 40,000 didn't bother, preferring to stay at home rather than stomach New Labour. A record low for a Scottish by-election and 12.8% down on the 2005 general election.

In the end, New Labour won Glasgow North East with a majority of 8,111. Only a third of those eligible cast their vote.

New Labour spinners are shouting from the rooftops they got sixty percent of the vote. They got sixty percent of a very low turnout.

Beleaguered Brown's future was riding on the outcome of yesterday's by-election, triggered after disgraced commons speaker Martin quit in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal.

Glasgow NE is rock solid Labour. Unite union cash was poured into the campaign. The Martin Mafia tried every trick in the book with a demolition job on the SNP candidate. Voters should have been be out in force.

Instead they stayed at home. Only around 15% of voters in a New Labour safe seat could be bothered to come out for them.

Of the votes, more than 6000 were postal votes, around one-tenth of eligible voters. A staggering 30 percent of actual votes cast. A shocking number of voters were registered to cast their ballot by post, highlighted yesterday by the Orange Party, more than double since the last general election, raising fears of election fraud.

Now the SNP has called on the Electoral Commission to investigate whether New Labour abused the postal vote system, after a sudden surge of 1,100 postal votes less than three days before the deadline.

Everyone and their dog had been in Glasgow banging the drum for Brown.

The struggling Supreme Leader even put his neck on the line with a final push for votes, writing a personal letter to 4000 households in a last minute blitz on wavering voters.

On voting day, New Labour swung into action mounting a huge get-out-the-vote campaign with more than 450 MPs and activists flooding the seat.

Glasgow NE was always about the general election and propping up Beleaguered Brown. All that was needed was a ringing endorsement for the struggling Supreme Leader.

Reading from a script prepared earlier by Downing Street, winning candidate Bain was well on message: "This is a resounding victory for Gordon Brown and Labour ... They have backed Gordon Brown in his efforts to secure our economic recovery."

Like heck. Voters preferred to stay at home rather than prop up New Labour. Voters who did bother have re-elected a Party that left their area to rot in one of the biggest deprived slums in Europe.

The result may put off Brown plotters ahead of the general election. But the Glasgow NE result was neither a Brown endorsement nor a New Labour dawn outside one safe seat.

The only crumb of 'comfort' for a fag-end government was it managed to hold on to a seat it was always destined to win anyway. Take that away and what is left is a very hollow victory indeed.

Top picture: New Labour 'victor' Willie Bain


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Will Postal Vote Scam Swing Glasgow NE?

A crafty plan to push postal votes could swing today's critical Glasgow NE by-election for New Labour, fuelling fears of a re-run of the alleged sham of a rigged Glenrothes 'victory'. Much rides on the outcome. Team Brown has pulled out all the stops.

A shocking number of voters have registered to cast their ballot by post, more than double since the last general election.

Glasgow city council has confirmed that 6,065 people have registered to vote in today's by-election, up from 2,419 in 2005, according to The Scotsman. That's around one tenth of eligible voters (62,475).

Suspicions over vote-rigging had been raised in the past as New Labour tends to benefit from a surge in postal votes.

The Scotsman has revealed New Labour's strategy to have every possible supporter signed up to a postal vote before the next general election. A "secret" election handbook, even shows the Party's day-to-day election timetable for signing up all possible supporters to vote by post.

The move has sparked concern among election watchdogs, echoing warnings of a judge after Birmingham council elections came under scrutiny in 2005, that postal votes are "wide open to fraud".

New Labour should win fairly easily in one of their safest seats. There are enough dirty tricks flying around Glasgow without another vote rigging scandal raising its ugly head.

But despair times call for desperate measures from a desperate Party building the electoral roll by increasing voter registration and to get crucial postal votes.

Bunkered Brown must think he's on a winner. Confident enough to hit the campaign trail with Steely Sarah by his side which smacks of Glenrothes chicanery. Would Brown and Sarah have joined both campaigns if victory wasn't in the bag?

Last year's crucial Glenrothes by-election result surprised many political pundits who predicted an SNP win, but the Scottish Labour Party held onto the Fife seat by six thousand plus.

Like many, the Orange Party smelt a rigged postal vote rat. A question marks still hang over around 7,000 requests made for postal votes very shortly before the election. But Glenrothes, which had a much higher turnout than anticipated, now has no records to show who actually voted.

The result was thrown into doubt after records of everyone who voted went missing, prompting SNP calls for an inquiry when it emerged all the marked electoral registers had been lost by the courts.

Postal ballots are available on demand, amid widespread concerns over transparency, fraud and exploitation. The system is wide open to abuse.

Now LibDems have begun the painstaking task of recreating the marked register.

All eyes will be on the outcome of today's by-election, triggered after disgraced commons speaker Martin quit in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal.

The Martin mafia runs deep. Labour is in the blood in a deprived area left to rot. The SNP will find it harder to pull off a second shock result on the scale of Glasgow East when they overturned a 13,000 New Labour majority.

Brown is desperate to hold onto a parliamentary seat in his Scottish homeland after being routed by voters in adjacent Glasgow East. To lose one seat is a misfortune, to lose two a disaster.

Will Gordon get another Glaswegian kiss? Will the SNP suffer another Glenrothes massacre? Who will be the Weakest Link?

Defending a majority of over 10,000 should be easy. To lose such a safe seat would send shock waves round Westminster and shorten the odds on a governable Tory majority at the general election.

Brown has put his neck on the line with a final push for votes writing a personal letter to 4000 households in a last minute blitz on wavering voters. With the massive effort gone into voter registration and getting crucial postal votes, New Labour look set to win a very hollow victory.

But the final result is in the lap of the laptops, the sham of the postal vote to prop up the Party - and the will of the people.

Mid picture: New Labour's Glenrothes by-election victor, Lindsay Roy


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Watching A Wounded Dog Die

Beleaguered Brown's sparse news conferences should come with a government health warning. The struggling Supreme Leader was on the ropes with ropey replies to hungry hacks baying for blood.

Opening salvos about that "letter" showed no signs of abating, carried over the usual 24 hour news cycle. No wonder spinners are spooked. A sorry spectacle signalling the dying days of a fag-end government.

Brown's personality once again has become the story, despite New Labour lackeys trying it on with a sympathy card and attacks on the Sun. Whipping up pity does not win votes.

First Mandy then Brown mouthpiece Whelan have been wheeled out to call all the kettles black, pushing the line that Brown is being unfairly 'smeared' by an election mode Sun.

Instead of shutting down a damaging story, Brown floundered without answers which would appease a public firmly on the side of a mum who has lost her soldier son.

The Sun's transcript of Brown's phone call to an angry and distressed Jacqui Janes shows a woman genuinely insulted by the letter and concerned over the lack of equipment for troops. And that makes a mockery of all the political fancy talk of "listening to the people".

The Orange Party said yesterday - the only view that counts is that of a grieving mum. Not the Sun nor a Downing Street dirty ops brigade trying to flood newspaper comments pages with the 'line to take'.

The pressure at Bunkered Brown's news conference - the only one in four months - was relentless. Afghanistan and mixed messages over 'mission' creep showed up the woeful lack of a compelling case for war and the presence of troops in the Afghan killing fields.

Is Kelly being stitched up over MPs' expenses? A vulnerable UK AAA credit rating? Unchecked immigration? Water off a duck's back. Buried deep was a question on a Downing Street petition calling for Brown's resignation. Buried somewhere was a significant policy announcement over the NHS.

A Party which cannot get a policy message across is doomed to failure. Shallow, insincere Blair could play the crowds, deal with a hostile press and capture a public mood.

The party game of will the Party dump Brown raised its predictable head, with Miliband’s apparent decision not to be seen as a rat deserting a sinking ship for Brussels.

Some have intimated Miliband made the decision over the EU foreign minister job all on his lonesome for the sake of his family. What rot. He'd jump at the job given half a chance. Both PMs call the shots here. For whatever reason decided in smoke-free rooms, Bananaboy is tied to Pussycat Peter's apron strings and at the PMs' beck and call.

Does that mean Mandy will finally cast off Brown like an old boot and make his move with a Miliband? And is Boney Blair still in with a chance as president of the EUSSR?

Whether it's the 'letter', Afghanistan, the economy or another fine mess, these are all messes of Liability Brown's own making. A man convinced of his own rectitude, bent on screwing up the country before the new lot get their feet under the table.

As Oborne pleaded: You may be doomed Mr Brown but stop dragging us down too:
"Gordon Brown's only motivation in office now seems to be to try to guarantee that Britain is ungovernable if Cameron wins power. Not only is this tactic reckless and shameful, it means that the British people will pay a devastatingly high price for the last six months of Brown's profligate government."
Watching a wounded dog die is not a pretty sight. Someone must put him and the country out of their misery. The questions remain: who, what, where, when, how? Or maybe why bother, when the old dog of a New Labour project has reached the end of its life.

Mid picture: Sun front page


Monday, November 09, 2009

Brown's 'Letter' Stinks

Blundering Brown is trying to dig himself out of a hole of his own making after sending a "hastily scrawled insult" to the mother of a death soldier. The only view that counts is that of a grieving mum.

Brown has telephoned the mother Jacqui Janes to say he did not mean any offence by misspelling the name of her dead soldier son. But that's not the point.

Of course he "would never knowingly misspell" a name. It's the pathetic presentation of a letter which should have taken pride of place which sticks in the throat.

Barley a month has passed since Hove guardsman Janes, of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in Helmand. The family is still grieving.

Describing the prime minister's letter as a "hastily scrawled insult", his mother Jacqui told the Sun the letter had been "scrawled so quickly I could hardly even read it" and that "some of the words were half-finished". She described it as "disrespectful" and an "insult" to her son.

Outrage, anger, pity and even lame excuses are coming thick and fast.

Trying to condone the insult, some are alluding to Brown's eyesight as an excuse. Some suggesting perhaps he was 'dog tired' when he wrote it. Downing Street spinners are even insinuating Mrs Janes is somehow in the wrong. What utter nonsense.

Brown is the prime minister for goodness sake. His sentiments should have been a source of comfort. Didn't anyone bother to check the letter before popping it in the post?

Image you've just lost a loved one in Afghanistan. You're trying to come to terms with the death. Regardless of your views on the war, you want to support the brave lads out there who are doing a damn good job. You look to the prime minister of the country for leadership.

Then a scribbled gaffe-strewn excuse for a condolence letter pops through the letter box. What on earth are you supposed to think and feel? What on earth are you supposed to do with it? Stick it on the mantelpiece? It's a disgrace.

The letter wasn't sent out on a whim. Nor was it sent out of the kindness of the PM's heart. It is official policy for the prime minister to write to the families of all service personnel killed in action while on operational duties.

As the BBC and The Times point out, it is sent in accordance with published MoD guidelines.

Like a letter from the Queen, a top and tailed typed letter would have taken pride of place. It would have helped. It would have meant something. It would show the guy at the top is on top of the job. It would have shown Brown understands that people - and names - matter.

But not missing a trick, Downing Street even had the cheek to spin the latest pathetic excuse for the war into the reason for writing a letter in the first place:
"The reason he personally writes to every family is to acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed by the country to those who have died to protect the people of Britain."
The Orange Party doesn't know what is worse. Brown's insulting scrawl, his apparent failure to bow his head at the Cenotaph or a Downing Street spin machine trying to wriggle around with a pathetic justification for why this mum's son had to die in the first place.

FOOTNOTE: The Orange Party has a personalised top and tailed typed 'condolence' letter from a secretary of state sent in entirely different circumstances. Sure he didn't type it or even personally write the sentiments but it's still a reminder of awful events and a treasured possession.

Top picture: Sky News


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Immigration Cover-Up's 'Smoking Gun'

New Labour's shameful 'unchecked' immigration policy was a deliberate ploy to beef up the share of the vote in vulnerable seats. The cover-up has been laid bare in a telling probe by The Sunday Times, suggesting the 'smoking gun' of a vote-rigging scam.

'Neathergate' blew the lid off a decade of minister's mealy-mouthed denials of a deliberate 'unchecked' immigration policy.

Now the "whiff of a smoking gun" behind the lies and deceit of 'open door' immigration is revealed by Sunday Times, David Leppard.

The Orange Party has long pondered the issue since former Blair speechwriter Neather, wrote an article claiming ministers had allowed immigration to rocket. Why did New Labour secretly open UK borders, while pretending to control numbers?

Was this really just an excuse to create a 'multicultural' Britain and rub the Tories noses in it, as had been suggested?

Was it to entice over hapless workers for a pittance to prop up the feel good factor of the false boom years?

Those explanations have a ring of truth. But all have the ring of idealistic motives and beg questions of incompetence, corruption, conspiracy and cock-up.

Neather’s account, says Leppard may be only half the story. The more simple explanation was that uncontrolled mass immigration was a deliberate, covert policy to change the country’s demographics.

Leppard points out that former minister Chris Mullin, recalled in his memoirs:
"... There is the added difficulty that at least 20 Labour seats, including Jack (Straw’s), depend on Asian votes”
With up to 80% of ethnic minorities voting Labour, it is obvious, said Leppard, that the more immigrants who get the right to vote, the greater is Labour’s electoral share.

Leppard reckons Mullin may have stumbled on a smoking gun, deliberately using 'unchecked' immigration to puff up the Labour share of the voting cake.

Couple that with the sham of rigged postal votes as the icing on the cake and what remains are the crumbs of a despicable act of a desperate government.

The Orange Party never bought into home secretary Johnson's explanation Labour was "maladroit" on the issue and the immigration door was left wide open because of a “cock-up”. Too much spin and damage limitation.

Evidence of a concerted cover-up is buried deep in documents ministers tried desperately to prevent being made public, according to The Sunday Times. Illegal activity was revealed following an FoI application by whitehall whistleblower, Steve Moxon, which force the government to release the material.

That cover-up knowingly risked allowing dangerous migrants to settle unchecked. Documents show that far from being a mistake, there was a deliberate home office endorsed policy to promote concerted risk-taking by immigration staff.

The Orange Party has no problems with controlled immigration to the UK for a better life and to alleviate a skilled shortage. But to entice over poor souls for selfish petty political reasons to rig votes, then cast them off like an old boot sticks in the throat.

A sensible debate on immigration can only be held if more of the lies and deceit could be brought out into the open and ministers had the guts to come clean and tell the truth, instead of deliberately misleading the public.


Time To Leave Afghan Killing Fields

On this Remembrance Sunday, the Orange Party joins growing demands for an immediate withdrawal from the bloody, hopeless unwinnable war in Afghanistan. As nations remember the dead, a poignant reminder comes from one of the most powerful, haunting endings in cinema - the closing sequence of Attenborough's Oh! What a Lovely War.

Oh! What a Lovely War: Directed By Richard Attenborough (1969)
Top picture: Gerald Scarfe, Sunday Times