Category Archives: In The News

UKIP must close social Media Accounts?

UKIP must close social Media Accounts?

Article from Guido Fawkes, here.

UKIP has ordered its candidates to close their social media accounts, according to minutes of a meeting with the party’s chairman Paul Oakden. The notes began with the words “Remember do not put this online – that’s forbidden! The notes MUST NOT be put on social media”. They were naturally leaked to Guido. 

The minutes quote Oakden as saying UKIP “will survive without [Arron Bank’s] money”, disclosing “four major donors” are now backing the party and “another £100,000 is pledged”. The document is full of warnings to ‘Kippers to stay away from social media and reveals deep concern within the party around online message discipline: “NO-ONE is to go online and say negative things about UKIP – it is pointless…”. Stoke is also described as “a serious black hole of degradation”…

Meeting with Chairmen

Please see my attached notes from Sunday.  We shall give Paul Oakden the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the big changes which are promised.  Remember do not put this online – that’s forbidden!

UKIP Regional Chairmen’s Meeting

The notes MUST NOT be put on social media…

Aaron Banks is not a UKIP member… He’s not given any money since the General Election… Alan Bown is the key donor of UKIP and bailed us out in the autumn of 2016… Stuart Wheeler [is] another key donor…

Richard Billington: Many people said quietly to me that it is a good job we didn’t win as Stoke is a serious black hole of degradation.  Let the crazy and quite unpleasant Labour MP have the seat with its much reduced majority…

Paul Nuttall was not persuaded to enter the by-election. A poll was taken many weeks beforehand where the consensus was that standing Paul would increase the turnout for UKIP by 5% which would have been enough to win.  It was always going to be close…

Paul Oakden hates social media.  All Candidates should close their accounts.  It just causes more grief…

Paul Nuttall is supported by 4 major donors. If Paul stays as leaders and he will, another £100,000 is pledged…

The party has not received any money from Aaron Banks in the last 12 months…

His money is useful but UKIP will survive without his money…

We are happy for Aaron to be involved…

Setting up a new party is fraught with difficulties. It is not going to happen..

We should all stay off social media… 

Paul Oakden hates social media. All Candidates should close their accounts. It just causes more grief.

NO-ONE is to go online and say negative things about UKIP – it is pointless…

Aaron Banks tweets were not helpful or necessary…

As if UKIP will ever get their Cyberkipper army to stop tweeting…

ICM reports another gigantic lead

As ICM reports another gigantic CON lead Number 10 moves to squash the “snap election” speculation

Report from the Political Betting Website, here

ICM/Guardian poll
CON 45% (+1)
LAB 26% (-2)
UKIP 10% (-1)
LD 9% (+1)
GRN: 4% (-1)

This morning there have been two significant announcements from number 10. Firstly article 50 will be invoked next week on March 29th. Secondly it is being made very clear that there will be no general election. This is how the Guardian is reporting the latter:

“…In the past Theresa May has said repeatedly that she has not plans to call an early general election, but this morning her spokesman was firmer, saying: “There is not going to be one [an early general election]. He also appeared to rule out any election before 2020, the date when the next one is due under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, saying that any election outside the FTPA timetable would be early…

Before the announcement Ladbrokes were offering just 5/1 on a general election taking place on May 4th – day of the local and mayoral elections.

No doubt the prime minister’s team have looked fully into the legal aspect of the fixed term Parliament Act that was part of the Coalition agreement in 2010 to see if there is a way round. But quite simply the prime minister’s power to select election dates has now been taken away although there is a process within the act for creating an early election. The ability of earlier PMs to go to the country when it most suited them is no longer there.

The way that some people have been talking and reporting this suggests that they haven’t quite caught up with the change in the law that took place as part of the Coalition agreement with the Lib Dems seven years ago

The article 50 timing announcement is not really a surprise. This was always going to be the case once the legislation went through Parliament unamended as happened last week.

The ICM poll is simply totally awful for Mr Corbyn’s Labour but no doubt the old stubborn bed blocker, without the self-awareness to realise HE is a large part of the problem, will just stick it out.

We await the May elections to see if the polling is reflected in a substantial number of Labour losses. That might just trigger pressure on the leadership but the way the party is structured these days Mr Corbyn seems secure.

ComRes becomes the 3rd pollster in a week to have UKIP fourth

ComRes becomes the 3rd pollster in a week to have UKIP fourth

Post From Political Betting here

ComRes for Indy and S Mirror
CON 42
LAB 25
LD 12
UKIP 10

Over the past week YouGov, Ipsos-MORI and now ComRes have found UKIP in fourth place. Partly this is down to the LDs advancing and partly to UKIP’s shares slipping.

LAB, meanwhile is now a colossal 17% behind in very serious trouble indeed. Things don’t look good for Corbyn’s team in the May round of local and Mayoral elections.

Since Corbyn was re-elected as leader last September the party’s plight has got worse and worse and they are now shedding support to the LDs. Mr Corbyn, however, looks unassailable because of the party’s rules.

Amongst other questions ComRes found its sample split over the Brexit process, with roughly equal proportions agreeing that Parliament should be able to veto the Government’s proposed Brexit vote as disagreeing (38% v 42%)

The poll found people more likely to agree than disagree that they do not expect Britain to complete leaving the EU within the current planned two year period (47% v 32%), although there is no clear majority.

 

Ukip’s only MP describes UKIP party as a ‘basket case’

From the Daily Telegraph here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/28/douglas-carswell-suggests-ukip-basket-case-nigel-farage-calls/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

Nigel Farage predicts Ukip will kick Douglas Carswell out of the party after donor Arron Banks says he will stand against him in next election

Nigel Farage has predicted Douglas Carswell will be kicked out of Ukip after one of the party’s biggest donors declared that he will stand against him in the next general election.

Arron Banks said the UK Independence Party’s MP for Clacton was a “terrible individual” who has “done his best to destroy Ukip”.

The party is in an open civil after Mr Farage publicly warned that the party will collapse unless its sole MP moves on.

The two men have been at odds for years over the party’s policies but their antipathy came to a head amid claims that Mr Carswell frustrated Mr Farage’s chances of being awarded a knighthood.

Speaking after a Brexit event in central London, Mr Farage said: “It’s not just me. A lot of people have been saying it and saying it for a very long time.

“We nearly got rid of him back in 2015 when he sabotaged all my efforts at the European summit. We didn’t quite have the nerve to do it. I suspect now the party will.”

Read the rest here:

UK economy grows faster than thought

UK economy grows faster than thought

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39049073

The UK economy grew by more than previously reported in the final three months of 2016, according to the latest official estimate.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 0.7%, up from 0.6%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The upward revision is mainly due to manufacturing industry having done better than thought.

The ONS cut its estimate for growth in 2016 as a whole to 1.8%, down from the 2% it forecast last month.

This downward revision pushes UK slightly below Germany, with an estimate of 1.9%, in the G7 growth league, said John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, “though the difference is well within the margin of error on any such early GDP estimates.”

The downward revision appeared to have been prompted by weaker North Sea oil and gas production during the first six months of 2016, and did not reflect the underlying strength of the UK economy, he added.

“Excluding oil and gas output, estimated UK GDP growth might actually have been revised up in 2016,” added Mr Hawksworth.

The third revision of the figures will be on 31 March, after the Budget on 8 March.

“Unfortunately, this means that the chancellor won’t be able to say that the UK was the fastest-growing G7 economy in 2016 in his upcoming Budget – Germany grew by 1.9%,” said Capital Economics UK economist Paul Hollingsworth.

Baroness Chakrabarti is ridiculed

Baroness Chakrabarti Is Ridiculed

From the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4261334/Chakrabarti-blames-Copeland-loss-carless-Labour-voters.html

Baroness Chakrabarti is ridiculed after she WRONGLY blames Copeland defeat on low turnout saying Labour supporters don’t have CARS

  • Shadow attorney general gives laundry list of excuses for Copeland disaster
  • Suggests bad public transport and carless Labour voters hampered party
  • But insists Jeremy Corbyn’s dire personal ratings nothing to do with the loss
  • Critics accuse her of being the ‘epitome of what Labour voters just rejected’  

Baroness Chakrabarti has been ridiculed after she wrongly blamed low turnout for Labour’s humiliating defeat in Copeland, saying the party’s supporters don’t have cars.

The shadow attorney general, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, set out a laundry list of excuses during an interview today as she insisted the leader was not responsible for the worst by-election performance since the war.

Factors she cited included interventions by Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the seat’s former MP Jamie Reed, disunity in the party, divisions over Brexit, media bias, Storm Doris and poor public transport.

But critics quickly pointed out that turnout in Copeland was over 51 per cent – significantly higher than the 38 per cent in the Stoke by-election, which Labour won, and well above average for such contests. And Mr Reed shot back: ‘Shami and co. have no idea how much the Labour vote dislikes them.’

In her appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Lady Chakrabarti flatly denied that Mr Corbyn’s appalling personal ratings were an issue.

‘It’s not about the terrible regime, it’s about the fact representatives cannot weigh people’s votes anymore,’ she said.

‘There was a low turnout in Copeland and having been to Copeland recently, I know that it’s a very rural constituency, public transport is not great,’ she said.

‘But it’s just one factor, of course that’s not the entire explanation.’

She said: ‘I think Copeland is probably one of those constituencies that was neglected by my own party over some years.

‘It’s remote from London. It’s changed its shape over many years.

‘There’s the nuclear industry and people who’ve done very well out of that industry – and then the people left behind.

‘From my experience in Copeland, Labour has looked like the establishment for a very long time because they’ve been represented by Labour for a long time.’

Lady Chakrabarti also criticised Marr for having Lords Mandelson as a guest the weekend before the vote.

‘Sometimes we haven’t had the fairest or most balanced treatment in the media, including in the broadcast media,’ she said.

But Labour former frontbencher Michael Dugher hit back: ‘Pearls of wisdom from the never-having-stood-for-election, joined-ten-minutes-ago wing of the Labour Party: Labour voters “don’t have cars”.’

Ex-MP Mr Reed – who quit to take a job at Sellafield amid despair in the parliamentary party at their electoral prospects – said Lady Chakrabarti was ‘the epitome of what Labour voters just rejected’.

In a series of tweets directed at the Labour peer, he said: ‘Shami and co. have no idea how much the Labour vote dislikes them. Even faced with the evidence.

‘She’s an unstoppable vote-harvesting-election-winning machine. Or the epitome of what Labour voters just rejected. I wonder which one?’

Using the hashtag #TellShami, Mr Reed reeled off a number of projects such as new schools, hospitals and the Moorside nuclear reactors that had been achieved under Labour leadership.

Mr Reed also insisted the weather was not a factor in Labour’s loss.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4261334/Chakrabarti-blames-Copeland-loss-carless-Labour-voters.html#ixzz4ZpCfQmYc
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Corbyn distrusted on the NHS

 
The public’s satisfaction level with the NHS has risen from around 40% to 60% in the last 20 years. More importantly, dissatisfaction has halved from 40% to 20%. This gives the public an NHS net satisfaction level of 40%.
 
Three times as many people are satisfied with the NHS as are dissatisfied. Labour can argue that the improvement happened on their watch, the fact of the satisfaction however is ongoing, this presents a strategic problem for Labour.
 
By the time of the 2015 general election Cameron was more trusted than Miliband on the NHS by 22% to 20%. Survation (and other pollsters) find May is more trusted than Corbyn by 35% to 24%, Corbyn is actually distrusted on the NHS by 45% to 31%. The NHS is now a negative for the Labour leader.

Trump’s Victory Speech

Trump’s Victory Speech

PMs Speech To Conference 2016

PMs Speech To Conference 2016

I was never a Cameroon, but I did grow to admire the previous PM’s statesmanship and strong Leadership and he was very very good at speeches.

Theresa May is not as good at speeches, but she still delivered it today in a confident and compelling way.  Judging by the commentary I am hearing and reading, the speech was well-received and cleverly politically-positioned.  She is pitching for the broad middle ground and the populist common ground in a way that has hints of Tony Blair and hints of Nigel Farage.  I think she believes it too, so we will probably see policy follow to match the rhetoric.

I was uncomfortable at her comments about “foreign workers” and very uncomfortable about this odd idea of forcing companies to produce “lists” of the national origins of their staff.  I have no problem with encouraging companies to look first to home ground, nor with legislating to prevent unfair discrimination, but creating “lists” and trying to use them to shame companies based on geographical birthplace locations?  Gave me a cold chill, that one.

I’m not a statist, or an authoritarian.  I believe in free markets as the best tool for social mobility and overall good the world has ever seen. I believe that state intervention is often ill-judged, harmful and counter-productive.  So her speech wasn’t pitched at me.  It was pitched at all the: “what is the world coming to?” people out there, who believe that the world is going down the sewer.  She talked a lot about the people who feel “left out” of “Globalism” and set out her stall as a “Woman Of The People.”  Which people she was referring to was a little vague, but it certainly wasn’t rich people.

She took big steps onto Labour territory – before Labour become a hard-left militant personality cult.  And she took big steps onto UKIP territory, before UKIP swung to the Left to try and hoover up Labour’s disaffected Northern vote.  She clearly appealed to that One Nation, “let the state put its  arms around you and keep you safe”, Big Government branch of the Conservatives.  There are lots of them.

But people who think she is another Margaret Thatcher profoundly misunderstand Thatcherism and were clearly not listening to the content of her speech.  In some ways she seems more like Heath than Thatcher.  But even that would be wrong.  She is a whole new thing.  I’m trying to maintain an open mind.  I hope that all the (many) good things she said are actioned and the Statist and Illiberal stuff was just words.  Time will tell, I guess.  But whatever I, or anybody else, thinks – she has certainly thrown down a political gauntlet.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Wandsworth Council reject proposals for landlord licensing scheme

The following article can be found in its original form at the website here.

Wandsworth Council reject proposals for landlord licensing scheme

Investigations by London Property Licensing have revealed a decision by Wandsworth Council not to implement a new landlord licensing scheme.

Regulation of the private rented sector is a topic that has recently been considered by Wandsworth Council’s Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee. In a report presented on 6 July 2016, the Committee noted that the private rented sector accounts for about a third of the housing stock, while the number of complaints about poor quality accommodation have reduced in recent years.

The report noted that most complaints are resolved through negotiation and the level of tenant satisfaction is very high, at 85%. It also noted a rise in the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), estimated to be around 15,000 properties.

Less than 500 of these properties are currently licensed under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme as most properties fall outside the licensing scheme criteria.

Having considered the idea of additional or selective licensing, the report concluded that there was no evidence available to justify the introduction of either scheme and so no licensing consultation will be carried out.

Instead the council have come up with a list of ten proposals to better regulate the private rented sector and tackle the small minority of rogue landlords using existing powers. These include:

  • Allocating a higher priority to housing enforcement in the three wards with the highest volume of complaints (Furzedown, Graveney & Tooting wards).
  • Setting up targeted action days.
  • Streamlining admin support so officers can concentrate on landlord / tenant activity.
  • Improving information and advice on the council’s website.
  • Reviewing processes for serving legal notices.
  • Improving training and development for staff on new legislation.
  • Refocusing resources on higher priority complaints and investigations.
  • Setting up a new landlord / letting agent forum and update newsletters.
  • Improving use of IT systems.
  • Improving information sharing and joint working with planning and housing benefits.

Following approval of the recommendations by Overview and Scrutiny on 6 July, the report was supported by the Council’s Executive on 11 July and the 10-point action plan will now be implemented.

This announcement is sure to welcomed by many Wandsworth landlords and letting agents who already strive to provide safe and decent accommodation for their tenants.

David Smith, Policy Director at the Residential Landlord Association commented:

It is really good to see a council considering a range of options around landlord regulation rather than defaulting to licensing.

The Housing Act 2004 offers a range of flexible powers to Councils and this range will shortly be widened with changes in the Housing and Planning Act; Local Housing Authorities should take a risk-based approach and focus their powers on directly addressing the real problems in the Private Rented Sector. It is good to see that Wandsworth has done this.