PoliticsHome | Only the latest five entries on the PhiWire are visible to non-subscribers
- Sign up to see last 24 hours
Dont have an account?Sign up here
Tuesday 25th November 2014
Jargon enthusiasts will have looked forward to their dose of Iain Duncan Smith on the airwaves this morning – and he didn’t disappoint.
“The independent Major Projects Authority said to us, as they reviewed it in the last few months, they said this is the right way to roll out a programme so that it de-risks the roll-out.”
Monday 24th November 2014
Never mind Notting Hill and Chipping Norton, after Islington MP Emily Thornberry’s badly-judged tweet, it’s now officially open season on her constituency.
Yesterday the Mail on Sunday published a guide to the ‘Thornberry set’ in leafy north London. "Emily Thornberry’s Islington home is at the heart of the liberal elite’s dinner party circuit," it noted.
One Labour MP has told the Mail: "It’s a typical cock up from one of this Islington cabal who are terrified of stepping out of London."
And now Nick Clegg has weighed in, calling Ms Thornberry’s image from Rochester "jaw droppingly patronising". The Lib Dem leader then added: “It may be what happens if you become MP for Islington.”
Of course, Clegg lives in the down-at-heel cultural melting pot that is Putney.
There may well be more of this nonsense to come, but can anyone beat William Hague’s classic attack on the borough in his 1997 Tory conference speech?
Hague told delegates: "I'm not one of those politicians who looks at the United Kingdom through a pair of binoculars from inside the M25....
"I don't look at the world through the wrong end of an Islington drain pipe."
Thursday 20th November 2014
Ministers have been advising councils to think creatively when it comes to dealing with cuts in government funding, but they probably didn’t have this in mind.
At today’s Business Statement, Tory MP Pauline Latham spoke of her disdain for one innovation from Labour-led Derby City Council: an answering machine message used to “smear” her party.
When a resident can’t get through, they hear: “Sorry we can’t get to the phone. It’s the Government imposed cuts.”
"I am appalled at this politicisation of a public service. May we have a debate on council funding and how it is used for party political purposes?" she asked.
William Hague suggested an alternative:
“Perhaps her council should have an answerphone message referring to the £5 billion that the Government have supplied for council tax freezes for five successive years in order to keep down council tax, which doubled under the previous Government. That would be a good message to send out to the whole country.”
Probably not quite as catchy.
Wednesday 19th November 2014
Nick Clegg made a mistake that politicians fighting the Rochester and Strood by-election have been dreading.
Called on his weekly radio show by someone from Stroud, Gloucestershire, the Lib Dem leader asked the caller about tomorrow's by-election - which is of course taking place hundreds of miles away in Strood, Kent.
Minutes later he conceded defeat in the by-election, telling listeners he didn't expect his party to "sweep to victory". Coincidence? Almost certainly.
Tuesday 18th November 2014
Are we witnessing a chill in one of the Coalition's more successful relationships?
Danny Alexander told reporters at a Westminster lunch today that his Tory boss, Chancellor George Osborne, keeps a lock on his fridge in the Treasury to stop people stealing milk.
"We do share things – but not the milk which to my amusement he still keeps under lock and key," the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said. "Yes, really the fridge in the Treasury kitchen is replete with a padlock – it must have been tough in St Paul’s."
But a Treasury source has attempted to cool the story, suggesting Mr Alexander may have (semi-)skimmed over some key facts. The source told PolHome: "The only fridge with a lock on is communal one - right next to Danny's office."
And now an adviser to former Treasury top man Gordon Brown has intervened with his own attempt to lower the temperature in what Dot is unilaterally dubbing #fridgegate.
"If I recall rightly, Kev put the lock on the fridge in the 2nd floor kitchen in 2006 to stop me nicking Gordon's Highland Spring," Damian McBride tweeted.
And, in what some Westminster insiders might construe as a bit of p**s-taking, the former comms chief added: "Come to mention it, Danny would've been on much safer ground if he'd said Osborne doesn't let him share his personal urinal."