Election Campaigns

The Telegraph has an interview with Lynton Crosby entitled “Betrayal of British voters”.

The architect of David Cameron’s election victory has savaged Britain’s political class for badly misjudging the result, saying it was their “judgment day and they lost”. In his first interview with the Telegraph, Lynton Crosby, Mr Cameron’s Australian election strategist, suggests that public opinion polls be banned during the final three weeks of future campaigns.

He also takes aim at the political commentators who accused him of running a “negative” campaign saying that the incorrect “wall of noise” produced by experts and public pollsters had threatened to derail the ultimately successful campaign.

Mr Crosby accused political commentators of just wanting “entertainment” from politics and said that the “last time they met a punter was when they picked up their dry cleaning.  They were tested and found wanting,” Mr Crosby said.


The Guardian reports that Ukip spy who infiltrated protest group ‘tried to encourage abuse of Farage’

Ukip sent a spy to obtain “information from the inside” on an anti-Nigel Farage protest group, where campaigners say he tried to encourage activists to deface posters and heckle outside meetings.

The party admitted that it had sent an informant into the Thanet branch of the “Stand Up to Ukip” group during the election campaign, following what the party described as “a series of threatening attacks against Mr Farage in the run-up”.

It added: “In order to provide reasonable security it was of course necessary to have information from the inside. In order to do this it was important to gain the trust of the activists, an approach used by a great many security operations tasked with protecting the safety and well being of a targeted individual.”

Meanwhile, the Independent focuses on Carswell with Nigel Farage challenges Ukip MP Douglas Carswell: back me as leader or quit the party.

Nigel Farage has launched a bitter attack against the party’s only MP, accusing him of anonymously orchestrating a plot to remove him as leader. With no sign of Ukip’s internal turmoil abating, Mr Farage claimed there was only “one person” in the party “agitating for a change and for a leadership election” who hadn’t had the “courage to break cover”.

Mr Farage did not name Douglas Carswell in his attack but aides made clear that it was the former Tory MP who defected to Ukip last year he had in his sights. Raheem Kassam, who was forced out of his job as a senior adviser to Mr Farage on Thursday, blamed Mr Carswell – along with MEP Patrick O’Flynn – for stirring up dissent and trying oust the leader.

The Express looks at it from the other side of the coin in UKIP’s only MP turns on Farage: Carswell tells leader to ‘take a break’ amid party row

In a shock intervention that will be seen by many as Carswell turning on Mr Farage, the Clacton MP claimed that Ukip had not been striking the right “tone”. He also criticised Mr Farage’s “ill-advised” decision to raise concerns about immigrants coming to Britain for free treatment for HIV.

Mr Farage had previously issued a challenge for the “one person” in Ukip covertly “agitating for a change and for a leadership election” to put up or shut up. The party leader’s former chief of staff Raheem Kassam has also accused Mr Carswell and economics spokesman Patrick O’Flynn of bringing the party into “national disrepute”. Mr O’Flynn triggered a round of bitter infighting by saying Mr Farage had become “thin-skinned” and “aggressive”.

In an article, Mr Carswell wrote: “On Monday, Ukip’s national executive committee made a decision to reinstate Nigel as party leader. Yet even leaders need to take a break. Nigel needs to take a break now. Elections are enormously stressful. The immediate aftermath of one is not the time to take big decisions about the future.”

Meanwhile, Breitbart has many articles on the topic, including crowing about reclaiming Raheem Kassam with: Farage Chief of Staff Raheem Kassam rejoins Breitbart after 4m vote win.

Former Chief of Staff to Nigel Farage is rejoining Breitbart as Editor in Chief of Breitbart London, following UKIP’s massive gains at the UK General Election.

Raheem Kassam, who resigned from the UK Independence Party this afternoon, will announce live on Sky News this evening he is returning to the fold to bring his expertise of UK and international politics to the growing team.

Stephen K. Bannon, Executive Chairman of the Breitbart News Network said: “If UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn thinks that he’s seen aggressive, Tea Party, American-style politics, he ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Labour Leadership

The Telegraph compares the Labour leader to Game of Thrones in “A Labour party so driven by rivalries that even the battle for leadership is in chaos

If the last Labour leadership contest was Cain and Abel, the current one is turning into something resembling Game of Thrones; a fight to the death between warring tribes, to the victor the Kingdom (or at least the right to fight the 2020 election).

The bloody nature of the contest has become apparent already. Just three days after launching his leadership bid, Chuka Umunna, spoken of in tiresome terms as “Britain’s Obama” and “Labour’s next Prime Minister” even before his election in 2010, has swiftly unlaunched himself.

We are left with four, or perhaps five candidates, as Tristram Hunt, the historian turned self-appointed defender of Waitrose shoppers scrambles to collect enough backers to make his desire to run a viable option. As things stand, he doesn’t have the names. But there’s time yet.

The Independent reports Chuka Umunna quits Labour leadership contest due to ‘uncomfortable’ media attention

The contest to succeed Ed Miliband as Labour leader has been thrown wide open after Chuka Umunna, the poster boy of party modernisers, dramatically pulled out of the race. Mr Umunna said he had simply not anticipated the “level of pressure” that he would be under as a leadership candidate and the impact it would have on his family.

Aides categorically denied his decision had been triggered by newspaper investigations into his personal life but added Mr Umunna had concluded he was “not ready” for the level of constant media attention that would come if he were to be elected. Mr Umunna’s decision clears the way for fellow moderniser Tristram Hunt to enter the race.

The Mirror reports that Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw enters race to be deputy

Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has confirmed he is to stand for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. The Exeter MP said his “big tent” approach to politics was the only way Labour would attract the voters it needs to win the next election.

Announcing his intention to run, he told his local party: “Labour did badly everywhere and in Wales and England outside London we went backwards against the Tories. “Labour must and could win the next election, but only if it broadens its appeal by adopting sensible, centre-left politics which celebrate wealth creation and entrepreneurship as vital means of delivering social justice.


The Independent reports on the war with Isis: The brides brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers

It was when Isis issued a fatwa saying a wife should obey her husband in all matters, including becoming a suicide bomber, that Aysha, a 32-year-old mother of two children, decided to flee her home in Mosul. She recalls that her husband did not ask her directly to be a suicide bomber, but gradually started talking about it. “He was coming home once a week,” she told The Independent, “but recently he came home every day, and finally asked me to attend a new course showing how a Muslim woman could support Muslim society with her soul and body”.

Aysha, which is not her real name, attended the course for two days along with many other women. She was appalled by what she heard. She says “the course was a sort of brainwashing, teaching women to sacrifice cheap worldly things – blood, flesh, soul – for the victory of more precious things – religion, Allah, the Prophet, and, most importantly, the eternal afterlife”.

Conservative Cuts

The Guardian reports that “George Osborne calls emergency July budget to reveal next wave of austerity

George Osborne will reveal how the government plans to cut £12bn from Britain’s welfare bill when he announces a fresh wave of austerity measures in his second budget in less than four months on 8 July. The chancellor said he wanted to make a start delivering on the commitments made in the Conservative party manifesto and pledged that his package would be a budget for “working people”.

Announcing his decision in an article in the Sun, Osborne said he would provide details of how the government plans to eliminate the UK’s budget deficit – forecast to be £75bn this year – and run a surplus by the end of the parliament. “On the 8th of July I am going to take the unusual step of having a second budget of the year – because I don’t want to wait to turn the promises we made in the election into a reality … And I can tell you it will be a budget for working people.”

Treasury sources said the budget would address Britain’s poor productivity record, which has held back growth in living standards, and would also announce plans to create 3m new apprenticeships. However, the centrepiece of the package will be a fresh bout of austerity, with Osborne keen to get unpopular measures out of the way early in the parliament, in readiness for pre-election tax cuts once the public finances have improved.

The Express also reports on this.

The “Left”

The Mail reports on the long sulk of what we broadly describe as “The Left” with: The incredible sulk: All week, the Left have been frothing with fury that their fellow Britons could be so wicked and stupid as to vote in the Tories. Nothing better shows their contempt for ordinary people…

Just over a week has passed since perhaps the most extraordinary General Election result of modern times, and at last the dust is beginning to settle. In Westminster, David Cameron’s new all-Conservative government has settled down to business, while a succession of ambitious contenders have set out their stall for the Labour leadership, most of them insisting, not entirely plausibly, that they never agreed with a word Ed Miliband said anyway.

In the real world, most people have simply got on with their lives.

Yet in one strange corner of Britain, the campaign is far from over. This is a world in which we are forever poised on the brink of Socialist conversion, the only obstacles are the Right-wing press and the brainwashed masses, and Ed Miliband was the greatest prime minister we never had.

SNP and the Conservatives

To some extent, we are already seeing it but Alan Massie in the Telegraph says “David Cameron can only save the Union by hugging Nicola Sturgeon close

The question of a second Independence referendum hung unnecessarily over the meeting between David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh. It needn’t have done so, but it was provoked by Cameron’s assertion that the matter was settled and that he would not consent to a second round. Technically of course he is right. The Scotland Act which set up the Scottish Parliament reserved constitutional matters to Westminster.

Since, however, there is no immediate prospect of another referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly made it clear that the General Election wasn’t about independence and the word “referendum” was missing from the SNP’s manifesto, the Prime Minister might more wisely have accepted that it was a sleeping dog, and said nothing to disturb it.

Ms Sturgeon is instead pressing for more powers to be devolved to Scotland, and some of her demands such as more control over welfare and the level of the minimum wage may be acceptable to Cameron. Welfare, after all, is a matter on which Labour and the SNP tend to do better than the Conservatives – so why not hand control to Edinburgh and see what the SNP makes of it? The temptation is obvious.


The Guardian reveals the nice little earner that both the Clintons have in the USA in “Hillary and Bill Clinton earn more than $25m for giving 100 speeches

Hillary Clinton and her husband and former president Bill Clinton reported on Friday they had earned more than $25m in speaking fees since January 2014. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign reported the income in a personal financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission. The report, required of every candidate for the White House, also shows she earned more than $5m from her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices.

While Hillary Clinton has begun her second campaign for president by casting herself as a champion for middle-class voters, she has long draw criticism from Republicans about the wealth she and her husband have amassed since he left the White House. That includes their ability to command six-figure fees for delivering speeches.

The details of the report were described by a Clinton campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a report not yet publicly available from the FEC. The report was expected to be released publicly later on Friday.

African Immigration

The Daily Mail reports from Calais with “Migrants’ home from home: Just a mile from the Channel ferry, Africans on the way to Britain build thatched reminder of the life they’ve left behind

Posing by the al fresco dining table, Alpha from Mauritania is clearly proud of his new home. Hand-built from scraps of wood and covered in plastic sheeting, it boasts a thatched roof – just like his former house back in his north African homeland.

Inside his French home are two leather sofas, his guitar and bed. Outside there’s a shed for his chickens, Lily and Jean. Just round the corner two of his neighbours, from Libya, are putting the finishing touches to their two-storey wooden hut, complete with an elevated veranda to take in the surrounding view. Welcome to the migrants’ new home from home in the sand dunes on the outskirts of Calais.

The ‘town’ – estimated population 4,000 – already boasts three shops, selling essentials such as tinned food, fizzy drinks and washing up liquid (and with someone else’s supermarket trolleys outside).

Child Sex Abuse

The Express carries a report that “Lord Janner COULD still be prosecuted for child sex abuse claims – as CPS agrees to review

Lord Janner was accused of a string of historic child sex abuse allegations during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s but deemed unfit to stand trial because he is suffering from dementia. The decision by Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders to abandon court action against the the 86-year-old will now be revisited by an top lawyer.

A spokesman said: “The CPS Victims’ Right to Review scheme was set up to give complainants the ability to ask the CPS to review its decisions – usually when there has been a decision not to prosecute. The CPS has been asked to invoke this process in the case of Lord Janner and that review is now taking place. Where the decision is made by the DPP this review would normally be done by the CPS Appeals Unit. However, due to the unique circumstances surrounding this case, the CPS has instructed external counsel instead.”

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