Sunday, 17 May 2015

Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed

Spectator (Dan Hodges)
Labour’s failure to realise the true state of the ‘ground war’ was crippling. In the last days of a campaign, it is vital for the parties to have an accurate picture of what is happening in constituencies, so they can allocate workers and other important resources.
It used to work perfectly: in the old days, the Labour spin doctor Damian McBride used to win favours with journalists by sharing the party’s confidential internal polling, which was always spot on. This time, it failed. Miliband’s troops were effectively fighting blind. Blame for this abject failure of basic intelligence gathering has been viciously apportioned to several areas. Some are quick to point the finger at Labour HQ. ‘It wasn’t fit for purpose from day one,’ a shadow cabinet adviser told me. ‘The first day we turned up, we were told there weren’t enough workstations and some of us would have to spend the campaign working from home. Then someone discovered there was one mid-level official who still had a company car because he’d been with the party since the 1970s and that was still written into his contract.’      .............Ed Miliband was an idealist until the end. He surrounded himself with academics, took inspiration from political textbooks and had an extraordinary ability to detach himself from the hue and cry of daily politics. He created his own world and lived in it. This explains his preternatural calm and his astonishing self-belief — but it also explains why he drove his party over a cliff."

Lynton Crosby: 'the so-called experts have lost touch with ordinary people'


And what about Mr Miliband as a candidate?

“He really was a sort of first year politics graduate who thought he had the answers to the world’s problems - who’d done a year of the course and it was just that other people hadn’t been as smart as him in the past to implement the policies that he believed in. Whereas Cameron was very steady - he’s much underestimated and I think a very impressive leader.”

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Lynton Crosby: 'the so-called experts have lost touch with ordinary people'

Mr Crosby adds: “I mean the public polls are a bit like going to a doctor who’s reporting your temperature each day and tells you it’s 38, then it’s 40, then it’s 39, then it’s 41. They don’t tell you what’s actually going on, what's causing the temperature changes yet people, they just report the temperature what you want is diagnosis that tells you what’s going on and why and that’s what they don’t do.”

Lynton Crosby: Betrayal of British voters

Mr Crosby said: “The trouble now is that polls have become part of the political process so they’re not an independent measurement that says this is what’s going on, they actually influence what’s going on.
“And I think that’s quite dangerous. I would subscribe to the view there should be a stay on publishing polls publicly for two or three weeks before an election.”
He said he could not “understand” the ineptitude of Ed Miliband’s campaign.
“I couldn’t really understand it. They just wanted to divide Britain. And they focussed too much on process.
“Labour were always trying to talk up how clever they were. How they’d set up the Green attack unit, how they had set up the Ukip attack unit. How they were having 4 million conversations across the country.Well we had more than that - but you don’t talk about it.”

Secrets of the Tories' election 'war room'

In the war room, work began before dawn, and the office was manned until late at night. Mr Crosby chaired his first meeting every day during the campaign at 5.45am, with a handful of senior strategists.
Another meeting would follow at 6.30am to draw up firmer plans for the day, before the third meeting at 7.30 each morning, at which Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne would be present, often via conference calls from far flung parts of the country where they would be campaigning.
The PM and Chancellor would listen to the plans, make observations of their own and then approve the strategy as recommended by Mr Crosby, who chaired every meeting, even when Mr Cameron was present.
A few hundred yards away, at Labour headquarters in Brewer’s Green, Mr Miliband’s team had not yet turned up for work. The Labour campaign’s first meeting did not start until 7.45am, two hours after Mr Crosby had begun setting priorities for the day."

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Kiwi-based doctor battled injury to save 23 lives after Everest avalanche

Stuff NZ
A Kiwi-based doctor is being credited with helping to save 23 lives after the deadly avalanche at Everest base camp, despite being injured herself.
British-born Rachel Tullet, an emergency doctor at Christchurch Hospital, was swept on to a rock and buried under a layer of ice crystals for several minutes in avalanche triggered by last month's 7.9-magnitude Nepalese earthquake.
She had been volunteering at Everest ER, the medical tent at the mountain's base camp run by the Himalayan Rescue Association."

Europe invaded

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun (Australia)
Astonishing numbers, and many who arrive will want others to join them:

Last year, 570,800 claims for asylum were registered in the European Union, more than a third of them in Germany, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
How many of these asylum seekers have the skills and background to fit in well? How many will feel “marginalised” in time?

Labour is facing at least a decade in the wilderness, party grandees warn

Labour has been plunged deeper into crisis as some of the party’s most senior figures warned that they would be out of power until at least 2025.
As the search began for a new leader, former Cabinet ministers joined members of Ed Miliband’s front-bench team to call on the party to “skip a generation” and pick a candidate who is untainted by the failures of the past."