My feedback to James Gurling on the European and council elections campaign

Henley HQ opening - with diamond poster

Dear James and team,

Here is my feedback:

1. IN message. I applaud Nick and the party for taking this stance. As an historical trial, it was right. However, next time we need to (a)Have a top level campaign message which talks about reform of the EU and (b)Have a top level campaign message which encompasses the council elections on the same day.

2. Use of Connect and voter contact was excellent.

3. I think you could make more of activists in places without council elections on polling day. Have more leaflet rounds, I would suggest. Push people in non-council election places much more.

4. I think Nick did a great job leading the campaign.

5. All in all, the campaign felt excellent. It was just the results that were bloody awful!

Best wishes

Clegg under pressure


Nick Clegg must have thought several of his birthdays had come at once, when he found out about Dick Dastardly Matthew Oakshott shooting himself in the foot.

He’s now in the clear to fight another day. We see his incredible resilience yet again. I suspect this resilience is based on a remarkably straight-forward outlook on life. When you have a wonderful family, why worry too much about what is, in the final analysis, temporary flim-flam? We all exist for the temporal equivalent of the blink of a dinosaur’s eyelid in historical terms.

If Paddy told him he needed to go, he would go straight away. And he would do it smiling.

He is an incredibly resilient character. But I don’t think that resilience is based on stubborn ego. It is based on a simple acceptance of life and the desire to do some good.

"The King died three months ago"

King Alfred is Dead!Centuries ago, there was an excellent news service. A few months after a King died, that news was finally reaching outer villages of the country. A random horse rider would finally reach the last village to give them the news.

Sometimes I wonder whether we would be better off with that system now. I gest somewhat. But we now have the “instant Butterfly” effect. A butterfly flutters its wings in London and, a nano second later, via the interweb, the resultant hurricane is all over the world. We end up disappearing up our own jaxi.

Someone makes an off-the-cuff remark, and its all over news channels within seconds. Then the story changes to refute the original story and then back again.

In fact, Jon Stewart recently showed video evidence of a news channel where a headline was read out saying one thing and then, in the 8 seconds it took the channel to run its news theme, the story had changed to the opposite of the headline being the case. (This was a story about the disappearance of Flight 370).

It’s all quite mad.

Politicians and bacon thingeys – a technical note

Nick Clegg today ate a “bacon sandwich” on camera with reasonable aplomb.

This was compared favourably with the hash which Ed Miliband made of eating a “bacon sandwich” last week.

Except Nick Clegg was given, by LBC, an actual bacon sandwich. It’s nice and soft, and relatively easy to eat as long as you bite hard down on the bacon.

Ed Miliband tried to eat a bacon toastie which is altogether tougher proposition for eating. It’s difficult to get in your mouth. You have to bite it off in small bits.