Co-operative Conservatives

Cameron gave a speech yesterday which he said was his “political philosophy in a nutshell”. So was it a vision moment? He said
“the co-operative principle reflects an important part of the vision of social progress that we on the centre-right believe in: the role of strong independent institutions, run by and for local people. That’s why Conservatives have always argued that free enterprise and the co-operative principle are partners, not adversaries. And now I want the Conservative Party to take the lead in applying the co-operative ideal to the challenges of the 21st century. So I am delighted to announce today the establishment of the Conservative Co-operative Movement. “

Over at LabourHome they have gone all “how very dare they” about Cameron’s Conservative Co-operative Movement. Guido had lunch with LabourHome founder Alex Hilton sometime ago, when Guido paid using a Co-operative Bank debit card he positively spluttered with indignation. “What is a capitalist like you doing banking with the Co-op?” The truth is co-ops are compatible with free enterprise, they can compete with profit-driven businesses and are a very welcome component of an enterprise culture. Guido tried to explain that for years he had worked in what was effectively a co-op. Hedge fund partnerships often work on the same principles as farmer’s co-ops, a few traders get together, share a pool of capital, share risks and share profits, just like members of an agricultural co-op do. Some of the swankiest property in New York is owned by billionaire members of co-ops. They do this because they are smart and don’t want a third party to profit at their expense. Co-ops have nothing to do with top-down state socialism.The chair of the Conservative Co-operative Movement will be Jesse Norman, the author of Compassionate Conservativism. In Latin-American countries political parties from across the spectrum often have a social-action wing that does good works. The thinking here is that state-controlled public services are too bureaucratic, too big and public service reform would be better served by harnessing the flexibility and dynamism of co-ops. Co-op schools would be a great start, with like-mind communities getting together to run schools responsive to the wishes of parents and pupils rather than Ed Balls’ diktats.

Labour Party Website Rips Off Taxpayer

This story might seem a bit trivial, but it neatly encapsulates the Brownie’s attitude to using taxpayers money for party political purposes. The most recent list includes; citizens juries making huge profits for Deborah Mattinson’s OLR so she can do “free” private polling for Gordon, the Smith Institute – Gordon’s private think-tank holding nearly two hundred meetings at No. 11 and the awarding to companies of over-priced government contracts whose directors coincidentally go on to do “free” work for the Labour party.

click graphic to enlarge
If you drill-down on pictures of Gordon on the Labour party website you find that they are attributed “Crown Copyright”.

click graphic to enlarge

It is possible that the Labour party has correctly paid for the pictures, Guido has been stonewalled on this, more likely somebody just used the official pictures paid for by the taxpayer for Labour’s private propaganda purposes. In the process stupidly forgetting to remove the “Crown Copyright” attribute. Separation of party and state is of course unnecessary when New Labour is “the political arm of the British people”. Nevertheless, somebody should ask Gus O’Donnell about this, since some taxpayers might object to paying for Labour’s photo ops…

Yawn, Gordon Visits a School

Gordon’s fondness for being pictured with and only taking questions from kids has oft been remarked upon. This week he is at it again:
  • Monday – Downing Street media grid photo op – visit a college, pictured with kids.
  • Thursday – Downing Street media grid photo op – visit a school, pictured with kids.
  • Don’t his media team have any better ideas? Shouldn’t Gordon be lying down in a dark room with calming music playing in the background?

    Chris Huhne’s campaign website had an article by the ex-Somerset Council leader, Sir Chris Clarke, backing Huhne and attacking Clegg as a crypto-Tory. It has now been edited out, but what is the betting that a quick-witted Labour staffer will have a copy to re-use at a later stage?

    Talking of betting, Guido is undecided, Betfair has Clegg as a massive favourite, Guido just to be contrarian has a few quid on Huhne at 3.8 as a value bet. Huhne could be the LibDem’s IDS, popular with grassroots activists, despised by the media and the parliamentary party. Nothing would surprise Guido from the LibDems.

    UPDATE : In the comments a co-conspirator quotes the deleted text thus “One candidate seems to want the Liberal Democrats to be another Tory party when most people in Britain don’t want the one there is already.”

    Hat-tip : Quaequam

    Blair : Peace in the Middle East?More Like a Piece of the Far East!

    Guido’s Hong Kong co-conspirator, David Chappell, tells him that Blair’s visit to talk to the the HK General Chamber of Commerce yesterday was not the only event from which he was banking an honarium. The topic of his keynote address being “global sustainable development and regional co-operation between business and government” or “how to pay the mortgage”.

    According to the Chinese website soufun.com, the powerful China Everbright Group also paid Tony $500,000 to take a VIP tour of its property site at Songshanhu. Tony, ever able to charm, thrilled his hosts by boasting that his sister-in-law is Chinese and his seven-year Leo is learning Putonghua. No doubt he tells them in Jerusalem the boy is learning Hebrew…

    A China Everbright staffer was reported as saying that Mr Blair will be given a Dongguan villa worth as much as 38 million yuan. Local financial gossip Lai See wonders what this might augur for the red-hot real estate market, “given Mr Blair’s notorious track record of buying at the peak and just before the fall.” How very dare they say that of our illustrious ex-PM…



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