Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grand Theft Auto U-Turn – Hand-Brake Skid Likely

“We’re moving forward” is one of those phrases Gordon likes to monotone to reporters questioning the government’s lack of direction and drive. The policy on taxing old-bangers retrospectively is looking like a car-crash that is going to be the subject of a niftily executed U-turn by Alastair Darling. Hundreds of truckers lay siege to London’s arteries, 30 Labour MPs have signed a rebellious EDM. The government would be crazy not to execute a reversal of policy…

 

UPDATE : A co-conspirator writes, “Retrospective taxes? OK by me if we get retrospective voting.”

+++ Source : Hillary SpeechwritersPreparing Concession Speech +++

.. and no – the source is not Drudge – a mid-level Hillary campaign source.

Johann Hari : Not Bananas, Just Drugged

Johann Hari has an article today in the Indy arguing that since Gordon Brown is going to lose the election anyway, he might as well go down with all guns blazing. Liberated from the need or indeed possibility of winning an election, he can swing madly to the left. Hari reckons Gordon should apologise for Iraq to the Iraqis and in doing so shame the Americans. Then Gordon should put up tax rates to 60%, price big family cars off the road, and as a finale, fly in Iraqi refugees from Syrian and Jordanian camps. Hari advocates all this political Hari kari for Gordon with the cheerful words “If you are going to lose, Gordon, lose with style”.

Gordon will no doubt be chuffed to bits with the, errrm, sensible advice Johann offers. This follows on from Hari’s article last Thursday; Why bananas are a parable for our times, in which we learnt about the CIA’s use of the banana to fight communism. On Sunday Hari wrote an article entitled;Are GM bananas the answer? Apparently if genetically modified they will overcome “the current bananapocalypse” caused by mega-corporations because “we have to muddle through now as best we can, trying to keep six billion people alive.”

Guido is a teensy weensy bit concerned and called Hari to ask – “Are you on drugs?” It turns out that he was but he is alright now. He was necking Modafinil earlier this month, a stimulant cognitive enhancer that is a “wakefulness promoting agent” used to treat narcolepsy, depression, schizophrenia and fatigue related conditions.

We touched on Xanax use – which he pops before hopping on a flight – Guido suggested that based on his own experience some drugs seem positively subtle at first but manifest themselves in ways not immediately recognisable by the user, but easily identified by others. No, no, no says Hari, with Modafinil he “was just able to glide into a state of deep, cool, effortless concentration.”

“It was as if I had opened a window in my brain and all the stuffy air had seeped out, to be replaced by a calm breeze… The next morning I woke up and felt immediately alert. Normally it takes a coffee and an hour to kick-start my brain; today I’m ready to go from the second I rise. And it continues like this for five days: I inhale books and exhale articles effortlessly…”

Not at all bananas…

MPs to Voters : "We Are Worth More Than You"

The recommendation that MPs get a tax-free £23,000 lump sum payment is a piss-take. This is equivalent to an extra £40,000 on their salary, which together with the pay rise they want will bring their package up to £115,000 plus gold-plated non-contributory index-linked pensions. Their reasoning is that the expense fiddles have become too embarrassing and they realise they will no longer be able to get away with them now they are out in the open.

Effectively they want the housing allowance fiddle to continue without the hassle of having to justify the expenses. No doubt some will say we have to pay them six-figure salaries if we want to attract candidates. Guido has never bought into that line of argument. The fact is that the supply of wannabee MPs is massive, hundreds apply for selection for safe seats when they become available. If there was a lack of wannabee greasy-pole climbers this would be plausible, there is however an abundant over-supply of those willing to join the parasitical political class. The reason? It is a cushy desirable, overly prestigious, over-paid job. Plenty of people do much harder, no prestige, lower paid jobs. MPs have a sense of self entitlement way out of line with their real worth.Average earnings at £23,244 are less than a quarter what MPs propose to pay themselves. Most people can apparently run a household on a quarter of what MPs claim to need to run two households – which suggests they are overpaid for what need compared to the rest of us. They are supposed to be public servants, yet too many of them are like the husband and wife expense fiddling team Mr & Mrs Keen-on-expenses. In it to maximise their profit at the public’s expense…

We have serving soldiers in war zones on the poverty line, their starting rate of tax just doubled. MPs award themselves £400 a month for groceries when they are in their cosy Westminster homes, those same MPs voted for soldiers to have to pay for their own rations. Children in state schools are fed on 50p per diem, MPs claim £20 per diem. MPs get their snouts deep into the public trough way ahead of more deserving children and soldiers. So much for politicians putting the public interest first…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


VOTER-RECALL
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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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