Thursday, July 31, 2008

Miliband Was Right About Blair

Miliband made his forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. YouGov confirm that Labour would be better off (25% v 32%) with voters if Blair was back in charge…

The thing Guido doesn’t understand is that 1 in 7 people believe Gordon is up to “getting on with job”. Who are these people? Where are they? Nobody really thinks Gordon is up to being PM do they?

Into the Killing Zone – "Kill or Be Killed"

Fraser Nelson reckons we have entered the killing zone “Miliband has crossed the Rubicon and is now in ‘kill or be killed’ territory. And he has plenty to do if he wants to avoid the latter option.”

The Weirdo versus the Wonk

Whips Telephone Canvassing

Things are really getting desperate, Guido hears the Labour whips office is ordering ministers to take part in a Mail on Sunday poll about Gordon Brown remaining leader – they are having to tell them to back Gordon.

Wonder if they have called Miliband?

Disquiet Grows About Hypocritical Guardian’s 4.99% Tax Rate

The Telegraph’s city pages have caught up this morning with Guido’s revelation yesterday that GMG, the owners of the Guardian, perfectly legally had an effective tax rate of 4.99% after taking advantage of a tax holiday last year despite making a headline profit of £300m from the disposal of 49.9% of Auto Trader.
The hypocrisy of them attacking Tesco for tax avoidance when they themselves pay an even lower rate of tax is laughable. (They are currently in the libel courts and look like they are going to lose to Tesco having already admitted their story was bollocks).

The Telegraph quoted Grant Thornton’s senior tax partner Mike Warburton saying: “Guardian Media Group has enjoyed a tax holiday courtesy of some very helpful rules introduced by their friend Gordon Brown. They are taking full advantage of the relief legally available to them, which all businesses should do. That’s fine, but don’t knock people who do exactly the same.”

This is almost as much fun as Polly hypocritically banging on about airplane carbon emissions before hopping on a flight to her Tuscan villa. See Richard Littlejohn’s fantastic bitch-slap here

Tots for Tots

Dave advocated a continental approach to familiarising children with alcohol, a small glass of wine at the dinner table was the example he used. Sensible and far better than teenagers learning about boozing from Barcardi Breezers behind the bike sheds. Melissa Kite shrilly calls it a blunder and fatuously asks
…why don’t the Tories propose giving away free Dubonnet and soda in schools during break time, or perhaps little bottles of vodka and red bull at lunch.

This error of extrapolation is possibly the result of a good lunch?

Guido’s mother was known to dip his dummy in brandy when he was teething. Look how he turned out…

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Guardian Underestimates Fat Cat Editor’s Package

Must be tricky reporting the compensation package of your fat cat boss – could be a career choice moment. Here is how Stephen Brook, press correspondent for the Guardian handles it:
GMG Execs’ Salaries Revealed

The Guardian editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, received total salary and benefits of £401,000 in the past financial year…

Which is odd because the annual report released this morning says Alan Rusbridger gets £401,000 in salary/fees and benefits in kind* plus £143,000 employer’s contribution to his pension. A total of £544,000 as reported on this blog this morning…

*The benefit in kind is not what you think, she denies it. Guido believes the minx.

Miliband Takes Aim

It appears the game is very definitely on. Team Brown is now fighting for survival in the only way it knows how – anonymous briefing. The Standard quotes “allies”, presumably Damian McBride, saying that Miliband is being “disloyal” and “self-serving” and of lacking “judgment and maturity”.

It goes on “People at least thought he was a serious figure and a grown-up politician but by allowing his head to be turned by this leadership nonsense, he has revealed a surprising lack of judgment and maturity.”

It was of course about this time 2 years ago that a not at all disloyal or self-serving crowd of Brownies sent a letter to Mr Blair telling him to go. Has anyone got a stamp?

Policy Exchange Hires Katy

Katy Taylor-Richards is leaving the Daily Express bunker to take over media relations for Policy Exchange under James Bethell. Both will be joining the growing think tank at the end of the month.

No news as yet as to who will be taking over from ex-boss Anthony Browne now he is off to do policy for Team Boris…

Nick Robinson : Politicians Are Two-Faced Liars

Nick Robinson is doing holiday cover on the Today show* and has been uncharacteristically candid on his blog. Nick says “that the public words of support for the PM often do not reflect the private misgivings I hear… It is the job of journalists to look for them but it is also our job to report the difference between talk and action.”

Great, go on, do your job then Nick. Tell us who is saying one thing to you and another to the public. Or is this a secret just for you and not the people who pay your wages? Who are the two-faced liars?

*Have to admit he is preferable to Jim Naughtie.

Guardian Lost £26.4 Million Last Year

Guardian News & Media (GNM), publishers of the Guardian and the Observer increased operating losses to £26.4m. The parent owners GMG would also have reported operating losses of £24.8 million were it not for the £334.8m sale of a 49.9% stake in Auto Trader, to Ronnie Cohen’s evil capitalist private equity vultures, Apax Partners. The online arm’s separate Guardian Unlimited identity has been dropped (it was more unkindly known by some as “Guardian Unlimited Losses”).

Incidentally the annual report reveals they paid £15.3 million in taxes last year despite claiming a group profit before taxation of £306.4 million after the sale of Auto Trader. GMG have always been adept at using the Scott Trust and other dodges to minimise tax charges. Guido congratulates them on achieving an effective tax rate 4.99%. Remember that the next time Polly Toynbee calls for higher taxes and everyone to pay a fair share.

Controversial Smith Institute trustee and Chairman of the Guardian Media Group Paul Myners warned: “We expect the uncertainty within the UK economy to have an impact on a number of the group’s revenue streams in the coming year.” Translation : we will lose more money next year.

Incidentally, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got by on a total compensation package of a mere £544000 up from £473,000 last year. A 15% increase as a reward for losing £26.4 million – no belt tightening for him.

Handy having your friends, rather than shareholders, decide your pay isn’t it?


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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