Tuesday, August 5, 2008

He’s Changin’, Liberals Losing Belief

“Change you can believe in” was the slogan, now he has sewn up the nomination, gone on his world tour and moved from being the nominee presumptive to the presumptuous nominee, he himself is changing. “The One” is moving right-wards to win over what John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge memorably called The Right Nation.*

Huffington Post, online bible of the liberal political class in America, is getting nervous. The front-page is no longer confident, more full of whines and excuse making. One article highlights Obama’s abandonment of his left-wing primary held policy positions:

Obama now emphasizes his commitment to strong families and heartland values, “Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses.” In this yet unwritten chapter of his next autobiography, Obama tells us he is the candidate of “welfare to work” who supports our troops and “cut taxes for working families.” The shift in his political personae has been startling. Obama has moved right so far and so fast, he could end up McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick.

General-election Obama now billboards his doubts about affirmative action. He has embraced the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption saying, “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon…everything.” He tells his party “Democrats are not for a bigger government.” Oil drilling is a consideration. His FISA vote and abandonment of public campaign finance introduce us to an Obama of recent invention. And as he abandons his old identity for the new, breeding disenchantment among his formerly passionate left-of-center supporters and, equally, doubts among the center he courts, he risks becoming nothing at all, a candidate who is everything and nothing in the same moment.

Obama looks increasingly likely to unravel by November…

*The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America

Just Like "The Thick of It"

This just in from a co-conspirator’s Crackberry:

I am en route on the 3.18 from Hull to London with two loud mouthed Labourites. Ivan Lewis, [Health PuSS] and his [researcher?].

They are deciding whether to go for a quote based on the Bevan quote that Tories are lower than vermin

“Calling Bob at the Mirror on the rats and hospitals story. Will you tell me if you think this response if too churlish for the Mirror… When Bevan founded the NHS, he said Tories lower than vermin, I wouldn’t describe them like this but their approach to cleaner hospitals..”

His assistant, “If Bevan said that – that is the bollocks stuff”

Guido’s co-conspirators are everywhere, and they are laughing at you politicians.

UPDATE : Guido’s Crackberry wielding co-conspirator emails again to say Ivan Lewis and his companion spent much of the journey slagging of Alistair Darling as useless, his Today outing this morning was particularly ridiculed.

UPDATE II 6 Aug : Looks like the Mirror didn’t use their “Tory vermin” quote.

Harriet Advocates Ageism

Vince Knows He Called it Wrong on Northern Rock

When Northern Rock was nationalised, Vince Cable cheekily told Gordon the government could have had his advice for free, unlike the advice for which they paid millions to Goldman Sachs. The Commons chamber laughed. Vince said it was the “best way” to protect taxpayers: “After five months, the Government are now in the best position to ensure the repayment of the taxpayer’s money.” Guido said “bollocks”.

The Tories sent mixed messages, essentially they didn’t want to nationalise it (they are not that left-wing) but they didn’t want to say “put it into administration” (John Redwood was the most coherent Tory voice on the issue here and here).

Cable today says that he knew all along that it was iffy:

“These figures confirm the suspicion, held by many of us, that the Government and the regulators were badly deceived by Northern Rock’s former managers when they agreed to bail it out on the basis that it was a good bank with a good loan portfolio… I am encountering cases of people being repossessed as a result of deeply foolish loans and the bank and the taxpayer who now own Northern Rock are having to absorb the resulting losses”

So why did Vince happily congratulate Gordon on nationalising the Rock? Socialising the losses and privatising the profits is not a good deal for the taxpayers. Vince is currently on a damage limitation tour of newsrooms salvaging his reputation for sound judgement…

Tory Candidate Pleads Guilty to Harrassment of LibDems

Councillor Ian Oakley, the Conservative PPC for Watford, today pleaded guilty to five charges of criminal damage and two of harrasment. He also asked for 68 other offences to be taken into account, making a total of 75 offences.

Pictured here standing behind Ming, the LibDems were on the receiving end of most of Oakley’s activities, which crossed the line by a long chalk. Although it was actually Vince Cable who stabbed Ming in the back in the end…

UPDATE : Danny Finkelstein admits that at the final selection committee he “thought Watford hadn’t necessarily selected the best future MP but they had chosen the one who seemed most assured, self confident and politically mature. I thought him a very stable, solid choice even if he didn’t do all that much for me.” The Fink, in his judgement, also thinks promising tax cuts is a vote loser for the Tories.

*He has quit as Conservative candidate and left the Conservative group on Hillingdon Council.

+++ Gove Took £2,000 From NUTS TV Production Company +++

Told you this moralising will come back to bite you:

We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing….”

The NUTS TV production company gave his constituency office £2,000, all in all Red Fig Limited has given a total of £13,500 to the Conservative Party.

Guido has called, emailed and even texted the Govemeister personally to ask : What are you doing Michael?

UPDATE : “No comment, thank you” is the polite official response from his office.

Hat-tip : Recess Monkey

Northern Rock Sinking Taxpayers

The Old Labour backbench was cheering and singing the Red Flag when the enabling legislation to nationalise Northern Rock was passed. Guido said at the time it was the return of seventies socialism.

Now we have a situation where £100 billion of taxpayer’s money has been bet on the UK property market as it goes south. Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling repeat the mantra that the public’s money is secured against the bank’s assets. The bank’s assets are what exactly? The equity in mortgagor’s homes belongs not to the bank, it belongs to the homeowners. The only properties Northern Rock has an interest in are it’s own branches and offices. The only homes it owns are those where it forecloses, usually and increasingly at a loss due to negative equity (remember all those 125% offers).

Northern Rock is selling off any assets of value to pay down the government debt. Essentially the government is asset stripping what it can and like many an asset stripper before it is sacking staff. Unlike capitalist vultures it will not make a profit, the government will be left with billions of bad debts. This half-year’s losses are £585 million, £20 per taxpayer. Mortgage arrears have doubled, repossessions are up another 50% on already bad figures – and the worst is yet to come. The Rock’s bad debts will be borne by taxpayers.

This Labour poster from 2005 will come back to haunt them at the next election…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to point out that adding the debt for equity swap (which the taxpayer will never see back) to the losses gives £3,585,000,000. Divide that by 28 million taxpayers and you get £128 per taxpayer, or some 70 pence per day so far. What would you rather spend the 70 pence a day on?


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