Cameron was quick to offer fraternal congratulations to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. So far no word from Clegg, the Free Democrats are their sister party and sit with the LibDems in the European Parliament.
The German FDP have had their best showing in decades on a pro-business, tax-cutting manifesto which has driven the Social Democrats out of the government. Most LibDems seem disinterested, only LiberalVision is ecstatic. Makes you wonder if they prefer permanent opposition…
Oddly Guido doesn’t recall anyone in the media saying it was unreasonable to ask Cameron if he took drugs in the past, why is it suddenly unreasonable to ask questions about the use of drugs by a politician? Kevin Maguire seems to have had the most dramatic change of heart on the issue.
Maguire says in the Mirror today that Andy Marr crossed a line and was disrespectful. Yet in February 2007 Maguire listed “10 unanswered questions” about Dave’s spliff habits, claiming “The character of a future Downing Street tenant is of crucial importance” and “David Cameron’s lofty refusal to discuss what he took and when he took it is contemptible”. This from the man who obsessively refers to Cameron as “druggie Dave” in the Mirror and the New Statesman. Is this an example of the kind of phraseology that Gordon Brown now thinks shouldn’t enter the political lexicon?
The always smiling (and first openly gay) leader of the German Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle, is pencilled in to become the country’s new foreign minister, after the FDP won its best result in 60 years allowing the center-right Christian Democrats to kick the left-wing SDP out of their governing coalition. The FDP stood for election on a platform committed to promoting free markets and small government. Tax cuts are at the heart of his party’s election programme – he wants the top rate of tax to be cut from
The FDP is promising to cut taxes by up to €35 billion, citing 400 spending cut proposals for the budget, by January 1, next year he wants the basic tax-free threshold to be raised to €8,004 per person, which factoring in other allowances, would mean the average four-person family would only start paying taxes once its earnings exceed €40,000. He wants to financially incentivise taxpayers to have children, whereas in Britain we incentivise welfare claimants to have children. He wants to cut the top rate from 42% to 35%, flattening and simplifying taxes with a starting rate of 10%. George Osborne should note that he is committed to abolishing all federal inheritance taxes. The liberal FDP is allied with the LibDems in the European Parliament. Hopefully Cable and Clegg are taking note of how a liberal third party offering tax cuts succeeds.
The Speccie might have been started in the early 19th century but it is, as far as Guido knows, the first British magazine to become available on that 21st century icon the iPhone.
The Speccie App is available via iTunes (link) and gives seven days access for 59p.
This is the future of journalism, the sooner the mediasaurs grasp this truth the more likely they are to survive into the future.
You can’t say you have not been warned…
Andy Marr is quoted on the front page of the Daily Telegraph as saying: “I thought very carefully about asking the question. So many people in the Westminster village and beyond are talking about it that it seemed to me a fair question to ask.”
By way of counter-attack Peter Mandelson is throwing accusations about “We have seen out there on the Internet, the blogosphere, all these extreme right-wing people trying to put these smears and rumours about…” Of course in private emails, as we know from reports he never denied, Mandelson drips his own poison “Gordon has developed fewer ways of masking and managing his insecurities… He is a self-conscious person, physically and emotionally. He is not as comfortable with his own skin as, say, Tony was (is).” Hardly a ringing endorsement from Mandy of Brown’s state of mind.
It is the unchanged, firmly held and often stated view of this blog that Gordon is manifestly a weirdo. In the words of Alastair Campbell, the master of making the political personal, Gordon is “psychologically flawed”…
Note to editors : It was not this blog that was the first widely read publication to refer to the specific pill-popping-PM allegation. The laurels belong to the Indy’s Matthew Norman, it was only then followed up here (“Who Will Ask the Prime Minister?“). Andy Grice, the Indy’s political editor might want to correct his front page story accordingly and give credit where credit is due.