Breaking News from South Africa :
Boris Caught Playing On Vuvuzela Away from Home

Rumour has it that the Daily Mail has caught Boris playing on the vuvuzela away from home.  Best he remember to bring five of them home for the kids…

Rory Campbell’s Close Shave

Bad Al Campbell’s son Rory is, like many privileged Balliol Oxford* graduates before him, currently on a “gap yah” jaunt in Asia, doing what you do when you are young in Asia. Guido’s beach-dwelling-co-conspirator-in-a-smokey-haze reports Rory spends his days showing off his shaved legs to girls in the bars of Saigon. Apparently it helps the keen Oxford Blue cyclist perform better in his races.

A tip no doubt from his father, who would do anything to increase his rate of spin…

*Studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics

America’s Revenge

The Environment Agency have been called to Southampton to investigate a leak in a pipeline controlled by American oil giants Exxon (Esso to Brits). It is believed this Yankee oil could be seeping into the English channel. Will the coalition now embark on a sustained trashing of Exxon’s share price? Guido can’t quite see Dave going round demanding to know “whose ass to kick”.

UPDATE : Exxon have got in touch:

In view of your latest blog and comment that oil could be seeping into the English channel, please find attached a statement from Esso on the spill last night at Fawley marine terminal. The amount of oil released is estimated at 20 barrels.

Statement 5 – Oil Spill at Fawley Marine Terminal

Monday 21 June 2010

We can confirm that at 9.20 pm on Sunday 20 June there was a release of oil from a pipeline at the company’s Marine Terminal at Fawley.

The incident happened whilst a ship was being unloaded. The offloading was immediately stopped and the pipeline valve closed. We are collecting
any residual oil from the leak site until the pipe can be drained completely. The amount of oil released is estimated at 20 barrels.

We immediately deployed our local oil spill response procedures and informed the Harbour Master and the relevant environmental agencies.

Quote of the Day

Frank Field says…

“We should pay fathers to stay with their families, not pay them to live apart, which is what we do now. We have a tax and benefits system that discriminates against two parents, yet this is what most people aspire to. Under the existing system, it doesn’t pay people on low incomes to stay together as a couple if they have children or for single mothers to move in with new partners. An extra £1,000 or £2,000 a year would make a huge difference for people on low incomes. If that’s the difference between keeping families together, then it’s a poverty of imagination for people not to see it.”

We’re All Against This Together

It’s a strange day when the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the TUC are singing from the same hymn street. It’s even stranger when Guido and Ed Balls find themselves in agreement. The TPA have finally engaged in the battle this morning with a video attacking a prospective VAT rise. Guido can’t understand the morality of instigating a regressive tax rise that will mean more, not less, state dependency, leaving those who already suffer the most being even more broke. A hike in VAT to 20% would cost someone on average earnings £150 a year, that may not be much to millionaires like Dave, George or Nick, but those on lower incomes will definitely feel the pain.

The Coalition simply has no mandate to raise VAT, they were all asked repeatedly during the election campaign and replied they had “no intention” of raising VAT. Clegg actually campaigned against a VAT hike.

A 2.5% rise in VAT to continental levels is not worth the hassle, not when there are far more effective ways of saving money rather than further taxation. Why not start with the disastrous outsourcing of I.T. contracts? A study of government I.T. contracts made over the past 5 years shows that the taxpayer has ended up paying 40% or more above the market rates for outsourced services.  This means the public sector could save up to £6 billion on its annual I.T. spend of around £14 billion without affecting front line services. Overspending on government I.T. contracts alone is equal to 1% of GDP…

UPDATE: The TPA’s video:

Gove Smooths Yellow Feathers

The Liberal Democrat Local Government conference came together on Saturday afternoon. Not normally an event that would get a second look on this blog, councillors from around the country were there to listen to a keynote from Clegg. But in these ever-changing times which face in the crowd stuck out? None other that Michael Gove, who Guido understands was not speaking to the whole grouping, but there to butter up thirty key LibDem education types.

Telling them he “understood the concerns” within the Liberal Democrat ranks about academies and free schools, Gove was on a PR drive; “my principal concern is the poorest-performing children”,  “Local education authority will continue to have a strong role, guarantor and coordinator of admissions policy, standards and key services…”

Speculation is growing that the Nick and Dave show might do a swap and address each other’s conferences, could Gove have been a scouting party to test the LibDem water?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View



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Quote of the Day

The Donald asks what America wants from a President…

“I spent less, I won the most. Isn’t that what you want from your President for a little time?”

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