Wonk Watch : Feminist Myth-Busting

Buried deep in Steve Hilton’s policy grid from the days in opposition are those pesky issues that nobody wanted to talk about so they were kicked into the long grass. One issue was quotas for women on the boards of major companies. Right out of Harman’s playbook.

Funnily enough a new report by the Centre for Policy Studies hasn’t got much traction with the BBC and the Guardian. Dr Catherine Hakim from the LSE has launched a feminist myth-busting book that pauses to say, hold on, some women might want to stay at home and, dread to think it, different people want different careers. The CPS may be violently off message in these “progressive” times, that doesn’t make them wrong…

Quote of the Day

Cameron Direct:

“If you look at the effect of sales tax, it’s very regressive, it hits the poorest the hardest. It does. I absolutely promise you..it goes very very widely. VAT is a more regressive tax than income tax or council tax.”

Labour’s Lippy Paper Pincher

Guido has warned before that he is just like Santa, knowing who has been naughty or nice, but it turns out not all honourable Members were on their best behaviour in the run up to Christmas. It seems Labour’s replacement for Prezza in Hull, the uninspiring Karl Turner, is as ham-fisted and polite as his predecessor. On the morning train out-of-town on the Wednesday before Christmas Karl was in standard class, but thought he would help himself to a complimentary first class newspaper. Problems ensued when he was politely reminded not to steal by one of the train staff.

Witness reports say the usual “don’t you know who I am”“no” routine was deployed when the train manager had to intervene and “a very unpleasant scene” prevailed which saw Turner “draw himself up to his full 5’6 ins and launched into a tirade of abuse against the man”. Not quite up there with punching a farmer…

The wobbler apparently continued on the platform after arrival at Hull station, with Turner claiming he wanted a written apology from the train company. “A self-satisfied, obnoxious, patronising bully who can afford a quid for The Times” was one of the more delicate descriptions of his behaviour. Karl is avoiding talking to Guido about the incident, he apparently doesn’t like to be bothered when travelling. He prefers to catch up on the news. Look out Hull Trains staff…

Let’s All Go To Monbiot’s

If you ever need reassuring that the green movement is populated by something other than looneyleft, you better look away now. In this morning’s Guardian George Monbiot advocates that the rich should have their homes forcibly opened up to solve housing shortages and those that refuse be punished:

“It needs to be researched, debated, fought over. It needs to turn political. I can understand why neither the government nor the opposition dares to think about it: none of the major parties wants to pick a fight with wealthy householders. So it’s up to us to give them no choice, by turning under-occupation into an issue they can’t avoid. It cannot be left to the market, as the market works for the rich.”

Guido would like to offer Monbiot’s country pile in Machynlleth, Wales to the public first. All together now… Let’s all go to Monbiot’s, let’s all go to Monbiot’s, la la la la…

UPDATE: Mark Wallace does the maths and Ed West at The Telegraph has given George two barrels – “New year, new fascist-egalitarian proposal from the Guardian”.


How to Avoid the VAT Hike

There are many ways the government could have avoided hiking VAT and stuck to their pre-election plans. They could have cut spending a further 2% rather than the mere 3.3% they are planning to shave off spending. The best solution to unfunded over-spending is to reduce spending, not raise taxes. The UK’s gross contribution to the EU budget exceeds the expected income from the VAT hike…

Both the LibDems and the Tories knew how bad the deficit was before the election and yet both said they had no plans to raise VAT, yet it was raised in the first budget. So what changed?



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Quote of the Day

Former Miliband guru Arnie Graf reveals Labour’s disconnect with the working class:

“On one of my trips to the U.K. in the autumn of 2013, I bumped into one of Ed’s strategists in Portcullis House. He asked me if I was assisting the staff on Ed’s trip that was to take place in a few days to one of the regions. I told him that I did not have knowledge of his planned trip.

He told me that Ed was going to give a talk at the region’s annual fund raising dinner and that prior to the dinner he had invited the media to join him at a local coffee shop to listen to a conversation he planned to have with a minimum wage worker. The point of the conversation was to show how difficult it was for a minimum wage worker to get on in life.

There was only one problem. No one had been able to locate a minimum wage worker for Ed to talk with.”

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