Monday, February 28, 2011

Miliband Think Tank Donor’s Tax Shirking

In Ed Miliband’s big speech this morning about the cost of living he said:

The task is to create a more prosperous capitalism…

It seems Ed has been converted to the cause of capitalism since becoming leader, despite having called himself a socialist many times over the course of his leadership campaign. And with talk of a “fairer” capitalism, presumably he meant things like taxing the financial services sector in a “progressive” way?

The Resolution Foundation, the venue for Miliband’s speech, is bankrolled by Clive Cowdery, an insurance tycoon and Labour donor. He spoke alongside Ed today to launch the foundation’s latest report. Cowdery sold Resolution Plc in 2007 for £5 billion, earning himself close to £150 million. As is the way with these things, he has based his company offshore in Guernsey, to minimise tax exposure, like The Guardian does. The company is effectively run from London through the limited liability partnership Resolution Operations LLP, the company made £1,189 million in net profit. If it was domiciled in the UK corporation tax on these profits could have amounted to £333 million. Miliband said:

I want to begin by paying tribute to the work of the Resolution Foundation… Politics today is being conducted in the shadow of the financial crisis: the argument about the deficit and how to return the economy to growth. But what your work is showing is that we cannot settle for a return to business as usual: life before the crisis hit.

That deficit is not helped by Resolution shirking one-third of a billion pounds in taxes. Gordon Brown’s former deputy chief of staff and economic adviser, Gavin Kelly, runs the foundation. So Ed’s call for a new way of doing things was made to friends, donors, tax-shirkers and long-term colleagues…

13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate a coalition at the same time. The markets wouldn’t have taken kindly to that…

Tectonic Plates are Moving for Bercow

As MPs return to Westminster today after their half-term holidays the Speaker might be well advised to reflect on the fact that half the PoliticsHome panel of insiders think Bercow won’t be Speaker by the end of the Parliament, and after reports that Ministers are ready to see him removed punters are now giving him a 25% chance of going this year. Watch out for procedural machinations…

Quote of the Day

Without any trace of irony Chuka Umunna says…

“We’ve had enough of people going into politics for self-aggrandisement.”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Clegg Set To Be Humiliated by the Miner’s Daughter

The deputy Prime Minister (when he remembers) is set to be humiliated in the Barnsley by-election because, according to a survey in the Mail, the LibDems are looking likely to come fourth after coming second in the general election.

UKIP’s Jane Collins was ‘born and bred’ in Yorkshire, raised in Pontefract, the daughter of a miner and is the blonde who is set to land a bombshell on Clegg’s party.

Dan Jarvis (Labour) will cruise home with a wacking 63%, James Hockney (Conservative) will stay in double figures on 13%, Jane Collins (UKIP) on 9% could push Dominic Carman (Liberal Democrats) into a humiliating fourth place next to the BNP and other assorted loonies. The survey data shows the most former LibDem voters switching back to Labour. This will give Clegg party management problems with the left of the LibDems…

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Miliband’s Brain Marrying His Mouth

One of Ed Miliband’s key advisers, Greg Beales has popped the question to Katie Myler, Ed’s former spokesgirl and daughter of News of the Screws editor Colin Myler.

Katie unfortunately left Ed’s employ under a cloud after accusing Cameron of behaving like a pimp. Labour sources are jokingly calling it the “Big Fat Labour Wedding”. Which is a little unfair given Beales has lost a lot of weight. Maybe they could make it a double wedding with Ed and Justine…

Centre-Right Triumphs in Irish Elections

The Irish election results (and Guido should caveat this by saying on the basis of RTE’s first preference exit poll) show that left-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough with Labour, Sinn Fein and the Greens combined getting 33% of the vote, less than Fine Gael 36%. Adding the Fianna Fail vote the parties of the centre-right got 51% and can count on support from many of the independents.

This will stiffen the resolve of George Osborne to persevere with spending cuts, Fine Gael ran on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and Lansley style reform of healthcare provision to a more marketised system. Fine Gael are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and promising that income tax will not be increased. The Irish result shows that voters understand the need for spending cuts and deficit reduction.

Saturday Seven-Up

7upBy far the most interesting story of the week for Guido was the revelation that £1 million of the Yes to AV campaign’s funding originated from a firm that provides electronic voting services – yet the Yes campaign claim there is no intention to bring in counting machines. The denials from LibDems have been very noisy and unconvincing, Guido doesn’t believe the No campaigns claim that it will cost £250 million, if past IT contracts are anything to go by it’ll cost £500 million and be 10 years late. What first attracted ERS Ltd, the firm providing electronic voting services, to the complexity of the AV system?

Last week saw 77,942 visitors make 228,259 visits to view 371,793 pages. Birthday boy Ed Balls and the offshore holdings and hedge fund investments of the Guardian featured heavily:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Friday, February 25, 2011

London’s Working Class Prefer Boris to Ken

The latest YouGov polling [pdf] on the London mayoral voting intentions shows Boris leads Ken 44% to 41% amongst the “C2DE” working class voters, even though Labour has a 12% lead nationally amongst the same group of voters in a general election. Ken is clearly the Islington Guardianista candidate…

Downing Street should be worried – the failure to attract working class voters stopped Dave from winning last year. On these numbers Boris could have done it…


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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