Monday, March 21, 2011

Murphy’s Law

When Wee Dougie stands up there is something about him you just cannot quite take seriously. When monotone Jim Murphy stands up, you are normally asleep before such a judgement can be passed. The dour Scot, who makes Gordon look like Cicero, hasn’t had a very good day. When doing the rounds of Millbank this morning he dutifully stood by the government’s intervention and held his tongue if he had any complaints. It’s odd that Labour, and their sympathisers in the media, aren’t using Tom Baldwin’s “Tory-led” government this week.

Sky’s new political correspondent Sophy Ridge tweeted a few minutes later:

Anyone with an eye on the clock would have immediately worked out which Shadow Cabinet Minister had just walked out of the studios. If Murphy wanted to put Fox back in his box why didn’t he just say so? If he wanted to try to politicise the issue, why was he too afraid to put his name to it? Murphy ended up having to out himself as the the source after a hoohaa, on his normally neglected blog of all places. Hardly a master of the dark arts. Any credibility he might have had in his brief has been shot to bits.

Order of the OTT for Bob Crow

Trade union fat cat Bob “lets tax email” Crow has  been at the type-writer again. An RMT press release said today:

“Government plans to slash already inadequate health and safety inspections will give the green light to employers to cut corners and cause more workplace deaths and injuries…When ConDem ministers talk about easing regulation what they mean is removing it, and when it comes to health and safety that is a charter for death and injury.”

The nonsensical hyperbole peaks with:

“The message that the government is sending with these cuts is that nothing, even the lives and health of working people, should stand in the way of profit, and these plans are part of the government’s general attack on working people.”

Everyone got the memo? The ConDems are killers.

Time Called on Andrew Pierce

This week’s guest publication is Hampstead’s local paper the Ham and High. Last week it had an intriguing story about the famously convenient for the heath gay pub the King William IV branching out and encouraging a more mixed crowd:

As a local celebrity resident and patron, the Mail’s Andrew Pierce got a quote in the story:

‘Mr Pierce, 50, said: “I don’t know if it’s true that its gay identity is being diluted because I haven’t been in for months, but if it is I’d be very surprised and disappointed.'”

Haven’t been in for months, eh, Andy? And why is that?

Could it be the fact that he is, to quote the landlady of the pub, “banned for life”. She slapped on the ban a few months ago after a series of unpleasant drunken incidents, including “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour towards other men”, “foul language” and drunken rants at an ex-boyfriend. The landlady, Elaine Loughran, tells Guido that “all of the staff know not to serve him…”

Labour’s Offshore High Net Worth Fundraiser

At last count 88% of Labour donations came from the unions, up from 36% in the same period a year ago. You would be right to think Miliband might be targeting High Net Worther’s personal donations for some big money to reduce his dependency on the brothers. They’ve found plenty of innovative ideas in the past; “loans” that never have to be repaid, peerages for sale…

Reliable senior Labour sources say that Development team staffer, Amy Fowler, she of targeting cancer sufferers with scaremongering leaflets fame, is in charge of bringing in the big cheques from High Net Worth millionaires. Our source told us Amy was soliciting millions for Labour from Estonia. Guido put a call in to Labour HQ:

GF: Hi can I speak to Amy Fowler please…
LPHQ: Err… she doesn’t work here anymore.
GF: Oh really?
LPHQ: Yeah she’s moved on
GF: Oh…Where’s she gone?
LPHQ: Err… Estonia?
GF: Oh right. What’s she doing there? I thought she was still working for the Party?
LPHQ: Yeah well she sort of does. Well she does. But it’s on like a freelance basis…

Apparently her boyfriend moved to Tallinn and Deputy General Secretary Chris Lennie has, to the consternation of other Labour staffers, let Amy carry on doing her job from there.  Political fund raisers often work on commission. Guido hopes she will be paying her UK taxes for the work originating here rather than at the more attractive 22% flat tax rate in the Baltic state…

Quote of the Day

Scandal is Back

From behind the pay-wall, the seasoned Sunday Times stingers have blown the doors off three cases of old-fashioned bribery in the European Parliament. Despite scalping one MEP from Austria, there has been very little follow-up. The ease at which these Members were willing to table amendments for cash and the channels by which they were paid, point to systematic and wide-spread corruption. As Dan Hannan said, Labour’s own Cash for Amendments scandal pales in comparison and this blows the duck house out of the water. However there is the inevitable “it’s just Europe” dearth of coverage.

Closer to home we learn that MPs here are to have IPSA’s rules relaxed. Claiming for second homes again if you a London MP? Why not! Also Illsley could be out in eight weeks and guess what, government plans to freeze MPs pay is facing a backbench rebellion. All very new politics.

Rich and Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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