Ken’s office denies it, Chris Bryant says Ken admitted it to him. Today’s biggest story is KipGate. You decide…
IPPR’s Nick Pearce complains the Chancellor resorted to..
“…standbys familiar from the Labour days: A tax avoidance clampdown, aiming to raise £1 billion, a windfall tax in the form of supplementary charges on oil and gas production to raise £2 billion and a stealth tax, by changing the indexing of tax allowances – which raises £1 billion by 2015/16.”
- Job providing corporations.
- Internet Service Providers.
- Business start-ups in northern cities.
- Sheffield and the “Nick Clegg Memorial Enterprise Zone”.
- Local councillors and their £100m to spend on potholes.
- Charities – 10% death tax cut if money is given away.
- Private jet users.
- Tax avoiders.
- Councils and their frozen tax.
- Tree huggers – green belt planning permission up for auction.
- Sleepy Ken Clarke.
- George Osborne’s throat.
- Whoever came up with last year’s growth figures.
- Ed Miliband’s press team who sent the speech out before Red Ed had floundered through it with whole sections changed.
Guido is gutted he missed the 16/1 Ladbrokes were offering on old Ken not making it through the speech without a bit of shut-eye.
Guido noted last week that Denis MacShane was still sitting in the core rump of Labour MPs, despite having the whip removed. It seems someone has had a quiet word with him though, as today he is sat far away from his party and plonked himself with the nationalists and other opposition types. And rightly so…
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James Sturman, convicted fraudster and ex-MP David Chaytor’s QC, argued in the Court of Appeal yesterday that he could not receive a fair trial because of media scrutiny. The briefed claimed that the 18 month sentence failed to take into account the public vilification Chaytor had been subjected to in some quarters of the media, and particularly in the blogosphere.“Calls for his death, pictures of him mocked up being hung – it really was quite a horrendous time” said the silk.
The judge didn’t agree and refused to reduce the thieving bastard’s sentence. Oink oink!
The word has gone out from Labour to moan about the number of Budget leaks that have happened. It’s easier than offering up real arguments. MPs and the dutiful Twitterati have fallen in line and are evoking the spirit of Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor who resigned in 1947 after briefing the Lobby before his Budget speech. But when did that precedent go out the window?
The BBC noted back in 2008:
“During former Chancellor Gordon Brown’s time at Number 11, he installed a system of briefing for the press around his pre-Budget Statement.”
In 2005 the entire Budget made it into the first edition of the Standard before Gordon had even started his speech. Amazing how quickly a party can develop a new set of principles once it is in opposition…
UPDATE: Leaks to Labour are of course in the public interest: