July 28th, 2011

Hilton’s Half-Decent Idea

Steve Hilton is coming under all sorts of fire for some mad blue-sky ideas he may or may not have thrown around in Downing Street. The FT are running with the fact that he suggested cutting maternity leave, job centres and pondered why the PM had to obey the law. Though the article is somewhat weakened by the concession that “the shaven-headed policy guru’s friends admit that three-quarters of his ideas fail to get off the drawing board – to the relief of colleagues.”

There is all sorts of speculation flying around about who leaked it, the knives seem to be out for  Hilton again, and this article looks suspiciously like the revenge of Sir Humphrey. The theory that this was Steve himself flying a kite can’t be discounted though. Amongst the bait, upon which the opposition have dutifully bit, there was a gem though:

“When Mr Hilton was looking at ways to cut the deficit, he suggested replacing hundreds of government press officers with a single person in each department who would convey all necessary information via a blog.”

Guido thinks this is a fantastic idea. Imagine all those efficiency savings. If three-quarters of Hilton’s ideas go in the bin, this one, along with his Eurosceptic conversion should be the last to go…


135 Comments

  1. 1
    Simon Lewis says:

    Very worrying that an idiot like this is at the heart of government. To even think about suspending consumer protection laws is the sort of nonsense we’d expect from the 1930s shambles of governments and to cut maternity leave and pay, well, that one isn’t even worth discussing.

  2. 2
    Ah! Monika says:

    Wake up Billy

  3. 3
    Blah says:

    Blah blah, something about Hilton.

    More importantly, where the hell is Billy?

  4. 4
    angelnstar says:

    http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/barnstorming-olympics-speech-by-boris-enchants-londoners/

    A barnstorming speech by Boris yesterday had Londoners in stitches. Video here.

  5. 5
    nell says:

    Anything that cuts those costly government non-jobs created by the last profligate labour government is welcome.

  6. 6
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    He’s a sort of Tory John Birt isn’t he?

  7. 7
    poirot of the yard says:

    so now we know….Billy Bowden IS Steve Hilton, and he’s too upsert to comment

  8. 8
    We are all in togather says:

    Pictured: Inside Camerons’ £9,500-a-week Italian countryside holiday villa… and unlike the Blairs, they’re paying!

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019368/Pictured-Inside-Camerons-10-000-week-Italian-countryside-holiday-villa.html#ixzz1TO1Ex4R4

  9. 9
    Tax Payer says:

    Anybody can save money with slash and burn tactics.

    Surely the skill is in doing it while maintaining essential services and/or regulations?

    There are, however, some regulations that should be scrapped immediately.

  10. 10
    Christopher Huhne MP, father, husband, lover and careful driver says:

    I would like to say sorry to Vicky, my children, the police, Nick, my constituents and God. If that is what it takes to stop me from going to prison.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    He was posting hard yesterday, even for him. Must still be in bed dreaming up new witticisms.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    “They are flying out on a budget airline and are sharing the grand 11,000-euro-a-week mansion on the Petrolo Estate with two families who are old friends.”

    Brooks and Andy?

  13. 13
    Anonymous says:

    We want Billy,We want Billy.We want Billy

  14. 14
    Rocket Science says:

    If you can’t afford to have time off work to have a baby.. don’t have a baby!

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    By the end of this year there will be number of changes in this country. I don’t know whether it will be good or bad but we will have a new order in this this country.

  16. 16
    oregonbird says:

    Nothing any country needs more than hundreds of middle-management drones on the dole. Now, they wouldn’t get preferential treatment. Certainly not. Its not as if thousands of lesser beings wouldn’t find themselves short-changed and tossed off to make room for the once-lords-and-masters.

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    i see Roy Hatersley has said northerners have bigger brains than the southern softies in the mail today.
    Shame they dont use them when voting at elections.

  18. 18
    Civil Service Human Resources Dept says:

    New Position: a single person in each department who will convey all necessary information via a blog.

    Salary: £60,000 – £70,000 + pension, 8 weeks holiday, travel, medical benefits.

    Successful applicant will have a degree in Media Studies. Excellent IT skills and written English are essential. Unless you’re an immigrunt, in which case don’t worry about IT, literacy or English skills (and we can probably make the salary higher to compensate you for finding the job difficult).

  19. 19
    Ah! Monika says:

    So far as I can see only the Independent mentions hackgate/Morgan today. Wonder why?

  20. 20
    Ah! Monika says:

    Veils preferred.

  21. 21
    Chris Huhne says:

    I’m comin’ huhne, I’ve done my time

  22. 22
    bergen says:

    As the part owner of a business, maternity leave causes chaos but we really have to keep it.

    Without it, the hard working 20/30 something couples will simply not have children and their offspring are the most likely to be the law abiding,taxpaying population of the future-very different from those from Brown’s welfare underclass.We can’t afford to lose them.

  23. 23
    smoggie says:

    Because nobody south of Watford Gap votes Labour. Or at least not until they move the BBC to Manchester.

    Two nonsense statements: one from him and one from you.

  24. 24
    Pavarotti Tamagotchi says:

    “Anything that cuts those costly government non-jobs”

    Never mind cuts, if we had a half-decent government for the last 14 months, by now there’d be no government non-jobs remaining.

  25. 25
    Peter Hook says:

    Don’t be daft, never going to happen.

  26. 26
    Tax Payer says:

    Are we really so bankrupt, both financially and morally, that we cannot afford maternity leave?

    Having children isn’t about providing the factory drones of tomorrow.

  27. 27

    How about we handle the whole Lobby apparatus along these lines too? Transparent, cheaper to deal with and all on public record.

  28. 28
    The voice of unreason says:

    Taxpayer, I would bet my tax dollars on a lot of the jobs having nothing to do with essential services!

  29. 29
    Violins please. says:

    People coped OK before it existed. You are just too soft. Stiffen up man.

  30. 30
    Ah! Monika says:

    If only one partner worked, unemployment would drop, house prices would drop and children would stop beating-up their teachers.
    Remember the 40s till the 70s when mums actually looked after their kids.

  31. 31
    Computer Says No says:

    “hard working 20/30 something couples”

    Are you serious? Anyone born since 1973 who went through British state education is unemployable.

  32. 32
    Anonymous says:

    we already have on e NOW

    the telegraph has an interesting article about MP Djanogly hire detectives to spy on his constituents …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8666881/Minister-Jonathan-Djanogly-faces-investigation-over-blagging-by-detectives.html

    funny just as Wiggin has sent the police round to one of his constituents ….

    what are we paying these bastards for????

  33. 33
    Nod and a wink says:

    Did Siralen tip Piersy off about Viglen?

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Rupes and James

  35. 35
    Burnley boy says:

    so you say most northern people dont vote Labour.
    do imigrunts count as well here in the north

  36. 36
    Maximus says:

    It made it onto R4 Toady program, shortly after 7.00am, with the Man with Diction of a Donkey pedaling it somewhat softly I thought compared to the last couple of weeks. No h/t to Guido, as you’d expect from the Bogus Broadcasts Cabal.

  37. 37
    FT loves big deficits, high debt and inflation says:

    The state is a force 4 good. It should be big and interventionist, using its power arbitrary and foster benefit dependency and high government employment as symptoms of clientelism. One press offcier per department does not comply with the FT’s view on the state, which is the same as that of our ex-colleague Balls, who ran budget deficits when the economy boomed. The Met ‘gets it’, with about 65 press officers, rather than 60 for the whole government. Unfortunately the Met hired 10 officers from NotW rather than from Mr Morgan’s labour supporting Mirror.

    PS Write-up in Guardian today about Mili’s nose job makes too transparent a mockery of the operation, i.e. Mili indeed had the operation for his voice. Be prepared for Mili’s voice in future sounding like that of US House speaker Boehner; well, maybe one octave higher.

  38. 38
    John Ward says:

    If you DO have the nuclear bomb hovering over Morgan the Pirate’s head, can you get on with it?
    Obliged –

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/hackgate-the-morgan-denials-are-what-you-might-call-rebekah-coulson/

  39. 39
    Biffo says:

    I used to think Hilton was just a weird hippy with a chronic case of marketingspeak, but he is turning out to be a better Conservative than Cameron.

  40. 40
    Mrs Naan Bread says:

    Plis kip dis jib for my hisbund.

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry Cameron might share the room with you.

  42. 42
    Anonymous says:

    Plus every Friday off and an office that points towards Mecca.

  43. 43
    Henry Ford says:

    Piers Morgan said he was touched by the lovely messages left on Amy Winehouse’s voicemail.

  44. 44
    nell says:

    You can’t just sack people you know. There’s all that humanrights legislation (admittedly put in place to keep bliar’s odious wife in pin money), employment protection laws and equal opportunities twaddle put in place by hattyharpic.

    There was one thing labour excelled at and that was messing up the country and then putting laws in place to ensure that it stayed that way!

  45. 45
    Tax Payer says:

    But isn’t state support for families a sign of a civilised society? It shows that we value that institution?

    However, I’m also happy with no maternity pay and much lower taxes.

  46. 46
    Maximus says:

    Even one lobbyist is one too many. They are all a distortion of democracy. Their mere existence proves that government is bigger than it needs to be.

  47. 47
    That's News says:

    “When Mr Hilton was looking at ways to cut the deficit, he suggested replacing hundreds of government press officers with a single person in each department who would convey all necessary information via a blog.”

    Clearly, Mr Hilton know fuck-all about how journalists and publications work.

    If I need a statement from an official spokesman about some particular aspect of government policy from, for example, The Highways Agency, I do not want some pillock directing me to a blog that is filled with irrelevant shite.

    Hilton has never had a real job. Not that it shows…

  48. 48
    Suffering taxpayer says:

    Maternity leave is a nightmare for small businesses. My daughter works in the NHS, so that is OK – she recently had maternity leave and followed it with two weeks holiday. “How come you can take holiday at the end of maternity leave”, I asked her. “Oh I have to” she replied – “I have to use up my holiday entitlement before I can go back to work”.

    In short, you still qualify for annual leave, even when you are on maternity leave for a year – now that really is taking the piss!

  49. 49
    Anonymous says:

    He might not be the only MP.

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    Other one might want to share a bed with you. What is happening to our bed sharer?

  51. 51
    Anonymous says:

    I guess if your boss sacked you immediately for no reason and with no compensation you’d be looking to the law. I guess.

  52. 52
    South of the M4 says:

    In the public sector there is also ‘adoption leave’……..

  53. 53
    Anonymous says:

    Never thought Cameron employed Paris Hilton as well!

  54. 54
    Alex says:

    140 press officers in the Department of Health alone, and that is before all the others in every trust in the country. We only need one.

  55. 55
    son of selsdonman says:

    talking of looney ideas – who saw purnell’s party political broadcast on behalf of the Liebore party on Newsnight yesterday? how can that be classed as impartial broadcasting?

  56. 56
    Anonymous says:

    Actually, it sounds like she was using up her leave accrued before she went on maternity leave. But I don’t know.

  57. 57
    Anonymous says:

    He is a Tory minister in the Justice Department. Cameron is still keeping him as a minister.

  58. 58
    nell says:

    And don’t forget his pal sugar whilst you’re at it.

  59. 59
    bergen says:

    True but my generation (I’m now in my 50’s) did not have repay student loans and house prices were affordable from my pay when I was 25.I’m not saying that maternity leave/ pay is either good or bad but that abolishing it would in practice have the result I predit.

  60. 60
    nell says:

    whoever told you the beeb was impartial?

  61. 61
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Lets hope laughing boy is in a coma!

  62. 62
    Ah! Monika says:

    Intelligence will out.

  63. 63
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I can’t say I’m ever impressed by lonny right-wing ideas – but the press officer suggestion is brilliant and would be widely applauded.

  64. 64
    socialism has murdered 150 million human beings pride says:

    Fuck all that shite

    It is the idiot’s ideas about why does scum like the PM have to obey the law that enrage.

    This piece of shit needs his melon busting good and proper.

    Euro-sceptic or not

  65. 65
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    True – the BBC invariably disses trade unions, strikes etc and favours capitalism. You can always tell by this test – the BBC sees rising profits as good news but rising wages as dangerously inflationary.

  66. 66
    Bill d'Sarse says:

    This comes from an EU ruling in early 2010 (Feb I think). It gets worse, an individual accrues annual leave whilst on long term sick leave. I worked with an individual who, each and every year, too all of her sick leave ‘entitlement’ immediately followed by her annual leave she had accrued during that period.

  67. 67
    he just doesn't get it...yet says:

    likewise…I thought you had something dramatic Guido…the kirsty young interview is old news as is his book and other ramblings…start digging amongst his old muckers amongst the mirror hacks…he will have trodden on plenty on the way up so you can be sure some will be delighted to return the compliment on his way down.

  68. 68
    socialism has murdered 150 million human beings pride says:

    Lets not forget the fucking top management

    Middle managers are mainly crawling scum who do the dirty work ordered by the trash at the top.

    No reason not to ruin them but the top-level shite must get theirs as well.

  69. 69
    Ah! Monika says:

    If on ly one part ner wo rked, unemp loyment wo uld dr op, hou se pr ices wo uld dro p and chi ldren wou ld st op b eating-up their tea chers.
    Rem ember the 40s till the 70s when mu ms actu ally loo ked after their k ids.

  70. 70
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Sugar chaired Viglen – Morgan bought 67,000 quid’s worth of Viglen shares the day before his paper announced Viglen was to get an internet division – Hipwell follows Morgan:

    “Mr Hipwell and his colleague on the Slickers column, Anil Bhoyrul, bought shares in Viglen, a company chaired by Sir Alan Sugar, on the same day. The court has heard that Mr Hipwell bought more than £36,500-worth after hearing that Mr Morgan had bought 20,000 shares.

    The following day, when a story about Viglen appeared in the Mirror, Mr Hipwell sold his shares at 9am, making a profit of more than £19,500. Viglen’s share price more than doubled that day, following the Mirror’s claims that Viglen was to set up an internet division.”

    SO MORGAN MUST HAVE SAT ON AN IMMEDIATE 24 HOURS 70,000 PROFIT – WHAT DID HE SELL HIS SHARES FOR? WHAT DID HE SELL HIS ‘WIFE’S’ SHARES FOR?

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT HE (MR PUGHE-MORON) BET THE FARM, ALL HE HAD IN READIES, ON VIGLEN.

    WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT THE VIGLEN INTERNET DIVISION???

    SEEMS PRETTY OBVIOUS TO ME…

  71. 71
    Ah! Monika says:

    At last just add spaces to modded comments.
    Nell you’re the expert, why on earth would the above be modded@

  72. 72
    Rick the Roman says:

    10 minutes of Boris is all the “Opening Ceremony” 2012 needs.

  73. 73
    Anonymous says:

    “pondered why the PM had to obey the law”; just look at Cameron’s friends.

  74. 74
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Sugar chaired Viglen – Morgan bought 67,000 quid’s worth of Viglen shares the day before his paper announced Viglen was to get an internet division – Hipwell follows Morgan:

    “Mr Hipwell and his colleague on the Slickers column, Anil Bhoyrul, bought shares in Viglen, a company chaired by Sir Alan Sugar, on the same day. The court has heard that Mr Hipwell bought more than £36,500-worth after hearing that Mr Morgan had bought 20,000 shares.

    The following day, when a story about Viglen appeared in the Mirror, Mr Hipwell sold his shares at 9am, making a profit of more than £19,500. Viglen’s share price more than doubled that day, following the Mirror’s claims that Viglen was to set up an internet division.”

    SO MORGAN MUST HAVE SAT ON AN IMMEDIATE 24 HOURS 70,000 PROFIT – WHAT DID HE SELL HIS SHARES FOR? WHAT DID HE SELL HIS ‘WIFE’S’ SHARES FOR?

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT HE (MR PUGHE-MORON) BET THE FARM, ALL HE HAD IN READIES, ON VIGLEN.

    WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT THE VIGLEN INTERNET DIVISION???

    SEEMS PRETTY OBVIOUS TO ME…

  75. 75
    Anonymous says:

    What on earth is that?

  76. 76
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Why do goverment departments need press officers?

    I thought that was what the minister was there for?

  77. 77
    Civil Servant says:

    The Tories already have as useful idiot doing this, eh Guido?

  78. 78
    nell says:

    Haven’t got a clue. the automod on this blog is a law unto itself. Although Billy reckons he’s got it sussed.

    I’ve long treated it as another part of the fun. ‘beating the automod’ is a game, like crosswords, that I play when I have time. Enjoy!

  79. 79
    Spartacus says:

    You miss the point – the government does not pay the maternity leave.
    And in any case the government does not have any money – only confiscation of the public’s wealth.

  80. 80
    Vile Labour Slag Lyn Brown abuses the blind says:

    Great ideas, all benefits should be converted to repayable loans except for the disabled and pensioners. Everything else should be named as Charity, which is what it is, paid for by the UK Mug Taxpayers.

  81. 81
    misterned says:

    “We are so ready that we should call a snap Olympics and catch the rest of the world napping!”

    Brilliant! Can he be our PM please?

  82. 82
    Anonymous says:

    Half the teams will be storming off home insulted

  83. 83
    That's News says:

    Billy, if the minister spent all day talking to people like me, when would he have time to minister?

  84. 84
    misterned says:

    And they put in place extortionate and insane levels of redundancy protection for these expensive wasteful non-jobs, to make sure that it would cost any future government a lot more to lay people off, than they could save by doing so.

    Not only were labour intent on totally wrecking our economy (so we too would have to go cap-in-hand to the EU and integrate further) but they put in place policies to ensure future governments would not be able to easily correct their fuck up!

  85. 85
    nell says:

    In my day, you worked and saved up for a deposit on your house, then you got married, then you worked and saved up to have a baby.

    Once pregnant you gave up work at 7 months and embraced motherhood.

    In other words you worked to fund your own aspirations , you didn’t expect the government to fund them for you.

  86. 86
    misterned says:

    Single person in each department eh? So we will departmentalise all floors so that each office is it’s own department.

  87. 87
    Anonymous says:

    Surely the government does pay? OK – the company administers it, but it’s offset by other NI or tax somehow?

    Totally agree with your second point. But we are where we are, unfortunately.

  88. 88
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    The minster is responsable for the department, ok it might mean waiting a week for a answer, but why cannot he answer? he is in charge and all that.

    Do we need to pay x amount of people to just give a standard holding answer?

  89. 89
    Anonymous says:

    hou se pr ices is a fairly reliable fru itcak e indicator.

    On the other hand there is plainly no general rule against fru itcak es posting here.

  90. 90
    Dr Phil Goode says:

    It has always seemed to me that the British people are deliberately thick.

    When a government takes money away from its citizens in order to pay bureaucrats to tell you how wonderful is that government, and those bureaucrats, it is FUCKING PROPAGANDA!

    It is a corruption of democracy and is one of the most obvious signs of a government, and a nation, that has lost its ability for moral reasoning. Previous examples are legion. Most recent Nazi Germany, Zimbabwe, Blair’s New Labour, Brown’s evil clusterfuck. Anybody spot the common thread there?

    PG (PhD in ‘The Blindingly Bleeding Obvious).

  91. 91
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Ed Miliband?

  92. 92
    Ichabod says:

    Job Centres–anyone with any sense who has ever used them know that they are a huge waste of money, and of people’s time. They merely exist, it seems to me, to create jobs for thousands of not particularly ‘skilled’ people, mostly i’m afraid chippy young women. The quality of staff is wretched. There are other, and cheaper, ways of advertising job vacancies.

  93. 93
    non believer says:

    expect a lot of coverage of this Tory MP’s misdeeds from Guido

    or not.

  94. 94
    Donald says:

    Ministers used to cope perfectly well when they had neutral civil servants, Far too many propaganda merchants these days.

  95. 95
    The Mechanical Turk says:

    Dollars? WTF has any of this to do with you?

    I’m sick of the Brit-bashing in the U.S., which is currently being exacerbated by a certain P. Morgan, and therefore feel entitled to invite you to fuck off.

  96. 96
    misterned says:

    Now they spend their teenage years getting pissed, having unprotected sex with anyone, getting pregnant, getting a house given by the grateful taxpayer and then settling down for a few months at a time with various temporary daddies.

    Which system is the most beneficial to society as a whole? Yours Nell, or this one?

    Which political party favours this selfish, harmful and reckless one over the sensible, wholesome, responsible one you describe? And what the fuck are they thinking?

  97. 97
    The Mechanical Turk says:

    Steve Hilton was Bhownaggree, erstwhile troll of this parish, who managed to wind many of the Tory faithful up to the point of apoplexy and then beyond.

  98. 98
    misterned says:

    I assume it is paid time off work to get to know the new addition to your household.

    Do they do that for people who adopt cats or dogs too?

  99. 99
    South of the M4 says:

    What it says on the tin. Up to 26 weeks leave to …” settle the child into its new home….”. Applies if adopted through a British adoption agency. Not sure if there is an entitlement to ‘ considering adoption leave ‘ or even ‘ stress induced by talking about adoption leave ‘. My flab was gasted when I heard about it.

  100. 100
    David Jones says:

    “the shaven-headed policy guru’s friends admit that three-quarters of his ideas fail to get off the drawing board – to the relief of colleagues.”

    I think these ideas are great …

    Job centres are crap. Anybody who says otherwise must either work for one or remember the days when you received your UB40 from them.

    Maternity leave is simply a lead weight around the necks of employers and an even greater lead weight around fellow employees who have to put on the extra work to cover the extended holiday.

    We never used to have maternity leave and everyone did ok … have a baby and a job or don;t have a baby and have a career instead … simplzzzzzz

  101. 101
    The voice of unreason says:

    Screw you Monkey-boy!

    … and take that God-damned Piers Morgan douche-bag back, will ya!

  102. 102
    Loungelizard says:

    Did we send Ed a get well card?

  103. 103
    Anonymous says:

    Rocket Science, is that sharia law you are quoting?

  104. 104
    South of the M4 says:

    Shown a directive once from a public sector HR unit: “.. employees should have a management interview if more than 16 days sick leave taken in any one year…”
    I said that surely means some will interpret that as 16 days they can use in addition to their holiday leave. “Yep, and many do” was the reply.

  105. 105
    misterned says:

    I don’t know where you are getting your news from, but it’s not the BBC I watch.

    And rising profits ARE good news, but the BBC will soon start to gripe, bitch and moan if any profits are seen as too big, and rising profits go against the BBC narrative of the tories wrecking the economy.

    Unemployment has been falling for several months and the 1 million extra unemployed that labour and the unions and the BBC were fearmongering about have failed to materialise, but that does not stop the constant economic fearmongering on the BBC does it

  106. 106
    Anonymous says:

    And how does a stitchmaking speech provide a solution to the many problems the govt have to deal with? Wake up & smell the coffee misterned.

  107. 107
    Mr Slater's Parrot says:

    KRAAAWWWUURRKKH!!! (ping) BILLYBILLYBILLY!! (flutter) OW’ZAT!!!

  108. 108
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    SORRY FOR DOUBLE POST BUT THIS BLATANT INSIDER DEALING MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL.

    OOPS caps off. A certain other trougher who used to head up a certain newspaper’s business section, made enough money in a very short space of time to buy 5 or 6 houses. His name rhymes with Hunt. All completely above board, of course. Just like Mandlebum’s house purchases.

    Have a guess who it may be.

  109. 109
    Call me a cynic says:

    and the bad news is?

  110. 110
    Engineer says:

    Not sure that the idea of making all Government press communication via a website or blog is a good one. Too easy for Ministers to control what’s disseminated. It certainly makes sense for the basic press releases to be made fully publicly available through the ‘net, though.

    There has to be ways for journalists and members of the public to hold Ministers to account, so questions from the press will still have to be arranged regularly. However, replacing the Lobby system would be a good idea; it doesn’t work. For example, the whole Lobby knew all about the excesses of MPs expenses for years, but not one of them ever so much as squeaked to those of us paying for it all. The Lobby system is far too cosy – we need MPs and Ministers to fear the Press, not keep them as pets.

  111. 111
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Good. May be the Brit team will pick up some medals then.

  112. 112
    Mr Slater's Parrot says:

    SQUWAAAARRKK!!! (tapittytappitytap) BILLYBILLYBILLY!!! NOTOUT! (grape)

  113. 113
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    “There’s no money left”, is a pretty good reason for culling public sector non-jobs.

  114. 114
    Engineer says:

    Some have suggested that extended maternity leave has had the Unintended Consequence of making it harder for women of child-bearing age to find employment, especially in the better-paid jobs or careers. If you were an employer seeking a thrusting young professional to take on a demanding role, you might just be tempted to hedge your bets against the possibility of said professional disappearing for an extended period when the business needs their efforts.

  115. 115
    Iloathlefties says:

    And all Governments in confiscating our money through numerous guises called taxation “think” they know how best to spend it. They don’t!!! E.g. The International Health Service gets worse and worse. Privatise it and allow me to keep my own money and I’ll pay for my own medical needs and not Mohammeds, his 9 wives and 30 kids as well!!

  116. 116
    Iloathlefties says:

    They need to address the quality and training of the teachers. Most are numpties themselves and uneducated. Then, how about a bit of …………discipline reinstated, and where Mum from the sink estate can be told to f**k off when Wayne is punished for being rude or assaulting other pupils. Barred from the school permanently if he doesn’t comply? Ooops, Labour stopped that didn’t they. So they put their kids in religeous schools like Blair/Harman/Clegg to avoid the problems THEY created!!

  117. 117
    A proper right winger! says:

    Simon Lewis is surely trying to be ironic! Getting UK Ltd off it’s arse ain’t rocket science. We need to work and compete. Trouble is we have laws discouraging employers to employ and stopping producers producing. This needs to change. The Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese ain’t stopping for no one and all we will becomeLondon centered retail outlet (of foreign goods!) for them to shop in unless we change our attitude to competition and embrace change. The ‘ Elf and Safety regimes that can cripple a business needs to be made less onerous and the employment “protection” laws re balanced. Britain could become a mercantile power house again what we need is a capitalist revolution of the kind the Chinese “Communists” encouraged. And yes we can so that a remain a democracy.

  118. 118
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Hattersley gets it wrong. The original story was bigger heads, not bigger brains. and I think most of the South will agree with that.

  119. 119
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    State support for families nowadays is a sign that a family can no longer be supported on a single average income. Child allowance and Family tax credits provide the State with an excuse to grow the Nannie State and intrude into the lives of most people in the UK, while providing 1,000’s of non-jobs, which could be culled by leaving the money in the hands of those who earn it in the first place. Raising the income tax threshold to £13,000 would more than pay for itself by enabling the dismantling of the family support scam and a serious slimming of the Nanny State. Will it happen? Would any of the current flush of politicians allow the relinquishment of so much power? Yeah, right.

  120. 120
    That's News says:

    Billy, he minister is in charge, he does not know the details of day-to-day operations.

  121. 121
    Simple minded says:

    So undo that last lot of laws and policies first – and then once they are the law, get the choppers out properly.

  122. 122
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    The Pink ‘un has been that colour in paper and politics for some time. Isn’t it also owned by NI? Surely Rupe can’t be keeping a foot in both camps?

  123. 123
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Nah. Make the Bugger sweat a little while the septics get their heads round the situation.

  124. 124
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    You’re obviously not ready to embrace the internet age…..:)

  125. 125
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Quite right, even you are tolerated.

  126. 126
    toriesbankersmurdochmedia we are one says:

    I agree with Cato Street Conspirator. Fed up of the BBC’s right-wing bias, they need to take in more of what the public are thinking instead of what the Coalition is feeding them

  127. 127
    Queen Charlotte says:

    Maternity leave is crazy. So is childcare paid for by the state. Who benefits? Estate Agents and lawyers. Now houses have rocketed in price thanks to double mortgage tax relief, women who don’t want to abandon their children have as little choice as the hamstrung employers

  128. 128
    Queen Charlotte says:

    Maternity leave costs a bomb for council tax payers too. Local government officers are all too often unavailable – on maternity leave – when they have only just landed their gold-plated jobs.

  129. 129
    Queen Charlotte says:

    Yes, I’d rather my husband just kept me and our children, and not everyone else’s family too, especially the ones we aren’t historically connected with in any way.

  130. 130
    Queen Charlotte says:

    And their neighbourhoods. Women were the real police of the past.

  131. 131
    Queen Charlotte says:

    Because they’re worth it!

  132. 132
    Ding Dong says:

    Well said.

  133. 133
    Old dog no tricks says:

    How left wing are you then – to perceive the BEEB as being right wing ?

  134. 134
    Old dog no tricks says:

    Ed Miliband got lots of messages from Well Wishers !

    All wishing he’d fall down one !

  135. 135
    Jimmy says:

    Some sensible ideas there. After all, what is the point of Job Centres under a Conservative government? You’re just going to get people’s hopes up.


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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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