FCO Minister Jeremy Browne Panders to the Chinese

Totty Watch: Egyptian Freedom Edition

Good on Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. She posted a naked picture of herself on her blog and it’s launched a national debate in Egypt about sex, women, morality and freedom.

It’s not safe for work/pre-Mubarak Egyptian society, but her site has had over a million and half views since. Guido will be posting his own topless pictures in solidarity later…

League Against Cruel Sports Sack Thieving Spinner

What a strange coincidence that the unpopular parts of the blogosphere have made such an effort today to try to spin a “Toffs-in-Turmoil” story about the head of the Countryside Alliance leaving their job. This comes the very same day that one of their own is up the creek – The League Against Cruel Sports Head of Comms Steve Taylor has been busted with his hands in the till.

Back in May, greedy Steve Taylor tried to compare hunters to burglars in a spoof video, adding:

“The hunters are the only group of criminals in society who flirt with this idea that they are in some way victims of the law, rather than transgressers [sic] of it.”

Who’s laughing now Steve?

Christmas Cancelling Teachers Union Makes One Exception

Yesterday the Express reported that the militant head-bangers over at the NASUWT were ordering their members

“not to put up festive decorations or help produce Nativity plays and carol concerts in a dispute which could go on for months. Union rules say that members will be expected to “stick rigidly” to the 32.5-hour working week. They will also be told to refuse to perform any duties on a list of “21 administrative and clerical tasks that should not be routinely carried out by teachers” according to a national document outlining pay and conditions.”

Bah humbug etc! 

So imagine Guido’s amusement when this invitation reached his inbox this morning:

Will the NASUWT officials bother putting the tinsel up for this one? Or is organising their own Christmas party an “administrative and clerical tasks that should not be routinely carried out by teachers”? They couldn’t have anything interfering with their strict adherence to that 32.5 hour week now could they…

Friday Caption Contest (Friends Reunited Edition)

Guido is very happy to announce that the Jura Whisky give-away is back…

There is a bottle of Superstition up for grabs for the wittiest caption. If nobody is funny then Guido will just have to drink it, so get your thinking caps on.

While you think about it, why not sign up to become a “Diurach” here.

Parliamentary Labour Party Coordinating Union Obfuscation

The Labour leadership seems to be getting rattled by the continual highlighting of their members’ servitude to their biggest donor and string-puller: the unions. Regular readers will know that Guido caught Sadiq Khan and Kate Green red-handed and the Tories went very publicly for Rachel Reeves.

At Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, backbenchers were given the following advice:

Correct, you do not need to declare membership, but when local donations are received they should not only be registered with the Electoral Commission, but also mentioned in the Register of Members Interests. However this is classic Labour obfuscation –  denying charges that nobody is making. The trouble they have got themselves into isn’t about these two things, it’s about declaring an interest when scrutinising legislation, or speaking on an issue or subject that your donor has a direct interest in. Guido will repeat it until he is blue in the face, Rule 74 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct is very clear:

“It is the responsibility of the Member, having regard to the rules of the House, to judge whether a financial interest is sufficiently relevant to a particular debate, proceeding, meeting or other activity to require a declaration. The basic test of relevance should be the same for declaration as it is for registration of an interest; namely, that a financial interest should be declared if it might reasonably be thought by others to influence the speech, representation or communication in question. A declaration should be brief but should make specific reference to the nature of the Member’s interest.”

This is the advice the whips should have been dispensing.

Dr Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the the CDU, told BBC Radio 4 Today

‘Printing money is not a good way. Every German is scared about too much inflation. It’s vital that we do our own homeworks in each country’.

Farage’s Rage Going Viral

Nigel Farage’s “What gives you the right?” speech from Wednesday is bang on the money and going viral with nearly 50,000 views in two days:

The officials in the chamber always laugh when Farage holds up the mirror, but those smirks are looking more and more like gallows humour every day. Even Mrs Fawkes, who is not in the least interested in politics, wanted the volume turned up when she overheard this one…

Irish Budget Decided in Berlin

Today Dave is off to see Chancellor Merkel as we learn that advance copies of the proposed Irish budget were circulating for approval in the Bundestag in Berlin before being seen in the Oireachtas in Dublin. Elected Irish politicians will […]

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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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