Saturday, December 31, 2011

Exclusive: Tory MEP Roger Helmer No Longer Resigning

Back in October, Guido broke the news that the Conservative MEP Roger Helmer had handed a letter of resignation to CCHQ. This blog was also first with the fact that CCHQ were doing their utmost to stop Rupert Matthews, the next candidate on the East Midlands party list and Helmer’s preferred successor, from being anointed. Well once again Guido is first with the news: Roger Helmer won’t be resigning after all.

Helmer’s resignation was supposed to be effective of today, but as party chairman Sayeeda Warsi is apparently insisting on someone other than Matthews, apparently “a less-geeky woman”, takes over, Helmer has decided to dig his boots in. A European co-conspiritor told Guido last night “Roger won’t be going anywhere unless Rupert is guaranteed.” CCHQ sources insist that they won’t be budging on this one, so it looks like Helmer will be staying. Once again, the Tory high-command’s gender-agenda has created an almighty mess…

Saturday Seven Up

Friday, December 30, 2011

Labour’s Dugher Falsely Accuses Tories of Knighting Criminal

Michael Dugher fancies himself as Ed Miliband’s answer to Peter Mandelson. Guido thinks he is as slippery with his spin, but nowhere near as smart as the Dark Lord. Dugher has just emailed out a press release, Guido is ignoring the embargo because he wasn’t a recipient of this press release:

Date: 30 December 2011 17:13:57 GMT

Subject: EMBARGOED NEWS FROM LABOUR: David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people – Dugher

Responding to the New Year’s Honours List, Michael Dugher, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister said:

“David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people. He’s giving a knighthood to Paul Ruddock, who made millions from the collapse of Northern Rock and has given over half a million pounds to the Tories, and another to Gerald Ronson who was jailed for his part in a share-trading fraud.

“This tells you everything you need to know about the Tories’ priorities. At a time when millions of families are struggling to get by, it’s the Tories’ friends in the City who get the rewards.”

ENDS

A bit rich you might think coming from the party that knighted RBS’s Fred Goodwin. Paul Ruddock has a gallery in the British Museum named after him and is chairman of the board of the V & A. He has given tens of millions to charity and is a well know philanthropist. So no surprise that he gets a well deserved knighthood.

Truly shocking that the Tories would give a knighthood to a convicted fraudster. Except they haven’t. Dugher has screwed up again…

Guidogram Going Out New Year’s Day

The next Guidogram is being sent out to subscribers on Sunday. Make sure that you get emailed Guido’s round up next year by subscribing. Thousands of Westminster insiders like Nick Robinson read it. Join him and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, it is free, to keep in the loop.

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

Toffs Taxing the Poor More

Minimum alcohol pricing won’t affect champagne drinkers, it will hit those on lower incomes. Again.

Regressive taxes aren’t just about forcing up the price of supermarket booze, it was putting up VAT – a mistake that boosted inflation which was already above target and hit consumer spending when it was already weak. Unquestionably that was a regressive tax. Even the usually austerity friendly IMF cautioned against the VAT hike.

The squeezed middle aren’t spared either. Air Passenger Duty means that a family of four flying to America for their annual holiday can pay up to £587 in taxes. The Fawkes family fly back and forth to Ireland regularly spending more on air taxes than on air tickets. UK subjects pay more in air taxes than all the rest of the EU’s citizens – combined. It won’t bother the Chancellor on his £10,000 skiing holiday weeks, but those of us in the private sector, not on benefits, reckon he could do more to cut spending and the tax burden. It is called a growth strategy…

Friday Caption Contest

Andrew Lansley told the Speccie

‘I don’t like a minimum price, we are acting against below cost selling. My problem with a minimum price, well I have two problems. One is it’s regressive, so there are perfectly normal families who just don’t happen to have much money who like to buy cheap beer or cheap wine. Should they be prevented? No, I don’t think so and if you put in a minimum price, one of the journalists calculated that if you set it at 50p a unit it would add £600 million to the profits of retailers and drinks manufacturers which doesn’t seem to me to be the right thing to do in these circumstances.’

Media Analysis You Won’t Read in the Guardian

Today is the last trading day of the year on the New York Stock Exchange, barring any dramatic surprises shares in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation will end the day near the year’s highs. If you are lucky enough to own NewsCorp shares you will have benefited from a rise in value of over 10% this year, well outperforming a stockmarket that has flatlined.

Not that you would realise it if you only listened to the BBC or read the New York Times and The Guardian. The latter in particular always slants financial stories about NewsCorp as if there was widespread shareholder unrest with the Murdochs. Story after story on the media and finance pages of The Guardian quotes shareholders and financial advisers with doom laden sentiments about the Murdochs. Most of those quoted turn out to be activists with political rather than financial priorities…

The fact is that Rupert Murdoch owns the number one daily newspaper in America, The Wall Street Journal. NewsCorp also owns the number one news channel, the incredibly successful and profitable Fox Network. Sky franchises in the UK, Italy, Germany and Star TV in Asia are the pay-TV leaders generating phenomenal subscription revenues. Murdoch also owns the content via television production companies and movie studios. This year Super Bowl on FOX was the most watched TV show in America ever. Even after selling MySpace at a loss, he has dared to launch a new online-only news business, The Daily. Hit movies like Avatar and Black Swan generate colossal ticket sales, American Idol still brings in the ratings, globally Murdoch owned newspapers are still a cash-cow despite him closing the News of the World. In 2011 revenue rose to $33.4 billion, while adjusted operating income increased 12% to $4.98 billion. Cashflow which the owners of the loss making New York Times and Guardian can only dream…

Guardian Media Group is losing a £1 million a week, Mirror Group shares have halved in value this year and the firm has introduced a pay freeze for all workers. Based on the NewsCorp share price alone, the Murdochs finish the year a few billion richer than they started it. Despite what you may read in The Guardian or hear on the BBC, the Murdochs are very far from being against the wall and the left hates that.

No one ever got rich betting against Rupert Murdoch….

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second Policy Salvo Against Miliband
Mandelson Backed Think-Tank Launches Another Broadside

For the second time in a month Peter Mandelson’s think-tank, Policy Network, has launched a policy salvo against the direction the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. Mandelson privately is contemptuous of young Ed, these high-minded wonkish policy exhortations are the respectable manifestation of that contempt.

Last month his think-tank published “In the Black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand” is a discussion paper in which the authors; Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen, called for Labour to embrace fiscal conservatism. The paper was an explicit rebuttal of the kamikaze economics of Ed Balls endorsed by Ed Miliband, which poll after poll shows is not seen as credible by the public. Despite the state of the economy Cameron and Osborne are supported by the British public to a far greater extend than Miliband and Balls.

In exactly the same vein shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont MP and Oxford historian Ben Jackson have written a paper for the think-tank warning that austerity governments often defeat opponents and that historically the Tories have achieved this on multiple occasions. They also urge Miliband to abandon his “predators and producers” rhetoric and “put forward a more convincing strategy for private sector growth than the Conservatives”. McClymont and Jackson further warn that Ed Miliband must avoid the “tax and spend” trap and “a simple defence of the public sector and public spending”Alas that is Labour policy in a nutshell..

See also: Labour-Centrists Laying Down Reality-Based Policy Ideas

UN Flies Flag at Half Mast for Dear Leader

The UN gives the North Korean dictator an honour not given to the Czech democrat. No such memorial for the two million enslaved citizens he killed…

UPDATE: Amnesty video of the North Korean labour camps which make up the hidden gulag.


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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