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….



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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