Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Message For Gordon

Yesterday Guido brought you the news that Gordon Brown was up to his old trick of locking horns with newspapers editors. He’s had a mighty fall though as the most he can spin is his local rag these days. The original copy and a page scan of the article Brown had pulled from the Fife Courier website mysteriously appeared earlier. Given that the former Prime Mentalist is in Westminster tonight, Guido thought he should make sure it had the widest possible audience:

(Click to Enlarge)

That’s what you get for trying to repress a legitimate argument…

Document Reveals Miliband Blundered on PMQs Fares Flap

Mili-spinners are desperately clinging to the post-PMQs fallout over who was responsible for allowing train companies to increase fares so dramatically. Milband claimed that the government had reversed the cap on fares that Labour had conveniently introduced in an election year. However a document released by the Department of Transport blows that line out of the water. An agreement between the last government and a train company explicitly states that the  limits were only valid for one year:

In other words it was Miliband who was in the wrong when he wailed that the Prime Minister was incorrect in saying “the power to [raise fares] was given by the last Labour government”. Another re-launch week success!

UPDATE: Labour spinners are desperately trying to shoot this down as a “legal technicality”. Adonis has now rushed out a statement saying it was his “intention” to keep the cap forever, despite signing the above document. If that so, how come it was not mentioned in Labour’s manifesto? Even if that was the case, Miliband was still misleading the House by suggesting that Cameron had “reversed” anything.

Union Funded Turkeys Vote Against Christmas

As predicted, union backed Labour MPs mobilised to defeat Jesse Norman’s 10 Minute Rule Bill against Pilgrims. The usual nonsense was spouted in defence of taxpayer-funded trade union officials. John Healey surfaced after his Shadow Cabinet sacking to claim that Pilgrims were merely volunteering to help their unions. If they are volunteers, how come they are paid John?

The Ayes 132 /Noes 211 result is a clear message to the government to get a move on with the promised consultation on the issue. Given Cameron has backed the ban, you can add the payroll vote to that number next time. Guido will be having a look at the union donations of those who mobilised against, including those convention-busting Labour frontbenchers.

Any betting on a correlation?

Each MPs’ Lunch Subsidy Costs Six Hospital Meals

Hungry? After PMQs our honourable MPs will toddle off to their private and exclusive riverside dining rooms.  Today the “quince glazed belly of pork with savoy cabbage & white bean stew” sounds tasty, especially at the penny-saving price of £6.75. It’s only that cheap because of the £5.27 subsidy from our pockets. Incidentally that subsidy alone is the equivalent of six hospital meals, that we learn today, cost just 90 pence. Gives you a real sense of political priorities.

Enough to put any decent person off their lunch…

PMQs LIVE: Pulling the Punches Edition

Labour Abandoning Convention in Union Fight to Keep Pilgrims

In attempting to defend taxpayer-funded trade union activists, Unite the Union have accidentally poured petrol on the fire. Their press release today admits, by their own count, that “around 200,000 workers carry out representative duties.” Strangely the number of these Pilgrims is far higher in the public over the private sector.

Today’s 10 Minute Rule Bill that would ban the practice has been pushed back by Lansley’s boob announcement. Labour seem rather happy about this as it means Members would have wandered off by then, as opposed to a vote immediately after PMQs. Labour sources have confirmed that the Shadow Cabinet will not be voting, but whips are encouraging their frontbench team to weigh in to defeat the motion that would ban Pilgrims. The rules are going out of the window as the unions seek a return for their investments. As is convention, the Government whips are calling for all of the government payroll to abstain. Unlike with the opposition, that includes Ministers and PPSs. The vote is expected after 1pm now.

“Prédateurs” Theme Sarko’s, Not Ed’s

Labour types are scraping the barrel this morning claiming that Newt Gingrich has “stolen” Ed’s much derided “predators” line. Tom Watson is crowing, Political Scrapbook are grandstanding and Guido is laughing. Ed isn’t even the first European leader to develop the theme. Rewind to 2007 and enter stage right French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy:

Nicolas Sarkozy, the neo-Gaullist favourite, has vowed to “hit predators” with a tax on speculative investments – apparently a version of the Tobin tax, a staple of populist discourse in Europe for years. “We can’t tolerate hedge funds buying a company with debt, firing a quarter of the staff and then enriching themselves by selling it in pieces. We didn’t create the euro to have capitalism without ethics or morals,” he said. Mr Sarkozy is supposed to be the “free market” candidate.

Ed’s line was nothing but a cheap rip off of that…

iPeers

Not only do we subsidise their gin, but we also pick up the Lords’ tech tab:

10 Jan 2012 : Column WA46
House of Lords: IT

Lord Kennedy of Southwark:
To ask the Chairman of Committees how many iPads have been purchased to date for use by Members or staff of the House of Lords.[HL14465]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara):
Twenty iPads have been purchased for use by Members and staff of the House of Lords to evaluate how handheld devices can facilitate core parliamentary work.

iRage.

Attacked From the Left

Though he’s doing his best to avoid addressing the issue, it’s not just what Miliband would describe as the “right-wing press” that is gunning for him. If anything the lefties are even more vicious. The Indy’s cartoon has him relaunching in a coffin, while their report doesn’t hold back“For all the good that his ‘relaunch’ will do him, Miliband might as well have spoken in Klingon… If politics is like sex, Ed will never find the national G-spot.”

After a week of gaffes, criticism of Ed’s leadership style has morphed into open mockery, even from those who should be allies. The Mail’s Quentin Letts points out:

“Miss Reeves, whose voice owes something to a Dogger Bank foghorn, said that ‘Ed has got the steely determination’ to succeed. This ignited chortles from certain Left-leaning broadsheet reporters”

It’s not just the Guardian editorials that will make Ed’s spinners wince, even the crossword setter is after him: “Miliband upset in cut vacillation (10).” – Indecision.


Seen Elsewhere

May SpAd Removed From Candidates List | ConHome
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette
Whitehall Bosses Ban Christmas | Sun
Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
Labour Marginal Fright | Lord Ashcroft
Osborne’ Real Deficit Reduction Record | ConHome
Blameronism | Peter Oborne
Everyone Can Lose | Staggers
Splintering of the Left | Tim Montgomerie
Fallon’s Lawyer Loathing | Quentin Letts


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Labour insiders turn on Ed over Powell’s latest gaffe:

“When is he going to stop promoting useless people? He was warned about her.”


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