Friday, January 27, 2012

Picking up the Penny

Guido won’t bother with the fashion round up this time, but devout nicotine addict Laurie Penny popped up on our television again this lunchtime, complete with a fake cigarette. Jackie Ashley had dropped out at the last minute from appearing on the Daily Politics, so our favourite flame-haired firebrand was called up to fill in. In the course of the interview she offered her services as chairman of RBS, declaring that she could do Hester’s job without the paycheck. Guido is sceptical…

Leaving aside the differences between turning around an enormous multinational financial institution and jetting around teenage trouble-spots with a smartphone, let’s just see what Penny’s comrades at the Occupy movement could teach us about running a bank:

“Following criticism of the way in which the camp’s financial affairs have been run, the finance group quit en masse. That included the person who has the key for the safe — with the result that no one could access the money. Coupled with the fact that donations are now lagging behind expenditure, there has been a serious shortage of money to pay for things such as food and power. Protester Leo Ashford, 20, …told reporters that despite generous donations by supporters, money had been squandered. ‘We’re protesting against bankers, and no one on our finance team knows how to use a ledger or a receipt,’ he said.‘In the second week we had public opinion on our side and enough donations to sustain ourselves. We all could have had brand-new tents and blow-up mattresses. Now no one knows where the money has gone. ‘I’m sad, but I knew a month ago that it would get to the point where we would collapse in on ourselves on essentially our own stupidity.’”

Watching the Penny, you better hope the pounds could look after themselves.

Video via @LiarPoliticians

Olympic Order of the OTT for Jeremy Hunt

Poor Jeremy Hunt is getting frightfully carried away with his £12 billion Olympic baby:

“come and enjoy what will be the most exciting time in British history.”

Guido is looking forward to catching up with all the “excitement” after a month at the Maison Secondaire.

Classy Timing for Guardian Attack

A confused co-conspirator whispers to Guido that the Guardian have been working on the story they ran this morning about Michael Gove giving public funds to a group they don’t like for at least two weeks. The latest installment of their campaign against the  education secretary claims that he personally made the decision to give taxpayers’ money to the Community Security Trust despite being, along with fifty others, an advisor to their board. A fair point perhaps, but given that the CST “advise the Jewish community on matters of security and antisemitism”, why did they wait until Holocaust Memorial Day to run the story? Odd, at best…

UPDATE: A source to Gove gets in touch to say said: “It is unbelievable to attack any politician for funding the protection of Jewish children. It is even more extraordinary and frankly offensive to do it on Holocaust Memorial Day.”

UPDATE II: The CST aren’t happy either. They note that the Guardian did not even bother to contact them before running the story and have let rip on their own blog.

Friday Caption Contest (Guidoisation of Politics Edition)

Tory MEP Fury at Youth Wing’s German Sell Out

With the Tories leaving the European Peoples Party, MEPs have been keen to make sure they keep some influence in other movements, such as the The International Democrat Union – the formal gathering of centre-right parties across the globe. But clearly the young Conservatives here didn’t get that memo…

The IDU’s youth-wing (IYDU) has always been Atlanticist in its outlook. With more than a little help from Ashcroft, IYDU has been in British or UK-friendly hands – until now. At its recent AGM in Sydney, the pro-EU Germans reneged on a deal and knifed the Australian candidate for Chairman in the back. Pro-EU IYDU members have used funding from Brussels to unite to take over the IYDU, shutting out African and Commonwealth countries from its inner core. Any Euroscepticism in the group is being slowly squeezed out. But who would sell out the UK’s interests and let this happen? Well step forward the Chairman of Conservative Future…

There was no Dave-like veto for Ben Howlett, whose career highlights thus far have included infuriating everyone in the Tories from Tebbit down by declaring Gerry Adams was his favourite Irish politician, and having such a temper tantrum during a photo-shoot that the Standard photographer refused to take part. Howlett returned to Britain trumpeting the German takeover of the IYDU as a triumph for British interests. It is anything but that, although it is a triumph for him personally as he managed to get himself elected as an officer in a deal with the Germans. The friend of Gerry has now become the friend of Jerry, and Tory MEPs are fuming…

The Alternate Reality of Denis MacShane II

Q: How do you know when Denis MacShane is lying?

A: When he’s tweeting.

Yesterday Guido brought  you the disgraced, de-whipped Labour MP’s fibs about the Olympics and the pound. Now this morning a psephological co-conspirator gets in touch to point out another howler:

Except, the polls in Croatia, see here, were correctly predicting that Yes would win, and were showing support for the EU growing. A MacShameless porkie…

RBS Bonus Day Banter

No invite to Davos for Chuka Umunna. After comparing running RBS to being a local NHS Chief Executive, the acceptable face of Milibandism told the Today programme that bonuses should be linked to performance. He failed to mention that Stephen Hester’s bonus will do exactly that. RBS are not giving him cash, but share options worth £963,000. He will not be able to claim it until 2014, so if RBS shares drop, his bonus will drop. With no one willing to take Chuka on this morning, it was left to John Humphrys to paint the picture of doom at what would have happened to RBS, and taxpayers’ money, if Hester and his board had walked out.

Elsewhere LibDem Jeremy Browne has said Hester should turn the bonus down. Interesting positioning from the right-wing LibDem.

Lining up for Huhne’s job?


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