Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Newsroom Fury at Trinity Executive Bonuses

Mirror hacks are spitting feathers this afternoon as 75 job losses are announced. Given how heavy they have been going on the banker bonus bashing, their own remuneration scheme is coming under attack:

“The total directors’ pay and pensions bill for Trinity Mirror last year was £3.9 million – £1.3 million of which was cash bonuses. Of that, Sly Bailey’s package of pay and pensions was a staggering £1.7m, including a cash bonus of £660,000. However, the share price for Trinity Mirror today is 48p whereas 12 months ago it was 90p.”

The NUJ estimates that more than fifty of those editorial jobs on the line could be paid for with this money.

And the hacks know it.

UPDATE: More news coming out of Canary Wharf. Guido understands that Trinity CEO is currently in Barbados. She left it to Mark Hollinshead to break the redundancy news to staff. When he asked if there were any questions, the entire staff walked out in silence…

Some Home Truths From David Miliband


There is now a clear and public split between the Miliband brothers over matters of strategy. As Guido reported earlier, David Miliband isn’t taking orders from anyone, and you can sure as hell bet that his piece in this week’s New Statesman was not approved:

“For some, this will be seductive. Reassurance about our purpose, our relevance, our position, even our morals. Reassurance Labour feels good. But feeling good is not the same as doing good – and it gets in the way when it stops us rethinking our ideas to meet the challenges of the time. And now is a time for restless rethinking, not reassurance. Our attacks on the Tories will not work if we are not clear about what we did. We should say loud and clear where we made mistakes, but we should also insist that the list of gains far outstripped the mistakes. After all, even David Cameron said on coming to office that Britain was better in 2010 than 1997.”

In the call to arms he also says the big state is a “political dead end”.  Nobody seems to have told his brother though…

Off Her Bike and Through the Lobby

Government whips are going into overdrive this afternoon. All slips have been cancelled and things are looking so tight that Transport Minister Thresera Villiers has been called back in, despite recovering from a bike crash that left her with a broken collar bone. Guido is chasing up rumours of three other sickly Tory MPs being dragged through the lobby. On the other side, Gordon has come to bless the opposition with his support…

UPDATE: Seems the Standard’s Craig Woodhouse tweeted this at the same time.

UPDATE II: Big day for Tory rising star Sam Gyimah. He’s covering as Dave’s PPS today. “Dessie is away on military manoeuvres this week.”

One scrounger tries to justify their benefits to the BBC:

‘We get the Sky Movies package because we’re stuck in the house all week – otherwise we wouldn’t have any entertainment.’

Labour to Vote Against the Public Tonight

Guido just broke from his lunch to chuckle at this breaking news. With overwhelming public support for the benefit cap, this is risky for Ed. A couple of good PMQs performances is not vindication for his entire outlook. Developing…

UPDATE: This graph from the Speccie a few weeks ago says it all:

Just as it was all going so well for Ed…

Gordon Brown Doesn’t Have A Clue

Usually the rule in politics is: don’t ask a question you do not know the answer to. It goes without saying that you do not ask a question when you have already been told the answer in writing. That would be a waste of time and money.

Gordon Brown MP has tabled a rare written parliamentary question about a constituency issue in a belated attempt to catch up on a growing concern of his electors. The written reply doesn’t convey the full contempt…

Radioactive Waste: Dalgety Bay

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his planned visit to Fife in the week of 30 January 2012, if he will visit the sites at Dalgety Bay now under scrutiny for radiation contamination.

Mr Robathan: I am, this day, at Dalgety Bay and am visiting these sites. My office notified the right hon. Member’s office of my visit on 19 January.

Gordon tabled the question on January 26. He isn’t really paying attention is he?

PMQs LIVE: RBS Mess Edition

Ed’s Lack of Shadow Cabinet Authority

Ed is having a relatively good week, with more amusement and less despair. Labour staffers however are decrying that the Shadow Cabinet is out of control and rudderless. Douglas Alexander’s “Labour must do more to be credible on economy” Observer interview last Sunday came at as surprise. Jim Murphy going rogue had to be patched up as “part of the strategy”, while it’s accepted that Liam Byrne is spending his days briefing the Telegraph. Peter Hain even had time to write his memoirs while supposedly preparing to form a government. 

This lack of authority in Shadow Cabinet is trickling down to the backbenchers, not least the most important Labour backbencher of them all – David Miliband. There is growing frustration amongst Labour whips that David  is simply ignoring direct orders on voting.  He’s said he will not be dictated to, and he will decide when he is needed. Take today for example; instead of being in Westminster David is peacocking at the Cambridge Union; and the voting data from Public Whip is very telling. Since the election David has voted in just 186 votes out of a possible 444. Less than half and well below average. 

The insubordination is spreading. Labour sources indicate that the likes of Ben Bradshaw and Shaun Woodward are particularly good at not hanging around for late votes or simply not bothering to turn up. Junkets are up, and attendance is down. The mood among the old guard can be summed up as “if the brother can ‘eff off to China, why can’t we?”

Fred Slopes Off

Why bother coming back?

Above Retribution

If it is so easy to strip honours in retribution, then how come convicted criminals and sleazy cash-takers still sit on the red benches? Fred Goodwin has never been convicted of a crime but has the full book thrown at him, yet ex-convicts can return to the trough when they are out of prison.  Once again our lawmakers put themselves above the law…


Seen Elsewhere

Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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