Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ed, Peston and the Iranians

As he calls the nations’ media to Reuters, Canary Wharf for a briefing tomorrow morning about his future business plans, Ed’s attacks on capitalism are gaining traction around the world. He’s becoming a serious player:

The head of Iran’s judiciary announced on Wednesday that the courts will readily “issue death penalties” to the “disruptors” of the country’s foreign currency market. ISNA reports that Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani emphasized that the judiciary will deal with those who have been “identified as economic disruptors” just as it would with “smugglers, bandits and drug traffickers.”

While we are on the subject of banker bashing, some strong words from Peston in an interview with Standard:

“He ums and ahs for a moment and then, with a rare edge of crossness, eschewing his usual idiosyncratic syntax, gives a startlingly clear reply: “Look, I do think it’s completely inappropriate for bankers to be earning these colossal sums. Completely inappropriate.

There are certain people who I regard as being just evil but I don’t regard people who make a lot of money and don’t do anything useful with it as evil.” He stops and thinks for a second. “Just misguided and bonkers.””

Are these comments really appropriate from the neutral Business Editor of our state broadcaster?

Huhne Reshuffle Mischief

The smart money is on Cameron not reshuffling until after the Olympics and opting for a quick yellow for yellow swap if Huhne is forced out, but that hasn’t stopped some intriguing ideas being floated around Tory circles. Firstly there was the hilarious “bigging up” of Sarah Teather, whose civil servants give a very different picture from the one painted in Black Dog:

“Small but perfectly formed Lib Dem Schools Minister Sarah Teather is being tipped by friends of Michael Gove to succeed Chris Huhne as Energy Secretary if he is forced to quit over his speeding offence wrangle. ‘Like most of us, Michael didn’t rate Sarah but he has changed his view after seeing how she sends mandarins twice her size packing,’ said a friend of Gove.”

Whoever Gove’s friend is, he’s a master of reverse psychology. Guido is sure that many tears will be shed if Sarah does move on from Education.

Today’s pipe dream is shifting Vince Cable from BIS over to DECC. There was vicious briefing against the Sage of Twickenham in the Sun today, with unknown Tory Ministers accusing him of stunting growth:

“Cable is obsessed with punishing the bankers — and little else.He has failed to deliver any meaningful strategy to help struggling British companies. Time is running out for us to get this right. We’re doing not nearly enough — and we won’t until Vince gets out of the way.”

Do they really want to put him in charge of growth-choking green-taxes?

With the announcement coming in the morning, in all likelihood it will be Ed Davey or Jeremy Browne laying awake in wonder tonight. There is talk of Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson moving up a rung as a result. Guido doubts we will see the return of David  Laws to the Cabinet, but he could well take the vacant Junior Minister slot. 

+ + + Huhne Decision at 10am Tomorrow Morning + + +

Top Totty Bitter Backlash

There has been a bitter backlash against hopping mad Kate Green. She says Strangers selling “Top Totty Ale”  is beyond the pale, but there’s trouble brewing. Centre right women’s think tank WomenOn have hit back:

“More authoritarian posturing from radical feministas who are after a fun-free and sex-free world.”

Guido hears the ban will happen though. You can protest it with an offensive Twibbon here.

UPDATE: It’s officially banned. A sud day.

UPDATE: UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass is on the rampage:

“Ms Green really is a humourless sort. She thinks by throwing about this well loved ale will deflect from her own failings. Failings that include failing to declare her financial interests properly. After all she has been censured for not mentioning her Union sponsorship.

Top Totty, first arrived at the strangers bar in 2007 as a guest beer, and was sold out within 3 days. It has been a finalist in the National Beer Awards and is a fine brew. Ms Green obviously wouldn’t know this given that she boasts that she hasn’t set foot in the Stranger’s Bar in year and a half since she was elected. In may ways that tells us everything we need to know.

This sort of knee-jerk Puritanism does more to damage the cause of equality than a thousand beer labels”, he said. “It suggests that to be in favour of equality you must indulge in dour-faced, insult-searching misery.”

Subsidised Totty

Activate the sisters! Fun-killing Labour MP Kate Green has demanded that ‘Top Totty’ ale be banned from Strangers:

She can unleash the faux-hysteria about a picture, but not a peep about the taxpayer subsidy. Priorities…

Picture via Tony Grew 

UPDATE: She’s actually serious:

Tory Whips Pushing IMF Bailout Arguments

Guido hears whispers that any extra cash to the IMF is unlikely to be pledged before April, which means he could well be running around Smith Square naked on St Paddy’s Day as promised. A man of his word…

That hasn’t stopped the Tory whips preparing the troops for the potential vote though. Yesterday the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

“Some have been arguing that the U.K. should stand aside from any increase in IMF resources and let the euro zone stew in its own juice. That would be a mistake—the cost to the U.K. would be high. Instead, Britain should respond to the IMF’s own conclusion that it has financing needs of an additional $500 billion in coming years by agreeing to our share of a global loan.”

He lays out the argument for more borrowed bail-outs and Tory whips are circulating the piece, clearly trying to soften the ground. With a large chunk of the Tory backbenches loathed to contribute more money, coupled with the prospect of Labour opposing it too, it’s going to take more than the odd article and email to win this one.

1917 Act Could Be Used to Strip Convicted Peers

Yesterday Guido pondered why there was no retribution for Peers who are convicted criminals and that it’s  just unpopular Knights that get shredded. Well it seems to have got the ball rolling…

Tory MP Matthew Hancock tells the FT: “I don’t see why the rules for peers should be entirely different to the rules for MPs”. As Jim Pickard points out, legislation has already passed that, with an amendment or two, could make this happen. The 1917 Deprivation of Titles Act was used to strip Peers who supported Germany in WWI…

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Poor old Ed even gets thinly veiled attacks from his brother in his good weeks – The Telegraph have splashed David’s intervention. Luckily for Ed, on the back of his Commons outings this week, David’s subtle dig won’t cause too much of a headache for the Labour leader, but it fits with the overall pattern of David’s behaviour that Guido mentioned yesterday.

The seven point plan for rehabilitation that he sets out in his Staggers article doesn’t seem to have a shelf life…


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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