Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Was Rachel’s Bonus?

Labour rent-a-fog-horn Rachel Reeves has been in the headlines again today calling for “those with the broadest shoulders and those with responsibility for creating the crisis” to be made to pay. What about those that have subsequently left the financial sector?  

Reeves worked for HBOS from 2006 to 2009. If she’s going to continue proposing historical punishments for failure, should she not declare any bonus payments she received in that time and whether she waived them? How much was her bonus?

Did she even deserve one for “exceptional work”After all HBOS ended up partially state-owned when Lloyds Banking Group was bailed out…

Romney’s Money Problem

Guardian’s Favourite Despot Deposed

You won’t hear much about this from the left today, but Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is the latest leader to be forced out of office on a wave of protest. It seems he wasn’t a very nice chap and his arresting a judge was the last straw for an angry public who took to the streets. There is surprisingly muted coverage about the incident over at the Guardian. Could it be because Nasheed was until very recently the darling of the green movement?

Mohamed Nasheed once held a cabinet meeting under water in a climate change stunt and it won him hero status in that field. The paper has always sung his praises:

“After his election last year, Nasheed raised the possibility of buying a new homeland for the country’s 396,000 residents with the hundreds of millions of dollars that tourists spend. Earlier this year, he announced that the Maldives would stop using fossil fuels by 2020. The president is also committed to converting an atoll into a UN-protected biosphere to preserve the unique wildlife and fauna found on the 1,100 islands.”

At one point in 2009 the Observer claimed that Nasheed could not only save the Maldives but also the world. Who would have thought a green fanatic would have such fascistic tendencies…  

The Guardian aren’t having a great day.

Firstly Polly this morning, then this, and now it seems Moinboit has gone off on one.

Read the comprehensive take down of the Moonbat here.

Dickensian Dave

The workhouse is not coming back just yet, but what larks at Cabinet this morning as Jeremy Hunt gave out copies of Dickens’ classics to each Secretary of State.

The choices were apparently based on their character:

  • David Cameron – Great Expectations & Hard Times
  • Nick Clegg – Oliver Twist
  • William Hague – The Uncommercial Traveller
  • Andrew Mitchell – Dombey and Son
  • George Osborne – A Tale of Two Cities
  • Danny Alexander – Hard Times
  • Kenneth Clarke - Little Dorrit
  • Theresa May – Little Dorrit
  • Justine Greening – Dombey and Son
  • Philip Hammond – Dombey and Son
  • Vince Cable – A Christmas Carol
  • David Willetts – The Haunted Man and Ghost’s Bargain
  • Iain Duncan Smith – Oliver Twist
  • Ed Davey – Little Dorrit
  • Andrew Lansley - Nicholas Nickleby
  • Michael Gove – A Child’s History of England
  • Eric Pickles – A House to Let
  • Caroline Spelman - Bleak House
  • Owen Paterson - Pickwick Papers
  • Michael Moore – Pickwick Papers
  • Cheryl Gillan – Pickwick Papers
  • Baroness Warsi – The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Francis Maude - The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Oliver Letwin – The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Lord Strathclyde – Bleak House
  • Sir George Young – Bleak House

Lansley left early and paused for the cameras. He was backed by the Prime Ministers spokesman too. It hardly seems like Hard Times are ahead, despite this morning’s excitement. 

What are your suggestions for what Huhne would have been given? Guido would have recommended Dickens’ 1862 short story “Somebody’s Luggage”…

Top Tipple

Guido is slow to this one, but it turns out someone does have a sense of humour after all.

After the furore over “Top Totty” resulting in it being banned as a guest ale in the Strangers Bar, a brewery have sent over “Kangaroo Court” as a replacement.

Here endeth the beer story. 

WATCH: Lembit’s Latest Turn

Labour HQ Move Spin Unravels

When Labour announced that they were moving their HQ from 39 Victoria Street, they spun that it was in order to bring the party machine closer to the Leader of the Opposition’s operation in Parliament. Well that line has fallen apart pretty quickly with the announcement that they are moving barely a couple of hundred metres. In the opposite direction.

Given that the only result on GoogleMaps for “Brewers Green”, where the Labour NEC say the new offices are, is even further from Parliament, Guido is going to believe his Labour drinking companion the other night who claimed the only reason for the move was because the party could not afford the rent in their current location.

What’s that line about organisation and breweries? 

Exclusive: Office of Fair Trading to Rule on Ashcroft Bid
+ + OFT Fears Dominance of Political Monitoring Sector + +
+ + City Takeover Panel Requires “Whitewash Resolution” + +

Guido reported last month that Lord Ashcroft was adding to his political publishing empire by buying DeHavilland Political Intelligence for £12.8 million. This will give him control of the political intelligence services sector in the UK. PoliticsHome was his first purchase, originally conceived to take on Dods’ established political monitoring business, in the end instead of out-competing the rival Dods, Ashcroft bought and merged the two loss making businesses. PoliticsHome is losing £10,000 a week and the bigger Dods is losing £20,000 a week because their print businesses are, according to the directors “in long-term structural decline”. As a financial imperative the emphasis has shifted onto organising lobbyist’s events and conferences as well as selling political monitoring and intelligence. The event organising business could be hit hard by the statutory registration of lobbyists being coupled with politicians and civil servants having to register their contacts with lobbyists. Politicians will simply stop attending and if they don’t come, the lobbyists won’t pay.

The key growth business is political monitoring, 40% of Dods’ revenues comes from this sector. It had one rival, DeHavilland, founded in 1998 by Adam Afriyie, now Conservative MP for Windsor; he sold it in 2005, to Guardian Media Group owned Emap for £8 million, now they are now selling it on to Ashcroft-controlled Dods plc for £12.8 million. If the Office of Fair Trading nods the deal through it will give the combined group control of the political monitoring sector which is used by corporate and public affairs professionals to keep track of political and legislative developments. The lack of competition will inevitably allow the combined near-monopoly to jack up prices to customers. Ouch.

The takeover deal is being funded entirely by Lord Ashcroft underwiting a share placing that will see his resultant holding in Dods plc potentially go up to 42.9%, way over the 29.9% limit past which the City Takeover Code requires the purchaser to make a full offer to the remaining shareholders to buy them out. Dods are seeking a Rule 9 Waiver on his behalf to allow it to go through without Ashcroft making an offer for the shares he does not already own in Dods, effectively stranding the minority shareholders in the company. Minority shareholders might be looking for an exit given that the illiquid shares have performed badly, more than halving since Ashcroft bought a controlling stake. The Takeover Panel has ruled that Dods need to get a difficult “Whitewash Resolution” from the minority shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to wave the deal through. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, the EGM is being held quietly and without any fanfare at this very moment in the City offices of the company’s law firm, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP. Shareholder attendance will be very limited…


Seen Elsewhere

Uber Needs to Mind Its Manners | CapX
Sun Victory in Court | MediaGuido
UKIP Gains Coming at Labour’s Expense | Elections Etc
Farage’s Migrant Muddle | Indy
Tristram Should Stop Bashing Independent Schools | Toby Young
Journalists in the Dock | David Banks
Let Them Eat Gay Cake | Laura Perrins
May v Javid | ConHome
Politicians Never Safe From Being Recorded | Stephen Pollard
Superstar Carney | Alex Brummer
Gulf Dividing Labour | Mary Riddell


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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