Dorries Should Defect

It does amuse Guido that those so quick to dismiss the views of Nadine Dorries in very personal terms because they disagree with her, have showered her with praise today for going for Cameron’s jugular on today’s Daily Politics. If a sustained bitter campaign of bile was unleashed in a similar way from the right on a female Labour MP, the kickback would be very different. If Nadine really holds her party leadership in such low regard, is it not time for it to send an even clearer messageTwitter would love it…

Beeb’s Biased Brief

“Legal commentator and former government lawyer” Carl Gardner has been rather vocal in recent days about the Abu Qatada case. He’s billed as an impartial commentator on the airwaves. Today in the Guardian he pronounced that “I read both cases as supporting Abu Qatada’s reading, rather than the Home Secretary’s.” Surprisingly his opinions might not be as impartial as he likes to present. Writing with a little less legal flair during the 2010 general election campaign, Gardner said “as a Labour supporter, I’m far from being a natural Conservative, and so perhaps I’m likely to be biased”. Someone better tell the “un-biased” BBC…

Yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday Column Now Online

Osborne, Galloway, Seb Coe and more on that nasty race to become Mayor of Birmingham.

Half a million people read it in print yesterday, and you can now read the blog’s Sunday column online here

Neck and Neck: Boris 51% v Ken 49%

Today’s YouGov/Evening Standard poll has Boris only two points ahead of Ken. Right back to where they were in February.

Two weeks to go…

Left-Wing Hollande Would Trigger €urogeddon

Guido shorted €uros last night as soon as the Kiwis got to their desks and the currency markets opened. French Socialist Francois Hollande looks set to become President of France and the Dutch government has fallen apart. International investors are not going to look at that kindly, Guido also has a sense that the election of a left-wing president in France who actually implements a left-wing agenda would frighten the bond markets. Hollande will probably tack to the centre once in office, he is after all only a politician making election promises. If however he sticks to the left-wing agenda that his rhetoric promises, the big macro-hedge funds will take the view that French bonds can join the PIIGS (Portugese, Irish, Italian and Spanish bonds) on the sell list. In government Hollande has to choose between his rhetoric and the reality of the bond markets.

The ECB has already dangerously leveraged up support for the PIIGs via Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO). Leveraging up the ECB’s capital base has allowed it to put nearly €1 trillion of PIIG sovereign debt on its books, at a massive leverage ratio of nearly 40 to 1. If the ECB were a marked-to-market hedge fund instead of a Central Bank we would say it was investing recklessly, a mere 2.5% market move against it would wipe out all of its capital. The market doesn’t move it against it because it massively intervenes to support its own position.

If however the German Bundesbank decides that the ECB can’t go on literally doubling the chips on the table – up 106% since last year – the €uro as is could be too big to save. That is why all Osborne’s Treasury’s protestations about the IMF always getting its money back count for little. The US and China want to see Germany bet everything on the €uro before they join the rescue party. German politicians – including those of the left-of-centre SPD – expect Hollande to govern from the centre whatever he says on the hustings. British left-wingers hoping for a left-wing surge on the continent sparked by Hollande should be careful what they wish for, it would trigger the end of the €uro. If Hollande abandoned Sarkozy’s deficit reduction programme Germany would probably seek alternative arrangements – a hard-€uro Fiscal Union made up of Northern Europeans who run their affairs like the Germans and a looser soft-€uro of Southern Europeans who overspend. The dream of a united continent of Europe with one currency would be over…

The Mail on Sunday asked Eric Joyce: is fighting your main passion?

“No, it’s only a hobby. I’m just better at it than politics”.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

See more cartoons



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