Matthew Parris explains why we’re in the state we’re in…

“We have been living beyond our means. We have been paying ourselves more than our efforts were earning. We sought political leaders who would assure us that the good times would never end and that the centuries of boom and bust were over; and we voted for those who offered that assurance. We sought credit for which we had no security and we gave our business to the banks that advertised it. We wanted higher exam grades for our children and were rewarded with politicians prepared to supply them by lowering exam standards. We wanted free and better health care and demanded chancellors who paid for it without putting up our taxes. We wanted salacious stories in our newspapers and bought the papers that broke the rules to provide them. And now we whimper and snarl at MPs, bankers and journalists. Fair enough, my friends, but, you know, we really are all in this together.”

Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Jackson in Thatcherite Girl-on-Girl Action

In what will no doubt come as disappointing news to Mehdi Hasan, Guido will admit that Charlotte Jackson is by far his favourite Al Jazeera and Sky Sports presenter. She tweeted this picture of her celebrating in Maggie’s on the Fulham Road last night with the comment: “It’s safe to say I’ve pulled!”

Via: OnTablets

Rupert Murdoch tells Fox News he’s given up on buying BSkyB…

“We’ve moved on from our thinking in that. That was billions and billions of dollars and if Britain doesn’t want them, we’ll find a place to put them here.”

Saturday Seven Up

This week 83,535 visitors visited 263,976 times viewing 446,335 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

New Libor, New Danger

The star witness at any future banking inquiry…

Oborne’s Ashcroft Flip Flop

Guido noted last year that the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne turned on David Cameron, having previously said he could go down in history as one of the greats, he later went on to write a diatribe against him saying he was in the “sewer”. It seems he’s had an equally dramatic change of heart about Lord Ashcroft.

In 2010 Oborne wrote:

The image of Lord Ashcroft as a sinister svengali figure in Conservative politics has always been a little unfair.”

What a change of heart then in yesterday’s Telegraph:

“The Tory peer has secured his reward for establishing himself as the most powerful proprietor in the emerging world of online publishing and political intelligence, where he is so dominant that last week he became subject to an investigation by the Competition Commission. The Tory peer uses his other properties, including the widely read PoliticsHome website, to establish what Lord Justice Leveson would call a “megaphone presence” in the online media.

They have undermined trust in the Coalition and stirred up Conservative hostility against the Liberal Democrats, while giving a platform to some of the most vicious opponents of the Prime Minister. In recent months Lord Ashcroft and his small but beautifully placed army of editors, columnists and pollsters have started to push David Cameron around. 

Lord Ashcroft, a brutal critic of the Coalition from the start, could do no more than fume impotently with rage as Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg signed up to their agreement. But the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, who has been against it all along, looks like getting his way.”

Sounds like a “sinister svengali figure in Conservative politics” to Guido…

Guido spoke to Peter and he said the point he was making was that Tim Montgomerie’s blog claims to represent grassroots conservatives and the Telegraph is a national newspaper. Not sure how significant these factors are, in reality both publications speak to their owner’s and editor’s prejudices. Where is the fun in owning or editing a publication if you can’t use it to settle scores, eh?

Man Douses Himself With Petrol, Lefties Explode

There’s a horrible story doing the rounds today after a man tried to set himself alight outside a Birmingham job centre. The man apparently tied himself to the railings outside the building before dousing himself with flammable liquid and setting his legs alight. Given the price of petrol, this was obviously a well thought out plan.

The usual suspects, plus others who should know better, have been quick to scream that this is the consequence of “austerity”. A particularly unedifying spin. However there appears to be no reason to believe that this had anything to do with the lack of jobs available to this man. Instead, eyewitnesses report, that the man was shouting about a screw up in receiving his benefits.

If only Labour’s 5-point plan for jobs and growth had been in place, he would have been fine, right?

Friday Caption Contest (Apocalypse Dave Edition)

Wittiest comment wins…

50 Cross-Party MPs Urge Lansley Against Plain Packs

Only a couple of weeks left to ask the government to stamp out this ridiculous idea.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tim Farron Outed

LibDem President Tim Farron has been dodging questions about his culinary preferences over the last few days. A yellow source tells Guido that Farron is a closet vegetarian, terrified that the large meat-eating population of National Farmers’ Union members in […]

+ READ MORE +

Chief money printer Mervyn King says:

“Something has gone very wrong with the UK banking industry.”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sun Steals Headline From Telegraph

The Sun has been receiving much adulation this morning following its Pink Floyd-inspired headline lambasting Barclays boss Bob Diamond.

A classic of the genre…

However before they could take all the credit Twitter helpfully pointed out that the Sun […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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