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.

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 his constituency will find out his deep, dark secret.

Farron’s office told Guido this morning that they have never tried to hide the fact their man prefers stuffed peppers to steak and chips, but that doesn’t explain why Farron has been refusing to answer questions put to him by multiple members of the Guy Newsroom. Guido would have thought nothing more of it if he had not been so cagey. Odd…

Chief money printer Mervyn King says:

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

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 had nicked it from Telegraph sketch-writer Michael Deacon, who tweeted yesterday:

Someone better tell Brian…

UPDATE: The baboon is crediting the Sun:

Diamond Letter: I'm Not Going Anywhere

Bob Diamond is digging his heels in. This is what he sent to the head of the Treasury Select Committee last night:

Guido can’t help think things would be just that little bit easier for Bob if his surname was not Diamond.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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