There is a right old bunfight going on in the Chamber between Osborne and Balls over the LIBOR scandal. Guido noticed that defending the Brown era of financial regulation on the Opposition front bench were; Brown’s former SpAd Ed Miliband, Brown’s closest aide and henchman Ed Balls, as well as Chris Leslie, Brown’s (uncontested) leadership campaign manager. The government always wants to remind everyone that the people who were in charge of banking regulation when the scandals and collapses happened are still around. Leading the Labour Party…
UPDATE: Osborne has just said the same thing:
Osborne: 'The Brownite cabal with all their tactics are alive and well in the Labour Party and have taken over the leadership'
— James Chapman (Mail) (@jameschappers) July 5, 2012
The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.
Thousands of Westminster insiders read the Guidogram, everyone from Downing Street insiders to Fleet Street never miss it. This week saw several key twists and turns in the Barclays scandal and important progress for the campaign against taxpayer-funded Pilgrims, while Guido found a new hero from an unlikely source. It’s been a week to remember.
Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop. You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…
This morning the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet and in all likelihood order another £50 billion of Quantitative Easing, or money printing. This will again be used to buy government bonds, artifically holding down long term interest rates. This deliberate policy is approved by George Osborne and allows the Treasury to finance government over-spending via sales of government gilts to the Bank of England. It robs the old of the value of their savings and the young who will have to finance the future taxation which the government has effectively deferred.
This monetary experiment will have totalled some £375 billion, it is unprecedented in scale and there is no clear exit strategy to unwind QE. The Bank of England’s balance sheet is now loaded up with gilts that were not sold in the open market, holding down interest rates and allowing George Osborne to point to the bond market and claim the UK is a safe haven. In reality we have an artificial bubble in the bond markets that could pop disastrously if confidence was lost. If it goes wrong, we will look back on QE as the biggest rate-fixing scandal of all time.
Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”