Whitehall source says tomorrow's Cabinet cancelled.—
Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) September 03, 2012
“Deluded communist idiot” (Farage, 2012) and EU boss Jose Manuel Barroso claims he has launched a new Twitter account today. Barroso’s spokesman was quick to boast about the man-with-no-mandate’s new-found popularity:
…Roughly translating as “the new Twitter account of the EU President has gained nearly 5,000 followers in less than 20 minutes“. The only problem being that the account isn’t new at all, has been open for over a year and already had a large number of followers before today. Nice try…
Asked by Dennis Skinner on whether he would accept a seat in the Lords, Nick Clegg at first tried to joke that he would not be very welcome given what he has said about the upper chamber, but was pinned down and confirmed that it would “stick in the throat” for him to accept the honour having apparently campaigned against it all his life. Presumably a nice job in the unelected EU will suit his democratic outlook though…
Clegg did leave himself some wriggle room by saying he would not accept the seat in an “unreformed House of Lords.” Such caveats never worried Prezza, Clegg’s predecessor as Deputy Prime Minister, though. We’ll hold him to this one…
From: Policy Exchange Events
Sent: 03 September 2012 15:26
Subject: EVENT POSTPONED
Due to unforeseen circumstances we have unfortunately had to postpone the below event.
Harriet McKenzie | Head of Events
Towards the next Conservative manifesto
Securing rising living standards by making Britain more competitive
Delivered by Nick Boles MP
Policy Exchange invites you to a keynote speech by Nick Boles MP, former Director of Policy Exchange on Tuesday 4th September.
Registration for the event is from 9am for a 9.30am start in The Ideas Space, Clutha House, 10 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, SW1P 3AY.
Guido presumes that the “unforeseen circumstances” are “because the speaker has just been promoted into government”.
Who is in? Who is out? Shouting at politicians and unexpected cats. What more could you want from a piece to camera…
Pushed after his speech on whether he has confidence in George Osborne, David Davis stayed just the right side of loyal given he had spent the last half hour providing a comprehensive take down of the Chancellor. Apparently “he is clever enough, smart enough to do what needs to be done“.
The old timer did set a de facto deadline of the autumn statement for the right thing to be done though – the right thing presumably being Davis plan in full. He would not be drawn on what would happen if bold action was not taken, but that one went without saying…
Bumping into John Redwood over a prawn sandwich this lunchtime, Guido put some questions to the seasoned Tory brain on the imminent government movements. Redwood wearily accepted that the “faces will remain the same” so “it’s what they are saying that has to change”. He vented frustrated that the Coalition had not “stuck to the script“, noting that: “We were promised a private sector led recovery and the opposite has happened, the private sector has been hit by rate increases instead“. Redwood might not exactly be expecting a phone call from No. 10, but seemed more irritated that “good advice from the sidelines is not being listened to“.
While Osborne was watching sport, David Davis then took to the stage at the Charted Institute of Accounts to give the economic status quo the Basher treatment, calling for “economic shock therapy” and earning a few chuckles with his admission that: “I understand that No.10 has a nudge unit, well what I’m calling for is slightly more than a nudge“.
The “headline grabbing trivia” of the Chancellor and Prime Minister was repeatedly savaged: “There is a conspiracy of deception between the two front benches to overstate the cuts. It suits opposition to say look at all these terrible cuts and suits government to keep our credibility with the markets“. And it wasn’t just Osborne that got it in the neck: “No new taxes, and yes I’m looking at you Mr Clegg“.
Dave and George’s new infrastructure spending was next to get both barrels, before Plan DD was announced: “We need a bonfire of regulations. And we need to start with employment laws. We need to take a knife to the Gordonian knot on the British tax code.” Davis quickly apologised to the accountants present given his plan will force some of them out of work. That was the least of the doom and gloom…
Cracks are starting to appear in Brussels. Literally.
From: “WELLE Klaus”
To: “Parlement Européen”
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 07:41:19 +0200
Subject: Temporary closure of Section A of the Paul-Henri Spaak Buildin
In agreement with the President and the responsible Vice-President, I have taken the decision to temporarily close Section A of the Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) Building. This precautionary measure has become necessary after the discovery of cracks in three of the wooden beams carrying the roof of the plenary chamber, during checks made in the framework of our increased inspection and maintenance policy. The causes of the cracks could not be determined which makes the temporary closure of the Section A of the Paul-Henri Spaak building necessary until the source of the problem can be identified.
The delicious irony was not lost on Nigel Farage, who gets in touch to say: “The roof is falling in in the European Parliament on the first day of term. I wonder what that might be a metaphor for?” Will the EU still be here by the time it’s fixed?
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Guido’s Column | Sun
New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:
“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”
Christie Malry @fcablog
Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops