Tories were quick to spot last week that there was no mention of the “deficit” word in Ed Miliband’s conference speech. Ed Balls’ political advisor is claiming, similarly, that there is no mention of “growth” in Osborne’s speech.
Actually there was one fleeting reference, Osborne said he would go on “making the fundamental, deep-rooted changes needed so our country can grow and compete and prosper.” Just the one mind you…
Boris-mania is brewing in Brum. With the Mayor on his way, out-riders close to the team are pre-smoothing feathers:
“He’s going to be on best behaviour, but then he always says that.”
No pressure then.
Fresh from last week’s Pilgrims victory the Trade Union Reform Campaign fringe event is just getting under way in Birmingham. Tory MP Rob Halfon will reveal that unions help their members minimise their tax bills by an astonishing £26 million through a variety of complex financial services schemes. Unite offer personal taxation services which have resulted in “over £6.3 million already refunded to Unite members”, while Unison say that on average over £200 tax per person is saved. Good to see the unions finally embracing capitalism…
The most popular fringe events at the Conservative Party Conference as of the time this went to pixel conference are according to FringeList.com:
#6 Tweet Up
Based on advanced registrations for free SMS text reminder by users of the FringeList App.
Some 20% of Guido’s readers now come view the blog via mobile phones and tablets. To be honest the light-for-mobile format of the blog isn’t very good. This new app aims to deal with some of those issues and give a richer experience – with interactivity. The blog feed on the app is light-format, you can click through to the desktop version with all the comments. Twitter is integrated into the app, as is a tip-off via email function if you have any gossip for us. If you are using the app on a phone you can now call and speak with us just by double clicking. If there is big story we will send users a push notification alert of the breaking news straight to your phone…
It works on on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry as well as iPad and Android tablets. How much for all this functionality? The first 5000 downloads of the app will be free. In a few weeks the app will be available via the Apple and Android app stores. You can download it here now…
The Tories’ co-chairmen seem to be getting on a lot better than the last pairing. It was comedy double act for the Chairmen’s reception last night with Feldman declaring that at his party the food was posher and the “wine marginally better” than your normal fringe event. Presumably he was picking up the tab for the foie gras on offer…
Shapps revealed the PM’s favourite joke at the moment: “If there was a Labour MP and a LibDem MP standing on a cliff, which would you push off… first?” Grant would apparently push the red off then the yellow – “business before pleasure”. Coalition harmony anyone?
If you had picked up your copy of the Daily Star Sunday yesterday you would already have all the latest Tory party conference gossip. Disaffected donor Lord Ashcroft bashed Grant Shapps’ new attack ad as a waste of money last week, but his criticism has left CCHQ scratching their heads.[…]
Question-dodger Tim Farron has trousered a generous donation from an unlikely source. The latest Register of Members’ Interests shows that London nightclub Ministry of Sound gave Farron £4,000 in September to help out with his campaign for LibDem party president. Given he was re-elected unopposed last week Guido is struggling to see how that was money well spent…[…]
“Goodbye comprehensive healthcare, hello private insurance”, was how the Guardian spun the Coalition’s health reforms. Apparently that evil mastermind masquerading as Andrew Lansley was implementing “the biggest ever act of NHS privatisation”, and the private healthcare market is an anti-competitive oligopoly.[…]
Watch wee Dougie squirm. Four times Andrew Neil asks him whether awkward Ed is a millionaire, four times the shadow foreign secretary refuses to answer. Why could that be?
Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that the north London townhouse house Ed and Justine bought for £1.6 million three years ago is now worth a cool £2.3 million.[…]