Friday, October 12, 2012

Rest in Peace – Prince Roy of Sealand
“I might die young or old, but I will never die of boredom”

Farewell then Prince Roy of Sealand, leader of the free micro-state based seven miles off of Suffolk coast. The pirate radio guru,  former British Army Major and libertarian poster-boy Paddy Roy Bates has died aged 91. Prince Roy seized Sealand in 1967, and declared it an independent nation in 1975. After various coups and run-ins with the British Navy, Sealand was finally recognised as a nation after the Germans sent a hostage negotiator to the 5,920sq ft former civil war fort after an attempted coup in 1978.

After broadcasting pirate radio across the south-east of England, the principality has latterly made its money out of hosting servers and selling titles to the likes of Neo-Guido, a Baron of the free-land. Prince Roy is succeeded, after a minor power struggle with Princess Joan, by Michael, the new regent and head of state. There could be a challenge though by one Johannes Seiger who is head of the shadow Sealandic Rebel Government, based in Germany, since his father was forced out after the failed coup of ’78.

A major film is in production about the nation’s history, until then Guido will leave you with the motto of this concrete paradise: “E Mare Libertas”

The Jimmy Savile questions aren’t the only reason why Lord Patten has a busy weekend in store…

Find out why over on MediaGuido

Lord Patten’s Busy Weekend

Spare a thought for Chris Patten. Not only does the chairman of the BBC Trust have to deal with an avalanche of letters, complaints, at least one inquiry and interest from the police this weekend, he also has a grand total of twelve other jobs to do.

Patten is a board member of energy giant BP, as well as working as a non-executive director for recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates. On top of that he is the chancellor of Oxford University, an adviser to a major telecoms company, a private equity group and EDF energy. He also has unpaid jobs in Japan, Italy, Turkey and the Hague. Is it really appropriate for a man who trousers £110,000 of licence fee payers’ money to have a dozen other jobs, especially at a time like this?

Guido hears that Patten and other senior BBC figures will come under increasing pressure over the weekend. Watch this space…

Sue Cameron on Nobel “T***ers”

Someone had to say it…

Video via @liarpoliticians

Friday Caption Contest (Mitchell Against the Wall Edition)

The winner of this week’s wit-fest will receive two tickets to the Spectator Debate on the evening of Monday 29th October. It’s the battle of the Chancellors – George Osborne isn’t working – we need a Plan B’ -  Lord Lamont V Alistair Darling.

On the panel with Darling will be David Blanchflower and Lord Oakeshott.  With Lamont, Sajid Javid MP and one further speaker.

Usual rules apply…

Pic: @politicalpictures

Bryan Appleyard reacts to Andy Burnham’s absurd claim that Hillsborough “one of the great injustices of the twentieth century”:

“Andy, meet Slobodan, Adolf, Mao, Josef…”

Watson’s Corby Email Dirty Tricks

When it was announced that Brownite boot-boys Tom Watson and Ian Austin would be the campaign managers for Labour’s by-election in Corby you knew it would not take long to get dirty. Despite being way ahead in the polls and likely to take the seat, it seems dishonesty is the order of the day on the ground. The campaign built for Andy Sawford – the son of a Labour MP turned lobbyist – focusses on an apparent threat to the local Kettering Hospital. Depending on which Labour leaflet you read (kindly paid for by Unison) the threat to local jobs in the area is either in the hundreds of the thousands.The problem is it is not true…

Any changes to South East Midlands NHS are overseen by clinicians through the Healthier Together program, who are looking at two options for restructuring health provision in the area. While Sawford cries about “major cuts to A&E, maternity, acute and children’s services at TWO of the five hospitals,” the local NHS explain what is actually happening: “Services such as A&E, maternity and outpatients would remain on all five sites under both options.” Sawford’s petition to save the hospital is nothing more than email and postcode harvesting. 

UPDATE MONDAY: As Guido reported in the Daily Star Sunday yesterday, Sawford is in a right muddle about health:

HONESTY has gone out of the window in the Corby by-election to find a replacement MP after Louise Mensch quit. Labour’s candidate Andy Sawford, whose dad used to be an MP, is basing his campaign on saving the local hospital. This is despite the NHS board which runs it confirming there is no threat to it. The former lobbyist has not always been such a vocal defender of the health service, though. Back in 2009 he criticised plans to “ring-fence” the NHS budget from cuts, correctly claiming it only “postponed the pain” and that it “created an uneven playing field in local public service delivery”. You won’t see that on Sawford’s election leaflets.

Introducing Tax Avoiding HuffPo Luxembourg

HuffPoUK have jumped on the tax status exposé bandwagon, lambasting those terrible internet companies for avoiding tax:

At least they have been gracious enough to admit AOL does not make it into the top five companies on the internet. Guido wonders though, would that by any chance be the same HuffPo UK that is owned by AOL Limited, whose parent company is the Luxembourg-registered AOL Europe Société à responsabilité limitée?

The HuffPoUK exposé makes clear the benefits of such an arrangement:

“Amazon, the UK’s most popular shopping site, generated £3.2 million in UK profits last year yet managed to pay zero corporation tax as its European headquarters are registered in the tax haven of Luxembourg.”

Loads of media organisations have similar set ups, though most would not be so stupid as to throw stones from inside Arianna’s glasshouse. There was no byline on the post –  it seems whoever wrote it is ashamed to put their name to the: Biggest Piece of Hypocrisy Ever Seen on the Internet.™

UPDATE:

EU Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Norwegian television confirms that the European Union is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. And no it’s not a Daily Mash spoof. Presumably the EU deserves the prize for its sterling effort helping to plunge the world into economic crisis? Or maybe for its excellent work in Syria? This is even more absurd than the time they awarded it to Obama for his peace-spreading drone strikes in North Pakistan…

UPDATE:

UPDATE II: As Greece heads towards civil war it might be worth noting the Dalai Lama’s view this morning:

Telegraph Throw Down Mitchell Gauntlet

There is a fairly incredible editorial in this morning’s Telegraph that challenges the Prime Minister to fire his Chief Whip:

“It is, of course, unfair that a successful ministerial career should end thanks to an intemperate outburst. Certainly, Mr Mitchell is entitled to feel aggrieved at the role played by the Police Federation. Whether or not its officers were complicit in the row first becoming public, they have done everything possible to stoke it since, as part of a wider campaign against the Government’s police reforms. Yet that – like the question of what was actually said that day – is almost beside the point. In the end, it is not so much a matter of principle as of politics. If he stays, Mr Mitchell can do little good, and much damage. For the sake of his party, he should do the decent thing and stand down.”

Guido suspects such demands from the press might stiffen the Prime Minister’s resolve. If Mitchell does go this afternoon, questions are likely to be asked about who is really running the show…


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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