Friday, February 8, 2013

Today In Court Pryce: I Could Have Ruined Him By Other Means

Yesterday it was the taped phone calls, today Vicky Pryce hinted that she had far more on her ex-husband that she could have used to destroy him: “If I wanted to ruin him I could’ve thought about other things to expose him with no repercussions for me. It was a very tough time for me and rest of the family and I did things I’m not proud of. If I’d wanted to inflict fatal damage on him I could have done something very different”.

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation heard today was Pryce’s claim that Huhne tried to pressure her into having a second abortion, but she said no. Gives a somewhat different perspective to those texts. The trial continues…

And Now Over to Labour’s Emma Reynolds…

As Dave announces the details of this afternoon’s deal it it worth looking back at what some of his opponents have said in the past. Here is what Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Europe Minister, told SkyNews in November: “If he does get a good deal for British taxpayers then we will commend him for that but we wait to see the outcome of the negotiations”. The PM will no doubt be looking forward to her congratulations…

Deal! EU Budget Cut For the First Time Ever

Dave has got his deal, with the EU budget facing a real-terms cut. As seems to be the way nowadays, it was announced on Twitter:

Secretive European Parliament president and Labour ally Martin Schulz is livid – saying the deal has been done according to the “lowest common denominator” – which must be a good thing. Britain’s contribution is still going to rise, however. We await the details…

UPDATE: It is worth remembering that this is hardly a win for the British taxpayer:

Lambeth Labour Laughing Stock

Yesterday Guido brought you news of Lambeth’s Labour council and their shameless taxpayer-funded propaganda. Streatham Tories have done a funny in return:

Good point, well made…

Polly’s Ill-Fated NHS Omen

Back in the summer of 2008 everything was so rosy for Polly Toynbee. Eleven years of Labour dominance, the Prime Mentalist was in power and, according to her, the NHS was going from strength to strength:

“This anniversary week the NHS has never been in better health. Never good enough, but now is the golden age on just about every available measure. No deficit but a surplus, no winter ward closures, no annual crises. Best of all, mortality amenable to healthcare figures – the avoidable death rates – now show a 21% improvement, far more than any other EU country. As those figures cover only 1998 to 2003 before the big spend, they are expected to have improved sharply.”

As Polly penned that piece from the confines of whichever million-pound house or Tuscan villa she was staying in that week, just what was happening back in the real world? This week’s Francis Report found that hundreds of patients had died needlessly at the mid-Staffordshire trust in the years between 2005 and 2008.

“Fundamental rights were denied,” Francis says, slamming the “appalling and unnecessary suffering”. Polly saw a golden age, Francis found a “lack of care, compassion, humanity and leadership”. For Polly it was a story of the NHS never being in better health, for Francis: “this is a story of appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients. There was lack of humanity”.

Truly the envy of the world…

Friday Caption Contest: Why the Long Face Edition

huhne horse

Win a bunch of Valentine’s Day roses from Arena Flowers delivered on Thursday for the winning the caption. Usual rules…

Labour Ally Proposes Secret EU Budget Vote

The lengths MEPs will go to prevent transparency and usurp democracy never ceases to surprise Guido. The European Parliament is proposing to employ the unusual procedure of a secret ballot to prevent us from knowing which ways MEPs voted. Quite how they can justify not telling the public how they are voting when around £1 trillion of taxpayers’ money is at stake only Martin Schulz knows. Needless to say he is threatening to block the potential budget reduction as well…

Schulz, along with the po-faced Joseph Daub, is the centre-left President of the EP. Despised by colleagues for being one of the only MEPs allowed to claim his allowance without providing evidence he actually turned up for work, Schulz used to lead the Labour grouping in Europe and is still closely allied to the party.

Labour MEPs usually side with him on most matters in the EP,  but will surely they wouldn’t stoop this low? Would they?

UPDATE: Still nothing from Labour, but Dave has criticised the move this afternoon:

“I find it baffling. You send members to parliament, they vote, you see how they vote. I think that’s what parliaments are all about. When it comes to money it’s even more important to see how people are voting…I don’t understand secret ballots, parliaments should be open and transparent and people should be held accountable for how they vote.”

EU Lefties Trying to Ban Murdoch, Axel Springer and Berlusconi

You would never have guessed the European Initiative for Media Pluralism was a nefarious group of press-hating leftist Leveson-lovers from their name, would you? The EU’s version of Hacked Off is trying to have a directive passed by the European Commission that would have a drastic impact on media moguls. They are demanding:

  1. Effective legislation to avoid concentration of ownership in the media and advertisement sectors;
  2. Guaranteed independence of supervisory bodies, with a politically and culturally balanced and socially diverse membership;
  3. Definition of conflict of interests with media ownership;
  4. Broadcast, print and online media should be required to submit to a national media authority sufficient ownership information to allow identification of the beneficial and ultimate owners of media outlets.

Of course Hugh Grant is involved, meeting here with Neelie Kroes, the European Commission’s ‘Big Sister’:

Germany’s Axel Springer media group reaches 52% of the population via Bild alone, Berlusconi in Italy owns 3 out of 7 broadcast channels. Their real goal is betrayed in the ‘about’ section of their website: “Some, notably the UK, suffer from problems of excessive concentration leading to undue influence of certain economic groups, notably Murdoch’s media empire, over political processes”. Arguably Berlusconi’s media empire has more influence over political processes.  By coincidence all three media groups are, to varying degrees, right-of-centre and sceptical of Brussels…

David “The Jews” Ward Summoned to Whips Showdown, Again
LibDem Sources: Ward Losing Support of His Colleagues

After Guido reported David Ward’s second yellow card offence yesterday, he has now been ordered to meet the LibDem chief whip for a second time. Guido understands that the party leadership has run out of patience after Ward’s refusal to back down, apparently “decisions will be made“. The real problem for Ward is his isolation from fellow LibDem MPs. A senior party source whispers to Guido:

“David is swiftly losing the support of his colleagues. At first there was some sympathy that he could have genuinely misspoken. That argument is wearing very thin. He seems to think that being pro-Palestine is the same as being anti-Semitic.”

Ward this morning tweeted that he has a “busy day ahead”. He better believe it…

Dave’s Budget Triumph Success?

The noises from Brussels are positive this morning, the overnight negotiations have almost finished, the briefings and spinning has begun. In November the Commission’s demand for €973 billion was revised down to €942 billion. Final figure said to be as little as €908 billion – which would be a real terms cut. It should be borne in mind that in 2011 Britain was targeting a budget settlement of €886 billion, so €908 billion is not quite the unalloyed success that will be claimed by Downing Street. In fact it may turn out to be all smoke and mirrors. The only real test is will the British financial payment to the EU go up…


Seen Elsewhere

From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton
Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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