Tuesday, April 2, 2013

RIP Political Scrapbook

10 days, zero posts; there is no sign of life over at Britain’s leading left-wing blog. Not even – if their lefty pals are to be believed – the death of the welfare state and the privatisation of the NHS could revive Political Scrapbook. Nor could IDS’ £53 petition or Osborne’s dodgy figures wake them from their blogging coma. The Scrapbook twitter account, posting tweets from “the whole Scrapbook team”, has lain dormant for over a week. Rest in peace…

UPDATE:

Edwina Curries Favour

Rule number one when wading into a debate on welfare, don’t do this:

Doh…

IDS Hits Back: I’ve Lived On £53

IDS has told his local paper: “I have been unemployed twice in my life so I have already done this. I know what it is like to live on the breadline.” He says the petition “is a complete stunt which distracts attention from the welfare reforms which are much more important and which I have been working hard to get done.” The quiet man is turning up the volume.

A Masterclass in Miliband Spin


How convenient that “fascist” Di Canio gave David Miliband the perfect chance to loudly leave his £25,000 job at Sunderland Football Club on a matter of principle. How convenient too, that the former Labour-leader-in-waiting is getting away just at the time widespread anger is boiling over in Africa at the club’s sponsor: a sponsor that David Miliband secured. Regular readers will remember Tullow Oil.

According to the Guardian, David played a vital role in forging the Sunderland deal with Tullow, the African oil firm who have been humiliated this week after accusing the Ugandan President of being involved in a $50 million bribe, leading to the company making a grovelling apology.

This sort of hiccup cannot have gone down too well with Miliband’s other employers – he is an advisor to African leaders through Tony Blair’s African Governance Initiative. Along with his escape to New York, a cynic would say Miliband saw a perfect excuse to spin this one…

Dr George and Mr Osborne
Different Figures in Different Versions of Chancellor’s Speech

Two versions of the Osborne speech have been distributed today. One via the HMT press office, that stated:

“That means about one in every six pounds of tax that working people like you pay was going on working age benefits.”

Yet the version that CCHQ pushed half an hour later said:

“That means about one in every seven pounds of tax that working people like you pay was going on working age benefits.”

The Treasury version stated:

“In 2010 alone, payments to working age families cost £90 billion.”

Yet the CCHQ version says:

“In 2010 alone, payments to working age families cost £75 billion.” 

Which figures are accurate?

Via Sam Coates.

That Osborne General Election Message in Full

Click to enlarge. You can read his speech in full here.

UPDATE: Buried in his HMT promoted speech is Osborne’s general election campaign message:

With all our welfare changes, we’re simply asking people on benefits to make some of the same choices working families have to make every day.

To live in a less expensive house.

To live in a house without a spare bedroom unless they can afford it.

To get by on the average family income.

These are the realities of life for working people.

They should be the reality for everyone else too.

No wonder the Tories were PRing the speech too. Whose side are Labour on? Simples…

Chloe Smith Forgets Cosy Lobbyist Supper

Here is what the minister responsible for lobbying reform said when asked how she was getting on with tackling the “next big scandal waiting to happen” last week:

Miss Chloe Smith: Cabinet Office Ministers have had no meetings with interested parties on the Government’s plans for a proposed statutory register of lobbyists since September 2012.

The Government is committed to introducing a statutory register of lobbyists. We are continuing to carefully consider the evidence submitted in response to our consultation and will publish revised proposals in due course.

No meetings with anyone related to the lobbying industry since September, says Chloe. Oh dear. Funny then that she was spied dining with a lobbyist at Tory party conference in October. Must have slipped her mind…

Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh nails it:

“Labour – its front bench and back rooms alike – is now led by people who spent a decade believing that Tony Blair was a problem and Gordon Brown was the answer.”

Galloway Pals Up to Terrorists, Again

Recognised as a terrorist by Israel, the US, Britain, the EU, Canada and Japan, but not by Bradford West apparently:

Parliament’s very own Hamas donor gets his man…

Ingrams to Hislop: Time to Move On

An interesting snippet from the Press Gazette interview with Richard Ingrams, who reflects on Private Eye:

“It’s very, very different from what it used to be, I think the satirical part of it is different – it’s become a lot of little pieces as opposed to a few quite long pieces. It’s much more bang, bang, bang. There’s a lot more factual stuff than there used to be, particularly at the front of the magazine. I find I could do with less of it. I think Ian Hislop’s attitude is that the punters have to be given their money’s worth but you do feel slightly that every page is crammed with as much copy or jokes as you could get in.”

Ingrams, who is 75, ended his official involvement with Private Eye at the beginning of 2012 when he gave up as chairman, though he points out that this was always an “honorary” title after he stood down as editor in 1986. Although Ingrams appointed Hislop to replace him, he also suggests that perhaps it is time for his successor to start thinking about stepping down – “I’m a great believer in resigning”.

Guido is hearing more and more moaning about l’enfant terrible turned BBC six figure game keeper. A subject he shall return to…


Seen Elsewhere

Boris Not Moving to Uxbridge | Scrapbook
Cameron Toast if Scotland Votes Yes | Isabel Oakeshott
How to Spin the Referendum Result | Rob Hutton
Anti-Immigration Party Lets Left Into Power | Mark Wallace
Tories Well Ahead on Economy | Standard
Madrid Unveils Margaret Thatcher Plaza | Breitbart
Journalists Are Not Above Criticism | Media Guido
Guido’s Column | Sun
Carney is a Feminist | Kathy Gyngell
Middle Class Moralism of Owen Jones | Spiked
Booze-Fuelled Fight at Palin Party | Times


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


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.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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