The story in full via Gawker.
Well this is hardly going to help improve Baldamort’s status as a Labour pariah in lefty circles. After all his party’s truth-stretching moralising, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary has refused to commit to repealing the spare room subsidy:
“We are not going to make promises we can’t keep. I believe very strongly that this is a tax that will cost more than it saves, but I know I have to prove that beyond reasonable doubt and that is the research that I am doing now to gather evidence from across the country. We hear of houses lying empty because people can’t afford the tax that would hit them if they moved in, so obviously it does not make sense. We have to work through our position as fast as we can, but no one will forgive us for making promises we can’t keep.”
If you were an ambitious multi-millionaire Tory backbencher secretly plotting against the Prime Minister, what better way throw your leader off the scent than bunging him £10,000 as a sign of your undying support? In January this year Adam Afriyie generously donated ten grand of his own cash to the Conservative Party. Just days later, Afriyie’s plan to steal Dave’s job was revealed in the Sunday papers. The rest, as they say, is history…
The wonkish equivalent of a motherly lesson in life from the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Osborne’s suggestion that he would merge income tax and National Insurance two years ago has – surprise, surprise – gone absolutely nowhere. Hardly a shock seeing as the status quo lets him tax workers three times on the same income. It should be as easy as ABC…
One nugget of news from James Forsyth that will be keeping them happy over at Telegraph towers: apparently the PM’s new favourite columnist is Ed-bashing Blairite refusenik Dan Hodges.
“At the moment, the Cameroons are whining about the Conservative party being ‘unleadable’. There is much quoting of Cameron’s new favourite columnist, Dan Hodges, a former trade union official who is equally scathing about Conservative backbenchers and Ed Miliband. But even those who are indulging in this pastime know that it is not serious politics: if they really believed the Conservative party was unleadable, they wouldn’t be spending their lives trying to lead it.”
As if he hadn’t got under Labour’s skin enough already…
Compare and contrast Margaret Hodge’s holier-than-thou hectoring for not answering questions with her own non-answers in her Kay Burley interview yesterday. Here is Hodge berating Amazon’s Andrew Cecil at the Public Accounts Committee:
“Well, I think what we are going to have to do is order somebody to come who can give us answers to the questions we ask. We will order somebody to appear before us who does that. It is just not acceptable. I don’t know what you take us for, but we need proper answers to perfectly proper questions, which are trying to establish the economic activity in this country, and therefore what would be a reasonable corporation tax due. That is our job. The idea that you come here and simply do not answer the questions, and pretend ignorance, is just not on. It is awful… I cannot believe you have come without the information-or they have deliberately sent you. We will order somebody who can answer the questions, in public… Dear, dear. Well, we will have to come back to this.”
And here is Hodge’s humiliating exchange on SkyNews yesterday:
MH: I’m not, I’m not, I told you, I’m not, I haven’t, you know I don’t have any dealings with the company day to day.
KB: But you did say that you were confident that every penny that should be paid in tax has been paid in tax. You’ve obviously looked into it?
MH: Yes, I’m confident.
KB: And 0.01% is enough?
MH: No it isn’t 0.01, it’s what they pay, what they pay, the profits they make on the business they transact in the UK.
KB: And how much is that as a percentage of tax?
MH: I, I, I mean I can’t give you that answer.
KB: But you did say that every penny has been paid in tax so presumably you have the figures?
KB: You did say that every penny they should pay in tax has been paid…
MH: I, I also said to you I don’t work for that business. I’m a shareholder. I think you should ask the company if you have any questions.
“Dear, dear. We will have to come back to this”…
“I’m sensing similar hatred from this line of questioning as I got on the streets yesterday… [Question: Remind me how many elected representatives you have in Scotland?] Absolutely none, but rather more than the BBC do. We could have had this interview in England a couple of years ago, although I wouldn’t have met with such hatred as I’m getting from your questions. Frankly, I’ve had enough of this interview, goodbye.”
Trip went well then…
Since we haven’t been subjected to enough op-eds from frothing, swivel-eyed Europhiles over the past couple of weeks, up steps Peter Mandelson in the Telegraph to tell us why we should be staying in Europe:
“All the party leaders need to make clear that quitting the EU would be a colossal indulgence. It might fill many with a sense of pride in Britain’s separateness, but it would also mean greater isolation, less trade, smaller influence and fewer friends. In the globalised economy of the 21st century, where production networks and supply chains stretch far across national borders, size – of markets, trading power and negotiating clout – matters more than ever. An isolationist Britain would be weaker and more vulnerable. That must not be our destiny – and the Prime Minister’s job, along with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, is to say so, loudly and firmly.”
Definitely nothing to with EU rules dictating that the former commissioner must maintain a “duty of loyalty” or be stripped of his £31,000-a-year index-linked pension worth over half a million pounds. As ever with Mandy, just follow the money…
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
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.”