Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mandy’s One to Talk

There is a certain irony in Lord Mandelson discussing who is and is not suitable for a seat in the House of Lords. Does he really want to go down this route? No wonder the Lords Authorities say they can’t investigate. Has anyone suggested Ashcroft has broken the law? Has Ashcroft been involved in dodgy mortgage cover-ups, shady passport deals with donors and made his millions on the gravy train?

Non-Dom Donations Hypocrisy

Labour and the Tories are duking it out over non-dom donations.  So time for some evidence based blogging:

Since 2001 Ashcroft has given £5,160,915 to the Tories and Labour’s troika of of non-dom donors, Mittal, Cohen and Paul have given £6,734,250. Mittal bought a bit of corporate lobbying for his £4 million. Tony Blair lobbied for Mittal’s business interests when he was still Prime Minister…

Source data from the Electoral Commission.

Guy News : Bullying, Bullying and Post-Bureaucratic Smoothies

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stat-Porn for February

Almost forgot to do the numbers for the short month of February: 1,576,691 page views from 914,466 visits by 166,205 visitors plus an additional 890,571 views via feed readers.  So a total just short of two and half million page views…

So Gordon, About Your Dodgy Non-Doms…

Lord Paul put up one fifth of the money for Gordon’s leadership campaign – such as it was. Will he be giving up his seat in the Lords or his non-domicile?  And Ronnie Cohen, PFI profiteer and non-domiciled donor? Is his money still welcome to the Labour Party?

Ashcroft Admits Non-Dom Status

Finally:

1st March 2010

A Statement From Lord Ashcroft

I am making this statement in advance of the release by the Cabinet Office of limited information about the award of my peerage and of the undertakings I gave at the time.

While I value my privacy, I do not want my affairs to distract from the general election campaign. I have therefore decided to release a copy of the letter which I wrote to William Hague, and to expand on what actually happened.

As the letter shows, the undertakings I gave were confirmed in a memorandum to William Hague dated 23rd March 2000. These were to “take up permanent residence in the UK again” by the end of that year. The other commitment in the memorandum was to resign as Belize’s permanent representative to the UN, which I did a week later.
In subsequent dialogue with the Government, it was officially confirmed that the interpretation in the first undertaking of the words “permanent residence” was to be that of “a long term resident” of the UK. I agreed to this and finally took up my seat in the House of Lords in October 2000. Throughout the last ten years, I have been declaring all my UK income to HM Revenue.

My precise tax status therefore is that of a “non-dom”. Two of Labour’s biggest donors – Lord Paul (recently made a privy councillor by the Prime Minister) and Sir Ronald Cohen, both long-term residents of the UK, are also “non-doms”.

As for the future, while the non-dom status will continue for many people in business or public life, David Cameron has said that anyone sitting in the legislature – Lords or Commons – must be treated as resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes. I agree with this change and expect to be sitting in the House of Lords for many years to come.

Ashcroft has forgotten about Lakshmi Mittal, another non-dom who, like Sir Ronnie (pictured) and Lord Paul, is inclined to bung Labour a couple of million when the feeling takes him.  Guido has argued that Ashcroft should come clean for years…

See : Ashcroft Should Just Come CleanAshcroft Should Come Clean

Via ConservativeHome

Pound Sinking on Hung Parliament Fears

The pound has just fallen through the psychologically important €0.90 cents to the pound level, if it were not Greece we would now have £/€ parity.  It is sinking against the dollar as well. Think what a hung parliament and the inevitable political paralysis would mean for deficit reduction.  Markets would go into a tailspin, the cost of borrowing would rise. We would be looking at a Greek tragedy…

UPDATE : Gilt market has opened down as well.   The market has already removed the Triple-A rating on UK government debt.

Monday Morning Cartoon

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 72,998 visitors viewing 379,485 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

In this week’s Guy News Guido sent Emily to branch out to poor abused Downing Street staffers, we are live from Steve Hilton’s Californian Kitchen and TB reports on a rather special date.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Guidogram, you’ll have to wait until next week…

Subscribe to the Guidogram


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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