Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cameron Flashback : “I Will Give This Cast-Iron Guarantee”

ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie says the Lisbon Treaty Referendum is off.   Guido has dug out the September 2007 text of Cameron’s famous cast-iron guarantee to Sun readers.

lisbon_yes_noThe final reason we must have a vote is trust. Gordon Brown talks about “new” politics.  But there’s nothing “new” about breaking your promises to the British public. It’s classic Labour. And it is the cancer that is eating away at trust in politics.  Small wonder that so many people don’t believe a word politicians ever say if they break their promises so casually.  If you really want to signal you’re a break from the past, Prime Minister, do the right thing – give the people the referendum you promised.

dave signatureToday, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.  No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum.

If it is ratified what is the meaning of this promise?  The Tories will stand on a Eurosceptic ticket and they will be in government with a treaty that has not been sanctioned by a referendum.  Unless they turn the election itself into a referendum, which is risky.  Only if the Tory manifesto says “we will renegotiate our relationship with the EU thus…” will they be able to say they have consulted with and won a mandate from the British people. Will Ken Clarke go along with that?

UPDATE : The Bruges Group headbangers have gone nuclear, Barry Legg has released a statement:

“There was absolutely no wriggle room in the unambiguous pledge he made in September 2007. He offered a “cast iron guarantee” to put any treaty in front of the voters. Why has he changed his mind now? What has changed his mind now?

“It cannot be good enough for a man who wants to be British Prime Minister to hide behind the leader of any other European state. Václav Klaus is a hero in his own country for having stood up to Communism. David Cameron seemingly can’t even stand up for his own past promises.

“What is the point in David Cameron upending one pledge on Europe , but promising he’ll offer us yet more European promises in his general election manifesto? Why will they be any more credible than the ‘cast-iron guarantee’ he has just broken?

“How can David Cameron claim he’ll fight to repatriate powers from Brussels when he won’t even fight to implement his own past words?

Sir Christopher Kelly Reports on Wednesday, Who Will Win?
646 of Them, or 60 Million of Us?

The spin will be intense, it will be all-party, it will be relentless. They will squeal, they will plead, they will wriggle. In the end who will win?


Guido has at times during the last 5 years fought what some political journalists thought a quixotic battle.  Don’t forget the Lobby wasn’t much interested on reporting this story until recently, Nick Robinson professed total surprise when he discovered MPs could claim £400 a month tax and receipt free for groceries.  Michael White has only recently dropped his oft repeated line that British politicians, unlike politicians in Europe, are uncorrupted.  The Lobby knew that MPs had plenty of fiddles, but by and large didn’t rock the boat and allowed them to get away with it, even in some cases justified it, arguing that their MP mates were underpaid, good blokes who they were happy to share a taxpayer-subsidised pint with.

pork-spotlightMPs almost universally claim to be hard done by, that needs to be nailed on the head.  The above chart is an income distribution chart; most people in this country have an income of under £400 a week, in comparison MPs can make some £300 weekly in expenses alone, add onto that their salaries of £800 a week and you have a total of £1,100 a week net of tax.  This is before adding on the illicit perks of the jobs, such as employing family, or just plain old fraud.   Let us not forget their gold-plated pension scheme either.  The total compensation package comes in at £115,000 to £125,000 depending on how you value the pension and the tax-free portions of the package.  So well done to Chloe Smith, at the age of 27 with no experience to speak of, she bags an annual six-figure package, 3 months summer holiday, another month off in December and the least number of working days in parliament since universal suffrage began.  No wonder why every available safe seat has hundreds of applicants. Labour MP John Mann was right when he said recently ‘We’re not underpaid. We are well paid. MPs should stop moaning about their pay levels.’

MPs will nevertheless bemoan the unfairness of the it all. It was unfair. Unfair on taxpayers and voters.  Those on minimum wage paying taxes for MPs to have servants might very well question the fairness of it all.  How did John Prescott end up a multi-millionaire?  How did Geoff Hoon end up with a property portfolio?  How did we pay for the upkeep of the estates of Tory grandees and the clipping of Nick Clegg’s roses?

An election is coming, us the employers, will renew the contracts with them, the political class.  We don’t expect them to even try never mind be permitted to renew the contracts of their spouses and offspring.  We don’t want to see wife-swaps, or child trafficking, we want to live in a democratic meritocracy not a nepotistic kleptocracy.

disinfect parliamentThere are so many fiddles and failings to be reformed (download Disinfecting Parliament : The Shadow Kelly Report, to get all the details).  What concerns Guido is that IPSA, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, a new quango created in a panic by the Parliamentary Standards Act in July, shows little sign of being that independent.  It is headed by a civil servant with no particular track record in this area, staff are being transferred to it from the discredited fees office – the very people who failed before to stop MPs running amok in the past.  The governance of the IPSA is ultimately at the pleasure of the Speaker.  It is packed with politicians who will make sure nothing too drastic happens and safeguard the interests of the parasitical political class.

Who will safeguard our interests as voters and taxpayers?  The Lobby?  Politicians?  Quangocrats?

UPDATE : Some editing above clarifying that these are post tax figures and that the typical person is the “mean” in statistical terms.  Clarifications reflect co-conspirator’s comments.

Statporn for October 2 1/2 Million Views

Last month saw just over 2 1/2 million page views (1,787,599 + 805,759 via feed readers) from 1,051,281 visits by 236,689 visitors. Many thanks to readers and advertisers.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do the Blairites Have a Plan B?

Miliband BlairSomething was nagging away at Guido after his second coffee this morning; Blairites don’t tend to be delusional, they are political realists, so why try to make their champion President of Europe? Half of Europe thinks he is a neo-con, war criminal.  There is no way he would be acceptable to most European social democrats and in any event it is probably going to go to a centre-right figure in the undemocratic Buggin’s turn way Brussels works.

The high representative of the council is pencilled in for a socialist on the same basis – a sort of undemocratic consolation prize.  There is talk, denied by David Miliband, that he himself is a strong candidate for that position.  Could it be some Machiavellian / Mandelsonian plot to get him the job?  The Dark Lord’s mind is subtle in his strategies, David Miliband is the anointed heir to Blair and the person to whom the Dark Lord plans perhaps in the future to play regent.  Could they be going through this Blair for President act to boost his credentials?  There is always a tiny chance they might pull it off Blair of course…

In the almost certain event that they don’t, “alright” they will say, if Blair can’t be the figurehead, can we give the mini-Blair (who acts as his campaign manager) some kind of consolation prize?  EU foreign minister?  Oh yes, that will dovetail nicely with the day job.  It would also give Miliband a world stage full of photo-ops to provide a backdrop for his post-election leadership campaign.

Just speculatin’…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 55,820 visitors viewing 354,427 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

You may be surprised to learn that Guido’s personal favourite story of the week wasn’t Nadine Dorries winning a damages settlement from Damian McBride.  It was the With No End to Recession, Labour Attack Strategy Misfires story, more analytical than a usual Guido story.  The media grid plan for Labour was to use the technical end of recession to claim they were right on the economy and Osborne was wrong.  Only when the numbers came out, the recession wasn’t over.  Guido highlighted the spin plans that went wrong, yet still went ahead.

You are either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Friday, October 30, 2009

Guy News : Halloween Special

To get this week’s Guy News broadcast, click on the link in the Guidogram. It is a Halloween special and we have a Westminster shaggy dog story.  Guido also has a surprise word with one of the political living dead – Damian McBride.  Well it was a surprise to him.  Listen in…

Subscribe to get the Guidogram now or wait the whole weekend until Monday for the video…


+++ Tony Blair Held Downing Street Dinner With Kaminski +++

Guido gathers that a photo exists of a Downing Street dinner from late November 2005 in honour of the Polish Justice Party prime minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz. The guests at the party included Michal Kaminski.

PM PolandGuido has been unable as yet to confirm the attendance of the then foreign secretary, Jack Straw. This development spells the end of crude attempts by Labour to portray Cameron’s European allies as neo-Nazis. The credibility of the charge was undermined this morning when the Polish Chief Rabbi came out strongly in support of the smeared Polish leader of the Eurpean Conservatives and Reformists Group  in the European Parliament.

Tony Blair told his dinner guests, now smeared by David Miliband and other Labour politicians as homophobes and neo-Nazis, that

“First of all can I welcome the new Prime Minister of Poland here very warmly indeed and say we are delighted to see you here in Downing Street… The relationship between Poland and Britain (is) a very strong relationship founded on a shared history and also shared values and this close co-operation lives on today through the work we are doing in the European Union together.”

David Miliband is backing Tony Blair to be EU President.  Perhaps he should have checked with his old boss before smearing his friends.

The photographic evidence is being sought by Sunday papers.

++ Polish Law and Justice Party Demands Apology from Miliband ++

Polish governing party says it will veto Miliband EU foreign minister role.

Friday Caption Competition (Halloween Edition)

Trick or Treat

The Blair Delusion

Splashed across the opinion pages of Britain’s lower-circulation, loss making newspapers the punditocracy claims Blair is The Only Man for this Job. Steve Richards, Oliver Kamm, Jackie Ashley, Matthew d’Ancona (“the former PM is certainly the best candidate available”), John RentoulYes, Oui, Ja, and most of the rest of the Islington chattering classes are agreed:  Blair should be

For a reality check let Guido quote the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The chances of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair going to the post of President of the European Council’s are zero…  At the meeting of Socialist leaders before the start of the EU summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was not listened to in his plea in favour of his predecessor… Thus Blair is in fact out of the race, because for this task no one wants to trust him.

Also overlooked by our somewhat delusional and europhile media elite is one glaring inconvenient fact; centre-right parties are politically dominant in Europe currently, the President is likely to come from their ranks.

Yesterday Brown fibbed in Brussels that “People would be pleased if a British person became president. I think most people would prefer a British person taking this job rather than citizens of other countries.” Polls show that less than a third of Britons support ‘President Blair’.  Brown has perhaps the worst case of delusion, out of touch with the will of his own people.  Guido knew that Blair would definitely not get the job once Brown cursed threw his backing behind him

Seen Elsewhere

Sack David Ward | LibDem Voice
David Ward Condemned for Rocket Support | BBC
LibDem MP Backs Rocket Attacks | Indy
LibDem MP: I Would Bomb Israel | ITV
A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts

Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)

Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”

Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.

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