Swine Flu Update

swine fluThe government says the UK has moved from the ‘containment’ to the ‘treatment’ phase of Swine flu as the number of people catching swine flu continues to rise.  The Fawkes family are in London for another fortnight, before we head for France.  4 year-old Miss Fawkes is in day two of displaying possible Swine flu symptoms: high temperatures, tummy ache, headaches and a dry cough.

Last night a worried mother took Miss Fawkes (who had a temperature of 39.1 C / 102.3 F) to the paediatric A & E unit of a London hospital where she was given a mask and told to go instead to a walk-in unit.  The walk-in unit told her there was a four hour wait and that she might as well go home and see her GP.  This morning the GP’s receptionist said that they could not have a suspected case of Swine flu in the waiting room and she was to go home.

So in the last 48 hours we have been unable either to get our daughter tested, which is causing anxiety, or obtain a prescription for anti-viral drugs.  Bear in mind we have a two year-old daughter as well.  We are now trying to get a private prescription…

The Case Against Osborne

osborne homes

There is something fishy about this – how does Osborne justify a mortgage for more than the house actually cost?  Isn’t that maximising the interest burden on the taxpayer to an unhealthy degree?  Also this two-year period where he claimed for a mortgage on his main home which he had used to finance his second home is very questionable.  Surely it is not beyond the wit of a man who hopes to be Chancellor to arrange for a mortgage to be on the right property?

Osborne’s spinning that it is politically motivated, even if it is, that doesn’t mean the issue should not be investigated. This is public money and Osborne wants to be trusted with the public finances. He needs to show that his behaviour and intentions were beyond reproach.

What it shows is the attitude of MPs to maximising their own income from the taxpayer extends even to those who supposedly are hawkish on controlling government spending. Not encouraging is it?

Speccie Spaced Out

Champagne

Guido left the Speccie summer party early – summonsed by Mrs Fawkes who is convinced Miss Fawkes has Swine Flu.  So this will probably be the first report back from the party.

Dave did his usual 15 minutes (his routine is that he shows his face at an event – tells the hosts how wonderful it is, if required he makes a speech name-checking the organisers / sponsors warmly.  Smooth with a quick exit back to Notting Hill).  No speech today and he didn’t tour the garden.  For the first time that Guido can remember the party wasn’t a crush.  The Speccie have annexed their neighbour’s garden, doubling the space for the party.  You could actually move about easily…

Had a chat with Michael White, it was civil.  He even let Guido get a word in.  Guido exited before Sir Michael could introduce Shriti Vadera, not from intentional rudeness, rather because Mrs Fawkes was screaming out of the Blackberry – “she has a temperature of 39.1”.   Andrew Neil blocks the exit, “going so soon?” Ironic really, in years gone past Guido would go to some effort to crash the party, now they extend an invitation and he dashes out.  Maybe Guido just isn’t that clubbable.

As Guido Was Saying Before He Was Interrupted

At that debate on Tuesday, Sir Michael White interrupted Guido’s speech criticising him to such a degree that it was cut short.  So Guido sent the full text over to the Guardianistas’ to republish. Taking the fight to his own lair.

He has responded of course

What I do that really annoys Guido, Peter Oborne and other right-wing attack dogs is defend the political class as a whole from unwarranted assaults that are corrosive of democratic discourse and public trust. I don’t defend the indefensible, but I don’t hunt with the media pack either.

The Lobby is the pack, the likes of Oborne and Guido do not constitute a pack.  Read both articles and judge for yourself – you pays your money you takes your choice…

No News from the Government

If you are not getting any government press releases emailed to your inbox Guido has found out why:coi

The Government News Distribution Service at the Central Office of Information is, due to a system change-over, unable to e-mail out any press releases to subscribers.

The C.O.I. has a £150 million budget to distribute government information and they have lost the email list.  A new government I.T. low…

UPDATE : The C.O.I. have been in touch:

There is an issue with the news alert subscriber system which COI is investigating a fix for. No email lists or data have been lost.

So how many months has this been out of order? If you have the email list of subscribers, Guido could probably fix you up in a couple of hours for a small fee…

Iranian Press TV Glee

presstv_logoEverybody is saying they won’t go on Press TV now and Hopi Sen has a cryptic reference to Guido’s appearance on the Iranian regime funded Press TV channel.

Guido had a bit of a laugh with Press TV:  was invited to spar on a debate show hosted by Nick Ferrari with a Labour baroness (can’t remember her name) and Anne McElvoy over regulating blogging. Guido managed to accuse the baroness of wanting it to be like in Iran where they throw bloggers in jail.  Did my best a few times to correctly pronounce the names of Iranian bloggers in Iranian jails (information courtesy of Index on Censorship)

Also tried to get the producers to make out the appearance fee cheque to the Conservative Friends of Israel – which they refused to do.  Here is something that should worry the mullahs putting up the money for the station – the young hip, producers hate you.  According to Guido’s intern/spy who was sitting in the production gallery they were genuinely laughing about the launch of a televised tirade against Iranian tyranny on their station.  Not sure if it got censored for broadcast.  Should say that the chat show host Nick Ferrari didn’t blink either, suspect he was amused as well.

Guido got the impression that the young producers who control the station had basically blagged the money off the regime using family connections to set up a station.  They weren’t that interested in pumping out propaganda – though no doubt they have to make efforts to keep the paymasters happy.  In any event the appearance fee ended up in Index on Censorship’s account…

Lies, Lies and Damned Statistics

Public Expenditure AnalysesThe sheer madness of Gordon’s state of denial became clear yesterday.  He stood there at PMQs and claimed spending would grow 0%.  He has set himself a dividing line alright, it is the line between economic reality and economic fantasy.  He is on the wrong side of that dividing line.

Andrew Grice reports that the rest of the Cabinet, including the Chancellor, wants him to take a reality check.  They have agreed to admit there will be some cuts out of necessity, but to argue that the Tories will cut more, this was the position that Mandelson argued for originally.  At PMQs Cameron and Clegg were united against Brown – the LibDem leader accused him of “living in complete denial”.  It appears the Cabinet agrees.  It remains to be seen whether or not they can get the Prime Mentalist to change his “no cuts” tune.

If you wade through the numbers in the Treasury’s recently released Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2009 (page 83), you can see the Tories are right about the government’s own plans to cut spending on services in real terms in 15 out of 25 departments in 2011.  Gordon’s lying has lost him the argument about cuts, the reality is it that it is a question about the degree and timing of cuts.

June Statporn: 2,987,543 Hits

Last month saw just short of 3 million page views (2,259,188 + 728,355 via feed readers) from 1,275,022 visits by 214,912 visitors. Many thanks to the readers and advertisers.

Twitterholics might be interested to know that Twitter is now Guido’s eighth biggest source of traffic. By comparison Iain Dale drives five times more traffic to this blog…

Guido banned three comment makers last month who were the source of hundreds of banal, boring and repetitive posts every day.  Get a life…

Brown to do Gay Pride March

Last night Cameron spoke at a Gay Pride fundraiser, though he won’t be on the march itself. 

Sarah Brown will be marching, though apparently her husband won’t be mincing along.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon’s Zero Growth Gaffe

Doh!  Dave’s jibe was spot on, today’s feeble performance at PMQs showed that Mandy’s touring of the studios this morning, instead of coaching the Prime Mentalist, resulted in a lamentable performance even by Gordon’s low standards.  Who did the coaching?  […]

+ READ MORE +

PMQs Live-Chat : Liar, Liar Edition

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ding Dong and a Gong

debateLast night’s panel debate on the internet and democracy was as expected a bit of a bunfight, Guido got to deliver about half his speech (intended full text here).   Sir Michael interrupted as soon as Guido gave him some […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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