Saturday Seven Up

7upLast week saw 71,871 visitors make 211,267 visits to view 329,939 pages. Boris and firemen stories dominated, so far none of the mainstream media have followed up Guido’s revelation that Boris has left the family home of his own volition. They will eventually…

The top stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

Finally An A-Polly-Gee

In a rare move for the belligerent and hyperactive columnist, Polly Toynbee this morning apologised for the inflammatory language that Guido highlighted the other day, when she compared a slight tweak in government benefits policy to the slaughter of six million Jews. On her “final solution” comment she said:

“Yes, it was over the top, a slip of the pen, made worse by the fact that it was put in the headline. I regret it.”

Savour the moment, Guido doesn’t imagine we will get another half-apology any time soon…

Friday Caption Contest (Glass Half Fool Edition)

Shadow Minister for “Command and Control”

Labour MP Emma Reynolds sparked outrage last night at an Oxford Union debate. The YBF sponsored event discussing whether the channel was wider than the Atlantic gave the Shadow Junior Foreign Office Minister a chance to share some of her more extreme views on China.

Facing Dan Hannan at the dispatch box, Reynolds said “China’s control and command approach is something to be admired”. UKIP’s Lord Monckton, also taking party in the debate, nearly had a coronary and the speaker had to quell the audible outrage of room. Does her boss Yvette agree with her stance?

Where’s Gordon’s™ Courage?

We are a week or two now short of having paid Gordon Brown to stay at home for six months writing his Beyond the Crash – How I Saved the World book. Guido has no objection to him embarking on a new career as a fiction writer, it is just that he sees no reason why the taxpayer should subsidise his writing.

He has only deigned to vote on one day since being rejected by the people, September 6. The only other day of attendance was to be sworn in, effectively to clock on for his pay.

He has not seen fit to give us the benefit of his experience during the debates on the Spending Review, the Emergency Budget or in fact any other subject. If he is saving it all up for his book than he should have the courage to resign and move on.

There were rumours that he would resign his seat after the election of a new leader of the Labour Party. Well, what is he waiting for, none of his former comrades want him and he is clearly too scared of the mockery that he would face in the chamber to contribute to the proceedings of the House. Either he contributes to Parliament or he leaves it.  The taxpayers do not owe him a sinecure, the taxpayers have enough debts due to Gordon already…

Which Ministers and SpAds Got the Handbags, iPads, iPods, Champagne Gifts…

True to promise today details of hospitality and gifts received by ministers and special advisers, ministerial meetings with external organisations and all overseas trips by ministers across government are published on the Cabinet Office website.

This is the first time special advisers’ gifts and hospitality has been made public. We’re going to get it published quarterly. Steve Hilton got the champagne, which was banned from Tory Conference by Andy Coulson…

Red Ed’s Euro Piggies

Last week ten deficit-denying Labour MEPs voted against a freeze in the EU’s budget. What is it that  could possibly make them want to defend the status quo? Well in the last year alone the the luddites have claimed £786,478.66 between them from the taxpayer. Even more infuriating is the fact that over a hundred grand of that went to the MEPs wives and families.

Michael Cashman who claimed £92,028.27 in expenses last year, Richard Howitt (£78,248.42), Stephen Hughes (£86,951.70), David Martin (£64,458.76), Arlene McCarthy (£88,168.31), Brian Simpson (£79,326.21), Peter Skinner (£78,082.73), Catherine Stihler (£64,324.39),  Derek Vaughan (£75,765.10) and Glenis Willmott (£75,765.10) all voted to keep the gravy train flowing. Given that half of them supported Red Ed, yet again the new leader is put in an awkward position by his party, his Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper is in disagreement with them. Ed’s silence over Ken’s explosion worthy behaviour, the growing union stranglehold over his party and now the ongoing troughing behaviour of ten members of his thirteen strong European delegation, five of whom voted for him, adds to the mounting proof of what a lame duck leader Ed is turning out to be.

Sorting Out the BBC is a Job for Kelvin or Dacre

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is looking for an exceptional individual to lead a strong and independent BBC. Or so the advert goes for the new Chairman of the BBC Trust.

The broad post is responsible for strategy and standards across the vast, over-burdening leviathan, and with a radical choice of candidate the BBC could finally begin to overhaul the bias and waste that so damages the organisation. So who could be brought in shake things up?

Rumour and whispers say that Paul Dacre isn’t long for the Daily Mail editor’s hot-seat. Rothermere was in the front row of Cameron’s conference speech and Guido hears that eyebrows have been raised at the increased attacks on the paper’s reputation. As one of the BBC’s fiercest critics, why not let Dacre put his money where his mouth is, and instead of merely shouting from the sidelines, see if he can do any better?

Kelvin MacKenzie has a wealth of broadcast experience, setting up L!veTV and the hugely successful TalkSport. He is a polished performer in public and could bring some much needed private sector efficiency to the Beeb. If anyone can put a bit of stick about it would be Kelvin.

It doesn’t look like Andy Coulson is being forced out anywhere fast, but after a third bottle at lunch the other day a former spinner in-the-know let slip that it is likely he will bow out next year in an “offer he can’t refuse” situation. Common sense would have him returning to News Corp at an extremely senior level, but perhaps after juggling the entire government comms strategy, one last public service could tempt him…

Guido is sure any of these candidates would be welcomed with open arms by the Beeboids, better than their nightmare scenario of TV reviewer Gary Bushell at the helm at any rate…

Dromey’s Miraculous Cure

Former union boss Jack Dromey tries hard to keep up his man of the people act, even now he is a Member of Parliament. Back in July he promised to take part in last Saturday’s Birmingham Half Marathon and press […]

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Has Andrew Mitchell Gone Native at DfID?

Andrew Mitchell was David Davis’ leadership campaign manager, a gut right-winger he was grateful to survive in the shadow cabinet when the Cameroons took over.

Of late he has tried to get with the new normal, filming tear-jerker videos of […]

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Local Government Association Up for Spin Consolation Prize

Tonight is the Public Affairs News Awards where the spin-industry pats itself on the back. Shortlisted for “Trade Body of the Year” is the Local Government Association. Given that Pickles has just successfully gouged out 27% from local councils in […]

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Boris Wasn’t Pushed Out, He Jumped

A usually reliable source emails to say contrary to speculation (see below) Boris hasn’t been thrown out by the long-suffering Marina. He has left her and is under the delusion that the latest love interest is “The One”[…]

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