Friday Caption Contest (Swingers)

How They Fiddle a Political Conference on the Taxpayer

Today’s conference has nothing at all to do with tomorrow’s conference. Total coincidence that there is a private conference on today and another one tomorrow. This is to keep within Civil Service rules about civil servants doing political work. Tomorrow’s thing is being organised by the Civil Service (paid for by you), whereas today’s is by the Policy Network, with funding that isn’t clear (except there’s a big shout-out to David Sainsbury in the program). That would be David Sainsbury who just shuffled some of his assets around last week to save himself £28 million in Capital Gains Taxes since Alistair hiked the rate 80%.

So these conferences are completely separate, got that? Different organisers, different logos, the whole lot. You even had to accredit twice, with different people. By an uncanny coincidence, of the sort that one sees all the time in real life, they feature the same people, meeting in the same place, under the same title (Progressive Governance). But they’re totally different things.

Just like when Gordon’s Smith Institute invited U.S. pollster Bob Shrum to outline an attack strategy against David Cameron to an invited audience of Polly Toynbee, Ed Balls, Dougie Alexander and the rest of the Brownies fan club in the media. That invite wasn’t from the independent non-partisan charity the Smith Institute. It was from the private limited company called the Smith Institute, 100% owned by the Trustees of the charity, from the same office, with the same people. But a totally different thing.

All the SpAds and ministers and security are at the conference on the public payroll. Guido would be surprised if other subsidies hadn’t slipped through. The same applies to all the foreign attendees as well. The Euro-gravy train has come, at their respective taxpayer’s expense, via the channel tunnel bringing the social democratic elite to wine and dine. They really know how to trough on the continent. The British taxpayer is picking up the tab for the European socialist’s weekend break in London courtesy of Gordon Brown. Bet you are happy about that…

Oh Look, De-Nazification After Bloggers Pointed Out the Obvious

Notice the logo has been cropped so that it no longer looks like a swastika. Guido’s server logs showed an unusual amount of attention being paid from Downing Street yesterday. Gotcha! (again).

The DK has more on the subject from a critical design perspective. Trivial? Or does it illustrate a certain cack-handed incompetence?

Questions About the Progressive Governance Summit

Why is the British taxpayer picking up the tab for what the organisers said candidly “is the largest ever international gathering of international centre-left leaders, policy-makers and thinkers”?
Oops. That kind of blows the lid off it being an inter-governmental, non-partisan affair doesn’t it? If it is an inter-govermental affair, why is Wilf Stevenson on the guest list? Since when was the director of the Smith Institute an “independent and non-partisan” think-tank that has nothing to do with Gordon Brown, part of the government?

This is just a jamboree for the international parties of the tax and spend policy persuasion, paid for by taxpayers. You can be sure that they will not be holding back on the wine list either. What Guido wants to know is: how much this junket for global social democracy is costing British taxpayers?

More soon…

UPDATE : Unbelievably delegates at the conference’s plush Grove Hotel just laughed and clapped as the Chilean finance minister talked about the “poetic justice” of the subprime crisis. What planet are these people on? Millions of people around the world are losing their homes and they laugh?

Gordon Remaindered

On Amazon there are plenty of copies being offered second hand for a penny. Says it all really…

Who Said This?

“I can’t help it, I’m like a broom handle in the mornings”

Do You Think This is Herr Braun’s Swastika?

A lot of people think Gordon’s new logo for his Downing Street Förderung des Wohlstands durch progressive Governance conference looks a bit dodgy. Only this afternoon they sent out tens of thousands of emails calling on people to visit the site and get engaged. They have now taken down the website (so you won’t be able to “add your voice”) since ConservativeHome said it looked like a symbol of national socialism. Guido can’t see it himself…

Bad Start for New No. 10 Digital Media Guru

So on the day No. 10 confirms the appointment of their new web / digital media guru an email drops in the inbox from the webmaster@pmo.gov.uk himself!


Subject“Add your voice to the debate” – PM

The Prime Minister has urged people to add their voice to the debate on “some of the biggest challenges of our times” by logging onto a website dedicated to the Progressive Governance Summit

Guido, keen as ever to share his thoughts with Gordon, clicks through a couple of times to the website to add his “voice to the debate to find:

Can they get anything right? Doh!

UPDATE 18:40 : Guido *waves* to Number 10 geeks. They have now added some waffle saying, basically, come back later. So why send out the email today to tens of thousands of people from the PM urging us to log on before it is working? Please stay away from any breweries…

PR Week Now the Official Journal of Record

Mark Flanagan’s appointment as No. 10’s Web Guru was rumoured, nowadays post-Carter we have to wait for the official announcement in PR Week before we can be sure.

Guido seems to recall that Flanagan was in the running to be

[…]

Government’s Authority Draining Away

26 Labour MPs have signed a motion calling on the government ot reverse the budget tax hike on low income earners. The wording could have been written by George Osborne:

ABOLITION OF THE TEN PENCE TAX RATE
02.04.2008

That this

[…]

Political Junkie Home Launches Monday

Guido is looking forward to the launch of PoliticsHome for one reason, it promises to make political reporting a numbers game, like U.S. sports reporting or financial news. Anyway in a cunning ruse to get coverage they are giving an

[…]

Councillor Watson Claims £3,723 Per Meeting

Joanne Watson, a member of the Watson Family Clan, is a councillor in Sandwell. In the 2006-2007 municipal year she has managed to claim £14,894.20 in allowances for attending a total of 4 meetings.
That is an incredible average

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Paul Waugh asks Chuka Umunna if he wants children:

“It’s always something that my father taught me, which is really the bedrock of everything is your family and that’s true. My family and the people close to me keep me sane. Sometimes, things get blown up out of all proportion in this place and that’s always the reaction of my family, my girlfriend and my friends. I can use that to judge whether it really is that important.”

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