Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr Brown Goes to Washington

This is pure comedy; Ben Brogan reflects on the gift of a pencil holder (?) made from wood from HMS Gannet:

…I wonder what Mr Obama will make of the fact that the only action it saw was in Sudan when it shelled rebels against the British empire. He’s also getting Sir Martin Gilbert’s seven volume biography of Churchill, which will help him find out more about how the Mau-Mau were successfully suppressed in Kenya by the British Emp… Oh, I’m sure it will be fine.

It was of course Churchill who ordered the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s; Obama’s grandfather was detained as a subversive for six months at that time. Hopefully Obama will see the funny side. Already in Washington, Adam Boulton said yesterday that

… observers will be on the look out for any hint of a patronising slight from the President. For example Downing Street is hoping for a joint news conference with the President as was routine with Bush and Clinton…

On landing outside snowbound Washington after a 7 hour transatlantic flight, while Brown was getting his post-flight make-up done onboard, the rest of the Lobby learnt there is to be no press conference with Obama.

Brogan says there will just be

… a quick question or two on the fly, not the standing podium-to-podium with the Messiah image that Mr Brown imagined. The joint presser is usually a given on these trips, so this is odd.

Over at the Telegraph Toby Harnden mocks

Mr Brown might be forgiven for thinking that his friend, rival and predecessor Tony Blair would not have been treated the same way by his bosom buddy President George W. Bush. After all, there are 132 rooms in the White House at least some of which, presumably, are currently be free of snow.

On the other hand, President Obama is terribly busy this Tuesday. The White House schedule tells us that he is delivering remarks at the Department of Transportation to deliver remarks about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is also speaking at the Department of Interior to mark its 160th anniversary.

There’s a conflab with Pentagon chief Bob Gates. Oh, and Mr Obama will also meet “a delegation from the Boy Scouts of America and receive their 2008 Report to the Nation” in the Oval Office.

Mr Brown might lament that despite the so-called “special relationship” Britain is now getting the same treatment as the President of Uruguay but he need not despair. I’m told there’s a chance he might get drinks with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening.

The Boy Scouts of America obviously are better prepared than the Downing Street boys…

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jonah Goes to Washington: Ill Wind Blows From the EastStorm Strikes Capital, Dow Falls Below 7,000

Cui Bono M’Lords?

The Construction Bill passing through the House of Lords is a classic of its kind. Technical, boring and of little interest to most people, except for those in the industry who will profit or lose from amendments to the tune of millions. Lord O’Neill, the former Labour MP turned ermine-clad troughing piggy, decided to withdraw amendments to the bill after The Times’ Sam Coates spotted that he was paid by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group.

Guido’s co-conspirator from the property world has now spotted that Lord O’Neill’s withdrawn amendments from the Local Democracy, Economic Development, Construction Bill have recently been re-tabled by Lord Borrie. The same exact amendments (Amendments 203A to 217A) without alteration.

Compare Lord O’Neill’s amendments to Lord Borrie’s amendments.

Guido has gone to the trouble of underling the differences between the two amendments in red. Perhaps Lord Borrie personally feels strongly about construction contracts or he’s just mates with Lord O’Neill. Either way I’m sure Lord O’Neill’s sponsors, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, are happy with the coincidence.

They really are all at it in the Parliament of Whores…

February : 865,575 Views off 651,379 Visits by 118,151 Readers

Don’t quite know why traffic was so high in February, which was a short month without that much excitement.

The most popular stories were

MSM types keep telling Guido that Draper is “not an important story” / “a nobody” / “leave it, he ain’t worth it”. The fact is, that combined with the dancing tabloid celeb missus, he is in reality great box office and will be a comedy gift that just keeps on giving. He is Old School New Labour spin and hectoring bullying personified, if his mentor Mandelson is the Harrods of spin (thinks itself grand, actually tacky and glitzy) then Draper is the Morrisons (Northern, cheap and scruffy). In any event the readers lap it up in a “can’t stand him, what is he up to now” kind of way. Tim Montgomerie, gentlemen that is is, thinks Draper should be given a fair bat. Guido on the other hand thinks a baseball bat would be the right tool.

Where is the overdue comment system change you ask? Moderation is an absolute bore, but the transfer of hundreds of thousands of comments from Google’s blogger is proving difficult, also the new comment system is not up to scratch. In the face of Dollybots and window lickers what is Guido to do? Guido wants the new system more than anyone.


*Old story highlighted by the
Telegraph.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy St David’s Day

Happy St David’s Day to you all, and to Steve Morgan happy birthday and happy wedding anniversary. Morgan is unfortunately reeling from the recession and reaping the consequences of his sleazy spin antics being widely exposed. Morgan has reputedly been a very angry man since all his ambitions started collapsing, for the maestro behind Hain’s disastrous deputy leadership bid, life this last year has been challenging politically, professionally and personally.

His firm, Morgan Allan Moore, is in ruins with offices closed and clients drifting away. Not surprising really after the firm became the first to be booted out of the lobbyist’s club the APPC, for breaching the rules on client disclosure. The firm was even singled out for criticism by the Public Administration Select Committee in their report on the lobbying industry. A highly risky High Court libel case against a former employee turned whistle blower was dropped when evidence emerged to back up the whistle blower’s claims. Rumour has it that a director’s living room now doubles as the English “office”. On the political front Steve Morgan can’t even count on old mates now once loyal Peter Hain has publicly gone on the record to blame Morgan’s incompetence for his own downfall.

Quite cunning of Morgan to have his wedding (and birthday) on St David’s Day, avoids any danger of him forgetting flowers (presumably daffodils) for the wife, which must be a danger when you are on your fifth marriage. At least his marriage to Deborah (half his age) isn’t falling apart. Is it?

Union Boss has Bling Lifestyle

Grandad Fawkes was a Fabian in his youth (we are all allowed a few follies), he once recounted to a young Guido the day he lost his faith in the Labour Party. He was in his mid-twenties, on the lowest rung of corporate management and was delighted to be invited out with his superiors to a fantastically expensive restaurant (on expenses).

This was in the miserable seventies, industrial strife was terrible, strikes and union unrest were marking the decline of the country. Despite all this Grandad Fawkes believed in the ideals of equality and justice for all. On a neighbouring restaurant table he noticed union bosses recognisable from so many television news broadcasts, where they would without fail bemoan the plight of their members. The union bosses were enjoying themselves immensely, ordering the best wines and cigars like plutocrats. In that moment he realised his naivety.

So it is no surprise to learn, that Unite’s Derek Simpson is not satisfied with his annual £150,000 package, nor his £800,000 grace and favour union house. He stays weekdays at the Waldorf, despite living a mere half-an-hour from the office. “Nothing is too good for the workers” they say. Derek Simpson enjoys the use of a luxury suite that usually rents for £500 a night. Unite, his union, is Labour’s biggest paymaster.

Ordinary union members couldn’t dream of the bling chauffeur-driven lifestyle he leads – paid for out of their dues.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Do Sporting Teams Go Anywhere Near Jonah Brown?

Guido had some money on Ireland winning the rugby today. England fans will have been despondent knowing that on Wednesday the England rugby team visited Downing Street. They were doomed as a result.

Ireland played poorly, missed penalties and still won, (narrowly). Thanks Gordon.

Newbie Bloggers Campbell & Prezza Challenge Dale & Guido (But Can’t Remember Whatsisname)


Looks like they, along with thousands of others, enjoyed the Draper’s Downfall video. Alas, Prezza forgot the name of Draper’s blog.

Fred Goodwin’s Payslip Revealed

This was found blowing around on Whitehall outside the Treasury:

Click to enlarge

Hat-tip : Paul Myners


Seen Elsewhere

Longlist to Succeed Hague | ConHome
Newmark Nonsense An Excuse to Bash Tabloids | Spiked
Kay Burley’s Top Twitter Zingers | Buzzfeed
Why Tory Tax Cut Pledge is Good News | Allister Heath
ONS Admits Economy Stronger Than It Thought | Speccie
Cameron’s Concessions to UKIP | Nick Wood
#TM4PM: It’s On | Speccie
Path to Defeat Obvious for Both Labour and Tories | Rafael Behr
It’s Boris v May | Sun
Farage is Outflanking the Tories | Guardian
Boris is Right About Grammar Schools | Conservative Women


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David Cameron on political promiscuity…

“On May 7 you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband. Not one bit of that works for me.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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