Northern Rock Sinking Taxpayers

The Old Labour backbench was cheering and singing the Red Flag when the enabling legislation to nationalise Northern Rock was passed. Guido said at the time it was the return of seventies socialism.

Now we have a situation where £100 billion of taxpayer’s money has been bet on the UK property market as it goes south. Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling repeat the mantra that the public’s money is secured against the bank’s assets. The bank’s assets are what exactly? The equity in mortgagor’s homes belongs not to the bank, it belongs to the homeowners. The only properties Northern Rock has an interest in are it’s own branches and offices. The only homes it owns are those where it forecloses, usually and increasingly at a loss due to negative equity (remember all those 125% offers).

Northern Rock is selling off any assets of value to pay down the government debt. Essentially the government is asset stripping what it can and like many an asset stripper before it is sacking staff. Unlike capitalist vultures it will not make a profit, the government will be left with billions of bad debts. This half-year’s losses are £585 million, £20 per taxpayer. Mortgage arrears have doubled, repossessions are up another 50% on already bad figures – and the worst is yet to come. The Rock’s bad debts will be borne by taxpayers.

This Labour poster from 2005 will come back to haunt them at the next election…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to point out that adding the debt for equity swap (which the taxpayer will never see back) to the losses gives £3,585,000,000. Divide that by 28 million taxpayers and you get £128 per taxpayer, or some 70 pence per day so far. What would you rather spend the 70 pence a day on?

McCain Leads Obama, Advertising Works

Jokes about him meeting Jonah Brown aside it is arguable that McCain has now inched ahead of Obama since his world tour.

Danny Finkelstein has been lambasting McCain’s advertising. In fact everybody inside the Beltway and in the Westminster Village has been saying the same to Guido. Hang on a second. Can even you political obssessives remember any of Obama’s ads? “Hope, change, blah.” No, thought not.

McCain’s ads may not work with the knowing, his early Hero ad with footage of him as a prisoner of war might be a bit too cheesy for cynics, but how does that play in the heartlands? People will remember that he endured harsh treatment heroically. The Media Love ad on media favouritism was a little reminder, the Paris Hilton ad and The One ad are low intensity attacks on Obama’s politics of empty celebrity. These ads are far more sophisticated than previous Conservative campaign attack ads on “Hollywood liberals” – they work.

The latest line of attack takes the form of a mini-documentary (below) and it is effective because it shows Obama time and time again lacking clear direction on Iraq. He has flip-flopped and trimmed on the key U.S. foreign policy issue of our time. McCain is playing off his experience against Obama’s lack of judgement well…

All the Cameroons swooning for Obama would be wise to be more circumspect…

UPDATE : Punters are moving to McCain as well says Mike Smithson.

Gove Goes at Nuts

ConservativeHome is in puritanical ecstasy over Gove going all prudish:
“I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men’s magazines targeted at younger males. Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available. We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing…. The relationship between these titles and their readers is a relationship in which the rest of us have an interest. The images they use and project reinforce a very narrow conception of beauty and a shallow approach towards women. They celebrate thrill-seeking and instant gratification without ever allowing any thought of responsibility towards others, or commitment, to intrude. The contrast with the work done by women’s magazines, and their publishers, to address their readers in a mature and responsible fashion, is striking.”

Most men actually do have a shallow approach towards women and it has nothing to do with men’s mags and to all to do with biology. Without getting into a treatise on socio-biology it is clear that evolution has designed half the human race to be thrill seeking and after instant gratification. That is why our DNA has programmed us to have an orgasm.

Guido has it from a person in a position to know that, in his bachelor days, Michael Gove was “an enthusiastic lover”. Since he wasn’t intending on pro-creation, presumably he was indulging his hedonistic thrill-seeking side?

UPDATE : Forgot to moan about the Tories having a go at lap-dancing clubs. Seems to be a bit ungrateful to Peter Stringfellow, who has supported the Tories through thick and thin. This puritanical moralising will all in end in tears.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Obama on Iraq

Who Leaked Blair’s Memo?

So Blair’s private memo on his thoughts on Brown’s strategy and tactics has entered the public domain. Cui bono?

Miliband is the clear beneficiary. Who was on the distribution list? Bets are that Miliband, Blair’s anointed one, was on the list so a “friend” of his could have passed it to the Mail. Mandelson might likely be another member of the “A Team” that would have seen it, so to would Ben Wegg Prosser, who if memory serves Guido correctly, managed previously to get the “leave the stage with them wanting more” memo to Blair onto the front page of the Mail.

The tone of Blair’s memo is brutally frank, he prefaces it by saying a toned down more gentle version will be sent to Brown – clearly he knows Gordon can’t handle the truth…

For the Love of an Older Woman

Polly is the most influential member of the commentariat according to the punditocracy, so it is worth noting that she has transferred her affections to Miliband with a public declaration of adoration.

It is also noticeable that as she gets older she has become an ever more promiscuous patron of politicians. The objects of her desire retain her affection for less time as she has become more impatient.

She first fell for David Owen’s good looks and silky social democratic ways and even stood for the SDP in the 80s before they fell apart. It took some time for her to get over that until she was then seduced, like so many others, by Tony Blair’s charm and third way. It was quite a while before she fell out of love with him and got so sniffy she told us to wear nose-pegs. She switched her affections and cosied up to Gordon, stroking his ego and boosting him in her columns, praising him as an intellectual colossus, master-strategist and political titan. Like so many woman before her, she was blinded to a man’s faults by her hopes for him.

That fling has now come to a bitter end and she has nothing but scorn for Gordon for deceiving her. Young Miliband has now set her 62 year-old heart a flutter with hisbold adrenaline shot of optimism. Summer is here and love is in the air again. How long will her affection last this time?

Want To Ask Tony A Question? Become His Friend?

Thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace you can have Tea with Tony on Monday. Go on, you know you want to…


UPDATE : The more eagle-eyed have noticed that Wendi Deng is Tony’s MySpace friend as well as Rupert’s wife and recipient of email from Gordon. Mark Pack over on LibDemVoice reckons Murdoch’s Sun bashes Facebook and boosts his rival MySpace. No news however as to bear activity in the forests…

July Stat-Porn : 695,791 Page Hits from 524,618 Visitors

Those figures were generated by 113,118 absolute unique visitors last month. The top ten referrers were:

#1 Iain Dale
#2 Coffee House Blog
#3 ConservativeHome
#4 PoliticsHome
#5 PoliticalBetting.com
#6 B3ta.com
#7 Times Blogs (Red Box and Comment Central

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Isaby Joins ConservativeHome

What does it say about the decline of the Daily Labourgraph and the rise of the blogosphere that a journalist would move across to ConservativeHome?

Congratulations to Jonathan Isaby, will he be doing the 6 a.m. news links shift?

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Miliband is Due to Go on Holiday Today

Having ruined Gordon’s holiday he is due to be off himself today. The collective Westminster fever will possibly die down now. Though Labour’s lemming-like urge is always strongest in the run up to their party conference. Who knows?

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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