Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PMQs Live Chat – Harman, Hague and Cable

In His Mind Brown Solved the Housing Bubble Crisis in 2005

Alex Barker in the FT yesterday drew our attention to Gordon’s hubristic 2005 speech to the Labour Party conference where he claimed to dealt with the house price bubble:

Why has it been that at every point since 1997 faced with the Asian crisis, the IT collapse, a stock exchange crash, an American recession, last year a house price bubble, this year rising world oil prices, why has it been that at every point since 1997 Britain uniquely has continued to grow?

In any other decade, a house price bubble would have pushed Britain from boom to bust….

I tell you, it is because with Bank of England independence, cutting debt, fiscal discipline and the New Deal this Labour government has shown the strength to take the tough long-term decisions, that inflation is low, interest rates are low, growth has been sustained in every year, and we are closer than ever to the goal which drives us forward: the goal of full employment for our generation.

Labour, the natural party for economic strength in our country today.

The hubris and the lies – fiscal discipline is a joke, Gordon has presided over fiscal incontinence on an unprecedented scale, the too low interest rates because he excluded house prices from inflation targeting will prove to have been the key determinant of Gordon’s bubble. Inflation was not so low if you included house prices. Gordon can’t blame that on anyone else, it wasn’t an American finance minister who made that policy choice…

UPDATE : Unemployment is now higher than when Labour came into office. It is a fact that unemployment has always ended up higher when Labour is voted out than when it is voted in. Just as every Labour government has ended in financial crisis.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Very Civil Disobedience

Guido called up Fishburn Hedges, the BBC’s Telly Tax PR firm.

GF : “I have a confession to make”
FH : “Errr”
GF : “Haven’t paid for a TV licence in 10 years.”
FH : “Oh.”

They weren’t too keen on taking a confession and suggested Guido called the BBC press office.

GF : “Have a confession to make”
PO : “Ha ha”
GF : “Haven’t paid for a TV licence in 10 years.”
PO : “Ahh”
GF : “Charles Moore is my leader.”
PO : “Can we call you back”
GF : “I’ll come quietly. Non-violently, like Gandhi.”
PO : “What is your number?”
GF : “Now I have confessed can you stop sending letters?”

Confess your crime to the TV Licence press office on 020 7544 3144.

Another Etonian Prime Minister

Eton, Oxford, Premiership – a path trodden by a fortysomething posh, always smiling politician called Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The new Thai premier’s background will not have gone down well in some quarters.

Just as well he didn’t want the Speaker’s job or he would have to contend with David Davis.

Darling Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Tessa Jowell went wildly off message yesterday and said that Britain is facing a recession “deeper than any that we have known”. Another significant admission from Chancellor Darling suggests we are perhaps not best placed to weather the global financial turbulence: “We are going to be affected more substantially in relation to the loss of revenues that we are now experiencing because of the lack of profitability in the financial services sector. London is the major financial services sector in the world… Of course we are more likely to be more severely affected as a result [of] profitability being reduced… We are also affected by the downturn in the housing market because of reduced revenues in relation to stamp duty”.

He might also have added that because we are so over-indebted, it will be that much more difficult to recover economic growth.Via Paul Waugh

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tories Should Join the Pan-European Libertas Ticket

The Tories have been unsuccessfully trying to extricate themselves from the Federalist EPP by setting up a new group. This failure means that the only firm promise Cameron has given – to exit the group within months of him becoming leader, has been broken. Not a good omen.

Declan Garney, who successfully led the Irish anti-Lisbon Treaty No campaign*, has announced that his Libertas will contest the European elections in 2009 on a pan-European basis.

He has opened a European HQ in Brussels, and announced that Libertas will field candidates across the European Union on a common pro-European platform of democracy, accountability and transparency. “If people want a strong and healthy Europe that is democratic and answerable to them, they should vote for a Libertas candidate. If they do not want Europe to succeed or if they are happy with the current undemocratic practises, then they should vote for an incumbent party. For those who weren’t given a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, this will be their referendum”.

Libertas intends to run candidates in every country where the candidates are of a high standard, committed to the Libertas’s pro-European stance and its platform of democracy, accountability and transparency aimed at bring European back to the people.

That platform is entirely compatible with the Conservative Party position on Europe. The Tories should seize the opportunity to stand next summer on a pan-European platform which they support, rather than under a false Federalist flag.

There are no doubt practical difficulties, they are not insurmountable, Libertas in alliance with the British Tories would be a significant signal that there is a mainstream, non-headbanging alternative to the Federalist groups which dominate European politics and fail the people of Europe. The existing Tory leadership in Brussels is second rate, has gone native to the extent that they are lucky not to be facing criminal corruption charges. A new leadership is needed to break out of their historic errors.

Dan Hannan is moving his family to Brussels on a permanent basis, if he focused his energetic abilities on the parliament he would make an excellent leader, with Thatcherite determination to put the national interest first. The existing leadership is just not ideologically fit for purpose.

*Ganley says of the new moves to re-run the referendum: “The Irish government and the powerful elite in Brussels are showing utter contempt for the democratic decision of the Irish people in rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. Not one sentence will change in a “new version”. Some non-legally binding texts will be added in an attempt to fool the people. They tried this with the French, they tried with the Dutch, they are trying with the Irish. It’s time to put a stop to this bullying.”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What the Army Really Thinks of Brown

Gordon is off doing a flying visit to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan doling out millions to people who would rather the British were not there. Gordon loves being photographed with men in uniform, they however are not so keen on him. The ARRSE site is an online forum for soldiers, here are some excerpts from the site today:

At the bottom of the awful man’s black heart, I’ll wager he doesn’t give a stuff about casualties in Afghanistan. He’ll be calculating the costs, not in lives, but in pounds Sterling.

He was the worst Chancellor possibly ever, he has brought this nation to it’s knees and now he has the gall, the brass-necked affrontery to parade about bragging that he is ‘saving the world’. Will the men in white-coats be able to get into Downing Street, with the politically controlled ‘Met Police Farce’ at the gates?
lsquared

FFS, who goes into the bloody wilds of the Stan in a bloody suit and tie? Does he never take the bloody thing off?
mnairb

100 groats and his pick of the wenches to the man who rid’s us of Jonah McGabe.
insert-coin-here

How do the lads he talks to, do it with a straight face? I mean I know there’s discipline and good manners, but honestly…
angular

Have a look for yourself, he is not popular at all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Totty Watch : Mink Minx

Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Kellyanne Conway and a few more U.S. women conservatives have done a calendar “Pretty in Mink” to raise funds for the Clare Boothe Luce Institute. The left have flipped in outrage, as was obviously intended.

The institute offers political leadership training to right-leaning women and discourages promiscuity. Guido therefore won’t be buying the calendar.

Hat-tip : ABC News photo story here.

So Much for the Santa Claus Rally

Those of you who have been following Guido’s trading on the right will have seen it jump substantially last week. Guido was short Dow and FTSE futures which collapsed after the auto-bailout deal in Washington failed midweek, closed all the positions before the yanks could cobble together some compromise. Booked profits for the trading for the last three months are 97% – Mrs Fawkes hinted that perhaps going back to full-time trading might be more lucrative than blogging. Perhaps, however this was performance off a small amount of capital, the Value-at-Risk was sometimes leveraged 20 times, it was pure risk money and Guido got lucky.

Basically the trades were shorting the pound versus the euro, selling rallies in the Dow and FTSE, quickly covering after significant drops. Somehow Guido managed to lose money twice trading from the long side on Gold futures just before retracements rather than just buying and holding. Sir Michael White sneered at Guido for recommending buying gold as we shift towards Mugabonomics and the Bank of England sets the printing presses rolling. Gold is the safest refuge and the cost of carry with interest rates tending towards zero is ever more favourable to passive holders of the metal.

Sterling investors who bought gold at the beginning of the year have seen it rise 28% from £424 to £544 an ounce. If in 2009 we see “quantitative easing” (printing money), holding gold will be insurance as much as an investment. If you have apocalyptic fears, holding physical gold coins is reassuring.

Won’t be keeping a diary of trades on the blog next year, because this is a politics blog and some (not all) readers find it boring and/or self indulgent. Not bothered about being self indulgent (it is a personal blog) but being boring won’t do.


Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


VOTER-RECALL
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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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