Liverpool LibDem Leadership & Laundry Crisis

As is traditional with the LibDems, there is a leadership crisis at their conference. Clegg has been in office a couple of months, so it is about due. Nothing will come of it, but it will give bored hacks something to write about.

Colin Eldridge a cabinet member of the award winning* Liverpool council, runs a local laundry business. He has a contract with the Crowne Plaza conference hotel. He is urging guests to use as many towels and bathrobes as possible to boost his profits. Not very green!

*The award was for the worst run metropolitan council.

Who Hacked Lee Jasper?

Something that has been amusing Guido is that clearly the original source(s) for the Standard’s stories were email records. So who hacked Jasper’s email account? Is there a Boris secret agent in the I.T. department?

Friday Caption Contest

Even Buskers Have Spin Doctors Nowadays

Guido got an email yesterday with a story claiming that Boris posed for a photo-op with a busker handing over a twenty pound note. When the photo-op was completed he put the twenty back in his pocket. Cheapskate!
Having not been invited to yesterday’s “Bloggers for Boris” lunch (Tories only) Guido was in the mood for a bit of Boris bashing. So Guido contacted the busker, Claire Toomey, and she gave a surprisingly carefully worded explanation.

I was busking in Croydon in November (ish) and Boris Johnson came up to me and posed in front of me for pictures. He didn’t really speak to me. When he left, a passer by came up to me and said did he give you that £20 and I said what £20? When I looked in my guitar case there was nothing there and I thought that was a bit odd.

Fantastic. Guido hunted around for the picture. Guido asked if she knew anyone who had the picture. She suggested Guido contact her PR company. A busker with a PR agent?

Anyway Guido did contact her PR. No picture. She also admits she didn’t actually see Boris proffer a £20 note either.

Claire has a nice MySpace site and an album coming out shortly which needs publicity…

UPDATE : Have now got hold of the photographer for the local paper – he says Boris threw some change in the hat – there never was any note. Ken backing bloggers are of course running with the spin

Welsh Pork Up 8.3%

The government’s preferred inflation measure (CPI) is up 2.2%. Surprise, surprise Welsh Assembly members have voted themselves an inflation smashing 8.3% pay rise. Plenty of pork for them. Other public sector workers such as nurses and policeman have been held to rate of inflation increases.

Unlike politicians they aren’t able to vote themselves a pay rise…

Gordon 2.0

Fraser Nelson in the Speccie has a 2,400 word piece on the new team around Gordon, some of whom have private-sector experience of successfully running more than a whelk stall, which is not something that can be said for the Alexanders, Milibands and Balls’.

Stephen Carter from Brunswick and Jeremy Heywood from Morgan Stanley are the new dynamic duo in downing Street according to Fraser. Jennifer Moses, an ex-Goldman Sachs managing director has come in to the big tent via the LibDem friendly think-tank CentreForum.

The Jonah effect was immediately felt. Ms Moses’ husband’s hedge fund (Peleton) won an industry award in January, she announced she was going to work for Gordon in February. Her husband loses a billion or so that month and his hedge fund is now being wound up. Hope he wasn’t listening to pillow talk giving an inside track on Gordon’s musings on mortgage backed securities…

UPDATE : As pointed out in the comments, according to yesterday’s Daily Mail

Jennifer Moses had been due begin work in her new Downing Street office in the next few days to “spice up” policies ahead of the next election. But she has pulled out over what No. 10 was today describing as a “domestic situation”.

MP’s Wine Cellar Refit Cost £7 Million

Guido’s man close to the sommelier tells him that the state-of-the-art refit of the cellars where the MP’s wine is kept cost the taxpayers £7 million. What have the parliamentary pigs got for themselves? Gold plated troughs?

They say that parliament is the best club in London. Of course it is, the “honourable members” don’t have to pay for their membership. We pay them whatever they vote themselves. Yet we don’t even get to see what they spend it on. The best thing to put in the cellars is gunpowder…

Prescott Peacemaking Fears

The Council of Europe is for some unfathomable reason sending the disgraced former deputy-PM and pugilist John Prescott to Armenia: “John Prescott will assess the post-electoral situation and explore possibilities for defusing the current political crisis and promoting dialogue”. Prescott promoting dialogue?

Guido fears that he will only worsen the state of emergency. Armenian troops and protesters have already clashed leaving 8 dead and more than 100 injured. Perhaps Prescott will tell the government troops to use their fists instead of bullets. That is after all what he did with protesters when he was in government..

“Frankenstein Bill” : No Free Vote, No Conscience Allowed

In 1990 when the Tories introduced the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act it was by a free vote. The Telegraph reports that Gordon has forced a three line whip on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which will allow for the creation of animal-human embryos.

This is not a measure that orthodox Catholics can support. Nor will they want to merely abstain. They will want to vote against it. Is Gordon such a control freak that he will force cabinet ministers Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy to choose between their careers and their faith? They, and many others, can’t in conscience vote for the Frankenstein Bill…

Get Guido’s Headlines by Text Message – Free

As part of Guido’s aim to be ubiquitous on all new media platforms he has partnered with the Twitter service to provide headlines in real-time to your mobile via SMS. Guido won’t charge you a penny* wherever you are in the world.

The text message will contain the headline, followed by a clickable link which (on web-enabled phones) will take you to the full blog story. Guido has been testing it for a few weeks with 20 subscribers and it seems to work well. Subscribe here.

You’re either in front of Guido or behind…

*For now.

+++ SKY Reporting Three LibDem Frontbench Resignations +++

Different names in their story, Sky reckon Alistair Carmichael will join Tim Farron and David Heath. Bring back Vince…

+++ Crick : First LibDem Has Resigned +++

According to Michael Crick, Clegg has accepted his first resignation. No details.

+++ Ken : “I Will Re-Hire Jasper” +++

Guido is trying to get confirmation that Ken told a meeting of supporters last night that when re-elected he would re-hire Lee Jasper.

Paxman Grills Clegg on Treaty Position

Up To Three Four LibDem Frontbenchers Could Go

Heath, Kramer and Farron are the most likely to resign.
Last night’s Paxman interview was excruciating, Clegg at one point attacked the Labour Party for “reneging on its commitment to a referendum”. The government uses exactly the same sophistry as the LibDems. So he was condemning himself by those words. The whole fiasco seems unnecessary. A three line-whip to not vote because Clegg’s preferred option is not on the order paper? Idiocy.

UPDATE : Sandra Gidley, who shadows health is likely to vote against the leadership.

The Myth of UK Economic Strength

With a week to go before the budget it is worth reflecting on where we are economically. Exactly ten years ago the FTSE 100 stood at 5,782. Last night the stock market closed at 5,767. Investors have seen the stock market and the value of their pensions decline during the ten years of New Labour’s economic management under Gordon Brown.[…]


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Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

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