Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oil Hits Record High as U.K. Strike Shutdown Proceeds

Ineos Group is proceeding with the shutdown of its 200,000 barrel-a-day Grangemouth refinery as talks with unions to avert industrial action look bleak. The plant takes crude from BP’s Forties Pipeline System, which transfers oil from more than 50 North Sea fields.

So the housing market is dropping on the back of the credit crunch and U.K. oil supplies are about to be turned off. Not exactly the best economic outlook is it? Expect to see queues at petrol stations just in time for the local elections….

Lobby Hacks Show Professionalism

At the end of last night’s meeting of the PLP Ian Austin, Gordon’s PPS, came out to give the official word to the thirsty gentlemen of the Lobby. Last time he did this his cunning plan was to say that everyone loved Gordon and everything was fine.
This had only one tiny flaw: it relied on 350 unhappy Labour MPs keeping their mouths shut. They of course did not, and we all now know that there was a mutiny over doubling the tax rate on low earners. So what did Ian do last night? He explained again that everything is fine and everyone loves Gordon! “That’s what you told us last time,” said Newsnight’s Crick. “I stand by every word of what I said last time,” Austin replied, “I tell the truth. I stake my reputation on the accuracy of my briefing.”

Guido has previously implied that Lobby hacks are unskilled. On reflection they did show professionalism last night. Not one of them laughed until after Ian Austin was out of sight.

Murdoch Moves : The Beginning of the Endgame

Murdoch backs winners as a matter of good business practice. He told a Lords Select Committee last year that whereas he does not interfere in his broadsheets, he acts as “a traditional proprietor” with his tabloids. This morning The Sun says “Vote for Boris”. The first time it has backed the Conservatives since 1997. Murdoch clearly thinks Labour will lose the next general election.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ofcom : "Guido is a Public Service"

Guido has only just become aware that Ofcom has published a consultation paper on Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital Age. So what?

Well, this blog is cited in the review of “public service content available online” as “an example of a widely read and influential blog that has become a must-read in Westminster.” Of course, but is it a “public service”? It is, after all, primarily for Guido’s personal amusement and mischief making merriment. This is not a public space, it is private property.

On the other hand, the Tories have a policy proposal to top slice the telly-tax to other public service providers to promote diversity and stimulate the creative industries market. If Guido is a public service content provider, does that not mean as content goes multi-platform, with online video-on-demand and suchlike, that Guido should get a splash of the £3 billion gravy train? Drinks all round on the telly taxpayer, why waste all that money on the BBC?

Bank of England Chief Economist :1,350,000 Borrowers Face Negative Equity

Charles Bean is the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, he gave an under-reported speech last week that shook up the Gilts market. It should shake up everyone. According to Mr Bean the Bank’s research has found that 5% of mortgagors have less than 20% equity in their home. That is equivalent to 1,350,000 homeowners.

Along with many other reputable forecasters Professor David Miles, chief UK economist at blue chip investment banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley, is predicting that by the end of 2009 house prices will have dropped 20%.

In pockets of London prices have already fallen 20% from their highs. If that trend goes nationwide Britain is looking likely to have more than million homes in negative equity before the next election. This is based on the Bank of England’s own somewhat conservative numbers…

If Gordon Loses the Vote, Gordon Has To Go

As Cameron signals that he will probably line up his troops behind Frank Field’s amendment could we be looking at a no confidence vote? Effectively yes. Gordon introduced the 10p rate, Gordon abolished the 10p rate, Gordon complicated the tax and benefits system with his endless tinkering at social engineering. This mess is 100% Brown stuff.

The paper pundits are intoning gravely. Jackie Ashley says Gordon could be gone this week, Kavanagh says kick Ken out next week and get rid of the unelected PM. If only…

Despite Alistair’s grandstanding calls on the banks to buck the markets and drop their lending rates, even Northern Rock, controlled by the Treasury has upped lending rates. Meantime the socialist dreams of Gordon Brown the student are being realised with the back door nationalisation of the banks. Another £50 billion is to be pick-pocketed from the taxpayers to prop up banks. Guido does not know what the exact terms of the bail-out are, but in principle is opposed. Why are taxpayers expected to take risks which properly should be borne by shareholders?

Why should the banks listen to Gordon when his own government ministers don’t listen? Many junior members of the government are expected to rebel on the 10p rate, 42 days and even ID cards. We have a shambles of a government by the shambolic, with support slipping away. Bring on the General Election…

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Pass the Sick-Bag Pauline

We already knew from Tracey’s kiss ‘n tell that Prezza suffered from diabetic impotence, hence the necessity for a few Viagra when he was attempting to hide the chipolata with his mistresses. Will that also be in his “no punches pulled” book?

Guido has to be the first to ask, is it really the classical bulimia condition he is describing?

I was getting all this pleasure stuffing food in, perhaps if I could get it out, I could carry on eating, do the same the next day. So I started deliberately sicking it up. I’d go to the toilet after guzzling, put a finger down my throat, and make it all come up. It was surprisingly easy.

Prezza is admitting it had nothing to do with poor self-image, or other self-esteem issues and all to do with him enjoying going through all the numbers on the menu at the local Chinese.

Whenever I go to Mr Chu’s in Hull, my favourite Chinese restaurant in the whole world, great atmosphere, great people, I could eat my way through the entire menu.

He would sick it up so he could consume more. That is plain old fashioned gluttony. The Romans knew the joy of orgies of over-eating followed by vomiting. Cicero, in Pro Rege Deiotaro, records that Julius Caesar “expressed a desire to vomit after dinner” (vomere post cenam te velle dixisses), and says that the dictator took emetics for this purpose.

Prezza is not suffering from a tragic condition, he is just a gluttonous, greedy sicko.

Prezza’s self-outing has neverthless given Guido the courage to confess that he too suffers from an eating disorder. Guido’s recent weight gain has been cruelly mocked by cartoonists and even the usually so right-on stick-to-the-ishoos types. Rich Johnston the cartoonist described the technical term for Guido’s condition as “daddy fat”. In fact during the first three years of married life Guido was gaining weight at the rate of a pound per month.

Although Guido has yet to sign his book contract, it seems that now is the right time to reveal the suffering and torment caused by endless long lunches, bottles of Margaux, Port and cheese accompaniments…

Lower Taxes for the Lower Paid

Watching Darling spluttering explanations for abolishing the 10p rate this morning it is clear that the Brownies can’t see that their preference for taxing with one hand and then paying benefits back with the other hand, is a wasteful bureaucratic merry-go-round that doesn’t work – except on paper.

Darling says “tax is complicated”. Who complicated it? Simplify it by raising thresholds dramatically. Why should people on earnings of less than £10,000 pay any tax? They only have to fill out endless forms to get it back in welfare payments. Crazy. Raising the threshold on the low paid will incentivise people to come off benefits and work. It will reduce the cost of collection which is disproportionately higher on low incomes.

The Tories are too timid, the mood of the public has changed. New Labour has always referred to “unfunded tax cuts” and demanded to know how many hospitals and schools would correspondingly be cut. The Tories should be pointing to Labour’s “unfunded spending commitments” which have given Britain the highest budget deficit in the Western world. We can’t afford Labour’s reckless spending commitments – they are literally mortgaging our children’s taxes to pay for current spending. It is the economics of the “never, never”.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Labour PPC : "Gordon is Giving Me Nightmares"

John Wiseman, Labour PPC for Westmorland and Lonsdale has, writing on LabourHome, candidly admitted that he seems “to be in the middle of a nightmare at present… Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament. Gordon has decided to take money away from his core vote, PPS’s are threatening to resign!! When are we going to wake up!!! There is hundreds of councillors who are going to lose their seats if Gordon doesn’t listen. I am asking please Gordon for the last time wake up and smell the coffee…”
He blames it squarely on the abolition of the 10p tax rate…

Seen Elsewhere

Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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