Tail-End of a Labour Government, Pound Collapses

Government borrowing is at record levels, unemployment is heading towards two million, car workers are on a 3-day week, public sector workers are threatening strikes, nationalisation is back, Deripaska-owned Leyland is even in back the news and we are entering a recession. To complete the whole 70s era feel we have a sterling collapse. 6% last night, 20% since the beginning of the year.

The BBC’s business editor is focusing on political gossip. Guido will therefore have to take up the slack on the business reporting front…

Littlejohn Joins CCHQ Press Operation

Don’t get your hopes up too much. According to the Indy a chip off the old block, William Littlejohn, is working in Millbank. Has Guido told you about the time his father bitch-slapped Polly Toynbee?

Pesto Payback

Why was Peston gunning, with Nick Robinson, for Osborne this morning on the Today show? Some speculate that it is payback for the generous tips of recent weeks that have come Pesto’s way. Guido suspects they are wrong.

Could it be something to do with the complaints to the FSA and the SFO from Tory MPs which, rightly or wrongly, Peston believes is being coordinated by Osborne’s office. Was there an element of personal animus? Surely not from the objective and impartial BBC….

Mandy Got Blair to Call Rothschild

Mandelson’s ability to get Nathan Rothschild, a Tory donor, to counter-attack Osborne over the “pouring poison” line is widely seen as a tribute to his powers of persuasion.

In reality Rothschild, who has long been enamoured with and in thrall to Tony Blair, acted after Mandelson got Blair to call Rothschild to encourage him to embarrass Osborne. M’learned friends are now being consulted as claim and counter-claim are spun. Isn’t it great to have all the fun of the circus with Mandelson back…

UPDATE : Tories say it was some time after the meeting that Rothschild called them to offer a donation on behalf of Deripaska. A Guido source laughed at the idea that Osborne and Feldman would personally solicit £50,000 – “that would get you to sit at the top table at a dinner maybe”.

CCHQ are calling Rothschild a liar:

The allegations made in Mr Rothschild’s letter are completely untrue.

Both Andrew Feldman and George Osborne deny absolutely that they attempted to solicit a donation from Oleg Deripaska. Nor did they suggest a method by which he could conceal a donation via a British company.

They spent a short period of time on Mr Deripaska’s boat at the invitation of Mr Rothschild. Donations to the Conservative party were not discussed with Mr Deripaska.

In a conversation on September 18, Mr Rothschild suggested to Andrew Feldman that Mr Deripaska wanted to make a donation to the party through one of his British companies. The offer was not taken up.

For clarity: the Conservative party has neither sought nor received any donations from Mr Deripaska nor any of his companies.

Looks like the lawyers will definitely be called in…

Oleg the Oligarch and the British Political Elite

It is a fascinating world inside the ruling elite isn’t it? Rupert Murdoch parks his yacht offshore from Nathaniel Rothschild’s sunshine estate and drops in. Mandelson and Osborne take a ride in the same billionaire’s boat when not dining together. All very cosy, enough to turn you into one of those crazy conspiracy theorists…

The Other Presidential Campaign

Believe it or not there is another Presidential election campaign running. The three candidates for President of the Liberal Democrats are Baroness Ros Scott, Lembit Öpik and Chandila Fernando. The ballot papers have been sent out and the race closes November 7.

Ros is the establishment candidate and is favourite to win. She is seen as a safe pair of hands.

Lembit is having another go after losing out to Simon Hughes last time. He has hardly any support from his parliamentary colleagues who see him as anything but a safe pair of hands. His campaign manager is hoping that his celebrity status will give him high name recognition with the membership that will translate into votes.

Guido wonders if the brief friendship between Ros’ daughter and Lembit gives an added twist to the competitive edge between them.

Chandila Fernando is the young outside candidate running an energetic campaign. He comes from the Orange Book faction and is very much the insurgency candidate. Expenditure limits are £7,500 per candidate, Chandila – as massively the lowest profile candidate – wanted to blow £5,000 of his budget on adverts in the party’s LibDem News internal newspaper, but bizarrely this was blocked by the party.

If only they were so choosy about taking that £2 million from Michael Brown into the party coffers…

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper

Paul Myners has managed to get a press release written by him republished in full in the Guardian, (the holding company of which he used to chair). Handy.

“As City minister, my priority is to bring stability to the system. My ambition is to keep our banks among the strongest in the world. Our economy will welcome it. It deserves nothing less.”

Last month when the hedge fund of which he was a director profited from being the biggest short seller in Bradford and Bingley, was his objective to “Keep our banks among the strongest in the world”?

It really is “do as I say, not as I do” for the ruling elite isn’t it? Hypocrisy.

Mauled Mandy Shows His Claws

Can we drop the Andy Marr Show for the Sophie Raworth Show? Unlike Marr she was no patsy and even when Mandy went into full on poisonous “you’ll never work in this town again” mode. She held her ground. The petulance is well worth watching if you missed it (41 minutes in). Watch his face…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tories Call for Small Business VAT Holiday Gordon Going Ahead with Small Business Tax Hike

Guido hasn’t seen any details other than the couple of sentences in Dave’s CiF article. It is a start. Being able to put off paying the VAT for two quarters will be a little bit of much appreciated help to

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ ComRes Puts Tories on Single Digit Lead of 9% +++

Not that things look that good for Gordon. The other answers were pretty negative:

  • It is right that taxpayers’ money should be used to bail out banks.
    Agree 37% Disagree 58%
  • Gordon Brown’s decisive handling of the bank crisis means

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Blair Knew About Abu Ghraib Torture

The torture of Iraqi detainees tshocked even supporters of the liberation of Iraq. Along with Guantanamo they did much to undermine the perceived moral legitimacy of the United States’ post 9/11 response. The photos were truly shocking.

Peter Oborne

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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