Boris Launch

Just biked back from the Boris campaign launch. He was business-like, serious and determined. The media and a crowd of young supporters were out in force. He did not make any gaffes…

Bizarrely supporters were asked to return the T-shirts handed out – “we have to stick to a £100,000 budget for the primary” was the explanation.

Back Boris for a Greater LondonUPDATE : The campaign site has been revamped with the video and more interactivity. They are using Boris icons pretty liberally.

London Calling

Here at the Bori campaign launch with the tune of ‘London Calling’ playing James Cleverly introduced a promo video. To the great amusement of the Backing Boris crowd, it is silent with Boris miming inaudibly.

Read George’s Lips “No Spending Cuts, No Choice for Voters”

In the Times this morning George Osborne writes “We have the highest tax burden in our peacetime history… Today I can confirm for the first time that a Conservative Government will adopt these spending totals. Total government spending will rise by 2 per cent a year in real terms, from £615 billion next year to £674 billion in the year 2010-11.”

Last month the Economic Research Council identified 883 New Labour quangos costing £167.5 billion in 2005/06, up from £24.1 billion in 1997/98. That is five times the size of the Defence budget (£32 billion). Does George really think spending has to grow?

This is straight out of the New Labour play book in 1996, when Blair and Brown promised to stick to Major’s spending limits. Post-election, they then PFI’d a spending splurge off the PSBR books that will mean taxpayers are paying on the never-never for a generation.

Some say it is clever politics, some will say it is cowardice in the face of the enemy. Osborne’s intention to stick to Labour’s spending plans, despite the high tax burden, begs the question; what is the point of the Conservatives? What real choice do they offer voters?

Image credit : David Osler

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

“I don’t think there’s a crisis, but I do think it’s right that we act in those hotspot areas where there’s clearly a problem with guns and knives”
Ed Balls, Department for Children, for Schools and for Families
GMTV Sunday 2 September, 2007

Back Boris Official Launch Tomorrow

Boris is officially launching his campaign to be the next Mayor of London tomorrow morning in the debating chamber at County Hall.

The first 150 Boris supporters to be there for a quick briefing at 9:30am in the County Hall reception will be kitted out with a official Back Boris t-shirts and will be integral to the smooth running of the day. You should be free to leave by 11:30am at the latest.

The first 150 people to reply to events@backboris.com with their full name and contact number will be added to the list. First come first served – see you there…

Coincidence or Corruption?

Gordon’s pollster Deborah Mattinson sits on the board of Gordon’s think-tank, the Smith Institute. Her relationship with Gordon has been very profitable for her firm, OLR. According to today’s Sunday Telegraph, government contracts totalling some £3 milllion have come her way.

By coincidence OLR does a bit of polling for the Smith Institute for no charge. In February Guido queried who paid for their latest “92% favour Gordon” poll. OLR came back and said they had no paying client for the research. Nor did they have an identifiable paying client for their “What it means to be British” research in 2005. Shortly afterwards Gordon began loudly banging his Britishness drum. Opinion Leader Research has helped Gordon on “Britishness” issues before, their research was also used extensively in “New Britain” a 1999 publication produced by the Smith Institute. The pamphlet was itself singled out and explicitly criticised by the Charity Commission as being party political in the first 2001 investigation into the Sith.When the taxpayer is paying OLR £153,484.38 for one-day seminars it can’t be hard for OLR to do a bit of off-the-books work for the Smith Institute. The taxpayer is subsidising Gordon’s private polling, just as it subsidised the event hosting of Gordon’s Smith Institute at Downing Street.

Chris Grayling has written to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell, asking him to investigate how OLR comes to win so many government contracts. Many market research industry competitors agree with Guido:- it is cronyism plain and simple.

Footie Fans Boo Brown and Merkel

Credit to www.UKIP.tv

Don’t Call Guido, Call Ben

About once a month or so an ad agency, PR or public affairs shop, academic department or such like, calls Guido to do a guru talk on blogging. Mostly Guido turns them down on the basis that “some Guru, some do”. In future Guido will direct them towards Ben Goldacre. He says a lot of what should be said here.

Don’t agree with him or his comment makers about video ads and suchlike – they pay the rent. If you ain’t going to pay for content, somebody has to, if you block out the ads, sooner or later the content will disappear. Starving idealistic geeks forget that detail. Soon all devices will be connected at high speed all the time, so don’t worry about bandwith sucking videos on your Blackberry.

Hat-tip : Martin Stabe

Lunch with Thatcher

Just got back from lunch. On the table next to me was a denim clad Carol Thatcher. Obviously Guido listened in to her conversation. She was drinking rosé with a younger Latino, possibly South American guy, bemoaning the tax man. “No the money in Switzerland is in my own name” was the tone of the conversation. Out of respect for her mother and a shared loathing for the Inland Revenue, Guido will leave it at that. She definitely has no luck with men – she split the bill…

Friday Caption Contest (Flint & Smith)

Dave on Newsnight

Everyone seems to think Dave did well on Newsnight last night, in the sense that he was calm and didn’t get rattled. However, Michael Crick is in all honesty no Paxman, the four presenters combined are actually easier to face than Newsnight’s Grande Dame.

To be fair Dave faced a slippery nipple obssessed Paxman in 2005. It takes a bit of political courage to face Paxman. When did Gordon ever face Paxman?

No Sign of Bush on Porn-trait

Disappointingly, not as vulgar as Guido was hoping..

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Evidence of the Coulson Effect?

When Guido first saw the “Anarchy in the UK” headline for yesterday’s speech press release by Dave, he thought it was a little too knowing. But it worked for The Sun today. Today Dave’s speech steals a line from Hilary Clinton, “it takes a village”. Is he re-branding the the Tories as the Village People?

Cheney Warns Against Quagmire of Invading Iraq in 1994

Every Week 2,000 People Go Bust

Gordon likes to talk about stability and prudence, but rising indebtedness and rising interest rates have led to people going bust and losing everything at the rate of 2,000 a week. Individuals are losing homes and businesses at an astonishing rate – triple that seen during the 1991/92 recession.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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