Green Groups Accuse OLR of PR Stitch-Up

According to the front page of the Guardian Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF and the Green Alliance are claiming that the government is using Deborah Mattinson’s Opinion Leader Research to distort the evidence and get the required result on nuclear power from bogus public consultations.

Duh! Of course – that is why Gordon hires and re-hires his personal pollster’s firm to the tune of £3 million. She tells him what he wants to hear.

Greenpeace says that they along “with other NGOs, trade unions, renewable energy companies and representatives of the nuclear industry met with OLR and the government in July to discuss this stakeholder briefing pack. This document was full of pro-nuclear opinion masquerading as fact … This document is fundamentally flawed and cannot form the basis for a full public consultation.” So it is not just Guido who thinks OLR’s work is another form of push-polling.

Charity Commission Will Publish Sith Investigation Findings

Guido contacted the investigators at the Charity Commission recently to inquire as to how the eight-month long investigation into the wrong doings of the Sith was progressing. They won’t say as yet, but did promise they would publish their report online.

Gordon is pushing for a change in the laws the Smith Institute broke so that their actions are decriminalised. He told voluntary workers this week

“I do not personally believe that you can be an effective community and charity organisation… if you’re somehow limited in advocacy and your ability to speak and campaign on things you think are wrong. It should not be wrong for you to say `we urge you to support this cause.’ That’s a controversial thing as well.”

Ed Miliband, the ultra-Brownite Cabinet Office minister and frequent attendee of Smith Institute events at 11 Downing Street in the past, also reckons “Charities should be free to participate in appropriate ways in political activities. There are clear benefits to society from allowing charities to do so.” Clearly such a change would benefit the Smith Institute and that charity’s sole beneficiary – G. Brown.

Nevertheless this will be a change in the law that will allow tax rebates for political campaigning. Surprisingly enough Guido favours the change. Guido has never yet met a tax deduction he hasn’t liked…

Just so long as it is not retrospective and doesn’t get the sleazy Sith off the hook. Which is why a timely conclusion to the Charity Commission’s investigation is now overdue.

Friday Caption Contest

Boom to Bust : Mortgage Pressures

“I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery.”

Gordon Brown, 1997 Budget Statement.

The data for mortgage repayments as a proportion of post-tax income has just been published by the Bank of England. This shows how much of your salary goes towards keeping the roof over your head. With tax thresholds too low, property prices too high and interest rates rising the pain is starting to show, not just in devastating home repossessions, but in reduced disposable income for all. Whereas in the nineties less than a tenth of your take-home salary on average went to service the mortgage, it is now, after a decade of Brownite economic stewardship, nearly one seventh of your net income. Brown has not kept his 1997 promise…

Source : August 2007 Bank of England Inflation Report.

Citizen’s Consultants

Organising “Citizen’s Juries” has made Gordon’s pollster, Deborah Mattinson, a lot of money over the years. Amazingly they have now become a key Gordon Brown government policy. Who, Guido wonders, will get paid all those fat fees for organising what are jumped up focus groups?

All this talk of Gordon’s Citizen’s Juries and Dave’s National Citizenship Service is confusing Guido. The U.N. lists the British form of government not as a democracy, but as a constitutional monarchy. So you are Her Majesty’s subjects not citizens. Whereas Guido is a citizen of a free republic…


Prezza for Hire – Will Speak for Between “£10,000 to £25,000”

Fancy a comedy turn after dinner? Well Prezza has signed up with JLA, suppliers of motivational speakers, after dinner speakers and entertainers for corporate and industry events. £25,000 to listen to Prezza mangle the English language?

The JLA site is fascinating, Guido learns that he could get Boris for somewhere between £5,000 to £10,00. Going down market, he could even hire Sir Michael White for a grand.

The Truth Is Out There : Tell It!

The long political recess is nearly over and Guido is getting back to blogging with a purpose. Bashing and exposing politicians, lying lobbyists, sleazy spin-merchants, wonk-whores and their tame media mouthpieces requires information. You make this blog happen. Sources are anonymous (unless you want credit). Who is to blame really? If it is your boss, you know. If you know “the line” is a lie, ask yourself why you got into politics; was it to cover up the truth or tell it? You may even get a conspiracy member T-shirt for your troubles…

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Miliblogger : “I’ll Be Back”

Yesterday David Miliband told those who tuned into his Downing Street webchat
I am completely committed to the idea that diplomacy needs to engage the public as well as diplomatic elite and also to the notion that I need to lead that in the Foreign Office. So the blog will be back, supplemented by other tools for discussion and debate.

That will not be engaging by actually asking their opinion in a binding referendum, just blogging down to them from on high.

Ominously he tells us “please follow developments on the FCO website over the next couple of weeks.” Hang on to your wallets.

LibDems Marginalised in Polls

Amidst all the talk of the Brown bounce going splat and Cameron’s Conservatives panicking, the LibDems seem to have been quietly overlooked. Polling consistently in the mid-teens the Tories seem set to pummel them in the South-East. It is not inconceivable that the LibDems could lose half their MPs in a general election…

UPDATE : Populus reckon the LibDems will lose 7 seats in the marginals.

The Unfree Internet

When they talk about regulating the internet, just remind yourself where the internet is regulated. China is the world’s biggest prison for reporters and cyber-dissidents. This will always be the blog they hate and you love. Unregulated and uncensored.

Gordon’s Mischief Making

Patrick Mercer struck Guido as someone decent who said something ill-judged. Gordon Brown claims he has brought him into his tent “for his talent“, but in reality it is calculated to cause mischief for Cameron.

When he got the push from Dave, Labour’s Armed Forces Minister, Adam Ingram said


“Racist abuse can have no place in any walk of life, and it is appalling and inappropriate for any politician, never mind a senior Tory MP like Patrick Mercer, to suggest that ‘this is just the way it is in the Army’. Our troops and our officers are 21st century people who recognise that there is no place for prejudice in the modern world… Patrick Mercer may have a military background but he no longer speaks for the Armed Forces. It is an insult to the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces with great distinction…”

Now Brown supposedly wants his advice.

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.

[…]

+ 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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