Friday, October 3, 2008

Newsnight is a Shambles, Come Back Peter Barron

Guido has given up on bothering to report the number of times they get the market report wrong, suffice to say that it might as well be a random number. If you can’t rely on a simple thing like that what does it say about the more nuanced reporting? On the day last week that U.S. markets had the huge downward move, Newsnight had a graph showing that it had plunged from roughly 10,100 to, errm, 10,400. Pathetically bad.

Grossman managed to pick up one decent story at Labour Party conference which led to the 3.15 a.m. drink fuelled McBride briefing. Two-ways from the conferences were persistently plagued by technical problems. One night Paxman said on air what all the viewers were thinking “it is a bit of a shambles here tonight.” They spent the conference season playing “Place the Face”, demonstrating that Michael Crick may have a more promising career as a game show host than an investigative reporter. Just a bit of fun? The Guidoisation of politics? Maybe, however is that dumbing down really a good use of the expensive resources of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme? When Crick finished his Place the Face finale piece on Wednesday, Paxman sneered and Crick exited the stage a minute or two later walking across screen in front of the camera, a dark Crick shaped shadow obscuring the Newsnight discussion with Finkelstein and the pair of cliche merchants he spars with. It was emblemic of the state of the show. Amateurish isn’t the word for it.

They have a Trotskyite reporting from Wall Street on the travails of capitalism – comical. Iain Martin in the Telegraph has also lost patience with the only show the entire Westminster Village watches. They have yet to finalise a replacement for Peter Barron. They need someone to get a grip on it because it is becoming a joke.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Top o’ the Credit Ratings To You

Despite Gordon’s whining to the EU it is now the case that Irish banks now represent the safest place to deposit money in Europe, with a AAA guarantee from a country with the lowest national debt to GDP ratio of any AAA country. Thanks to Gordon’s prolificacy Irish commercial banks are safer than even the Bank of England.

UPDATE : Lots of whining in the comments about this, so may as well mention that WPP is joining the taxodus and leaving Brown’s Britain and re-domiciling in low tax Ireland.

UPDATE October 2010 : This is quoted at Guido on a regular as some kind of evidence of terrible analysis. It is the case that Irish bank paper became safer in 2008 than any other European bank paper once the state guarantee was in place. The question that should be asked: Was a state guarantee a good idea? The impairment this has now brought to Ireland’s sovereign credit rating suggests not.

Sky : Boris told Blair to Go

Sky’s Martin Brunt is reporting that in a meeting yesterday London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson told Labour’s favourite copper that he could not support him. Sir Iain later saw Jacqui Smith the home secretary for reasons unknown.

This will be a popular move in London, will be popular with rank and file coppers. Speculation is shifting to who could succeed him…

+++ Iain Blair Statement Imminent +++

Hopefully he will be saying “goodbye”.

Evil Short Sellers Part IV – MPs’ Pension Funds

There was a little union sponsored demo in Birmingham against “Cameron’s cronies cashing in on the credit crunch” organised by Charlie Wheelan. Unfortunately they seem to have missed out on the biggest short seller of Bradford and Bingley. None other than his old crony Paul Myners’ GLG Partners. Brown’s favourite financier, donor and deputy chairman of the Smith Institute, as well as Gordon’s personal financial backer during the leadership campaign.
GLG partners declared to the FSA the largest short position in the market, the massive hedge fund profited the most from being short Bradford and Bingley before it went under. If Charlie’s dozen strong rent-a-crowd don’t fancy demonstrating outside GLG’s City offices they could try demonstrating outside the Guardian’s offices. Myners is also chairman of the Guardian’s holding company.

Labour has also taken £1 million from Jon Aisbitt, non-executive chairman of Man Group, Britain’s biggest quoted hedge fund group. Derek Tullet, who made his money providing derivatives broking services to hedge funds, also sent £400,000 into Labour’s coffers.

Guido has already pointed out that one of the LibDems biggest backers, Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace, is an evil short seller with no less than three of his funds on the FSA’s register of short sellers.

It gets even better, the FT has discovered that MPs’ own pensions are invested in a hedge fund manager, Quellos. Not only that, in addition the MPs’ pension fund also made money lending stocks out to hedge funds to enable them to short shares. The hypocrisy is huge here, they condemn short sellers publicly and yet they roll up the profits of short selling in their pension plans.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Sun Shines on Dave

The Sun has made the shift. He’s ready says this morning’s leader, “This speech could have been lifted straight from a Sun editorial — from backing Our Boys on the front-line to mending Britain’s broken society. .”
It also has a dig at the Robinson / Crick line of reporting “Is he up to the job? The Labour-leaning BBC was not impressed . . . always a good sign.” Clearly the deal is sealed as far as Murdoch is concerned, he has decided Dave is going to win.

Stats : 806,129 Pageviews from 562,536 Visits by 108,920 Visitors

The most popular story last month was Gordon Brown’s Downfall closely followed by Polly : Get Rid of Brown or the Labour Party Will Die.

It was fun.

Draper Reads Your Comments

Had a chat with newbie blogger Derek, you co-conspirators will be pleased to know that he is fascinated by the minds that abuse him. He was particularly interested in Guido’s fashion sense. He was attending the conference in his capacity as a Guardian blogger. Yeah, right…

Speech Reactions

Tim Montgomerie was reduced to tears and reckons it was “Camerons Greatest Speech”. Neil O’Brien thinks it synthesises three years of Cameroon policy thinking into a coherent single message of modernised traditionalism. Guido was looking around the press gallery for their reactions, Maguire had a face that was thunderous, Derek Draper looked miffed.

It was lapped up in the hall, it was solid and substantial. No flashy gimmicks, traditional Conservative themes like sound money, the Union and strong defence. He stuck to his guns on tax breaks for marriage. He explicitly rejected libertarianism saying the Tories were not just ideologically concerned with freedom. He identified a good ideological attack line against Miliband, turning the charge against Thatcher against Labour, that Miliband did not believe in society, only the individual and the state.

He deflected the experience versus novice argument by pointing out that if that was the case, Brown should never leave office.

Sam came on at the end wearing incredibly high red heels that were almost fetish shoes. Bet the tabloids spot that. Theresa Villiers was dressed as Sarah Palin.

Labour Website Closes

Labour Outlook which was launched to take on ConservativeHome has closed. Dreary and as characterless as it was it only emphasises the difficulties Derek Draper faces trying to ignite the Labour campaign online. Still the news that Labour’s Going Forth campaign, focusing on an online battle to win Labour a fourth term, will be led by John Prescott must be a worry for CCHQ. Or maybe not…

Seen Elsewhere

Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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