Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who Will Ask the Prime Minister?

Brown is BonkersLast night Guido was on a panel chaired by Jeremy Vine when the subject of Gordon Brown’s alleged anti-depressant pill popping came up.  Jeremy had read Simon Heffer’s article the night before (on his iPhone in bed) and thought that this blog had ran the story.  Guido had not, but on Monday this blog ran a cartoon that referenced the rumour that everyone in the Westminster Village has heard.  The Prime Minister is said to be taking powerful mood altering anti-depressants, specifically Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) which are very rarely prescribed since the arrival of Prozac derivatives, used only sparingly when dealing with severely depressed patients.

Guido hesitated to run with the story, which was first reported by John Ward, though it was widely discussed in the comments on this blog.

maoiIn the broadsheets Simon Heffer, Matthew Parris have touched on the issue and this morning Matthew Norman in the Independent has explicitly referred to the allegation that Gordon Brown is taking “heavy duty antidepressants known as MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)”. The evidence is first and foremost his behaviour – what some have previously put down to a lack of EQ or emotional intelligence, is now being attributed to drugs to control his dark depressions.  We all know the stories of rages, flying Nokias, smashed laser printers, tables kicked over and crying Downing Street secretaries subjected to foul-mouthed tirades.  We have seen the deranged YouTube performances, the bizarre facial contortions, the incongruent emotional responses – smiling when offering condolences, frowning when giving best wishes.

The new evidence offered is that a civil service circulated dietary restrictions list is said to be of the kind required for someone on MAOI medication.  The side effects include insomnia, dry mouth and jaw clenching (bruxism) – all of which Brown is known to suffer.  Psychiatrists warn of MAOIs that ‘Extrapyramidal effects include acute dystonic reactions such as protuding tongue, muscular contractions and clenched jaw’. Gordon’s bruxism may have another explanation, it has been remarked on before.  In the context of all this speculation and his manifest physical unease, surely somebody in the Lobby has to publicly ask the question at the PM’s next monthly briefing:  “Prime Minister, have you been taking medication that may affect your judgement?”

Rifkind Chaired Firm Required Sexual Deviancy for Promotion

RifkindArmorGroup is under investigation by the U.S. State Department over allegations that employees of the defence contractor employed at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were pressurised to participate in naked pool parties and perform sex acts to gain promotions.  During the period under investigation Malcolm Rifkind was the non-executive chairman.

Interviewed by ABC News, a guard and former U.S. military veteran said top supervisors of the ArmorGroup were not only aware of the “deviant sexual acts” but helped to organise them. “It was mostly the young guys fresh from the military who were told they had to participate” he told ABC News, “They were not gay but they knew what it took to get promoted..”

The State Department is investigating photographic evidence dating back to 2007 showing naked and barely clothed men fondling one another. In June 2007, the State Department warned “the security of the U.S. embassy in Kabul is in jeopardy” because of “deficiencies” on the part of ArmorGroup.  Guido was unable to contact the former foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm, for comment.

More photos ABC News.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Professor Prezza’s Porkies

professor-prezzaqProfessor Prezza is very excitedly Twittering about the government’s announcement that they plan to do some pump priming  on the home building front.  John Healey announced today that 47 councils will share in  a grant of £127 million to build what amounts to about 30 homes per council.

new-home-millionThey will be completed by 2011.  So Prezza is, in a sense, wrong when he tweets that you won’t get this from a Tory government.  He is also wrong in the wider sense, after all in’t it under the Tories that the most council homes have been built?  Harold Macmillan promised to build 300,000 a year and ended up building a million.  A building programme unmatched by Labour. In fact Labour this year are actually knocking down 3,000 homes.

Professor Prezza needs to study a bit more history…

Camerons are Living in the Past

Day-of-the-Week

Nick Robinson says he filmed breakfast Chez Cameron yesterday morning (Tuesday, September 8).  The clock on the wall says it was  Monday, September 7, 2008.  Guido has some sympathy, Miss Fawkes pulled the hands off the kitchen clock Chez Fawkes…

Has Tony Gone Non-Dom to Dodge the 50p Tax?

When was the last time you saw Tony Blair in the UK? Billionaires yachts in the med, sure, US TV chat shows, sure. Six figure speaking engagements in the Far East, of course. “Peacemaking” in the Middle East, allegedly. Is he seen in the UK? No, not much.

Guido’s theory is that he is keeping under the 90 day residency limit for non-domiciles for tax purposes.  Didn’t Cherie mention that the kids all have Irish passports?  Why pay 50% tax to Gordon on all that filthy lucre he is earning overseas?

09:09, 09.09.09

Nine seconds later is everyone still here?  No terror incident?  Good.  Keep calm and carry on…

Cruddas Underwhelms

Guido has to confess to a soft-spot for Jon Cruddas. He comes across as the more thinking type of leftie – he spotted earlier than most within Labour that Cameron might have electoral appeal and a competitive ideological offering, when they were dismissing him merely as a salesman-chameleon.  He has shown a far better understanding of the Notting Hill set, possibly because he is a member. So his widely anticipated Compass speech last night was a little underwhelming.

He was good on the diagnosis of Labour’s troubles and the loss by New Labour of the social anchor of their core social base (LabourList has the full text). Policy-wise his prescription seemed as uncompelling as Gordon Brown’s own. The FT’s Jim Pickard took notes:

1 – establishment of a High Pay Commission – Yawn, symbolism of no consequence.
2 – greater tax justice, including closing tax havens and more equal distribution of income and wealth; Levelling down.  When even the Guardian uses tax havens you can bet they won’t be closed.
3 – index link benefit levels, pensions and the minimum wage to average incomes; Can taxpayers really afford higher dole and benefits with 6 million economically inactive welfare recipents and gargantuan government debt?
4 – replacing tuition fees with a graduate solidarity tax;  Whatever.
5 – a Fair Employment Clause in all public contracts; Whatever.
6 – windfall and transaction taxes and resetting capital gains tax; Sure, drive businesses,  jobs and capital overseas.
7 – a new covenant with the military, including more investment in mental healthcare, equipment, housing and support for veterans funded by scrapping plans to renew Trident and re-deploying the money saved within the Minister Of Defence budget;  Maybe.  Isn’t this LibDem policy?
8 – a Green New Deal, to include scrapping the third runway at Heathrow; Hardly going to inspire consumerist voters.
9 – remutualisation of the finance sector;  Half of it is nationalised already.
10 – a credit card bill of rights for consumers. ‘What do we want – Standardised APR definitions – When do we want ‘em? NOW!’ To the barricades comrades

If Cruddas is to be the source of inspirational ideas for the left, Guido has to say: the cupboard is bare.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

+++ Source : Osborne GQ Politician of the Year +++

Sorry to spoil it for those attending the ceremony tonight. Can’t figure out why. Two sources confirm. Wonder if that rumour about Dylan Jones wanting a seat is true…

UPDATE : Mail on Sunday’s Susanne Moore tweets similar thoughts from the venue.

It is @GuidoFawkes, Ben

no_twitter_smallFirst things first, if you want to message use @guidofawkes. Better still, use email.  Ben Brogan has joined Twitter.  God knows why, suspect it might be something to do with Paul Waugh claiming Twitter-lead scoops.

How many million did the Telegraph lose last year? Don’t you have a paper to write Ben?

You ain’t gonna tweet your way to profitability…

Ben Twitter

Campaign for a Shorter, Cheaper, More Accurate Election Night

1001All the pro-politics political junkies are getting worked up about the idea that vote counting and results might be delayed until the next day (Friday) after the election.  They like all the drama.  What a waste of money and time.  Lets save all the hassle, save all the cost, get the result accurate and in a timely fashion by having an electronic count.  Election night will be saved, and it will all be done on the night with the result will be known the minute the polls close.

It is the 21st Century, we don’t need rooms full of people miscounting the vote, lets go digital and get it over with by 10.01.  The night would be for celebration, commiseration and sleeping, rather than voter slip counting into the early hours…

Dale, Isaby, Harris and Pickles just like the drama.  The rest of us just want the result, the faster the better…


Seen Elsewhere

Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath


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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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