Boris Now Punter’s Favourite

Guido managed to get a few extra quid on Boris before he went better than evens. Guido has felt ever since Mike Smithson drew attention to the second preference polling that Boris should be odds on. He is now.

The sheer ferocity of the attacks from Labour figures at their spring conference suggests they know it as well. Labour activists don’t like him and therefore don’t understand how he could win. Two months to go before they will find out…

Pigs to Westminster, Home of the Pork

The news that today pig farmers are marching on Westminster presents a number of obvious punning targets along the lines of “coals to Newcastle”. There is certainly a lot of pork already in Westminster with £87 million of MPs expenses, plus subsidised dining and boozing all at the public’s expense.Not forgetting the no-receipts-required culture. We even have learnt in the last few days that the Speaker has authorised the shredding of past expense claim records. Just as the Stasi shredded the evidence of their guilt as the Berlin Wall came down. Oink! Oink!

The unpopular parts of the blogosphere are complaining about Guido’s comparison of the monies received by Tom Watson’s family and the amount received by Derek Conway’s family. None of them dispute that the Watsons suck on the teat of the taxpayer to a far greater extent than the Conways ever did. Not one has disputed the £300,000+ figure, they just weakly claim that the Watson family do more work.

Well Guido has some news coming folks… this is as they say “a developing story”. Guido has a track-record of leading on sleaze stories ahead of the dead-tree-press, ask Peter Hain.

Laughing to Order for Gordon

Kevin Maguire hates being described as Gordon’s stooge. Yet surely if you compere a Q&A session for Gordon at the Labour Party’s poorly attended spring conference, you risk exactly that, particularly if you cravenly fake laughter at an anecdote you have heard Gordon tell over and over and over again. Truly cringe worthy.

Guido has himself heard the “sports pages” anecdote more times than he cares to remember, our Kevin must have as well.

Gordon’s Speech at “Britain’s Everyday Heroes” Book Launch (24 July 2007)

“The great American jurist Justice Warren once said that he read the newspaper sports pages first because stories there were of human achievements, and the front pages last because their stories were of human failings.”

Speech on the Global Economy at the Reuters Building (1 October 2007)

“And I am reminded of the story of Earl Warren, who said that he looked at the sports pages first because it told him a great deal about human achievement, and he looked at the front pages last because all it wrote about was human failings.”

Downing Street press conference (8 October 2007)

“I have been tempted over this weekend to take the advice of Errol Warren (sic), the American jurist, who said he only read the sports pages of the newspapers because they were all about human achievements, and he didn’t read the front pages because they were all about human criticisms.”

Speech at Sports Colleges conference (1 February 2008)

“US Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren once said he read the front pages of newspapers last because they focused on human failing. He read the sports pages first because they focused on human accomplishments and achievements.”

Last month at the NFU the weirdo PM forgot the bloody anecdote, which Guido can by now chant in his sleep, attributing it to JFK. (18 February 2008)

“John Kennedy was the President of the United States in the 1960s, and he used to say when he got bad newspaper headlines: ‘I’m reading them more and enjoying them less’. He said he read the sports pages first because they talked about human achievements and only the front pages last because all they talked about was human failings.”

And now at last week’s Labour spring conference. Kevin Maguire deserves an acting award to go with his ‘Order of the Brown Nose’ for his reaction to the line.

Hat-tip : DB

What Will They Say in Tunbridge Wells?

Alan Duncan is tying the knot with James Dunseath it is announced on the Court & Social page of the Telegraph. Some serious social changes are encapsulated in that, not so long ago the only Queen on that page was Elizabeth II, and the letters pages were full of outrage at gay marriages.

Congratulations to Alan and James…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday Sleaze Special : Tom Watson

Guido wondered why Labour’s attack-puppy, Tom Watson MP, was uncharacteristically silent on the scandal of Tory MP Derek Conway employing three family members at public expense. Tom has been strangely silent on sleaze altogether, Watson never usually misses a chance to attack, so why the reticence?

Could it be because the Watson family is paid some £300,000-a-year by the taxpayer? A new all-time record for snouts-in-the-trough.

Last year Watson pocketed his £60,000 salary and his parliamentary expenses amounted to £150,000-plus – bringing his total package to £211,000 – making him the 73rd highest claiming MP out of 646 MPs. Quite an achievement for an MP not claiming for travel to and from Scotland. He of course employs his wife Siobhan at the public’s expense, his brother, Dan, is constituency director to Euro MP Michael Cashman, Dan Watson’s wife, Joanna, has no fewer than three jobs. Like her husband, she also works for Mr Cashman and for Wolverhampton Labour MP Pat McFadden, yet still finds time to be a Labour councillor in Sandwell. Amy Watson, cousin of Tom and Dan, works for Birmingham Northfield Labour MP Richard Burden. The West Midlands constituency Labour Party offices are packed with Watsons…

The total annual cost to the taxpayer of the Watson family’s five not-so-little piggies is in excess of £300,000. Far more than the disgraced Derek Conway fiddled…

Stat-Porn : February 2008

487,676 page views off 366,364 unique visitors – well it was a short month. Read ‘em and weep Three Line Whoopsies…

The Centre for Policies Studies recently had to correct a pamphlet which implied the Telegraph’s political bloggers* were now beating Guido in terms of audience size. Coincidentally the pamphlet’s author was a Telegraph hack. Turns out that claim is true only if you add the traffic of all fifty (50) Telegraph blogs together. Only then do they just barely beat Guido in terms of audience size. 50 hacks, £10 million lost invested in the new media platform. No wonder Shane Richmond is sulking with Guido. Barclay brothers take note…

Many thanks to all Guido’s advertisers.

*Iain Martin is well worth reading.

Cameron "Gets It", Can He Do It?

This morning in Birmingham Brown eulogised to Labour’s spring conference the utopia he is building, meanwhile Dave has given a more realistic speech to Taffy Tories in Wales.
His speech accepts that voters are going to demand more openness, transparency, honesty and control. As Guido predicted on Thursday, he has returned to his PMQs themes once again. The Cameroons believe there are political dividends to be had in aligning with the anti-politician mood, the call from the 2005 intake of Tory MPs advancing constituency recalls for bad MPs is part of that anti-political agenda.

Cameron’s speech today said “I get it” loud and clear:

Public faith in our political institutions is draining away. According to MORI, the proportion of people trusting politicians to put the needs of the country before the needs of party halved between 1974 and 1999. Trust in Parliament fell from 54% in 1983 to 14% in 2000. Since then it’s got even worse. Our Parliament is scorned. Our parties are shrinking … Let’s be clear what they think of us: “you lie and you spin, you fiddle your expenses and you break your promises.” To describe this disengagement and cynicism as a ‘mood’ is to underestimate both the depth and the intensity of the breakdown in relations between the government and the governed.

So Dave has identified the symptoms, does he know what has caused it?

To do that, we need to understand why this political breakdown has happened. A lot of it is to with behaviour. The behaviour of a minority of individual politicians, in all parties. Behaviour in the House of Commons.

Most of all he blames the government’s culture of spin, the three thousand press officers and the cynicism of politicians who promise what can’t ever be delivered, with the single-minded pursuit of favourable headlines rather than real results in mind. All of which is in the DNA of New Labour.


Click on Image – requires Flash and sound

Anti-politics is the new politics. You have read it here almost daily for four years. Cameron’s new politics shows promise, his post-bureaucratic agenda is about limiting the state and the unlimiting of society. Those of us who are anti-politics are the majority at election time, if Cameron can convince the non-voting majority that he will walk the walk as well as talk the talk he could win a landslide. We won’t ever vote for the Labour Party, yet why should we vote for the Tories? We are the sceptical and cynical majority who see politicians as a problem, not a solution…

Exclusive : Which? Spinner to Spin for Brown

Word reaches Guido that Gordon Brown’s new “Strategic Communications Adviser” will be Nick Stace, who is currently Director of Campaigns and Communications at the Consumers’ Association (Which?).
Gordon must be in a real mess as Stace is not

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (Hain Rebels)

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Were Thinking What The Tories Were Thinking

Immigration minister Liam Byrne told BBC News this morning that the Australian immigration control model had been closely examined by the British government: “I think that people want to know that only those who we need to come to Britain

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Met Police Commissioner – We Are Waiting to Investigate Conway

Labour’s favourite copper has written to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to inquire about whether or not Conway is going to be referred to the Met. Guido is as keen as mustard on seeing Conway prosecuted, yet one can’t help wondering

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

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