Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fred’s Smackdown to Myners

Guido can’t help thinking that the row over Fred’s £8 million pension is a contrived bit of spin to distract headlines away from the £300 billion bet that HM Treasury is taking on RBS. Frankly Fred’s £8 / £16 million is neither here nor there in comparison to what the government is committing the taxpayer to underwriting. If this goes pear shaped Iceland will be nothing in comparison.

10 PPS Sign EDM Opposing Postal Privatisation

Usually the convention is that a PPS who opposes a government motion resigns for the reason that technically they are part of the government, even though they are unpaid. The FT’s Westminster blog lists ten PPS who have signed the EDM opposing Mandelson’s plans to make the Royal Mail pay:
David Wright (PPS to John Hutton), David Anderson (Bill Rammell), Claire Curtis-Thomas (Baroness Scotland of Asthal), David Hamilton (Ed Miliband), Mark Hendrick (Jack Straw), Stephen Hesford (Vera Baird), Sharon Hodgson (Dawn Primarolo), Ashok Kumar (Hilary Benn), John Mann (Tessa Jowell), Stephen Pound (Stephen Timms)

Laura Moffatt is a former PPS to Alan Johnson, her opposition might be a sign of where he really stands. Nick Brown, Gordon’s long time henchman and now chief whip is also said to be not keen mon the bill. It is getting a bit like the dying days of the Major regime when euro-sceptics openly defied the government…

Labour Partying With Bankers Tonight

Crisis, what banking crisis? Yesterday the City minister Lord Myners was showing off his art collection to the Labour glitterati, tonight John Prescott will be in the heart of the financial district partying with the rest of the London Labour Party to raise money from bankers at a £500-a-table “Gala Dinner”

For public consumption Labour are bashing the bankers whilst privately they will be dancing to their tunes, still hoping to tap them up for donations. Tonight’s gala venue is next door to Lehman’s building in Canary Wharf, so perhaps they won’t raise quite as much money as they hope – particularly since any bankers still with jobs are unlikely to have cash to spare from non-existent bonuses. Unless of course you negotiated your exit package with Alastair Darling, in which case you are sorted for life…

+++ Brown Broke Rules Says Standards Commissioner +++

Full ruling here.

Lord and Lady Myners Party On

Baron Myners said recently “I have met more masters of the universe than I would like to, people who were grossly over-rewarded and did not recognise that. Some of that is pretty ­unpalatable. They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

Broader society is suffering terribly as the banking and debt crisis ravages the economy. Yet the former Smith Institute deputy chairman, Guardian Media Group chairman, hedge fund director, long time Brown crony and newly appointed City Minister, Lord Myners of Short Selling, isn’t showing any signs of belt tightening. Quite the contrary, he is hosting gilded parties.

Yesterday he and Lady Myners “graciously” invited their friends from the art world, politics and upper reaches of the Guardian into their Belgravia home to view their multi-million pound modern art collection.Guido has been unable to confirm which particular vintage of champagne it was that Sarah Brown, and the many other friends drawn from the ruling New Labour elite, were drinking. Truly, they are “people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PPS Revolt Threatened Over Post Privatisation

This was sent around Labour PPS’s by Dave Anderson, PPS to Bill Rammell at the FCO. Note he says the issue is as important as the 10p tax issue.

Dear Colleague

In discussion with other colleagues I am aware that some PPS’s share my concerns regarding the proposal to bring a private partner into Royal Mail.

In line with meetings that we had with Alistair on the 10p tax changes, I am hoping to get a meeting with Lord Mandelson and Pat MacFadden and worried PPS’s. I hope that we can find a way forward that is acceptable to all parts of our party and in line with our manifesto commitment.


If you are interested in attending such a meeting can you let me know as soon as possible? My telephone number is 0790 xxxxxx and my email address is xxxxxxxxxxxx@parliament.uk.

Yours sincerely

Dave Anderson MP

Clearly the meeting didn’t go brilliantly…

UPDATE : You have to admire Mandelson’s sheer cunnning. He has just had the first reading of the Post Privatisation Bill a day early in the Lords. former postie, Lord Clarke, shouted “shame on you”. A good day to bury bad headlines.

PMQs Cancelled

Guido’s sympathies are with the Camerons. However cancelling PMQs is not the right response. The show must go on, every week the names of sons who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq are read out and sympathies are offered. Democracy does not halt for those sons.

Perhaps the politicians felt uncomfortable continuing with “Punch and Judy politics” as normal when one of the main protagonists, David Cameron, has suffered such a deep personal loss. Perhaps PMQs just isn’t that important.

We are told that instead Brown, Cable and Hague will read statements to the House.

UPDATE 12:05 : Having heard the condolences perhaps it was for the best, the mood of the House was clearly not for “business as usual”.

UPDATE 12:35 : The scheduled unveiling of Margaret Thatcher’s portrait in Downing Street has also been postponed.

+++ Lord Ahmed Get 12 weeks for Dangerous Driving +++

+++ Ivan Cameron Died Overnight +++

Labour Civil War Silences LabourList

Over one hundred and forty Labour MPs have signed a motion opposing goverment plans to part-privatise the Post Office, three Cabinet ministers are known to be opposed, former cabinet ministers like the disgraced Peter Hain are campaigning against the plan and even lowly SpAds are threatening to quit carrying bags. The government could lose the Commons vote without the support of Tory MPs. Unions are threatening to defund the party over the issue. Dramatic stuff. Guido went where “Labour minded people come together” – LabourList – to shed light on the internal debate. Silence.

Total silence on the subject. Caught between the need to placate union sponsors and the demands of those who pull his strings in Downing Street, Draper has had as his lead story all day since yesterday morning a review of Chris Mullin’s book A View From The Foothills. Tragic.

Seen Elsewhere

Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie
Whitehall Doesn’t Work | Dom Cummings


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“Politicians attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by posturing with tough policies and calling for crackdown after crackdown. Drugs policy has been failing for decades.”



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