Welsh Pork Up 8.3%

The government’s preferred inflation measure (CPI) is up 2.2%. Surprise, surprise Welsh Assembly members have voted themselves an inflation smashing 8.3% pay rise. Plenty of pork for them. Other public sector workers such as nurses and policeman have been held to rate of inflation increases.

Unlike politicians they aren’t able to vote themselves a pay rise…

Gordon 2.0

Fraser Nelson in the Speccie has a 2,400 word piece on the new team around Gordon, some of whom have private-sector experience of successfully running more than a whelk stall, which is not something that can be said for the Alexanders, Milibands and Balls’.

Stephen Carter from Brunswick and Jeremy Heywood from Morgan Stanley are the new dynamic duo in downing Street according to Fraser. Jennifer Moses, an ex-Goldman Sachs managing director has come in to the big tent via the LibDem friendly think-tank CentreForum.

The Jonah effect was immediately felt. Ms Moses’ husband’s hedge fund (Peleton) won an industry award in January, she announced she was going to work for Gordon in February. Her husband loses a billion or so that month and his hedge fund is now being wound up. Hope he wasn’t listening to pillow talk giving an inside track on Gordon’s musings on mortgage backed securities…

UPDATE : As pointed out in the comments, according to yesterday’s Daily Mail

Jennifer Moses had been due begin work in her new Downing Street office in the next few days to “spice up” policies ahead of the next election. But she has pulled out over what No. 10 was today describing as a “domestic situation”.

MP’s Wine Cellar Refit Cost £7 Million

Guido’s man close to the sommelier tells him that the state-of-the-art refit of the cellars where the MP’s wine is kept cost the taxpayers £7 million. What have the parliamentary pigs got for themselves? Gold plated troughs?

They say that parliament is the best club in London. Of course it is, the “honourable members” don’t have to pay for their membership. We pay them whatever they vote themselves. Yet we don’t even get to see what they spend it on. The best thing to put in the cellars is gunpowder…

Prescott Peacemaking Fears

The Council of Europe is for some unfathomable reason sending the disgraced former deputy-PM and pugilist John Prescott to Armenia: “John Prescott will assess the post-electoral situation and explore possibilities for defusing the current political crisis and promoting dialogue”. Prescott promoting dialogue?

Guido fears that he will only worsen the state of emergency. Armenian troops and protesters have already clashed leaving 8 dead and more than 100 injured. Perhaps Prescott will tell the government troops to use their fists instead of bullets. That is after all what he did with protesters when he was in government..

“Frankenstein Bill” : No Free Vote, No Conscience Allowed

In 1990 when the Tories introduced the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act it was by a free vote. The Telegraph reports that Gordon has forced a three line whip on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which will allow for the creation of animal-human embryos.

This is not a measure that orthodox Catholics can support. Nor will they want to merely abstain. They will want to vote against it. Is Gordon such a control freak that he will force cabinet ministers Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy to choose between their careers and their faith? They, and many others, can’t in conscience vote for the Frankenstein Bill…

Get Guido’s Headlines by Text Message – Free

As part of Guido’s aim to be ubiquitous on all new media platforms he has partnered with the Twitter service to provide headlines in real-time to your mobile via SMS. Guido won’t charge you a penny* wherever you are in the world.

The text message will contain the headline, followed by a clickable link which (on web-enabled phones) will take you to the full blog story. Guido has been testing it for a few weeks with 20 subscribers and it seems to work well. Subscribe here.

You’re either in front of Guido or behind…

*For now.

+++ SKY Reporting Three LibDem Frontbench Resignations +++

Different names in their story, Sky reckon Alistair Carmichael will join Tim Farron and David Heath. Bring back Vince…

+++ Crick : First LibDem Has Resigned +++

According to Michael Crick, Clegg has accepted his first resignation. No details.

+++ Ken : “I Will Re-Hire Jasper” +++

Guido is trying to get confirmation that Ken told a meeting of supporters last night that when re-elected he would re-hire Lee Jasper.

Paxman Grills Clegg on Treaty Position

Up To Three Four LibDem Frontbenchers Could Go

Heath, Kramer and Farron are the most likely to resign.
Last night’s Paxman interview was excruciating, Clegg at one point attacked the Labour Party for “reneging on its commitment to a referendum”. The government uses exactly the same sophistry as the LibDems. So he was condemning himself by those words. The whole fiasco seems unnecessary. A three line-whip to not vote because Clegg’s preferred option is not on the order paper? Idiocy.

UPDATE : Sandra Gidley, who shadows health is likely to vote against the leadership.

The Myth of UK Economic Strength

With a week to go before the budget it is worth reflecting on where we are economically. Exactly ten years ago the FTSE 100 stood at 5,782. Last night the stock market closed at 5,767. Investors have seen the stock market and the value of their pensions decline during the ten years of New Labour’s economic management under Gordon Brown. A lower stock market after ten years of Labour government is an incredible indictment.

By comparison the Dow was at 8,569 on March 6, 1998 and last night it closed at 12,213. Up 42% over the same period.

Remember that next time Gordon or Alastair claim that “Britain is stronger placed to weather the coming global financial turbulence”. Complete fantasy.

UPDATE 09.05 :

Given some are suggesting it is currency related, broadening the comparison:

The Great British Economic Miracle: The Land of George Bush’s Tax Cuts: Workshy Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys: Merkel’s
Tax Cutting Social Market Economy:
Chinese “Communists” with 16% Income Tax:
FTSE 100 on 6 March 1998:
5782
Dow Jones on 6 March 1998:
8569
CAC 40 on 6 March 1998:
3875
DAX on 6 March 1998:
5097
Hang Seng on 6 March 1998:
11519
FTSE 100 on 5 March 2008:
5767
Dow Jones on 5 March 2008:
12213
CAC 40 on 5 March 2008:
4676
DAX on 5 March 2008:
6545
Hang Seng on 5 March 2008:
23120
Growth: -0.26% Growth: +42.53% Growth: +20.67% Growth: 28.41% Growth: 100.71%

Hat-tip : Free Britannia and table courtesy of Spokey in the comments

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.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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