Monday, February 2, 2009

Stat-Porn : 826,606 Pageloads from 626,069 Visits by 137,467 Visitors

Biggest sources of traffic in January from referrals were iaindale.blogspot.com (41,740) followed by telegraph.co.uk (28,785) and the spectator.co.uk (20,552).

The shift off Blogger is being held up by a bug giving difficulty with transferring 200,000 plus comments out of Blogger’s archive. It times out when we try to do it. Any geek ideas welcomed.

Guido would like to thank advertisers who make this all worthwhile – so do buy your flowers online from Marks and Sparks this Valentines. It’ll make Mrs Fawkes happy…

Make Blunkett Happy

David Blunkett is campaigning to return to the cabinet for the use of yellow buses for schools.

Why don’t we just tell him his campaign has won and make the old guy happy?

UPDATE : Well fancy that, Guido only intended to make a jokey comment and the co-conspirators in the comments pointed out he is paid £25,000-year by a bus company. What do you bet they want to get into the yellow school bus market?

Guardian’s Tax Hypocrisy is Ridiculous

The multi-millionaire columnist Polly Toynbee is this morning ranting against tax dodging corporations in the Guardian. The paper has even set up a campaigning website with fancy interactive graphics. According to the their own annual report Guardian Media Group made £306.4 million before tax. Using astute tax planning and legal manipulation of the tax laws; such as the use of an equity owning trust and a Caymans Islands offshore corporation to avoid stamp duty, they managed to only pay get a rebate of £800,000 in tax last year. That is less than they paid the Guardian Media Group’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, she got a package of £827,000 whereas so the media fat cats got paid by HM Revenue Commissioners a mere £800,000 in corporation tax. Unbelievable isn’t it?

Here it is in black and white:

 

GMG P + L

The hypocrisy of the Guardianistas is just beyond satire, they are starting a campaign to get corporations to pay more tax, just like they campaign to undermine private education yet themselves went to private schools, they rail against City bonuses yet pay the editor and CEO hundreds of thousands in bonuses. Media fat cats attacking City fat cats is just laughable. Polly says “it’s time to rattle and bang in protest at this outrage”. Quite. Guido has tried to mention this on the Guardian’s Tax Gap campaign blog to no avail…

UPDATE 11.55 : Richard Brooks from the Guardian’s “Tax Gap” blog emails to say they are going to explain the Guardian Media Group’s situation using the same approach they used on the FTSE 100 corporations. Incidentally, before anyone points it out, this blog is published by an offshore corporation owned by an opaque charitable trust, in a remarkably similar way to the Guardian set-up. However, crucially, this blog takes an editorial line which is hypocrisy free, Guido is opposed to most forms of taxation in principle: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

UPDATE 12.09 : As some have pointed out, that looks like an £800,000 tax rebate, rather than a payment. Even worse. No wonder the Guardian can afford shiny new fancy offices…

UPDATE 16.50 : Note amendments and strike-throughs, also note that the Tax Gap blog has now let Guido’s comments through. They also cite Richard Murphy as a tax expert who approves of GMG’s tax strategies. Richard Murphy is hardly independent, he is a regular writer for the Guardian. The Cayman’s dodge was tax neutral they claim. Except when, in the future, it comes to capital gains tax of course.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Today is a Dark Day in History

403 years ago on this day in 1606, Guido Fawkes, following months of torture was convicted of treason for his part in the ”Gunpowder Plot” against an oppressive political class and the tyrant King James I, and executed. Now, some four centuries later, it is Guido’s turn to torture politicians…

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lord Truscott and the Heroin Dealer

The above video filmed by the Sunday Times in the St James Hotel’s restaurant is pretty damning for Baron Truscott. The former Labour DTI minister – once a special envoy for Tony Blair – is now a director of oil and mining companies controlled by Frank Timis, a twice convicted heroin dealer.

Truscott is a director of two Timis ventures. One, African Minerals, is active in Sierra Leone, the world’s biggest source of blood diamonds (African Minerals was formerly called the Sierra Leone Diamond Company). In September 2008 the Sunday Times reported that Timis was facing the prospect of a court case over disputed mineral rights. The other company, Eastern Petroleum is involved in oil prospecting in the former Soviet Union.

Truscott is also a director of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, a company involved in oil exploration in northern Iraq, run by Bush/Cheney campaign contributor Todd Kozel. In addition, Truscott works for Gavin Anderson, a PR firm with strong links to the government of Russia and its commercial associate. (See declared interests).

Truscott is like a real life Alan B’stard…

Hutton Fears Pesky Teenagers

John Hutton is visiting a Sixth Form College in his constituency today. He has asked that for a planned question and answer session with some A Level students the questions be submitted beforehand. Obviously even though they’re his constituents one of them could be a bit of a Paxman. Dangerous…

Friday Caption Competition (Fiscal Incontinence Edition)

It’s For You! Brown’s Accidental Tinkle

BBC Davos Blog said…

0947 Gordon Brown looked angry when it turned out some dope had forgotten to turn off his mobile phone during his G20 talk – until the red-faced British PM found out it was his handset ringing. And it went off twice.

UPDATE : The BBC has the clip of his Nokia ringing – you will wet yourself laughing. Still it is not as bad as the time he met Clinton and other world leaders with a big orange blob on his head is it? He really is just a walking global embarrassment.

Jonah Brown Curse Hits Honda & Velux Jobs

Jonah Brown’s industrial curse continues to wreak havoc across the nation:

During his visit Mr Brown also commented briefly on the current problems facing the car industry and Honda in Swindon. “We are working with all parties involved to improve the situation to help safeguard car production jobs and improve financing options for car buyers”
SwindonLife, January 9, 2009
Honda, Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, will tonight be mothballing its plant in Swindon, where the majority of its 4,200 British employees are based, in response to a slump in car sales. British workers at Honda will start an enforced four-month lay-off today against the backdrop of a further dire warning over the trading outlook from the Japanese car giant.
The Times, January 30, 2009
Velux Windows in Glenrothes was subjected to a visit from Jonah last October during the by-election campaign. Gordon congratulated them on their success. (ITN footage of soon to be sacked workers shaking Jonah’s hand.) Yesterday Keith Riddle, managing director of The Velux Company Limited, said: “Unfortunately we are making a number of redundancies and are currently in the consultation process with the people affected. It is expected that around half of the job losses will be made in Glenrothes, with the rest being spread around the UK and Ireland. Be warned, whether your business is large or small, if Jonah Brown comes, doom will follow…

UPDATE : Radioactive Jonah – “Because the future is nuclear, it is only right that Gordon should take a personal interest in the way our installations operate. And thus he went to Sellafield last week. So far, so good. There was, we now learn, a little local difficulty on the day the PM came to call: a radioactive leak that meant a walkway had to be cordoned off and a building closed. The whole thing is now the subject of a board of inquiry but it didn’t spoil his trip.”


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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