Guido just watched George Osborne on Marr argue that because banking is regulated, he should be able to order the financial regulators to order private enterprises to limit the pay of their employees (and further he wants international agreements to limit banker’s bonuses). In other words he is advocating a neo-Heathite incomes policy for the private sector.
Command economies have been out of fashion since the seventies when they were tested to destruction around the world. Television is another heavily regulated industry, why not cap Simon Cowell’s pay? Telecommunications is regulated – Telecoms tycoons earns hundreds of millions, why shouldn’t they be on maximum wages? The football transfer market is heavily regulated in Europe as well…
Why single out bankers? Guido doesn’t think it worth getting too worked up about this policy lurch because it will never happen and he doesn’t think Osborne really believes in what he is saying. The Tory treasurers Stanley Fink and Michael Spencer know something about huge bonuses and might be in a better position to advise the Shadow Chancellor. Bankers will simply re-organise their affairs so as to avoid socialising their rewards. The Cameroons show a depressing lack of leadership in making the argument at any level on any area of policy that is a hard sell.
Access to clean water is one of the most pressing problems the developing world faces at the best of times. In the video above you can see an amazing British solution for disaster zones. At over £100 a bottle to produce 6,000 litres it is expensive now. If DfID only spent a small bit of their multi-billion budget on this in readiness for the next disaster, instead of on filming videos of Dougie Alexander watched by a dozen people,* it would save countless lives. It would also drastically reduce the unit cost with large scale production runs.
This amazing LifeSaver bottle can literally put clean pure water in the hands of disaster victims as fast as a cargo-plane can fly to the disaster zone. The bottle was developed by one British entrepreneur, Michael Pritchard, using nano-technology and without a single penny of state subsidy. Capitalism works…
*Why is DfID wasting money producing videos of Dougie Alexander in Bangladesh wishing “Happy Ramadan“ (at the time of publishing this) to all of 12 viewers?
Hat-tip : Brian Micklethwait
The Guardian commissioned an independent poll from ICM which found that Britons not only love the BBC, they think it is value for money and can, despite all the BBC fakery scandals, be trusted. Hell, the pollsters even found that the majority of the country thinks the BBC should keep secret what it pays Paxman and Wossie! Trebles all (secretly) round…
Those of you of a more sceptical hue might note that ICM is by coincidence also the BBC’s pollster. The BBC’s other polling partner is, errm, the Guardian…
The low circulation New Statesman continues to fascinate Guido, a co-conspirator has sent in an example of a lavish bit of sycophancy which really deserves a bigger audience.
You may remember that James Macintyre was not so long ago bitterly disappointed at failing to become Ed Miliband’s SpAd after Derek Draper advised Ed against hiring him. This week Macintyre was embedded on a junket to Bangladesh and India with Ed Miliband and Dougie Alexander to see poverty first-hand and get a few photo-ops with the ministers. Looks like Macintyre is re-applying for the SpAd job with the man he describes optimistically as “a leader-in-waiting”:
It is amazing to think that if the conventional wisdom is right, and Labour loses, these talented ministers, with so much to offer, will suddenly be out of a job. I can’t remember who their Tory opposite numbers are, but it is fair to say that certain parties I have spoken to, from NGO workers to diplomats to foreign politicians, are keeping their fingers crossed that the consensus will be proved wrong.
Can you hear that sucking up sound? You would think that the ‘political correspondent’ of a magazine with pretensions to being a serious journal would know his subject. It falls to Guido, again, to help out the Statesman’s political team: Andrew Mitchell and Greg Clark are their opposite numbers…
The race for exclusives and scoops is of more interest to hacks and bloggers than it is to the readers and viewers. News distributors take great pride in being first with the scoop. Guido is no different in this respect from Channel 4 News, and boasting emails like this from newsrooms are not uncommon:
from: Laurent, Fiona <@itn.co.uk>
date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 7:12 PM~
subject: C4 NEWS EXCLSV: DEFENCE AIDE RESIGNS – ERIC JOYCE’S LETTER TO BROWN
Embargoed until 19.30 hrs on 3rd September 2009
*LEAD STORY* LEAD STORY* LEAD STORY
CREDIT CHANNEL 4 NEWS WITH ALL MATERIAL USED CHANNEL 4 NEWS EXCLUSIVE:
PARLIAMENTARY AIDE TO THE DEFENCE SECRETARY RESIGNS
Sure enough the lead story on C4 News at 7pm had been Eric Joyce resigning. Was it really an exclusive? Co-conspirators will note that at 6.27pm Guido reported a rumour that a PPS was resigning, just after that Guido publicly tweeted @EricJoyce to badger him to answer the phone – he hadn’t been answering his mobile for hours – (the Twitterati picked up the hint). At 6.46pm Guido named Eric Joyce after a co-conspirator emailed some corroborative information on the back of the 6.27 pm teaser.
Cathy Newman confirmed the story and lead with the contents of the resignation letter at 7.01 on C4 News, she apparently had got the story the night before. Guido heard the story late yesterday afternoon, as Cathy tweeted after her broadcast “So hard to keep a secret in Westminster. Somehow the mod got wind of our Eric Joyce scoop mid afternoon. Hmm.”
Cathy undoubtedly had the resignation letter first, nevertheless the first news source to put Joyce’s resignation into the public domain was this blog, as PoliticsHome’s “as it happens” newswire confirms. You snooze, you lose…
UPDATE : Remember Dizzy’s story which became a “C4 News Exclusive” the next day?
Rumour is now widespread. Eric Joyce not answering his mobile for the last two hours. If he is resigning as PPS to the Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and he blames the treatment of soldiers, it will be explosive. If…