Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pensions Plundered, Stocks Slumping, Gordon’s Dead-Hand

Some commentators (who should know better) warn that in these times of economic turbulence we should keep Gordon at the helm. It is a desperate line seized on and spun by his few remaining supporters. Who, they ask, knows the economy better than Gordon Brown? This is repeated so often you would think it a truism. Fraser Nelson pointed out some time ago that all Gordon knows about the economy is how to tax it. Look at how the stock market has performed during his chancellorship. Guido has pointed out before how much better other G7 stock markets have performed in comparison. Gordon’s plundering of our retirement pensions to fund his profligacy has sucked capital out of pensions to pour into his social engineering.

In the ten years prior to May 1997 before Gordon got his hands on the levers of the economy the FTSE rose from less than 2000 to more 4000. After a decade of Gordon’s stewardship of the economy the stock market has gone nowhere. Pensions have had no capital gains, what gains they have made have been taxed. During his time we have had the first run on a bank for a century. As the FTSE teeters at the 5000 level those who are retiring soon have a terrible future ahead, whereas at one time the British private pension system was a model for other countries. UK stocks under performance compared to other countries is partly due to Gordon looting pension funds to pay for current spending.

Newsnight Reports on a Market That Doesn’t Exist

Well this is a first, they have in the past reported up markets down, down markets up and once even reported dramatic moves in a market that was closed. Paul Mason has just breathlessly reported from New York that a late breaking after market story on the Bloomberg newswire has “halved AIG’s share price on the futures markets”. There is no open futures market for shares, as anybody who knew anything about financial markets would know.

There are electronic markets where stocks trade after hours. Perhaps that is what he meant? With Newsnight’s market reporting you just never know.

UPDATED : Who are the "Handful"?

N.B. This article was first published on the morning of Saturday, 13 September 2008, it is being updated and re-dated on a rolling basis as more names come out.

Guido has yet to see a list of the “handful” of MPs who want a leadership election. So with the help of you co-conspirators shall we compile the list? Guido will start it off:

Openly
Janet Anderson
Stephen Byers
David Cairns
Charles Clarke
Jim Dowd
Kate Hoey
Frank Field
Barry Gardiner
Ian Gibson
Mike Hall
George Howarth
Peter Kilfoyle
Fiona Mactaggart
Siobhain McDonagh
John McDonnell
Alan Milburn
Greg Pope
Gordon Prentice
Joan Ryan
Graham Stringer
Gisela Stuart

Coded
Karen Buck
Jon Cruddas
Patricia Hewitt
Kelvin Hopkins
Eric Joyce
Sally Keeble
Stephen Ladyman
Ivan Lewis
Martin Linton
Shona McIsaac
Denis MacShane
David Miliband
Margaret Moran
John Reid
Tom Levitt
Paddy Tipping

Add names and references in the comments.

UPDATE : Other likely suspects are Jeremy Corbyn, Anne Cryer, Ruth Kelly, Michael Meacher, Tessa Jowell.

UPDATE 20.30 13/9 : This represents the best information emailed in and from the news wires. Cruddas has arguably given an ambiguous steer. No doubt some left-wingers have been missed. The list has been updated throughout the day. Quite a few handfuls at the latest count. Michael White speculates that the numbers could be as many as sixty.

Rat Race Continues

The rats are bailing out of the Downing Street ship fast and furious nowadays. Last week Paul Sinclair jumped, this week it is the turn of Jo Dipple.

The Prime Mentalist’s strategic communications adviser is a former Daily Mirror journalist. She is leaving to become a lobbyist. No news on Stephen Carter’s exit, rumours still circulate in Labour circles that Maguire could succeed him. C’mon Kevin, save Gordon!

Somebody More Senior You Have Never Heard of Resigned

Nick Robinson, 10:05 GMT, 11:05 UK, Tuesday, 16 September 2008:

A source close to the Scottish Secretary Des Browne has insisted that David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, has “no intention of resigning”.

4 hours is a long time in politics…

UPDATE : Cairn’s resignation letter.

NEC : Comrades, We Are All United Behind Our Glorious Leader

It is like some Stalinist missive from the politburo:

Press release

Tuesday 16 September 2008

For immediate use

Internal procedural debates will not divert the Labour Party from building a fairer Britain – NEC

The Labour Party National Executive Committee today agreed the following statement.

Dianne Hayter, Chair of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and speaking on their behalf, said:

“The Labour Party National Executive Committee is in agreement that internal procedural debates will not divert the Labour Party from our mission of building a fairer Britain and helping people through these challenging times.

“The NEC fully endorses the view of the Labour Party’s General Secretary and the party’s independent legal advisors. A Leadership election when in Government can only be held if requested by a majority of party conference on a card vote, only Labour MPs can trigger the process and the NEC is confident that most MPs know their responsibilities under the rules.

“The Labour Party has followed this procedure for 11 years, as long as we have been in government under these present rules, and it has not required the issue of nomination forms at any time.

“The NEC has a responsibility to ensure the party follows these long-standing procedures and we will do so. The Labour Party will not waver from its historic responsibilities to our country and to those in greatest need.”

That last line is classic pseudo-Marxist phraseology isn’t it?

To the Sceptics of the Jonah Brown Curse

Some dare to question the accursed power of the one eyed son of the manse. When Guido pointed out that Lehman’s HQ was doomed from the moment Gordon performed the opening ceremony some questioned if these events were really related. Take note of this morning’s Times City Diary:
…the writing was on the wall for Lehmans after they moved to Docklands and got Gordon Brown, whose presence at any sporting event seems to guarantee a home team defeat, to open the new building for them. He performed the same function at the new Gresham Street HQ of Dresdner Kleinwort. They went under a few weeks ago.

As if further proof were needed.

The Over-Rated Vince Cable

Vince Cable is much over-rated, he sounds plausible, reasonable even, but in reality he talks in populist platitudes. He was for the nationalisation of Northern Rock before he was against it. He was for tax hikes before he was for tax cuts. The LibDems now say they are looking for £20 billion in spending cuts, yet they also are telling party activists they are not going to cut the overall burden of taxes, merely shift the burden on to the rich. How are they going to simultaneously boost public sector housing by buying up empty and unsold private sector capacity?

It doesn’t add up. Ask them where the spending cuts are going to come from and they mention ID cards and getting rid of BERR. – nowhere near the amount required. LibDem activists think Cable is some kid of economic seer, “he warned about debt” – so did every orthodox economist, “he told them to nationalise Northern Rock” and the taxpayers will have to pay the high price for that.

His latest populist policy wheeze is to force every state bureaucrat on over £100,000 to re-apply for their job and/or take a pay cut. As much as Guido hates public sector profligacy this gimmick is not the way to tackle it, the legal difficulties are legion (they have contracts). The practical difficulties are so immense it is bordering on crackpot. The LibDem conference loved it…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gisela Stuart Slams Brown "Failed to Renew… With Fresh Ideas"

Writing in the Labour conference edition of the House Magazine Gisela says
When Mr Brown came to power, Labour MPs were humming “Things Can Only Get Better”, the theme song used for the party’s triumphant election campaign in 1997… Today it’s more likely to mean ‘surely it can’t get much worse’.

Gisela also said: “It became clear that not only had we failed to renew ourselves with fresh ideas”.

Gisela was at one time close to Jack Straw (pictured with him here). She is now more her own woman…

Flashback: Gordon Opening Lehman’s HQ

LONDON, April 5, 2004 – The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today officially opened Lehman Brothers’ new European headquarters building at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London.
Commenting on the event, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the contribution you and your company make to the prosperity of Britain. During its one hundred and fifty year history, Lehman Brothers has always been an innovator, financing new ideas and inventions before many others even began to realise their potential. And it is part of the greatness not just of Lehman Brothers but of the City of London, that as the world economy has opened up, you have succeeded not by sheltering your share of a small protected national market but always by striving for a greater and greater share of the growing global market.”

Doomed from that day.


Seen Elsewhere

Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie


VOTER-RECALL
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Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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