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UPDATE: According to Robert Halfon MP, Gordon entered the chamber briefly for Defra questions. Jonah’s back…
As Guido highlighted yesterday as a real possibility, the Aussie Labor Party has got rid of an unpopular leader in Kevin Rudd rather than risk certain electoral defeat. Welsh-born Julia Gillard has become leader and Australia’s first woman PM. Harriet Harman would only be human if she wistfully asked herself this morning, “what might have been…”
UPDATE : Gillard is in Labor terms a right-winger, so her British analogue would be fellow redhead Hazel Blears rather than Hattie.
If you read one thing tonight read Rolling Stone’s McChrystal: The Runaway General, the magazine story that led to the resignation of the general in charge of Afghanistan and may even change the course of that war. The politicians clearly don’t have a clue, blood and treasure is being spilt without hope of a victory. Where is the national interest?
NATO needs to figure out a way to declare victory. Soon.
Once upon a time there was a man who claimed he woke up every day to “fight for a fairer Britain”. Britain may have said no, but he was returned overwhelmingly by one small part of it to represent and fight for them for the next five years. But this man is refusing to represent them and has now gone missing. Finally we learn he has abandoned his responsibilities and is sticking two fingers up at representative democracy to instead obsessively watch every single World Cup match on telly. While he rocks back and forward in his underwear, ticking off the games on his free Daily Mirror World Cup pull-out wallchart, the taxpayer is picking up the tab.
Gordon was quick to head down to Parliament to sign on for his cheques, so that for an hour and a half of football he is set to make around £45+ per match, or just over £3000 for the sixty-four game tournament. Find Guido any sports fan who wouldn’t love to be paid to sit around watching football. Thousands would have gone to the World Cup if it wasn’t for the cost and yet the taxes that deprived them of the trip are paying for Gordon to watch. Where’s the “fairer Britain” there?
If Gordon Brown needs time to reflect, plot revenge, write his book, find himself, detox, or whatever it is he is doing all alone in Scotland – fine – he should not expect to be paid for the pleasure by the taxpayer. There are 93,272 constituents in Kirkcaldy who are completely disenfranchised from the political system while their elected representative broods in a darkened room. Brown needs to make a decision – walk into the sunset and break completely from the House of Commons, or engage in the job he was elected to carry out and is paid to do. Guido is one of those inclined to say Brown is bonkers, but while this situation is allowed to continue the taxpayer is being taken for a fool. It is time to blow the final whistle on Gordon’s sulky withdrawal from parliament. He should either resign or “get on with the job”…
There were some raised eyebrows on the left when Vince Cable was “eye-spied“ laughing merrily on College Green with former Chancellor Norman Lamont.
But this was no one-off encounter. These two go way back and were both President of the Cambridge Union – “We’re all in tails together.”
So it seems not every Tory gives Vince that pained expression.
Right now Australia is in the process of ditching an unpopular Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd is trying to buy some time but it looks like there has been a successful factional coup in the Labor Party. Rudd’s colleagues are convinced that he cannot win the next election, but they could go forward with a strong message and a new leader. Sound familiar?
It will be interesting to see whether the left are able to hold on to power down under. It would be a painful lesson for their comrades back in the old country if the ditching strategy does work.
Mutterings around the Palace of Westminster this morning as Bercow announces he is rightly slashing £12 million from the Commons budget. Select Committees have had £800,000 pulled from their junket kitty and £500,000 pounds worth of the booze subsidy is going. Writing to MPs last night he said he pledged to “bring cafeteria prices into line with typical workplace venues and bar prices into line with a competitively priced high street pub chain.” That’s a Wetherspoons then.
It’s a good start but the subsidy has clearly not been lifted completely. Bercow deserves some credit here but he has hardly been an austerity Speaker. Bag carriers and hacks were more than a little disgruntled when he announced that Bellamy’s bar, fresh from it’s £48,000 make over, was to be shut down and turned into a non-sound proofed crèche. Late and well over budget, more than a £200,000 has been wasted on a PR stunt…