Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pundits Perverse Predictions Prove Piffle

How Did We All Get This So Wrong? in the Speccie sums up the pundits this morning. All the pundit talk of double digit leads for Obama have come to naught, there was even talk of Hillary pulling out of the race yesterday.

If you really want to have a good laugh, pick up a copy of the print edition of the Indy and compare it to the hastily re-written articles on their website. Slight change of tone and direction in their punditry.

Guido is sticking to sticking it to Westminster politicians…

Brown Gives Bollocking to Hain

Brown has “expressed anger and disappointment at Peter Hain’s failure to disclose the full extent of donations to his deputy leadership campaign” according to the Guardian.

Gordon gave Hain a telephonic bollocking for ruining Brown’s New Year re-launch and blunting the intended counter-attack to Cameron’s welfare reform plans as announced by Chris Grayling. Grayling stingingly responded to Hain’s “Tory sums don’t add up” line with “Someone in Peter Hain’s position should be very careful about accusing anyone else of getting their sums wrong.”

Hain’s prospects in any cabinet reshuffle now look bleak. His department is obviously suffering from having a distracted Minister, a press release put out by the Department for Work and Pensions today has the headline “Brits struggle to make ends meet in the New Year”. The release contains their own polling figures showing that more than half of people in the UK (55%) spend more than they can afford and are “struggling”. Hardly the official message Brown and Darling are spinning of national economic strength. Perhaps if more Britons took out a loan from Picture Financial Services plc, sponsors of Peter Hain…

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gordon Wants Beckham

According to Pink News, David Beckham is happy with his status as a gay icon, insisting he’s proud to be a pin-up for gay men who desire him. The L.A. Galaxy hunk is so comfortable with his sexuality, “he never recoils when a lusty homosexual casts an amorous glance in his direction”. He says, “I’m very honored to have the tag of gay icon.”
Despite renouncing celebrity culture Gordon is trying to co-opt David Beckham into a photo-op. No doubt we will soon see Gordon pictured at Beckham’s Football Academy, surrounded by photogenic boys in tight shorts. Maybe not as tight as David’s choice here…

Gordon Boredom

Gordon Brown’s press conference is going on now. The political press pack is coming to dread Gordon’s repetitious droning. Iain Martin in the Telegraph said Gordon Brown’s speech on the NHS yesterday “went on, and on, and on… The content is very much downtown Havana and the presentation style also has Cuban echoes, like one of those speeches by Castro it goes on, and on, and on.”

John Harris in this morning’s Guardian reckons it is hard to distinguish Brown from a crypto-Stalinist parody -

“We will strengthen the democracy and unity of our country. Our priority at all times, our guiding purpose: one Britain of security and opportunity … With unbending determination, we will steer a course of stability through global financial turbulence … with firm conviction and resolve, we will make the case for the United Kingdom … I pledge my resolution to continue the work of change.”

Simon Hoggart criticises his descent into into verb-free sentences. Most Lobby journalists are bored with Gordon already, his colourless technocratic rhetoric. The automatic repetition of phrases and keywords such as “change”, “long term”, “tough decisions”, “my vision” and “getting on with the job” seems to be orally excreted on an endlessly looping tape. It going to be a long time until the next election…

UPDATE : Ben Brogan seems to have become bored and disenchanted with the Brownies as well. He even calls Gordon dishonest.

Slave for the Fair Pay Network?

The world of young political researchers is notoriously underpaid and full of risk from sexually predatory employers. A co-conspirator has emailed with details of possibly the most ironic job advertisement Guido has seen.

It is a job ad for the soon to be launched “Fair Pay Network” backed by UNISON, OXFAM (UK), New Policy Institute, Child Poverty Action Group, One Parent Families/Gingerbread, Mayor of London, London Citizens, NUS, Unite the Union, Equanomics, UNISON, Counsel and Care, TUC and the New Policy Institute.

The position involves general office admin and researching into low-pay. It pays expenses only…

More Steve Morgan Anecdotes Please

Peter Hain’s sleazy lobbyist fundraiser, Steve Morgan, told Radio Wales this morning that he had been brought in to the campaign to “bring order to chaos”. A source retorts “bollocks”. Every donation, they insist firmly, was properly accounted for up until the moment Phil Taylor walked out after falling out with Morgan. The documentation Guido got hold of in May seemed very precise and backs this up.

Hain’s allies are furious at Morgan’s audacity. Guido hears so many bad things about Mr Morgan. Do email more to Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com.

Credit Crunch Over Hain’s £5,000 from Loan Company CEOHe Gave Ringing Commercial Endorsement to Backer

Carol Vorderman charges a fortune to advertise debt consolidation company FirstPlus. Peter Hain got a donation of £5,000 from rival debt consolidaton company boss, Neville Allport, his Picture Financial Services plc offers easy credit – “You can even borrow up to 125% of the value of your home” says the website “something that traditional lenders won’t consider.” They won’t consider such gearing because it is financially reckless.

Prominently displayed all over the company website is Hain’s ringing commerical endorsement. Guido can’t recall a serving minister’s endorsement ever being used to advertise a company in this way. Guido is sure that Hain’s endorsements and the £5,000 donation are entirely coincidental.

The 10.9% APR charged to credit maxed out debtors is very profitable, which probably explains why Ronnie Cohen’s Apax Private Equity is the biggest investor in Picture Financial Services plc. Remind Guido again where Hain stood on the Private Equity issue during the deputy-leadership campaign…

UPDATE : Looks like Hencke and Wintour on the Guardian are joining the chase this morning, with a front-page splash on Hain’s missing declarations. They are (rightly) fingering sleazy lobbyist Steven Morgan, identified by Guido in May 2007 as responsible for raising the cash.

The story points vaguely to an undeclared circa £10,000 from “City or business people”. Hain is said to be personally auditing the figures. Don’t forget the benefits-in-kind Peter…

Monday, January 7, 2008

BBC / Al Jazeera’s Bin Laden Tape Interview

This interview on BBC News 24 about Al Jazeera’s handling of the latest Bin Laden taped threat amused Guido. See it on GuyNews.TV.

BBC Interviews Al Jazeera’s Bin Laden Tape Guy

Brown came in promising an end to spin yet six months later he is appointing Stephen Carter, head of the PR firm Brunswick, to be his “Principal Political Adviser”. So a spin doctor is now in charge of all SpAds including (the unpopular with the Lobby) Damian McBride. Carter will be in overall charge of political strategy and communications.

He had been at Brunswick for only a year after failing to get the job of ITV chief before leaving the media industry regulator Ofcom. Spinning for Brown will keep him very busy.

So looks like the Smith Institute’s Wilf Stevenson has missed out on the rumoured chief-fixer job. Matthew d’Ancona, the Daily Mail and the Indy seemed to think he was the front-runner. Or has he? Ah well…

UPDATE 17:22 : The Tories have just sent out a press release pointing out that Carter told the Guardian last year: ‘I’m not thinking of politics. I made that decision a long, long time ago’. A statement that is clearly untrue and inconsistent with reality, so he is perfect for Gordon. They also allege that Stephen Carter is being paid a salary of £137,000 to be “Gordon Brown’s spinner-in-chief”. Memorable phrase that…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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