Bid for Machiavelli’s The Prince Signed by Peter Mandelson.

Guido just bid it up to £200 (it is for charidee) – clearly Mandelson’s price is too rich for Guido.

You can bid for it on eBay, and more items are listed here: www.standard.co.uk/auctionGood luck…

Anyone Seen Nadine?

Twitter is awfully quiet without Nadine Dorries who is currently sans Blackberry, filming a documentary on a council estate for a week. Twitter’s traffic has dropped substantially without the regular haiku form updates. The unpopular parts of the blogosphere are almost in despair with a lack of inspiration for their delirious rage-fuelled responses everytime she opens her mouth.

Guido couldn’t help notice however Nad has been missing from other places as well, apparently the order came from the top of  Telegraph that politely requested none of the paper’s staff were to write about her ever again in their news pages. A quick peek at the Telegraph website confirms that she wasn’t mentioned for over a month, unusual for her.

Suggesting that the Barclay brothers were using the expenses scandal to undermine the British political system for a certain minority party probably didn’t help her case.

+++ Expensegate II : Rumour MPs’ Expenses Out Thursday +++

As yet unconfirmed officially, but brace yourselves for another round of expenses exposures related to last financial year being released this Thursday morning.  Will be in redacted form…

Hitting the Poorest Hardest with VAT Hikes

In the rush to talk tough on the deficit Alistair Darling is expected to announce an end to Labour’s limited-time-only 2.5% cut in VAT this year.  That means VAT will go back up to 17.5% or, if Darling’s feeling even more stern, to 20%. Since VAT is one of the most regressive taxes this gives the Tories a golden opportunity to shun a tax rise that hits the poorest, hardest.  The chart from the Taxpayers’ Alliance [pdf] shows that the poorest quintile pay over ¼ of their in indirect taxes, the richest only some 10%.

The Tories are refusing to rule out the same rise in VAT to 20%. That makes the Lib Dems the only party to promise substantial tax cuts with a plan to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000. If you are going to hit the low paid hardest with indirect taxes surely it makes sense to compensate them by raising the income tax threshold accordingly? Lower taxes for the low paid has got to be a vote winner.  In any event Guido has a suspicion that Darling’s PBR won’t schedule any rise until after the election…

“I Had that WMD in the Back of the Cab”

We know Alastair Campbell oversaw the cut ‘n pasting of parts of the dodgy dossier from student essays on the internet.  Did he also get “intelligence” from a cabbie?   Tory MP Adam Holloway, a former Grenadier Guardsman who is said to have close links to spies, claims intelligence officials told him that a cabbie falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had acquired long-range missiles after listening to Iraqi commanders chatting in his taxi two years before the invasion.

In future when Gordon Brown makes wild campaign claims we would do well to remember that it is Bad Al Campbell who is sexing up his speeches…

Double Plus Good

Guido was somewhat surprised to hear high praise coming from his old sparring partner Tom Watson of all people. During the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee last week, Watson was quick to praise this blog and push an argument often put forward here: that diary editors are thieving magpies. The academic expert being grilled, Paul Bradshaw, Lecturer in Journalism, Birmingham City University even agreed:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his bearded face. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself.  He loved Big Blogger.

Watson 2009, after Orwell 1948, as Smith in “1984”

Jonah News

Guido is starting to get scared by the frequency in which the curse of Gordon rears it’s ugly head.  Brown Steps Into Corus Battle: PM Set For Talks With Bosses the papers cheered in June, inevitably Sky reported on Friday “1,700 workers in the North East are set to lose their jobs in January after steel giant Corus confirmed it will shut down its Teesside plant.”

Two weeks ago Gordon took the Cabinet on an away day to Nottingham. This weekend the city was blighted by protests and riots that ended up costing the taxpayer a cheeky million in policing costs and damages. Thanks Gordon!

Via Simbits Guido learns the tragic news that “David Beckham’s football academy in south-east London is “very likely” to close by the end of the year”. Who was it that recently paid the academy a visit?

The soldiers recovering at Selly Oak Military Hospital had the right idea when they refused to shake hands with the accursed one. They may be incredibly brave, but they’re not stupid…

Quote of the Day

Tariq Ali says…

“Copenhagen may be the last chance to get communist ideals back onto the global stage.”

Brown’s Cuts Are Trivial

Brown has just given a speech this morning emphasising public expenditure cuts and, in what is a huge victory for the campaign by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, he is promising to crack down on public sector fat cats.  Gordon also […]

+ READ MORE +

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

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Public School Match

Marr was ridiculous in a very British right on way this morning.   Andrew Marr (old boy of Loretto, the very posh Scottish boarding school) asked Alastair Darling (another old boy of the £24,000-a-year school) whether it really matters that David […]

+ READ MORE +

Sunday Sleaze : Pesky Bloggers Do It Again

Sunday Sleaze

Lord Taylor of Warwick is back in a spot of bother over claiming overnight expenses in relation to properties which he doesn’t live in – again – and if wasn’t for those pesky blogs he would have got away with […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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