What has Dave Learnt from Canada?

There is no doubt that Cameron and Osborne have been greatly influenced by the Canadian deficit reduction plan of the 1990s. Canadian PM Stephen Harper was one of the first international leaders to be welcomed by Dave and there are no prizes for guessing what they talked about. Part of the success of the Canadian plan was the uniting of the country behind the need to slash public spending – the PR job the PM embarked on so subtly yesterday. Part of the uniting process was the removal of ideological zeal from the process – something made much easier by being in coalition.

So what are the simple solutions offered by Canada? For the benefit of newbie Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, Guido has made a helpful diagram. The advice seems to be set a target, ring-fence nothing and stick to the target. On top of cutting general waste and government bureaucracy, take each piece of government expenditure and ask three very simple questions:

Though they may be credited with saving the economy and the country, the Coalition shouldn’t expect much gratitude – it will hurt, and without the convincing the voters of the scale of the crisis they will won’t be thanked at the ballot box.

Treasury Crowd Sourcing Budget

We are told that the Treasury is going to release a document later today designed to produce a “fundamental re-evaluation of the role of government”.

It will ask people to discuss whether the government needs to provide certain public services at all and whether someone else such as councils, voluntary organisations or companies, could do so more cheaply.

There are a lot of things the government does, supposedly on public health grounds, that are massively unpopular:- raising booze taxes such that a pint costs £5 of taxed income and the brewer is lucky to see a pound.  Guido thinks adults should make their own health choices. My guess is that they will ignore the the sound of the crowd, nevertheless, shall we give it a try?

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

Project Bake ‘n Tweet went well, spent my Friday afternoon trying to comprehend the nanny and extract her recipe for Romanian lasagna so I could put it on the Twitter. Hopefully the translation went well and I think I came across as a normal family man.

The campaign team is growing now the nominations are in the bag, was a little embarrassing when it was just the Speaker’s wife manning the phone lines. Not exactly sure what she does and the wine supplies at the London HQ were really eating into out budget. Alex has agreed to stay on and loyally spin, despite a pay-cut, or possibly just because he can’t find a job.  Alex says he has secured the support of left-wing nut-roots blogger Sunny Hoondal to back me, which just shows how popular this anti-immigrant thing is becoming on the left. The interwebs is mine, I will be leader.

Charlie reckons the immigrant bashing will play well with union members, if we can succeed in getting Diane Abbott nominated it will work even better. Spent the weekend bashing Poles and Turks – it’s almost as if I’m fighting my local campaign on a national scale. It will upset some of the Party but I’ve got to do something different though, the membership polls aren’t looking too good. How dare they rank me least popular politician in the country?  Even bloody Mandelson is more popular. It’s all Gordon’s fault, he keeps calling me but I just get Nicola to tell him my battery is dead.

Andy Burnham is looking likely to get his 33 nominations despite everything.  Not so easy to put the frighteners on nowadays. Sometimes I miss Damian.

*As leaked to Guido

Farm-Gate: Spelman Shuts Down Lobbying Firm

Farmer’s Weekly is reporting that Mark Spelman, the husband of the Secretary of State for Defra has applied to Companies House to have the lobbying firm Cormack, Spelman and Associates closed down. The company was set up in 1989 by the couple and it continued to trade under Caroline Spelman’s married and maiden names while she was in the Shadow Cabinet and took over at Defra last month. Guido has been highlighting the obvious conflicts of interest, especially concerning subsidies and GM food. This is good progress, but forces the issue underground…

See Also: GM Lobbying Links Falling on Defra EarsSpelman’s Agri-Business Bio-Tech Lobbying Past, Mr Spelman’s Tricky Contract and Spelman’s Blatant Bio-Tech Backing

McDonnell’s Thatcher Killing Fantasy

For all the discussion about the death of New Labour, if ever proof was needed that the project has failed and Labour’s loony left is still alive and well, just look at what one leadership contender had to say when he was asked what he would do if he could travel back in time. John McDonnell told a GMB union crowd that he “would assassinate Thatcher“. There was a distinct lack of disapproval from the other candidates.

McDonnell is looking increasingly unlikely to make the ballot, though Guido understands Andy Burnham is set the scrape through before Wednesday’s deadline. Two days left for Abbot and McDonnell to liven up the race then.

UPDATE : McDonnell has previous, in 2003 he sparked outrage by saying IRA terrorists should be “honoured” for taking part in their “armed struggle”. He praised the provos at a commemoration for the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. It was, he said, the “bravery” of the IRA, whose “bombs and bullets” had resulted in the peace process in Northern Ireland. New Labour is only dead minutes and the loony left is back…

Smith Institute No Longer a Charity

Touching to see that now Gordon has exited the stage his old slush fund / think-tank / charity is no more. Former Smith Institute boss Wilf Stevenson has at last got his peerage as a reward for being Brown’s long time toady. The charity which even provided a well paid berth for Balls when he first stood for election is now superfluous and has been wound up.

The name lives on as a limited company available as a think-tank-for-hire by big business; organising seminars for pharmaceutical lobbyists, government contractors, supermarket chains and other vested interests aiming to get their hands into taxpayers’ pockets. The glory days of hosting Al Gore meeting Chancellor Gordon a distant memory…

Farm-Gate: GM Lobbying Links Falling on Defra Ears

After Guido’s investigations into the lobbying ties that the Secretary of State of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has with the bio-tech and GM food industry, this morning’s Mail raises yet another conflict of interest of Caroline Spelman:

“Startling evidence emerged yesterday of how pro-GM lobbyists helped to draft a major report on the cultivation and sale of such crops. An email trail revealed close links between the Agricultural Biotechnology Council, which represents GM food giants such as Monsanto, and the Food Standards Agency, which oversees the food industry. Members of the council succeeded in having controversial pro-GM paragraphs inserted into an FSA report published last year. They suggested changes including a claim that genetically modified foods could keep food prices down.”

Obviously the whole half a million pound report has now been drawn into question.  Whether or not to implement the report is Spelman’s decision, but how is the public meant to have faith in her choices given her connections to her husband’s bio-tech and GM food lobbying firm? A company that until a year ago, Mrs Spelman owned half of and was being run out of her constituency home. It is still trading under her married and maiden names. Apparently Defra don’t see any problems.

See Also: Spelman’s Agri-Business Bio-Tech Lobbying Past, Mr Spelman’s Tricky Contract and Spelman’s Blatant Bio-Tech Backing

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Brown’s Only Cut was Next PM’s Pay

The Telegraph is reporting that before the election Gordon quietly arranged for the Prime Minister’s remuneration package to be cut from £194,000 to £150,000, with no formal announcement being made.  Guido had to laugh, Brown has made sure Cameron will […]

+ READ MORE +

Posh Test

Think this is tosh, if you pop into Waitrose for some some hummus and Prosecco are you really posh? Basically the entire middle class is posh on that basis. Mrs Fawkes will laugh.

Can’t stand opera but but have been […]

+ READ MORE +

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 79,053 visitors who viewed 343,454 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farm-Gate: Spelman’s Blatant Bio-Tech Backing

Defra Secretary of State Caroline Spelman has sat down for a little chat with The Guardian and here’s a turn up for the books:

“The wider growing and selling of genetically modified crops has received its strongest government backing to […]

+ READ MORE +



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