Monday, November 24, 2008

Osborne Wows

ConservativeHome calls it an outstanding performance by George Osborne, Guido has just got off the phone with Tom Clougherty, policy director at the free market think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, he described it as “the speech of his life”, Matthew Elliot at the Taxpayer’s Alliance has just crackberried over “he passed the test with flying colours. There is still a question mark over providing a coherent alternative plan, but this is slowly taking shape, and we’ll no doubt see more details in the coming weeks.” Even the insouciant worldly, non-partisan cynic Sir Michael White says he “did well enough from the sound of it“, which must mean that Darling was in difficulty.

Guido’s co-conspirators were impressed in our live poll during the exchange – and they have been pretty disparaging of Osborne over the last few months.

Some of the co-conspirators comments give a flavour:

  • “Osborne was brilliant. Wiped the f*****g floor with that lying twat Darling. Brown kept smirking but looked very uncomfortable. The chickens are coming home to roost.”
  • “thought Osborne did very well, thought he was going to mess it up. Labour front bench look flustered..”
Derek Draper joined the Live Blog, as did 1181 others with him providing fodder for a couple of thousand comments. Very sporting of Derek to provide us with some sport. Will we see you for PMQs Derek?

PBR Live Blog Here

+++ Derek Draper Will Be Here for the PBR Live Blog +++

Just got a text from the Derek asking if he’ll be welcome, on the live blog, have assured him you’ll give him a warm welcome. Go ahead Dolly, rapidly rebut away. This could be more of a laugh than even Gary Elsby….

Boris is Right, Tories Wrong. London Should Be a Shining City

Before the Mayoral elections Guido posted the article below, predictably it got much abuse. Boris is now advocating an “earned amnesty”. It is the right thing to do. Regularising people and expanding the tax base by bringing them in from the black economy (we’ll probably need to replace the wealthy foreigners fleeing the tax hikes). Boris has been attacked over his plan by Phil Woolas and Melanie Philipsa good sign.
Anyone who believes in free markets and free trade has to believe as a corollary in the free movement of people. Guido is the son of immigrants who came from Ireland and India to London in the 1950s and 1960s for economic and social reasons. They came, primarily, to better themselves. Now having lived and worked in some of the world’s greatest cities Guido still believes that London is the best of them all and is grateful that the city took in his parents.

Sure the public transport system sucks, it does in Tokyo and New York as well. Culturally New York is very self-centred and less internationalist, Tokyo is a bit of a mono-culture that just about tolerates foreigners. London is much more cosmopolitan than even New York with better French food than Paris, more bankers than Frankfurt and better nightlife than Berlin.

Many people have come here without the right paperwork, they have come here to work and better themselves. They are not the problem and should be allowed to stay and given if necessary an amnesty to make them legally resident. They enrich us all. It is the people who come here to abuse the welfare state and commit crimes that are the problem.

Cameron disavows the policy and ConservativeHomies are up in arms about Boris supporting an amnesty for illegal immigrants. They should remember that one of their heroes, Ronald Reagan, supported and implemented an amnesty. London should be a beacon to those who want to be free to prosper for themselves and their families. Disqualifying newcomers from abusing the welfare state and deporting convicted foreign criminals might reduce the opposition to immigrants. Ronald Reagan did something like that when he had an amnesty for immigrants in 1986, because to him, the ultimate conservative optimist, immigration was a vital part of his vision of his country as “a shining city upon a Hill”.

Boris is an optimist in the Reagan mould who would like London to be a shining city for those seeking freedom and prosperity. An amnesty might not be a popular stance to take, illegal immigrants don’t have any votes, but it is the right stance.

Gordonomics : Higher Taxes, Nationalisations, Property Price Collapse, Printing Money, More Government Borrowing, Economic Bust

Guido is not a fanatical gold bug, but in times of crisis gold is the timeless refuge. This is the gold/£ price chart for this year, showing gold has proven to be a sound investment. As Gordon takes the Mugabe option this has only one way to go. Without the restraining hand of Tony Blair socialism is back from the dead cheered on by Labour’s zombies. Gordon’s latest plan to bleed high earners means that the best will be driven from British shores just as they were in the seventies.

Ireland, which is taking the austerity route out of the crisis, slashing government spending, is attracting an entirely private sector solution to recapitalising banks. Property prices are becoming reasonable, tax rates are lower and big British run businesses are relocating to Ireland.

Ireland will probably be out of recession long before an economy crippled by Brown starts to recover – whoever wins the next election.

UPDATE : Ireland’s new finance bill is changing the law to entice non-doms to move from London to Ireland.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Leeds

Guido hears that the Cabinet will be meeting in Leeds on Friday – same drill as the last time in Brum – the public in the form of carefully chosen invitees, mostly from the public sector, will be the backdrop for a Potemkin Village show for the evening news.

Local large private businesses must be in fear that the cabinet will visit. Since the Birmingham Cabinet meeting when Gordon visited Jaguar the company’s sales have collapsed. Jaguar’s parent company JLR is now begging the government for a £1 billion loan. The accursed one-eyed son of the manse is considering it…

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Northern Rock Sinking Taxpayers II

As Guido reported Thursday and all the papers followed up yesterday – Northern Rock’s £35 billion Granite Trust is in trouble, buried in the financial jargon is one important note – the percentage of delinquent loans relative to the value of mortgages in the trust rose above pre-set levels. Three different arrears triggers have been breached – remember how Brown and Darling blatantly lied that the taxpayer’s money was secured by the mortgage assets of the bank? Guido repeatedly argued that the only assets of the bank were in its branches. Net-net, the loan book will turn out to be near enough worthless or even negative in value.

The £3 billion of capital injected by the government in August can be kissed goodbye, another £3 billion will be needed soon and that will almost certainly go up in smoke as well. Well done to Vince Cable for giving the government such fulsome support in wasting billions- 28 million taxpayers won’t thank you.

This is an amount enough to give every income-tax payer in the country a £1000 reduction for a year. A targeted fiscal stimulus. What exactly is the taxpayer gaining for subsidising the winding up of Northern Rock?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Caption Competition (Cappuccino edition)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Lobby Pass Dilemma

Paul Linford reflects on the perennial Lobby passes for bloggers issue. This has come up again because Ben Brogan (current Lobby chairman) has described the issue as a “a huge headache.”

“They’ve been very reluctant to start issuing passes to new media outlets. There’s an ongoing conversation whether the House of Commons authorities start issuing media passes to bloggers. That remains unresolved.”

 

Not entirely true, new media in the form of Robert Gibson from the Gallery News email service has a pass and the nascent PoliticsHome.com have a pass. Neither have the kind of circulation enjoyed by the leading Westminster blogs. When some time ago 18 Doughty Street (R.I.P.) applied for a pass they were told by the Serjeant-at-Arms that passes were only available to “substantive organisations”, yet they have now given a pass to the smaller PoliticsHome operation run by the same people. Dale and Tim Montgomerie already have (if Guido recalls correctly) Commons passes, presumably Dale could plausibly now get a Lobby pass via Total Politics.

Adam Boulton when he was chairman of the Lobby* told Guido that he thought he should be entitled to a pass and he had no problem with it. Having now gatecrashed quite a few briefings, it really is questionable whether it is that valuable. If you ask a difficult question you don’t get an answer. Ironically half the Daily Lobby spend their time reading blogs and writing comment pieces for their own blogs rather than actually chasing news stories, Guido now feels that going to press conferences can be safely left to the broadcasters – (it would be better for us all if the all the Lobby briefings were broadcast, ask yourself why fearless Lobby journalists are opposed to that happening).

Given the lack of respect Guido has for many members of the Lobby and the tense relationship that some of them have with Guido, it would be something of a headache for Ben if an application was made by this blog. Remember how upset Sir Michael White was when Guido attended a Lobby lunch in an Irish rugby shirt?

There is also a very real danger that by being assimilated into the Lobby one would become part of the system and compromised. Ask yourself why did the decades old issue of MP’s expense fiddles only really come alive in the last few years? The Lobby (with one or two exceptions) didn’t rock the boat on that issue – bloggers and pressure groups led on that issue.

You gain very little edge from invitations to minister’s drinks parties and you don’t get an exclusive by going to an event attended by half the Lobby. Guido has got his best stories directly from sources, not scripted events. The Lobby gets spoon fed by Downing Street and spun from all directions, would the blog be enhanced by having a seat at the back of the plane on a Prime Ministerial trip to Beijing? Would being cosy with Damian McBride be of service to the co-conspirators? Methinks perhaps not.

*Guido called Brogan to ask him his view and he promises to get back shortly.


Seen Elsewhere

5 Things We Learned From Guido’s Party | GQ
Revealed: Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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