Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Murray was Doomed the Moment Gordon Wished Him Well…

Asked whether the Prime Minister would send his good wishes to Andy Murray for his next match, the PMS said it was the Prime Minister’s view that the whole of the country would want to see Andy Murray continue his good progress.
Lobby Briefing July 1, 2008


Andy Murray is beaten up in own backyard: you had to feel for Andy Murray yesterday. It is never nice to be beaten up in your own backyard.

Jonah Brown strikes again…

Secret of Irish Profits

Two interesting bits of Irish news yesterday. Research released Wednesday shows that in Britain the average company makes a profit of some €22,500 per employee. This compares to Irish companies who on average make a profit per employee of €45,800. This is after transfer pricing and other disortions were stripped out.

Is that why the security services on behalf of the British government illegally and secretly monitored every telephone, fax and email to and from the UK and Ireland for seven years. Using laws which the British government insisted were necessary to combat a growing threat from terrorism they undertook mass covert surveillance. Do they want the secret of high profits or do they think Osama is hiding in the caves of the West coast? Think he went that way…

In a landmark ruling yesterday the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the British government’s scheme of external surveillance was not “in accordance with the law”. Of course the British government tacitly allows the Americans to do the same to you.

Vaz Down Payment : Bigger Office

Guido is hearing conflicting claims regarding the Vaz pay-off “appropriate reward”. Labour sources say he only managed to negotiate a better office. Selling our liberty at such a cheap price – surely not?

+++ Balls "Sorry" Ministerial Limo Collided With Pedestrian +++

14.57 Just in from a co-conspirator :

Some poor fellow was just walking along Great Smith Street ahead of me, just outside of the Department for Children, Schools and Families. A car zoomed up outside and the door was flung open in a “I’m important and busy” manner - hitting the poor pedestrian. The moron responsible eventually shouted a token “sorry”, but not before those standing about (including me) had spotted that the culprit was the popular Ed Balls.

The door was opened just ahead of the pedestrian who walked into it, although was protecting himself with his hands as he must have seen it coming at the last second.

It was the reason why he eventually shouted an apology. He also had his team with him (3 or 4 people), and there were another two or three bystanders.

Source is pukka.

16:12 UPDATE : Another co-conspirator is prompted to email:

A couple of years ago I was at the dentist in Victoria Street. Ed Balls was there with his daughter. When they left, Ed was on the phone being incredibly busy and important. He walked out of the heavy swing door letting it fall back on his daughter who got properly squidged. She must have been no more than about 8 years old and the valiant little soul put her whole body strength into squeezing the door open again and followed her dad out into the street where he was still on the phone completely oblivious.

Not the most recent of events granted, but shows he has got form…

Arise Lord Vaz of 42 Days?

At PMQs Dave asked Gordon where there deals done over the 42 days vote. Gordon gave an uncharacteristically direct answer in the negative. Dave asked him to explain the following as the Labour benches looked embarrassed.

The Daily Telegraph has got hold of a letter sent by chief whip Geoff Hoon to Vaz expressing an expectation that his former ministerial colleague will be “appropriately rewarded” for backing the measure to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge.

Slimy Vaz is the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee. He was at first opposed to the plans but eventually gave them his full backing.

Vaz was asked in Parliament during the debate if he had been offered an honour for his support. He said: “No, it was certainly not offered—but I do not know; there is still time.”

Hoon’s letter says:

“Dear Keith…

Just a quick note to thank you for all your help during the period leading up to last Wednesday’s vote. I wanted you to know how much I appreciated all your help… I trust that it will be appropriately rewarded!…With thanks and best wishes,

Geoff.”

So “Lord Vaz” it is…

PMQs : Don’t Just Shout Abuse at the Telly!

Bankrupting The Guardian

Guido has always believed that the nature of the statist BBC and the non-profit making culture of the Guardian encourages a statist and non-profit making culture to dominate the thinking of the political class. These two media organisations of course see themselves as providing intellectual and moral leadership. The knee jerk “government must do something” attitude of the two organisations supports the statist consensus. Breaking that consensus is an essential condition for the post-bureaucratic age.

Crucial to creating an enterprise culture and undoing the all-party, semi-socialist culture which prevails in Britain is shattering this media hegemony. Reducing the scope of the BBC is essential to this long term goal. The BBC is the primary reason Britain does not have a Silicon Valley culture, the multi-billion pound tax subsidy crowds out competition, undermines innovation and makes it impossible for rivals to compete profitably. The Tories are only tentatively thinking about “harm reduction” policies towards the BBC. The Guardian is far more vulnerable…

The Guardian is financed by a charitable trust (ironically taking advantage of tax exemptions) the two main sources of income supporting that trust are the profits from Auto Trader and the public sector advertising that fills page after page of the newspaper. One of the first thing the Tories should do in power is set up http://www.jobs.gov.uk. All available public sector positions would be listed there free of charge, this would save hundreds of millions in advertising costs for the taxpayer and deprive the Guardian of a critical revenue stream.

The second income stream has always been vulnerable to competition. Auto Trader profits have financially supported the salaries of the journalists who write environmentalist anti-car editorials in the Guardian. Now a group of former journalists from Autocar Magazine and Auto Express magazines have launched an online-only magazine Drivers-Republic.com. With a bit of luck it will be a deadly competitor to Auto Trader…

Without the taxpayer subsidy and the profits from Auto Trader, the Guardian could go the way of the Morning Star. Once it was deprived of subsidy, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it became an irrelevance.

UPDATE : Tim Montgomerie emails to tell me it is already Conservative Party policy to bankrupt the Guardian.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

633,793 Page Hits from 476,745 Visitors

Google reports 92,332 absolute unique visitors came here last month. More people visited Guido than any other comparable political website.*

The top ten referrers after Google and Yahoo are:

#1 Iain Dale
#2 ConservativeHome
#3 Spectator / Coffee House blog
#4 PoliticsHome
#5 PoliticalBetting.com
#6 Times Blogs (Red Box and Comment Central)
#7 Boulton & Co.
#8 Dizzy Thinks
#9 Telegraph Blogs
#10 Biased-BBC

Guido would especially like to thank his advertisers this month for their support and contribution to his cellars.

Amazon – Guido’s readers buy hundreds of books every month.
Argos Online – They can deliver barbecues and kiddies pools.
Betfair – Place your bets.
Central Office of Information – It was like a tax rebate.
Children Are Unbeatable Alliance – They are in Guido’s house.
Compass – Discerning advertisers.
Connect Online Backup – Keeps Guido’s data safe.
eBay – For everything.
Friends of Zimbabwe – But not Mugabe.
Help the Aged – Getting heard in Westminster.
Laithwaites – Booze to the door.
Lastminute – Nice viral.
MoneySupermarket.com – Does what it says on the tin.
Leonard Cheshire Disability – Campaigning.
Savanna Cider – African cider.
Standpoint magazine – Definitely.
The Stationery Office – Download legislation.
Total Politics magazine – Welcome.
War on Want – Keeps Guido in Margaux.
WWF – Love those Pandas…

*Fewer people re-loaded PoliticalBetting.com more often.

Another Day, Another Downing Street Rat…

Andrew Porter reports that Martin Sheehan, Gordon’s Head of Strategic Communications, is making the dash for cash to PR firm Portland.

Martin Sheehan says: “The opportunity to join Portland at this stage in the company’s growth is one I couldn’t refuse. Working for two Prime Ministers has been a fantastic experience. After spending eight of the last ten years in Downing Street, it’s time for a new challenge.” Translation: a year of the Prime Mentalist is enough for me…

Gordon Emails Wendi in New York

Guido has got this before it appears in PR Week:

Last week Downing Street functionaries were asked by Gordon to switch off auto-complete on his email software. It turned out that our early morning emailing PM had accidentally emailed Wendi Deng, also known as Mrs Rupert Murdoch.

Easy mistake to make, but Mrs Murdoch doesn’t really have much interest in Scottish politics. No doubt she is a little better informed now…


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)


New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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