Darling Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

Tessa Jowell went wildly off message yesterday and said that Britain is facing a recession “deeper than any that we have known”. Another significant admission from Chancellor Darling suggests we are perhaps not best placed to weather the global financial turbulence: “We are going to be affected more substantially in relation to the loss of revenues that we are now experiencing because of the lack of profitability in the financial services sector. London is the major financial services sector in the world… Of course we are more likely to be more severely affected as a result [of] profitability being reduced… We are also affected by the downturn in the housing market because of reduced revenues in relation to stamp duty”.

He might also have added that because we are so over-indebted, it will be that much more difficult to recover economic growth.Via Paul Waugh

Tories Should Join the Pan-European Libertas Ticket

The Tories have been unsuccessfully trying to extricate themselves from the Federalist EPP by setting up a new group. This failure means that the only firm promise Cameron has given – to exit the group within months of him becoming leader, has been broken. Not a good omen.

Declan Garney, who successfully led the Irish anti-Lisbon Treaty No campaign*, has announced that his Libertas will contest the European elections in 2009 on a pan-European basis.

He has opened a European HQ in Brussels, and announced that Libertas will field candidates across the European Union on a common pro-European platform of democracy, accountability and transparency. “If people want a strong and healthy Europe that is democratic and answerable to them, they should vote for a Libertas candidate. If they do not want Europe to succeed or if they are happy with the current undemocratic practises, then they should vote for an incumbent party. For those who weren’t given a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, this will be their referendum”.

Libertas intends to run candidates in every country where the candidates are of a high standard, committed to the Libertas’s pro-European stance and its platform of democracy, accountability and transparency aimed at bring European back to the people.

That platform is entirely compatible with the Conservative Party position on Europe. The Tories should seize the opportunity to stand next summer on a pan-European platform which they support, rather than under a false Federalist flag.

There are no doubt practical difficulties, they are not insurmountable, Libertas in alliance with the British Tories would be a significant signal that there is a mainstream, non-headbanging alternative to the Federalist groups which dominate European politics and fail the people of Europe. The existing Tory leadership in Brussels is second rate, has gone native to the extent that they are lucky not to be facing criminal corruption charges. A new leadership is needed to break out of their historic errors.

Dan Hannan is moving his family to Brussels on a permanent basis, if he focused his energetic abilities on the parliament he would make an excellent leader, with Thatcherite determination to put the national interest first. The existing leadership is just not ideologically fit for purpose.

*Ganley says of the new moves to re-run the referendum: “The Irish government and the powerful elite in Brussels are showing utter contempt for the democratic decision of the Irish people in rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. Not one sentence will change in a “new version”. Some non-legally binding texts will be added in an attempt to fool the people. They tried this with the French, they tried with the Dutch, they are trying with the Irish. It’s time to put a stop to this bullying.”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

What the Army Really Thinks of Brown

Gordon is off doing a flying visit to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan doling out millions to people who would rather the British were not there. Gordon loves being photographed with men in uniform, they however are not so keen on him. The ARRSE site is an online forum for soldiers, here are some excerpts from the site today:

At the bottom of the awful man’s black heart, I’ll wager he doesn’t give a stuff about casualties in Afghanistan. He’ll be calculating the costs, not in lives, but in pounds Sterling.

He was the worst Chancellor possibly ever, he has brought this nation to it’s knees and now he has the gall, the brass-necked affrontery to parade about bragging that he is ‘saving the world’. Will the men in white-coats be able to get into Downing Street, with the politically controlled ‘Met Police Farce’ at the gates?
lsquared

FFS, who goes into the bloody wilds of the Stan in a bloody suit and tie? Does he never take the bloody thing off?
mnairb

100 groats and his pick of the wenches to the man who rid’s us of Jonah McGabe.
insert-coin-here

How do the lads he talks to, do it with a straight face? I mean I know there’s discipline and good manners, but honestly…
angular

Have a look for yourself, he is not popular at all.

So Much for the Santa Claus Rally

Those of you who have been following Guido’s trading on the right will have seen it jump substantially last week. Guido was short Dow and FTSE futures which collapsed after the auto-bailout deal in Washington failed midweek, closed all the positions before the yanks could cobble together some compromise. Booked profits for the trading for the last three months are 97% – Mrs Fawkes hinted that perhaps going back to full-time trading might be more lucrative than blogging. Perhaps, however this was performance off a small amount of capital, the Value-at-Risk was sometimes leveraged 20 times, it was pure risk money and Guido got lucky.

Basically the trades were shorting the pound versus the euro, selling rallies in the Dow and FTSE, quickly covering after significant drops. Somehow Guido managed to lose money twice trading from the long side on Gold futures just before retracements rather than just buying and holding. Sir Michael White sneered at Guido for recommending buying gold as we shift towards Mugabonomics and the Bank of England sets the printing presses rolling. Gold is the safest refuge and the cost of carry with interest rates tending towards zero is ever more favourable to passive holders of the metal.

Sterling investors who bought gold at the beginning of the year have seen it rise 28% from £424 to £544 an ounce. If in 2009 we see “quantitative easing” (printing money), holding gold will be insurance as much as an investment. If you have apocalyptic fears, holding physical gold coins is reassuring.

Won’t be keeping a diary of trades on the blog next year, because this is a politics blog and some (not all) readers find it boring and/or self indulgent. Not bothered about being self indulgent (it is a personal blog) but being boring won’t do.

Friday Caption Competition

For You Herr Brown, the Boom is Over

Steffen Kampeter, is the budget spokesman for Merkel’s CDU, last night he backed Peer Steinbrück (the SPD finance minister), saying he was “exactly expressing” the views of the government. Yesterday Balls and Brown were spinning bullshit saying that this was internal German coalition politics – in fact it is the shared view of both the CDU and the SPD.

Kampeter put the boot into Crash Gordon: “Peer Steinbrück’s comments have nothing whatsoever to do with internal German politics as Prime Minister Brown has suggested. In questioning the British Government’s approach, Peer Steinbrück is exactly expressing the views of the German Grand Coalition. After years of lecturing us on how we need to share in the gains of uncontrolled financial markets, the Labour politicians can’t now expect us to share in it’s losses. The tremendous amount of debt being offered by Britain shows a complete failure of Labour policy.”

Did Dale Bribe Labour MP Ann Moffat?

The cover of the Total Politics January edition depicts Harriet Harman as Wonder Woman. Which is ridiculous, because as any fool knows, Crash Flash Gordon’s partner was Dale Arden.

Trying to make a joke of the Prime Mentalists Freudian slip Harman has just told the house that she would “rather have Superman as our leader than their leader who is The Joker”. Immediately after that quip Ann Moffat chipped in “Wonder Woman does it again…”

So either Dale is paying for promotional product placement or the whole Labour Party is gripped with a delusion of superpowers.

Balls : Germans Don’t Really Mean It

All the usual mantras: “doing the right thing”, “Gordon is the Messiah”. Who believes this rubbish?

Even Nick Robinson isn’t buying it “There is, dare I suggest, another perfectly plausible theory. Mr Steinbruck believes what he says and […]

+ READ MORE +

EU Dirty Ratifiers

Reports from Brussels coming in suggest that Ireland’s political elite are allowing their arms to be twisted by the EU into ignoring the “No!” vote in the referendum and having another one. This comes as absolutely no surprise – the

[…]

+ READ MORE +

German Finance Minister Mocks Brown’s "Great Rescue Plan"

“All this will do is raise Britain’s debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off” says Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister. He isn’t a conservative finance minister from Merkel’s CDU, he is a Social

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Messy Business

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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