Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Totty Watch : Fine Gael’s Fine Girl


emma-kiernanThis is Emma Kiernan, who is standing for Fine Gael on Newbridge Town Council, Kildare, Ireland.  Guido was until now thinking of voting for Libertas in Ireland.  This could change things.  She certainly looks a lot different from her official photo which, unlike this Facebook picture, is not splashed all over the Irish media and political blogs.

Emma says “Admittedly it’s not a great photograph”, Guido begs to differ.  She now has a Facebook fan club…

Where’s Julie?

Dale has put up a defence of Julie Kirkbride.  It falls down unless we are to believe she knew nothing of her husband’s financial arrangements.  It would help if she came out and defended herself.

Mackay Kirkbride PiggiesGuido does not believe she was unaware that they were as a couple over-claiming and milking the system.  In the light of Ed and Yvette Balls being spotlighted over their claims they should have known this was an issue.  Ed and Yvette had the sense to claim considerably less than Andrew and Julie.   The fact is the double-claiming had been remarked upon previously with no satisfactory response from the pair.

UPDATE : According to Cameron Julie Kirkbride should meet he constituents and explain her position:

“She does have some questions to answer as many MPs have questions to answer… The best thing to do, and I have said this to all my MPs, is to get out to their constituents, hold meetings, talk to them, listen to them, explain what they have done – and hold their hands up if they have done something wrong…”

81% of Tories Want Kirkbride Family Business Closed

Mackay Kirkbride PiggiesOver the weekend Julie Kirkbride was given, to Guido’s surprise, a half-hearted endorsement by Cameron.  Following on from her brother’s babysitter / company director tale, last night further revelations about another of her siblings benefiting from the taxpayers’ largesse made her position look impossible.  Theresa May on yesterday’s Newsnight carefully avoided giving Kirkbride any kind of endorsement.  Paul Waugh’s story about her sister being on the payroll a hundred miles away from her constituency and Westminster is surely the final straw.   Thousands of her constituents have signed a petition demanding she go.

millionaire-mp-logoShe has gone to ground and is in hiding from her own voters.  She is putting the phone down on callers – even her local radio station has had the phone put down on them live on air.  Bricks have even been thrown through the window of the local Conservative Association office.

This morning after polling 1,144 ConservativeHome readers in their monthly members’ survey yesterday it emerged that 81% of party members think Julie Kirkbride should go.  She is deservedly finished.

Cabinet of Tax Evaders

Tax Dodgers

Telegraph Cabinet Tax DodgersWhen Gordon Brown introduced the 50p tax rate he said that “it is right that those that earn more should pay more”. Obviously that is except if they sit around his cabinet table.  If members of the cabinet paid tax on their perks like the rest of us they would be well inside the £150,000 / 50p tax bracket.  In awarding themselves tax-free perks they evade paying the higher tax rate.   A cabinet salary package, with grace and favour residence thrown in, is worth well over £250,000.

Government limousines go untaxed, whereas company cars are heavily taxed.  £400 a month for groceries is a tax-free perk for politicians, whereas anything more than a couple of quid subsistence sandwich is taxed for the ordinary travelling salesman.  The mortgage subsidy alone is worth some £40,000, it is a tax-free perk for cabinet members.  Stamp duty is not a tax that troubles those who tax us, they charge it to us taxpayers.  Against clear HMRC rules they even charge the cost of tax advice to the taxpayer.

Taxpayers have seen their burden go up and up while the governing classes live like Soviet era nomenklatura, above the law with untaxed perks denied to ordinary workers.  This is spitting in the faces of taxpaying voters.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

+ + + Jacqui Smith Fraud Hearing + + ++ + + Scheduled for 26 June, Westminster Magistrates + + +

More follows…

Cameron : My Government Will Be “Open, Online All the Time”

Dave has just finished a speech laying out some of his big ideas for the oft-promised (by him) “Post-Bureaucratic Age”.  He is advocating local control over schools, housing and policing with the right to initiate local and national referenda. More mayors; fewer quangos and open primaries for parliamentary candidates. 

All good, but has he really got the revolutionary zeal of Margaret Thatcher needed to take on the entrenched bureaucracy?

Dave is promising something easily achievable, so long as he can change the secrecy culture in public life:

“Everything about our political process published online, all the time: the expenses, the spending, the lobbying, parliamentary proceedings, the lot.”

That is doable.  Guido also wants to see every government contract published online, it is our money, we want to see where it is going.  “Commercially sensitive” is code for sellers don’t like price competition, secrecy hinders open competition driving down costs.  Publish what we pay.

Guido is even more sceptical about his plans to curb the power of the whips in parliament and the influence  of spin doctors in government.  It is not like he is without spin doctors in opposition.

He appears to be getting ideas from reading the right stuff.  In the Guardian this morning Cameron said

“the new politics we need should be a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power: from the state to citizens; from the government to parliament; from Whitehall to communities; from the EU to Britain; …  we must take power from the elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street.”

Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell obviously influenced the writer because in theirThe Planthey said

“We need a radical shift of power …. redistribute power back, from Brussels to Westminster, from Whitehall to town halls, from the state to the citizens. …. disperse power among communities, through localism and through referendums”.

The Planis a huge hit, an Amazon bestseller and the all-time best-selling publish-on-demand publication ever sold by Amazon.  Guido simply can’t recall a wonkish policy manifesto selling like this before.The Road to Serfdom maybe back in the forties is the only equivalent that comes to mind.  The internet is really, finally, starting to change how we do politics...

See also : Political Class Starting to Fear the Public’s Anger

New Left-Wing Pressure Group Supports MP Recall

38 Degrees, the UK version of MoveOn has finally launched.  It has no formal link to MoveOn, but is advised by one of the MoveOn team.  MoveOn was itself an online campaign launched to shore up the Clinton presidency when Matt Drudge mired slick Willy in scandal and possible impeachment over his lying about Monica Lewinsky.

David BabbsThe campaign is however keen to not be seen as pro-Labour, in truth it is not a Labour project, it is however of the progressive left-of-centre aiming to “advance fairness, defend rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy in the UK”. The holding company behind it is called Progressive Majority, which gives the game away.  The leading figure is David Babbs, who comes from Friends of the Earth, in fact most of the leading figures and finance are from the green movement.  Blue State Digital UK did the website, which is a cut above the usual with fancy but meaningless imagery.

Sunny Hundal’s Liberal Conspiracy was originally spun as a MoveOn type operation when it launched, he is giving a grudging welcome to the group this morning.  Guido agrees with Sunny that the name is not brilliant, but wishes them best of luck with their first campaign – a recall law for MPs.  Anything that weakens the power of politicians and strengthens the power of the people…

Monday, May 25, 2009

+++ Wintertons Standing Down +++

Sir Nicholas and Lady Winterton are retiring to “pass the baton to a younger person”.  Let us not forget that they were found to have broken Commons rules in a critical report by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon last year.  Guido covered it at length here.

After paying off the mortgage on their Belgravia flat, the troughing couple transferred the £700,000 property to a family trust controlled by their children, and then charged the rent on it to parliamentary allowances.  A scam that netted the family trust some £120,000.  It was called “indefensible” by Cameron at the time.  They paid back not a single penny.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Duck Island

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

Sunday SleazePost links to sleaze stories in the comments and Guido will summarise them here.  It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it…

Andy Burnham was assisted by the Common’s authorities who bent the rules after he got a bung from a property developer and managed to over-claim in the same year by £10,000.  More support for Guido’s thesis that the Palace of Westminster is less about public service and more like gangster racketeering.

millionaire-mp-logoEric Joyce has claimed over a million, paying zero capital gains tax on his property flipping over the years.  He told the Mail on Sunday that this ‘This conversation may have cost me £160,000′, it will hopefully cost him his seat as well.  Though he will have sworn year after year on his tax return that he was making a full and true statement.  A criminal offence.

LibDem MP Malcolm Bruce managed to claim for two different properties simultaneously.  Cleverly he put his wife on the payroll at his constituency home and used the incidental expenses provision to feather bed that home and the ACA to featherbed his London home.  Guido thought he new every trick in the book by now, this is a new one.  Bruce won’t tell us how much he paid his wife.  Our money into his household income and he wants it to be kept secret?

Angela Browning, a former Tory minister, claimed £10,000 for her website, which looks like it took three hours to throw together.  She claimed for the usual long list of interior design features including the kitchen sink (£2,714). Worse than Jacqui Smith…

Derek Conway tried to claim for a £160 pig-skin walletHow appropriate.

The news isn’t all bad, according to the Sunday Times half the occupants of the parliament of whores could be swept away on the tide of righteous anger sweeping the nation. Guido is betting on 50 resigning or standing down in disgrace and perhaps a 100 more incumbents suffering the wrath of the fleeced voting taxpayers – over and above party swings. The Sunday Times reckons 325 troughers will be forced onto their index-linked gold-plated pensions. Guido’s heart bleeds…

Seen Elsewhere

Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath
Boris: Jihadis are W*nkers | Sun
Ed Miliband: International Sex Symbol | Telegraph
Javid: Let Tories Campaign For Out Vote | House
Ministry of Justice Loses Death Inquiry Data “In the Post” | TechnoGuido

Rising Stars
Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”

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