House Prices Fell 16% Y-o-Y, Car Sales Down 36.8% November

The pound is at a record low against the euro this morning (1.15). Today we’ll probably see the Bank of England cut base rates to 2%. Alistair Darling says we’ll be out of recession by the second half of next year – which seems to Guido very, very unlikely. The government says it will be underwriting the entire mortgage business, not just through quasi-nationalisation of banks, but by guaranteeing defaulting borrowers for 2 years. This is not a recipe for sound money. At this rate we will soon have to rename the currency the Great British Krona…

Speaker Underwhelms

Not exactly his finest hour was it? He really is the most chippy useless speaker to have sat in that chair. He is a terrible champion of parliamentary democracy.

Calling Devil’s Kitchen

The Devil is forever boasting that he never suffers a hang-over. Guido can confirm that he does pass out though. DK, if you are wondering what happened to your phone and wallet, call, they are safe…

Green Raid Footage

C’mon ComRes

Has the arrest of Damian Green and the hiking of beer and income taxes boosted Labour massively? ComRes has Labour up 4% to only 1% behind the Tories (down 6%).

The ComRes national numbers are Con 37%(-6), Lab 36%(+4), Lib 17%(+5). It also has the Tories ahead of Labour in Wales and Labour shooting up in the wealthy Tory heartlands of the south east of England.

Does that make sense to you? ICM and Mori have Labour with double digit deficits. Punters on Betfair make Labour 3/1 outsiders…

The Run on the Pound

Yesterday sterling had the biggest drop it has had since it was forced out of the ERM on White Wednesday in 1992. The pound was down 4% at $1.48 and it fell 2.9% against the euro and tumbled 4.8% versus the yen. It just goes to show how bad Britain’s situation is that this isn’t even front page news on every paper.

UPDATE : This just in from a co-conspirator:

Hello Guido,
I’ve been perusing the great work of fiction that is Gordy’s oops, the Chancellor’s growth forecasts, and on page 1 of Annex A: The Economy we have this bullet-pointed gem:

‘UK GDP growth of 3/4 % for 2008 with the economy contracting in the second half of the year’

Now, when the chancellor stood up at the dispatch box, three quarters of 2008 GDP growth were known:

Q1 0.3%
Q2 0%
Q3 -0.5%

In order to hit the forecast 0.75%, the economy has to grow at feisty 1% in the fourth quarter. Has the Chancellor been outside recently?

Is it any wonder that foreign investors have lost confidence in Britain, Gordon has missed his GDP growth forecasts every year since 2006. The Chancellor makes fantasy forecasts that no one believes, least of all HM Treasury, does he really expect GDP to surge this quarter?

UPDATE II : Some querying via email of how the GDP quarterly statistics are precisely computed by someone who seems to know what they are talking about; “There are lies, damned lies and statistics”.

Earned Equity

Following on from Boris’ idea ofearned citizenship, Iain Duncan Smith is pushing the idea that council tenants who seek work and “keep their families in good order… could earn a share of the equity in their homes… Social housing often acts as a block against people getting back to work, with lifetime tenure and lack of mobility” he told the Today show this morning.
Equity should be offered to: “those paying rent on time, keeping their families in good order, being part of the community… Estates have become ghettos of the most broken families and there are incentives for them to stay like that…”

70% paying rent aspired to owning their own home according to research by the Centre for Social Justice. Isn’t this something sensible that New Labour could support? Helping decent hard working low income families to become homeowners? It isn’t something for nothing, it isn’t privatisation, it is nudging with rewards. If the most difficult and troublesome households saw their neighbours being rewarded for good housekeeping it would incentivise them to literally put their own house in order. The workless underclass in public sector housing is disproportionately the source of most crime and social problems. Labour’s inability to make progress in this area despite huge expenditures is one of the biggest tragedies of the Blair years.

Report Summary download (pdf).

Harman Attempting to Nobble Speaker

A weak Speaker is a terrible blight on parliament. In Speaker Martin we have the weakest Speaker in modern times. Harriet Harman is trying to push him around:Dale has the scoop, Harriet Harman is convening a meeting of government, party and civil service figures, Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw, as well as Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms and the Parliamentary Clerk, Malcolm Jack and a representative from the Speaker’s Office. Clearly they are trying to agree a fix. If it was a genuine attempt to resolve the situation honestly opposition parliamentarians would have been invited. Appropriately it leaked out.

Another Downing Street Aide Quits

Ben Brogan reports that Gordon Brown’s newly appointed “Strategic Communications Adviser” Nick Stace has lasted nine months. That long, eh?

He is off to Australia to get as far away as possible from the Prime Mentalist to take up a

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Pound Crashes Below $1.50 +++

And dropping… think this constitutes, as predicted by Osborne, a run on the pound.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Stat-Porn : 763,7387 from 578,089 Visits by 131,053 Visitors

Traffic is up some 80% year-on-year, the absolute visitor count jumped this month because of foreign traffic, mainly after Yahoo and The National Review’s Corner blog featured stories from this blog.

The top three stories this month were in order:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Zimbabwean Central Bank Endorses UK Policies on Banking

Some people got upset when Guido compared Britain to Zimbabwe, in defence it should be borne in mind that making the comparison does not belittle the suffering of the Zimbabweans. It seems Zimbabweans too are making the comparison; no

[…]

+ 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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