Simple Simon Uncut

Ex-Labour MP Sion Simon has launched a new mulit-authored blog “Labour Uncut” to cover the leadership race. The grassroots are well represented with posts from Benjamin Wegg-Prosser and John McTernan.  It won’t be too hard for it to be more successful than Simon’s last foray into the digital world. So far the blog is a bit of an elongated yawn.

This is not the first time Simon has attempted to providing insight and comment though. Regular readers will remember his infamous September 2007 New Statesman article:

“Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government.

For, that, indeed, is what this madness is: it’s the hour that we see that the march never ends. We’ve learned that we cannot be killed. And we’ve come to accept that we’ll never go home.”

With such a shrewd analysis and the gift of such foresight, the website is going to be a must read…

The Spectre of Sovereign Collapse Haunts Europe

Most of the non-financial Dead Tree Press has been so focused on the election that they haven’t noticed that Europe’s financial markets are in meltdown, the euro is plunging and a spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of sovereign collapse. All the powers of old Euro have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre:
The latest down-payment for the euro-project is a €14.5 billion bail-out of Greece propped up by Germany, France, Italy, Spain and six other EU countries.  The German banking sector is thought to have a €34 billion exposure to Greece, panic has hit not just the euro, but the banks hitherto lauded by the likes of Will Hutton as paragons of financial rectitude so unlike the risk-taking City of London.

The German authorities are in panic and have banned short-selling in Allianz, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Postbank – the most blue chip of German banking pride – in a move which will surely see foreign investors sell their holdings it has already driven the euro to a four-year low overnight.  The euro project is built to fail without a unified fiscal and tax regime, sooner or late, as eurosceptics have predicted from the outset, the euro will be torn apart.

Euro politicians are now blaming speculators – a sure sign that they want to shoot the messenger – speculators are the harbingers of economic reality, not the creators.  The euro is at a four-year low for good economic reasons, not because traders are shorting it.

Britain is spared this financial contagion as it stands in splendid isolation from the European Central Bank.  Let us hear no more from europhiles on the laughable “stability” that joining the euro will bring.

Quote of the Day

Jon Cruddas says…

“I’ve known David Miliband for twenty years, I’ve known Ed Balls for twenty years, but I don’t know what they stand for.”

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

One down, four to go. I knew Cruddas would crack when I sent Chris Leslie round with the file. A little show and tell of CCTV footage and old Jon soon looked into his heart and realised he didn’t want to stand after all. That little girl Burnham is next.

Sick to the back teeth of creeping around the brain-dead lobby fodder the PLP have been left with. After having to listen to Harman drone on all day the last thing you want to do is spend the night pressing the flesh in the Strangers bar with that lot. Not sure how many nights I can keep it up – nobody bought me a beer.

To make matters worse got home, sans ministerial car, what do I get? No dinner and that four-eyed prick Crick on Newsnight claiming that I might not be able to get enough signatures for my nomination. What the hell does he know? It’s not like anyone has ever answered the phone to him. That f****r has been on my case for too long.

On the up side, I did grease up to Bercow and he was re-elected, worth it to get that drunk he married to back me on Twitter. Had lunch with Stan Greenberg, he said he has a plan for tacking to the left now Cruddas is out of the way, though he’s got some explaining to do after telling me it would be a breeze in Morley.

The big announcement is planned for tomorrow.  I will be leader.

(*As leaked to Guido)

Anyone for Bingo?

As the rush for seats, desks and bag-carriers makes way for the start of a new school term, spare a moment for one newbie MP who doesn’t seem too fussed about being sworn in to her recently won office or taking part in her ancient constitutional duty to elect the Speaker.

Chi Onwurah, Labour’s Newcastle newbie, asked at a meeting of the new MPs last week whether attendance today was strictly compulsory as she already had somewhere better to be. It turns out she had been asked to call the bingo numbers in her constituency.

Clearly the Commons was not quite the House she had in mind…

Farm-gate: Mr Spelman’s Tricky Contract

Further to Guido’s revelations that the new Defra Secretary of State Caroline Spelman is tied up with the bio-tech/agri-business lobbying company “Spelman, Cormack & Associates”, that she co-founded with her husband Mark, Farmers Weekly have unravelled more decisions Spelman must recuse herself from:

“Mark Spelman is a managing director at Accenture, the firm that developed the online system that delivers subsidy payments to farmers. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) awarded Accenture a £35m seven-year contract to develop new and more efficient systems in 2003. Accenture was appointed to develop and deliver the new system over two years and then provide ongoing support for the remaining five years.”

The disastrous Accenture deal that ended up costing £350 million is due to expire this year. Guess who is in charge of deciding if it is renewed?

+ + + CPI Rose To 3.7% in April + + +

UPDATE : With inflation so high surely any thought of hiking VAT, which is inflationary, has to be discarded…

The Case for Speaker Ming

Iain Dale reports that Ming Campbell is to throw his hat into the ring if and when the ‘Noes’ challenge the Speaker’s confirmation this afternoon.

Speakers-OfficeThis changes the dynamics of the situation greatly, Ming is respected across the benches, and unquestionably has the gravitas and dignity which would bring credit to the house. As a former silk he has the ability and authority to command respect, whereas John Bercow has on a number of occasions been on the edge of losing control of the House.  The Squeaker certainly has lost self control.

People forget that Ming was one of twelve candidates for the position of Speaker when Betty Boothroyd stood down in 2000, but he lost out to Michael Martin. The House of Commons might have cause to regret that decision and may be minded to seize this second chance. Ming has one other great unspoken factor in his favour.

He isn’t John Bercow.

UPDATE : The betting has opened with Bercow heavily favoured to retain the Speakership.

Ed Balls Campaign Diary*

David Miliband has now re-launched his leadership campaign “formally”, what imaginary formality is that?  The skinny wonker has delusions of grandeur derived from still having bodyguards.  By my count that makes three “Miliband for leader” launches in the last week.  […]

+ READ MORE +

Is Fink Now Going to Campaign Against the Government?

Readers will be aware that Guido and Danny Finkelstein have been squabbling for years about raising the tax thresholds for the working poor. Guido was even christened a “punk tax cutter” by Fink and at one point Nick Clegg himself […]

+ READ MORE +

The Milibands’ Brotherly iCampaign

In an intriguing, yet ultimately geeky discovery, it seems that the Miliband brothers could well be sharing a PayPal donations account. Parts of David Miliband’s website refer to images and files hosted on a “miliband.org” server. His brother […]

+ READ MORE +

Reality Check on Cuts

As Labour begins to scream hysterically about the planned £6 billion reduction in over-spending which will be made in Osborne-Law’s Emergency Budget, it falls to Guido to remind readers again that £6 billion is less than 1% of government spending […]

+ READ MORE +

TRUMP SINGS “WE’RE GONNA BUILD A WALL” TRUMP SINGS “WE’RE GONNA BUILD A WALL”
OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID
EDDIE IZZARD’S HOTEL BILLS NOT LAWFULLY DECLARED EDDIE IZZARD’S HOTEL BILLS NOT LAWFULLY DECLARED
POLITICAL PARTY RICHLIST POLITICAL PARTY RICHLIST
EU PLOTS TAX ID NUMBERS FOR EVERY EUROPEAN CITIZEN EU PLOTS TAX ID NUMBERS FOR EVERY EUROPEAN CITIZEN
MUNT ADMITS SHE DIDN’T DECLARE LOCAL CAMPAIGN TRANSPORT MUNT ADMITS SHE DIDN’T DECLARE LOCAL CAMPAIGN TRANSPORT
OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID
“Fat Cats For EU” “Fat Cats For EU”
“CHEATED” LIBDEM PICTURED CAMPAIGNING ON BATTLE BUS “CHEATED” LIBDEM PICTURED CAMPAIGNING ON BATTLE BUS
CHRISTINE HAMILTON HIRED ON THE PUBLIC PAYROLL CHRISTINE HAMILTON HIRED ON THE PUBLIC PAYROLL
CONSERVATIVES IN: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE CONSERVATIVES IN: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
HULL UNIVERSITY THIRD TO DISAFFILIATE FROM NUS HULL UNIVERSITY THIRD TO DISAFFILIATE FROM NUS
CAMERON’S AIRFARE FABLE CAMERON’S AIRFARE FABLE
TELEGRAPH BLOODBATH: NEW JOBS CULL UNDERWAY TELEGRAPH BLOODBATH: NEW JOBS CULL UNDERWAY
CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE
OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES
TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA
ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN
STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION
NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE
CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN
SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY
SADIQ RAISES EU FLAG ABOVE CITY HALL SADIQ RAISES EU FLAG ABOVE CITY HALL
SAJ ‘PRIVATELY SAID HE WANTED TO LEAVE’ SAJ ‘PRIVATELY SAID HE WANTED TO LEAVE’
CRICK CRICK’D CRICK CRICK’D
EU WANTS CULTURAL QUOTAS ON NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME EU WANTS CULTURAL QUOTAS ON NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME
LIBDEM WHO COMPLAINED TO POLICE ABOUT TORY ELECTION FRAUD BROKE SPENDING RULES LIBDEM WHO COMPLAINED TO POLICE ABOUT TORY ELECTION FRAUD BROKE SPENDING RULES
LABOUR WON’T ALLOW CONFERENCE DELEGATES TO SELF-IDENTIFY LABOUR WON’T ALLOW CONFERENCE DELEGATES TO SELF-IDENTIFY
WORST BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND EVER WORST BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND EVER