Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Does Mandy Afford to Live on Millionaire’s Row?

Andrew Gilligan is digging into how Lord Mandelson can afford to buy a £2.5 million Regency villa on Regents Park. After all he has been a poorly paid public servant for over a decade…

Draper Site Crashes Live on TV

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dave Video is Rip of Obama Video

Guido has just noticed that Dave’s new video is a stylistic copy of Obama’s campaign video:

“Change” is the desired message… wonder if they will promise tax cuts like Obama as well?

Indebted Slavery to the Gilt Market

The Tories are highlighting the terrible debt burden being foisted on Britain’s children. Guido was recently chatting to the economist Tim Congdon about the gilt market and the historically unprecedented taxpayer liabilities in terms of the government’s admitted debts, the unfunded public sector pension liabilities and the PSBR trajectory even if the Tories win the next election. We also discussed on the prospects for the U.S. and Ireland.

The conclusion was that if Guido wants his daughters to grow up in an English speaking economic powerhouse in the coming century, unburdened by high taxes servicing government debt, perhaps it is time to look to India. The external debts of Britain amount to approximately $166,000 per person, the equivalent figure for India is some 1% of that, which combined with their better growth prospects suggests that economic opportunities in India might be greater in the future. When it comes to bonded slavery, Britons will be worse off than Indians in the future.

McNulty Slams Brown’s "Desperate" Golden Hello Jobs Plans

Gordon Brown’s Job Summit at the Science Museum in London will announce plans to pay employers “golden hellos” of up to £2,500 for recruiting jobless people. What does the DWP’s Jobs Minister, Tony McNulty, say about the plan?
Press release
Tuesday 11 November 2008
For immediate use

Tories making headlines on the hoof – McNulty

Tony McNulty MP, Labour’s Employment Minister, responding to the Tory announcement on unemployment said: “This is desperate stuff from the Tories, who continue to scrabble around trying to find a coherent economic policy.

“There is no way they can get 350,000 new jobs out of these proposals. There are too many restrictions being applied, the incentive is too small and many of these ‘new’ jobs will simply displace other people seeking work.

“In addition, the Conservatives just cannot pay for this tax cut – it is misleading of Cameron to say he can pay for getting the short-term unemployed back into work by using figures of savings you would make from the long-term unemployed.

“Osborne’s judgment is wrong yet again. They are making headlines on the hoof and they will be found out. “They need to make their sums add up – particularly at such a difficult time for the global economy.”

ENDS
Editor’s notes:
1. Their figures on how many jobs would be created are complete fantasy. The Tory plan assumes that an employer would create a new job for someone unemployed for more than a year for just £2500. The Tories have failed to take account of the displacement of workers who would have gotten jobs anyway. Currently 60% of people come off job seekers allowance within three months – this number would drop dramatically under Conservative proposals as employers would be incentivised to overlook people who have been out of work for 13 weeks or less.

The sharper among you will point out that this is a Tory plan he is criticising as a “complete fantasy” and “desperate stuff”. So what will McNulty say about the plan now the government has lifted it lock, stock and barrel? McNulty’s Shadow, Chris Grayling, welcomed the chance to implement his policy by proxy “I think it is the right step to take. But it is ironic ministers are walking around saying the Conservatives are a do nothing party, then adopting our policies.” Ouch!

UPDATE : Some bloggers copy party press releases, some blogs are copied by party press offices… CCHQ at 10.38 sent out a press release quoting McNulty’s above November attack on what is now government policy. Wonder where they got that idea?

Hat-tip : Bloomberg

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Growing Unease About Old Lady’s Secrecy

Remember Something Odd in the Banking Bill from early December? Guido was suspicious about the removal of the requirement of the Bank of England to tell us how much money it is printing:
The 1844 Banking Bill ensured transparency in the operations of the Bank of England. It has been good enough for over 164 years.


Surely it can’t be that they don’t want us to know how fast the Bank of England’s printing presses are going to be running?

The Telegraph’s economics editor has just cottoned on to the dodge:

The Government is set to throw out the 165-year old law that obliges the Bank to publish a weekly account of its balance sheet – a move that will allow it theoretically to embark covertly on so-called quantitative easing. The Banking Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, abolishes a key section of the law laid down by Robert Peel’s Government in 1844 which originally granted the Bank the sole right to print UK money.

… Debating the issue in the House of Lords recently, Lord James of Blackheath, a Conservative peer, said: “Remove [this] control and there is nothing to stop an unreported and unmonitored flooding of the money market by the undisciplined use of the printing presses. If we went down that path we would be following a road which starts in Weimar, goes on through Harare and must not end in Westminster and London. That is the great fear that the abolition of that section will bring about – but the Bill abolishes it.”

You read it here first…

UPDATE 12 Jan : The FT is calling it Quantitative Easing Confidential. Guido is quite chuffed to have beaten the FT to the story.

Hoon Blunts Labour’s New Attack on Middle Classes

Guido’s Geoff Hoon story from earlier last week has made it to the Mail on Sunday, where it is used to illustrate the hypocrisy of the political class. Hoon bought his daughter private tutoring in interview technique to successfully give her a better chance of winning an Oxbridge place at a time when Brown is, we learn from the Observer, bringing back Alan Milburn, to “undertake a review of obstacles faced by poorer children seeking to enter careers such as law, medicine and the media” in order to promote social mobility. Chris Grayling hits Hoon on the head, “Time and time again we see double standards from Ministers. They want to change the rules to make it tougher for everyone else while enjoying all the perks for themselves and their families.” Guido understands that Hoon desperately tried to kill the story with a threat to go to the Press Complaints Commission for breach of privacy.

Guido thinks politicians (and candidates) should not be allowed to claim privacy protection, all their behaviour as public office holders and aspirants should be subject to scrutiny in the public interest. We need to know if they are hypocritically extolling one law for us and another for themselves. Which of course Hoon is guilty of here without a doubt, just as Gordon was when he got private dental treatment.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

LabourList Surfaces

As Guido exclusively revealed (and named) here last month, Draper’s LabourList has finally soft launched. The grand launch was scheduled for Monday, however that clashed with Gordon’s Downing Street Jobs Summit, which meant that it didn’t fit on Mandelson’s media grid, so it was shunted back another month. That in a nutshell is how you will have to view the operating basis of the site. It is a party controlled forum, unlike ConservativeHome, which is a party supportive site. This is going to be a much more controlled environment than Labourhome, which for all its faults, was also more grassroots orientated.

Therein will be LabourList’s major structural fault, however much they may deny this, it is a top-down tool of Labour HQ. On the right ConservativeHome scares, irritates and frustrates CCHQ, Dale is his own man with his own loyalties and Guido is on the whole contemptuous of CCHQ. LabourList will be far more on message. That is deep in New Labour’s DNA.

Guido wishes it well, Labourhome has never really found an editorial direction, LiberalConspiracy still has promise, even if it will never have broad grassroots appeal or the focus of a party structure to sustain itself. LabourList does seem to be heavy with a lot of the same old faces, with no pesky loony lefties, so it is hard to see it being that exciting. We shall see…

UPDATE : Dale has similar thoughts.

Post-Nataly Fabulous

Does the French Justice Minister Rachida Dati look like she is just returning to work this week a mere five days after giving birth to a baby girl?

In a chic black suit and killer high heels, the 40something minister was at a cabinet meeting at the Elysee the day that she walked out of a Paris maternity clinic.

Not sure this is all necessarily for the best, but all credit to her for looking post-nataly fabulous.


Seen Elsewhere

Mirror’s ‘UKIP Goggles’ App Backfires | Press Gazette
Woolas Agent Standing for UKIP | MEN
Compassionate Left in Action | Mark Wallace
Sainsbury’s Distance Themselves From Sick Cam Tweeter | Speccie
Elites Pay Price for Killing Grammar Schools | Jago Pearson
Thornberry Makes Burnham Leadership Favourite | Matthew Norman
Guido’s Column | Sun
BBC Still Ignoring Savile Evidence | Telegraph
Politicians Brought Down by Twitter | CityAm
Ed the Biggest Loser in Rochester | Trevor Kavanagh
A Just Way to Manage Migration | Mats Persson


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Boris on his fellow Islingtonista Emily Thornberry:

“It was an entirely run-of-the-mill English townscape, with some straightforward words to go with it. There was no obvious insult, no abuse, no overt sneering. She might have got away with it entirely, had some alert blogger not spotted it. He instantly detected the coded message that Emily Thornberry was sending to all her right-on, bien-pensant, Labour-luvvie friends in Islington, or wherever else it is that they follow her on Twitter.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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