Via Weird Wide Web
Guido thought that this attempt to take Gordon Brown to Court by a UKIP member for breach of contract over not holding a referendum on the EU Constitution was crazy. It was in the manifesto and a manifesto commitment is a promise. So they do have a case of sorts but with little chance of success methinks.
But it was absolutely worth it for the admission in Court by Gordon’s barrister that you should not believe a word Gordon writes in the manifesto. Q.E.D.
Incidentally, the quote was taken down in Court and blogged before any broadcaster, newswire or newsroom got it out by Is There More to Life than Shoes? Good work pussycat…
Francis Maude welcomed Tom Watson back today:
Mr. Francis Maude (Horsham) (Con): I welcome the Minister back to the Dispatch Box; no doubt that is his reward for his part in dispatching the previous Prime Minister.
Guido once suggested that Tom Watson was a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of a coup attempt against Blair in the hope of future preferment. Watson always unconvincingly denies this, claiming he traveled to Scotland only to chat about the kids. Tom is a blogger himself and an avid reader of Guido’s blog. After an exchange in the comments once he gave an undertaking:
Today he is a minister in Gordon’s government. Demonstrably Tom Watson is one of the most mendacious shits in parliament. The thing is, he is proud of it.
Gordon’s inability to answer questions straight-forwardly and his tendency to try and turn PMQs into LOQs (Leader of the Opposition’s Questions) is irritating everyone in the Commentariat. Weak on his feet the technique is borne out of necessity for Gordon.
Psychologically conflicted as Gordon is on so many levels he just can’t give straight answers or make quick decisions. This means every week he is reduced to the same yadda yadda formulas, attacking the Lamont era unemployment, interest rate and inflation peaks of fifteen years ago. When he isn’t doing that he questions Cameron’s policies. So why doesn’t Dave use verbal jujutsu, using the questions from Gordon against Gordon, rather than directly opposing him?
Instead of complaining week after week that Gordon won’t answer the question why not take the opportunity to say; “alright then, here is what we will do better when we are in government…” Surely it is worth a try, since Gordon seems determined not to give any answers.
UPDATE : Just noticed that Gordon even asked Clegg a question. Weak, weak, weak.
Guido has just noticed that Gordon’s favourite think-tank, the Smith Institute, has a new publication out today. In it the director-general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Stephen Haddrill, calls for a way out for the insurance industry from the “vicious circle of unquantified longevity risks”.
So an insurer does not like risk – is he in the right business? He suggests shifting the risk off insurers onto taxpayers. Of course he wants the industry to be able to offer attractive low premiums by having the insurance industry state subsidised.
Guido expects big business with naked self interest to beg favours from big government, protectionism is the easy way to profits. But shouldn’t an “independent” think tank question the propriety of such an arrangement? Who benefits from this apart from shareholders in insurance companies?
Guido called the Smith Institute to find out how much they were paid by the ABI to produce the report. The public charity refused to answer the question. Guido contacted the ABI’s Jonathan French to ask the same, he has as yet not responded. Guido understands that the Smith Institute got a five-figure sum from the ABI. Would that compromise their independence or integrity?
UPDATE 16:00 : The ABI’s Jonathan French has got back to Guido with the promise of an answer and a request to spell his name correctly.
Right now Team Cameron is frantically trying to make sure that Dave gets his photo taken with McCain on Friday because McCain is going to be in London and will meet with Gordon. Team Cameron tried to fix a meeting with Barack when they visited Washington to no avail.
Now McCain looks like he has a good chance of becoming PotUS, we will hear no more Cameroon Obamania methinks…
Last week at PMQs there was no mention of MPs caught with their hands in the till, paying their 80 year old mothers out of public funds, running up car mileage allowances that would take them round the world by road, claiming housing subsidies to pay their own children rent, “employing” ex-wives who lived nowhere near their constituencies and children who were in full time education. No mention of the generous daily food allowances despite the subsidised bars and restaurants. No mention of the MPs who claim for expensive second homes which are actually their primary residence. Yet yesterday Cameron and Brown both announced they were intent on cleaning up the sleaze.
Will the political class mention at PMQs the issue that the rest of us want to hear about?
According to the National Audit Office 1 in 2585 benefits claimants were successfully prosecuted or cautioned for benefit fraud in 2006-07.* Whereas for MPs the numbers so far identified are (after Conway), 1 in 646 parliamentary expense claimants. Four times