Wednesday, November 14, 2007

OLR Win 90% of Government Contracts

OLR has become the Halliburton of British politics. Whereas Dick Cheney’s old firm was suspiciously successful in winning war profiteering contracts, Gordon’s crony pollster Deborah Mattinson’s OLR wins focus group and citizen’s juries contracts. Guido explained how this works in September. In May Guido revealed the £153,484.38 focus group. Why does Gordon like OLR so much? Well could it be that they get (free of charge) research results that give Gordon 92% approval ratings? Teasy May has now written to Gus O’Donnell, the head of the civil service, demanding an inquiry. She says “Citizens’ juries are increasingly looking like a sham… Not only are these glorified focus groups wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money but he has the nerve to award the contracts to his personal polling crony.” It is corrupt, plain and simple.

Gordon’s Little Secrets

Who does Gordon have over for dinner at Chequers? Shouldn’t be a state secret should it? After all you pay for it all, even Tony and Cherie allowed us to know who they had over for the weekend.

So why, when Gordon is supposedly committed to open government, are they stonewalling the Telegraph?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is the Tory Treaty Referendum Policy?

Guido still doesn’t know what the Tory policy is on ratifying the EU Treaty. They want a referendum now, that at least is clear. Gordon is not going to “listen to the people”, that is also clear.

So what therefore would a Tory government do in power in 2010, two years after the treaty could be ratified? That Tory poster promising a Conservative government would hold a referendum was, we were told, incorrectly interpreted. Well that was the line last week…

Hague however said yesterday

“If we don’t succeed in forcing a referendum in this House and if we fail to win in another place (the Lords) and if all EU member states implement the treaty and if an election is held later in this Parliament, which is a lot of ifs … then we would be in a situation where we had a new treaty in force that lacked democratic legitimacy in this country and in our view gave the EU too much power over our national policies. This would not be acceptable to a Conservative government and we would not let matters rest there.”

Now this could be a popular position, standing up to European meddling is always popular in Britain. So what if the continent is isolated from Britain? It would not be the first time that Britain has stood alone against a continental threat, would it?

Apart from Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine, no Tories that people have ever heard of would have a problem with this stance. So why not state the policy unambiguously? The Brownies are hoping to open up Tory divisions on this issue. The way to avoid that working is to clearly and decisively state that a Tory government will not be bound by a treaty not approved by the people. Ken and Hezza can be thanked politely for their opinion, they would no doubt still try to piss on the Eurosceptic parade, but so what? Ambiguity gives the press a story, clarity will kill the story and Brown’s divide and conquer plan will come to nought. Given that Cameron was elected to the leadership on a rock-solid Eurosceptic platform he can hardly be said to have given in to his Eurosceptic right-wing. He is a Eurosceptic right-winger…

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blair is Getting £400,000 a Year in Expenses

Just a teensy bit of help with office costs at the expense of the British taxpayer. Well he has two offices, one in Jerusalem and another in Mayfair. Handy for arranging those $500,000 speaking engagements in, errm, China.

Dods / ePolitix For Sale

Guido hears that Huveaux plc, the parent company of The House Magazine publishers, Dods and the yawntastic ePolitix.com (written by many, read by few) is for sale and on the block with private equity house August Equity LLP circling.

The parent company has £18m of debt and a capitalisation of only £40m, Guido suspects that any buyer will therefore be keen to spin out the political publishing arm. Huveaux supposedly paid £5m for “Political Wizard”, a political search engine and “sophisticated campaigning tool”. Not.

ePolitix until recently claimed to be the “UK’s premier politics site”, but after a bit of needling about them trailing some political blogs (which Guido is too modest to mention) they changed their slogan to “shaping the political agenda”. Meaning they will reprint any lobbyist’s press releases for cash.

359 Lords-a-Fiddlin’

Sam Coates in The Times has another research based snouts-in-the-trough piece. The evidence is that at least 359 Lords, that is the majority of the them, are fiddling their expenses. The evidence whilst circumstantial is particularly compelling. Can it be a coincidence that, according to the article;
  • 359 of the 550 Lords who claimed “day subsistence” — a £78.50 payment for meals and taxis — claimed the maximum on 95%of occasions or more.
  • 272 of the 406 peers who live outside London and claim “overnight subsistence” for hotels — worth £159.50 — claimed the maximum on 95% of occasions or more.
  • 338 of 514 Lords who claim office expenses, worth £69 a day, claimed the maximum on 95% of occasions or more. Unlike the House of Commons, secretarial costs are paid to the peer to distribute.
Essentially this is a tax-free fiddle with no receipts required. Guido has pointed to the prevalence of this fiddle before. Many of the same peers, particularly Labour ones, also get on a few Quangos as well to pad out their retirement as if the gold-plated, non-contributory pension benefits they voted themselves when they were MPs were not enough already. The gravy train flows thick and fast for many ennobled MPs.

What particularly irks and disgusts Guido, is that they claim £78.50 for “subsistence meals” per day and children in state schools get meals costing 40p per day. Shows their real priorities doesn’t it? They really know how to look after themselves don’t they?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ronnie : Cameron Backs Entrepreneurs & Social Investment

Gordon will have bitten his nails to the quick after reading the Guardian this morning. Ronnie Cohen praises Cameron and criticises government policy – this from the man who has in the past given Labour £1.8m.

Asked what has gone wrong for Gordon, he is quoted as saying “All of a sudden what looked like a one-horse race is now a two-horse race.”

How does Ronnie feel about David Cameron becoming the next PM? “I am a businessman who supports a political party for two reasons: whether it supports entrepreneurship and social investment. If you said to me today, am I concerned about the possibility that a Conservative government would come back in and overturn the entrepreneurial system that we’ve worked so hard to do or seriously break the growth of social investment, I’d say no.” So Ronnie is now a swing voter.

Ronnie, who founded venture capitalists Apax Partners, doesn’t think much of Darling’s back-of-an-envelope plan to hike capital gains taxes 80% “Entrepreneurs need to recruit executives who know how to run a business. They’re on big salaries with big companies that offer pensions. A 10% rate enables someone with a big income to take a chance and work with an entrepreneur.” So will he actually be voting Labour this time?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Caption Contest (Sunny’s Conspiracy Edition)

++ POUND PLUNGES AS BARCLAYS SHARES SUSPENDED ++

Credit crunch fears sweep City…


Seen Elsewhere

NUT’s Loony Defence of Status Quo | Jago Pearson
A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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