Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To the Sceptics of the Jonah Brown Curse

Some dare to question the accursed power of the one eyed son of the manse. When Guido pointed out that Lehman’s HQ was doomed from the moment Gordon performed the opening ceremony some questioned if these events were really related. Take note of this morning’s Times City Diary:
…the writing was on the wall for Lehmans after they moved to Docklands and got Gordon Brown, whose presence at any sporting event seems to guarantee a home team defeat, to open the new building for them. He performed the same function at the new Gresham Street HQ of Dresdner Kleinwort. They went under a few weeks ago.

As if further proof were needed.

The Over-Rated Vince Cable

Vince Cable is much over-rated, he sounds plausible, reasonable even, but in reality he talks in populist platitudes. He was for the nationalisation of Northern Rock before he was against it. He was for tax hikes before he was for tax cuts. The LibDems now say they are looking for £20 billion in spending cuts, yet they also are telling party activists they are not going to cut the overall burden of taxes, merely shift the burden on to the rich. How are they going to simultaneously boost public sector housing by buying up empty and unsold private sector capacity?

It doesn’t add up. Ask them where the spending cuts are going to come from and they mention ID cards and getting rid of BERR. – nowhere near the amount required. LibDem activists think Cable is some kid of economic seer, “he warned about debt” – so did every orthodox economist, “he told them to nationalise Northern Rock” and the taxpayers will have to pay the high price for that.

His latest populist policy wheeze is to force every state bureaucrat on over £100,000 to re-apply for their job and/or take a pay cut. As much as Guido hates public sector profligacy this gimmick is not the way to tackle it, the legal difficulties are legion (they have contracts). The practical difficulties are so immense it is bordering on crackpot. The LibDem conference loved it…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gisela Stuart Slams Brown "Failed to Renew… With Fresh Ideas"

Writing in the Labour conference edition of the House Magazine Gisela says
When Mr Brown came to power, Labour MPs were humming “Things Can Only Get Better”, the theme song used for the party’s triumphant election campaign in 1997… Today it’s more likely to mean ‘surely it can’t get much worse’.

Gisela also said: “It became clear that not only had we failed to renew ourselves with fresh ideas”.

Gisela was at one time close to Jack Straw (pictured with him here). She is now more her own woman…

Flashback: Gordon Opening Lehman’s HQ

LONDON, April 5, 2004 – The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today officially opened Lehman Brothers’ new European headquarters building at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London.
Commenting on the event, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the contribution you and your company make to the prosperity of Britain. During its one hundred and fifty year history, Lehman Brothers has always been an innovator, financing new ideas and inventions before many others even began to realise their potential. And it is part of the greatness not just of Lehman Brothers but of the City of London, that as the world economy has opened up, you have succeeded not by sheltering your share of a small protected national market but always by striving for a greater and greater share of the growing global market.”

Doomed from that day.

Exclusive : Gardiner – "Gordon Didn’t Sack me, I Quit"

Gardiner’s office has just contacted Guido with this statement:

Downing Street are quite wrong to state that I have been sacked by the Prime Minister as his Special Envoy for Forestry.

Unfortunately, Downing Street do not seem to have read my email of 10.24 a.m. on Saturday 13th September which clearly stated that I had tendered my resignation with immediate effect as the Prime Minister’s Envoy for Forestry and that the Prime Minister should be informed of my decision.

I can also confirm that I informed Hilary Benn of this action in a telephone conversation that took place on the afternoon of Sunday 14th September.

Barry Gardiner
Member of Parliament for Brent North

Downing Street can’t even get a sacking right…

Barry Gardiner Axed as Forestry Envoy

Barry Gardiner has been axed as the government’s special envoy for forestry after accusing Brown this weekend of “vacillation, loss of international credibility and timorous political manoeuvres that the public cannot understand”. How will the trees cope?

The former minister twisted the knife saying “The tragedy for those of us who nominated the prime minister is that since achieving power he appears to have forgotten what it was he once wanted to do with it.” Clearly the only bit of dead wood the former Forestry Envoy is interested is Gordon…

Blood on Wall Street

Lehmans bust, blue chip Merrills sold to a retail bank, AIG begging the Treasury for $40 billion. Creative destruction on a mega-scale. Lehmans deserved to go to the wall, tough on the employees, c’est la vie.

Capitalism is a system of profit and loss. Nobody should be too big to fail. Wall Street will figure out a way of making money again. Capitalism in crisis? Don’t count on it, there will be new fortunes made clearing up the mess. Meantime, gold looks due a bounce…

UPDATE : Guido’s co-conspirator in Canary Wharf reminds us that Lehman’s offices were cursed opened by Chancellor Gordon Brown only a few years ago.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

"Cameron Effect" Research : 2/3rds of LibDem MPs in England to Lose Seats

At the LibDem conference this lunchtime a fringe meeting has been organised by Liberal Vision, a new pressure group set up by Mark Littlewood, the former chief of spin for the LibDems under Kennedy and Ming.

The Liberal Vision wonks have dug into the local election results, where traditionally LibDems do better, and extrapolated the results nationally taking into account boundary changes. Their data suggests that two-thirds of LibDem MPs in England could lose their seats. Devastating.

Guido has never seen a research paper with more bar-charts and the message is, “LibDems losing here”. The paper argues that in order to counter the Cameron effect the LibDems should promise to reduce the overall tax burden, not just reducing taxes for those on lower incomes. They need to reduce taxes on the middle classes with household incomes in the £60,000 to £70,000 range. The paper argues the LibDems won’t hold onto seats without appealing to the middle class “soft Tories” who have returned to Cameron’s now decontaminated liberal Conservatives. Not a message the sandalistas will like to hear.

DownloadHow to Combat Cameron paper (pdf).

23 Requests in Total Rumoured

Tips, rumours, gossip and tittle tattle are coming in from all directions. Some are more plausible than others, here are five:
  1. Iain Martin took Guido to task for making speculative conjectures yesterday, today he speculates that John Reid could be the next Labour Party leader. Iain cites as “evidence” that Siobhain McDonagh was formerly Reid’s PPS. Conclusive? Just what the Labour Party needs as leader, another old Scot.

  2. Jack Straw has been in Vietnam over the weekend, apparently sorting out some stuff to do with judicial cooperation. A source tells Guido that this is a completely non-essential visit that could easily have been sorted out through the embassy in Hanoi. The fact that the “Lancashire Mafia” of MPs allied to Straw have broken cover when he is thousands of miles away from the “scene of the crime” can’t be a coincidence says Guido’s informant. Or perhaps it can.
  3. The number of non-awkward squad woman coming forward is evidence of the manicured hand of the sisterhood in action say some. Harman is to be the beneficiary and her husband Jack Dromey encouraged or allowed the names to come out from Labout HQ.
  4. Which leads Guido to something that had been bugging him. Dale and others say Downing Street leaked the “handful” of names. Why? That would only make sense if this was to be a spin firebreak. It isn’t, it is dangerously close to snowballing, which is why Brown is sacking anyone who is exposed as disloyal pour encourager les autres.

The tip that Guido finds the most credible is the fifth: the original leak was from within Labour HQ and there are, says the source, in total 23 requests from MPs for nomination papers. The same source says that they believe Roy Kennedy leaked the story or caused the story to be leaked. The source paints a picture of Labour HQ as thoroughly demoralised and points out that unlike the Downing Street apparatchiks, the Labour HQ apparatchiks will still keep their jobs if Brown goes. Labour HQ staff have a vital interest in the survival of the Labour Party, not the survival of Gordon.


Seen Elsewhere

Boris is Right About Grammar Schools | Conservative Women
‘Obsolete’ Cable | Speccie
Why are Tories so Upbeat? | Alex Wickham
Clear Public Interest in Newmark Sting | Mirror
Boris Invites Farage to Join Tories | Guardian
RAF Too Run Down to Fight Islamic State | Con Coughlin
Osborne’s Personal Cuts Regime | Quentin Letts
Whoever Wins is Cursed | Janan Ganesh
Dave Will Never Be Forgiven if Ed Becomes PM | Trevor Kavanagh
What is Dave’s Big Message? | Tim Montgomerie
Voting UKIP Only Helps Ed | Boris


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cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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