Monday, October 20, 2008

The Other Presidential Campaign

Believe it or not there is another Presidential election campaign running. The three candidates for President of the Liberal Democrats are Baroness Ros Scott, Lembit Öpik and Chandila Fernando. The ballot papers have been sent out and the race closes November 7.

Ros is the establishment candidate and is favourite to win. She is seen as a safe pair of hands.

Lembit is having another go after losing out to Simon Hughes last time. He has hardly any support from his parliamentary colleagues who see him as anything but a safe pair of hands. His campaign manager is hoping that his celebrity status will give him high name recognition with the membership that will translate into votes.

Guido wonders if the brief friendship between Ros’ daughter and Lembit gives an added twist to the competitive edge between them.

Chandila Fernando is the young outside candidate running an energetic campaign. He comes from the Orange Book faction and is very much the insurgency candidate. Expenditure limits are £7,500 per candidate, Chandila – as massively the lowest profile candidate – wanted to blow £5,000 of his budget on adverts in the party’s LibDem News internal newspaper, but bizarrely this was blocked by the party.

If only they were so choosy about taking that £2 million from Michael Brown into the party coffers…

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper

Paul Myners has managed to get a press release written by him republished in full in the Guardian, (the holding company of which he used to chair). Handy.

“As City minister, my priority is to bring stability to the system. My ambition is to keep our banks among the strongest in the world. Our economy will welcome it. It deserves nothing less.”

Last month when the hedge fund of which he was a director profited from being the biggest short seller in Bradford and Bingley, was his objective to “Keep our banks among the strongest in the world”?

It really is “do as I say, not as I do” for the ruling elite isn’t it? Hypocrisy.

Mauled Mandy Shows His Claws

Can we drop the Andy Marr Show for the Sophie Raworth Show? Unlike Marr she was no patsy and even when Mandy went into full on poisonous “you’ll never work in this town again” mode. She held her ground. The petulance is well worth watching if you missed it (41 minutes in). Watch his face…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tories Call for Small Business VAT Holiday Gordon Going Ahead with Small Business Tax Hike

Guido hasn’t seen any details other than the couple of sentences in Dave’s CiF article. It is a start. Being able to put off paying the VAT for two quarters will be a little bit of much appreciated help to small businesses.

Certainly far more help than Gordon’s scheduled 2% hike on small business corporation tax. In a recession the last thing businesses need is a tax hike. How will a tax hike help small businesses create jobs?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

+++ ComRes Puts Tories on Single Digit Lead of 9% +++

Not that things look that good for Gordon. The other answers were pretty negative:

  • It is right that taxpayers’ money should be used to bail out banks.
    Agree 37% Disagree 58%
  • Gordon Brown’s decisive handling of the bank crisis means that Labour has a good chance of winning the next election.
    Agree 37% Disagree 54%
  • If David Cameron had been prime minister, he would have handled the bank crisis better than Gordon Brown.
    Agree 25% Disagree 56%

Poll was for the Indy on Sunday. Full dataset.

UPDATE : ICM gives 16 point Tory Lead in tomorrows News of the World.

Blair Knew About Abu Ghraib Torture

The torture of Iraqi detainees tshocked even supporters of the liberation of Iraq. Along with Guantanamo they did much to undermine the perceived moral legitimacy of the United States’ post 9/11 response. The photos were truly shocking.

Peter Oborne this morning reveals that despite protestations to the contrary, Blair had received reports of human rights violations seven weeks before the infamous photos became public.

Yet when the news of the atrocities came to light in the Press, Tony Blair played dumb and merely expressed surprise. He told MPs that neither he nor any member of his government had known about the barbaric scenes. ‘It is not correct that ministers or I were aware of those allegations in respect of American troops,’ the prime minister told the then Tory leader Michael Howard.

It now appears that in fact a shocked Bill Rammell, then a junior Foreign Office minister, had been briefed during a meeting in Geneva by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This meeting took place seven weeks before the atrocities became public knowledge and Abu Ghraib became a byword for American brutality. To his credit, Rammell says he was so shocked by the revelations that he immediately convened an emergency meeting of Foreign Office officials. In his statement, he said: ‘I was assured that defence ministers were already aware of the allegations and that actions were being taken by the Ministry of Defence to deal with the allegations, which was the case.’

So his claim that ministers were not aware is untrue according to the testimony of a minister who did know. The inference is that Blair must have known as well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blog Regulation :They’ll Have to Prise the Keyboard Out of Guido’s Cold Dead Hand

Dale has been telling Guido this was coming for some time. At a fringe meeting at Conservative Party Conference on the platform Guido insisted the government wouldn’t have a chance of suppressing him unless they went down the Iranian route of censoring the internet at the ISP level or copying the Great Firewall of China, and they wouldn’t do that.

Maybe Guido underestimated the government. Having failed to put a positive spin on Gordon, Stephen Carter is going to try and regulate blogs under the guise of “promoting content standards” – otherwise known as censorship. No doubt bloggers will first be found guilty of some kind of thoughtcrime to justify censorship, apparently calling Chinese milk a “Chinky Drinky” in a jokey headline is bigoted, co-conspirators calling Ed Balls names will no doubt be guilty of a crime against the state soon.

Andy Burnham a couple of weeks ago made a direct threat against bloggers, “It is not just about copyright or intellectual property but [things like] taste and decency in the online world. The time will come to say what are the direct interventions [needed, if any].”

Freedom of speech is messy, freedom is messy full stop, but it is of primary importance There is no way Guido is going to surrender his liberty to insult, expose and humiliate our rulers in the vilest ways he can. That wouldn’t be fun at all. If they want a fight, a fight they shall get. They will have to prise the keyboard out of Guido’s cold dead hand…

Friday Caption Contest (Brillo’s Babes)

Gordon’s Pollster Deborah Mattinson Slammed for Dodgy Polling

Guido has banged on for a long time about Deborah Mattinson’s dodgy polling. Her firm’s “free” polling for Gordon Brown’s Smith Institute seemed to correlate with their ability to win 90% of government contracts. In September 2007 the Greens accused her of distorting evidence to support the government’s position on nuclear power. She of course raked in the fees for Citizen’s Juries, (motto “verdict first, evidence later”). Her firm famously charged taxpayers an incredible £153,484.38 for a one day seminar.

Guido wrote in February 2007 that “in times of need, Gordon’s pollster conducts polls with dubious methodologies which she then writes up in hagiographical pro-Gordon articles… Is Guido the only one who thinks there might, in the circumstances, be a serious conflict of interest in her not only sitting on the board of the Smith Institute but also having HM Treasury as a paying client?”

Following yet another complaint, this time from Greenpeace, the Market Research Standards Board has found that in the consultation conducted by Opinion Leader Research, “information was inaccurately or misleadingly presented, or was imbalanced, which gave rise to a material risk of respondents being led towards a particular answer.” OLR is now finished as a serious pollster.

See more on Deborah Mattinson


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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