Cameron : BBC is Bloated and Left-Wing, But I Appreciate It

Dave writes in the Sun this morning that he wants the BBC to change its ways, crucially however on funding he would rather stick with a structure that has produced good television and radio programmes, led by an institution — the BBC — that is still respected at home and abroad.” Is the BBC really respected in America and Israel?

Dave is reported elsewhere as telling BBC executives that he is all that stands between them and an angry Conservative Party. Is that his role? To blunt the will of Conservatives?

Poll after poll finds that Conservative supporters strongly feel that the BBC is biased against them. Dave apparently tells Conservative advocates of wholesale BBC reform that “I have an election to win”, suggesting he recognises a problem but does not want to risk the repercussions of taking on the BBC’s vested interests. He writes this morning that the BBC’s funding via the Telly Tax “tends to make the BBC instinctively pro-Big State, distinctly iffy about the free market and sometimes dismissive of a conservative viewpoint.”

Dave seems to be accepting that without a change in the funding model there will be no culture change at the BBC. It will remain a cultural drag on Britain, always wanting government “to do something” and deaf to other solutions. Lets not forget the way the BBC crowds out private sector competition, sucks up technical talent thus stifling innovation and is the primary reason we do not have a vibrant Silicon Valley equivalent. The only way to effect change is to change the funding model in 2013. The BBC does not need to do everything, in fact a larger cultural breathing space for other voices, rather than the current monolithic dominance of the BBC undercutting the competition all the time, would be extremely healthy. It will be interesting to see if the Policy Exchange report on the BBC that is in the pipeline will indicate future policy direction…

UPDATE : The BBC is cutting back the champagne for its huge Obama Victory Party in New York.

Glenrothes : Internal Minutes Show Scottish Labour in Disarray

Highlights from the leaked document (below) include:
  • Cllr Iain Chrichton “The Gordon Brown photo with Thatcher was a big mistake.”
  • Cllr Alex Rowley – election agent to Gordon Brown “The party in Fife is not geared up for modern campaigning.”

Labour Cllr Minutes

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Clegg : Cut Income Tax 2p Now
Fink : Re-Fight the 2001 Election

After a bad start Guido is beginning to warm to Clegg. He is clearly one of us right-wing “punk tax cutters” that Danny Finkelstein warns his readers about. He is advocating a “socially just” income tax cut of 2p and the LibDems also back substantially raising tax thresholds as well. This would really help millions of people on lower incomes and give them a greater disposable income. We need economic growth and boosting private spending is the best way of doing it.

The Cameroons are being out-flanked here, listening too much to the Fink re-fighting the 2001 election campaign in his column every week. (Did you know he used to work in CCHQ? No? He did, really.)

Like a First World War veteran of the trenches, Fink is so traumatised by the destruction meted out by New Labour to the Hague-led Conservatives in 2001 that he suffers a policy version of post-traumatic stress syndrome. As soon as he hears the phrase “tax cut” he has flashbacks to New Labour’s old line of attack on “cutting public services”. The conditions are very different today, voters attitudes have changed, they know that tax and spend policies can’t be afforded now. Voters realise, as Clegg rightly says, that the public sector is bloated after a decade of big government policies. Voters want, poll after poll confirms, a tax relief agenda – tax cutting was once the Tory Unique Selling Point. The LibDems are the weather vanes of politics, the Tories should not allow them to take the wind out of their sails.

Ask the PM Competition Still Open

This is the current front-runner for Guido’s Ask the PM competition prize. Suspect Gordon is not going to answer Luke’s* question on the technicality that it is not strictly speaking an economics question. Still not too late to enter, details here, competition closes and the prize winner will be announced Monday midday.

*Can you email Guido your postal address Luke.

Scare the Voters

FT Calls Cable “Loony”

LibDem activists adore Cable, and are incensed whenever Guido knocks him. Which is frequent because Guido has been calling him over-rated ever since he called for the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

Vince Cable says this of the recapitalisation of Barclays:

This is a scandal of mammoth proportions. Here is a bank which relies on the taxpayer to bail it out if the going gets rough but which has offered Middle Eastern investors a much better deal than the banks are offering to the British taxpayer.

The FT doesn’t mince words – Vince Cable, Loony” :

But, Vince, the taxpayer hasn’t bailed out BARC, that’s the point. No matter:

We have to ask why Barclays is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer… The answer is simple: they don’t want the British Government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.

So apparently the LibDem Treasury spokesperson would rather the UK taxpayer was taking the risk here. Odd, because not so long ago, Cable was thundering on about the unbearable burden the taxpayer was being forced to bear. More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British Government must not simply let this pass.

You heard it: only the mediocre will do. Too bad they’re otherwise engaged in the LibDem Treasury team.

Guido has said it before; Vince Cable’s real expertise is in soundbites and faux gravitas.

Brown : Bonkers or a Liar?

Gordon has just told BBC News that he can go on a spending splurge because:
“National debt is low and we’re able to borrow to do it.”

This is just delusional, he has run up the debt burden during his decade of unfunded spending, we have the biggest national deficit of all time, the books have never been so unbalanced as they are now. He fiddles the statistics, we know that, the Office of National Statistics even says so. Journalists know it. His own cabinet knows it. The Civil Service knows it. The City knows it. Foreign investors know it. This is why the pound has plunged against almost everything apart from the Icelandic Krona.

Guido Asked the PM to explain why, for example, the unfunded public sector pension debt is not government debt and hopes he can answer it without evasion. Because if he can’t he must either be (a) bonkers (b) a liar. Which is it?

Friday Caption Competition

Halloween Fright : Gordon Scared of Guido’s Question

The man Alex Salmond called the big frightened feartie from Fife has run away from a couple of tough questions. Where is your courage Gordon?

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Taxpayers Want Politicians to Share the Pain

The Fink had a go at punk tax cuttersyesterday despite always claiming that he is in favour of lower taxes (in the long term) – it is just that those pesky voters don’t believe politicians who promise […]

+ READ MORE +

Still Time to "Ask the PM" About the Economy

You have until midnight to ask Gordon about the economy. This is Guido’s simple question using double-sided stickey tape and Miss Fawkes’ crayons:

Don’t forget Guido will be giving a decent prize for the best question to Gordon.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Renegade Economist Called the Bust in 2005

Guido started writing boom to bust pieces in September 2007, Fred Harrison, the Renegade Economist, made his prescient call on the property market in 2005. His 2005 book has just been re-printed, Boom Bust: House Prices, Banking and the

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Nigel Farage on Jeremy Corbyn:

“North London, bicycles, non-drinker, doesn’t sound very much like me does it?”

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