Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dan Watson Fails to Board the Family Gravy Train

Sadly the trouncing Labour got in the local elections meant that Dan Watson, of Tom Watson’s West Midlands political clan, failed to get on the taxpayer’s gravy train.

Still the Watsons will just have to manage on the £300,000 or so they claim between them from the taxpayers..

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to tell Guido that Amy Watson’s candidacy saw a 25% fall in the Labour vote in Birmingham Kings Norton. Another £15,000 in expenses denied to the Watson family fortune.

Miliband is the New Heseltine

Last night Miliband was on Newsnight, unlike Gordon he does have the courage to face Paxo, and was arguing that “Green is the new red”. All very worthy and dull eco-technocratic-tosh. More interesting were his protestations about not wanting Gordon’s job. That is something that Alan Johnson emphasises as well. Clearly if you want to survive and not be mauled by the Brownies briefing behind your back, you have to say repeatedly “Gordon is the best man for the job”. Despite the fact that, as Martin Bright writes in this week’s New Statesman, the Labour Party is no longer in denial post the May Day Massacre.

Miliband’s word formula is that he is getting on with being foreign secretary, it is becoming almost as familiar as Heseltine’s old word formula: Heseltine used to say that there were “no circumstances imaginable currently in which he would…”

Last night it was nuanced very deliberately in Guido’s opinion:

Paxo : How much longer can you resist these calls for you to take on the burden of leadership?

Milibland : For as long as it takes until Gordon Brown calls the next general election. Gordon was the right leader last year and he is the right leader this year, and to take us into the general election

Clearly Gordon is the captain and he can go down with the sinking ship, then it is everyone for himself…

Miliband’s word formulations have to allow for the non-cerebal Brownies’ psychotic tendencies. Hence he pledges completely over the top total fidelity and loyalty – with a time limit – until the day after the general election. The truth is Gordon has the job until election day because no one else now wants it. That is also why Alan Johnson doesn’t want the job of spinning on broadcast media, the job Hazel Blears undertook in the past for Blair. He clearly does not want to be associated in the public eye with the Brown disaster.Guido still stands by his 2005 prophecy: Cameron will be PM and Miliband will immediately challenge for the leadership…

Labour’s Credit Crunch

The FT this morning reports that the Labour Party can’t pay back loans made to the party under the Blair / Levy Loans for Lordships scheme. The party
is in emergency talks to renegotiate more than £10m of loans from wealthy businessmen to prevent itself running out of money.

Most of the millionaires who secretly lent money to Labour in the run-up to the 2005 election ought to be repaid in the coming months but the party – which is £20m in the red – is in no position to do this.

The rolling re-scheduling has been going on for three years, unless a billionaire steps in the party will never be in a position to re-pay the £20m or so it owes. Lakshmi Mittal has given over £5 million, Sainsbury has given some £15 million (more than Ashcroft has given the Tories). You have to ask why, if they can’t manage their own party finances, should they be trusted with the national finances? Labour is a sub-prime credit risk, led by a sub-priminister…

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The First Days of Mayor Boris

It got off to a good start with the police making good on his tough crime stance promise – shooting a drunk gun toting lawyer. However this banning of drink on public transport* has Guido worried (for one reason and another). Will hip-flasks be confiscated?

Will we be able to travel intoxicated, will one be able travel with bottles of booze? What are the mechanics of this? Guido may have to resort to Cameroon style transport arrangements in London – cycling one-handed while swigging from a jug of Pimms. Oh, hold on…
The thing is Boris, if you go to Beijing to hob-nob with Tibet’s oppressors (and don’t send the right signals) as well as getting all authoritarian in your first week with the G&T swilling classes on the long march to Zone 6, we will remember your treachery come 2012. This may be the most rapid disillusionment with a politician ever…

*Pretty sure that Guido was served alcohol on public river transport between Westminster and Canary Wharf one evening. It was pretty civilised for public transport. Is that to be banned?

Taxodus : Aberdeen Asset Management Packs Bags

Aberdeen Asset Management manages £114 billion and is rumoured to be following Brit Insurance to Dublin. The Times adds Smith & Nephew as well as Cadbury heading for the tax exit doors. Will the last multi-national to leave switch off the light…

+++ Greens Select Candidate for Crewe & Nantwich +++

23 year-old Robert Smith will be announced as the Green Party candidate shortly. He was selected after the person scheduled to be the candidate decided they did not fancy fighting a by-election in the full glare of publicity. The Greens didn’t fight the seat at the general election so this skews the psephological balance a little. Don’t expect a big upset…

Why Fake a Toff When You Have a Real One Available?

The Labour Party’s efforts in Crewe and Nantwich to paint the local candidate as a “Tory Toff” required them to dress up a couple of Young Socialists in top hats and parade them around as fake toffs in an Andy Coulson style gimmick. Seems all of a bit of a waste of time when not far away they have a real Toff of their own they could have used.

Step forward Mark Fisher, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, the Eton and Oxbridge educated son of a Tory MP is a gent to his finger-tips.

He would never have committed the faux-pas of wearing a grey topper either…

Joined Up Government or Daily Dithering?

The Treasury’s Kitty Ussher has just given an interview to Bloomberg TV saying Britain’s financial sector needs more new migrants the very day after the Home Office put up a new set of hurdles to slow the number of people coming into the country. It’s absolutely crucial that we bring skilled people in,” Ussher told Bloomie today, “When we have difficult economic times, we need to search all over the world to find the people we need.”

A month ago the government introduced a points-based migration system to cut migrant numbers. In March, the Home Office ran advertisements announcing “the biggest shake-up of the immigration system in 45 years.” They showed a picture of a series of hurdles, each labeled “New Immigration Controls.” Yesterday Liam Byrne announced new regulations to make it even more difficult for companies to employ skilled migrants. Consistency? Consistently incompetent…

Hat-tip : Bloomberg

PMQs Daily Politics Live Chat

PMQs : Don’t Shout Abuse at the Telly

After the alcohol driven success of the local election night live-chat Guido will be hosting on the blog another live chat session from 11.30 until 12.30 covering PMQs. We will be watching the Daily Politics as our point of reference.

On election night it was fun and profoundly profane. No doubt this time it will be full of respect for our political masters, completely free from bad language and vitriol. Or maybe not…

The system allows Guido to let 10 chatterers go freely unmoderated, the rest have to have their comments click-approved. So if you want to be unmoderated, be wittier and more amusing…


Seen Elsewhere

Ruffley Told to Consider Position | BBC
LibDem MP in Israel Twitter Row | Sky News
Ward Faces Disciplinary Action | Guardian
I’m Scared to Talk About Israel and Gaza | Emma Barnett
Sack David Ward | LibDem Voice
David Ward Condemned for Rocket Support | BBC
LibDem MP Backs Rocket Attacks | Indy
LibDem MP: I Would Bomb Israel | ITV
A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed


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Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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