Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mirror’s "Red" Rosa Joins the Daily Labourgraph

After the virtual collapse of the Telegraph’s political team, the new direction the Telegraph is taking will have traditional readers choking on their toast. The latest hire is Rosa Prince from the Mirror. She will, says the Telegraph, add a “new dimension” to their reporting.

You bet she will if previous form is anything to go by…

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dave Googling in California Tomorrow

Guido has mentioned the Google / Cameroon alliance before. Dave is speaking at their annual Google Zeitgeist conference in California tomorrow before he goes to see the Governator. Guido is speaking to Microsoft UK later this month on the subject of blogging. Microsoft is more allied to New Labour. It occurs to Guido that the Brown upgrade is like the Labour party’s Windows Vista to Blair’s Windows XP.

New but worse, with some superficially dazzling gimmicks that don’t really work or do anything better.

Just in Case You Want that Election

At one point in Gordon’s battering at PMQs he claimed that hardly anyone had signed the petition for an election on the Downing Street website. Click here to sign.

Gordon’s "Vision" Problem

Gordon on Monday kept repeating that he needed time to set out his “vision”. As Freedland points out this morning in the Guardian, he has had 13 years to figure out his “vision”, what is his problem?

Guido wonders if Gordon Brown is not only physically vision-impaired but politically vision-impaired as well. He is now reduced to making counterfeit copies of Tory policies. After 100 days he has not shown any vision for change beyond the old tax more, spend more agenda.

Ed & Yvette Profit Handsomely

So who did really well yesterday? Not small businessman, wacked with an 80% hike in capital gains tax when they sell their business at retirement. Alternatively if they work themselves to death dealing with regulatory red tape and hand the business on to their children, Brown and Darling will take, compared to the Tories, an extra £560,000* off the bereaved children. So much for rewarding enterprise.

If you own two homes you just got a handy reduction from 40% to 18% on capital gains. Is it a coincidence that almost all MPs own two homes? The constituency and Westminster home owners already benefit from a tax-free allowance worth £40,000 annually to pay their mortgages. Now they can sell the taxpayer funded second home and only pay the reduced capital gains – a 55% tax cut for MPs.

Mr and Mrs Balls are paid by the taxpayers quarter-of-a-million a year between them, so hard done by are they that they still claim tens of thousands extra in mortgage subsidy on top. Now with the new changes they will be able to sell that second home you paid for and they will pay only 18% tax on it. No wonder they are laughing…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator reminds Guido not to forget the Miliband boys successful efforts to award themselves an IHT tax cut. David Milband is today living in a £ 1.5 million ultra-fashionable-Primrose Hill townhouse at the centre of a complex inheritance-tax avoidance scheme. He shamelessly exploited a loophole which he used to reduce his death duty bills.

When his father Ralph died in 1994 aged 70, leaving a large estate, the Miliband boys agreed a ‘deed of variation’. The cunning move meant that 40% of the equity of the Primrose Hill home was transferred to Ed and David, who were each given a 20% share in the house neatly evading the tax bill.

*Could be an incorrect figure, see the debate in the comments. Guido is not an accountant.

An Apology to Readers

Below you can see that yesterday Guido suggested there had been some kind of policy U-turn on Death Taxes by the ventriloquist’s dummy that is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Guido even illustrated it with a big blue U-turn just to drive the point home.

As the sharper readers have pointed out, it was no such thing. In fact it was just essentially a re-presentation of, what Alastair Darling let slip this morning on the Today programme, was an already scheduled raising of the IHT threshold from £300,000 to £350,000. It additionally removed the necessity for spouses to visit a financial advisor for one aspect of estate planning. There was no new tax cut. It was a U-turn in rhetoric only.

Darling and Brown will still be rubbing their hands every time a middle-class, family-home-owner dies, the uninvited smiling guests at the funeral wake to present the bereaved with a tax bill.

Guido apologises for any confusion caused.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

So How Many Schools and Hospitals Will Darling Cut?

Alastair Darling seems to have decided to split the difference between the status quo and the Tory proposals on inheritance tax. A big reversal from last year when he told The Times
“Inheritance tax brings in about £3 billion a year. If you get rid of it, it follows that some other tax has to go up or you have to cut some public spending, on health and education and so on…Ninety per cent of estates don’t pay it, it is paid by 6 per cent, and I don’t think this proposal really has much support across the political spectrum. The Tories and the Liberals have looked at it and backed off from it. It may make for a headline, but I don’t think it makes for a prudent and sensible tax and spend policy.”

Quite a big U-turn by Darling. It is as if he has vicariously brought George Osborne into the “government of all the talents”…

+++ EXCLUSIVE +++ Oona Going to Downing Street

It is going to be officially announced tomorrow that Oona King will be joining the Downing Street Political Office to work on “engagement and diversity”. She will able to get a lot more of that “better than sex” excitement that she feels whenever she hears Gordon speak.

Some people have the weirdest preferences….

Snouts in Trough : "Do You Know Who I Am?"

So much for equality in the people’s palace. The political class really does have airs and graces:

Access to Services
Before the recess the Speaker approved the Administration Committee’s recommendation that Members should have priority access to services throughout the Commons part of the Parliamentary Estate.

With effect from today, staff and other users should be prepared to give way to Members when queuing for retail and catering services, the post office, travel office or when using other facilities such as lifts, photocopiers, telephone cubicles, etc.

When using parliamentary facilities, please bear in mind whether there is, or is likely to be, a heavy demand from Members and, if so, try to amend your own plans or schedule.

Peter Grant Peterkin
Serjeant at Arms

Sue Harrison
Director of Catering Services

Sith Cancel Scheduled Downing Street Meeting

The Telegraph’s Chris Hope is reporting that the Smith Institute has cancelled the meeting it was having at No. 11 Downing Street and moved it to a different central London location – the British Academy.

He says the Smith Institute refused to say where it originally planned to have the meeting – despite it stating clearly in the original invitation that it was being held “with the kind permission of the Chancellor of the Exchequer”.

Hope has picked up on the use of “Fair” by Gordon yesterday at his press conference in reference to tax, and the seminar’s “Fair Tax” title. Could they somehow be related?

Anti-sleaze campaigner Chris Grayling MP agrees; “It looks like an amazing coincidence that the Smith Institute is riding once again to the rescue in areas where Gordon Brown is having political problems.”


Seen Elsewhere

Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP
Andrew Pierce v Owen Jones | MediaGuido
Last Person the Leave the EU Please Turn Out the Lights | Speccie
Porn Without Borders | The Local
Why Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves | Nick Wood
North Korean Heavies Target Ealing Hairdresser | Standard
Tax Cuts Make Us All Richer | Alex Brummer
Sex, Booze and Power Play | Sophy Ridge
Deferential Democracy is Dead | Douglas Carswell
Clegg’s Taxpayer Funded Strategist | Sun
Farage is Still a Politician | Times


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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