Up To Three Four LibDem Frontbenchers Could Go

Heath, Kramer and Farron are the most likely to resign.
Last night’s Paxman interview was excruciating, Clegg at one point attacked the Labour Party for “reneging on its commitment to a referendum”. The government uses exactly the same sophistry as the LibDems. So he was condemning himself by those words. The whole fiasco seems unnecessary. A three line-whip to not vote because Clegg’s preferred option is not on the order paper? Idiocy.

UPDATE : Sandra Gidley, who shadows health is likely to vote against the leadership.

The Myth of UK Economic Strength

With a week to go before the budget it is worth reflecting on where we are economically. Exactly ten years ago the FTSE 100 stood at 5,782. Last night the stock market closed at 5,767. Investors have seen the stock market and the value of their pensions decline during the ten years of New Labour’s economic management under Gordon Brown. A lower stock market after ten years of Labour government is an incredible indictment.

By comparison the Dow was at 8,569 on March 6, 1998 and last night it closed at 12,213. Up 42% over the same period.

Remember that next time Gordon or Alastair claim that “Britain is stronger placed to weather the coming global financial turbulence”. Complete fantasy.

UPDATE 09.05 :

Given some are suggesting it is currency related, broadening the comparison:


The Great British Economic Miracle: The Land of George Bush’s Tax Cuts: Workshy Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys: Merkel’s
Tax Cutting Social Market Economy:
Chinese “Communists” with 16% Income Tax:
FTSE 100 on 6 March 1998:
5782
Dow Jones on 6 March 1998:
8569
CAC 40 on 6 March 1998:
3875
DAX on 6 March 1998:
5097
Hang Seng on 6 March 1998:
11519
FTSE 100 on 5 March 2008:
5767
Dow Jones on 5 March 2008:
12213
CAC 40 on 5 March 2008:
4676
DAX on 5 March 2008:
6545
Hang Seng on 5 March 2008:
23120
Growth: -0.26% Growth: +42.53% Growth: +20.67% Growth: 28.41% Growth: 100.71%

Hat-tip : Free Britannia and table courtesy of Spokey in the comments

Boris Now Punter’s Favourite

Guido managed to get a few extra quid on Boris before he went better than evens. Guido has felt ever since Mike Smithson drew attention to the second preference polling that Boris should be odds on. He is now.

The sheer ferocity of the attacks from Labour figures at their spring conference suggests they know it as well. Labour activists don’t like him and therefore don’t understand how he could win. Two months to go before they will find out…

Pigs to Westminster, Home of the Pork

The news that today pig farmers are marching on Westminster presents a number of obvious punning targets along the lines of “coals to Newcastle”. There is certainly a lot of pork already in Westminster with £87 million of MPs expenses, plus subsidised dining and boozing all at the public’s expense.Not forgetting the no-receipts-required culture. We even have learnt in the last few days that the Speaker has authorised the shredding of past expense claim records. Just as the Stasi shredded the evidence of their guilt as the Berlin Wall came down. Oink! Oink!

The unpopular parts of the blogosphere are complaining about Guido’s comparison of the monies received by Tom Watson’s family and the amount received by Derek Conway’s family. None of them dispute that the Watsons suck on the teat of the taxpayer to a far greater extent than the Conways ever did. Not one has disputed the £300,000+ figure, they just weakly claim that the Watson family do more work.

Well Guido has some news coming folks… this is as they say “a developing story”. Guido has a track-record of leading on sleaze stories ahead of the dead-tree-press, ask Peter Hain.

Laughing to Order for Gordon

Kevin Maguire hates being described as Gordon’s stooge. Yet surely if you compere a Q&A session for Gordon at the Labour Party’s poorly attended spring conference, you risk exactly that, particularly if you cravenly fake laughter at an anecdote you have heard Gordon tell over and over and over again. Truly cringe worthy.

Guido has himself heard the “sports pages” anecdote more times than he cares to remember, our Kevin must have as well.

Gordon’s Speech at “Britain’s Everyday Heroes” Book Launch (24 July 2007)

“The great American jurist Justice Warren once said that he read the newspaper sports pages first because stories there were of human achievements, and the front pages last because their stories were of human failings.”

Speech on the Global Economy at the Reuters Building (1 October 2007)

“And I am reminded of the story of Earl Warren, who said that he looked at the sports pages first because it told him a great deal about human achievement, and he looked at the front pages last because all it wrote about was human failings.”

Downing Street press conference (8 October 2007)

“I have been tempted over this weekend to take the advice of Errol Warren (sic), the American jurist, who said he only read the sports pages of the newspapers because they were all about human achievements, and he didn’t read the front pages because they were all about human criticisms.”

Speech at Sports Colleges conference (1 February 2008)

“US Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren once said he read the front pages of newspapers last because they focused on human failing. He read the sports pages first because they focused on human accomplishments and achievements.”

Last month at the NFU the weirdo PM forgot the bloody anecdote, which Guido can by now chant in his sleep, attributing it to JFK. (18 February 2008)

“John Kennedy was the President of the United States in the 1960s, and he used to say when he got bad newspaper headlines: ‘I’m reading them more and enjoying them less’. He said he read the sports pages first because they talked about human achievements and only the front pages last because all they talked about was human failings.”

And now at last week’s Labour spring conference. Kevin Maguire deserves an acting award to go with his ‘Order of the Brown Nose’ for his reaction to the line.

Hat-tip : DB

What Will They Say in Tunbridge Wells?

Alan Duncan is tying the knot with James Dunseath it is announced on the Court & Social page of the Telegraph. Some serious social changes are encapsulated in that, not so long ago the only Queen on that page was Elizabeth II, and the letters pages were full of outrage at gay marriages.

Congratulations to Alan and James…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday Sleaze Special : Tom Watson

Guido wondered why Labour’s attack-puppy, Tom Watson MP, was uncharacteristically silent on the scandal of Tory MP Derek Conway employing three family members at public expense. Tom has been strangely silent on sleaze altogether, Watson never usually misses a chance to attack, so why the reticence?

Could it be because the Watson family is paid some £300,000-a-year by the taxpayer? A new all-time record for snouts-in-the-trough.

Last year Watson pocketed his £60,000 salary and his parliamentary expenses amounted to £150,000-plus – bringing his total package to £211,000 – making him the 73rd highest claiming MP out of 646 MPs. Quite an achievement for an MP not claiming for travel to and from Scotland. He of course employs his wife Siobhan at the public’s expense, his brother, Dan, is constituency director to Euro MP Michael Cashman, Dan Watson’s wife, Joanna, has no fewer than three jobs. Like her husband, she also works for Mr Cashman and for Wolverhampton Labour MP Pat McFadden, yet still finds time to be a Labour councillor in Sandwell. Amy Watson, cousin of Tom and Dan, works for Birmingham Northfield Labour MP Richard Burden. The West Midlands constituency Labour Party offices are packed with Watsons…

The total annual cost to the taxpayer of the Watson family’s five not-so-little piggies is in excess of £300,000. Far more than the disgraced Derek Conway fiddled…

Stat-Porn : February 2008

487,676 page views off 366,364 unique visitors – well it was a short month. Read ’em and weep Three Line Whoopsies…

The Centre for Policies Studies recently had to correct a pamphlet which implied the Telegraph’s political bloggers* were now

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron "Gets It", Can He Do It?

This morning in Birmingham Brown eulogised to Labour’s spring conference the utopia he is building, meanwhile Dave has given a more realistic speech to Taffy Tories in Wales.
His speech accepts that voters are going to demand more openness, transparency,

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive : Which? Spinner to Spin for Brown

Word reaches Guido that Gordon Brown’s new “Strategic Communications Adviser” will be Nick Stace, who is currently Director of Campaigns and Communications at the Consumers’ Association (Which?).
Gordon must be in a real mess as Stace is not

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (Hain Rebels)

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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