The Truth Leaked : Treasury Cuts Plan

Here are the key numbers:

cuts-by-the-numbersThat negative increase is what we normally call a cut:

(1 – .008) x ( 1 -.04) x (1 -.018) x (1-.03) = .9071

In other words a cut of 9.3% on 2009…

Come to Labour Conference Free!

The Labour Party Conference in Brighton is going to be funereal. The commercial exhibition hall half empty, the bars absent lobbyists pouring booze down politicians throats and all the Blairites are staying at home as well.

The Indy’s Pandora is reporting that it is so bad, and the fear of empty seats on the TV coverage so great, that the Labour Party is now offering tickets to Brighton locals.

They are literally giving them away free…

Labour Cuts!

Tim Montgomerie is first to throw Gordon’s words back in his face.  He won’t be the last…

Pound Whacked After Mervyn King Admits : QE Isn’t Working

Mervyn Wacks PoundThe pound is getting whacked after Mervyn King implicitly admitted that despite printing £175 billion of he might still need to cut rates or even effectively charge banks for putting cash on deposit with the central bank.

We are entering into a monetary policy twilight zone where the governor of the Bank of England, in the words of the FT, has to “entertain more outlandish concepts like negative rates”The QE disaster unfolds…

Lose the Loser : Harriet 4 Leader!

HARRIET4LEADERCCHQ will be all a quiver at the news that Harriet is back on maneuvers, which she will no doubt deny later today if past performance is any guide.  Her team of volunteers are polling Constituency Labour Party branches for their views on the party leader.  Guido recognises push-polling when he sees it: party activists are being asked to rank Gordon and herself as to who is the “best person to sell the Labour Party” on a scale of 0 to 5. 

It would be very, very interesting if the results “accidently” leaked…

Do you think that it might encourage the penny to drop in few places that she is better than their unelected party leader?  Guido has decided to back her hopes and has come up with a campaign slogan for Harriet. If she was being honest she would campaign to: “lose the loser”.

Suckering Sid?

SidThe FT reckons the Tories are eyeing up a shares sale of some of some of the UKFI Ltd portfolio, this follows Myners on the weekend claiming to Adam Boulton that the taxpayer was sitting on a little nest egg investment in the banking system.  Perhaps, if you ignore the financial black hole that is Northern Crock.

Don’t get too excited.  Moodys has just released research suggesting we will see further losses of around £130 billion from the loan books and securities portfolios of rated UK financial institutions.  The UK economy is nowhere near out of the hole yet:

  • We are in a fifth consecutive quarter of recession.
  • Real GDP fell 0.8% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Output has fallen 5.6% year-on-year, the worst since records began in 1955.
  • The Bank of England base rate at 0.5%, is the lowest rate since the central bank was founded in 1694.
  • The Old Lady has eased £125 billion of new electronic money into the economy to create a false market in government gilts.
  • Nevertheless, the efforts thus far have met with little success: net bank lending to individuals fell to a fresh record low in June, net lending to U.K. businesses has slipped into negative territory in recent months, as repayments exceeded new loans. Sid is saving to pay down debt – unlike Gordon.

Guido’s advice to Sid: buy a little gold for insurance, invest in inflation linked securities  and neither the great British pound or the U.S. dollar are great places to be. Pop one of Gordon’s happy pills, we ain’t out of it yet…

Think Tank Pushes Drugs Policy of Decriminalisation

zero_baseOf all the right-of-centre think tanks the libertarian-leaning Adam Smith Institute has always been a bit more spikey and willing to push the envelope than rival think tanks in Westminster wonk-land.

In economics the ASI was the mid-wife of Thatcher’s privatisation strategies which were exported around the world (the separate consulting arm spun-off from the institute advises foreign governments worldwide to this day). In the last decade it has (to little  avail) been putting the case for not just lower taxes, but flatter and simpler taxes.  Until now the wider libertarian social agenda was seemingly off limits and left to the various pressure groups and single-issue campaigns.

Madsen Pirie has never dodged the drugs liberalisation question in the past but the ASI has never pushed the policy until now.  Madsen Pirie told Guido he felt that the “war on drugs” approach had now been tested to destruction and that the political environment was more “convivial” to drug liberalisation.  Guido asked him “Do you mean that because we have a former self-confessed coke-head in the White House and a former stoner heading for Downing Street we might see change?” Diplomatically he replied “Well, it is fair to say, this generation of ministers will be more familiar with the issues.”

Zero Base Policy has 32 other manifesto recommendations…

UPDATE : Claudia Rubin from the Release campaign says

the last significant drug policy measure in the UK was implemented by Margaret Thatcher with the introduction of the needle exchange programme and it is fitting therefore that the ASI should be taking this view. Were he to become Prime Minister next year, David Cameron could mark 40 years of the failure of prohibition by doing something really necessary and sensible.

Phillip Oppenheim, a former Conservative Treasury minister in charge of Customs says in an interview out today that in office he tried to push government policy in a progressive direction.  There is nothing progressive about locking people up for smoking weed…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

bloople

Bonkers in the Bunker

Over at the News of the World, Fraser Nelson tells it like it is:

Brown is BonkersRumours are swirling around Westminster. Our PM is cracking under the strain, it is said, and may quit on health grounds.

First, the rumours

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 48,333 visitors viewing 280,859 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories that you missed:

  1. McBride’s First Day Back to School : “Greetings from Nadine Dorries”
    Guido

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sky Hacker Slags Off Debate Idea

windbagSomebody who doesn’t want an general election debate hacked Sky’s campaign site and changed it into an anti-Murdoch rant.  The hacker attacked the idea as a “windbag debate” claiming “Everyone knows Gordon Brown should be el presidenté for life…”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Speccie Paywall Coming

spec_coverGuido hears that the Speccie will within weeks be stealing a march on Murdoch and putting up a paywall around the magazine’s online content.  The web-only stuff on CoffeeHouse will still be free, but the magazine content will be sold […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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