Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last Man Standing

With Ming now facing the guillotine and Brown severely battered it is interesting to check what the bookies have done. The odds on Cameron being the only one of the three leading his party into the next election have been slashed from 25/1 to 6/1. Punters now think there is a good chance that both Ming and Brown will not lead their parties into the next general election.

The punters also reckon May 2009 is the favourite election date at 5/4 on. The most dramatic change is in the biggest party prices. Remember Guido’s crazy bet last month? Labour are 10/11 on and the Tories are neck and neck at 11/10 – in from 3/1. Lovely jubbly…

Oil for Food

A co-conspirator (and possible CIA informant) reports back from seeing the fat cat revolutionary himself foraging for food:
Found myself standing behind Mr Respect at the tills. What do revolutionaries have for their tea?

Fresh pasta, pitta bread, fruit and fibre…. all very straight up.

Appropriately we were in the Sainsbury’s petrol station on Chelsea Bridge.

Dacre’s Breakfast with Brown

Guido overheard last night a smirking Labour MP boasting that Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, had breakfast with Gordon yesterday. Which perhaps explains the discordant leader comment this morning. It actually praises Darling’s tax and spending plans.
Guido understands that Dacre told a rebellious editorial meeting yesterday “I couldn’t give a toss what you lot think.” Lord Rothermere, the Mail’s owner, on the other hand might well give a toss. Particularly in view of the recent circulation slide…

Thirst Aid for the Political Class

A co-conspirator writes:

MPs in Bellamy’s last night were being given priority service – with a queue for drinks, the barman by-passed those at the front and asked MPs joining the queue at the back what they would like. I saw this happen twice. I don’t blame the barman of course (or the MPs actually in the cases last night) – it is no doubt a directive from above telling the barman to do so.

But honestly, why do MPs need priority getting a drink? Is it because they have urgent things to attend to and need to get them down as quick as possible?

Is it important to their role as public servants that they get pissed quicker?

LibDems : The Game is Very Definitely On

Guido had lunch with a well connected LibDem who confirmed what outsiders already suspect. The two-year election delay means curtains for Ming. Freed from the fear of an imminent election there is a sense of release and a feeling that he can be replaced without electoral backlash – as if it was possible to poll worse.

Obviously the question is how? The party conference was disciplined by the shadow of an election, the annual LibDem MPs gathering has passed. Clearly ill-health would be the best face-saving excuse. The status anxiety of Elspeth is thought to prohibit both the passing to Campbell of the whiskey and revolver or hope of him going voluntarily. So how is it to be done?

Huhne and Clegg are soft campaigning for the succession, but spare some pity for the ambitious Ed Davey. As Ming’s chief-of-staff he can’t do anything that smacks of disloyalty.

There is no fool, like an old fool, if Ming stubbornly resists retiring it could get messy and humiliating. Guido can’t wait…

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.


Seen Elsewhere

Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome
UKIP Poster Girl’s Naked Photos | Sun
Miliband’s Radical Old Labour Agenda | Fraser Nelson
Meet Team Miliband | Dan Hodges
Run Boris Run | Times
Tories Pledge to End Onshore Windfarm Subsidy | Telegraph
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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