Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Worry & Hurry for May 22 By-Election

The unseemly rush to have the Crewe & Nantwich by-election can only mean one thing – Labour are worried. Guido can’t recall an election being called before the body was buried before.

They obviously hope to prevent the opposition organising themselves and exploit the warm goodwill that still lingers from Gwyneth Dunwoody. The selection takes place Friday morning with the candidate to be announced Saturday night.

It suggests that they hope to get all the bad news out of the way before the summer. In time no doubt for yet another Brown re-launch…

UPDATE : Iain Dale speculates as to why Fraser Kemp won’t be performing his usual by-election role.

Will Benn Divest from UBM?

UBM has announced that it is fleeing Britain’s rapacious tax regime for the friendly and more welcoming business environment to be found in Ireland. Vince Cable has condemned UBM as corporate tax dodgers.

To be fair UBM management have to keep their shareholders happy – shareholders like the farm minister Hilary Benn.

Just got off the phone with Hilary Benn’s SpAds, they promise to get back to Guido. They are going to ask Hilary what, in the circumstances, he is going to do with his significant and correctly declared, shareholding in United Business Media (thought to be worth 7 figures). Will he divest, vote against the move or sell his shares?

Aaronovitch Reveals Something Interesting

David Aaronovitch, refreshed after addressing the jolly ranks of hedge fund managers and brokers in the Caymans, has a revealing article in this morning’s Times. He basically bemoans the lack of unflinching loyalty to the Brown cause from the Guardianista commentariat.Is it the job of journalists to be boosters? Are they expected to keep to a rigid discipline? To follow the line? Aaronovitch has got a reply from Jackie Ashley where she basically reminds him that she is a commentator not an agitator. Glad she remembered…She also gives a shorthand listing of her Guardianista colleagues’ ideological bents:-
George Monbiot – Green
Martin Kettle – Blairite
Jackie Ashley – Brownite
Polly Toynbee – Labourite
Jonathan Freedland – Labourite
No surprises there. The speed of Polly and Jackie’s disappointment with Gordon is a pleasant surprise. Remember how they wailed for the end of Blair? Aaronovitch was the last out of the bunker with Blair and looks likely to again be the last out of the bunker with Brown. What does that say about his psychology?

UPDATE : A co-conspirator calls with this thought – Aaronovitch (like many ex-communists) admires raw power and is a trailing edge indicator. So in three years time he will probably be a booster for Cameron…

How Do You Like This Big Tent Gordon?

Kate Hoey will be Mayor Boris’ sports adviser in the run-up to the Olympics and if some rumours are to be believed, Brian Paddick, not Boris himself, will be his chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority. That would be sweet revenge for Paddick, although it might not be so comfortable for Sir Iain Blair…

One Labour insider has just told Guido that Labour will implement a scorched earth policy in an attempt to sabotage Boris at every turn. Just as they have squeezed the SNP government in Scotland budgetarily from the centre they will do the same in London. Central government under their control will collectively punish London’s voters for not voting Labour…

Post May 2 : Potential Battlelines

Gordon and the diminishing band of loyal Brownies must be thinking ahead to May 2 about the tactics and strategies to be employed to quell a PLP mutiny. The declining wider membership is so demoralised and disappointed that it is for now quiescient and no grassroots threat is likely. Avoiding giving the PLP opportunities to lash out at Gordon will be the prime goal.

With Mayor Boris in office and Labour suffering triple figure losses elsewhere, the keen sense of self preservation felt by politicians will come into action. Ken will no doubt blame Gordon (and his bad press), the timing of Gordon’s 10p debacle will be blamed by the legions of local councillors who will be mourning their lost jobs.

Guido believes that constitutionally and practically it is too late to mount a formal leadership challenge to Brown’s under Labour Party rules in time for the September conference. So it would have to be by non-constitutional means that he is dragged out of Downing Street – Jack Straw no doubt will be at the back of the delegation doing the dragging. Another option is to make the 42-days vote effectively a confidence vote. Since the opposition will unanimously vote it down, it will be up to Labour backbenchers if they want to get rid of their unelected leader.

If Gordon kicks 42-days into touch it will signal his fears of the consequences…

Monday, April 28, 2008

+++ United Business Media Flees UK Taxes +++

The company valued at £1.3 billion is fleeing the shores of Britain’s increasingly high tax regime, joining the FTSE 100′s Shire Pharma in what is becoming a trend as Britain becomes less competitive.

UBM will become tax resident in Ireland, where we enjoy corporation tax rates of 12.5% compared with the 28% suffered in the UK.

Plenty of room for the rest of the FTSE 100…

Lights Go Out at City Hall

Like a biblical omen, darkness has fallen on Ken’s City Hall.

Due to flooding in the basement the power has been switched off. Has London ground to a halt? Has the lack of advice from diversity officers brought commerce to a halt? Will the lack of active bureaucrats halt the transport network?

Guido suspects London would function better without the extra layer of Mayoral bureaucracy….

UPDATE : Some jokes in the comments that the over-working paper-shredders probably fused the electricity – as with the Stasi before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Would be funny except Ken has boasted of doing exactly this before the 2005 Freedom of Information Act came into law.

Gwyneth Funeral Next Week

Gwyneth Dunwoody’s funeral will be held at St Margaret’s Chapel in London on May 8 at midday.

The by-election date will be announced the following week – expect mid-June. Thursday’s local elections will be especially telling because due to boundary re-organisation, the results will be mappable onto the Westminster constituency. Rumours are that her daughter Tamsin may stand for the seat…

+++ YouGov: Boris 11% Ahead on First preferences +++

10% after second preferences…

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP Reshuffles | James Forsyth
David Ruffley’s Future Under Discussion by Tories | BBC
The LibDem’s Jewish Problem | Jeremy Brier
Israeli Ambassador’s Letter to Clegg | Twitter
What Became of Cameron’s Big Society Network? | Indy
SpAd Reshuffle | PR Week
Clegg Under Pressure to Expel Ward | Telegraph
Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart


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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



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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