Even After Earthquake, Chilean Debt Safer than UK Debt

Just how much debt-fuelled danger is Gordon risking with the UK economy?  A reasonable question and the only place we can get hope to get objective answers is from the debt default insurance market place.  Harriet claimed at PMQs yesterday that it is unpatriotic to ask questions about the British economy.  As an Irishman that doesn’t apply to Guido.

Chile has just had an 8.8 on the richter scale earthquake, looting and rioting are commonplace.  Even so, U.S. investors still prefer Chilean government debt to UK government debt as measured by CDS rates.  Do you get how bad things are?

Data source : Morgan Stanley

The ‘Donkey Jacket’ Remembered

For many younger people Michael Foot is most famously remembered only for turning up to a remembrance service at the Cenotaph wearing a ‘donkey jacket’.

It was the Press Association’s legendary Chris Moncrieff who broke the story after receiving a phone call that day after the pubs had closed.  Walter Johnson, a Labour MP with little love for Foot, had called Moncrieff to complain “I was watching this morning and was disgusted to see that the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition looked more like an Irish navvy than a party leader.”

Moncrieff put the story with quotes out on the PA wire.  A couple of hours later, perhaps after having had a nap, Walter Johnson called again asking “Have I said anything today?”

Moncrieff had to explain to him that it was too late to do anything about it as the story had gone around the world…

+ + + Michael Foot Has Died Aged 96 + + +

PMQs Live : Gordon Ducks Again

Carter Airbushes Bunker Time from CV

Stephen Carter, who was reduced to tears by Gordon’s bullying before being bought off with a peerage for his silence, has landed new job. Though it seems the new head of comms for tech giants Alcatel-Lucent has airbrushed out his time in the bunker from his CV.  Perhaps he doesn’t want to be professionally associated with Gordon’s regime. Hardly surprising given how Rawnsley (on page 546 of The End of the Party) described Carter’s treatment by McBride and Gordon:

“He was undermined from the start by the old Brown clique. He bumped into Damian McBride, who saw him as a threat,” says another of Brown’s aides. “It was a turf thing.  Stephen was a really nice bloke,” comments one civil servant. “He just didn’t know what he was letting himself in for. They made a decision to f**k this guy. By April, it was transparent to everyone in the building that this guy was dead.””

There is a sense of satisfaction that Carter is now earning hundreds of thousands, while McBride is picking up litter in a playground.

Wall Street is Getting Worried Tories Won’t Win

Gordon loves to quote the policy endorsements of Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner – always neglecting to mention that Krugman is a friend and ally.  The New York Times today however is not so keen on Britain’s economy.

The business section is mainly read by Wall Street liberals, nevertheless they run investment funds that move markets.  The UK this morning is bracketed with Greece, the NYT warning that if the Tories don’t get a strong majority:

“… investors could start to make it greatly more expensive for the government to raise funds, setting the stage for a potential double-dip recession, if not worse… If you really want a fiscal problem, look at the U.K… In Europe, the average deficit is about 6% of G.D.P. and in the U.K. it’s 12%. It is only just beginning… the British government … has been able to finance a budget deficit of 12.5% of G.D.P. — equal to Greece’s — at an interest rate more than two full percentage points lower only because the Bank of England bought the majority of the bonds it issued last year.”

As the pound slid Nick Clegg tried to reassure investors that if there is a hung parliament the LibDems would not risk Britain’s creditworthiness – surely that effectively means he can’t prop up Gordon Brown.  Clegg said this because he realises that once foreign investors realise the only buyer of government gilts last year was the Bank of England and they lose confidence in a Tory election victory, they could rush for the exit.  Foreign holdings of gilts fell from 35% to 29% last year.  Capital flight is already starting…

Flashback : Has Tony Gone Offshore?

Back in September Guido asked:

When was the last time you saw Tony Blair in the UK? Billionaire’s yachts in the Med, sure, US TV chat shows, sure. Six-figure speaking engagements in the Far East, of course. “Peacemaking” in the Middle East, allegedly. Is he seen in the UK? No, not much.

Guido’s theory is that he is keeping under the 90 day residency limit for non-residence for tax purposes. Didn’t Cherie mention that the kids all have Irish passports?

Well not much has changed, apart from his appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry when was the last time anyone saw Blair in London? Seems like a fair question today.

To Those About To Be Jobless…

Capita Learning & Development are holding a day long session on interview skills for all those Labour MP’s staff who will soon be jobless.  Despite not being held until 22 March Guido is told it is already booked up.

Course Objectives

  • Identify your strengths and development areas before you enter the interview.
  • Know how to write a CV and covering letter that has the X factor.
  • Be able to sell and present yourself with ease and impact.
  • Have a business visual makeover at the end of the course.

This is not going to be easy…

Official : The Market Hates Labour

Today has been a rather heavy day for evidence based blogging, but one more graph:

Every time Labour show a whiff of recovery the pound crashes.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mrs Bercow Out on the Streets

Sally “the alley” Bercow, the loose-lipped spouse of the Speaker, lives at the taxpayer’s expense in the Palace of Westminster and far from their Monday Club days she now spends her days pursuing her new found anti-Tory agenda. […]

+ READ MORE +

Billionaire Expense Claims Compared

More evidence based blogging to discover how much do the respective Tory and Labour non-dom peers claim off the taxpayers on an average day on the red benches?

A Guido co-conspirator in the comments points out that between 2001 -2008 […]

+ READ MORE +

Mandy’s One to Talk

There is a certain irony in Lord Mandelson discussing who is and is not suitable for a seat in the House of Lords. Does he really want to go down this route? No wonder the Lords Authorities say they can’t […]

+ READ MORE +



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