Ancram: Toff Trougher

It is important to remember, as tributes are paid to Michael Ancram on his announced retirement, that he never failed to take any opportunity available to bleed the taxpayer. The wealthy Most Honourable the Marquess of Lothian made sure that we were charged to the fullest extent to maintain his stately home.

Nor should you forget that he was so completely lacking in self awareness that he quite ridiculously put himself forward as one of the candidates for Tory leader last time round. As if…

Bear all that in mind when you read all the tributes…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Downing Street in “Purnell Gay” Smears Row – Mail on Sunday

Indy on iPhone

iphone-independent-_230785tRemember Guido’s Plan to Save the Indy?

Well they have gone half way towards the concept.  They have released an iPhone app that allows you to read the paper offline.  Handy for people getting on the tube.  Just launch the app when you brush your teeth.  By the time you finish in the bathroom the paper will be uploaded to your iPhone for you to read on the underground.  Now all they have to do is abandon slaughtering trees for an unprofitable print edition and they could be on the way to profitablity.

Since clearly the Indy people read Guido; can we have a Blackberry version?  Please.

Kamiński Cleared

rsz_1michalWhen Guido posted Edward Macmillan Scott’s attack on Michał Kamiński there was quite a strong backlash from the co-conspirators. Dan Hannan did quite a comprehensive rebuttal of the charges against Kamiński, Charles Crawford the blogging former British ambassador to Poland put it all in context which made it clear he didn’t believe the charges.  Guido was also emailed by a researcher from a Jewish political group and told that although they didn’t want to go on the record they had checked him out and found nothing that concerned them. That made Guido think that perhaps there was a lot of smoke without fire.

In the Telegraph Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, repudiates the charge of anti-semitism. Polly is very sensitive to any hint of anti-semitism, if he is prepared to stake his reputation to clear Kamiński in the strongest possible langauge (“Anti-Semitic mudslinging of the worst kind“), then Guido takes it as read that Kamiński is innocent.

Which reflects appallingly on people like Dennis MacShane who smeared Kamiński in the most shameful manner in order to make a party political point. It is a terrible habit of those on the left to seek to demonise those on the right as racists. As if everyone who is in favour of low taxes and limited government must be prejudiced. Why not stick to attacking your opponents for what they actually believe in and what they actually do?

Calling someone a racist is much more emotionally charged than an argument over the effectiveness of  a particular fiscal approach. It should not be deployed, as seems too often the case, as a standard debating tactic against opponents. Labour spinners go looking for evidence of racism whenever they want to demonise an opponent. They tried to do this to frame Boris when he ran for Mayor, Damian McBride and Derek Draper did it to Iain Dale over his comments about Carol Thatcher’s unwise choice of words, and to Guido over comments on this blog not even written or seen by Guido. If Labour politicians stopped trying to falsely tar all their opponents as racists and really reserved the term for actual active racists, perhaps they would be more effective in countering the BNP’s rise in their own heartlands.

Meet the Man in Charge of Digital Britain

If the above is not enough, here is the classic example of the calibre of his insight: read this New Statesman article and weep with laughter at the twat that is Sion Simon…

Murdoch Bucks the Market

rupe_rupeCan he buck the market?  As newspaper revenues crumble, Murdoch says he will charge for online news.  Guido’s hunch is that even if that becomes widespread this will not save the newspaper industry.  It is like the plan by canal owners of old to use the new railway trains to pull their barges along.  Rupert will lose a lot of eyeballs and the advertising revenue that goes with that, niche market media (like this blog) will soak up mass market audiences that will not be willing to climb the paywall.  This is a mis-step from the maestro.  Bring it on…

Will however be fun to find out how much revenue columnists earn when they are charged out for pennies per reader for their insights – Michael Gove forinstance might not be such a draw after all.  Will he earn back for Murdoch the £1,250 per hour he charges him for those Times columns?  That is a lot of micro-payments…

Lord Sugar Feeling Stupid

Stupid SugarLord Sugar must be feeling stupid today.   Matthew Parris joins in the fun calling him a “pathetic ninny” for threatening to sue Quentin Letts for calling him stupid.  In the Speccie, Toby Young has a letter with a number of signatories telling Sugar to drop it.  Well Alan, you’re mired…

Think Tanks on the Taxpayer

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has discovered that last year £1.6 million found its way from the taxpayer to four left-of-centre think tanks; Demos, the New Economics Foundation; the Institute for Public Policy Research and the New Local Government Network.

Think tanks often have a role in thinking the unthinkable in present policy terms.  The New Economics Foundation is one of the most bananas of think tanks going. The New Economics Foundation, which was paid £601,518 in 2007-08, is responsible for the Happy Planet Index, which places Saudi Arabia and Burma above the United Kingdom and Sweden in terms of “achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources”.  This type of left-wing lunacy would not bother anyone much if it wasn’t for the fact that it us who are paying for this drivel.

Demos is the new base for James Purnell (shades of Ed Balls at the Smith Institute) it is a vaguely Blairite / New Labour.

The IPPR was set up in the mid-eighies specifically to give Labour some intellectual firepower.

The New Local Government Network was set-up (though they will vociferously deny this) to organise local government operators along more New Labour lines.

This is just not right, it is bad for the think tank’s independence at the very least.  How can they risk rocking the boat if the government is funding them?  No right-of-centre think tank as far as Guido knows gets any significant state funding.  This should be for the chop by Hammond on the first day of the new government.

+++ Hencke is New Tribune Lobby Correspondent +++

Having only just left the Guardian with a nice pay-off, David Hencke has been snapped up by Tribune to become their Westminster correspondent. Guido always thought that though Hencke is clearly of the left, he always puts the story ahead […]

+ READ MORE +

Spin Party Cancelled

Remember the somewhat self-serving hoo-ha last year about spin merchants Bell Pottinger switching their big political party from the Labour conference to the Tory conference. PR Week’s David Singleton reports that the lobbyists are cancelling their Tory Conference champagne glugging […]

+ READ MORE +

Lord Sugar v Quentin Letts

Lord Sugar is threatening to sue Quentin Letts for calling him stupid and for
suggesting that he only got his peerage and government job because he is a TV personality. Sugar’s lawyers, Herbert Smith, sent Quentin a menacing letter talking […]

+ READ MORE +

De-Whipped Tory MEP Fights Back Over Polish Group Leader

MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, the Tory who had the whip taken away for disobeying Cameron over letting Michal Kaminski represent the new Tory grouping as Vice-President of the European Parliament, has hit back and hit back hard. Writing in the Yorkshire […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

FT leader on Labour’s “Jewish problem”:

“If Mr Corbyn had serious aspirations to leadership he would tackle this problem head-on. Instead it falls to Labour’s moderates to ask themselves how long they will tolerate this state of affairs. Edmund Burke wrote that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Labour’s inaction over anti-Semitism is a stigma that must now be erased by the good people in its ranks.”

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