UK Government Bails Out Less Indebted Liberia

Guido gets Treasury press releases, yesterday one caught his eye:
UK helps Liberia take big step towards debt clearance
The UK today assisted Liberia in taking a big step towards poverty reduction by helping it clear the arrears on debt it owes….

Alistair Darling went on to boast about how great this was for Liberia, which he described as a “HIPC”, a Heavily Indebted Poor Country. The 3 million inhabitants of Liberia have a government debt of $4.5 billion dollars, some £2.3 billion pounds or £767 per head.

Yesterday the ONS added £52 billion to the PSBR for Northern Rock taking the government’s admitted debts to 42% of GDP, busting Gordon’s already fiddled 40% golden rule. Gordon claims government debts stand at £536 billion, add in his off balance sheet fiddles like £725 billion of public sector pensions, £110 billion in payments due to companies in the next three decades under PFI and £18 billion of debt held by Network Rail and the figure is nearer £1.4 trillion, which is well over 100% of GDP. Now add on the private debts of credit card maxed-out Britons and the total debt is something like £2.7 trillion. Over £100,000 per household in Britain.

Which makes it seem very odd that Alistair Darling is bailing out the heavily indebted poor Liberians who have a tiny fraction of the debts that Labour has run up for Britons.

Digby Says Taxing Non-Doms is a Dud

Digby Jones is a pro-business Thatcherite so going into Gordon’s big tent was always going to involve him holding his nose. In the morning’s FT he says he wasn’t consulted over Labour’s copycat plan to tax foreign businessman, that it is not popular with businessman he meets as he tries to drum up inward investment. Shooting the golden goose is crazy, wealthy foreigners boost the economy. Osborne should know better. Digby knows it, the City knows it, but they don’t have any votes.

Wee Wendy Prosecution "Not in the Public Interest"

The killer line in the Electoral Commission’s determination is:

In respect of a possible offence under Section 56, the Commission has concluded that, while Wendy Alexander did not take all reasonable steps in seeking to comply with the relevant legislation, she did take significant steps. Having considered all the circumstances, the Commission has decided that it is not appropriate or in the public interest to report this matter to the Procurator Fiscal.”

So if you don’t declare £950 of income on your tax return and get caught, try to use this as a defence. “I did declare most of my income, but I forgot about the £950 from the offshore source. It won’t be in the public interest to prosecute…”

UPDATE 16:30 : “I welcome the Electoral Commission’s announcement today, clearing me of intentional wrongdoing. My honesty and integrity have been confirmed by this judgment.” No it does not Wendy. If you did not deliberately solicit a string of donations from £999 to £950, just below the reporting threshold, we might believe you had some integrity. The list of undeclared donations included; GMB Scotland £999, Michael D Rutterford £999, Neil Davidson £995, Nicholas Kuenssberg £995, John Lyons £995, Phoenix Car Company £995, Strathvale Holdings Limited £995, City Refrigeration Holdings Limited £995, David J Pitt Watson £990, Paul Green £950. That is a pattern of deceit and a deliberate attempt to avoid donor transparency.

Make Your Own Boris Finger-Puppet

Via Weird Wide Web

Gordon Tells Court His "Manifesto Pledges are Not Subject to Legitimate Expectation"

Guido thought that this attempt to take Gordon Brown to Court by a UKIP member for breach of contract over not holding a referendum on the EU Constitution was crazy. It was in the manifesto and a manifesto commitment is a promise. So they do have a case of sorts but with little chance of success methinks.

But it was absolutely worth it for the admission in Court by Gordon’s barrister that you should not believe a word Gordon writes in the manifesto. Q.E.D.

Incidentally, the quote was taken down in Court and blogged before any broadcaster, newswire or newsroom got it out by Is There More to Life than Shoes? Good work pussycat…

+++ McCAIN CANCELS BROWN MEETING +++

“Too busy” says McCain. Or is there another reason he didn’t want to shake hands with Gordon?

Tom Watson’s Ministry of Untruths

Francis Maude welcomed Tom Watson back today:

Mr. Francis Maude (Horsham) (Con): I welcome the Minister back to the Dispatch Box; no doubt that is his reward for his part in dispatching the previous Prime Minister.
Guido once suggested that Tom Watson was a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of a coup attempt against Blair in the hope of future preferment. Watson always unconvincingly denies this, claiming he traveled to Scotland only to chat about the kids. Tom is a blogger himself and an avid reader of Guido’s blog. After an exchange in the comments once he gave an undertaking:
Tom said…

It shouldn’t be neccesary[sic] but to amuse you: I promise never to return to government.

Good enough?
11:26 AM, October 26, 2006

Today he is a minister in Gordon’s government. Demonstrably Tom Watson is one of the most mendacious shits in parliament. The thing is, he is proud of it.

PMQs / LOQs : New Jujutsu Approach for Dave

Gordon’s inability to answer questions straight-forwardly and his tendency to try and turn PMQs into LOQs (Leader of the Opposition’s Questions) is irritating everyone in the Commentariat. Weak on his feet the technique is borne out of necessity for Gordon.

Psychologically conflicted as Gordon is on so many levels he just can’t give straight answers or make quick decisions. This means every week he is reduced to the same yadda yadda formulas, attacking the Lamont era unemployment, interest rate and inflation peaks of fifteen years ago. When he isn’t doing that he questions Cameron’s policies. So why doesn’t Dave use verbal jujutsu, using the questions from Gordon against Gordon, rather than directly opposing him?

Instead of complaining week after week that Gordon won’t answer the question why not take the opportunity to say; “alright then, here is what we will do better when we are in government…” Surely it is worth a try, since Gordon seems determined not to give any answers.

UPDATE : Just noticed that Gordon even asked Clegg a question. Weak, weak, weak.

Smith Institute Cash for Policy

Guido has just noticed that Gordon’s favourite think-tank, the Smith Institute, has a new publication out today. In it the director-general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Stephen Haddrill, calls for a way out for the insurance industry from

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Triangulation Trickery

Right now Team Cameron is frantically trying to make sure that Dave gets his photo taken with McCain on Friday because McCain is going to be in London and will meet with Gordon. Team Cameron tried to fix a meeting

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Shhhh, Don’t Mention the Sleaze!

Last week at PMQs there was no mention of MPs caught with their hands in the till, paying their 80 year old mothers out of public funds, running up car mileage allowances that would take them round the world by

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hague’s Hippy Guru Gone

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has died. The guru to the Beatles brought “transcendental meditation” to the West. Maharishi summed up his mantra as : “Don’t fight darkness. Bring the light, and the darkness will disappear.” That is the mantra that William

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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