Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blinky Balls is the Problem in the Brown Bunker

Matin Kettle joins the lengthening list of left-of-centre pundits now bemoaning the Brownies, he reveals this morning that bad-tempered Brown’s control freakery is asserting itself, that Miliband despairs of him and that Gordon has even fallen out with Bob Shrum. The article is worth reading in full, this extract get to the heart of the the problem with the Brownies;
One thing on which there is a lot of agreement is that Brown has got to widen the circle soon. Brown promised a different sort of government, but many of his worst and most controlling habits have reasserted themselves since things started going wrong. Cabinet still has some good discussions, but in No 10 the bunker is back. Brown, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander talk every morning by phone at seven, meet every day at 10 to decide priorities, and are running the whole government. And, judging by the record, running it pretty badly.

The inner circle may have called off the general election but in their heads they are still positioning not governing, and thus letting Cameron off the hook. Relations between the key players at the top are worse than in the summer. Brown’s long hours and short temper – he lost his cool with Bob Shrum, his American adviser, the other day – shape a bad mood inside No 10. Some staff are leaving already. Others are having second thoughts about staying. Good people feel excluded. The animus against Balls in particular is very great. He should concentrate on being a better minister, they say. Michael Heseltine was right, says one veteran. The problem isn’t Brown. It’s Balls.

Balls and the rest of the second-raters in the bunker don’t govern in the national interest, they just position and spin for short-term political gain. Tactics that succeeded in leveraging Blair out are not an effective strategy for actually governing…

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gordon’s Favourite Banker Resigns

Adam Applegarth, chief executive of Northern Rock has finally resigned as has non-executive director, Derek Wanless (pictured), Gordon Brown’s favoured and most trusted banker.

It turns out that the chief-exec sold over £2.6m of shares at peak prices while still urging thousands of employees and investors to buy shares when the company was facing trouble.

Sir Derek sits, like so many other of New Labour’s great and the good, on various government quangos; the Statistics Commission and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. More importantly he chaired Northern Rock’s Risk and Audit committees. If anyone should have known what was coming, it was Gordon’s favourite banker. He had to sign off on all strategic risk management issues. Guido called for his resignation right at the start

Incidentally, Schillings (lawyers who boast of being able to cover-up the truth) are huffing and puffing furiously to Guido about that Investment Memo on behalf of Northern Rock. Guido, they will find, is a little bit more resilient than a blogger in a bedroom in Guildford…

Friday Caption Contest (Malloch Brown Edition)

Now Indy Plagiarises Entire Blog Concept

Guido has just noticed that the Indy has a new blog, Open House. The distinctively chocolate coloured blog has a certain familiarity about it, running a daily “pick of the commentators”. It is early days but it must be somewhat disappointing that the posts are comment free. Post after post has “0 Comments”. Clearly nobody is reading the blog.

Why should they? The Open House blog is a complete rip-off of the format of Danny Finkelstein’s Comment Central blog, which lists comment from The Times and then comment from other papers. His team do it somewhat better and more comprehensively, which might explain why one of their posts got 1000 comments. The Indy is really going through a poor patch, cutting ‘n pasting government press releases for the front cover and stealing ideas from rivals which it then executes inferiorly. Sad…

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tony Blair’s Blogsite is Up

Peace in the Middle East? Like y’know, This is the time for everyone to get real.” Guido kids you not, he really does say that. Guido will try to cope with the competition.

He has also set up a Sports Foundation as well to guarantee himself front row seats help disadvantaged kids. Guido expects this to result in civil war breaking out in the Lawn Tennis Association with an invasion threat from the Bowling League. He has a dossier proving that they covet the lawns…

UPDATE : Guido’s understanding is that this is being paid for out of a £400,000 subsidy from the British taxpayer. Roughly equivalent to the cost of two Blair speaking engagements.

Aussies Makes Ear-Bogey Eating an Electoral Issue

The Aussie Liberals are making an issue of the Labor party leader’s caught-on-camera ear-wax eating habits. Their latest attack advert features ear excavation and digestion.

See it on

Via ConservativeHome

You don’t think the Tories might make an electoral issue here of caught-on-camera bogey eating do you? There was a famous incident. Featuring an Aussie soundtrack, you can see that video again:

Gordon the Bogeyman on

Aussies Makes Ear-Bogey Eating a Political Issue

£24,000,000,000 of Public Money is a Matter of Public Interest

Yesterday the FT lost a High Court battle to publish the investment memorandum being circulated in the City for Northern Rock. In it was revealed that by the end of this year £24 billion will have been borrowed from the Bank of England by Northern Rock.

It also revealed that possible options might involve continuing public money supporting the private company for years. These are vast sums under consideration. Gordon Brown refused to answer legitimate questions from Vince Cable about this yesterday. Northern Rock injuncted the FT, and got the memo removed from a U.S. hosting service where it had been uploaded yesterday.

It is public money and the public have a right to know what is going on, as incidentally do shareholders because arguably there is currently a false market in the shares. The reasons for this being suppressed are not commercial, they are political. Everybody in the City already knows what is in the memo. The government just doesn’t want the political embarrassment. Schillings are acting for Northern Rock trying to suppress the memo, which is all over the internet. One copy which might last longer is being hosted in India on Yahoo. Their offices in Mumbai will be closed by now, so Schillings might find it difficult to get it removed quickly. Don’t worry if it goes missing, another will pop up somewhere like China or Australia.

UPDATE : Link is now dead, traffic overwhelmed bandwith limits. working. It will no doubt pop up somewhere else.

UPDATE II : Schillings got the Indian site deleted. You can still find the memo here www.Banks-Implode.com, and many other hosts.

The "Top Secret" Menu at Chequers is Emblematic of Brown

The retreat of Gordon into the bunker has happened faster than predicted even by his worst enemies. Yesterday’s FT article by Sue Cameron was spot on. Gordon doesn’t have a vision beyond stuffing the Tories, with no genuine sense of the national interest, just the narrow party interest. Soldiers forinstance are merely handy photo-op props, under-funded and under-equipped. Cabinet government means government by his cronies in the cabinet. The cabinet is fearfully inert, unsure whether to continue the New Labour reform agenda of Blair, with more choice and reliance on the private sector, or revert to the top-down, centrally planned 1940s model. The Brownie clique of second raters itself is unsure what vision to offer.

The promises of open government and a new Gordon who had changed after the long march to oust Blair now ring hollow. An emblematic example of this is the determined resistance to revealing who ate what on the Chequers menu. The LibDems and the Tories are asking on behalf of the taxpayer who is dining at their expense.

Brown is blocking, quite wrongly, FoI requests, parliamentary questions and such like. Why?

What paranoia stalks government that makes it is a state secret to know who Gordon breaks bread with on the weekends?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Not Clever, Not Confident

Sir Michael White @ 10.06 on the Guardian website
Did you hear Admiral Lord West, GB’s newly-recruited security minister on Radio 4’s Today, scene-setting for the PM’s security statement to MPs? He is supposed to be an amateur politician, a refugee from the hearties at the MoD. Yet he was clever and confident. He ducked all the tricky questions without sounding naff or cross, and he said he wasn’t yet persuaded of the need to extend the 28-day pre-charge detention option.

Turned out to be a little less “clever and confident” later in the day didn’t he? He was very quickly persuaded…


Seen Elsewhere

Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror
The Sick Of It | Sun
UKIP MEP’s Welfare Hypocrisy | Channel 4
Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker
May SpAd Removed From Candidates List | ConHome
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


The Economist asks Tony Blair about Wendi Deng:

“Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was (at least) careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps. But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt. Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him—not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.”


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,641 other followers