Friday, January 23, 2015

Government Flies Flags at Half Mast For Tyrant Abdullah

DCMS say in a statement:

It is with great regret that we learn of the death of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia.

It is requested that all flags be half-masted from 8am today until 8pm this evening.

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

For shame.

Pic via @suttonnick

UPDATE:

May-nia: Fox / May Hold Public Summit, Standard Claim Deal

Was a deal was done between Theresa May and Liam Fox yesterday afternoon over their long lunch in a brightly lit corner of Westminster’s Osteria Dell’Angolo / ‘Tavern on the Corner’? The Standard says yes:

“Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has met Theresa May to discuss backing her in a future Tory leadership contest, it emerged today. The Standard understands Dr Fox is willing to support the Home Secretary in a bid to stop Mayor Boris Johnson winning the Conservative crown.”

If there is a kernel of truth to this latest bout of May-nia, was it the wisest choice of location for a quick round of Game of Thrones? Carving out a future frontbench in the middle of the only Westminster in vogue, looks a little bit tacky. It’s almost as if they wanted the throng of journalists that frequent the establishment every lunch time to clock it…

World Leaders Fight Poverty and Hunger at Davos

As the billionaires at Davos hand out ‘Hunger Hero awards’ to princesses, good of Islington-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi to share what is on the menu for attendees:

Presumably they’ll be leaving a tip of 1%…

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Hoban Standing Down

The sacked employment minister has had enough. He is about to tell his local association he is standing down in May, leaving a cosy 17,000 majority in Fareham, Hampshire. Peerage expected.

The King is Dead, Long Live the Regime – David Cameron

David Cameron is in full on gush mode:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths. My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi Royal Family and the people of the Kingdom at this sad time. I sincerely hope that the long and deep ties between our two Kingdoms will continue and that we can continue to work together to strengthen peace and prosperity in the world.”

So anyway, here are the Saudis cutting off a woman’s head in the street last week:

Meanwhile Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces another 950 lashes as soon as his initial 50 have healed enough.

Scumbags.

2012 US TV Debates Had 8 Candidates

2012-primary

People saying that the 7-way (and maybe with the DUP, 8-way) debate is too complex for TV forget that all the US networks managed it in 2012 with the Republican Party primaries. Even Borgen had 5 candidates. What’s the problem?

Miliband: “I’ll Debate Anyone the Broadcasters Invite”

“I’ll debate anyone the broadcasters invite… It’s not for him, it’s not for me, it’s not for any party leader to decide who is in the debates, it’s up to the broadcasters. That’s the country we live in. Is he really telling the people of Britain that he’s going to deny them the TV debates if he doesn’t get to choose who is in them?”

- Ed Miliband, 14 January 2015.

With the broadcasters expected to propose debates including the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, the Tories are spinning it “shows the prime minister was right to raise concerns about the original format”. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is “absolutely delighted” by reports of the revised proposals. Cameron no longer has any excuse left not to do the TV debates and Ed Miliband could not have been any clearer the other day when he said he would “debate anyone the broadcasters invite.” Yet, so far Labour are still “preparing a response.” What about it, Ed?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Boris of Mesopotamia

Despite strict Foreign Office advice not to travel to the region, a Briton with Turkish roots has posed with a Kalashnikov in northern Iraq. Boris has travelled to the region to support the fight against ISIS. Allahu, er, cripes, akbar!

It Was The Chicken Wot Won It

Guido Squawks responds to the news the Greens have been invited to the TV debates:

Party round his tonight…

PM’s Statement on Leon Brittan

“Leon Brittan was a dedicated and fiercely intelligent public servant. As a central figurein Margaret Thatcher’s government, he helped her transform our country for the better by giving distinguished service as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He went on to play a leading role at the European Commission where he did so much to promote free trade in Europe and across the world. More recently, he made an active contribution to the House of Lords. My thoughts are with Leon’s family and friends at this sad time.”

He would have been fully briefed before giving this statement…

UPDATE: It took Clegg four hours to release his statement:

“Leon was one of the most intelligent figures in modern British public life.

When I worked for Leon in Brussels almost 20 years ago, his forensic understanding of detailed issues combined with his passionate belief in internationalism was evident to everyone.

His courage in sticking up for his pro-European views, despite huge pressure to the contrary, never wavered.

His intellectual curiosity about politics; the arts; history; and literature was encyclopedic. Even as illness affected him badly in recent years, he kept up his lifelong habit of reading a constant flow of books on a huge range of subjects.

My heart goes out to Diana Brittan and Leon’s family at this very sad time.”


Seen Elsewhere

Mirror Hacking: 50 Legal Action Claims | Press Gazette
Mandy’s £400,000 Tax-Free Loan From Own Company | Guardian
Why We Must Remember the Holocaust | Hugo Rifkind
“Adjustments” Not Cuts | Gary Gibbon
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
British Minister in Watch Gaffe | Straits Times
New Tory, New Danger | Laura Perrins
UKIP Could Work With Dave If Price is Right | Douglas Carswell
Cops Catch Crims With B.O. Test | Techno Guido
Bashir’s “False Account” to His Own Lawyers | Times
Injustice of Tax Avoidance Hysteria | City AM


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George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


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