Friday, January 23, 2015

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.”

BREAKING: Greens Invited to TV Debates

New offer from the broadcasters:

BBC & ITV: one seven-way debate each with Tories, Labour, LibDems, Greens, UKIP, SNP and Plaid Cymru

Sky & C4: Cameron v Miliband head to head

Two debates with 7 candidates, one with two. It was Guido Squawks wot won it…

via @johnplunkett149

BREAKING: Leon Brittan Dead

Sources indicate John Gummer is correct.

CONFIRMED:

“Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan died last night at his home in London after a long battle with cancer.” – Family statement


Seen Elsewhere

The 38 Seats in England Yet to Select a Tory Candidate | ConHome
Labour and Green Ecofascism | Matthew Walsh
Burnham Shows Why Labour Can’t Be Trusted | Speccie
Why Online Voting is a Crap Idea | Ballot Box
Time We Showed Super Rich Some Love | Alice Thomson
We Need True Popular Capitalism | Maurice Saatchi
Labour’s Winning Hand | Sebastian Shakespeare
We Defend Labour’s Record | John Hutton and Alan Milburn
100 Tories to Rebel on Plain Packs | Telegraph
May 2015 and the Art of Political Betting | MAY2015
Fate of Eurozone Rests in Hands of Videogame Expert | TechnoGuido


Rising Stars
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Alan Milburn says Labour’s scaremongering campaign for an unreformed NHS will not win election…

“It would be a fatal mistake, in my view, for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the National Health Service but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming. Look, reforms are not easy, but the Labour Party is not a conservative party. It should be about moving things forward not preserving them in aspic. You have got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign, and maybe it will have the same outcome. I don’t know.”


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