Monday, March 29, 2010

Spin Room Verdict

Dull with no big thrills or spills. Maybe it won’t be the TV debates that decide. The consensus tomorrow will be that Cable benefitted the most…

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

Alistair Darling told the BBC that compared with Thatcher’s cuts…

“They will be deeper and tougher – where we make the precise comparison I think is secondary to an acknowledgement that these reductions will be tough.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Last Days of Hell

Well it is certain to be a lively PMQs today. Gordon told GMTV this morning “I would never engage in divisive or partisan politics.” The spinning is out of control. What would he describe his entire budgets designed to attack the opposition as? What would he describe his maneuvers over many years that finally saw Blair ousted? What would he call what McBride was up to?

Guido has long suspected Darling might be the one to emerge out of the mud and poison surrounding Brown’s government with any semblance of dignity and reputation intact. From his icy put down of McBride with the cutting “I’m still here“, to his description of the Brown/Balls/Wheelan/McBride combo as the “forces of hell”, the ill-treated Chancellor knew exactly what he was doing in keeping the story alive. The Brown’s a Bully story has taken a new turn and it’s not just Darling who has been on the receiving end of it. Most of Westminster’s finest correspondents know just how this mob have worked for the last decade. Brown can talk of working “in an open plan office; we are a big happy family at No 10,” but frankly it’s too late.

No one believes the lies anymore.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GMTV (Guido Morning TV) : Who Got It Wrong?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chancellor Visiting RBS

Guido got a tip last night that Alistair Darling was visiting RBS  HQ on the quiet today.   It isn’t in his constituency so  it is a mystery why he would visit today.  Guido called his Special Adviser’s office and they were unable to confirm or deny the truth.  Why the secrecy?

Perhaps he is quietly lining up a post-election job…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mandelson and Darling Outflanking
Balls, Brown, Cameron and Osborne

Darling has to be given some credit for stating what should be axiomatic “Many departments will have less money in the next few years.. [The cuts] are utterly totally non-negotiable.’ £57 billion in cuts is going to mean that “the next spending review will be the toughest we have had for 20 years”. For months now the kamikaze economics advocated by Balls and Brown has been terrifying, they seemed set on destroying the economy to advance their factional interest over the national interest.  Will Balls and Brown stick to the Mandelson-Darling line?

Peter Mandelson’s speech on Wednesday was overshadowed by events, parts of it sounded more right-wing than anything Cameron has said in years:

The 1980s saw the timely privatization of industries that were long overdue for return to the commercial sector. Industrial relations underwent a sea change. The quality of management in our best firms improved, and with it, corporate profitability.

First and foremost we need to foster a new climate for enterprise in Britain. There is no substitute for this – no substitute for the drive and ambition that it brings … it is the single most important engine of economic progress. The recovery cannot be driven by consumer debt or public spending. It will be driven by private sector investment and private enterprise.

Enterprise and reward go hand in hand. Much as it shocked many of my friends when I said I was comfortable with people making themselves “filthy rich”, in the context I was speaking I was simply stating a simple truth: that enterprise and effort should be rewarded. It sets goals to spur people and brings gains to us all … there is never a case for punitive taxation. There is never a case for rates of tax that remove the incentive to self-improvement or to build a business.

Mandelson sounded positively Thatcherite. Can you imagine Cameron delivering a speech written by Steve Hilton which sounded like that? Cameron’s opening speech of the year promised a new high-speed rail network and the creation of 100,000 apprenticeships. Dave sounded more like Gordon Brown than Maggie.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nailing Brown’s Big Lie : GDP Can Grow During Fiscal Squeezes

Time and time again during PMQs Brown claims that the Tories would choke off a recovery by cutting government spending.  This he uses to justify the fiscal nihilism that has seen the PSBR hit a record high of £20.3 billion last month.  Suicidal unfunded spending.

The Tories don’t make the case for cuts very well, they don’t feel comfortable doing so and thus they shy away from nailing one of Brown’s big lies – that taxing and spending is the only way to get out of recession.  This chart from Bloomberg shows that the UK economy has previously “enjoyed growth during fiscal squeezes in the early 1980s and mid-1990s, calling into question Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s assertion that cutting the deficit too soon would wreck the recovery.”*

Ben Broadbent, an economist at Goldman Sachs says “… periods of fiscal tightening in the past 30 years — the early 1980s and the mid-1990s — saw quite strong economic growth.” Britain’s budget deficit will peak next year at 13.2%, the worst in the G20 according to the IMF. Yet Alistair Darling says a quicker reduction in the deficit risks “putting the recovery at risk.” History shows that both Margaret Thatcher and John Major cut spending and boosted economic growth…

*From an article by Reed Landberg and Andrew Atkinson (not online).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Danke Darling

The boss of the mighty Deutsche Bank Josef Ackermann is laughing that Downing Street and the Elysee Palace are shooting their financial centres in the foot.  He is acclaiming that Germany has a “comparative advantage” over other financial cities due to the fact that Britain and subsequently France will be taxing bonuses at penal rates.  “To strengthen the financial hub of Germany I think is a very wise move” he sarcastically mocks with that crazy German sense of humour for which they are famous.

It has come to something when boring Frankfurt, home of the European Central Bank, is rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect of London’s bankers heading towards them.  Cheers Darling…

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Budget Britain Needs Was Delivered in Ireland

By coincidence here in Ireland it was also budget day, the Finance Minister Brian Lenihan delivered a 7% cut in public expenditure to match the 7.5% fall in GDP in 2009.  To equal that Alastair Darling would need to have announced £40 billion in public expenditure cuts today.

Here are some of the reasons Guido thinks Ireland will bounce back faster than the UK:

  • Corporate and capital tax breaks for start-ups have been extended
  • Corporation tax rate of 12.5% is ‘here to stay’
  • “Green tax cuts” for zero emission vehicles
  • VAT has been reduced by ½%
  • Public services efficiencies sort
  • Welfare benefits reduced to 2006 levels, social welfare bill cut by equivalent to 1.5% of public expenditure
  • Dole allowance to be reduced to €150 a week
  • Social welfare to be cut 4.1%
  • Politicians’ pay will be reduced in line with public sector grades
  • Public sector pay cut of 5% on first €30,000 salary, 7.5% on the folllowing €40,000 of salary and 10% on next €55,000
  • Taoiseach (PM) to have pay cut by further 20% on top of previous 10%
  • Permanent pay reduction of 12% for those on over €200,000 in the public sector
  • Savings of over €1bn on public sector pay bill

Darling has gone the other way, introducing penal tax rates at the top, and hiking NI payroll taxes on people on only £20,000.  He put up VAT which as any left-winger will tell you, is regressive and hits the poorest hardest.  What struck Guido was that this is an odd class war political budget, their own core voters are being hit hardest.   Low paid, public sector workers on £20,000 get a pay freeze, a tax hike and whacked by VAT increases – a triple whammy.

Ireland welcomes UK corporations with a tax rate nearly half the UK rate and best of all, Lenihan also announced that alcohol and cigarette taxes are to be reduced…

We’ll Pay for Banker Bashing

As Alastair Darling prepares to deliver a kick in the bonuses to successful bankers, pause for thought.  As the bankers eye up properties in Zug and sunnier islands the tax burden falls heavier on those left behind.  The harder you squeeze high-earners, the more will leave these shores – the tax on the many is increased by the few who leave.  That is what happens when looters try to fleece the productive too much.

Bob Diamond, head of investment bank Barclays Capital,  warned yesterday that businesses and individuals could flee the City – “both financial capital and human capital are extremely mobile”.  Tory appeasement of City bashing will continue, led by the son of a son of a son of a stockbroker they stand on the sidelines for fear of being painted as friends of the City.  Guy Hands is just one high-profile tax exile, many more are fleeing the 50% tax rate.  We already seeing human capital flight…

UPDATE : How will the plan to tax bonuses cover the hedge fund community? It won’t is Guido’s guess, they are unregulated in the most and the capital is nominally held offshore. The hedgies in St James are the ones who take home 8-figure sums. Bankers and brokers will have to re-define bonuses as ‘profit shares’ and their limited partnerships as “mutual cooperatives”…


Seen Elsewhere

Polling Averages Trend | PoliticalBetting.com
Speaker Faces Questions Over Pass for Donor | Sun
Tory MPs’ Visit to Israel Condemned | Guardian
Labour Was Too Slow for the Squeezed Middle | FT
Papers Pan Cam’s Immigration Pledge | ConHome
Deane of St Edmundsbury? | Times
Pay Volunteers and They Become Cheap Labour | Jill Kirby
UKIP Fundraiser Was Jailed for Running Brothels | Times
Bercow Faces Probe Over Pass Mystery | Mirror
Harman Breaks Rules on Paying Staff | Express
Labour Whinge About Sandi Toksvig Joke | Mail


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John McTernan told Channel 4 News

“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, you don’t win in politics without breaking legs.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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