Monday, January 31, 2011

Tony and Gordon’s Charitable Tax Dodging

Gordon Brown’s constituents in Kircaldy must be delighted to hear that their part time MP is making a cool £15,000 an hour on the international stage. It’s no wonder he was so quick to give the money from his dire book sales to charity, on top of what he is raking in from speaking he would have only lost most of it in tax anyway. The rest of the cash is apparently going straight to The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown and thus his staff and operation. If he paid his staff out of his fees they would be paid out of 50% post-tax income, this way they are paid out of untaxed income – a handy little tax dodge.The GB/SB Office is not a charity though, unlike the similar structure Blair has set up.

Through his Sports foundation, a charity, Blair is able to avoid paying tax on income he receives. The charity comes into question when it is revealed that the charity isn’t really doing very much. They paid more in staff costs in the last quarter than they spent on charitable activity. A similar get up is going on with the Faith Foundation which employs old loyalists like Ruth Turner at £120,000 a pop. With Blair’s staff costs rumoured to be a £5m a year, that’s a heck of a lot of cash saved through the donations and “charity” staff.

UPDATE: Guido is trying to get hold of someone from UK Uncut who will no doubt be livid about such practices. Right?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blair Backs Heirs

Speaking to Bloomberg News at the billionaire’s bunfight which is Davos, Tony Blair pretty much backed the Coalition’s line that the government’s priority should be to cut the deficit. He also echoed George Osborne in blaming the recent poor GDP figures on the bad weather. It will be music to the Cameroons’ ears that “the master” takes their line…

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wayne Miliband

Guido couldn’t help but chuckle as the red’s star player stormed off in a huff. The Rooney story has been the media’s non-political antidote to the last few days of cuts, but given that Blair used to call David Miliband “my Rooney”, the parallel is even funnier. Still waiting for Blair’s Ferguson style “I just don’t know what went wrong” press conference though…

UPDATE: With a rare moment of wit, the Fabian’s Sunder Katwala notes that “Wayne & David both went into this summer’s big tournament with very high hopes and expectations; and badly underperformed”.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is Blair Making Up Dialogue With Queen?

The New York Times is claiming that the dialogue in Blair’s book A Journey” where the Queen says

“You are my 10th prime minister, the first was Winston. That was before you were born.”

Is based entirely on a fictional scene from the 2006 film “The Queen” starring Helen Mirren. An amazing coincidence reckons the film’s scriptwriter. Blair make something up to suit his purposes? Say it ain’t so…

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blair Bashes Balls For Miliband

No surprises that Tony showers praise on his loyal heir David Miliband. A good spot by Andrew Sparrow who notes:

“Blair says that Miliband was “fundamentally uncertain” in 2007 about whether he wanted the top job. But Blair also says: “Two years later he would be a different calibre of politician, with clear leadership qualities.”

Blair says “two years later”. But we’re reading this more than three years later. Is that sloppy editing? Or does it mean that Blair thought Miliband should replace Brown in 2009, before the general election?”

No other leadership candidate gets anywhere near the support. Ed Miliband is merely seen as one of Brown’s “folk”. Pure venom is spat at Ed Balls. Along side talk of him “behaving badly” was this gem:

“He has guts and he can take decisions. But he suffers from the bane of all left-leaning intellectuals. As I have remarked elsewhere, these guys never ‘get’ aspiration”

The other two candidates are barely mentioned in passing. Blair admits he knew Brown would be a disaster and had David preparing for a leadership bid in 2007. Things would have been very different if the prodigy had found the courage…

Shock: Blair Knew Brown Was Bonkers

As The Journey hits the bookshelves, the truth about the TB/GBs is seeping out. Gordon was “maddening”, drove Blair to drink and he apparently always knew the nutter next door would be a dreadful Prime Minister. Nice of him to tell us this at the time, and during the election.

Hacks are queuing up to say “I told you so”, except that they didn’t, until it was too late. Even Nick Robinson is having a go:

“Some said it was tittle tattle, others that it was speculation, a few dared to suggest that it was fabrication. I now accept that I made mistakes. Things were worse – much worse – than I reflected at the time.”

Nice to see he was toeing the line as ever – “I did not report then but now can…”

The Tories will make hay of the endorsement for their economic policy. The fact that Gordon had actually theatened to unleash the Cash for Honours storm in a row over policy has confirmed long held suspicions that the dark arts were used there. In the mean time Guido is going to keep reading…

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labour Lords a’Leaping

As much as the candidates may try to spin it, it is clear the old guard still have the ability to upset the leadership apple-cart. Guido, like most people, wasn’t really paying much attention to the squabbles of the weekend after Mandy dipped an oar in. To summarise, it seems the Dark Lord made a supportive comment about Miliband D, who promptly said “woah there, back off with the endorsements”. Miliband E took offence, and a man who knows all about winning, Lord Kinnock came to his defence. As ever Lord Prescott got angry.

All fascinating stuff that kept the news channels occupied over the long weekend. The Labour Party is really covering itself in glory with this fascinating, in depth, internal discussion about it’s future. News is starting to emerge of Blair’s criticisms of Brown in his book published tomorrow. How convenient for the rest of the country that the Labour Party go into meltdown about the past, the war, the lies and the spin the day the ballot papers go out…

Perfect timing our Tone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

101 Days Ago

Lest we forget the 13 years before the last 100 days…

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brown’s Unnecessary Minion

Though no longer a front-bencher, or even a participating Member of Parliament, Gordon has found it necessary to recruit a PPS. Alison McGovern, newly elected MP for Wirral South, has been appointed bag-carrier-in-chief . While he sits at home in Fife, rocking, back and forth, spinning his disastrous economic record, she will be working in Westminster on his behalf. Why can’t he do it? Guido recommends  she spend more time shoring up her own ultra-marginal constituency.

As suspected, Brown didn’t hang around for last night’s vote on the Education Bill. Welsh Lib Dem Jenny Willott is the only other mainland MP that has been completely absent from this session – she’s just had a kid. There are those that say Brown is having yet another dig at Blair’s post-Downing Street behaviour by staying on, but what is the point if he isn’t actually going to engage? At least Blair didn’t bother trying to pretend he still cared.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blair Still a Hero, To Some

Tony is off to Kosovo today to receive the Golden Medal of Freedom. He will meet leaders and address their Assembly. No expense is being spared for their hero’s welcome, although he won’t be offered honorary tribal membership as he was in Sierra Leone. While unwanted and still hated by swathes of his own country, the Blair magic is undiminished on the international stage.

‘Tonibler’ is a popular name for young Kosovans, and he has streets named after him. Guido is racking his brains as to where in the world his successor would receive anything other than polite applause…

UPDATE: While Blair might be popular, a Kosovan co-conspirator notes that he has a long way to go to beat Clinton as a local hero:

Blair doesn’t even have his own scrapyard in Pristina named after him yet.


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow’s £12,000 of VIP Sporting Freebies | Sun
Aldous Huxley v George Orwell | FatPita
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth
Why Do Politicians Keep Getting Caught on Tape? | BBC
Ed Guru: It’s Good to Tax the Dead | Mail
Dave Must Get Serious or He Will Lose | Tim Montgomerie
Polling Averages Trend | PoliticalBetting.com


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Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:

“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”



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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