Monday, December 16, 2013

Guardian Advertises for Unpaid Interns
After Claiming Exploitation is “Ruining Journalism”

The Guardian has been a vocal campaigner in sticking up for unpaid interns. Their pages have played host to an endless list of articles making clear where the paper stands. “Join the fight against unpaid internships”, they have urged“We shouldn’t have to work for free”, argued another piece. One article described unpaid internships as “institutional exploitation”, another claimed they are “unfair and open to abuse by vested interests”. Earlier this year the Guardian ran a brave piece arguing “unpaid internships and a culture of privilege are ruining journalism”. Strong words.

Today the Guardian is advertising for a limited number of editorial experience internships for next year. Successful applicants will be “getting involved in editorial activities”, so there is no dispute that they will be doing real work. For which, so say the Guardian’s own comment pages again and again, they deserve a fair wage. So how much is the Guardian offering?

“These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Minister Responsible for HMRC Reported to HMRC

David Gauke, who as Exchequer Secretary is the minister responsible for HMRC, has himself been reported to HMRC for not paying his interns. Unpaid internship campaign website Graduate Fog has caught him advertising for an unpaid six-month post where the successful candidate will be required to carry out “administration, basic correspondence, diary management, fundraising, campaigning and related tasks”. Intern Aware have passed the details onto HMRC, who last month promised to investigate every employer reported to them and impose fines of up to £5,000 for those found using unpaid interns. Looks like they’re going to have to have an awkward chat with their own responsible minister…

Thursday, December 12, 2013

IPSA’s False Deal

IPSA have confirmed their recommendation to whack up MPs’ pay to £74,000. Their reforms in full:

  • A one-off uplift in salary to £74,000 in 2015, an increase of 9.26%, to address the historic shortfall. Thereafter, MPs’ pay will be linked to average earnings – if they go up, so will MPs’. If they don’t, neither will MPs’.
  • A new pension on a par with those in other parts of the public service, saving the taxpayer millions. Following public consultation on our proposals from earlier this year, we have decided to increase MPs’ pension contributions further, reducing the cost to the taxpayer even further.
  • Scrapping out-of-touch “resettlement payments” worth tens of thousands of pound per MP. These will be replaced with more modest loss-of-office payments, which will be available only to those who contest their seat and lose.
  • A tighter regime of business costs and expenses, including ending the provision for evening meals.

IPSA seem to be taking the approach that they have to come to some sort of deal with MPs; that if MPs agree not to fiddle their expenses, sign up to a more reasonable expenses regime, increase their contribution towards their gold-plated pensions and give up their resettlement payments, then they can have a pay rise. This is a false offer. There is absolutely nothing to stop IPSA toughening up on expenses and pensions and ditching the resettlement grant with no pay rise sweetener attached. The only ‘deal’ on the table should be that all these things happen without the condition of a pay rise…

IPSA’s Imaginary Pay Problem


Writing in The Times this morning, IPSA’s Sir Ian Kennedy is adamant

ipsaWe will announce a one-off pay rise. Thereafter MPs’ pay will move with the pay of the rest of us. That’s a sensible way forward, which we will implement after a further review of conditions in 2015.

I know there is a tension between the reasoning and the politics but we were asked to fix the problem for a generation, not for a news cycle. That is what we have done. The alternative approach takes us back to the days of political deals, with scandal never far away. I can’t believe anyone seriously believes that is the way forward.

Of all the problems in politics, the problem of underpaid MPs is not one that Guido or the voters have noticed. MPs are paid a handsome £66,396, plus another £14,728 if they chair one of the 39 select committees. If they make it to Cabinet, the pay goes up to £134,565 — more than doubling their salary. They are paid a basic salary that puts them in the top income decile. For this, as Gordon Brown shows, they have to do nothing. They also get another £20,100 towards accommodation expenses. Hundreds of them are paid more as ministers or for having extra responsibilities – chairing committees. The average MP costs taxpayers over £100,000 in pay and personal expenses.

It is little acknowledged by IPSA that since 2000 MPs’ earnings have outstripped the consumer price index and since the 1980s their earnings have risen from double the average to the triple figure that they enjoy today. Although politicians are professionally skilled in advancing an argument, they will find it impossible to convince the public that they have gone from being worth twice the average wage to being three times as much. There is no lack of applicants for MPs’ jobs. There is no pay problem.

Monday, December 9, 2013

They Just Don’t Get It

According to IPSA’s anonymous polling 69% of MPs want to milk the taxpayer of even more cash, so why are they all being so shy in public? This weekend only three were willing to go on the record to back their 11% pay rise.

David Ruffley says he is “minded to accept” being paid £76,000-a-year. That would be the same David Ruffley who Guido exposed for his “obnoxious” behaviour. Bright-eyed hopefuls leave his office in floods of tears, some being binned after only days. The same David Ruffley who claimed £1,674 for a sofa and £2,175 for a 46 inch HD television during the expenses scandal. Now he wants more.

Then there is Jack Straw, standing down but hoping to give his colleagues a nice farewell gift. During the expenses scandal Straw was accused of trying to prevent MPs’ claims from being published because he did not want the public to find out about renovations to his own home.

And thirdly Peter Bottomley, warned about excessive expenses claims in 2009 after demanding £6,000 for windows and £980 for bookshelves. He now thinks he deserves more of your money.

TV producers are struggling to find pundits to defend the rise today. They should start with these troughers…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Maggie’s Children Unimpressed With Autumn Statement
Burns: ‘We are Dying a Third More Slowly’

Speaking at a packed London fundraiser for the Margaret Thatcher Centre last night, Maggie’s representative on earth, Conor Burns, cut through the euphoria being felt in some parts of the Conservative Party this morning:

“I am convinced if Margaret Thatcher were still here today, if she and Keith Joseph and all the others that set off on that radical revolution from 1979, if they were here today, they would be thinking that their principles – those of personal responsibility, freedom under the rule of law, taxation that incentivises people to do better –  could equally be applied to the challenges of the next thirty years as they so successfully applied them to the challenges of the thirty years after they set off.

Tomorrow we will have the Autumn Statement, the government will congratulate itself on some if it’s successes. we will be told we maybe borrowing maybe ten billion fewer than we thought we might be borrowing a year ago. We will be told the deficit is down by a third, it’s all good news but it’s like going to the doctor and the doctor telling you that you are dying a third more slowly. This is not exactly a universal cause for celebration.”

Somehow Guido can’t picture Osborne using that particular analogy this morning.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

True Terrible Impact of Bedroom ‘Tax’ Revealed

Labour are forever telling us that the bedroom ‘tax’ is a vindictive and pernicious policy that will cause misery for thousands across the country. Well today the devastating consequences have come to light. Worcester News has the story of one victim, Lisa Taylor, a mother in Warndon. Her sob story of having to dip into savings makes for grim reading:

“Since the bedroom tax was brought in she can no longer afford to buy her son a PlayStation 4 for Christmas.

The horror.

H/T @moodyslayeruk

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tim Yeo Told to Go – Local Tories Deselect

Guido reported Tim Yeo’s selection woes in the Sun on Sunday three weeks ago, and now he’s been given the bullet by his local constituency:

TROUBLE ahead for Tory toff Tim Yeo. Now the 68-year-old faces another battle – his local party want him out and have so far refused to re-select him as the Conservative candidate in his South Suffolk seat. Besides being a pompous snob, Yeo has managed to upset the locals by spending most of his time in London or his other country pile in Sandwich, Kent – 150 miles from his seat.

The BBC are following up local reports that the Tories in Suffolk last night deselected the old trougher. Guido would say Yeo can now spend more time on the golf course, but that was half the problem…

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Call EU App

Taking a policy straight out of The Thick of It, the European Commission is offering €800,000 in prizes to whoever can design the best smartphone app. Students, geeks, Romanians and Bulgarians are invited to take part in the competition, with €400,000 going to the finalists and winners of each of the two categories: Smart Cities and Smart Business & Industry. Guido’s suggestions of a Herman van Rompuy app that creates red tape at the press of a button, or a ticker at border crossings counting the success of Dave’s immigration policy, may not take home the cash…

Guido Has a Question for Wandsworth Metropolitan Police

Given that Wandsworth Council Conservative Group have expelled a councillor from their grouping after he was found to fiddle his expenses and fraudulently con the local Tories out of over £50,000, perhaps Wandsworth police would like to have a look at this?

Guido has all the evidence.

Drop him an email


Seen Elsewhere

Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath


Rising Stars
Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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