CBI Step Up Pro-EU Campaign Activity

Big business Brexit scaremongers the CBI are stepping up their campaigning activity for an EU ‘Yes’ vote. The “politically independent and impartial” lobbyists are hiring a campaigns adviser on a competitive salary “to promote the CBI’s messages on Europe”. Little doubt from the advert what that message is: 

“With an in-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership now on the table, the CBI is recruiting for a Campaigns Adviser to assist with the organisation’s day-to-day work in this area… the benefits of the UK’s EU membership outweigh the costs and no alternative arrangement offers the UK a better route to future prosperity.”

Key to the job will be remembering the CBI’s farcical Scottish referendum shambles and sorting out their status as a registered campaigner this time round…

You Can’t Fault Desmond’s Taste in Wine

So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.

The FT reports:

“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.

For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.

“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”

Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”

Not a great week for big UKIP donors.

Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.

So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.

Who Regulates the Regulators?

monopoly-banker

Kerching over the Financial Conduct Authority:

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief executive Martin Wheatley was paid a total of £610,000 in the year to 31 March, with a basic salary of £460,000, figures published today show.

Wheatley’s total remuneration, which includes salary, benefits and pension, was lower than the £667,000 he received in the previous year.
The other FCA executive directors – Clive Adamson, Tracey McDermott and Lesley Titcomb – were paid £364,000, £329,000 and £315,000 respectively. As well as a £460,000 basic salary, up on the £430,000 he picked up in 2012-2013, Wheatley’s total remuneration comprised £109,000 in benefits – including access to a car and driver – and £41,000 towards his ‘pension’. Wheatley is not a member of the FCA’s pension plan, and received this amount as a non-pensionable supplement. FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones, in the role since April 2013, received total remuneration including pension of £192,000.

Where does Guido sign up?

Charlotte Church U-Turns on 70% Tax Pledge

church2

Charlotte Church’s mission to be reborn as a poundshop Russell Brand continues. The singer yesterday told an End Austerity Now protest that she would happily pay 70% income tax if it were to improve public services. In 2010 was reported to be worth £11 million.

When it was pointed out to Charlotte that there is nothing stopping her writing a cheque to the Exchequer, her mind was changed:

Crazy chick

UPDATE: Here is Charlotte complaining about having to pay 40% tax before she became a crusader for the cause of social justice:

H/T @rrwholloway

Best Reponses to MP Pay Rise Consultation

Sitting somewhere in an office on Millbank, an IPSA employee sifts through the hundreds of responses to their consultation on MPs’ pay while trying to justify giving them an extra 10%. Here are some of the Great British public’s more forthright contributions.

D.W. Jukes speaks for a nation:

“Obviously shut up in your little Westminster bubble, you have not noticed that the rating of MPs among the electorate is at an all time low. People feel that MPs are totally out of touch with voters, and your decision to review their pay now only confirms it.”

While John F Roga is a fan of caps lock:

“THE DICTIONARY DEFINES WATCHDOG AS ONE THAT CLOSELY OBSERVES GOVERNMENTS AND ORGANISATIONS. A POODLE IS DEFINED AS AN ‘ASSIDUOUS FOLLOWER’. I KNOW WHICH CATEGORY THE PUBLIC WOULD PLACE YOU IN”

Though he’s not as angry as this anonymous writer:

“The watchdog whoever he is is he an IDIOT or what saying the MPs should get 90k a year they DON’T DESERVE 50k a year or there CARS & EXPENSES should be STOPPED until the economy is a lot better.”

Captain Bryn Wayt is getting religious on them (his use of bold):

“I submit this document as a private individual and Christian taxpayer. I furnish my thoughts on the proven fact that the majority of MP’s were fiddling their “expenses” and robbing the public purse before the Telegraph blew their game apart in 2009. Somehow, most of them escaped jail by the skin of their teeth. Such despicable and dishonest behaviour will not be tolerated ever again.”

Mr JR McAvoy makes a not unreasonable point:

“Under no circumstances should you even consider raising their generous salary’s. There would be a national outcry against if you did”

Made slightly more forcefully by F. Biard:

“WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER EVERYONE GETS THE SAME DEAL ITS A SCANDAL”

This anonymous contributor used a powerful sign-off:

“It is immoral for an MP to draw a full salary and hardly ever appear in the house. The excuse of doing constituency work does not wash. Gordon Brown, Chris Huhne, David Miliband, Liam Fox, George Galloway just some names to consider. Yet another disillusioned citizen of what was once Great Britain.”

While John Bell gave greedy MPs a choice:

“MP’s have the same option as every one else if they are unhappy. They can resign and get another job more to their liking and they should be reminded they have this option.”

Best of the bunch? Here is Robert Nielson Donald:

“sir i put it to you they do not need a pay rise they first need to stop double dealing with renting their house to a fellow member then claim expences on another house it is day light robbery, i would love to tell them face to face exactly how the public feel about this. any increase in their salary when the nation is facing price rises in fuel and many being laid off would be a kick in the teeth for the rest of the nation whilst these parasites want more, in closing can i wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year”

Well said, Robert. Well said.

All Three Labour Leadership Contenders Reject Pay Rise

Following Andy Burnham earlier, now Yvette ups the pressure on Cameron:

“Yvette thinks its wrong to have 10% at a time when the deficit is still high and public services are about to be cut. She thinks IPSA should withdraw it and the Prime Minister should step in to prevent it. If it goes through she won’t take it, but she thinks IPSA and the Prime Minister should sort it out before that.”

Team Liz point out she has been against it for some time, writing in 2013:

“I oppose it, I’ll try and change it, and if IPSA refuses, I won’t take it.”

The PM’s position remains:

Not a great look, Dave. 

Pressure Mounts on Cameron to Reject Pay Rise

A cynic might say the wannabe next leader of the Labour Party is being shamelessly populist, but Andy Burnham is first out of the blocks to turn down his 10% pay rise:

The PM’s position on this is less equivocal.

Cameron said in 2013: “I think it would be wrong for MPs to get a big pay rise at a time of public sector pay restraint”.

Last year he threatened to abolish IPSA entirely if they did not “think again”.

Yet yesterday his Official Spokesman seemingly dropped that threat and suggested Cameron would be accepting the pay rise: “If IPSA determines MPs get a pay increase, MPs get a pay increase”.

It comes down to whether Cameron wants to give it to charity and annoy his more shallow-pocketed backbenchers three weeks into the new government…

UPDATE: Seems to be a concerted effort from certain Labour MPs up for elections to get ahead on this before PMQs:

UKIP Closing Down Sale

They turned down the Short money and Dirty Desmond’s cash has been spent, so how are UKIP boosting their bare coffers?

Dear Supporter

Please visit our shop website  http://store.ukip.org/ to view our comprehensive range of products. 

Many items have now been reduced in our Summer Sale, so make your purchase whilst stocks last!

‘101 Ways to Win an Election’, by LibDem blogger Mark Pack, now reduced to £5. Everything must go!

Your Last Chance to Challenge MPs’ Pay Rise

Despite IPSA “receiving hundreds of responses” – and claiming to have “carefully considered every response we received” – MPs are still set for a 10% pay rise:

“We remain of the view that it is right to increase MPs’ pay

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tom Watson’s Militant Money

Militant loon Derek Hatton is trying to rejoin the Labour Party after being expelled in 1986, And he’s already throwing his weight around:

“I’m not getting into who should or shouldn’t be the next leader of the Labour Party. It’s

[…]

+ READ MORE +

ABBA: Anyone But Burnham, Andy

With Andy Burnham adding the name of ‘Action Dan’ Jarvis to his growing list of endorsements, despairing Labour wags who support the campaigns of the four other candidates have privately dubbed themselves “ABBA”, or “Anyone But Burnham, Andy”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Rejects the Short Money

Nigel Farage tried to out-Carswell Douglas Carwell on Question Time last night when he revealed that he will be recommending UKIP take none of the Short Money cash pile.

“The last thing the public want to see is a political

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Jean-Claude Juncker:

“We will never let the Greek people down. And we know the Greek people don’t want to let down the European Union.”

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