BBC Blows £100 Million of Licence Fee Payers’ Money

Yet more frankly unbelievable waste from the BBC. New DG Tony Hall has called time on their Digital Media Initiative, which has by their own admission completely and utterly failed in its task of carrying them into the digital age. Hall’s scathing statement admits:

“The DMI project has wasted a huge amount of Licence Fee payers’ money and I saw no reason to allow that to continue which is why I have closed it. I have serious concerns about how we managed this project and the review that has been set up is designed to find out what went wrong and what lessons can be learned.”

The total cost is a staggering £98.4 million…

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greediest of Them All?

Labour haven’t yet been stupid enough to select expenses piggy Joan Ryan as their candidate in Enfield North, though the LibDems really do need to take a look at themselves. They have reselected shamed trougher Richard Younger-Ross, who was kicked out as MP for Teignbridge (now Newton Abbot) in 2010 after infamously claiming £1,235 for four mirrors to furnish his London flat. He also bought a £1,100 stereo system, a £1,475 chest of drawers and a £500 ‘Don Juan’ bookcase with taxpayers’ money. Sure that will reflect well on voters when he knocks on doors in 2015…

Voters Warn Labour Expenses Piggy Not to Run

Earlier this month Guido revealed that expenses scandal piggy Joan Ryan was begging her local Labour party for support as she tries to run again in 2015. That despite being kicked out by the electorate after claiming £4,500 for work on her second home and having to pay back over £5,000 in mortgage interest. As if having the nerve to show her face in Enfield North again wasn’t enough, now she has been accused of trying to stitch up the Labour selection in neighbouring Enfield Southgate; Guido is told she brought along dozens of new members to the local CLP’s AGM in order to back her pal Ibrahim Dogus. Guido has repeatedly asked Ryan why she is sticking her oar in but for some reason she doesn’t want to talk. Her own former constituents have certainly had enough. This is from her local paper’s letter page this morning:

You’d have thought she would get the message…

Nicholson Walks, Eventually

If David Nicholson had any pride he would have gone as soon as the Mid-Staffs scandal broke, but the man with no shame is clinging on until next March.

dn

One again sorry seems to be the hardest word, apparently his “profound regret” isn’t preventing him from quitting his £211,000-a-year post for another ten months. Off to collect his massive pension pot and escape accountability. Presumably he won’t be giving back his iPhone either…

Champagne and iPhones – on the Taxpayer, Natch
+NHS England Blow £177,028 on iPhones For Staff+
+Parliament’s £280,000 Deal for Exclusive Wines+

There was plenty of your cash being artfully projected up walls in this week’s Sun column. Firstly Guido revealed that NHS England, the new public body set up to implement Tory health reforms, has blown a staggering £177,028 on top-of-the-range iPhones. 400 to be precise – enough to pay for seven newly trained nurses. Which makes you wonder about their “key aim of securing the best possible health outcomes for patients by prioritising them in every decision it makes.”

Over in Parliament, the Men in Tights have awarded snooty wine merchants Ellis of Richmond a £280,000 contract “for the supply of a global selection of quality still and sparkling wines” for the House of Commons wine list. MPs were “seeking to appoint a single supplier, who can demonstrate that they have the ability to consistently supply the best quality Wines, Sparkling Wines, and Champagnes” which “are not widely available on the High Street”.

Of course none of that ordinary common plonk would be good enough for the subsidised boozers who rule over us.

Hodge the Dodge: Spot the Difference

Compare and contrast Margaret Hodge’s holier-than-thou hectoring for not answering questions with her own non-answers in her Kay Burley interview yesterday. Here is Hodge berating Amazon’s Andrew Cecil at the Public Accounts Committee:

“Well, I think what we are going to have to do is order somebody to come who can give us answers to the questions we ask. We will order somebody to appear before us who does that. It is just not acceptable. I don’t know what you take us for, but we need proper answers to perfectly proper questions, which are trying to establish the economic activity in this country, and therefore what would be a reasonable corporation tax due. That is our job. The idea that you come here and simply do not answer the questions, and pretend ignorance, is just not on. It is awful… I cannot believe you have come without the information-or they have deliberately sent you. We will order somebody who can answer the questions, in public… Dear, dear. Well, we will have to come back to this.”

And here is Hodge’s humiliating exchange on SkyNews yesterday:

MH: I’m not, I’m not, I told you, I’m not, I haven’t, you know I don’t have any dealings with the company day to day.

KB: But you did say that you were confident that every penny that should be paid in tax has been paid in tax. You’ve obviously looked into it?

MH: Yes, I’m confident.

KB: And 0.01% is enough?

MH: No it isn’t 0.01, it’s what they pay, what they pay, the profits they make on the business they transact in the UK.

KB: And how much is that as a percentage of tax?

MH: I, I, I mean I can’t give you that answer.

KB: But you did say that every penny has been paid in tax so presumably you have the figures?

MH: Sorry?

KB: You did say that every penny they should pay in tax has been paid…

MH: I, I also said to you I don’t work for that business. I’m a shareholder. I think you should ask the company if you have any questions.

“Dear, dear. We will have to come back to this”…

Mandy’s Big Money Motive

Since we haven’t been subjected to enough op-eds from frothing, swivel-eyed Europhiles over the past couple of weeks, up steps Peter Mandelson in the Telegraph to tell us why we should be staying in Europe:

20130517-085855.jpg“All the party leaders need to make clear that quitting the EU would be a colossal indulgence. It might fill many with a sense of pride in Britain’s separateness, but it would also mean greater isolation, less trade, smaller influence and fewer friends. In the globalised economy of the 21st century, where production networks and supply chains stretch far across national borders, size – of markets, trading power and negotiating clout – matters more than ever. An isolationist Britain would be weaker and more vulnerable. That must not be our destiny – and the Prime Minister’s job, along with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, is to say so, loudly and firmly.”

Definitely nothing to with EU rules dictating that the former commissioner must maintain a “duty of loyalty” or be stripped of his £31,000-a-year index-linked pension worth over half a million pounds. As ever with Mandy, just follow the money…

1.6 Mi££ion Reasons For Ed to Back a Referendum

Miliband’s decision to cast Labour as the anti-referendum party will have upset one multi-millionaire donor in particular. John Mills is the founder of the JML shopping channel and the most prominent Labour leaning co-chairman of Business for Britain, he is also the major backer of the new Eurosceptic Labour for a Referendum group.

He has called for “soul-searching and internal review” of Labour’s Europe policy, in no uncertain terms:

“While we differ on other policy areas, David Cameron should be congratulated for laying down markers on how the EU needs to change along the lines of flexibility and fairness to boost competitiveness… 

Mills gave £1.6 million worth of shares in his company to the Labour Party in January this year. Finally Ed finds some non-union support, with an agenda of his own…

UPDATE: Friends of John Mills say he is a Eurosceptic, however Labour for a Referendum is Euro-put-the-issue-to-bed-ist.

Glad we cleared that up…

Parliament’s Literary Secrets

The Men in Tights’ favourite method for blocking the release of awkward information about MPs is citing the Data Protection Act over and over again. Regardless of the fact that the Commons library is funded by the taxpayer, Guido has […]

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Glass House Prices

The fact that Tory MP Stewart Jackson hasn’t even sold his house will make his battle with IPSA’s expensive legal team, Cherie Blair’s Matrix Chambers, all the more interesting. Especially since he isn’t even considering selling up. Guido is however […]

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Clock Ticking For MacShane

Some good news to end the week on: police have handed a file of evidence against Denis MacShane to the CPS.

Decision time…

Read all Guido’s stories on expenses cheat MacShane here.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Owe Downgraded Co-op Millions

Bad news for the Co-op today as Moody’s downgrades their debt rating to junk status. Labour’s bank of choice has been battered by bad debts over recent years, one of their major debtors is – surprise, surprise – none other […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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