Billionaire Tech Titan Shows HS2 How It’s Done

hyperloop

Dastardly billionaire Elon Musk, the mastermind behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has announced he will be build a test track for his fabled Hyperloop transport system. Described by Musk as a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table”, the Hyperloop will propel capsules through a partial vacuum inside a continuous steel tube at 700 mph. It was proposed by Elon as a cheaper and faster alternative to California’s hugely over-budget high speed railway. Theoretically it would cut the 354 mile journey from LA to San Francisco down to 35 minutes. Musk’s initial estimate for the Hyperloop’s building costs were $6 billion – some $60 billion cheaper than the proposed railway. 

evil elonIt makes you wonder about our very own unloved and over-budget high speed rail project. Maybe if HS2 Chief Executive  Simon Kirby, the anonymous corporate drone earning £750,000 of taxpayers’ money a year, had a bit more entrepreneurial spirit, we wouldn’t be about to face a £50 billion bill for a slightly faster train to Birmingham. Phase one of of HS2 is due to be completed by 2026, which coincidentally is the year Elon Musk has promised to land humans on Mars.

TechnoGuido has the feeling Mr Musk might beat Mr Kirby to it…

Metro Ad FUKP For Al Murray

murry

Al Murray will be hoping his full page advert in today’s Metro doesn’t count towards his election expenditure. The rate card shows a full page Metro ad will fetch you £36,000, and long campaign spending is limited to £30,700. Though they don’t give out the Metro in South Thanet…

Public Sector Union Proposes Private Equity Survival Deal

Secret documents leaked from the Public and Commercial Services Union show that the militant public sector union is in crisis and flogging off their assets to the private equity fund Brockton Capital. Long overdue trade union reforms are finally working. The controversial “check off” process has been clamped down on by Francis Maude, and the civil service has been reduced by 21% since 2010, leaving the PCS with a massive funding crisis:

 “The union faces an exceptional, urgent situation. The NEC noted at its meeting in December that the union will experience a significant drop in subscription income in the coming period due to the combined effects of check off removal and membership loss due to job cuts in the civil service…”

Mark Serwotka and his NEC have come up with a genius solution: privatisation of their Clapham Junction HQ:

“Several bids were received of around £20 million. A sum of this order would provide would form the platform on which a reconfiguration of our operations can be made in the medium term to adjust the union to a new, ongoing, lower level of income.

 The NEC authorised the Senior Officers Committee to agree the sale of the Clapham Junction building if a suitable deal can be reached. A bid from Brockton Capital was received which was the highest at £25 million and also allows a year of rent free occupation of the building.

Altogether, the value of this bid is at least £2.5 million more than the next highest. Brockton plan a conversion of the site into a new office building rather than a residential scheme which the other bidders were planning.”

Having spent decades striking against privatisation and cuts, the PCS have privatised and cut…

Lambeth Labour ‘Cuts’ Propaganda Budget Up 300%

Guido has covered Lambeth Labour’s taxpayer-funded death of irony for years, from their expensive anti-cuts posters, to their propaganda campaign on benefits, to their truth-stretching council tax own goal. Some nifty FOI sleuthing from ConHome has revealed Lambeth council has increased its self-promotion budgetby 300%. Look at the amount spent on Lambeth Talk, a taxpayer-funded council pravda promoting Labour’s agenda:

Massively increasing the amount they spend on telling voters how much the Tories are cutting…

Mandy Behind New Generation Of Blairites
Lord of Darkness Star of Intimate Right-Wing Gathering

The Blairites are not quite done yet. Peter Mandelson’s former SpAd Matthew Doyle organised a £100 per head “exclusive event… at Lord Alli’s home in Covent Garden” last week to raise cash for two up and coming Labour right-wingers. Though he admitted it won’t be “an overly large group.” Will the last Blarite to leave Westminster for Scotland please turn off the light…

Norman Baker Slammed Over Cash From Anti-Gay Billionaire

Former LibDem minister Norman Baker has been slammed by gay rights activists after Guido revealed his re-election campaign is being funded by controversial Scottish billionaire Brian Souter. Bus magnate Souter was famously condemned as “hateful” and “bigoted” over his financial support for Section 28, which banned local authorities from “promoting homosexuality”. Bit of a turnaround for Souter, a major SNP donor who gave over £1 million to the campaign for independence, to be bunging £3,500 to a LibDem. Baker tells Guido:

“The donation is not about gay rights. He thought I was a good Transport minister and he wants me back in parliament. The SNP are not standing in Lewes.”

The gay rights group Stonewall says in a statement:

“Despite accepting this donation from a notorious opponent of equality, I’m sure Norman Baker and his team will be seeking to avoid the same fate as the unsuccessful campaigns Souter has funded against equality for gay people in Scotland.”

Amusingly, last week GQ named Souter and Baker the 7th and 8th worst dressed men in Britain respectively. Coincidence or conspiracy?

So Much For “Green Crap”!
Cam’s Cash From Sam Dad’s Subsidised Wind Farm

The PM’s father-in-law has been coining it to the tune of £3.5 million-a-year in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the wind farm on his estate. SamCam’s dad Sir Reginald Sheffield split the cash with RidgeWind, the developer, which is run by a woman named Marjorie Glasgow. Here she is pictured above with the PM at a “buffet luncheon”. All very cosy, especially since Marjorie has coincidentally just returned the favour by donating a cool £5,000 to Cameron’s office. Turns out green is the colour of money…

Outgoing MPs Claim For New Laptops and iPads on Expenses
… And They Don’t Have to Give Them Back When They Leave

Shameless MPs standing down at the election are rinsing the taxpayer for brand new laptops and iPads on expenses before they leave parliament… and they DON’T have to give them back.

Two weeks after Andrew Lansley announced he would quit the Commons he claimed £499 for a new iPad, but the rules mean he can keep it when he leaves in May. Eric Joyce confirmed he would quit when Labour told him he was “unfit to stand” back in 2012. Yet last June he claimed £1,777 for “replacement laptops” on expenses, which he is allowed to keep when he goes this year.

Six months after Tim Yeo was booted out by his local Tories last February, he then charged the taxpayer £1,319 on expenses for two new computers. John Denham revealed way back in 2011 that he would be leaving at the election, yet that didn’t stop him from claiming £639 on expenses for a new tablet computer in April 2014. Sacked Energy minister Charles Hendry announced he would stand down from his seat when he lost the role back in 2013. Yet in September last year, eight months before he was set to leave, he claimed £1,024 for a new Latitude laptop.

In July last year Tory MP Mike Weatherley revealed he would not stand for re-election, and two months later he claimed for an £849 Microsoft Surface Pro touch-screen laptop. Tory MP Jonathan Evans announced he was quitting in 2013, yet in August 2014 he claimed £572 for a new Dell laptop, and then another £479 for an iPad Air the following month. In 2011 Tory James Arbuthnot revealed his intention to leave, but still charged us £594 for a new iPad Mini and case last summer.

In the last six months eleven other MPs also claimed laptops and tablets on expenses, including Labour’s Tom Watson – who claimed for two – Siobhain McDonagh, Michael McCann, Huw Irranca-Davies, Roberta Blackman-Woods and Fabian Hamilton, and Tories Theresa Villiers, Nick Hurd, Keith Simpson, Glyn Davies and Tobias Ellwood.

IPSA tell Guido: “we advise MPs who are standing down to pass them on to their successors but we cannot compel them to do so”. Fill your boots…

Hinchingbrooke Hospital Was Privatised By Burnham

What of Labour’s response to this morning’s news that Circle in Hinchingbrooke, the first privatised NHS hospital, wants […]

RED ON RED: Audio of Murphy v Abbott Mansion Tax Bunfight

Jim Murphy’s mansion tax raid on London to fund nurses in Scotland has descended into an almighty slanging match with Diane Abbott. The Hackney MP couldn’t even remember the Scottish Labour leader’s name on Wato today:

“I am very surprised

[…]

Hain: “Labour Needs to Learn to Love Spending Again”

hain

Peter Hain’s article in today’s Guardian reads like loony left bingo. Apparently focusing on the deficit is a “suffocating neoliberal orthodoxy” created by “the Mail, Telegraph and Murdoch stables”, and of course the Tories will take “public spending back […]

Review of 2014: Gordon Brown’s £10,000-a-Week Expenses

The most shared story on the blog this year was Guido’s investigation into the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown. Since leaving Downing Street, Gordon has raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a […]



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Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

“If Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.”

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