Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Downton Dave Dines With Donors at Tory Spring Lunch

The Tories held their Spring lunch fundraiser last week, the PM joking on arrival that he misheard when his staff told him it was time to go: “I thought they said swing lunch, which would be a rather different kind of party all together.”

Among the usual auction items of weekends at Scottish Tory lairds’ Castles for hunting ‘n fishing and tickets to boxes at the opera there were a few more unusual items that caught Guido’s eye. The bidding topped £600 for Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond to come and cook for a dinner party. He tells Guido that he is “a reasonably talented amateur chef. I normally cook for people three times a year for charity and I’ve never had any complaints. I’d do a prawn mousse to start followed by chicken breast stuffed with bacon.”

In a departure from raffling off membership to old, white, stuffy male institutions the only private club to auction membership this year was Grace, the women-only club in Belgravia where they could wear an Amanda Wakeley designer dress which went for over £3,000.

All of this will not help the Tories shed their Downton Abbey reputation – not least because Lord Fellowes donated a goody bag of box set videos and books from the upper class TV show he created.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MPs Want to End Cheap Beer for Our Boys
Taliban Tory Soubry Wants Troops’ Beer Prices Raised

In 1944, at the height of the Second World War, Winston Churchill famously defended the right of Britain’s war heroes to enjoy a pint:

Make sure that the beer – four pints a week – goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop.

This afternoon at the Defence Select Committee, Labour MP Madeleine Moon demanded that the alcohol subsidy providing cheaper booze for war heroes serving overseas be scrapped. Moon, who herself takes advantage of parliament’s food and drink subsidy allowing MPs to sink cheap pints on the taxpayer, says that the subsidy at military bars in army bases abroad should be removed. According to Press Association, she said she was given the “fight of my life” when she saw the prices at a base in the Falklands:

“One thing that could be done about alcohol problems in the armed forces is tackling the high level of subsidy in bars in military units – perhaps so they were the same price you would pay in town.”

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Defence Minister Anna Soubry suggested she was open to the idea, saying she wanted to curb a culture of “drinking to the point of oblivion” in the armed forces. Our politicians want themselves to have a taxpayer funded subsidy for their booze, but want to deny the same perk for the soldiers they have sent to war.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Labour’s Karl Turner Faces Standards Investigation

Regular readers will remember Labour’s rent-a-gob Karl Turner previous run in with the authority when he nicked a newspaper from a first class train carriage. “A self-satisfied, obnoxious, patronising bully who can afford a quid for The Times” was one of the kinder witness statements. Well the passive-aggressive MP has been caught red-handed breaking House of Commons rules by trying to raise party funds using non-partisan parliamentary resources. Turner’s potential opponent in Hull East Mike Whitehead made the original complaint and had him bang to rights. The uninspiring Labour MP admits sending out invites to the £45-a-head fundraiser from a parliamentary account, in clear breach of the members’ code of conduct:

“It shouldn’t have happened and I have made sure it will not happen again.”

Local Tory MP Graham Stuart is accusing Turner of a serious and ongoing error of judgment”, referring the “unapologetic” and “flippant” Turner to the Standards Commissioner. He says Turner sold the tickets “under false pretences”. An apology to the House is in order.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Labour’s New Bank Controlled By Co-Op
Pay Cut Fears at Labour HQ

Iain McNicol’s sham plan to cut Labour’s ties to the Co-op by moving £1.2 million of debt to the Unity Trust bank doesn’t really cut any ties at all. As Faisal Islam reports, as a condition of the banking licence granted to Unity Trust the bank is “controlled” by… the Co-Op. This means the Co-Op appoints the Unity Trust chairman and has the right to appoint a majority of its board members, indeed the Co-Op’s risk and financial control directors sit on the Unity Trust board. They’re just rearranging the deckchairs…

Labour owes the Co-op group £2.4 million in outstanding loans and the Co-op last week declared £2.5 billion in losses, so that could be called in at any moment. Labour staffers are nervous about jobs and pay cuts, just when the HQ should be expanding in time for the election. When Labour nearly went bankrupt in 2006 it had to sack 200 staff but it still spent £12,043,000 per year on salaries for 284 party hands, meaning an average salary of £42,404.93. Meanwhile they’ve managed to stump up the six figure sum for Axelrod…

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Davey’s New Green Projects to Cost Taxpayer £1.4 Billion a Year

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today unveiled eight new major renewables projects which he says will be funded by £12 billion of private sector investment to “boost green growth and green jobs“. Renewable projects are guaranteed a price for the power they produce, meaning that the difference between the guaranteed price and the price on the market is subsidised by the taxpayer. Guido has been crunching the numbers to work out how much the subsidy for these new projects will cost taxpayers overall.

Wind

The wholesale price for power for winter 2015 is £53 per MWh. There are 5 offshore wind projects totalling 3,184MW, each guaranteed £140 per MWh if completed in 2017-18. That’s a subsidy of £87 per MWh.

If wind farms generate 35% of the time, that’s 3,066 hours per year. At £87 per hour on 3,184MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £849 million.

Biomass CHP

There is 1 Biomass CHP project providing just 299MW. This is guaranteed £125 per MWh. A subsidy of £72 per MWh.

If this generates 85% of the time, that’s 7,446 hours per year. At £72 per hour on 299MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £160million.

Biomass Conversions

Then there are 2 Biomass Conversions totalling 1,065MW. These are guaranteed £105 per MWh. A subsidy of £52 per MWh.

If these generate 85% of the time, that’s 7,446 hours per year. At £52 per hour on 1,065MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £412 million.

Overall, that is a total subsidy of £1.4 billion per year.

Davey said today that the new contracts for renewable projects will support 8,500 green jobs. At £1.4 billion, that amounts to £167,000 per green job. Or green crap as the PM likes to call it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#Guardian100m: The Road to £30,900,000 Losses

The Guardian is in full back-slapping self-congratulatory mode this afternoon as it reaches 100 million monthly unique browsers for the first time. They are even treating lucky readers to a video taking them along the Road to 100 million. MediaGuido’s graph of Guardian News & Media’s road to £30,900,000 in losses is slightly more sobering:

100 million uniques means they lose over 30 pence per reader. Hardly something to celebrate…

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GuyNews Special: Walthamstow’s #BiscuitGate Outrage

Expenses are back in the news, so the Guy News special rapporteur decided to travel to sunny Walthamstow to ask Stella Creasy’s constituents what they thought about their MP’s #BiscuitGate troughing. A complaint was sent to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner after St. Ella claimed £30.98 on expenses for Jammie Dodgers, chocolate fingers, kettle chips, sensations, Viennese biscuits, onion rings and Starburst sweeties for Labour Party volunteers.

The people of Walthamstow have spoken…

Crystal Methodist Thanks BBC for Newsnight Fawning

Having been charged with drug offences this morning, the renowned gak-fiend Reverend Flowers lavished praise on the BBC for giving him such an easy ride when he appeared on Newsnight:

“There is a phrase for some people, they call them vultures, and I really do hope that somebody quotes me on that, especially the BBC. The BBC have been really nice to me but the rest of you are vultures.”

He must be very grateful that Newsnight failed to ask him about his use of drugs and rent-boys since he declared himself a changed man…

Thursday, April 10, 2014

He Lied and Lied and Lied

Jailed expenses crook Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager £18,000 in damages after a judge ruled that he had defamed her to cover up his own criminality. Marion Kinley alleged Devine had stated I’d stolen significant sums of money while office manager and the reason I did this was because I had a serious gambling problem”. The judge agreed “that when he made these statement he knew them not to be true and that they were made maliciously” and that Devine’s evidence was “incredible” and “implausible”. This is one Jim won’t be able to charge to the taxpayer…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Miller Hits Back Claiming “Levesen” Smears

Once again Maria Miller has tried to use the threat of the post-Leveson age to shut down her expenses scandal. Mary Macleod, PPS to the fatally wounded Culture Secretary, today texted Tory MPs begging for support. Again Miller’s people have cited threats to press freedom. Mary Macleod said:

 

“I believe there is a media witch-hunt on Maria due to Levesen [sic]. How do you feel about it? Happy to answer any questions you may have. She would really appreciate your support. Many thanks Mary”

Too little too late, Guido fears.


Seen Elsewhere

Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester
Scotland Surges for Freedom | Times
Carswell Left Because Cam Can’t Be Trusted on Reform | ConHome
Top 100 Most UKIP-Friendly Tory Seats | ConHome
Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk


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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

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Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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