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.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Troughers’ Union: Standards Committee Stuffed with Piggies

It is not just the chairman of the Standards Committee who is a trougher of the highest order. Sir Kevin Pork Barrel is aided and abetted on the troughers’ union by nine other MPs including Tory Christopher Chope, who was exposed during the expenses scandal for charging the taxpayer £881.25 to transport a sofa 85 miles from his second home to his constituency in order to have it reupholstered. Expenses piggy Chope also repaired the roof of his house on the taxpayer at a cost of £10,377, and installed a £2,600 bathroom paid for by us. Not satisfied with his fill, Chope also tops up the family income by employing his wife as his secretary.

Shamed former LibDem armed forces minster Nick Harvey is another member of the committee. Harvey stuck two fingers up at servicemen when he claimed £7 on expenses to attend a Remembrance Service. A furious Royal Navy officer marched up to Harvey and gave him the cash in an envelope in disgustHe only lasted a few more months in the job.

Also on the homework marking committee is Labour MP Alan Whitehead. Whitehead was found by the fees office to have overclaimed for his mortage interest in 2009, submitting a bill for £380 when should have claimed £198.66. Caught with his hand in the till, Whitehead was ordered to make a reduced claim the following month. Not only that, he then made a £89,400 profit when he sold his taxpayer-subsidised London home.

Then there is Tory Paul Beresford, who doubles as a dentist when he isn’t hard at work representing his constituents in Mole Valley. Beresford designated his surgery as his second home, putting three-quarters of the running costs of the property on the taxpayer, a total of £25,627.

Last but not least, Labour MP and people’s champion Tom Clarke designated the posh Sloane Club in Chelsea as his second home, claiming £1,500 a month while in London. Also on the committee is Geoffrey Cox who is not averse to being “overly legalistic” when he banks legal fees of almost £400,000 in outside earnings.

The PM has changed his tune this morning, he now says he is “very open to suggestions” for reforming the Standards Committee. Firing these troughers and bringing in properly independent arbiters to make judgements on allegations against MPs would be a start…

Barron of the Troughers’ Union Should Go Too

Labour are cautiously upping their attacks on Miller because they cannot escape the fact that it was a Labour chaired committee that watered down the Standards Commissioner’s report. Once again the Barron of the Troughers’ Union has ridden to the protection of an MP. Not only has Kevin Barron recently blocked attempts by IPSA to reform the expenses structure, his own history is hardly a shining beacon of purity. Thanks to Sir Kevin, MPs can still claim:

  • A £15 evening meal when Parliament sits after 19:30
  • Hospitality tea and biscuits
  • Hotels before 01:00
  • Taxis home before 23:00
  • Contents insurance for a second home
  • Installing a TV in a second home

He blocked IPSA’s attempts to scrap the lot last year.

Back in 2009, Guido pointed out to Barron’s face that he was not fit to lead the Standards Committee given his own tendency to overclaim:

He called Guido a very rude word after the TV ding-dong but did nothing to change his ways. After selling his taxpayer funded home for for a £500,000 profit, Barron began charging the taxpayer £1,500-a-month to rent a three-bedroom London home (also called “contriving a tenancy” by benefit fraud investigators)  owned by shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett. Last week Trickett was trying to clamp down on MPs’ outside earnings, but presumably not income channelled from public money.

To top it all off, Barron also employs his wife Andrea part time in his office. Which is nice little £15,000 boost for the family income.

You can see why Barron did not go public during the threats from Miller and her lawyers – the MP who marks other MPs’ homework is a trougher of the highest order. Labour are struggling with this story because they were in cahoots to undermine Kathryn Hudson. Barron could have blown the whistle at any time during the last year. Guido would never suggest the gong that Sir Kev got during the negotiations had anything to do with his unwillingness to rock the boat.


Seen Elsewhere

Dave Will Never Be Forgiven if Ed Becomes PM | Trevor Kavanagh
What is Dave’s Big Message? | Tim Montgomerie
Voting UKIP Only Helps Ed | Boris
Only Tory-UKIP Deal Can Stop Labour Win | Dan Hannan
Tories Need to Be Party of Ideas | Laura Perrins
Main Parties Can Only Dream of UKIP’s Grassroots | Matthew Walsh
The Short Comings of Brooks Newmark MP | John Sargeant
Why Reckless Lost Faith in Cameron | Spectator
Tory Minister Brooks Newmark Quits Over Sex Scandal | Mirror
Sajid Javid: Britain’s First Asian PM? | Mail
Boris Audit: the Man Who Would Be King | New Statesman


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cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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