Friday, January 24, 2014

About That New Tory Cost-of-Living Counter-Attack…

Guido likes to think we are more than just a political gossip blog providing readers with the finest in tittle-tattle for a decade.

We’re also a think-tank:

January 24, 2014, George Osborne’s sock-puppet Matthew Hancock is arguing in The Times and on the Today programme this morning that the cost of living crisis is over:

matt-hancockOver the past year, from 2012 to 2013, things have started to turn around. New facts on take-home pay — the pound in your pocket — are stark. Last year take-home pay grew faster than inflation for every group of earners except the top 10 per cent.

In Davos today the PM is also hailing rising take home pay. You’re either in front of Guido, or you’re behind…

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tories Deny PMQs Deal

A senior Tory pours cold water on the suggestion by Nick Robinson that today’s PMQs could have been the result of Ed and Dave agreeing to take PMQs down a notch or two after the rowdiness of the last year: “You brief people you want calmer, more dignified when you are losing.” That’s that then.

UPDATE: Ta da:

Sleepless Night Figures for Labour Stategists


No wonder the Tories are determined to play this as a presidential straight fight.

Via YouGov/Electionista 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dave’s Designer Hairdresser Denies Bald Patch

Client confidentiality is assured with Lino Carbosiero MBE, the PM’s designer hairdresser.

Appearing on Sky News to deny his gong was anything to do with the fact he re-branded Dave’s sidey, the smooth talker claimed there was no bald patch.

Which would  the cameras…

And in his never ending quest for impartiality, Guido put it to Labour:

“Ed doesn’t have one person that cuts his hair. He sometimes goes to the local barbers.”

A man of the people. The mystery remains about Osborne’s radical redesign…

Monday, January 6, 2014

Running the Country

There obviously wasn’t much to do in Downing Street this morning, as Dave managed to get a jog in for nearly an hour in the middle of the working day. Osborne was giving a speech and Clegg a press conference. Who really runs Britain at 11am on Monday?

Pic via Political Pictures.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Data Shows Cost-of-Living Crisis About to End

The consensus of broadsheet pundits is that Ed has, with his cost-of-living crisis line that prices are rising faster than wages, nimbly and cleverly switched from a losing argument on the economy to a winning “retail offer”. Guido thinks this successfully plays into the British national psyche; grumbling about both the weather and the cost of things rising. However as the economy rises unemployment falls and earnings will caeteris paribus begin to outstrip inflation as sure as the sun rises. The ONS data shows this is about to happen…

cpi-v-median-earnings

Guido is beginning to worry that Miliband, like his former mentor Gordon Brown, hasn’t really got a strategy. The whole “too far, too fast” thing was bound to end in tears unless there was a permanent recession. As it happened the predictions by Ed Balls of a triple-dip turned out to be über-pessimistic, statisticians say there wasn’t even a double-dip. The only recession the UK suffered originated under Gordon Brown.

The energy cost argument still generates headlines, however international comparisons show that UK energy costs are middle of the league table for Europe – though US fracking and shale gas means their energy costs are way below ours. Fracking however is opposed by Ed Miliband.

What then? Having lost the argument on debt and the economy, followed – food banks notwithstanding – by the cost-of-living crisis evaporating, Labour will have to change tack again. Labour can’t fight on economic competence, because so contaminated is Ed Balls that he even loses to George Osborne. Labour are blamed for the economic mess and are suspected by the voters of still being untrustworthy on dealing with the deficit and debts. They would be unwise to fight on leadership; “weak and weird” Ed versus “posh and out of touch” Dave is not a great prospect for Labour.

Guido’s guess is they will try to have it both ways, partially accept the coalition’s spending envelope and pretend they can tax their way to prosperity. A policy Miliband’s socialist frère Hollande has now abandoned. All the chatter (spun by his adviser Stewart Wood) about Ed’s plans for “big changes in our economy” - a strategy based on East Coast academic theories from Harvard professors on new “Varieties of Capitalism” - will have Lynton Crosby crying with laughter into his (Australian) Chardonnay. Doesn’t mean Miliband isn’t going to try it…

UPDATE: The FT has surveyed economists and they mostly think households will start to feel better off – this is after consumer confidence surged 20% in 2013. Well spotted economists…

ft-survey-economists

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wrong Type of Power Comes To Kent

The ministerial Land Rover was splattered with mud for some good telly pictures of the PM working hard for the flood victims of Kent this afternoon. It seems the ghost of the 2007, when Dave went to Rwanda instead of his own waterlogged constituency, still haunts the Cameroons.

The people of Yalding were not exactly enamoured to see him. Just what you would want after losing power on Christmas Eve and having your home destroyed. No wonder he got heckled.

Friday, December 20, 2013

How to Get Round Dave’s Porn Block

Porn blocking has claimed its first victims: stopping users from reaching the deep dark parts of the internet like the Lib Dem LGBT website and Guido, among others. TalkTalk and BT are now getting it in the neck for blocking rape crisis centres and gay lifestyle sites. Who could possibly have predicted the filters wouldn’t work.

Fortunately there is a solution. GoAwayCameron.co.uk lets you install an extension on your Chrome browser so you are free to access blocked sites. Which basically means 15 year olds don’t have to tell their mum they want to access porn after all. Politicians not understanding the internet, who would have thought it.

Meantime until everyone installs porn blocker hacks it would be much appreciated if the boffins at T-Mobile could remove http://www.Order-Order.com from their porn blacklist. Guido doesn’t want to have to sue them for loss of earnings…

UPDATE: 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Villiers Judgement Must Not Be Buried Over Christmas Break

Readers will remember Guido breaking the blue on blue attack by Anne Main on Theresa Villiers in September. Main wrote to Jeremy Heywood asking him to investigate whether Villiers broke the ministerial code over a dodgy lobbyist lunch when she was at Transport. Main claimed “Villiers may have put her personal relationship with Mr Hoare [the lobbyist in question] ahead of her ministerial duty”. A serious allegation.

The issue was raised twice at PMQs today. Cameron has just confirmed that he has seen Heywood’s response and “I’m confident that it will be sent in the next few days”. If a judgement has been made it should be released immediately rather than buried over the Christmas break…

UPDATE: Labour’s Michael Dugher has written to the PM urging him to publish Heywood’s response. He says “It would be unacceptable if such an important matter as the integrity of Ministerial behaviour was met with political manoeuvrings.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission Accomplished: The Bush Line Dave Should Have Used

It was an obvious question, but one with no correct answer for the PM. Asked if it was “mission accomplished” for returning troops by The Sun, Dave couldn’t very well say no, yet might come to regret his bluntness:

“Yes, I think they do. I think they can come home with their heads held high.”

Quite what the completed mission in Afghanistan looks like, we do not know. Dave should have taken a page out of George W Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished speech, which banner aside, gave far more wriggle room:

“The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory.”

Let’s pray that the line does not come back to haunt the PM.


Seen Elsewhere

UKIPers Will Come Home in 2015 | Sun
Tories Set for Thrashing | Sun
Boris Announcement Imminent | Sun
The Case for Splitting Up CCHQ | ConservativeHome
Why UKIP Should Join a ‘European Union’. | Anna Raccoon
Dave’s Brush With Bed Bugs | Speccie
Farage: No Briton Could Be My Secretary | BBC
Dave and George Can Now Be Seen Together | Ben Brogan
Life in Public Sector Turned Me Into a Tory | Telegraph
We are a Christian Country Whether Left Like It Or Not | Harry Cole
Tory Candidate Selection Delay | Mark Wallace


new-advert
Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)


Francis Elliot reports on No. 10 strategy meetings:

“When discussion veers to subjects that Mr Crosby thinks of concern only to the political and journalistic classes, he treats the offender as a pub bore with a tart request to “pass the beer nuts, mate”.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads