Sitting between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Ed Miliband, the Prime Minister found himself caught between a frock and hard place for the Queen’s speech, but it was for Speaker Bercow that most of the venom seems to have been saved. Look at that glare…
Ed Miliband just turned to Cameron and said 'Great speech'. Cameron ignored him. #WestminsterHall
— Max Wind-Cowie (@MaxWindCowie) March 20, 2012
A cracking prize for you this week in the form £50 to spend on a Mother’s Day bunch of flowers from Arena Flowers. The winner will be announced by close of play today in order to meet delivery requirements for Sunday. Good luck…
UPDATE: We have a winner – and the overall standard of entries was dire – so if Universal Hiss emails back in time he can still send his mum the flowers he won with:
“How’s your pudding Gordon?”
If the horse jokes were not bad enough, while Cameron was still at the Despatch Box, the news emerged that one of the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, Mark Pritchard, has quit his role in order to be able to speak out against the government.
This stalwart of the right was a key player in the referendum rebellion last year and away from the microphones is one of the PM’s fiercest critics. Guido had a few beers with Mark Pritchard at Tory confernece back in October, he was a bit “What’s it all about Alfie?” even then.
Expect fireworks here…
Replying to Dave’s statement on Europe, Ed just had one of his ever best outings at the Despatch Box. Tight and funny without being too moany. His pay-off line that the PM should have just gone horse-riding was Guy Newsroom worthy, but not a patch on his colleague Tom Blenkinsop who quipped, as the PM sat down: “why the long face?” If you are already bored with Horse-gags, PMQs is going to be neigh on unbearable…
The Standard is reporting the slightly bizarre news that the Met loaned Rebekah Brooks a police horse to be housed at her country pad in Chipping Norton. It was clearly a very stable relationship…
The loan took place in 2008 while Lord Blair was in charge. This is around the time Cameron was courting Brooks and their close friendship struck up. Given that they used to go riding together, you have to wonder whether Dave ever rode this dirty steed? The PM has been saddled with another night mare…
As the PM sat down after a tough outing in the Commons, the news breaks that Fred Goodwin was told at 3pm that he had been stripped of his knighthood “by the Queen”. Intriguing timing.
Knighted by Gordon for banking and stripped by Dave for, er, banking.
Another day, another mob win.
Back in October Guido wrote:
“Though we all know that Red Ed is grubby statist at heart and painfully pro-European, he is also a shameless opportunist. If he really wanted to make an impact with ordinary, hard-working, sensible voters he should back the calls for the referendum. It would distance himself from lies of Brown and Blair over the issue and the betrayal of “cast iron” Cameron. “
Though he missed that boat, it seems Ed is up to something this morning. With Cameron retreating from Europe last night, failing to return with anything particularly substantial and giving up on his EU institution fight, this morning Ed fearlessly entered that den of interrogation know as the Daybreak studios to retaliate. And he caught Guido off guard:
“I’m very concerned about what David Cameron has done…He’s sold us down the river.”
Dave is in the Commons at 3.30. Let the Purple Alliance begin…
Team Miliband deny Ed M playing the sceptic cards by accusing Cameron of selling UK down the river over EU summit deal.
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) January 31, 2012
While Dave’s away, the backbenchers come out to play: Guido hears that the Eurosceptics and other assorted agitators on the Tory benches will be meeting to war-game and plot around the possible compromise on EU institutions and the European Stability Pact, in advance of the PM’s statement tomorrow. A meeting is scheduled for immediately after the 10pm vote tonight in Edward Leigh’s office. Strictly backbenchers only…
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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”