Big Government: Clegg’s Key Message


The key message of Nick Clegg’s speech is not very subtle.

Where Does “Most of the Money” for Labour Come From?

Yesterday the Labour press team were very insistent that Guido got his a story wrong when he claimed that Rachel Reeves was being less than honest when she said: “most of the money that the Labour Party receives comes from small donations and members”. When Guido pointed them to the last quarter’s donation figures, they split hairs:

They have subsequently refused to give any breakdown of the percentage of their income that comes from  donations and membership contributions, so Guido has crunched the numbers from their 2012 accounts. Last year Labour’s income was £33,024,000. That includes £8.8 million from the Trade Unions and £7.2 million from the taxpayer through opposition Short Money. When you add to that company donations above £7,000, plus the income from LLPs, trusts and Friendly Societies you get £17,023,243.79. This leaves, at most, £16,000,756.21 to come from individual donations, CLP contributions and membership fees – 48% of Labour’s income. This is likely a generous figure as it includes smaller donations from companies below the threshold for Electoral Commission registration.

As a self-proclaimed economist, Reeves will know 48% does not equal “most of the money that the Labour Party receives.”

UPDATE: Labour General Secretary has admitted “28% of party income is from membership subscriptions and small donations, 30% from commercial and fund-raising activities, 18% from grants and 23% from affiliated unions” according to Minutes of an NEC meeting.

Crisis? What Media Crisis

While there is no doubt the papers are in trouble, this chart from Business Insider smashes the narrative that all the media suffering. As print declines, the number of journalists increases:

We are all bloggers now.

Lazy Male MPs Want Longer Lie-Ins

Lazy male MPs are demanding longer lie-ins before they start work in the morning. Leaked internal polling commissioned by the House of Commons Procedure Committee, in charge of sitting hours, reveals that 56% of male MPs say early starts are having a “negative impact” on the House’s effectiveness. 58% of men oppose rules stopping them from bunking off Tuesday mornings, while many are unhappy at having to be in for 9:30am on Thursdays. 116 MPs polled had the cheek to argue early starts have a negative impact on their personal effectiveness. It turns out the girls are far harder-working, 54% of women MPs are happy with the current family-friendly arrangement. Since Parliament isn’t sitting again until September 2nd they can snooze all day for the rest of the summer…

In response to the poll of MPs who want longer lie-ins, Guido thought we should poll voters to find out what they think:

Three Graphs That Skewer Europhile Myths

At the beginning of the last decade over 60% of Britain’s goods exports was to EU countries. Over the last twelve years that percentage has fallen to 50%, as our goods exports to the rest of the world has increased from under 40% to 50%.

What’s more, Britain’s trade deficit with the EU is far greater than its deficit with the rest of the world. The idea they wouldn’t trade with us if we leave is farcical.

Thirdly, Europe is becoming less important in world trade. In 1990 the EU was 27 per cent of world output. By 2016 it will be just 18 per cent of world output, a pretty significant fall.

Food for thought come Friday.


UKIP Voters Back Boris

The public don’t yet trust Boris to be PM, so says some pretty comprehensive polling released by Lord Ashcroft this morning. Only just over a third said he was capable of the running the country, while Tory voters overwhelmingly backed Dave. The UKIP results are arguably the most interesting. 35% of UKIP voters saying they would consider voting Tory if Boris were leader. Tory backbenchers must be wondering just how many would come home…

Graph of Everything That’s Wrong with BBC Question Time


Appearances on BBC Question Time since the General Election.

Via Martin Robbins

This is What Austerity Looks Like

The Chancellor has revealed how much the UK will spend in 2015/16: £745 billion. For the first time we have an accurate picture of the widespread devastation that Osborne’s austerity agenda has wrought:

At the next election, the Coalition will be spending £76 billion more than Labour were five years ago.

Osborne Borrowed More Last Year

Turns out government borrowing actually rose last year. Revised ONS figures show public sector borrowing for 2012-13 was £118.8 billion, up from £118.5 billion the year before. This week’s Speccie cover article gets to the point:

“When the Chancellor stands up to present his spending review next Wednesday it will be with the reputation of a crazed axeman.



Cyber Wars: UKIP Trumping Tories

UKIP’s efforts to do battle online are clearly paying off. According to analysis done by UK General Election 2015, the party is gaining Twitter followers and Facebook likes at a considerably greater rate than its opponents, with the Tories in particular falling way short.[…]


GRAPH: Tories Will Lose If They Ditch Dave

Two weeks ago Dave’s key defence against Tory plotters, his relative popularity compared to the party, was wobbling. Today Peter Kellner has some figures that will have Downing Street breathing a collective sigh of relief. Ed is less popular than Labour, somehow Clegg is less popular than the LibDems, though Cameron is again preferred to his party.[…]


Another Guardian “Deleted Voicemail” Moment

As Putin winds up Obama by offering whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum in Russia, the wheels are beginning to come off of the Glenn Greenwald global gloating tour. Yesterday, in his usual tetchy style, he let slip that he had been working with Snowden in February, before he started working for private NSA contractors Booz Allen in March.[…]


Even Labour Supporters are Hardening on Hand Outs

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have actually put out something interesting for a change. Over the last thirty years, Labour supporters’ attitudes to welfare have hardened considerably. In the late eighties 41% believed social injustice was the main cause of poverty, now that figure is just 27%.[…]


UKIP’s Highest Ever Poll Rating

Talking of headaches for Dave, last night’s ICM/Guardian poll has UKIP on 18%, their highest ever rating and double their ICM rating for a month ago. Labour, the Tories and the LibDems all lost four points each, with Labour falling below Ed’s fabled 35% target.[…]


Town Hall Rich List

The annual Taxpayers’ Alliance town hall rich list is out this morning. An 11% fall in council staff earning over £100,000, but thousands still on the gravy train in our rotten boroughs…[…]


Guardian Uses Word “Scrounger” More Than Any Other Paper

Seemingly the entire left-wing twitterati have been up in arms this week over analysis carried via LexisNexis showing that use of the word “scrounger” has rocketed in the British media since 2010. You might, if you subscribe to the Owen Jones thesis that there is a right-wing agenda cooked up in CCHQ to demonise “scroungers”, have expected it to appear more in the likes of the Mail or the Express than the ‘progressive’ metropolitan liberal press.[…]


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Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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