Plain Pack Fireworks Expected at Cabinet
Osborne, May & Hammond Confront Hunt Over Pack Backtrack

Word reaches Guido that there is serious consternation amongst a number of senior Tories over the way in which last week’s surprise announcement about plain packaging was squeezed out like an awkward fart. Usually reliable sources suggest Osborne is set to raise it at Cabinet this morning, with Jeremy Hunt in the sights for a proper going over. In an increasingly rare moment of agreement between the Chancellor and the Home Secretary, Guido hears Theresa May is pretty annoyed too about how the move was snuck out with little or no wider consultation of Cabinet colleagues. Big Phil Hammond is also said to be against the Labour-backed measure, sceptically telling the BBC last week that he “will want to look very carefully at the evidence.” The consensus is ‘bat sh*t’ Jane Ellison has gone ‘totally native’ and will do anything to please the do-gooders and pen-pushers that choke up the Department for Health…

Some Sad News…

A sad day in libertarian circles as it emerges young campaigner Christina Annesley has died while on holiday in Thailand.

The one time Tory turned ‘Kipper turned vocal free spirit was a regular on the young right-wing scene and was just 23 years old.

Guido’s thoughts are with her family and many friends this morning.

 

UPDATE: Foreign Office statement:

“We can confirm the death of a British National in Thailand on 21 January 2014. We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”

BREAKING: Plain Packaging is Happening…

CONFIRMED: As Guido predicted, Jane Ellison just announced the government will go ahead with standardised packaging. They have the votes…

You read it here first.

Burnham Bounces Balls into £11 Billion Spending Pledge

BURNHAM-BALLS

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has been out and about this morning pushing Labour’s public health manifesto. It basically amounts to yet another series of caps – the usual series of nanny state, anti–business policies.

It wasn’t the detail which interested Guido – more then timing of the announcement. As part of the policies, Burnham has reiterated his pledge to introduce plain packaging on tobacco (despite dismissing it back in 2008 when he was Health Secretary). Such a move could result in a future government facing an £11 billion compensation bill to Big Tobacco, according to a report by analysts at the BNP Paribas and other legal experts.

Guido wonders why the future Labour leadership hopeful chose today of all days to make his announcement? Could it be because Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is in the US – that he decides today to announce what is effectively a £10 billion deficit busting new spending pledge?

UPDATE: A co-conspirator shrouded in  smoke reminds Guido that in government when he was Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham wrote in a November 2009 letter to Tessa Jowell:

“No studies have shown that introducing plain packaging of tobacco products would cut the number of young people smoking, or enable people who want to quit, to do so. Given the impact that plain packaging would have on intellectual property rights, we would need strong and convincing evidence showing the health benefits of this policy before it would be acceptable at an international level.”

What has changed?

Blogging May Be Light This Morning…

Guido is nursing a sore head from yesterday’s Christmas lunch, which overran somewhat.

After Martin Rowson shamelessly cancelled on his promise to sketch the team due to corporate influence, eminent artist Iain Martin graciously stepped in:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/5cc/7515463/files/2014/12/img_18131.jpg

We’ll be back shortly…

Going for Lunch: Meme Miliband Challenge

meme-machine

Ed Miliband’s 7-minute immigration speech reminded Guido of something…

one-does-not-simply-walk-into-mordor

So here goes…

ONE-DOES-NOT-MEME

Co-conspirators can use the top picture to create their own versions and upload into the new comments system below.

We will try sort out a goodie bag for the best entry.

We’re off to our Christmas lunch, blogging may be sporadic… see you in 2015.

Come See CITIZENFOUR
Christmas Drinks / Movie With TechnoGuido

techno-guido-citizen4

Guido presents a special readers’ screening of CITIZENFOUR, the new film starring Edward Snowden from Academy Award nominee Laura Poitras, next Wednesday, 6.30pm, December 17 at the crumbling old Guardian HQ on 119 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3ER. Come and see inside the Lubyanka-like former headquarters of the Guardian, watch the movie and enjoy a drink before Christmas.

This is a free screening for Guido’s readers and Techno-Guido will be supplying the drinks!

In January 2013, Laura Poitras several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted emails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four”, who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely unique in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.

Warning: this movie has strong libertarian undertones…

Tickets available below:

WATCH: Highlights From Face-Sitting Porn Protest

Watch Guido’s entire NSFW coverage here.

Ben Bradshaw’s Suit Gone to Pot

Troubled times for the children of Blair. Ben Bradshaw is wandering around in a hole-ridden suit. Admittedly Guido doesn’t like it when he has to dispose of a Savile Row number either, but it’s hardly a good look. Bradshaw is […]

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WATCH: What Osborne Really Saw at PMQs

Guido did not receive a response when he asked a Treasury spokesman if the Chancellor had eaten disco biscuits on Tuesday night…

Via @holbornlolz.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Let Them Eat Death Burger

Not content with nannying people about booze and fags, the state is now trying to stop us from eating burgers. Birmingham Public Health childhood obesity co-ordinator Charlene Mulhern, whose job has so far evaded the clutches of ‘austerity’, has called […]

+ READ MORE +

Blogging May Be Light This Morning…

… As Guido is nursing his hangover from last night’s readers’ party. His memory is slightly hazy, but there are a few things he can remember, remember from this fifth of November’s gunpowder treason and plot…

As the sun set […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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