How good it was of the Prime Mentalist to turn up yesterday. Here is one he will no doubt want to skip however: the Great Gordon Brown Repeal bill is to be debated in Parliament next week. The proposal to reverse Labour’s scrapping of the 10p tax rate will be discussed by MPs at 2:30pm next Tuesday. Guido hears Gordon will be receiving a formal invitation…
Guido has always said the best way to provide a living wage to the lowest earners is to cut tax rather than raise the minimum wage. Campaigning Tory MP Rob Halfon has launched a new petition to reverse the last government’s scrapping of the 10p tax rate, aptly calling it the Great Gordon Brown Repeal Bill. As if by perfect timing the Prime Mentalist will be speaking in Parliament for the first time in over a year next week. You can sign the petition against him here…
It has been a month to be proud of our globe-trotting former Prime Mentalist. Not only did he manage to make it a year since he last spoke in Parliament but he has also declared over £300,000 in December’s Register of Members’ Interests, all held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown and not going into his own pocket, of course. While Kirkcaldy goes unrepresented those lucky enough to have Gordon grace them with his presence include the Chinese, Koreans, Americans and Ukrainians. The total £305,037 declaration for the last month is for sixteen hours’ work, or £19,064-an-hour. More than many of his constituents earn in a whole year.
A letter has gone out from the Tories to Ed Miliband calling for the Labour leader to sack his former boss. Brown is jet-setting around the world, refusing to speak up for those he is paid £65,000-a-year of taxpayers’ money to represent, while earning vast sums of money that is being “held” by his company to “support (my) ongoing involvement in public life”. Surely it is time for that “public life” to be lived away from the House of Commons…
Today’s Indy reports on rumours that fuel duty campaigner Rob Halfon will turn to the 10p tax rate for his next trick. Guido can confirm that Halfon will push George Osborne to repeal Gordon Brown’s abolition of the 10p rate, bringing it back for everyone earning under £15,000. The move is inspired by work done by the ASI to produce a living wage through tax cuts rather than wage fixing. Halfon will lobby the treasury to make the move by the 2013 budget, 2014 failing that. A friend of Halfon tells Guido that Gordon’s 10p rate abolition was a “reckless, lunatic thing to do, Robert wants to put that right”. They’re calling it the Great Gordon Brown Repeal Bill…
Hold the front page: Gordon Brown is speaking in Parliament today. And why is the jet-setting Prime Mentalist gracing us with his presence? He’ll be speaking in a debate on Scottish independence, but don’t let that fool you. The only reason Gordon is speaking, today of all days, is that he somehow got wind of the huge celebrations planned tomorrow to mark the one year anniversary of the last time he spoke in the House. That’s right, the last time Brown spoke in Parliament was on the 30th November 2011. His utter contempt for serving Parliament and his constituents knows no bounds…
Labour quickly went on the attack when Nadine flew to the jungle. Chris Bryant went as far as suggesting a by-election for missing recess. So what do they recommend for their own parliament dodger?
In 2012 Nadine has spoken in thirty debates in the Commons, comfortably above average. How many has the former Prime Mentalist piped up in? Just one. The jungle-venturing scourge of the posh boys has received answers to some sixty written questions over the last twelve months, compared with a paltry eight for Gordon. And how do the pair fare in terms of vote attendance? Nadine has had her say in 71% of votes during the last year, with Brown bothering to turn up to just 14%.
Sampling kangaroo testicles will controversially land Nadine £40,000, which pales into significance when you think McMental’s sucking up to foreign dignitaries has clocked up £1.4 million.
Two wrongs dont make a right, but spare us the lectures. If Labour are serious about MPs doing their job, perhaps they should remove the whip from Gordon…
Up and down the country millions of people are waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, petrified by the spectre that has haunted them throughout the early hours. And who is this terrifying figure? A poll for the Mail says that the celebrity most likely to appear in our nightmares is none other than George Osborne. Ouch.
The Chancellor, rather harshly, comes one place ahead of Gordon Brown, a man who no doubt still keeps those who worked with him in those dark days of 2010 up at night. The likes of Katie Price, Anne Robinson and Marilyn Manson also make the list, with shadow chancellor Ed Balls coming in at number ten. No Maggie era Tories strangely…
In spite of his rough ride at Leveson it seems Gordon Brown got off lightly considering the evidence that wasn’t heard by the inquiry. Guido understands that Linklaters, the law firm contracted by News International to conduct interviews with employees over phone-hacking, possesses a wealth of evidence on the Prime Mentalist that Leveson decided was outside his remit.
Sources close to Linklaters whisper to Guido that while Leveson only asked for specific evidence from 2008 onwards, they collected testimony from Fred Michel dating back to the crucial election-that-never-was period in 2007 that was not heard at the inquiry. This includes embarrassing details of failed attempts by Brown’s aides to lobby Murdoch for support and more significantly evidence that sources at the law firm believe show Brown lied under oath when he denied the truth of the infamous ‘declare war’ phone call. If anyone at Linklaters feels like doing the public a service, they know what to do…
Another cracker of a blog from Damian McBride today. We learn of Jonathan Freedland’s (disputed) role in the 2007 snap election decision, Andy Coulson’s dark arts spanners and how Brown’s inner circle thought he was about to have a breakdown – “Think his post-Mrs Duffy interview with Richard Bacon times 1,000″.
One of the most interesting stories recounted by McBride is his conversation with Ed Miliband after he had been accused of briefing against the future Labour leader:
“When he called me that Sunday, I told him what a joke it was that I was being accused of briefing against him and others. “But where’s it all coming from, Damian?” he said. “They’ve got all these details of the meetings we had; that must have come from you.” “Of course that stuff’s from me”, I said, “that’s just the colour – that’s harmless, but they’re accusing me of doing the lines blaming you and Douglas and Spencer for the whole thing.” “Well where’s all that coming from, Damian?”
His voice and tone reminded me eerily of Hal the computer in the film 2001. “I don’t know, but it’s not from me – I’d never brief against you.” “I don’t believe you, Damian” he said, “I think you’re lying.” It felt like an ice cold razor had been dragged down my spine. “Ed, for God’s sake, don’t say that. I’d never brief against you.” “That’s the trouble, Damian, I don’t believe that’s true. I think you’re lying.” “Stop saying that, Ed. You can’t accuse me of lying. I’m not going to have that.” “I can’t help it, Damian, I think you’re a liar.” “If you keep saying that, you know we’re finished, I’m not having that.” “I don’t care, Damian, I think we are finished.””
Watson and Balls should take note.
Tories Attack Labour on Tax | Mark Wallace
UKIP No Flash In Pan | Matthew Goodwin
12 Signs It’s Time to Get Out of Gaza | Slate
Mars Lawyers Slam Plain Packaging | CityAM
HealthCare.gov Construction Cost $840 Million | Wall Street Journal
Why Do Feminists Oppose Stay-at-Home Mothers? | Laura Perrins
Chris Cook’s “Excellent Journalism” | Iain Dale
The Deficit Hasn’t Gone Away | Tim Montgomerie
Doctors Against Burnham | Mail
Privatisation is Good for the NHS | John McTernan
Keep Juncker’s Hands Off the City | Allister Heath
Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:
“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”