Monday, July 28, 2014

Bercow Faces ‘Cash for Access’ Accusations
Speaker Accepts Donation From Sally’s Security-Cleared Pal

John Bercow is facing accusations of ‘cash for access’ after Guido revealed he has accepted a donation from a businesswoman to whom he gave a parliamentary pass. Farah Sassoon, who is a close friend of Sally Bercow and is well known for her booze-fuelled exploits with the Speaker’s wife, was granted clearance by the Bercows allowing her to bypass parliament’s security checks. Handy for Farah, since she is a significant donor to the Labour Party; giving them £40,000 through her hotel reservations company.

What did the Speaker get in return for giving Farah unfettered access to parliament? Surely the £5,000 donation from her company Trust Reservations Ltd this month is completely unrelated. If this were any other MP this would provoke allegations of cash for access. Though surely Bercow as Speaker is squeaky clean and beyond reproach…

Friday, July 25, 2014

Miliband Speech Introduced by Smiling Putin Candidate

Ed Miliband’s big speech this lunchtime was introduced by Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s PPC in Hampstead and Kilburn. Not a great week to appear on stage with someone previously best known for smiling in a photo alongside Vladimir Putin last year:

What was that about photo ops?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Non-Awkward Miliband Selfie

mili

Another thing David does better than his brother…

Premier League Already Pays £1.3 Billion in Tax Per Year

ed

Labour’s latest proposed tax on fun is a 5% compulsory levy on Premier League football TV revenues, announced by Harriet Harman this morning. The Premier League tell Guido that they already contribute £1.3 billion in tax revenues to the government annually, so it is inevitable that the cost will be passed on to fans. The cheapest season ticket at Arsenal for the coming year is £1,014, already a 3% hike on last year, while a Sky Sports TV package sets you back another £552 a year. Under Labour you would likely end up paying more. What cost of living crisis?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Awkward Ed Miliband White House Moments

Ed arrived at the White House last night hoping President Obama might take a moment out of dealing with several world crises to help him with his election campaign:

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The Labour leader got his 25 minute ‘brush-by’ with the President. This was the least bad photo:

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They discussed Ukraine, Gaza, the EU and the economy. Just over six minutes each subject.

20140722-081154-29514480.jpg

What was in Stewart Wood’s bag? Surely not a gift from the Commons shop. Fortunately he just went for some DVDs, including House of Cards. The British version, obviously.

Ed didn’t exactly look comfortable:

Of course, within minutes the internet had delivered its verdict:

20140722-081439-29679004.jpg

Well at least it went better than Gordon, just…

Monday, July 21, 2014

Starmer to Miliband: I Like You, Just As You Are
Former CPS Boss Favourite for Holborn Safe Seat

The former CPS Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer – said to be the inspiration for Bridget Jones’ lover Mark Darcy – has been glued to Miliband’s side of late. Not only is he undertaking a  legal review for the party for free, he was on the leader’s table at Labour’s recent gala fundraiser. He’s been a loyal voice on the airwaves for a few months now.

As revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, Keir is the front runner for a very safe London seat. Tomorrow, veteran Labour MP Frank Dobson will officially announce he is standing down and Starmer is Labour insiders’ favourite to be the next MP for Holborn – home to lawyers and the High Courts. It seems Starmer’s brown nosing could be about to pay off.

“Wait a minute… nice boys don’t kiss ass like that.”

“Oh, yes, they f**king do…”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One in the Eye for the Sisterhood

Nettle-sucker Helen Goodman has strayed from the Labour line on the reshuffle. She really hates Tories…

UPDATE: It’s gone.

A Labour Party spokesperson said:

“The Labour Party’s view is that David Cameron’s promises on increasing the representation of women are a sham. He said a third of all his ministers would be women. Fewer than one-in-four are. It is David Cameron who has failed.”

That doesn’t really add weight to Goodman’s apology.

UPDATE II:

Labour Mass Mail Fail

Guido has seen some terrible party fundraising emails in his time, but this one takes the biscuit. Most people on these mass marketing lists probably won’t open this email – purporting to be from Labour’s General Secretary – but it is highly likely that they will read the subject line. Rule one: never, ever repeat the charge. 

From: Iain McNicol 
Date: 17 July 2014 10:19:10 BST
Subject: FW: CONFIRMED: Labour want to raise your taxes

Guido —

I don’t usually forward emails from Grant Shapps but this has made me so incredibly angry that I had to share it with you. It’s simply packed full of lies.

Have a read of it. If it makes you as angry as it made me, here’s something you can do — donate to our campaign fund so we can fight back.

As the election approaches, we face a choice: either we let our politics descend into smears and lies, or we give voters the fair, honest campaigns our country and our democracy deserve. The Tories have made it clear which side they are on.​

Best,
Iain

Iain McNicol
General Secretary of the Labour Party

While dismissing a “Grant Shapps” email about the Harman tax row – sent yesterday to Tory members – as a pack of lies, Labour’s response offers absolutely no rebuttal and instead forwards the charges to tens of thousands of potentially wavering voters.

Axelrod wouldn’t put up with this shi..

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cows Moo, Dogs Bark, Labour Deny Tax Increase

Harriet Harman has bitten, writing to David Cameron accusing him of lying about her tax rise comments on LBC:

Dear Prime Minister,

You claimed at Prime Minister’s Questions today that “yesterday Labour announced – in an important announcement – that it is now their policy to put up taxes on middle income people”. This is not true. It is a lie.

In fact, as you surely know, since your own party circulated a transcript later, I had made a straightforward defence of our system of progressive taxation – the idea that people on higher incomes should – and do – pay more in tax overall than people on lower incomes. The full quote is here:

“But I would say Henry one of the things that I would argue that might, should probably make a really big difference to you is having a really good health service. Because you don’t want to have to pay for health insurance. You don’t want to have to pay to go private to get really good healthcare system. And I think that is not just for working class people it’s for middle class people as well. And the same with education, you know, really good school system that helps people from lower income families and middle income families as well so I think that actually the idea that there are some things that help people on low incomes and other that help people on middle incomes. Yes I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes. But actually they need those public services like the transport system.”
Harriet Harman, LBC, 14 July 2014

It is utterly clear that this is not a call for higher taxes, but a defence of a system which has previously commanded wide support, in which people on middle incomes contribute more than people on lower incomes.

While the principle of progressive taxation has been undermined in recent years, by your Government’s decision to raise VAT and to cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners, even you had not seriously questioned it until today.

Our politics, and the quality of public debate, requires that all participants, however much they may disagree, take part in good faith.

Yours sincerely,

Harriet Harman MP
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

Does anyone seriously believe Labour won’t raise taxes?

For some reason Harman left this part of the transcript out of her letter, presumably because it included another uncosted spending pledge:

“Well I think that is a very interesting point actually Henry because sometimes people feel that they pay in a lot over a long period of time working hard but when they suddenly need unemployment benefit if they lose their job that actually it is nowhere near enough to actually make them feel that it was worth it for them to contribute. And one of the things that we are talking about is making a higher rate the longer you’ve worked to recognise the contributions you’ve paid in if you lose your job.”

How are they going to pay for that, another bankers’ bonus tax?

WATCH: Miliband and Harman Divided on Tax

Look closely at the contrasting reactions of Miliband and Harman to Cameron’s PMQs ambush. Dave reads Harman’s words back to her: “I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes”. Miliband looks at Harman, then turns back towards the PM, shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively. Harman, meanwhile, nods and says, “they should… it’s true”. Cameron doesn’t realise, but the Tories behind him do.

The Labour leader and his deputy are completely at odds…

UPDATE: The contrast is even more evident in GIF form:


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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