Well this is embarrassing. At last night’s Dods parliamentary awards, editor-in-chief Paul Waugh proudly presented the award for Tweeter of the Year to iPad-loving Labour MP Tom Harris. Dods explained that they felt Harris was a worthy winner “for his daily usage of Twitter.” Just one problem: Harris isn’t actually on Twitter.
Labour have launched a bizarre “Justice for the Coalfields” campaign this week to seek an apology from the Tories for the miners’ strike. What about ”Justice for David Wilkie”?
Two Welsh NUM activists were jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of taxi driver David Wilkie during the miners’ strike. He was killed when the two striking miners threw a concrete block off a bridge as Wilkie bravely drove a working miner to a pit in South Wales in November 1984. Passing sentence, the judge Mr Justice Michael Mann said the strikers had “engendered a climate of violence”.
Labour’s Neil Kinnock called it an “atrocity”, the NUM funds and is affiliated to the Labour Party. Michael Dugher would be better off demanding an apology from those Labour supporters who created the climate of violence that lead to the death of David Wilkie, a real working class hero…
UPDATE: Labour’s campaign has come to a grinding halt.
Francis Maude responds to Labour's demand for a public apology from the Government over Thatcher's handling of miners' strike: 'No'—
James Chapman (Mail) (@jameschappers) January 29, 2014
A somewhat unfortunate choice of words from Yvette Cooper this afternoon:
“Today, the House of Lords has a chance to make a real difference to the lives of young people by voting yes to compulsory sex and relationship education in English schools.”
When press releases go wrong…
The Daily Politics reports that Priti Patel has asked the UK Border Agency to look into Arnie Graf. Poor Chris Leslie as ever has no idea what’s been going on…
Chris Bryant’s Rivers of Blunder immigration speech last summer outlined Labour’s tough new approach to tackling the problem of people working in Britain illegally. He vowed:
“We need to make it easier to bring prosecutions; Labour will double the fines for minimum wage breaches and for illegal employment of illegal migrants… Labour will put forward serious proposals to tackle illegal entry. I want to see more companies providing assurances and demonstrating what they are doing to train and recruit local staff, rather than… bringing in workers in from abroad.”
How many unemployed British Labour gurus were overlooked when the job was given to Graf?
Labour are arguing this morning that Miliband guru Arnie Graf “is not employed by the Labour Party”, despite admitting they “reimburse him for lost earnings”, and directly contradicting Graf’s own confession that he works for the party. Either Graf is not paid a wage, does not pay income tax and so Labour reimbursing his earnings has serious tax implications, or they are paying him a wage and he is working here illegally. Which is it, General Secretary?
“The IFS is right to cast doubt over the so-called ‘findings’ of the review of the 50p top rate published by the Chancellor. They say that it is uncertain that the cost of cutting the 50p rate is as low as Ministers claim and that it is too early to judge the true effect.”
Well for some reason he doesn’t seem to want to listen now that they’ve demolished his 50p tax rate plan this afternoon. In a withering assessment, the IFS concludes:
“The best available estimate of what reversing the cut would raise is therefore about £100 million too… at the moment, the best evidence we have still suggests that raising the top rate of tax would raise little revenue and make, at best, a marginal contribution to reducing the budget deficit an incoming government would face after the next election.”
What was that about always listening to the IFS?
That radical new Balls policy: increase taxes. Don’t say the bosses of some of the largest employers in Britain didn’t warn you:
Dracula will be a vegetarian before Ed Balls balances a budget.
Gordon Brown has since leaving Downing Street raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a £1 million to charity. Nearly three-quarters of the money raised has gone on his office and globe-trotting travel expenses that run at over £10,000-a-week - allowing Brown to vainly swan around in Davos like old times. Gordon Brown always insists that he does not profit from the arrangement and that all the income goes either directly to charities or to support other charitable public service projects.
The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown is not a registered charity, it is a private limited company. Guido’s investigation reveals – by piecing together some 133 declarations made in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary register of interests – a picture of the until now private accounts since the company was set up by Sarah. Brown has declared to parliament that the total amount paid to the company since 2010 is £3,605,197. According to a recent announcement on the company’s website, only £912,702 has so far been given to charity after three years. Leaving over £2 million to be accounted for when according to the latest available records the company had only £160,978 in cash at the bank. You can see an itemised spreadsheet compiled from Guido’s investigations here.
The company admits it budgets £550,000-a-year for expenses to meet salaries, accommodation costs and staff expenses. Gordon can be paid as much as $100,000 for a single speech in America to investors at finance conferences. By funnelling his speaker fees through the company he does not have to pay tax on the income, even though it covers the £10,000-a-week expenses for Gordon and Sarah to maintain the jet-set premier lifestyle they were accustomed to when in Downing Street, travelling first class around the world and staying in top five star hotels attended to by flunkies. Something Gordon would not be able to do on his backbench MP’s salary…
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
International Moaning Day | Kathy Gyngell
Cameron Alienating Core Voters Without Attracting New | City AM
Andy Burnham Villain of the Week | Sun
London’s Laundry Business | NY Times
The End of HS2? | Seb Payne
Elvis Speaks | Nottingham Post
Dave Mocked | Sun
MPs Want to Decriminalise Dodging Licence Fee | Sun
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”