Heydon Prowse has discovered that the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) was involved in the selling of millions of pounds of fake bomb detectors to foreign governments. Military personnel demonstrated dud products to gullible buyers. Heydon says the full story will be on Newsnight tonight…
On Tuesday’s Newsnight Paxman asked the audience of grassroots party members if any of them thought the child benefit announcement had been handled well. Only one person put their hand up to defend the Government…
But who was this loyal grassroots member? Well none other than Richard John, a party staffer and recently appointed Head of Communications for the Welsh Conservatives. The only person who would defend the handling of the announcement was being paid to do so. Apparently he was spinning away on Monday’s show as well. Would the BBC class Andy Coulson as a “grass-roots member” too?
Last night John Redwood flummoxed Kirsty Walk on Newsnight (here) when he said that the government was not cutting public expenditure. She didn’t really know where to go with her line of questioning since it was so off her script. The BBC weltanschauung is that we will soon be seeing massive and terrible cuts in government spending which will provide endless material of the grinding down the poor and vulnerable kind for them.
The truth, as Redwood points out, is that the government is still planning on spending rising every year, government debt will continue to rise year-on-year and the deficit will not be closed even in 2015. The unfunded overspending will be restrained in comparison to Gordon Brown, but will continue regardless. This government will continue to spend more than it receives and the budget will not be balanced. There will be no overall cut in spending…
Newsnight’s regular political panel, made up of Cameroon Danny Finkelstein, the LibDem’s Olly Grender and Blairite insider Peter Hyman, has a bit of a problem. Ever since the coalition emerged Grender and the Fink have moved closer and closer to each other, not only on the sofa but in terms of argument. They seem to agree on almost everything now with only some nuanced differences.
It’s essentially two pro-government mouthpieces against one for Hyman who has to fight them both – Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…
If you missed last night’s Newsnight, you missed a classic of its kind.
Prezza, Pickles and the Huhney monster trashing each other and squabbling in a manner that would make fish wives embarrassed. Every now and then Prezza would shout “Ashcroft” like he had a politicised version of Tourette’s syndrome. Huhne accused Blair of wanting a Labour government to protect his lobbying interests. Pickles tried to out-gruff Prezza. It was so bad, it was good.
Watch it on iPlayer here.
On Tuesday Guido posted a graph displaying an inverse correlation: every time Gordon showed a whiff of recovery the value of the pound went into free fall. Whenever Labour goes up in the polls the pound goes down on the exchanges.
Well it seems last night the Newsnight economic team not only copied the concept, but Emily Nomates’s graphic too – the start dates and margins are identical to Emily’s original graph.
Nice to know where the BBC’s great and good come for an economics lesson.
When Guido reads articles about how powerful and influential this blog is he laughs because it was set up on a whim and primarily for his own amusement. The insight that perhaps makes this blog successful was that political gossip and tittle-tattle is far more compelling than people will admit. Now bearing in mind that the readership of this blog is heavily concentrated in the media, parliament, political parties, the law and the City, which story do you think was most popular yesterday?
The critical analysis of the political paralysis surrounding the fiscal situation? The report back from the Shadow Chancellor’s benchmark launch? The highlighting of the hypocrisy of a senior political journalist?
No of course not. Kirsty Wark’s Prada skirt wardrobe malfunction topped the lot and was easily the most popular story yesterday, followed up by the Telegraph and the Mail this morning. Which is why this is the blog you love and they hate. Happy 55th Birthday Kirsty!
Guido is grateful to Newsnight’s David Grossman for revealing how it passed that Jacqui Smith’s investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and critical report to to the Committee on Standards and Privileges resulted in a mere slap on the wrist.[…]