Ed better think again about that pasty-gate style trip to McDonalds, he’s no stranger to a posh burger himself. Presumably more of an emmental cheese and Diet Coke man.
Meanwhile Clegg has gone out to bat for the Chancellor on LBC, confessing he also eats at Byron and is partial to their Oreo milkshake:
Grant ‘McLovin it’ Shapps? Well he’s just a man of the people:
Great burgers of our time…
Ed Vaizey makes his own (H/T @asabenn):
Whereas Dave and Barry prefer wieners:
Size isn’t everything for Boris:
Vince Cable went to Maccy D’s but stuck to the coffee. He doesn’t look like he was McLovin it.
William Hague and Kevin Rudd prefer long ones:
Slightly better news for Shamburger George this morning: Office of National Statistics revised figures say there was not actually a double-dip recession. GDP growth between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 has been revised from a fall of 0.1% to flat. Whether that’s what people will be taking about round the water cooler is another thing. Byron to celebrate?
UPDATE: Everything you need to know courtesy of this ONS video:
Watch closely for the reaction of the PM and the Tory benches as Osborne asks Labour about their spending plans. Cameron’s face turns to shock as he and a number of other Tories point towards Labour MP Toby Perkins, sitting on the third row. From the video it is not clear why. Tory MPs are adamant this afternoon that it was because Perkins “flipped Osborne the finger”.
As Bercow intervenes you can hear a Tory MP shout “it’s Perkins!”. Guido is told that a Tory MP then passed a note to the Speaker making the allegation against Perkins, Bercow then ripped the note up and put it in his pocket. Perkins’ office are currently refusing to comment. All very parliamentary…
Pickles shows himself as the “model of lean government” with a 10% cut, alongside Grayling and Maude, while the Chancellor leads by example. Hammond and May get off lightly…
Labour’s Anas Sarwar becomes the first to make a Jeffrey joke in the House, no doubt to the annoyance of many a bookie. He could have at least made it funny…
Learn with George as he explains how he will ”help people who work hard and want to get on” at next Wednesday’s spending round. A helpful piece of taxpayer-funded Tory propaganda. Osborne spells it out very slowly for Ed Balls…
Turns out government borrowing actually rose last year. Revised ONS figures show public sector borrowing for 2012-13 was £118.8 billion, up from £118.5 billion the year before. This week’s Speccie cover article gets to the point:
“When the Chancellor stands up to present his spending review next Wednesday it will be with the reputation of a crazed axeman. Much of the country, whether it thinks it a good thing or not, subscribes to the belief that George Osborne is shrinking the state year-on-year, slicing here, chopping there. In a recent poll 58 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposition that Osborne’s ‘austerity drive’ is ‘harming the economy’… Osborne is no mad axeman but a bodger blundering around with a blunt chisel.”
Osborne wants to portray himself as a responsible, sound money Chancellor making tough choices, streamlining an overbearing state and making government more efficient. The truth is borrowing, and as the graph below shows, spending is still going up:
The Treasury is pushing the fact that borrowing fell last month year-on-year, which is encouraging. But to say they are not doing enough is an understatement…
See also: Tale of Two Austerities.
Story of the week from the Sun: Obama called Osborne Jeffrey three times at the G8 summit, confusing him with the soul singer:
Come back Mitt, all is forgiven…
… Though not many. The baronetcy heir apparent tests the effects on the working man of his 1p cut to the price of beer, pulling a pint for Tom Watson in parliament’s Strangers bar last night. Sampling the latest from his local brewery, called Pennies from Eleven apparently. Must not make eye contact…
Tories Becoming the Higher Tax Party | Ben Brogan
Rights Culture is a Selfish Dead End | Philippa Taylor
NY Times Wrong to Attack London | City AM
Guido’s Column | Sun
UKIP’s Contempt for Our Free Press | Alex Wickham
Clegg Will Stay Until 2020 | Times
Farage’s Aide and Her Pussy at Work | Times
UKIP Funding Controversy | Times
We Need a Democratic Reinvigoration | Chris Deerin
Clegg’s Patriotic Guff | Quentin Letts
Even the BBC Accepts the Licence Fee Must Go | ConHome
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”