So it was good to see his double rehabilitation yesterday, not just with Shriti welcoming “green shoots” but the Prime Mentalist himself quoting the former Chancellor’s views. Cameron was attacking the VAT reduction, Brown defended it bya citing Lord Lamont support for it. Prudent Gordon who spent a decades denouncing Lamont as an uncaring, incompetent, economic buffoon responsible for the destruction of the British economy, is now cited by Brown as evidence of the rectitude of Labour economic strategy.
In the same vein yesterday Phil Woolas chided Norman Tebbit on the Daily Politics for his wooly liberalism on immigration issues. Who is nasty now?
Merrill Lynch has just issued a warning that “In our view, the UK faces a unique set of challenges making the sovereign and the banks especially vulnerable… We believe the issue for the UK is that asset quality deterioration across all lending types is pretty much certain.” Credit markets are roughly assigning a 10% probability that the UK will default on government debt within the next five years. If government spending is not controlled, Gordon really could bankrupt us…
UPDATE 15 January : Simon Carr’s sketch this morning makes a good point:
Cameron was wading into the VAT reduction (at a national cost of £12bn it’s giving two packets of crisps to the average family a day). Brown defended it and cited Conservative support for the policy. Chief supporter: Lord Lamont. Gordon has spent 10 years denouncing Lamont as an incompetent, malevolent, economic illiterate who was responsible for the destruction of British economy. And Cameron isn’t suitable to be in public life because he was once standing beside him in a photograph. He really is shameless, our PM.
He leads the world he is saving, in his mind…
Via : The Crown Blog
An astonishing 17 members of the Government Whips’ Office rushed in as Mr Osborne started speaking, to mix with Labour backbenchers and give an impression of widespread outrage.
The way they appeared from nowhere it was as though someone had just lifted a manhole cover and so many sewer mice had come scampering into the cockpit of democracy.
I have noted before the rising tendency of these state-paid Whips (they receive ministerial salaries which place them comfortably in the current top-rate tax bracket) to pack the Labour benches when a Tory is speaking. Never has it been so bad or obvious.
Whips traditionally kept silent in the Chamber. Under the leadership of Gordon Brown – the same Gordon Brown who poses as a defender of Parliament and who claims to want to hear the Tories make their case – this custom has been trashed.
The Whips are now rent-a-gob.
Today a twitchy little man called Lucas, one of the Whips’ number, stood by the double doors heckling Mr Osborne like a football hooligan. The place where Mr Lucas was standing was not officially part of the Commons playing-field.A moment later he stepped over the red line on the carpet and strode to a seat.So it can be said legitimately that a servant of the Crown entered the Commons bawling abuse, like a drunk entering a Wild West saloon.
Another Whip, Bob Blizzard (normally meek), was sitting beyond the gangway in a little knot of Labour MPs. Mr Osborne was trying to explain Conservative policy. Labour people kept trying to get him to give way so that they could make interventions – and throw him off track. “Give way!” shouted Mr Blizzard. I watched him. He said it more than five times, top of his voice, smirking as he did so. Five times!
Speaker Martin tried briefly to quell the Government side but he was no match for this wall of noise.
Another Whip, Mark Tami, chuckled as larky neighbours kept jumping up to try to disrupt Mr Osborne.
Ian Austin, yet another high-salaried tribune of Her Majesty’s Government, leaned back, played pocket billiards and drawled ruderies out of one side of his gob.
Nick Brown, Chief Whip, sat near the Chancellor and oozed satisfaction.
Why are taxes paying extra for party whips on either side of the chamber to thwart democracy? Surely whipping, even in its traditional rather than neo-Brownshirt form, is a party matter, and arguably an unhealthy method of suppressing the democratic will of the people. Why should taxpayers fork out extra for this?
Sky’s coverage was more like sports reporting, which is how it should be. PMQs is a bloodsport…
Tobin Distanced Himself From Robin Hood Tax Protesters | FT
Tories Must Move on From Gay Marriage | Ben Brogan
Has the Right Split Irrevocably? | Iain Martin
Dave’s Woes Stem From 2010 | Janan Ganesh
Cameron Has Trashed His Own Brand | Rachel Sylvester
Secret of Farage’s Success | Prospect
It Was Beeb Not Tabloids That Smeared Help For Heroes | Speccie
Alternatives to Business For Britain Are Muppets | Charlie Mullins
Obama Counsel Knew of IRS Claims Weeks Ago | WSJ
Bunga Bunga Trial: Dancing Girls, Nuns, Nurses & Obama | Reuters
Dave Must Learn From Conan the Barbarian | James Kirkup
Tom Harris bemoans the public’s attitude to politicians…
“Mr Oborne echoes the lazy, anti-politics whine we hear so often these days, all based on the absurd notion that politicians were once loved and only fell out of public favour during the expenses scandal. He should take a walk to the Strangers’ Bar. But not to sup with the patrons he seems to despise so much, dearie me, no; he should instead look at the paintings on the corridor outside the bar, which depict the devastating fire which consumed most of the Palace in 1834. And he should reflect on the fact that on that dramatic night, as the Commons went up in flames, a crowd gathered on the South Bank to clap and cheer.”
” Evans, dear boy, Evans “