What Did They Do With Gisela?

This morning Quentin Letts in his sketch wonders what the Labour whips did to Gisela Gordon is Lying Stuart during Brown’s EU treaty statement yesterday. He points out that she was noticeably missing despite having helped on the drafting committee for the EU constitution. Jack Straw (pictured here) chose her to be on Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s committee when he was Foreign Secretary. Quentin is therefore looking for her:-
Lost: one feline Labour MP, sleek coat, answers to the name of Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston). If you see this much-stroked pussy please ring to say she is all right.

The slimey Kaufman had a go at her yesterday as well, he spoke of how some MPs were prepared to write “well remunerated articles” in the Press, and how they “prefer money to the truth”. Rich coming from him, as you can see by studying the register of interests.

Some MPs do television for free, but not him. Here are Gerald’s recent declared media fees: BBC (Up to £5,000), Daily Mail (Up to £5,000), Mail on Sunday (Up to £5,000), Evening Standard (Up to £5,000), Fees from the Telegraph Group. (Up to £5,000), The Scotsman, News International, (Up to £5,000). Massive pot calling small kettle…

Name & Shame MPs Who Vote Themselves Tax Cut

Guido was at an impromptu meeting of successful* internet entrepreneurs held at the Adam Street Club. We were briefed by David Gauke from the Tory shadow treasury team who also sits on the Treasury Select Committee.
Basically the entrepreneurs were extremely pissed off that they were looking at a sudden 80% hike in capital gains taxes when they come to sell their start-ups. They are not the only ones, the CBI, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses are spitting tacks at a tax that came out of the blue via the back of an envelope.

David Gauke pointed out that MPs would, as a result of the reforms, now get a 55% tax cut on capital gains (down from 40% to 18%) when they sell their taxpayer subsidised Westminster second homes. At this self-serving outrage there was a collective “what the f***!” from a roomful of exasperated entrepreneurs.

Guido thinks when the vote comes, those MPs who vote themselves a 55% tax cut and small businesses an 80% tax hike, should be named and shamed. Guido is thinking not just of Yvette and Ed Balls, but those champagne socialists with their multi-million pound property portfolios who will benefit. Michael Meacher and Emily Thornberry spring to mind, but they are not the only MPs who’ll be voting themselves a tax cut on their property portfolios. It adds insult to injury when you factor in that the taxpayer has paid them a tax-free mortgage subsidy worth some £40,000 a year to MPs. Guido will happily publicly name and shame MPs with bulging property portfolios who vote for the Finance Bill that clobbers entrepreneurs. Email Guido any names and details…

*FYI, this blog is more profitable than Guardian Unlimited, which is supposed to be an online success. Apart, that is, from the making money element of success

Tim Yeo Does a Days Work

Guido has reflected on the high emission hypocrisy of Tim Yeo before. This week we read in the FT about him flying off for some golf. The article reveals that he actually went to the office on Monday, yes a whole day, before flying to Spain for another week of golf. Well done Tim…

Drinks All Round – The Taxpayer is Paying

There was a veritable tax parasites ball at Westminster’s fancy Atrium restaurant on Wednesday. The BBC spent some £5,000 pouring booze down MPs throats. Perhaps they were celebrating the expected 2,000 jobs being cut at the BBC? Maybe not, but Guido is celebrating – it is a good start…

Thirst Aid for the Political Class

A co-conspirator writes:

MPs in Bellamy’s last night were being given priority service – with a queue for drinks, the barman by-passed those at the front and asked MPs joining the queue at the back what they would like. I saw this happen twice. I don’t blame the barman of course (or the MPs actually in the cases last night) – it is no doubt a directive from above telling the barman to do so.

But honestly, why do MPs need priority getting a drink? Is it because they have urgent things to attend to and need to get them down as quick as possible?

Is it important to their role as public servants that they get pissed quicker?

Ed & Yvette Profit Handsomely

So who did really well yesterday? Not small businessman, wacked with an 80% hike in capital gains tax when they sell their business at retirement. Alternatively if they work themselves to death dealing with regulatory red tape and hand the business on to their children, Brown and Darling will take, compared to the Tories, an extra £560,000* off the bereaved children. So much for rewarding enterprise.

If you own two homes you just got a handy reduction from 40% to 18% on capital gains. Is it a coincidence that almost all MPs own two homes? The constituency and Westminster home owners already benefit from a tax-free allowance worth £40,000 annually to pay their mortgages. Now they can sell the taxpayer funded second home and only pay the reduced capital gains – a 55% tax cut for MPs.

Mr and Mrs Balls are paid by the taxpayers quarter-of-a-million a year between them, so hard done by are they that they still claim tens of thousands extra in mortgage subsidy on top. Now with the new changes they will be able to sell that second home you paid for and they will pay only 18% tax on it. No wonder they are laughing…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator reminds Guido not to forget the Miliband boys successful efforts to award themselves an IHT tax cut. David Milband is today living in a £ 1.5 million ultra-fashionable-Primrose Hill townhouse at the centre of a complex inheritance-tax avoidance scheme. He shamelessly exploited a loophole which he used to reduce his death duty bills.

When his father Ralph died in 1994 aged 70, leaving a large estate, the Miliband boys agreed a ‘deed of variation’. The cunning move meant that 40% of the equity of the Primrose Hill home was transferred to Ed and David, who were each given a 20% share in the house neatly evading the tax bill.

*Could be an incorrect figure, see the debate in the comments. Guido is not an accountant.

Snouts in Trough : "Do You Know Who I Am?"

So much for equality in the people’s palace. The political class really does have airs and graces:

Access to Services
Before the recess the Speaker approved the Administration Committee’s recommendation that Members should have priority access to services throughout the Commons part of the Parliamentary Estate.

With effect from today, staff and other users should be prepared to give way to Members when queuing for retail and catering services, the post office, travel office or when using other facilities such as lifts, photocopiers, telephone cubicles, etc.

When using parliamentary facilities, please bear in mind whether there is, or is likely to be, a heavy demand from Members and, if so, try to amend your own plans or schedule.

Peter Grant Peterkin
Serjeant at Arms

Sue Harrison
Director of Catering Services

Don’t Miss Dispatches Tonight on C4 at 8pm

Have just finished reading Peter Oborne’s new book The Triumph of the Political Class. It is a brilliant anatomisation of the reality of the contemporary situation. Guido is therefore looking forward to tonight’s exposé of the venality of our politicians. Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper’s legal fiddling of £27,000 of allowances will be covered…

Citizen’s Consultants

Organising “Citizen’s Juries” has made Gordon’s pollster, Deborah Mattinson, a lot of money over the years. Amazingly they have now become a key Gordon Brown government policy. Who, Guido wonders, will get paid all those fat fees for organising what

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Romsey Redhead Silent on Merial

Sandra Gidley MP, AKA the Romsey Redhead and Big Pharma’s best friend in parliament, was paid for by Sanofi Aventis to go to Paris and Budapest last year on a junket.

They are one of the co-owners of Merial, the

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Snouts in Trough : Cash for Passes

Sam Coates in The Times has a piece on Lords lining their pockets with lobbying consultancies and doling out handy Westminster security passes to lobbyists in return. These Cash for Passes deals mean that some of the bars in the

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Snouts in Trough : James Gray (Again)

James Gray is widely perceived to be a cad. He barely held on to his seat when efforts were made by disgusted Tories to deselect him over his treatment of his wife when she had cancer – he left her

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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