Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Speaker Says Bye Bye to £1.5 Million Barber

Outgoing TUC fat cat Brendan Barber is still hanging around like a bad smell. Guido understands that last night the Speaker held a leaving party in his taxpayer-funded state apartment for the £100,000-a-year union baron. The drink was flowing as the usual union thugs like Ian Lavery and John Bercow’s old pal Jack Dromey said goodbye to their strike-happy former boss. Tories are spitting feathers this morning that union-lover Rob Halfon was also in attendance. As if Barber’s £1.5 million golden goodbye was not enough…

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Speaker Jerk-ow

Who’d have thought John Bercow would want to add to his reputation as a stupid and sanctimonious dwarf? The pint-sized Speaker has fulfilled at least two of these three criteria by parking his bright red £30,000 Land Rover Freelander, complete with self-titled personalised numberplate, outside his parliamentary apartment for all to see. Bercow’s latest vanity project will have set him back anything between a few hundred quid and several thousand. His wife’s other car is a Volvo…

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Speaker Keeping Platinum Mega-Pension

With the Treasury taking an axe to pensions today, the archaic “Great Offices of State pension” is for the chop. This throwback sees the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker receive half of their salary for life immediately after leaving said post. This is on top of their MPs pension and are eligible for the extra even if they have only served for one day. It’s going thankfully, but those already in place will qualify.

Cameron, Ken Clarke and Chris Grayling have all said they will not be drawing the money. Gordon Brown is, unsurprisingly. Pressure has been growing over the last few days for Bercow to make a similar pledge. Sensing negativity, the Speaker’s Office released a statement today – he won’t be taking his £39,000 per annum on top of his MPs’ pension until he’s 65. Which is nice of him. Thanks John. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parliament Crèche Costs £81,154 per Child
…And Guess Who Is Picking Up the Tab?

Unsurprisingly, the Speaker’s vanity crèche in the old Bellamy’s restaurant in Parliament has turned out to be an expensive mistake. Cass Horowitz, a former researcher involved in trying to stop the original project back in 2010 has been number crunching:

“…there are currently 15 children attending it on a regular basis despite the fact it can cater for up to 40 children. These 15 children have six members of staff (probably the equivalent ratio to a five star hotel) and thus presuming a salary of 30k and including the loss of the original refurbishment, they are being looked after at £81,154 tax payer pounds each. In other words they’re probably the most expensive babies in Britain!”

When political correctness is at stake, who cares how much it costs!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bercow Bashes Boo-Boys

The Speaker has had some less than complimentary things to say about his fellow MPs on the World at One:

People who never wanted me to win in the first place and, in many cases, strove very hard to stop me winning have tended to feel a lingering sense of grievance. Just as I don’t bear a grudge against anyone who did not vote for me, I would argue that if people are fair-minded they should not three years on be sulking about who won. They have either vocalised their opinion in public or have constantly briefed against me behind the scenes. I have of course an idea about who some of these people are. And I think it is a sadness, a sadness for them that they are so embittered and resentful.”

The press were on the receiving end as well:

I’m supremely uninterested as to what is written in many of the newspapers. Their utterances are absolutely of no interest to me whatsoever. I’m sorry to disappoint them, but they’re just not important.”

Methinks he doth protest too much…

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Speaker Ignores Parliament Booze Subsidy

The Speaker has been talking to Total Politics about the bars in Parliament:

Are bars in Parliament a good thing, and could it operate without them?

Many members feel it’s appropriate for Parliament to have facilities in which they can entertain their constituents, and constituents very much enjoy coming here. Members lead very busy, stressful lives, and are required to be in the House long after `normal’ working hours. If they wish to unwind with a sociable beer or glass or wine with colleagues, then I see nothing wrong with that. I’m sure Parliament could survive without bars, but it would be a shame if constituents and other visitors were to lose the opportunity to be entertained here.

What do you have to say about the reporting of Parliament’s bar business, specifically talk of reduced-price alcohol or the level of ‘rowdiness’?

There are a number of myths that continue to be perpetuated, one being that the bars here serve very cheap alcohol. Since 2010, the price of alcohol served in the House has increased significantly and the prices in our bars are now comparable with high street pubs, and kept under constant review. I also don’t recognise the wilder reporting concerning `rowdiness’ on the estate. Once myths get established it’s very difficult to counter them, but in spite of that, the Commission will continue to do what it thinks is right to encourage sensible alcohol use on the estate.

Note that he does not mention the £5m subsidy, or try to pretend it does not exist – as he did on Sky News a few months ago. Those significant increases in price that he mentions were in fact a mere 5% bump. That still makes Strangers’ cheaper than any other pub in Westminster that is outside of the estate.  As for entertaining constituents and other visitors, perhaps Bercow could explain why in the areas where this can happen, such as the Strangers’ Dining Room, it’s twice as expensive as the Members’ dining room. Only George Galloway is calling for the bars to be closed, but why should we have to pay for them?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bercow and Bryant’s Hunting Leads to Fireworks

The Speaker sparked a furore in the House after refusing to ask Chris Bryant to withdraw his accusation that Jeremy Hunt is a liar. Bryant claims it was fair game as Hunt was mentioned in the motion though others do not agree:

The Tories weren’t in a mood to let Bercow off the hook, with Jacob Rees-Mogg hitting the nail on the head:

How many more decisions like this from Bercow will the Tories tolerate…

Video via @liarpoliticians.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bercow Supports Hunting

The Speaker has just granted an Urgent Question on the Hunt situation, meaning that the last day of the session will be dominated by Murdoch and the Culture Secretary. This will not go down well with No.10, especially as many saw Labour’s demand for a statement as over-playing their hand…

UPDATE: After failing to land a punch last week, Guido recommends that Ed has a read of this post from legal blogger David Allen Green.

UPDATE II: The statement will be at 15.30.

UPDATE III: Guido would also recommend that Ed turns Theresa May’s Qatada line on it’s head:

“If any of my officials made a mistake, that is my responsibility…” 

This could get messy…

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Speaker in Gay Harassment Scandal

The Speaker has been forced to deny allegations that he had harassed an openly gay male staffer. The adviser claims that he was only hired “for the purpose of pursuing a sexual relationship” and was harassed in person and by text message. Australia’s Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has stood down temporarily, but strongly denies the allegations, saying they came as a complete surprise…

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dave Wins Backbench Bercow Bet

Though it was all smiles at PMQs yesterday when Dave mocked the Speaker’s address to the Queen, the PM’s “kaleidoscope budget” gag clearly hit a nerve and Bercow was left unable to speak for a good ten seconds. Now Guido hears it wasn’t just a well timed line, but in fact the terms of a bet…

Dessie Swayne, Dave’s PPS, and a few other Tory backbenchers who come in very early every morning have come to be known as The Breakfast Club. It’s mostly ex-lawyers and bankers who are used to an early start. When Cameron broke bread with them on Wednesday morning they bet him a bottle of wine that he couldn’t get the word “kaleidoscope” into a PMQs response. It’s not clear whether the wine will be drunk over breakfast…

UPDATE: Tweeter @ToryOutcast gets in touch to say he had mentioned this last night and the exact terms were a bottle of Krug with Stephen Phillips MP. Cheers…

UPDATE II: Having gone back to the original sources for this story, it seems Dave has been changing his tune. He told the 1922 Committee it was a bottle of wine that he had won in the bet rather than champagne. Looks like the Tory ban on the sparkling stuff is still in place…


Seen Elsewhere

Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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