The Institute of Economic Affairs has just launched the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize.

First prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the best and most innovative entry outlining a ‘Free-Market Breakthrough’ policy to tackle poverty in the UK.

There will be runner up prizes of £7,500 each, and a student prize of £2,500. Judging panel includes former Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne (chair) and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith.

The deadline for entries is Monday, 9 January 2017.

To learn more about the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize and the entry requirements, click here – and watch the video below!

Paddy Power Paying Out On Hillary Win


This gutsy call sees one of Europe’s largest betting companies put their neck on the line for over $1,000,000. Prior to paying out, the former First Lady’s odds fell to a low 2/11 (84.6 per cent chance of winning) and over the past week Paddy Power have seen a flood of money on Clinton.

Guido’s Paddy Power bookie says:

‘Trump gave it a hell of a shot going from a rank outsider to the Republican candidate but the recent flood of revelations have halted his momentum and his chances now look as patchy as his tan. Recent betting trends have shown one way traffic for Hillary and punters seemed to have called it 100 per cent correct. Despite Trump’s Make America Great Again message appealing to many disillusioned voters, it looks as though America are going to put a woman in the White House.

Should Trump upset the odds and win it will trigger the biggest political payout in bookmaking history and leave Paddy Power with some very expensive egg on its face. They are still taking other US election bets

Check the small print on the bet terms here.

2,000 business owners ask the Chancellor to scrap Osborne’s soft drinks tax


Pressure is mounting on Hammond to ditch his predecessor Osborne’s nannying soft drinks tax. Over 2,000 newsagents, publicans and other small business owners today wrote demanding he scrap the tax.

The letters were delivered to The Treasury by the Face the Facts: Can the Tax coalition, which represents thousands of businesses from across the UK who oppose the tax.

Research from The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) predicts the soft drinks tax will cost newsagents thousands of pounds a year in lost revenue.

In addition, independent researchers at Oxford Economics have warned the tax will cost the UK economy £132 million and will put over 4,000 jobs at risk.

This warning comes on the back of growing disquiet from Tory backbenchers, members and the wider business community that the new May government is doubling down on Osborne’s interventionist tendencies.

If Hammond really wants to create an economy that works for everyone it may be worth him listening to the people actually creating and doing the work in the economy…

Content produced and sponsored by Can the Tax

Return of the Blair? You must be Jokering!


Blair justified the 2005 Gambling Act with his comment “You can gamble your mortgage away on putting money on a horse or, you know, take a bet on the election”. No mortgages lost on Tony’s multimillion pound high streets though!

Go to Swindon and poker is played illegally in pubs at stakes in excess of those permitted under the Act and that’s because the corporations were not interested in operating poker clubs in 2005. They were too busy lobbying for remote gambling, FOBTs and super casinos.

Pub poker players report high levels of addictive behaviour with cash-loss factors being peer pressure (the winners don’t want the losers to quit), and of course an element of cheating.

Blairs’ Act criminalised the most sociable form of gambling, resulting in weaker players getting screwed in Swindon and every other community that it is not allowed a casino with Poker on offer.

Blair thought gambling was just another financial service, so all remote sites would locate in London and import revenue whilst exporting gambling addiction.

But remote gambling anarchists wanted the lowest regulation and tax so went to offshore banana republics. Many have since joined the monkeys in Gibraltar, from where they are using the EU courts to try to avoid paying UK gambling tax related to losses from UK gamblers.     

Tessa Jowell dressed in a croupier outfit smiling behind a Gala Casino roulette wheel said “There is nothing wrong with a harmless flutter”. Just out of camera shot was Labour donor and then Gala Coral CEO, Neil Goulden, who has been the betting sector’s biggest lobbyist. And let’s not forget former Gala Coral lobbyist at the time of the Act, Phil Wilson MP – the man who replaced Blair in Sedgefield. Tony coming back – is he serious?

Osborne’s Soft Drinks Tax Should Fizzle Out?

George Osborne may have left 1 Horse Guards Road for the glamourous US speech circuit and an odd guest appearance on the Today Programme, but his poor policies seem to keep popping up. Readers of this blog may well remember the infamous pasty tax which caused quite a stir among Osborne and his cronies who were forced to U-turn and spend the following months pecking on pasties.

Not satisfied with one misguided food tax, Osborne took a swipe at the soft drinks industry by introducing a sugar tax in the last budget. Unfortunately for him it appears he didn’t seem to get his numbers right. A recent report has shown that the tax will only lead to a cut of five calories per person per day – the same amount as a bite of apple. Not quite the amount required to address Britain’s looming obesity crisis.

With the same report also showing that there will be over 4,000 job losses across the UK, one has to wonder why this ineffective and harmful tax has not already been scrapped. When will the Treasury accept the tax won’t work?

Content produced and sponsored by Can the Tax

Take APCO’s party conference quiz & win a magnum of champagne!


What is a FOBT?

That was the question raised last week in comments relating to our latest Guido post – “Count Snowdon and the bloodsuckers are not libertarians”.

When googling FOBT a few years ago, the top link was to Faecal Occult Blood Test, but google FOBT today, and the top link is to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. However, unlike the former which saves lives and the NHS money, the latter ruin lives, take lives and cost the NHS money – taxpayer’s money.

Wikipedia gives the FOBT illiterate an overview but omits some key points.

  1. The bookies introduced them illegally in 1999 and operated them illegally until the Blair government, aided by a little bit of cosying up from the bookies, granted them legitimacy in 2005.
  2. The bookies called them “betting terminals” to side step legislation that prevented them from having gaming machines.
  3. There is empirical evidence that shows they have a fourfold correlation with problem gambling, above all other gambling products in the UK.
  4. Every minister involved in their legitimisation has since admitted they “got it wrong”. Including Tessa Jowell, David Blunkett and Harriet Harman – but not Blair himself of course!

When it comes to FOBTs and their massive £100 stakes and £1.7 billion of profits, the question is, how come they aren’t in Bingo Halls, Amusement Arcades and Pubs? Firstly, because Blair helped his friends at the bookies to protect their monopoly on them, but secondly and more importantly, the other sectors don’t want them.

So, should libertarians really be supporting the consequences of corporate illegal activity and a protected monopoly?

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTs


As if you needed another reason to get behind Europe for the Ryder Cup – Britain’s biggest motormouth Piers Morgan has revealed that he’s backing America, in a video released by Paddy Power. That’s right, Morgan loves America, and America loves him – or so he says.

With Ryder Cup fever sweeping across Europe, the nation’s most polarising public figures is supporting the States in golf’s showpiece event – thanks to the UK’s decision to leave the E.U. in this summer’s referendum. Bemoaning the Brexit vote, he says: “I voted Remain this summer, but 17 million of you inexplicably didn’t. Now we’re supposed to pretend that never happened and we’re one big happy, European family again at the Ryder Cup?”

The bookie is confident that Piers Morgan coming out swinging for America will help give punters another reason to support Europe ahead of the Ryder Cup, which starts on Friday.Piers Morgan claims:

“I owe some of my fondest memories to the mighty U S of A – judging America’s Got Talent, winning Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, having my own prime time chat show, and even being publicly reviled for questioning their gun laws. And it makes no sense, if Britain doesn’t want to be a part of the EU, why should it support Team Europe? They’ve been Trump-ed by America. I’m shooting for the USA all the way. And, hey, if my old mentor Donald Trump gets into power, maybe I’ll be back-in their living rooms every night, too.”

Paddy Power say:

“If the annoying, over-the-top cries of ‘get in the hole’ from our friends across the pond wasn’t a good enough reason to support Europe, we thought exposing Morgan as Team USA’s biggest fan would be the perfect deterrent – and help drum up more support for Team Europe.”

Count Snowdon and the Bloodsuckers are NOT Libertarians


Christopher “Silly Count” Snowdon writes for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which purports to be a libertarian think-tank. However, it usually “thinks” the same as the business sectors which fund it, as exposed by Dark Money and Snowdon has a particular penchant for the tobacco industry![…]


Philip Davies MP – Bookies Leading Tool in Parliament Needs Suspending


Tory MP Philip Davies was the clear leader of a group of MPs exposed in a recent Private Eye article, for accepting freebie hospitality trips from the bookies. Caroline Nokes, another Tory MP and John Mann, Jim Dowd, Justin Madders and Toby Perkins from the Labour Party all accepted around £500/600 in freebies from the lobbying bookies, but Davies beat them all with £3,000 of freebies.[…]


Betting shop violence and crime – Will the Prime Minister take action?

There’s always someone kicking off” was a newspaper headline this week, but unusually the article wasn’t about the political turmoil. It was a former shop worker referring to his spell of working in betting shops during which time he saw chairs being thrown, machines being smashed and customers biting each other’s ears off.[…]


How to Reach Westminster Politicians

If you want to reach Westminster’s politicians there is a clear winner.

Talk to MessageSpace about sponsored editorial and advertising opportunities on Guido Fawkes, the website that reaches more MPs, with six times as many readers as PoliticsHome. Call MessageSpace on  020 7608 1140 or email[…]


Retiring Gambling Commission Chair Failings Exposed

philip graf 7

By special reporter Fill Graph

Britain’s betting shops are now the “most violent in the world” was the Daily Mirror headline last week, following the start of a Parliamentary inquiry into “crack cocaine” gambling machines.

With 999 calls from betting shops reaching record levels, attacks on machines and staff spiraling out of control – all in the same week the gambling regulator revealed that losses on the now infamous FOBTs had reached a record high at £1.7 billion.[…]


FOBTs are not FUN – Stop Now!


Wanda Goldwag, the Chair and Independent Standards Commissioner of the Senet Group, says – “When the Fun stops – Stop” and the tagline of her apparently independent Senet Group is “Promoting Responsible Gambling Standards”

Wherever does this “fun” concept come from?[…]


“Bonus King” Fred’s flunking Betfred

Bet fred 2

A strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past” is the dictionary definition of déjà vu that Sarah Harrison, the recently appointed Gambling Commission CEO may have looked up this week.[…]


Punters Bet Big on Remain

cameron paddypower

Since Cameron’s Conservative Party claimed a shock majority in last year’s general election, we’ve experienced an intense build-up to the UK’s European Union Membership Referendum. This week, voters of the UK will either maintain or reject its EU member state status after more than 40 years of trade and co-operation.[…]


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