Guido has obtained the top-secret Conservative Party parliamentary candidates list – and it doesn’t look like the Tories’ “women problem” will be going away. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, less than a third of the names on the list are women, just 31%. This despite Cameron’s promise to get more women on board and him privately blaming Tory associations for not selecting female candidates, though actually it is CCHQ who have approved twice as many men as women for selection. Even then the overwhelming majority of safe seats which have already chosen candidates have been won by men. Labour’s Michael Dugher is scornful, he tells Guido: “Female Tories will still be in a minority and David Cameron has broken all his promises to do anything about it.” Stay tuned for more revelations from the leaked Tory candidates list…
The FT has a great spot this morning:
“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.
The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!
Unemployment rate up from 7.1 to 7.2%.
Unemployment down 125k.
Employment rate up 0.3%
Employment up 193,000.—
Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) February 19, 2014
You might be reading this with the ground floor of your house underwater but it doesn’t matter: you are officially the happiest you have been this parliament. Today’s unemployment figures provide a statistical anomaly of seeing the rate rise 0.1% even though the actual number has fallen by 125,000. Choose which stat you want to use as per partisan preference.
There has been a small increase in Retail Price Index inflation, though the small fall in the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement provides some cheer. As you can see from the chart to the right, seasonally adjusted public sector debt aside, there is a clear trend of a decline in misery since February 2011…
Everything you need to know about today’s GDP figures in one place:
The ONS’ conclusion: growth is not strong but the economy seems to have “a better tone” than previous years.
David Blanchflower, Gordon Brown’s favourite former appointee to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, has come as close as his arrogance allows him to admitting he was totally wrong about everything. Back in 2009 the out-of-luck economist gazed into his faulty crystal ball and predicted that unemployment would top 5 million if the Tories came into power. In 2010 he forecast that unemployment would surge past 3 million to 3.4 million and in 2012 he predicted unemployment would go up the day before it dipped below 8%. So today’s painful admission that UK unemployment is ‘falling surprisingly fast’, which ‘is welcome good news and better than I had expected’, is a bit of an understatement. Better than expected… to the tune of millions of jobs.
At the beginning of the year Guido predicted that the data would soon show that Ed’s “Cost-of-Living Crisis” was at an end. Today inflation fell to 2%, hitting the Bank of England’s target for the first time in four years and last month saw reported UK wage growth hit a six year high. Wage growth is set to outstrip inflation and with that the end of the rationale for Ed Miliband’s ”Cost-of-Living Crisis”. The public are increasingly confident:
All Ed’s slogans turn to dust “too far, too fast” was demonstrated to be wrong and Labour MPs think “One Nation Labour” is vacuous. Back to the drawing board…
In the last 7 days 68,743 visitors visited 174,969 times viewing 282,820 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:
If you want to see a round-up of the stats for 2013 with fireworks, take a look here.
Top Labour thinker Luciana Berger has already been widely derided for her spandex-clad election winner that she unveiled last night:
“Millions of people across the country will want to kick-start 2014 by getting fitter and more active. There is a real risk however that many people will be put off from keeping to their New Year’s resolutions by soaring gym charges and David Cameron’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”
Berger went on to claim: “A yearly pass now costs £368 on average, an increase of £15 since 2010″. Before this intervention is allowed to shift the entire political narrative, it should also be pointed out that it’s complete nonsense.
An increase of £15 since 2010 constitutes a 4.1% rise. However, if subsidised costs had risen in line with CPI over the same period (10.5%) a pass would cost an average of £390. So in fact that is a real terms cut of £22 in gym membership costs since 2010. Not only was Berger’s intervention completely vacuous, it was just plain wrong. Roll on 2014.
|WATCH: Sun’s Footage of Terrorist Attack Aftermath||245,343|
|Rolf Harris Arrested By Operation Yewtree Police||206,236|
|Sunday Sleaze Special||122,034|
|Exclusive: Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops||61,394|
|WATCH: Serbian PM’s Full Frontal No Knickers Flash Interview||46,115|
|Leveson Effect: Can You See What It Is Yet?||45,766|
|Claire Perry’s Website Hacked By Porn Prankers||45,448|
|Jim Davidson Arrested by Operation Yewtree||43,803|
|Gloria De Piero Topless Photos||40,572|
|On the Dole Because He Didn’t Want to Get Up For 8:00 a.m.||38,263|
|Attorney General Warns Press Over Rebekah & Andy||34,827|
These are the top ten traffic stories on the blog this year which helped generate some 30 million page views. The shocking footage of the Woolwich jihadis was seen by more people here than elsewhere because of paywalls andf the ITV website crashing under the strain. We were first with the news of the Rolf Harris arrest and we were first with the news of his house being searched as well. Due to the Leveson Effect we were also first with the news of Jim Davidson’s arrest. We hinted at the Brooks – Coulson Affair, despite the Attorney General’s warning. Sex sells; Serbia’s answer to Kirsty Wark has a different technique when it comes to interviewing Prime Ministers, Claire Perry’s porn issues and Gloria De Piero’s boobs are what our readers really want to know about. Paul the unashamed shirker from Clerkenwell amazed readers more than once this year…
PICTURE: Nick Robinson’s Tribute to Bob Crow | MediaGuido
7 Days To Budget, It’s Not Too Late To Tell George | MessageSpace
Weirdest Government Decision of the Year | Speccie
Ed Miliband Should Call for a EU Referendum | John Mann
LibDems: Baby Snatchers | Laura Perrins
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
Oh Sh*t, say Tube Drivers | Daily Mash
Venezuela’s Mad Socialist Experiment Ending in Misery | Allister Heath
Economic Figures Still Grim | Nick Wood
In Praise of Bob Crow | Ed West
Anthony Crosland and Roy Jenkins Were Lovers | Telegraph
LibDem Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael:
“Chris Huhne was the man who had put the ‘t’ into ‘Cancun’.”