Friday, January 24, 2014

EXC: Gordon Brown Office Has £10,000-a-Week “Expenses” Raises Over £3 Million, Gives Less Than £1 Million to Charity

  • Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown has £10,000-a-week expenses
  • Not a registered charity, two thirds of funds raised spent on expenses
  • Less than  £1 million given to charity out of over £3 million raised
  • Vanity project lets  Gordon and Sarah enjoy jet-set premier life-style of first class flights and five star hotels

Gordon Brown has since leaving Downing Street raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a £1 million to charity. Nearly three-quarters of the money raised has gone on his office and globe-trotting travel expenses that run at over £10,000-a-week – allowing Brown to vainly swan around in Davos like old times. Gordon Brown always insists that he does not profit from the arrangement and that all the income goes either directly to charities or to support other charitable public service projects.

The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown is not a registered charity, it is a private limited company. Guido’s investigation reveals – by piecing together some 133 declarations made in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary register of interests – a picture of the until now private accounts since the company was set up by Sarah. Brown has declared to parliament that the total amount paid to the company since 2010 is £3,605,197. According to a recent announcement on the company’s website, only £912,702 has so far been given to charity after three years. Leaving over £2 million to be accounted for when according to the latest available records the company had only £160,978 in cash at the bank. You can see an itemised spreadsheet compiled from Guido’s investigations here.

The company admits it budgets £550,000-a-year for expenses to meet salaries, accommodation costs and staff expenses. Gordon can be paid as much as $100,000 for a single speech in America to investors at finance conferences. By funnelling his speaker fees through the company he does not have to pay tax on the income, even though it covers the £10,000-a-week expenses for Gordon and Sarah to maintain the jet-set premier lifestyle they were accustomed to when in Downing Street, travelling first class around the world and staying in top five star hotels attended to by flunkies. Something Gordon would not be able to do on his backbench MP’s salary…

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Everything is ‘Better Than You Expected’, Blanchflower

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.

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where’s Ed Balls?

The silent Shadow Chancellor is still keeping quiet despite some heavy briefing against him from colleagues at the weekend. One Labour MP told the Mail:

“Balls used to throw his weight around in Shadow Cabinet meetings and ignore Ed Miliband when he spoke. Now Balls is totally out of sorts. He doesn’t say much at Shadow Cabinet meetings and when he does, he is the one who is ignored. He has lost his mojo.”

Silence yesterday as well. So where was he? Hidden away at a very safe distance up in Scotland bravely knocking on doors with his old boss Gordon Brown, it turns out:

Anyone would think he was cursed…

Thursday, December 19, 2013

McMental: I Saved the World But No One Listened

Gordon Brown has taken the time to represent the people of Kirkcaldy in the pages of the New York Times. Like a drunk shouting on a park bench about the apocalypse, Gordon’s new line is that he saved the world but nobody was listening:

“In early October 2008, three weeks after the Lehman Brothers collapse, I met in Paris with leaders of the countries in the euro zone. Oblivious to the global dimension of the financial crisis, they took the view that if there was fallout for Europe, America would be to blame — so it would be for America to fix. I was unable to convince them that half of the bundled subprime-mortgage securities that were about to blow up had landed in Europe and that euro-area banks were, in fact, more highly leveraged than America’s.”

Remember kids, Gordon “not only saved the world, but we saved the banks too.” Yes, the food banks…

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blanchflower Wrong Again

Poor Danny Blanchflower is at it again. The man that predicted three of this year’s triple dip recessions and said in May “I nearly fell over laughing when I heard Mervyn King say there’s a recovery in sight”, has turned his brilliant mind to pay. Taking to the Indy, Blanchflower has bluntly claimed: “Take if from me: wages are not going to rise much over the coming years”. Just like his predicted 5 million unemployed under Osborne, it turns out Blanchflower is wrong. Again.  According to a survey by KPMG for Markit, pay growth has hit a six year high this month

Free John Bercow

John Bercow has decreed that today’s Commons sitting will be devoted to honouring Nelson Mandela, though he has not always been such a big fan. Former Big Brother star Derek Laud, who was a member of the Monday Club along with Bercow, claims:

According to the club, Nelson Mandela was a “criminal” and “deserved” his prison sentence. I was alone in saying the opposite and John and his cohorts told me I only felt such a thing because I was black.”

Guido was having a little read of Bobby Freidman’s Bercow biography over the weekend. Let’s hope no one mentions the fact that Bercow was on very good terms with John Carlisle, the so-called “MP for Pretoria” who infamously said that “the system of apartheid in South Africa has worked in terms of government”. Carlisle said Bercow “broadly subscribed to what I was saying”:

“He used to ring me up to say, ‘Where are you going next, can I come?’ He knew what I was speaking on, my reputation, the opposition we would find… John would never have come on those trips if he hadn’t concurred with those views.”

On one occasion Carlisle was due to speak at the Cambridge Union, proposing an anti-sanctions motion. As the party made their way to the Union, they came across protesters waiting for them and amidst a sea of rotten eggs, Bercow started arguing back. “He loved it,” Carlisle recalls, “he was good on his feet and believed in the cause, he genuinely did.”

Let’s hope no one brings this up at Bercow’s special memorial event…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Watson Votes With Tories Despite His Gambling Campaign

Yesterday Guido brought you Tom Watson’s Damascene conversion over fixed odd betting terminals, which he had backed while on the CMS Select Committee, but has recently taken up as his latest cause. Last night the people’s champion accidentally voted the wrong way – against restrictions – on the machines:

“So I supported the government on their report into Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. On most days few would  notice this act of tiny rebellion. Except this was the day in which I made the front page of the Daily Mail, leading the campaign against FOBTs. This week I’ve spent sleepless nights drafting campaign packs, model letters, petitions and press releases in order to gather support for the campaign against FOBTs and their corrosive impact in every High Street in Britain. So basically, this was about the most embarrassing vote I could make a mistake on.”

One in the eye for that image of a super-campaigner he has spent so long cultivating. A long lunch?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lammy’s London Policy is Off the Rails

Fiercely bright London Mayor hopeful David Lammy has come up with an ingenious plan to help London’s commuters while on a fact-finding mission to Paris:

Guido cannot envisage a single problem with this plan. He’s sure Lammy has fully costed the proposal to widen and heighten all of those deep tube tunnels that would have to double in size.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prime Mentalist Flips Out at Whips For Being Made to Work

Tory MPs walking to the Tea Room report that Gordon has been loudly remonstrating Labour whips in their office so loudly that they could hear from the corridor. The former Prime Mentalist is apparently rather unhappy at being made to come back to vote, as he is paid to do, when the Tory army rebellion was beaten comfortably. One tells Guido he was “having an absolute barney”. It’s almost as if he’s an ex-politician resenting being made to represent his constituents… 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

“Ex-Politician” Gordon Paid £349,501 in One Month

No wonder the Prime Mentalist has forgotten he is still an MP. In October alone he has declared payments for outside work of £349,501, including for speeches and junkets to Shanghai, Johannesburg, Monaco and New York. As ever Gordon warns the press:

“I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing involvement in public life.”

Presumably that’s the “ongoing involvement in public life” he cannot remember he is still supposed to be doing.

That “office” flies Gordon around the world first class and puts him up in five star hotels, refuses to disclose how much it gives to charity, how much it pays Sarah Brown, how much is sitting in its bank account for when he finally quits. Who does he think he’s kidding…


Seen Elsewhere

The School That Proves Michael Gove Was Right | Toby Young
Full Jenkin/Beckett/Straw Letter to PM | Politics Home
The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is Cornered | Speccie
Coalition: The Movie | Indy
Lefties Moan About Messina Working For Cameron | MSNBC
Karen Danczuk V Louise Mensch: Round 48 | Sun
Jack Straw Slams Bercow | Sky News
Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times


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Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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