Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Government Official Loses Bet on the Economy

This time last year an economist wonk at the liberal-leaning CentreForum took a dislike to Guido’s economic foresight. Deficit denying Liberal Conspiracy made a predictably over the top attempt at playing up the difference of opinion calling Guido innumerate, an allegation later quietly withdrawn.

Subsequently a wager was drawn up with the Freethinking Economist Giles Wilkes: a book of the loser’s choice would be sent to the winner. After a year of month-after-month of above target inflation announcements by the Bank of England, Giles, a good sport and former bookie, has decided to admit early that deflation just isn’t going to happen. In fact the realisation is becoming mainstream that the danger is quite the opposite, as Guido has long pointed out, of runaway inflation resulting from QE. Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. Guido doesn’t want to worry anyone, but Mr Wilkes is now Vince Cable’s Special Advisor…

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Truth Shall Set You free

Vince is whining that “…somebody who isn’t a constituent falsifies their name and address and comes in with a hidden microphone – it completely undermines the whole basis on which you operate as a local MP.” Does it really undermine the operation of an MP? If you are duplicitously two-faced, saying different things to different people it will undermine your standard operational procedure – lying.

As with Wikileaks people may have reservations about the manner in which the truth comes out, but one thing Guido is certain about: it is better that we the people know the truth. The political class treats voters like children who need to be shielded from the truth for their own good, making high-minded Platonic claims to “noble lies” when in reality they are too afraid of the personal consequences of living in truth. The truth will set us free…

UPDATE : Guido ran a survey when the Telegraph story came out asking, Could Cable Bring Down the Coalition? 4,217 politically savvy readers were polled, a whopping 89.85% said “No” and only 7.9% reckoned he could.

Methinks Cable is a bit vain in thinking he could bring down the government…

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Old Uncle Vince Ruins Coalition Christmas

It seems all it takes is a fake beard and a pair of sandals to get old Vince chatting away about his delusions of grandeur. The Business Secretary has been stung by the Telegraph’s Holly Watt and Heidi Blake, posing as LibDem activists and shown himself to be a vain old fool:

“Can I be very frank with you, and I am not expecting you to quote this outside. I have a nuclear option, it’s like fighting a war. They know I have nuclear weapons, but I don’t have any conventional weapons. If they push me too far then I can walk out of the government and bring the government down and they know that.”

Lord knows what nonsense he  would say after a couple of sherries…

Downing Street has put the boot in and the old man has admitted he is “embarrassed” by his comments. It might come as a bit of a shock to the  man who predicted seventeen of the last three recessions if he does one day decide to quit. Guido doesn’t think there would be quite the fall out the once revered “sage” likes to think…

UPDATE: At least Telegraph’s top totty Heidi Blake is trying a little harder with her stitch ups these days. Guido can’t think why Cable would be so chatty.  You have to laugh at the fact Clegg and Cameron are giving their end of year joint press conference today. Perfect timing from Vince. The more Guido thinks about it the more he thinks Cable should be sacked. Yes he was claiming to speak the truth, but if he is not prepared to do that publicly how can anyone trust him? It would be the ultimate way to prove him wrong…

UPDATE II: Money is pouring in on Cable to go, sadly more likely to be an element of wishful fluttering.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spivgate

The fallout from Cable’s speech seems to be overshadowing Clegg’s big day out at the UN. Once again “the sage” is the LibDem everyone is talking about. Describing those that work in finance as “spivs” has caused some consternation and outrage in the City, but was lapped up in the hall of course. Sky News gave Clegg a hammering over it and he very clearly did not defend Cable’s words. A better line of questioning would have been whether Clegg thought his brother was a spiv, or his dad, or David Cameron’s late father was a spiv, or LibDem’s donors, or David Laws. The list goes on…

Confused Old Socialism

Vince Cable opened with “comrades” as he took to the podium. He is aiming for the room rather than the real world and will no doubt reference the fact he predicted seventeen of the last three recessions. The business world has pricked up its ears at their biggest bashing since the 70s and who can blame them. A cabinet minister saying “capitalism takes no prisoners and it kills competition where it can” is enough to send a shiver down the spine and should serve as a reminder of just how barking and dangerous Cable is. Though funny we never heard the old sage decrying “unrestrained capitalism” and corporate greed when he was cooking the numbers for Shell…

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Fable Digs In

In a first since the formation of the coalition, Vince Cable has had what could be described as a good day. Well he seems to have got his own way for once at least. Despite the idea being “Miltoned” previously by Downing Street, it now looks as if Cable’s plans for taxing successful graduates have been given the nod. Apparently taxing aspiration is making Britain “fairer”. No wonder he had some nice things to say about his bosses today:

But the big surprise, which in some ways is a pleasant surprise, is that the coalition does actually work. Personal relationships are very good, very businesslike. Having worked with the Tories, at close quarters, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that they’re not as I’d envisaged them.”

You could have fooled Guido. Cable has been walking around looking physically pained by his predicament. Rumours are circulating that he threatened to resign if his tax plan was rejected – perhaps he would have ended up back in Labour. It would not have been a fatal blow to the government though. Is placating this increasingly doddery old crypto-socialist really worth burdening the next generation with even more crippling debt?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vince and Norman, Now and Then

There were some raised eyebrows on the left when Vince Cable was eye-spied laughing merrily on College Green with former Chancellor Norman Lamont.

But this was no one-off encounter. These two go way back and were both President of the Cambridge Union – “We’re all in tails together.”

So it seems not every Tory gives Vince that pained expression.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vince Is Coming For Savers

The businessmen-funded Policy Diffusion group is drawing their battle lines over the proposed rise in Capital Gains Tax. This followed Cable around yesterday:

“This LibDem policy fails on every conceivable account. It discriminates against elderly savers, reduces economic growth, prevents the build-up of capital, discourages entrepreneurs and will even reduce government revenue rather than increase it, widening the deficit.” Policy Diffusion fought viciously against a hung parliament in April and despite the resulting coalition, they are back. And this time they have trucks…

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mandy’s Leaving Plea

Instead of sending us to Sion Simon’s Swiss Viagra supplier, Labour-Uncut actually had an intriguing little snippet yesterday. It won’t get as much coverage as Liam Byrne’s letter to David Laws,nevertheless for those interested, Mandelson’s letter to his successor apparently simply stated “don’t let them break this department up.”

Wishful thinking perhaps for the huge counter-productive Whitehall empire that Mandy acquired. The Treasury has its cross-hairs firmly pointed at  the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, now in the equally slippery hands of Vince Cable. With the largest chunk of cuts coming their way, Mandy’s last wish looks unlikely to be granted.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whodunnit?

Speculation is rife about who stuck the knife into David Laws and told Holly Watt at The Telegraph that she might want to go back and take a look at their well guarded, unredacted, expenses files. There was a desire to out Laws officially from the moment he stepped into the Treasury, but who could have been so angry with his hurtling rise to village-fame?

Obvious suspect number one would have to be the man fleeing the scene of a crime. Liam Byrne was humiliated and has left his recovering party wide open to attack with his infamous “there’s no money left” note that Laws revealed so publicly. Baldemort doesn’t look like a man who would let things go lightly…

Some eyebrows were raised at Alastair Campbell over the weekend after he appeared on Question Time slamming Laws on Thursday and even produced a framed photograph of the former Treasury Chief. Vendettas are his forté, but would he or Byrne have had the knowledge of Lundie? That vital clue points towards a Brutus-style stab in the back….

As Guido’s old chum David Aaronvitch said, Vince Cable has spent the last three weeks looking “like a bulldog sipping piss from a nettle.” He  has got the raw end of the cuts and his economic reputation was decimated by Laws. Clearly he isn’t a happy bunny and as Guido wrote last week, he stood down as Deputy Leader in a simple manoeuvre to have the left-winger Simon Hughes elevated, reminding Clegg of the more lunatic elements of his party. In collusion with Hughes, Vince is clearly up for causing trouble. A former Deputy Leader and a former President of the Liberal Democrats would be privy to vital information about their MPs. Like rumours of boyfriends for example.

David Laws’s right-wingery drives the left of his party round the bend. When he became the darling of Westminster, applauded on both sides of the House for his deft Commons performances, he would have given many of them the needle. The culprit could be the one who would have not only the spite but the knowledge too. Either that or it was some young upstart at Edelman who wanted to make a quick buck.

Or perhaps Holly cross-checked the expenses claims against records for the address, noted that the landlord lived at the address and was a good looking young man which in view of the rumours… You know, good old fashioned research?


Seen Elsewhere

F**k Embargoes | Martin Belam
How Many Seats Will SNP Cost Labour? | Staggers
Nick Clegg is a “W**ker” | Mail
Continuity Gove | PLMR
Sunday Mirror Should Be Applauded | Sandi Dunn
Hancock in “Labour is Full of Queers” Blunder | Scrapbook
In Farageland | London Review of Books
What About the Mums? | Kathy Gyngell
Tories Send Cameron Clear Message Re Gove | Speccie
Lets Hear it for Theresa May | Allison Pearson
Dave Takes Advantage of Economic Trust | Jonathan Freedland


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Following the revelations about Brooks Newmark’s paisley pyjamas, Hugo Rifkind wonders in this week’s Speccie what other politicians wear in bed:

“Chuka Umunna will sleep in Calvin Klein briefs, all the better to catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror on his ceiling.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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