The Way Guido Sees It…

Guido has interrupted his second bottle of the excellent local Rosé d’Anjou – courtesy of those LibDem punters who were a little too optimistic about Bromley – to read his email. A very gracious email from John Hemming and a bizarre comment on the Beeb website from that android, Hazel Blears;

the Bromley and Chislehurst result had been an “absolute disaster” for David Cameron’s leadership. “People vote tactically in by-elections and clearly there was a move here to vote anything but Tory.”

Err, Labour came fourth behind UKIP. They got beat in Wales by an independent despite the herculean efforts of the entire Labour party campaign machine. It was “anything but Labour” last night, so did she actually believe that when she said it? Why do politicians spout crap like that? Does she expect us to believe it?

Conservative chairman Francis Maude said he was pleased his party had won in Bromley and Chislehurst but “disappointed” at the margin of victory.

That seems to me a more reasonable, reality-based, honest comment. The Labour high command are increasingly like Baathists prior to the liberation of Iraq from Saddam and his henchmen, with Blears doing the Comical Ali routine. Inside the bunker getting beat into fourth place by UKIP is a disaster for the victors according to her. In the reality-based community we all know the LibDems fought a better, more spirited, energetic campaign and everybody hates Labour, including Labour supporters who switched to the LibDems. The Tory candidate was flawed, but probably fared better than an A-lister with no constituency links would have done. Anyway, my glass is empty, back to the garden for some more rosé

Blunkett Sues, He Should Lose

Blunkett is suing the Sunday Times and The Times over their reporting of his expenses fiddle [as linked]. Steven Swinford wrote the articles about the disgraceful fiddle whereby MPs claim off the taxpayer for interest and furnishing costs even if they don’t have a mortgage (or new furniture). It is, they always say when challenged, “within the rules”.

But it is not honourable or justifiable, it is a blatant fiddle ripping off the taxpayer for non-existent expenses.

The article in question identified David Blunkett, Jack Straw, John Prescott, Geoff Hoon, Ruth Kelly and Margaret Beckett as fiddling between them hundreds of thousands of pounds in unjustified expenses. It is a joke at the taxpayers expense that they are allowed to get away with this.

Guido hopes the Sunday Times & The Times stick to their guns. It is not as if Blunkett has much of a reputation to defend – he is a proven liar who has been caught fiddling his expenses before and has had to resign from office in disgrace twice. Blunkett is feeling a bit cocky having won a couple of court cases recently. This one he deserves to lose.

Here is something of interest, of the mortgage fiddling men named in Swinford’s article – Blunkett, Prescott, Straw and Hoon – the first two have been exposed in the press for having illicit affairs, the latter two have not as yet.

See also :
Hoon Fiddles Expenses “In Accordance With The Rules”
Four Lords A-Fiddling

Any More Punters?

Guido is still offering 3/1 to any LibDem backers who are feeling lucky, email Guido.

Gotcha! Ben Abotts Fakes It

Ben Abbotts claimed to have helped out in an orphanage during his gap year and put the photos in an election leaflet. Turns out he “helped out” for a few hours. In another leaflet he was pictured cleaning graffiti off a wall near the LibDem campaign office with the slogan “Crime Action Needed Now. It’s time to restore pride.” Ben is pictured taking action, proudly. An outraged constituent, Jaj, sent Guido these pictures. Full story here. Ben Abbott is a professional liar who works for the grubbiest spin merchants in Westminster – LLM (Lobbying, Lying and Mendacity) – so you would have thought that, as a pro, he would have realised he would be caught out faking photos. He didn’t do anything more than don marigolds for the photo op – the graffiti is still there…

ASDA Penny Dropped?

Lefties are really getting stuck into union-free ASDA and we even have the prospect of a strike. Why? Well obviously it is union-free, it is part of Wal-Mart, the gigantic U.S. supermarket chain that takes $1 in every $12 spent by American consumers. It has a turnover bigger than some European countries’ economies. It is a potent and successful symbol of globalisation, cheap Chinese goods filling the shelves.
David Cameron got a lot of stick from anti-globalisation / anti-capitalist campaigners and trade unions for saying last week that low cost ASDA goods were effectively an anti-poverty strategy for low income families. (Baby Fawkes’ clothes all seem to be made in China, which is great, except Peter Mandelson keeps putting protectionist tariffs on anything you want to buy from China).

Tony’s former spinner Tim Allan now spins for ASDA which doubles the emnity of Labour backbenchers. It was, in these circumstances, amusing for a co-conspirator to hear Hugh Bayley MP on a jolly junket to Arkansas, opining that concern in the U.S. and Europe about losing jobs overseas sometimes overlooked the creation of jobs from globalisation. “You can’t wish away globalisation, you have to find ways to turn it to your advantage,” Bayley said during a meeting with companies that sell products to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., “If Wal-Mart is an example, it is one of creating jobs,” Bayley said. Yes Hugh, but will the comrades understand?

LibDem Odds Tighten in Bromley

Punters have cut the odds on the LibDems in Bromley. On Betfair currently LibDems are 5/1. Any LibDem backers who want to put on a big bet should email. Guido wants to lay the LibDems in size. A 20% return in a day is too good to miss.

UPDATE : John Hemming MP has stepped up to the plate with a three-figure wager with Guido at 3/1…

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Heffer-Vision on UKIP TV

Simon Heffer spoke in Bromley about an “alternative home” – geddit?. Surely blog readers won’t want to miss out on what he has to say. Let me know how he “intellectually engages” with UKIP (click on the UKIP TV to watch). Alas, Guido does not have time to watch these pearls of wisdom himself, because he is en route to his alternative home in France. Au revoir…

If You Go Down to the Lords Today…

If you go down to the Lords today,
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the Lords today,
You’d better go in disguise.
For every Lord that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because
Today’s the day the Lordships claim their allowances.

My thanks to a very diligent co-conspirator who not only found the fabled whereabouts of the Lords’ Queue, but sent a map too. The legendary Lords’ queue is where they get their day (and overnight) allowance. The sight of all those Noble Lords queuing every day to claim their allowances, having spent precious little time in the Lords Chamber and even less time contributing to Lords debate is truly something to behold. Even without fiddling their expenses they can make £150 a day just for joining the queue – and many do just that.

The noble Lords queue up once a day in the evening at their Fees Office (administered by Black Rod) near the Pugin Room on the ‘red benches’ side of the Palace of Westminster. An MP or a Commons researcher with a Category 10 Pass could legitimately encounter the Noble Queue by taking a short cut from the Pugin Room through the Lords Library corridor back to Commons territory. Guido would like a picture of that queue – this is a covert mission, surreptitious use of the camera-phone will be required. In return for undertaking this risky mission there will be a prize of a copy of bestselling The Bumper Book of Government Waste* to the person who first emails or texts Guido the picture.

Don’t forget to nominate politicians with their “snouts in the trough” to : Pork Busting, giving the name of the politician and the reason. Guido is compiling from the emails a list of politicians with their snouts deep in the public trough and will then organise a readers poll to find our piggiest politician.

*Prize courtesy of publisher Stephen Eckett at www.harrimanhouse.com

So Retro: Back to the Future

Blair writing in the Guardian today says he wants an open debate about public service reform. Can it really be that after a decade they still have not got a clue? In the ranks it is increasingly like New Labour never happened, midday today there will be a mass lobby of parliament to “campaign against the creeping privatisation of our public services. Join thousands of trade unionists and members of campaigning organisations to unite against the threat of privatisation!” Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out! Out! Out!*

Meanwhile over at the disappointingly Orwellian Labourhome the big issue of today for the “grassroots” is “Why the US government’s shock tactics will not increase breastfeeding rates”. What about the workers?

*Not the official chant.

Click Here to shop at eBay.co.uk

Newsnight : Clarke v Reid

Two emails have arrived, one from a BBC producer saying tonight’s Newsnight is “is political dynamite” and one from Iain Dale with the transcript of Charles Clarke’s denunciation of John Reid which is to be broadcast tonight. David Davis is going to stick the boot in as well apparently.

As the era of New Labour draws to a close they’ll revert to fighting like ferrets in a sack.

Best Odds

Hung Parliament : LDs Should Learn from the PDs

For Guinness-related reasons too vaguely remembered to go into, Guido is actually a member of a political party* – the Irish Progressive Democrats. They are, it is fair to say, the political ringmasters for the Celtic Tiger despite being a minority party. The party has had the utmost influence over Irish economic policy since their founding twenty years ago, pursuing a liberalising agenda of reducing taxes and red tape. A decade ago when Mary Harney was elected the new Progressive Democrats leader she set out her agenda as:

“To lead a crusade of self-reliance which will inspire and energise our people to solve the many problems facing us. Part of this Crusade means less state interference in many aspects of the economy. It means less confiscation by the state of what people earn; it means less bureaucratic red tape that is infuriating small business people, in particular. And it also means less anti-competitive and over-priced state monopolies, which are stifling enterprise. Part of this crusade also means people not always looking to the state to do things for them, but getting on with the job themselves.”

Does that sound a bit like Ming’s re-launch speech? After twenty years of policies informed by that outlook, Ireland has a high-growth, low tax, enterprise culture. The Irish are now richer per capita than the British with unemployment at 2%, an incredible turnaround – something the LibDem anti-modernisers should reflect upon. The liberal PDs may have kept their more conservative Fianna Fáil coalition partners in power, but they largely got their dynamic programme implemented.

With boundary changes and the Tories rejoining the reality based community, the most likely outcome at the next general election is that the country will have rejected New Labour and all their statist ways, so will the LibDems choose to keep the old regime under new management in power, or will they seek to further a Liberal-Conservative Irish-style agenda? It’s a straight choice…

*Incidentally and for the record, my gut political instincts, particularly when drunk, are anarcho-capitalist.

Your Chance to Sleep with Ann Coulter

It is not what you think (or knowing Guido’s readership, more likely fantasised about). The last time this blog mentioned Ann Coulter the comments went ballistic for and against. The wingnut/moonbat detector on the server blew a fuse.

So a blog reader is bound to want to purchase this Ann Coulter Doll to sleep with or perhaps violently smash to pieces. Either way it should be gratifying whatever your predilection.

The doll has the authentic blonde hair and short skirt look. According to the seller on eBay the doll also says “outrageously bold anti-liberal statements, some are quite shocking” – so it really is just like the real thing.

You have until 9.30pm tonight to bid for it Mr Paxman.

Bromley Round-Up

Guido has been inundated with gossip and smears about the Bromley by-election. As enjoyable as they all are Guido was not completely convinced of their accuracy. Filtering out the more fanciful stuff here are the more credible claims :

  • Bob Neill is a “lapsed freemason”, rather like Clinton “not inhaling” that one. He still does not deny being an opera lover.
  • Ben Abbotts claims to have “spent some time working at an orphanage in Madras and my experiences there have really stayed with me. “ An impeccable source tells Guido that this is bollocks and he spent just about long enough to get photographed at the orphanage. Typical spin-merchant stretching of the truth.
  • Nobody has bothered to send Guido any smears about the Labour candidate – that means whatshername is either beyond reproach or likely to come a distant third or fourth.
  • Betfair have yet to come back to Guido with a ruling as to if they will payout on a Tory win on Thursday night in the light of UKIP’s threat to petition to disqualify Bob-a-Job-or-Two. Judging by how long Guido’s money was tied-up with Betfair after Berlusconi whinged about the Italian result they will probably wait to see who sits in parliament…
UPDATE : Betfair have called to say that they will settle against the declared result on the night. So pile the money on Bob-a-Job.
Thomas Pink Pink Panther

Stirring Up Apathy

Labour MP Angela Eagle and former Conservative cabinet minister Baroness Shephard of Northwold speak tonight at a Hansard Society event on political disengagement. Yawn. Guido suspects hardly anyone will show up.

ASDA Prepares Strike Busting Strategy

Portland PR’s Tim Allan is Mr Unpopular among Brownites and not just because he used to be Blair’s deputy-spokesman under Campbell. As if that wasn’t bad enough his firm advises on strategy with the Labour party vis-a-vis keeping ASDA, the Wal-Mart owned firm, union free. The GMB is incensed with Portland’s advice, the cynicism of which would make even Alan B’stard blush.

Hence the 21 separate written questions about Portland to ministers from hostile Labour MPs trying to identify contracts with government departments suitable for cancellation.

Guido is disturbed by the latest non-union ASDA staff member however [pictured]. As he wrote in his column in yesterday’s Sunday Times “I am not sure whether to take myself seriously.” Guido thinks that very few people take Portillo seriously anymore…

World Cup

Women’s Choices

Health minister Ivan Lewis told the Today programme on Friday “that we have to trust and respect women. Give them the information and then allow them to make the best choice for themselves.”

Guido wonders how much he trusts and respects Maggie Gibb, a councillor in his constituency who has been reported to the Standards Board for England after allegedly giving the finger to a teacher at a local school due to be closed.

According to a pupil’s mother who witnessed the incident “after Maggie Gibb said something [to the teacher] and he had turned around, she stuck her finger up and smirked at Ivan Lewis” the Bury South MP.

Is that really why she was smirking at Ivan Lewis?


LabourHome is Live

They eventually got their act together. It kicks off with a fabulously intelligent and insightful article.

Graham Brady Says Miliband, Cash & Redwood Wrong

In an interview with GMTV’s David Mills* the Tory Shadow Europe Minister Graham Brady contradicts claims from Bill Cash and John Redwood that the Conservatives voted to assert the primacy of British over EU law in a vote on the Regulatory Reform Bill. Brady countered that

…the primacy of EU law only happens because of the act of Parliament, there’s a very long standing principle that British law and British parliament are sovereign, we allow EU law to take precedence and all that amendment would have done really is crystallise and clarify the current legal situation whereby if Parliament chose to legislate in a way that was contrary to EU law then that should take precedence, so it was a clarification of the law, it was not a statement of intent or policy of unilateral action contrary to EU law.

GMTV: That’s your interpretation, but Bill Cash and John Redwood and others who take a very close look at European policy in your party, they think it’s very significant.

Well as I said what we weren’t doing was setting about a policy of unilateral action and contravention of EU law, what we were doing and which isn’t new, was accepting the current legal position that Britain’s parliament was sovereign and that’s something we hold very dear as Conservatives and it’s important to us, and it’s important that the British electorate should know that their parliament is sovereign and ultimately can prevail. That doesn’t mean that we’re setting about contradicting EU law, it simply makes it very clear what the situation would be if that were to happen.

In the Guardian David Miliband hyped up a claim that this increasingly controversial vote signalled that the Tories were willing to withdraw from the EU. Does anyone have a definitive answer? C’mon Euro-obssessives, what does it really mean? Is parliament still sovereign or not? If it already is, what was the point of the Tory amendment?

*To be broadcast tomorrow.

Bob-a-Job Too Many

Was Bob Neill drunk when he filled out his election papers? He is a barrister after all, so he should have spotted that legally he would have to resign his Health Authority job – or at least an experienced agent should have spotted the issue.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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