Ashcroft Buys 4% of Spurs

Given the paranoia of some Labour MPs we should expect early day motions backing Arsenal. Tottenham isn’t even a marginal constituency…

Bottle of Barolo for Lunch, “Silvio” the Toast

Silvio Berlusconi horrifies the politically correct commentariat. Guido is overjoyed to learn that his Party of Liberty has clinched decisive victories in both houses of parliament.

He will bring a bit of fun back into dreary European politics and push Italy in the right direction. He sometimes, like Boris, plays the fool, but he is one smart operator. All the now unemployed Italian Greens and Socialists should be a warning to Ken…

Clegg : the FCS Days, Denials and Delays

Calamity Clegg is denying this story that he was a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association, unfortunately nobody believes him. Greg Hands MP says “There was only one Nick Clegg at Robinson College, and Nick Clegg was a member of CUCA.” He should know, he was counting on Clegg’s votes in the internal CUCA elections.

The Huhnie monsters accused Clegg of having a Tory past during the leadership election, something he denied at the time, as he does now.

Changing the subject, his press team told Guido a few weeks ago they would be publishing his expenses about now. Now Hannah in his office says they didn’t tell Guido that, and they will be publishing his expenses in “a few weeks”. Just as well, because Clegg himself warned us nearly a month ago that “Any delay will only add to the British public’s distrust in their politicians.”

Another Firm Flees UK Tax Burden

When the odd non-domiciled Labour Party donor threatens to leave the country because of Brown and Darling’s taxes it is unfortunate. When a FTSE 100 corporate giant announces it is to re-register its head office outside the UK for tax reasons it is a disaster for UK plc.

According to London’s City A.M. business paper, the £5 billion Shire Pharmaceuticals is going tore-domicile to Ireland. The company will re-register in Jersey and re-domicile in low tax Ireland, joining a growing number of firms who have relocated away from Britain for tax reasons. Insurance brokers Hiscox and Amlin went to Bermuda. Technology groups Electronic Arts and Yahoo! are off to Switzerland. The truth is the UK’s excessive tax burden is driving high value and high tech businesses out of the country.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s Matthew Elliott puts it succintly “This disastrous news confirms that Britain’s competitiveness has suffered a series of blows from misguided tax hikes.” Gordon is destroying the ability of the UK to compete globally.

UPDATE : Shire officially confirms story to the London Stock Exchange.

UPDATE II :
Don’t know how the Guardian will be reporting this, but they have re-located their property arm to the Caymans to avoid tax.

Bloggers Force No. 10 to RemovePartisan Material on Website

Shane Greer wrote a story on Friday highlighting the links driving traffic from the Downing Street website to the Labour Party’s local elections campaign website. This breaches the Ministerial Code which states explicitly:

6.3 Official facilities and resources may not be used for the dissemination of material which is essentially party political.

or

8.4 Ministers must only use official machinery for distributing texts of speeches relating to Government business. Speeches made in a party political context must be distributed through the Party machinery.

Linking to the front page of the Labour Party website seems to Guido to clearly breach the rules.

The Cabinet Office issued specific guidance on 20 March 2008:

“Elections to Local Authorities in England and Wales and to the Greater London Authority – Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Government Departments”

Under the heading “Communication Activities” it states…

“It is also important to take care with official websites which will be scrutinised closely by the news media and the political parties during election periods.”

The story was taken up by PJC and Wonko’s World. Wonko complained to a Mr Brown (no relation) on the Ethics Desk of the Cabinet Office. The link was gone yesterday afternoon. So much for the PR skills of the much heralded Carter imported Downing Street digital new media team. Guido has been compiling evidence of a pattern of systemic fraud by the Labour Party in abusing government resources for partisan purposes…

developing…



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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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