Miliband Was Right About Blair

Miliband made his forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. YouGov confirm that Labour would be better off (25% v 32%) with voters if Blair was back in charge…

The thing Guido doesn’t understand is that 1 in 7 people believe Gordon is up to “getting on with job”. Who are these people? Where are they? Nobody really thinks Gordon is up to being PM do they?

Into the Killing Zone – “Kill or Be Killed”

Fraser Nelson reckons we have entered the killing zone “Miliband has crossed the Rubicon and is now in ‘kill or be killed’ territory. And he has plenty to do if he wants to avoid the latter option.”

The Weirdo versus the Wonk

Whips Telephone Canvassing

Things are really getting desperate, Guido hears the Labour whips office is ordering ministers to take part in a Mail on Sunday poll about Gordon Brown remaining leader – they are having to tell them to back Gordon.

Wonder if they have called Miliband?

Disquiet Grows About Hypocritical Guardian’s 4.99% Tax Rate

The Telegraph’s city pages have caught up this morning with Guido’s revelation yesterday that GMG, the owners of the Guardian, perfectly legally had an effective tax rate of 4.99% after taking advantage of a tax holiday last year despite making a headline profit of £300m from the disposal of 49.9% of Auto Trader.
The hypocrisy of them attacking Tesco for tax avoidance when they themselves pay an even lower rate of tax is laughable. (They are currently in the libel courts and look like they are going to lose to Tesco having already admitted their story was bollocks).

The Telegraph quoted Grant Thornton’s senior tax partner Mike Warburton saying: “Guardian Media Group has enjoyed a tax holiday courtesy of some very helpful rules introduced by their friend Gordon Brown. They are taking full advantage of the relief legally available to them, which all businesses should do. That’s fine, but don’t knock people who do exactly the same.”

This is almost as much fun as Polly hypocritically banging on about airplane carbon emissions before hopping on a flight to her Tuscan villa. See Richard Littlejohn’s fantastic bitch-slap here

Tots for Tots

Dave advocated a continental approach to familiarising children with alcohol, a small glass of wine at the dinner table was the example he used. Sensible and far better than teenagers learning about boozing from Barcardi Breezers behind the bike sheds. Melissa Kite shrilly calls it a blunder and fatuously asks

…why don’t the Tories propose giving away free Dubonnet and soda in schools during break time, or perhaps little bottles of vodka and red bull at lunch.

This error of extrapolation is possibly the result of a good lunch?

Guido’s mother was known to dip his dummy in brandy when he was teething. Look how he turned out…

Guardian Underestimates Fat Cat Editor’s Package

Must be tricky reporting the compensation package of your fat cat boss – could be a career choice moment. Here is how Stephen Brook, press correspondent for the Guardian handles it:

GMG Execs’ Salaries Revealed

The Guardian editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, received total salary and benefits of £401,000 in the past financial year…

Which is odd because the annual report released this morning says Alan Rusbridger gets £401,000 in salary/fees and benefits in kind* plus £143,000 employer’s contribution to his pension. A total of £544,000 as reported on this blog this morning…

*The benefit in kind is not what you think, she denies it. Guido believes the minx.

Miliband Takes Aim

It appears the game is very definitely on. Team Brown is now fighting for survival in the only way it knows how – anonymous briefing. The Standard quotes “allies”, presumably Damian McBride, saying that Miliband is being “disloyal” and “self-serving” and of lacking “judgment and maturity”.

It goes on “People at least thought he was a serious figure and a grown-up politician but by allowing his head to be turned by this leadership nonsense, he has revealed a surprising lack of judgment and maturity.”

It was of course about this time 2 years ago that a not at all disloyal or self-serving crowd of Brownies sent a letter to Mr Blair telling him to go. Has anyone got a stamp?

Policy Exchange Hires Katy

Katy Taylor-Richards is leaving the Daily Express bunker to take over media relations for Policy Exchange under James Bethell. Both will be joining the growing think tank at the end of the month.

No news as yet as to who will be taking over from ex-boss Anthony Browne now he is off to do policy for Team Boris…

Nick Robinson : Politicians Are Two-Faced Liars

Nick Robinson is doing holiday cover on the Today show* and has been uncharacteristically candid on his blog. Nick says “that the public words of support for the PM often do not reflect the private misgivings I hear… It is the job of journalists to look for them but it is also our job to report the difference between talk and action.”

Great, go on, do your job then Nick. Tell us who is saying one thing to you and another to the public. Or is this a secret just for you and not the people who pay your wages? Who are the two-faced liars?

*Have to admit he is preferable to Jim Naughtie.

Guardian Lost £26.4 Million Last Year

Guardian News & Media (GNM), publishers of the Guardian and the Observer increased operating losses to £26.4m. The parent owners GMG would also have reported operating losses of £24.8 million were it not for the £334.8m sale of a 49.9% stake in Auto Trader, to Ronnie Cohen’s evil capitalist private equity vultures, Apax Partners. The online arm’s separate Guardian Unlimited identity has been dropped (it was more unkindly known by some as “Guardian Unlimited Losses”).

Incidentally the annual report reveals they paid £15.3 million in taxes last year despite claiming a group profit before taxation of £306.4 million after the sale of Auto Trader. GMG have always been adept at using the Scott Trust and other dodges to minimise tax charges. Guido congratulates them on achieving an effective tax rate 4.99%. Remember that the next time Polly Toynbee calls for higher taxes and everyone to pay a fair share.

Controversial Smith Institute trustee and Chairman of the Guardian Media Group Paul Myners warned: “We expect the uncertainty within the UK economy to have an impact on a number of the group’s revenue streams in the coming year.” Translation : we will lose more money next year.

Incidentally, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got by on a total compensation package of a mere £544000 up from £473,000 last year. A 15% increase as a reward for losing £26.4 million – no belt tightening for him.

Handy having your friends, rather than shareholders, decide your pay isn’t it?

In the Bunker After the Glasgow East Result

Clegg Does Realpolitik, Ends Policy of “Equi-Distance”

Nick Clegg says he is shifting resources to target what they see as the 50-most winnable Labour seats, pouring efforts and campaigners into fighting Gordon.

This is a sensible strategic move in the face of the reality of the polls, a change of government won’t happen if LibDems and Tories swap seats, a change of government will only happen if the LibDems and Tories take seats from Labour.

Guido advocated a Tory – LibDem non-aggression pact when Labour were riding high (Time for Tactical Decisions from CCHQ and Cowley Street). It still seems like a good idea. Having the LibDems as the official opposition to a Tory government would realise Margaret Thatcher’s oft stated ambition – to have a non-socialist alternative to the Conservatives, that would be her final victory. If Labour are attacked by Lib-Dems from second place and don’t waste money attacking second placed Tories in Labour seats they have a chance of becoming the official opposition. Over the border in Scotland the SNP have also removed Labour’s perpetual grip on on power. The total destruction of the Labour Party as a political threat is within grasp if the opposition parties are imaginative…

Is it Silly Season Yet?

First Poll Shows Obama Hit by Jonah Effect

The monthly USA Today / Gallup poll is the first post Obama-Brown meeting poll. Guido can report that the Jonah effect has even diminished “the one”. This time last month Gallup reported that amongst likely voters McCain trailed Obama by 3% (44% against 47%). Since meeting Jonah Brown that position has reversed, McCain now leads by 4% (49% to 45%), a hefty 7% swing. In polling terms this is a McCain surge.

McCain be warned – don’t meet Gordon Brown – the safety of the free world depends on it…

UPDATE : Met Office issues second day of severe weather warnings for the East of England. A co-conspirator, Lola, reports

Bloody great thunder storm here in Suffolk last night. Rather like a towering Scotch rage. Woke me up. Then I remembered that Jonah was in the general area. I must say it made me giggle.

Jonah Brown, ruining everyone’s holiday in Southwold…

+++ Newsnight’s Peter Barron Quits for Google +++

The Press Gazette is reporting that Newsnight’s editor Peter Barron is to leave the BBC at the end of the week to become UK head of public relations for Google. Wonder what it was about the multi-million pound stock options package that made him quit one of the most politically influential jobs in broadcasting?

Watson Enforces Standing Ovation

At the Warwick National Policy Forum Brown tripped onto the stage to make his speech. Sky News showed someone falling asleep in the front row as the tractor statistics rolled out, Gordon attempted to half-heartedly attack the Tories. At this Tom Watson, who revels in his enforcer role and is the man the Tories can thank for getting rid of Blair, started clapping,. Somehow the lone claps had an air of menace that eventually brought a few more to their feet. Saddam used to note who was last to stand up and the first to sit down the for his ovations…

Prime Mentalist’s Psychiatric Questions Go Mainstream

Is Bruce Anderson the first mainstream pundit to question Gordon’s psychiatric state? Here he is in the Indy this morning:

The stories are seeping out from No. 10. The other day, Gordon Brown was convinced that Dominic Grieve, the shadow Home Secretary, had made such a strong attack on 42-day detention as to impugn his commitment to national security. Although Downing Street advisers trawled and Googled, they could not find the quote. Their boss expressed gratitude for their efforts in the way that a sergeant-major would thank a recruit for a speck of dust on his rifle. Mr Brown then stationed himself at a terminal. For the next four hours, he sat there unavailingly, emanating gloom and rage. The non-psychiatric interpretation of his behaviour is termed “the playing politics with national security syndrome”.

Shortly afterwards, John Prescott was in No. 10, showing around some children. “What’s he doing in this building?” exploded Mr Brown. “Get him out of here.” (He surely cannot regard Mr Prescott as a potential leadership challenger – otherwise, things are truly desperate).

Embarrassed aides explained that, you know, Mr Prescott had been Deputy Prime Minister until last year, and what harm could there be in showing kids around? Gordon Brown’s response was to shut himself in the Cabinet Room for the next two hours, talking to no-one.

In emails and conversations people say that they think twat-watch and the Prime Mentalist tag are very amusing. Guido is deadly serious, we have a head of government who is not in touch with reality and dangerously malevolent. He has surrounded himself with second-rate yes men who don’t stand up to him and cowed the cabinet with his angry vindictiveness. That is why we have such dysfunctional government. Ministers and MPs were too scared to hold a contested election for leader, they are by and large too scared to openly tell him to go, so the curtain won’t come down on the disaster show…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Jonah Goes on Holiday : Met Office Issues Severe Weather Warning

Warning type : Heavy Rain Valid from 1632 Sun 27 Valid to 2200 Sun 27

Scattered thunderstorms will affect some places during the rest of this afternoon and into this evening. Some downpours are likely to result in 15 mm of rainfall in 1 hour. The public are advised to take extra care and refer to the latest Environment Agency, Floodline, and Flood Warnings in force, and also to the Highways Agency for further advice regarding traffic disruption on motorways and trunk roads.

Prime Mentalist Forgets He’s On Holiday

Gordon is feeling our pain, feeling the pinch*, so he is holidaying at a £4,500-a-week hide-away. Bizarrely he has just given Sky News an interview with soft focus shots of him and the missus walking in the park in holiday mode (stiff light coloured jacket, paedo in a playground smile).[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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