Today is a Dark Day in History

403 years ago on this day in 1606, Guido Fawkes, following months of torture was convicted of treason for his part in the ”Gunpowder Plot” against an oppressive political class and the tyrant King James I, and executed. Now, some four centuries later, it is Guido’s turn to torture politicians…

Lord Truscott and the Heroin Dealer

The above video filmed by the Sunday Times in the St James Hotel’s restaurant is pretty damning for Baron Truscott. The former Labour DTI minister – once a special envoy for Tony Blair – is now a director of oil and mining companies controlled by Frank Timis, a twice convicted heroin dealer.

Truscott is a director of two Timis ventures. One, African Minerals, is active in Sierra Leone, the world’s biggest source of blood diamonds (African Minerals was formerly called the Sierra Leone Diamond Company). In September 2008 the Sunday Times reported that Timis was facing the prospect of a court case over disputed mineral rights. The other company, Eastern Petroleum is involved in oil prospecting in the former Soviet Union.

Truscott is also a director of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, a company involved in oil exploration in northern Iraq, run by Bush/Cheney campaign contributor Todd Kozel. In addition, Truscott works for Gavin Anderson, a PR firm with strong links to the government of Russia and its commercial associate. (See declared interests).

Truscott is like a real life Alan B’stard…

Hutton Fears Pesky Teenagers

John Hutton is visiting a Sixth Form College in his constituency today. He has asked that for a planned question and answer session with some A Level students the questions be submitted beforehand. Obviously even though they’re his constituents one of them could be a bit of a Paxman. Dangerous…

Friday Caption Competition (Fiscal Incontinence Edition)

It’s For You! Brown’s Accidental Tinkle

BBC Davos Blog said…

0947 Gordon Brown looked angry when it turned out some dope had forgotten to turn off his mobile phone during his G20 talk – until the red-faced British PM found out it was his handset ringing. And it went off twice.

UPDATE : The BBC has the clip of his Nokia ringing – you will wet yourself laughing. Still it is not as bad as the time he met Clinton and other world leaders with a big orange blob on his head is it? He really is just a walking global embarrassment.

Jonah Brown Curse Hits Honda & Velux Jobs

Jonah Brown’s industrial curse continues to wreak havoc across the nation:

During his visit Mr Brown also commented briefly on the current problems facing the car industry and Honda in Swindon. “We are working with all parties involved to improve the situation to help safeguard car production jobs and improve financing options for car buyers”
SwindonLife, January 9, 2009
Honda, Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, will tonight be mothballing its plant in Swindon, where the majority of its 4,200 British employees are based, in response to a slump in car sales. British workers at Honda will start an enforced four-month lay-off today against the backdrop of a further dire warning over the trading outlook from the Japanese car giant.
The Times, January 30, 2009
Velux Windows in Glenrothes was subjected to a visit from Jonah last October during the by-election campaign. Gordon congratulated them on their success. (ITN footage of soon to be sacked workers shaking Jonah’s hand.) Yesterday Keith Riddle, managing director of The Velux Company Limited, said: “Unfortunately we are making a number of redundancies and are currently in the consultation process with the people affected. It is expected that around half of the job losses will be made in Glenrothes, with the rest being spread around the UK and Ireland. Be warned, whether your business is large or small, if Jonah Brown comes, doom will follow…

UPDATE : Radioactive Jonah – “Because the future is nuclear, it is only right that Gordon should take a personal interest in the way our installations operate. And thus he went to Sellafield last week. So far, so good. There was, we now learn, a little local difficulty on the day the PM came to call: a radioactive leak that meant a walkway had to be cordoned off and a building closed. The whole thing is now the subject of a board of inquiry but it didn’t spoil his trip.”

He-Man V Harman

Alan Duncan is the new Shadow Leader of the House, up against Harriet Harman. Those who complain that the Tories don’t attack hard enough (they don’t) will enjoy the exchange (Hansard) he had with her this morning.

There has been a sudden delay in the Political Parties and Elections Bill. Will the right hon. and learned Lady tell the House why that has happened? Given her close personal links with the aristocracy, is she not doubly ashamed by the apparent conduct of her four Labour colleagues in the Lords? May we also have a debate on cash for influence in this House? Does not the House of Lords pale into insignificance, given that, because more than 90% of the Labour party’s battleground funding comes from the trade unions, the party remains a wholly owned subsidiary of an interest group with its own policy agenda?…

The latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund suggests that, contrary to the Government’s mantra that the United Kingdom is well prepared to deal with the downturn, the UK is actually facing the worst recession in the world. Can we therefore at last have a debate in Government time to allow the House to express its lack of confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy, or is the Leader of the House worried that this is yet another issue that would leave the Prime Minister, as reported yesterday, “tearful and dewy-eyed”?

It would appear that the Prime Minister has lost confidence in his own Cabinet and, it would seem, even in himself. He has complained that his Cabinet members are ducking interviews and leaving him to look like the Minister for the recession, yet today, curiously, we have learned that Labour MPs have been instructed by the Whips not to talk about the economy at all. So who is going to win the parliamentary BAFTAs—the “Glumdog in Despair” in Downing street or the Basil Fawltys on the Back Benches shouting, “Don’t mention the recession”? Put simply, when is this country going to get honesty from the Prime Minister about the severity of our plight?

Fighting talk…

Wonder Who Was on the Menu?

Newbie blogger Events dear boy, events, had a little nugget on Gordon’s day yesterday, which saw a PPS (Andy Slaughter) resign, the Heathrow vote too narrowly pass for comfort, the IFS report not kind to Gordon, the IMF report stating that the UK will be the worst performing economy in 2009 and rumours begin that Obama may not come to London* for the G20 hosted by the Saviour of the World.

That was all on top of his kicking at PMQs. Add to the list as well the interview Jon Cruddas MP gave to the Indy’s Andy Grice where he warns that Gordon is perhaps too emotionally retarded to beat Cameron. Not a great day in the bunker…

Guido has more bad news from yesterday to top it off. This came in from a co-conspirator who saw:

Charles Clarke and Stephen Byers finishing a quiet dinner together at the back of Colosseo on Victoria Street this evening. Whatever they were talking about was clearly so important that the socialist bastards didn’t even leave a tip. Clarke was clearly in charge, though, and Byers looked such a drab little creature.

Clarke and Byers eh? Now which Italian dish is it that is best served cold?

*According to a White House press release it is still Obama’s “hope to attend the G-20 Summit in London”.

Is Theresa Villiers Taking Fashion Advice from Sarah Palin?

The Tories are doing a live videocast and live-chat right now, with Greg Clark, the Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, and Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary. Guido is mesmerised thinking that Villiers is going for a Sarah Palin look – see for yourself.

+++ Source : Conway to be Fined +++

This will be the second Standards and Privileges Committee report (due at 11.00). Derek had to repay money given to Freddie, this is in respect of his other son Henry.

Why isn’t he being charged for fraud?

UPDATE 11.00 : Ordered to re-pay another £3,757 paid to his son. A small fine. and ordered to write a written apology. Not really proportionate to the amount that was defrauded, is it?

Tears of a Brown

Jon Craig reports that last night

Labour MPs claim a “tearful and dewy eyed” Prime Minister called the Labour waverers into his Commons office one by one and pleaded with them to back the Government. If we lose this vote it will de-stabilise the Government and de-stabilise the markets,” said the embattled Prime Minister, according to one MP who voted with the Tories despite the emotional appeal.

Given Gordon’s emotional instability (he is upset that cartoonists draw him as fat) it may well be that if Gordon resigned it would actually stabilise the government as well as give the markets a boost. Gordon’s mental health is being openly discussed, Iain Martin has a euphemistic piece in the Telegraph today recounting government ministers fears that the Prime Mentalist is “psychologically incapable”;

he is stuck… saying basically the same thing over and over and over again. I have said before that from the country’s point of view it risks becoming disturbing: now it really is.

It can only be that the PM has constructed something inside his head which he passionately believes to be the truth. If he was to admit even the tiniest doubt about one element of it then the entire construct might collapse.

Inside his head we know what he thinks, he is “the saviour of the world” doing the right thing, solving global ills not of his making and unbelievably yesterday Downing Street said Brown was right and the IMF was wrong. At PMQs yesterday Cameron demanded a reality check from Gordon to no avail. He would not admit that, even by his own definition, Britain was bust. If Gordon admitted he had not abolished “boom and bust” he would smash his internal “constructed truth” delusion. Blair was right, Brown is psychologically flawed. It is no longer a personal tragedy, it is at the root of the national political and economic disaster unfolding.

A rumour went round after Monday’s disastrous press briefing that Gordon had wet himself. Guido didn’t report the story because he was unable to substantiate it from the video evidence. That it was even rumoured and given any credence whatsoever shows that people in the Westminster Village think he is a man close to the edge of total breakdown. The humiliating truth is that Gordon Brown is not mentally fit for purpose.

See also Downing Street Needs Draper More Than Ever.

Can You Hear this IMF Warning Gordon?

Gordon keeps muttering about how the world needs an economic early warning system. Despite the existence of the IMF, OECD and countless private sector sources of threat warnings already. Do we need another international bureaucracy?

Gordon ignored the last six IMF warnings, so perhaps he will ignore the IMF forecast that Britain will suffer a worse recession than any other advanced economy. The IMF is projecting that the UK is to contract by 2.8%, the worst performance of any major advanced nation for which the IMF publishes data.

Guido suspects the UK won’t end up going to the IMF because the national debt is sterling denominated, which is just as well because IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Die Zeit this morning;

“Several states are already queueing at our doors… At the moment, we have enough money. But if we actually have to help them, the lion’s share of our resources will be consumed in six to eight months…”

The fund might be empty by the time Britain went…

UPDATE : Things must be really bad. Billionaire George Soros took a commercial flight to Davos. No news as to if he went economy…

Is Stephen Fry Now a Tory?

In 1996 the whole of luvviedom embraced Tony Blair, 1997 saw the whole Cool Britainnia thing sweep up celebrities into the embrace of New Labour. So it is interesting to see that Stephen Fry, the luvvie’s luvvie, is giving Tory house journal The Spectator’s Annual Lecture. “So what?” you might say, he has after all a book to promote, except that is not all to suggest a blue slip is showing.

Yesterday Fry, who is a tech-blogging, Twittering über-geek with a huge 82,115 following his prognostications on life and technology, gave his considered support to the Tory policy announced by George Osborne yesterday to adopt a more effective open IT procurement process and shifting towards open source solutions.

Fry said yesterday

“Lo, our sheep that was lost is now found’. This is good news. Aside from anything else the money that could be saved in government: schools, hospitals, civil service, defence, by choosing open source and free operating systems and software. It’s wave that’s rolling over Europe and America and it’s only right that we in Britain should ride that wave too. I think politicians from all sides should endorse the aim for public systems to be run on free open source software.”

One luvvie does not make a landslide. CCHQ will however be pleased that it shows the brand is fully decontaminated…

PMQs Vroom Vroom Edition

Polish Politician Provides Police Promise

Daniel Kawczynski, has replied (with a little poking) to Guido’s question; Would you be willing to hand over another constituent’s letter in similar circumstances?

In future I will refuse to hand over any document to Police until they have showed me a Court Order from a Magistrate instructing me to do so.

Daniel Kawczynski MP

As they say in New Labour circles, “lessons have been learned”…

Maserati Mandy Motors

Lord Mandelson’s new found willingness to support the “British” car manufacturers is touching. When he tried to get an £80,000 Italian Maserati mid-life-crisis car as his official car out of the EU budget he was less supportive. He was in fact angry that penny-pinching bureaucrats blocked his turbo-tax-powered transport.

It would be a little more credible if the Labour Party last year had listened to the industry when they, in the name of Green taxes, whacked hundreds of pounds extra in tax on all those models that have stayed in the showrooms since. Forgetting that jobs depended on those cars being bought. It is an entirely foreseeable consequence of jacking up taxes that demand has been suppressed over and above the credit crunch problems…

Spot the Difference : FTSE Boom, FTSE Bust

click to enlarge
First he plundered your pension then Crash Gordon worked his magic on the stock market. To mis-quote Neil Kinnock, “I warn you: don’t get old, don’t invest your pension in the stock market”. One long Tory boom, two Labour “boom to busts”…

UPATE : Some half-educated types are claiming in the comments that the above should be done using a logarithmic Y-axis. Not sure why beyond that it would flatter the latter era of the chart. If we are going to be picky than perhaps it should be inflation adjusted or using constant value time-fixed pounds, or maybe done in net present value terms. The graph would look even worse…

Kawczynski Whining

Over on Dale’s blog, Daniel Kawczynski, the Tory MP who handed over a constituent’s letter to the police without a warrant, has written a lengthy self-justification blaming the Speaker and the police for his own stupidity (as well as using his staffers as human shields).

He emailed a very similar lengthy missive last week after Guido suggested he was an idiot. Having taken the time to read his squirming explanation Guido replied
Daniel,

I have taken the time to read all the documentation and simply have one question:-

Would you be willing to hand over another constituent’s letter in similar circumstances?

Guido Fawkes

He hasn’t replied. Perhaps he needs another few days…

Downing Street Needs Draper More Than Ever

Derek Draper’s online campaigning skills are clearly not going to win Labour any votes, perhaps the greatest service he could do his party would require exercising his professional skills. Somebody surely needs to re-connect Downing Street to the reality of the High Street. While Gordon lauds “the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order”, shop after shop is being boarded up as retail chains go bust and jobs are lost. It is Gordon’s denial of the truth that is so apparent.

Interviewer after interviewer, as well as Cameron repeatedly during PMQs, has asked him to admit that he was wrong to claim to have “abolished boom and bust”. Gordon can’t or won’t, because he is too psychologically flawed, face up to reality. How can we secure a national recovery when the head of government is in total denial? Gordon clings to the idea that the recovery will have begun by the end of the summer and that he can win the next election by running around like a headless chicken doing anything for headlines, costing billions in economic vandalism and shouting empty slogans. Derek, your leader needs you…

Obama to Drop Blackberry

Microsoft have been lobbying hard for an American solution to the Commander in Chief’s Blackberry addiction. Security issues have been very much to the fore (Blackberries are made by RIM of Canada). Data security being what it is only the best will do for the President.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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