Why Do Sporting Teams Go Anywhere Near Jonah Brown?

Guido had some money on Ireland winning the rugby today. England fans will have been despondent knowing that on Wednesday the England rugby team visited Downing Street. They were doomed as a result.

Ireland played poorly, missed penalties and still won, (narrowly). Thanks Gordon.

Newbie Bloggers Campbell & Prezza Challenge Dale & Guido (But Can’t Remember Whatsisname)


Looks like they, along with thousands of others, enjoyed the Draper’s Downfall video. Alas, Prezza forgot the name of Draper’s blog.

Fred Goodwin’s Payslip Revealed

This was found blowing around on Whitehall outside the Treasury:

Click to enlarge

Hat-tip : Paul Myners

Jonah Brown Sinks Southampton

Gordon’s visit to Southampton is not without casulties:

42 dock workers are to be axed at ABP … equivalent to 10% of the workforce … from across all sectors and will include senior managers … Trade in key areas has “dropped like a stone”… The jobs blow comes hard on the heels of a succession of bad news for hard-hit dockworkers and just days after Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed the port as “one of the most important parts of the economy”

Source Daily Echo

A worried student co-conspirator has just emailed:

Dear Guido,
Just thought you might want to know Gordon turned up unannounced at Oxford University today to deliver the annual Romanes lecture, titled ‘Science and the Economy’. Despite beginning by talking about the fact Gladstone put more effort into researching and writing his Romanes Lecture than anything else he did in his life, Gordon’s lecture was the dullest of SpAd-written drivel. He also told a completely bullshit story about Einstein and his chauffeur (debunked here), even having the cheek to set it in Britain, adding to the lie. Finally, and no doubt striking fear into the heart of the audience, he invoked the curse of Jonah by praising Oxford’s scientific achievement and hoping it continues into the future. Will we ever discover anything again? I’d be surprised if the University’s still here this time next year after that endorsement!

 

Guido will be cheering Ireland on in the rugby tomorrow. England fans should note that on Wednesday the England rugby team visited Downing Street. Diplomatically he didn’t wish them luck (Scotland are in also in the six nations).

 

But frankly the Jonah curse is on our side…

Friday Caption Competition

Prescott’s Pension Hypocrisy

Prescott was on the Today show this morning complaining about Fred the Shred’s pension “rewards for failure”. How ironic that this is in fact an area of particular expertise for Prezza.

When he was sacked as Deputy PM, for generally being an embarrassing incompetent, he kept hold of his pension perks – including additional pension contributions from taxpayers even though he wasn’t working for them. Blair even let him keep two grace-and-favour homes, while stripping him of his departmental responsibilities. At the time opposition politicians railed at Prezza’s “rewards for failure”.

Lord Oakeshott, the LibDem pensions spokesman, said at the time: “First it was two Jags, then two pads. Now it seems we have two pensions Prescott. No fat-cat director in the private sector would dream of awarding himself such a generous pension for a part-time job.”

Chris Grayling accused Blair of misusing taxpayers’ money by keeping Prescott in government, said: “Just this extra pension cost to the taxpayer of keeping John Prescott in his position could have paid for four additional nurses. That is without other trappings such as his official residence and his ministerial car.”

Even Labour MPs like Geraldine Smith were stunned; “I think it is outrageous that the Deputy Prime Minister loses his department but keeps his position, his salary and the perks of the job. It seems absolutely astonishing.”

Prezza’s pension pot makes him a multi-millionaire, courtesy of the taxpayers.

UPDATE : It is satire that writes itself to know that Lord Myners of Short Selling chaired what was known as the Treasury’s “Myners Review” into the good governance of pensions.

Fred’s Smackdown to Myners

Guido can’t help thinking that the row over Fred’s £8 million pension is a contrived bit of spin to distract headlines away from the £300 billion bet that HM Treasury is taking on RBS. Frankly Fred’s £8 / £16 million is neither here nor there in comparison to what the government is committing the taxpayer to underwriting. If this goes pear shaped Iceland will be nothing in comparison.

10 PPS Sign EDM Opposing Postal Privatisation

Usually the convention is that a PPS who opposes a government motion resigns for the reason that technically they are part of the government, even though they are unpaid. The FT’s Westminster blog lists ten PPS who have signed the EDM opposing Mandelson’s plans to make the Royal Mail pay:

David Wright (PPS to John Hutton), David Anderson (Bill Rammell), Claire Curtis-Thomas (Baroness Scotland of Asthal), David Hamilton (Ed Miliband), Mark Hendrick (Jack Straw), Stephen Hesford (Vera Baird), Sharon Hodgson (Dawn Primarolo), Ashok Kumar (Hilary Benn), John Mann (Tessa Jowell), Stephen Pound (Stephen Timms)

Laura Moffatt is a former PPS to Alan Johnson, her opposition might be a sign of where he really stands. Nick Brown, Gordon’s long time henchman and now chief whip is also said to be not keen mon the bill. It is getting a bit like the dying days of the Major regime when euro-sceptics openly defied the government…

Labour Partying With Bankers Tonight

Crisis, what banking crisis? Yesterday the City minister Lord Myners was showing off his art collection to the Labour glitterati, tonight John Prescott will be in the heart of the financial district partying with the rest of the London Labour Party to raise money from bankers at a £500-a-table “Gala Dinner”

For public consumption Labour are bashing the bankers whilst privately they will be dancing to their tunes, still hoping to tap them up for donations. Tonight’s gala venue is next door to Lehman’s building in Canary Wharf, so perhaps they won’t raise quite as much money as they hope – particularly since any bankers still with jobs are unlikely to have cash to spare from non-existent bonuses. Unless of course you negotiated your exit package with Alastair Darling, in which case you are sorted for life…

+++ Brown Broke Rules Says Standards Commissioner +++

Full ruling here.

Lord and Lady Myners Party On

Baron Myners said recently “I have met more masters of the universe than I would like to, people who were grossly over-rewarded and did not recognise that. Some of that is pretty ­unpalatable. They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

Broader society is suffering terribly as the banking and debt crisis ravages the economy. Yet the former Smith Institute deputy chairman, Guardian Media Group chairman, hedge fund director, long time Brown crony and newly appointed City Minister, Lord Myners of Short Selling, isn’t showing any signs of belt tightening. Quite the contrary, he is hosting gilded parties.

Yesterday he and Lady Myners “graciously” invited their friends from the art world, politics and upper reaches of the Guardian into their Belgravia home to view their multi-million pound modern art collection.Guido has been unable to confirm which particular vintage of champagne it was that Sarah Brown, and the many other friends drawn from the ruling New Labour elite, were drinking. Truly, they are “people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

PPS Revolt Threatened Over Post Privatisation

This was sent around Labour PPS’s by Dave Anderson, PPS to Bill Rammell at the FCO. Note he says the issue is as important as the 10p tax issue.

Dear Colleague

In discussion with other colleagues I am aware that some PPS’s share my concerns regarding the proposal to bring a private partner into Royal Mail.

In line with meetings that we had with Alistair on the 10p tax changes, I am hoping to get a meeting with Lord Mandelson and Pat MacFadden and worried PPS’s. I hope that we can find a way forward that is acceptable to all parts of our party and in line with our manifesto commitment.


If you are interested in attending such a meeting can you let me know as soon as possible? My telephone number is 0790 xxxxxx and my email address is xxxxxxxxxxxx@parliament.uk.

Yours sincerely

Dave Anderson MP

Clearly the meeting didn’t go brilliantly…

UPDATE : You have to admire Mandelson’s sheer cunnning. He has just had the first reading of the Post Privatisation Bill a day early in the Lords. former postie, Lord Clarke, shouted “shame on you”. A good day to bury bad headlines.

PMQs Cancelled

Guido’s sympathies are with the Camerons. However cancelling PMQs is not the right response. The show must go on, every week the names of sons who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq are read out and sympathies are offered. Democracy does not halt for those sons.

Perhaps the politicians felt uncomfortable continuing with “Punch and Judy politics” as normal when one of the main protagonists, David Cameron, has suffered such a deep personal loss. Perhaps PMQs just isn’t that important.

We are told that instead Brown, Cable and Hague will read statements to the House.

UPDATE 12:05 : Having heard the condolences perhaps it was for the best, the mood of the House was clearly not for “business as usual”.

UPDATE 12:35 : The scheduled unveiling of Margaret Thatcher’s portrait in Downing Street has also been postponed.

+++ Lord Ahmed Get 12 weeks for Dangerous Driving +++

+++ Ivan Cameron Died Overnight +++

Labour Civil War Silences LabourList

Over one hundred and forty Labour MPs have signed a motion opposing goverment plans to part-privatise the Post Office, three Cabinet ministers are known to be opposed, former cabinet ministers like the disgraced Peter Hain are campaigning against the plan and even lowly SpAds are threatening to quit carrying bags. The government could lose the Commons vote without the support of Tory MPs. Unions are threatening to defund the party over the issue. Dramatic stuff. Guido went where “Labour minded people come together” – LabourList – to shed light on the internal debate. Silence.

Total silence on the subject. Caught between the need to placate union sponsors and the demands of those who pull his strings in Downing Street, Draper has had as his lead story all day since yesterday morning a review of Chris Mullin’s book A View From The Foothills. Tragic.

Scottish Dead Tree Scribblers Flee the Press

Guido doesn’t usually do local, particularly not local Scotland. However this is a bit too fun to ignore. Some thoughtless council official has made the mistake of putting this minute on the North Lanarkshire council website and it has put into the public domain the entire short list of applicants for the job as their Head of Spin.
Looks like there is a rush to get out out of the Dead Tree Press and into the safe harbour of the public sector with easy hours and gold plated pensions to accompany the job security.
  • “J. Allardyce” must be Jason Allardyce, associate editor of the Sunday Times Scotland.
  • “A.F. Carlin” could be Tony Carlin, Group Content Editor of Herald newspapers
  • “J.B. Currie” could be Brian Currie, former Evening Times’ political editor and now group political editor of Herald newspapers
  • “S. Dalgety” is probably Susan Dalgety, a former Labour councillor and aide to First Minister Jack McConnell and formerly of publishers Holyrood Communications.
  • “T.J.J. Little” must be Tom Little, Scotland on Sunday columnist
  • “S. Penman” is almost certainly Stephen Penman, currently Deputy Editor, Sunday Herald
  • “K.C. Symon” sounds like Ken Symon, currently with public affairs company McGarvie Morrison Media

One surprise, “J.P. Murdoch” – surely things can’t be that bad….

+++ Source : Spelman Report Not Officially Released Today +++

The Standards and Privileges Committee has received the report this morning from John Lyon, but is not expected to issue anything official until later this week.

UPDATE : Jonathan Isaby is reporting over on ConservativeHome that the committee could not come to a consensus conclusion and that the chairman, “Sir George Young, intends using the next week to take soundings from among the committee with the aim of forging a consensus by the time the committee meets again next Tuesday.”

UPDATE II : The feeling is that Spelman is in trouble. If she was only going to get a slap on the wrist, why the delay?

Spelman Should Pay Back the Nanny Cash

Whatever the Standards and Privileges Committee rule today (Guido has the whitewash removing solvents ready) Spelman should have to pay back the cash she fiddled from her parliamentary expenses to pay the nanny.

If, as Spelman has been spinning, the Lyon inquiry reports that there is no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing or a breach of Commons rules, this will infuriate many parents like Mr & Mrs Fawkes, who have to pay for childcare out of post-tax income. To pay a nanny costs middle-class parents some £40,000 a year in pre-tax income. We are expected to believe that Spelman’s nanny was actually her constituency secretary* thus paid for by the taxpayer and that in return for her childcare duties her only compensation was room and board. Who really believes that the money was not payment for her childcare duties? Unbelievable, it simply does not wash.

If anyone knows of a nanny willing to work for only room and board can you please let Mrs Fawkes know, because we have never heard of such a deal. This was a complete and utter p*ss-take out of the taxpayer. Here is the acid test – if it really was completely above board and as she claims – why did she stop the arrangement? This benefits fiddle was too much, Spelman should pay back the cash even if the Committee rules it was “not deliberate”.

It Started with Gordon!Government Offered 100% No Deposit Borrowing to Low Earners

Back in the autumn of last year, on the transatlantic flight back from his trip to New York and Washington, Gordon briefed the Lobby in the back of the plane (not that they would bother to tell you this) that there was no sub-prime problem in Britain.[…] 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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