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Robin Hood : the Original Tax-Cutter

A whole load of left-wing campaigns are pushing the Tobin tax re-branded as the “Robin Hood Tax” The only snag is that Robin Hood fought against taxation.

Hood targeted the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham and gave all a flat-rate tax-cut, he also had a taste in snazzy hat-wear to rival Guido’s own.  Hood would surely be turning in his grave to know that his name was being taken in vain by those seeking to raise taxes, shame on them for they are the true heirs to the Sheriff of Nottingham.

They are advocating a global sheriff to tax us all…

Friday Caption Contest (Wavey Davey Edition)

Pigs Might Fly

Three books out now insinuate that Brown is bonkers; Rawnsley’s, Watt’s and the latest one from Lance Price. Guido has always maintained that he is in la-la-land. This excerpt from the transcript from his forthcoming television love-in with Piers Morgan illustrates Guido’s point:

Piers Morgan: What’s been the best present you weren’t allowed to keep?

Prime Mentalist:
Er, I think the different governments in the Middle East send huge presents. One actually, after a dinner, was a full pig that they actually sent, that had been roasted.

Which Middle Eastern muslim government would send a roasted pig to a foreign head of government?  If they did it would not just be a breach of protocol, it would be some helluva insult. Wouldn’t be Israel either sending the roast pork.  Like a lot of his claims it will, Guido suspects, turn out to be a delusion.

Brown-Bankrolling Non-Dom Peer Considers Quitting Over Tax

Non-domiciled Lord Paul of Marylebone, donated over £355,000 to Labour and £45,000 directly into Gordon’s 2007 leadership campaign. Despite his huge wealth he still found it appropriate to claim £38,000 from the taxpayers in Lord’s accommodation expenses despite, by his own admission, having never spent a night in the property.  He is reportedly set to quit the House of Lords, not over his expense claims, but to avoid tax.

Lord Paul has been Brown’s very own non-dom donor and has been repaid handsomely by Labour with a peerage, membership of the Privy Council and until his recent expenses scandal was the Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. So close is Lord Paul to Gordon that he was willing to personally bankroll the autumn election that never happened in 2007. Paul said “All I know is that if there is an election and the money is wanted, whatever I can pay I will. I am a believer in Gordon Brown and his leadership, and I think he’s the best person in the country.” Hence Guido’s amusement today to hear that Paul is ready to jump ship.  He is considering whether to give up his seat in the Lords to avoid having to pay tax in the UK. Which shows where his priorities really lay…

Labour has attacked Lord Ashcroft while turning a blind eye to the activities of one of their biggest donors. Lord Paul has refused to pay tax in this country yet is greeted with open arms by the Labour leadership desperate to get their grubby fingers on some of his controversially raised fortune.  Paul is ranked the 88th richest man, living, in the UK.  This nom-dom, expenses fiddling, conglomerate owning peer has some interesting skeletons in his cupboard to which Guido will be returning. How he amassed his fortune will turn the stomachs of many Labour supporters…

Dave Promises See-Through Government Contracts

On Wednesday David Cameron gave a speech to a TED audience described by host Matthew Freud as “movers and shakers”. That is Mathew Freud the lobbyist and son-in-law of Rupert Murdoch. Dave made a new pledge to publish not just details of spending over £25,000 but details of all government contracts worth over £25,000 for goods and services in full, including all performance indicators, break clauses and penalty measures. This will enable voters and taxpayers to “Google their government”, searching out wasteful spending and poorly negotiated contracts, opening up government procurement system to small businesses.

That is a non-trivial change in policy and will have far reaching ramifications, not least of which will be increased competition and downward pressure on public spending. Ending “commercial confidentiality” and publishing all government contracts  was a proposal floated last September in an article (“A See-Through Government) in the journal of the Reform think-tank and at their New Government Agenda conference last November.  Guido was wearing his wonk hat…



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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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