Breaking News from South Africa :Boris Caught Playing On Vuvuzela Away from Home

Rumour has it that the Daily Mail has caught Boris playing on the vuvuzela away from home.  Best he remember to bring five of them home for the kids…

Rory Campbell's Close Shave

Bad Al Campbell’s son Rory is, like many privileged Balliol Oxford* graduates before him, currently on a “gap yah” jaunt in Asia, doing what you do when you are young in Asia. Guido’s beach-dwelling-co-conspirator-in-a-smokey-haze reports Rory spends his days showing off his shaved legs to girls in the bars of Saigon. Apparently it helps the keen Oxford Blue cyclist perform better in his races.

A tip no doubt from his father, who would do anything to increase his rate of spin…

*Studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics

America's Revenge

The Environment Agency have been called to Southampton to investigate a leak in a pipeline controlled by American oil giants Exxon (Esso to Brits). It is believed this Yankee oil could be seeping into the English channel. Will the coalition now embark on a sustained trashing of Exxon’s share price? Guido can’t quite see Dave going round demanding to know “whose ass to kick”.

UPDATE : Exxon have got in touch:

In view of your latest blog and comment that oil could be seeping into the English channel, please find attached a statement from Esso on the spill last night at Fawley marine terminal. The amount of oil released is estimated at 20 barrels.

Statement 5 – Oil Spill at Fawley Marine Terminal

Monday 21 June 2010

We can confirm that at 9.20 pm on Sunday 20 June there was a release of oil from a pipeline at the company’s Marine Terminal at Fawley.

The incident happened whilst a ship was being unloaded. The offloading was immediately stopped and the pipeline valve closed. We are collecting
any residual oil from the leak site until the pipe can be drained completely. The amount of oil released is estimated at 20 barrels.

We immediately deployed our local oil spill response procedures and informed the Harbour Master and the relevant environmental agencies.

Quote of the Day

Frank Field says…

“We should pay fathers to stay with their families, not pay them to live apart, which is what we do now. We have a tax and benefits system that discriminates against two parents, yet this is what most people aspire to. Under the existing system, it doesn’t pay people on low incomes to stay together as a couple if they have children or for single mothers to move in with new partners. An extra £1,000 or £2,000 a year would make a huge difference for people on low incomes. If that’s the difference between keeping families together, then it’s a poverty of imagination for people not to see it.”

We're All Against This Together

It’s a strange day when the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the TUC are singing from the same hymn street. It’s even stranger when Guido and Ed Balls find themselves in agreement. The TPA have finally engaged in the battle this morning with a video attacking a prospective VAT rise. Guido can’t understand the morality of instigating a regressive tax rise that will mean more, not less, state dependency, leaving those who already suffer the most being even more broke. A hike in VAT to 20% would cost someone on average earnings £150 a year, that may not be much to millionaires like Dave, George or Nick, but those on lower incomes will definitely feel the pain.

The Coalition simply has no mandate to raise VAT, they were all asked repeatedly during the election campaign and replied they had “no intention” of raising VAT. Clegg actually campaigned against a VAT hike.

A 2.5% rise in VAT to continental levels is not worth the hassle, not when there are far more effective ways of saving money rather than further taxation. Why not start with the disastrous outsourcing of I.T. contracts? A study of government I.T. contracts made over the past 5 years shows that the taxpayer has ended up paying 40% or more above the market rates for outsourced services.  This means the public sector could save up to £6 billion on its annual I.T. spend of around £14 billion without affecting front line services. Overspending on government I.T. contracts alone is equal to 1% of GDP…

UPDATE: The TPA’s video:

Gove Smooths Yellow Feathers

The Liberal Democrat Local Government conference came together on Saturday afternoon. Not normally an event that would get a second look on this blog, councillors from around the country were there to listen to a keynote from Clegg. But in these ever-changing times which face in the crowd stuck out? None other that Michael Gove, who Guido understands was not speaking to the whole grouping, but there to butter up thirty key LibDem education types.

Telling them he “understood the concerns” within the Liberal Democrat ranks about academies and free schools, Gove was on a PR drive; “my principal concern is the poorest-performing children”,  “Local education authority will continue to have a strong role, guarantor and coordinator of admissions policy, standards and key services…”

Speculation is growing that the Nick and Dave show might do a swap and address each other’s conferences, could Gove have been a scouting party to test the LibDem water?

Rich & Mark's Monday Morning View

Quote of the Day

Chris Huhne wrote in April to his constituents…

“Family matters  to me so much. Where would we be without them?”

Huhne : April to June

The cutting below is taken from Chris Huhne’s pre-election spring leaflet as sent to constituents in his marginal Eastleigh constituency.

As you can see for yourself it consists of a number of family photo album type pictures with Huhne’s handwritten, heartfelt and sincere comments below the pictures of domestic enchantment; “getting married does not seem like 26 years ago”, “Family matters  to me so much. Where would we be without them?”

Seems like you’d be shagging the younger mistress without ’em Chris…


He can hardly claim this is a mere Spring fling, nor is it the only marital indiscretion…

UPDATE : Chris Huhne is now the 40% favourite to be the next Cabinet Minister to leave government.

*Flyer courtesy of an Eastleigh co-conspirator.

Huhne Leaving Wife for Mistress Exposed by News of the World

The News of the Screws has the scoop

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is leaving his wife of 26 years after confessing to a long standing affair, the News of the World can reveal.  Huhne, 55, has been enjoying trysts with his secret mistress at the family’s constituency home for over a year. Last night he told us: “I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham and I am separating from my wife.”

Lover Carina, 44, is Campaigns Director of the Electoral Reform Society. Huhne, named by Prime Minister David Cameron as the 10th most powerful man in the Cabinet, has been meeting her on Friday nights at his constituency house in Eastleigh, Hampshire, while loyal wife Vicky stayed at the family’s south London home.

On Friday, on her 44th birthday, Carina took the train to Huhne’s detached home in Eastleigh, arriving around 8pm. The pair spent the evening alone inside while Mrs Huhne remained in London. Huhne was due in Eastleigh that morning to conduct a constituency surgery but cancelled it at the last minute. This morning the pair left the house separately, minutes apart, to head to the station.

On the platform they stood apart then boarded different carriages. As the London Waterloo bound train sped off, Huhne made a quick call on his mobile then joined his lover in the first class carriage at the front of the train where they enjoyed breakfast together. Once at Waterloo they began the cloak and dagger tactics again, walking 10ft apart and leaving by different exits. But they met up again at the taxi rank, jumped into a black cab and headed into the city. It is believed the affair has been going on since at least May 2009 and the pair are thought to have met when Carina worked briefly for Huhne on his campaign team when he was fighting the Lib Dem’s leadership campaign in 2007. He finished runner-up to Nick Clegg. Divorcee Carina, lives with a female friend in central London.

There is some speculation that Huhne, who led the LibDem attacks on the former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson, might be regretting so doing. It is probably just a coincidence…

Some More Equal Than Others

Portcullis House parliamentary offices are highly prized. They are light, spacious and luxurious. Only twqo floors are currently allocated to the Labour Party and unsurprisingly, all but a small handful are allocated to ex-ministers and very senior backbenchers. But what’s this? Extraordinarily, one or two first time MPs are so highly favoured that they are already ensconced within the hallowed portals that lesser lobby-fodder plot and plead for years to achieve. What possible influence could have been brought to bear that Jack Dromey has been catapulted into the Valhalla of ex-Cabinet Ministers within a mere six weeks of arriving in the House?  Answers consistent with trade union & Labour Party values in the comments please…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 62,704 visitors viewing 288,257 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Back to the Future

Ed Miliband has finally managed to break out of the internal party strife and have a go at the government. While discussing cuts today he said: “The only thing it can remind [the people of Sheffield] of is the 1980s.” A pretty brave line given the last time he attacked the 1980s was one of Labour’s most embarrassing moments of the election:

That didn’t really work out to brilliantly, did it?

Stick to beating up your big bro Ed.

Balls Website Goes Live

Ed Balls has finally got his website up and running. It’s a bit of a mess to be honest and Guido had to laugh at the Coronation Street “man of the people” look and feel:

How many people from the real-world depicted by Corrie went to elite public schools, Oxford and on to Harvard, flip multiple taxpayer funded properties on top of their his ‘n her’s income of nearly a third million per year? Although he admits to being a public school boy, the biography on the site is still rather scarce. Let Guido fill in a few blanks:

Now you know…

Friday Caption Contest (All In It Together Edition)

Is David Running Scared?

If ever there was a true “heir to Blair” it would be David Miliband. Mentored and politically raised by Tony and Cherie, his old boss is staying out of the race publicly, though he has apparently loaned David some of the Blair Foundation’s staffers for the duration of the campaign. Of all the candidates running David Miliband is meant to be the furthest to the right, but his piece in this morning’s Guardian is quite the eye-opener. Finally a leadership candidate is talking about the economy and the deficit. It doesn’t make for good reading though:

“If the Tories stick to their proposed formula of £4 of cuts for every £1 of tax rises this will see departmental spending slashed by a third outside of the NHS and international development. The balance should be 2:1.”

He goes on to call for an end to the charitable status for independent schools, extending the City bonus tax rather than raising VAT, a mansion tax and with faux naiveté he backs the “Robin Hood Tax“. Anyone would think Miliband was a little worried about his brother’s gaining popularity and is steering quite hard to the left. All good mood music to his party, but is an unconvincing shift in the direction of whacking up taxes really going to give him the keys to No. 10?

Quote of the Day

Sir Michael White writes

“Come on, Gordon, the airport’s just across the bridge and turn right. The flight to Heathrow is barely an hour. It won’t hurt as much as you think, and you’ll feel better afterwards.”

Riddell Redundant

In news smuggled out from from behind the Wapping paywall it is revealed that Peter Riddell the veteran politics commentator is, after 40 years on Fleet Street and 21 years at The Times, taking redundancy.

After relating an anecdote in the Guardian, which reflected on him unfavourably, about asking a group of Oxford students who in the media they trusted more, Peter Riddell took umbrage with Guido. He told a Iain Dale that he really should disassociate himself from yours truly. When independent analysis came along to back up the contention that Riddell was not only less trusted, but his opinion was less sought after, the froideur was total.

Guido’s new ambition to be read by more people than read The Times’ political comment and news looks ever more achievable…

UPDATE : The Guardian is reporting that The Times is losing three members of the business reporting team. Wonder if we will start to see news syndicated across from the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal in The Times. Makes compelling commercial sense for a paper losing £10,000 an hour.

Quote of the Day

Chris Huhne says Coalition Ministers have got used to…

“the extremely nutritious diet of eating your words…”

Baldemort Bungles His Sums

Liam Byrne better watch out if  he doesn’t want to be humiliated in the Shadow Cabinet elections. He botched his response to Danny Alexander’s cuts in the House this afternoon. Baldemort declared that the cuts announced were just 0.05% of government spending, apparently clearing Labour of running a scorched earth policy on the way out of office.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

“I’m not a defender or supporter of ISIS.”

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