Quote of the Day

George Osborne told the Lobby re Hancock:

“You don’t have to go to Zurich to get screwed by the Russians”

Guy Sources: "It's MacShane"

Guido hears it’s Denis MacShane that has had his file passed to the CPS. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy…

+ + + Another Expenses File Passed From MET to CPS + + +

Guido would have thought the Met enough on their plate for one day, but a ninth file of evidence on the Parliamentary expenses scandal has been passed to prosecutors, Scotland Yard says.

Developing…

Osborne and Darling's Empty Budgets

The Chancellor has followed on from Dave by buttering up the Lobby and just as when the PM did his comedy turn,  riots raged outside. Apparently his jokes weren’t as good, but he did let the cat out the bag about those photo ops outside No. 11…

We already knew that  Gladstone’s red box, bought back by Alistair Darling, was having its final outing with George Osborne’s Emergency Budget, but what we learn today is that the scarlet leather box, made in the early 1860s, is in fact empty and the key was lost years ago. There must be a metaphor there somewhere…

Hancock Withdraws from Russian Support

As Guido highlighted the other day, Mike Hancock was one of only two signatories to an Early Day Motion congratulating his beloved Russia for winning the World Cup bid, in what the rest of the world saw as a  total stitch up:

Funny that Mike has suddenly removed his name from EDM 1137. What a coincidence….

+ + + No Hoon-Time for Five Years + + +

Hoon has been banned from holding a parliamentary pass for five years, Byers for two and Richard Caborn for six months. All three former Labour will have to apologise to the House in writing. If you want an end to the revolving door, why give former MPs passes anyway?

UPDATE: Now Hoon doesn’t have a pass he can join that APPC thing he knew nothing of.

How Many LibDems Will Say No to Pi-Nick-io?

Tonight’s tuition fee vote is the first real test of the LibDem’s willingness to be lashed to the mast as the coalition government sails the course of deficit reduction. The stupid pledge made during the election and the student centred Cleggmania have made them the focus of the backlash.

A ConservativeHome poll last week had Nick Clegg more popular with conservative supporters than LibDem voters. Now in government the days of being all things to all people are behind them. Solemn promises have been discarded, Sarah Teather looks on the brink of tears, Vince Cable squirms, Simon Hughes is loving the limelight. On Newsnight last night he was being a vote-tease.

Hughes pompously told us he is minded to abstain, but he might vote no – what a look-at-me wuss he is – clearly demonstrating he doesn’t know his own mind. At least Tim Farron and others are clear about voting against. The betting has punters expecting 10 to 20 LibDems to vote no.

UPDATE:

Oh how your words can come back to haunt you…

Quote of the Day

Tony Blair said

“The problem with Barack Obama is he’s really a socialist.”



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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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