Miliband Think Tank Donor’s Tax Shirking

In Ed Miliband’s big speech this morning about the cost of living he said:

The task is to create a more prosperous capitalism…

It seems Ed has been converted to the cause of capitalism since becoming leader, despite having called himself a socialist many times over the course of his leadership campaign. And with talk of a “fairer” capitalism, presumably he meant things like taxing the financial services sector in a “progressive” way?

The Resolution Foundation, the venue for Miliband’s speech, is bankrolled by Clive Cowdery, an insurance tycoon and Labour donor. He spoke alongside Ed today to launch the foundation’s latest report. Cowdery sold Resolution Plc in 2007 for £5 billion, earning himself close to £150 million. As is the way with these things, he has based his company offshore in Guernsey, to minimise tax exposure, like The Guardian does. The company is effectively run from London through the limited liability partnership Resolution Operations LLP, the company made £1,189 million in net profit. If it was domiciled in the UK corporation tax on these profits could have amounted to £333 million. Miliband said:

I want to begin by paying tribute to the work of the Resolution Foundation… Politics today is being conducted in the shadow of the financial crisis: the argument about the deficit and how to return the economy to growth. But what your work is showing is that we cannot settle for a return to business as usual: life before the crisis hit.

That deficit is not helped by Resolution shirking one-third of a billion pounds in taxes. Gordon Brown’s former deputy chief of staff and economic adviser, Gavin Kelly, runs the foundation. So Ed’s call for a new way of doing things was made to friends, donors, tax-shirkers and long-term colleagues…

13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate a coalition at the same time. The markets wouldn’t have taken kindly to that…

Tectonic Plates are Moving for Bercow

As MPs return to Westminster today after their half-term holidays the Speaker might be well advised to reflect on the fact that half the PoliticsHome panel of insiders think Bercow won’t be Speaker by the end of the Parliament, and after reports that Ministers are ready to see him removed punters are now giving him a 25% chance of going this year. Watch out for procedural machinations…

Quote of the Day

Without any trace of irony Chuka Umunna says…

“We’ve had enough of people going into politics for self-aggrandisement.”

Rich & Mark's Monday Morning View

Clegg Set To Be Humiliated by the Miner's Daughter

The deputy Prime Minister (when he remembers) is set to be humiliated in the Barnsley by-election because, according to a survey in the Mail, the LibDems are looking likely to come fourth after coming second in the general election.

UKIP’s Jane Collins was ‘born and bred’ in Yorkshire, raised in Pontefract, the daughter of a miner and is the blonde who is set to land a bombshell on Clegg’s party.

Dan Jarvis (Labour) will cruise home with a wacking 63%, James Hockney (Conservative) will stay in double figures on 13%, Jane Collins (UKIP) on 9% could push Dominic Carman (Liberal Democrats) into a humiliating fourth place next to the BNP and other assorted loonies. The survey data shows the most former LibDem voters switching back to Labour. This will give Clegg party management problems with the left of the LibDems…

Miliband's Brain Marrying His Mouth

One of Ed Miliband’s key advisers, Greg Beales has popped the question to Katie Myler, Ed’s former spokesgirl and daughter of News of the Screws editor Colin Myler.

Katie unfortunately left Ed’s employ under a cloud after accusing Cameron of behaving like a pimp. Labour sources are jokingly calling it the “Big Fat Labour Wedding”. Which is a little unfair given Beales has lost a lot of weight. Maybe they could make it a double wedding with Ed and Justine…

Centre-Right Triumphs in Irish Elections

The Irish election results (and Guido should caveat this by saying on the basis of RTE’s first preference exit poll) show that left-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough with Labour, Sinn Fein and the Greens combined getting 33% of the vote, less than Fine Gael 36%. Adding the Fianna Fail vote the parties of the centre-right got 51% and can count on support from many of the independents.

This will stiffen the resolve of George Osborne to persevere with spending cuts, Fine Gael ran on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and Lansley style reform of healthcare provision to a more marketised system. Fine Gael are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and promising that income tax will not be increased. The Irish result shows that voters understand the need for spending cuts and deficit reduction.

Saturday Seven-Up

7upBy far the most interesting story of the week for Guido was the revelation that £1 million of the Yes to AV campaign’s funding originated from a firm that provides electronic voting services – yet the Yes campaign claim there is no intention to bring in counting machines. The denials from LibDems have been very noisy and unconvincing, Guido doesn’t believe the No campaigns claim that it will cost £250 million, if past IT contracts are anything to go by it’ll cost £500 million and be 10 years late. What first attracted ERS Ltd, the firm providing electronic voting services, to the complexity of the AV system?

Last week saw 77,942 visitors make 228,259 visits to view 371,793 pages. Birthday boy Ed Balls and the offshore holdings and hedge fund investments of the Guardian featured heavily:

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

London's Working Class Prefer Boris to Ken

The latest YouGov polling [pdf] on the London mayoral voting intentions shows Boris leads Ken 44% to 41% amongst the “C2DE” working class voters, even though Labour has a 12% lead nationally amongst the same group of voters in a general election. Ken is clearly the Islington Guardianista candidate…

Downing Street should be worried – the failure to attract working class voters stopped Dave from winning last year. On these numbers Boris could have done it…

Totty Watch: Galyna, Gaddafi's Ukranian Nurse

Now that the “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya”, or “Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” is going the same way all socialist dictators go – mad and bad – Gaddafi must be feeling the pressure.

Galyna Kolotnytska is Muammar Gaddafi’s voluptuous blonde Ukrainian nurse, mentioned in a WikiLeaks cable from 2009. Apparently Gaddafi never travels without her and who could blame him. Wonder why… “Nurse!”

Friday Caption Contest

We have a copy of Heather Brooke’s The Silent State: Secrets, Surveillance and the Myth of British Democracy to give away to a co-conspirator who comes up with an amusing caption.  Heather was the campaigner who went to court to get MPs expenses released under the Freedom of Information Act. Without her crooked MPs would still be pontificating in parliament instead of doing porridge. Usual rules apply.

Hain's Record On Arms Dealing

Peter Hain had a shocker on Question Time, being jeered and booed by the audience for his take on Britain selling arms to Libya:

If we found, as we did in some instances that they were not being used for the license they had been granted for… If that’s the case, then it was wrong to sell them and we wouldn’t do it again…

Which would of course be too late…

Hain’s ministerial record on arms dealing is far from squeaky clean:

Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Africa, yesterday told The Independent on Sunday that the Government would investigate the deal if any substantiated allegations were made… “nobody could object to Britain selling arms to South Africa”.

On the BBC’s Today programme ….

…the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain gave his personal assurance that new Labour had never sold arms to any government that used them for internal repression. At last month’s Farnborough arms fair, weapons and all manner of war equipment were on offer to Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey…

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “The public were outraged and shocked in the role the UK had in being a major supplier of arms to countries like Indonesia. The fact that the government finally brought in an embargo given the atrocities in East Timor just recently shows that the public has become very concerned about where we are selling arms too.” However, Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain insisted the government had acted ethically and openly in its arms sales policy.

His conversion to the cause of peace seems to coincide with him being out of office…

Local Businessmen Fighting Balls Over Debts

Ed Balls’ admirers describe him as “combative”, others say he is an unpleasant, duplicitous, lying bully. Whatever your view there is no doubt that he turned a nominally safe seat into an ultra-marginal after an election campaign that focused on his merits and personality.

Unfortunately for Balls as a result he now has to spend weekend after weekend working his constituency, knocking on doors to try and bolster his support. Balls is only too aware that his poor performance in his constituency undermines his authority in the Labour Party. Yet no matter how much he smiles and glad hands his true personality still comes out. Balls admits to damaging his old constituency office and leaving it in a mess, he has offered to pay some £500 towards making the mess good. The local businessman who was his landlord says the damages are nearer £2,000.

Blinky BallsIf Balls had any sense he would negotiate a compromise, why get into an embarrassing court case with a local businessmen with all the inevitable bad publicity in the local press (pictured)? Instead, because of his “combative” nature he has ended up in court fighting Mr Sampson who says “It is nothing personal to do with him, I’m not being malicious, it is purely business”. With Balls it is always personal…

Dave on the World Stage


Cameron’s profound reply when asked what he’d like to say to Gaddafi.

Justice

Damien Fowkes has been arrested after taking Colin Hatch hostage and strangling his fellow inmate at the maximum security Full Sutton prison near York on Tuesday night. Hatch was a serial paedophile who sexually molested a 7 year old boy, Sean Williams, before strangling him and dumping the body in a bin. Hatch murdered Sean Williams while on parole for a previous child sex attack and had a string of convictions for assaulting young boys.

Hatch  should never have been released from jail in the first place. Guido knows that every time he calls for the return of the death penalty Guardianistas start shrieking. It remains an unshakable belief that for some crimes society wants more than just protection from the perpetrator, the majority will not accept the rehabilitation of the perpetrator even if that were possible, society wants retribution. Hatch should have been executed after a judicial process. Instead many, probably the majority of right thinking people – and the metropolitan political class is very out of touch on this – will wish Damien Fowkes well.

On Facebook thousands of people are paying tribute to Damien Fowkes, some are describing him in heroic terms. Sean Williams’ father John and sister Sarah were said to be “ecstatic” over the killing. His father stated: “Justice had finally been done”. It should have been done by due process of the law.

Irish Election: Vote None of the Above?

Front runners Fine Gael are running on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and reform of healthcare provision based on the Dutch model where money follows the patient. They are promising to focus on the deficit by prioritising cutting waste and that income tax will not be increased. Sounds good, but Guido just doesn’t believe ’em, particularly if they end up in coalition with Labour.

Discredited Fianna Fáil are running on “substance” with no new spending commitments, but they’re widely and rightly seen as a bunch of crooks and shysters. The Irish Labour Party are worse than the crooks and shysters – they’re incompetent socialists. Sinn Féin are the only party that are in any way EU-sceptic and opposed the bail-out of bond-holders, at the end of the day they’re just too left-wing to stomach. Unless Fine Gael win outright, they will probably end up in coalition with Labour. Theoretically Fianna Fáil could support a Fine Gael centre-right government, and that might be for the best…

Miliband's Ideological Guru in Pay of Saif Gaddafi

The links between the Gaddafi family, Blair, Mandelson and Brown’s government are well documented. Does Ed Milband’s “new generation” also have links to the Libyan dictatorship? Has Ed Miliband himself got personal links to the “mad dog of the Middle East”?

Professor Held is ghost-writing a big-ideas book for his Dartmouth Park neighbour Ed Miliband, he is also co-director of the London School of Economics’ Centre for the Study of Global Governance. The Centre took £300,000 off Saif Gaddafi.

Held also oversaw Saif’s dodgy doctorate which is under great pressure to be revoked. Professor Held chairs the “Special Ralph Miliband Lecture” series and in November 2009 invited Ed to give one in front of his mother. Watch how Ed heaped praise on Held for all the work he has done for his family:

Six months later Held chaired another “Special Ralph Miliband” event, only this time with a slightly higher profile guest. The details have mysteriously been pulled from the LSE website, but Guido can confirm Held welcomed Saif as a “Representative of the Miliband program” with the sort of sycophantic introduction that only a large sum of money can buy:

When you hear him trying to distance himself from it all in the Guardian, remember he has enjoyed the regimes hospitality.

Ed Miliband’s ideological lodestar is a professor funded by Gaddafi’s bloody money who says he is friends with Saif. Great judgement…

Quote of the Day

Kevin Maguire reports on Ed’s meeting with The Sun:

“…next time, Ted should remember that the Sun was launched in 1964 and avoid asking how it covered events in the 1940s and 1950s; he should also avoid asking the childless Brooks how her kids are. I’m told it could have gone better.”

Election Night vs AV

There was cross-party support for the Save General Election Night campaign that was set up in September 2009 when it looked like some councils were not going to count on the same day as polling. Particularly prominent were Mark Pack of the LibDemVoice, a Yes2AV supporter and Jack Straw, who backed legislation to make sure the results came through on the night, also a supporter of AV.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, says….

“The UKIP vote is going to the Tories. That’s the story of the first week of the campaign.”

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