Oliver Letwin wants to prevent the common man enjoying his cheap holiday in Malaga and now Philip Blond, the so-called “Red Tory” wonk who markets himself as close to the Cameroons, wants to prevent common people buying olives. His thank-tank Respublica wants to tax larger shops more and subsidise smaller local shops. Guido sees a lot of red and very little Tory in his proposed tax on success.
Combine this nonsense with the Cameroon fetish for localism and you will raise the cost of groceries for everyone, fine if you are a Notting Hill trustafarian, for the squeezed middle-classes this will just add to the cost of the weekly shop. Local deli’s and organic butchers are all very well, but they are not cheap. Don’t forget Dave’s mate Zac and his eco-friends will have us all suffering from scurvy so long as we reduce our carbon footprint – there will be no imported fruit from Africa and the Caribbean if they have their way.
Imagine a Green-Red-Tory grocery store: Philip Blond behind the counter demonstrating natural goose fat hair creme, Zac offering samples of Dorset Strawberry Champagne, “sorry we have no bananas”, carbon footprint banned, ditto lemons. Handmade Melton Mowbray pies a plenty, no foreign exotica like peppers, or even pepper. Perhaps some celebrity cheese at £20-an-ounce, a home-baked loaf of artisan bread for £10 and a dozen local organic free-range eggs for a fiver. Nothing spicy or imported. This is the logical outcome if these out of touch Tory romantics get their way. Plenty of local cabbage and potatoes.
Food price inflation is bad enough as it is without Blond trying to undermine the competitiveness of the supermarkets, who will inevitably just pass on increased costs to consumers. Blond and Zac are a danger to the affordability of basic needs to consumers with their attempts to foist a Tory form of autarky on us all. If Blond wants to open a grocery store good luck to him, no need to hobble the supermarkets in the process. Guido doubts he will do much business…
Ed Balls tells the BBC:
“Britain does not exist as an island…”
The speculation that the Vickers Commission was going to force the banks abroad by breaking them up clearly got the better of some hacks sympathetic to the idea. At his press conference earlier John Vickers fielded questions from the all the financial press scribes. Not one mentioned a perceived failure to split up the banks adequately until the not-for-profit BBC waded in. Both Peston and Paul Mason opened fire. Mason had a rant about “casino banking” and Peston accused them of “bottling it”. Guido’s eyes and ears in the room described the contrast with everyone else’s questions as “striking”…
Word reaches Guido, by way of Laura Kuenssberg’s Twitter feed, that Alan Johnson is in talks with television production companies about his future TV career. Already a regular on This Week, Guido can only speculate what his next move might be, but some obvious remakes of great TV series and films spring to mind.
He’s obviously a Man About the House these days after that incident with The Bodyguard. Though before that Guido heard that The Postman Always Knocks Twice. Too soon for a reality attempt at Three’s Company? Not sure his old minder quite knew the Rules of Engagement, but if worse comes to worse he could always play the Home Secretary in Spooks.
Guido hears that a handful of MPs are complaining to Whitehall’s watchdog, the Committee for Standards in Public Life, regarding the report this morning that the Yes2AV campaign have left themselves wide open to accusations of foul play.
As regular readers will remember, Yes’s biggest donor is the Electoral Reform Society. Odd then that its money making offspring Electoral Reform Services Ltd is administering ballots. The group will be both printing ballot papers and observing their return. They will be able to see who has voted by post before the polls close and thus know who to target to get out the vote on polling day. Which is all rather convenient. They are in full denial mode, but lets see what Sir Christopher Kelly has to say…
UPDATE: This isn’t the first time dodgy donor links have got Yes into trouble:
A full list of the No campaign’s mostly Tory donors quietly appeared at the weekend. Despite repeated questioning, the Yes team have still refused to comment on who else amongst them would personally benefit from a change in the voting system.
UPDATE II: Labour’s Tom Harris, Dave Watts and Toby Perkins, with Tories Andrew Bridgen, Eleanor Laing and George Eustice have sent the letters.
LibDem MP, “Defence expert” and self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock thought he would offer his two cents about the tragic shooting on board the HMS Astute:
“I am surprised that this man was on a nuclear submarine, I would have thought there was tight scrutiny for our submariners, so how on earth he passed I don’t know. I will be questioning what’s going on. I feel very unsure about somebody who has an element of eccentricity about himself – by calling himself Reggie Moondogg, putting it on Facebook – joining the Navy, getting recruited to serve on a nuclear submarine and then being given a weapon to guard it. So there must be some questions about his suitability. I can’t understand how the vetting programme has let this happen.”
Frankly Guido is surprised that this man is still in Parliament, he would have thought there was tight scrutiny for our politicians, so how on earth Hancock passed he does not know.
Does text-pest Mike “give me a chance princess” Hancock really have the audacity to accuse other people of having “an element of eccentricity about” them? And if Hancock’s staff choices are anything to go by, he’s not one to criticise vetting procedures either.
The suspected spy he employed in the Commons has landed a new job as political correspondent for Russian TV.