Great Political Arguments of Our Time

Political leaflets only tend to raise eyebrows in this country when they end up going through the courts, or feature a particularly hilarious LibDem bar chart. Guido thinks we should take a lesson from Sole Sánchez Mohamed, head of the Partit Democràtic de Ciutadella on Spain. She has presented the electorate with “two great arguments” on why she should be elected.

Guido’s sold.

The Tax Code Truth

Friday Caption Contest (Moment of Reflection Edition)

Announcement of recent winners on Monday.

Osborne Would Block Brown

Despite assuring us that he intended to disappear into the obscurity of the lefty charity world, the horror of Gordon becoming the head of the IMF somehow seems possible. On manoeuvres in Bretton Woods, Brown has been lobbying, without a trace of irony, to take the leadership of the body which is charged with managing deficits in cash strapped countries. Another week where the people of Kirkcaldy have been well represented in Parliament. 

Guido isn’t so sure he’s quite the shoe in that he is briefing he is, though perhaps they were impressed with his prudent management style and understanding of how governments can rack up such huge debts. Osborne’s people have made it clear that they would block the £270,000 pa appointment: “It would be an insult to the British public if Gordon Brown were to be put forward for this job. This is the man who wrecked the British economy and has never apologised. It is not going to happen on our watch.”

Guido won’t be buying back those Nokia shares just yet.

Quote of the Day

Phil Collins muses behind the paywall:

“Ralph Miliband argued there is no parliamentary road to socialism…his son may prove him right.” 

Want To Work For Mike Hancock?

Self-confessed teen fondler and LibDem MP Mike Hancock is “looking to recruit two bright, hard-working candidates to volunteer” in his office. The fact that he’s not paying his interns should be least of Nick Clegg’s worries when it comes to this backbencher. The advert goes on to say:

“Applicants should be reliable, enthusiastic and be sympathetic to the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats. Strong IT, organisational skills and a sense of humour essential.”

Admitting to cheating on your wife and  “kissing and cuddling” with a teenage girl in court is hardly a laughing matter.

Responsibilities for the job include:

But beware, the successful candidate “will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO).” 

Have they run Hancock through that verification process recently? 

State of the Race Yes Campaign's Smoking Gun Memo

Yesterday can’t have been fun for the Yes campaign. Ed Howker was leaked a document from the the campaign’s biggest donor the Electoral Reform Society, that proved, despite the legal threats to the contrary, that they were set to profit from a Yes result.

They concede in the strategy memo that their commercial wing is a weak spot:

“It is possible that ERSL will profit as a result of a YES vote (increased business opportunities”

And they are well aware of how damaging it could be:

“ERSL fear that negative publicity might affect union clients, Conservative Party or other No supporters which in turn, might affect future dividends.”

The Sun and the Mail have gone to town and even the pro Yes Guardian found it worthy of a thorough writeup. It all makes yesterday’s denial look a little silly. It’s not best to try cover these things up if you put it in writing yourself.

Elsewhere the shock IPPR YouGov poll that found 45% in favour of AV has been shredded by the experts due to the fact that its leading questions read like a Yes press release. Even more money going on No this morning



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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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