Exclusive: Tory MEP Roger Helmer No Longer Resigning

Back in October, Guido broke the news that the Conservative MEP Roger Helmer had handed a letter of resignation to CCHQ. This blog was also first with the fact that CCHQ were doing their utmost to stop Rupert Matthews, the next candidate on the East Midlands party list and Helmer’s preferred successor, from being anointed. Well once again Guido is first with the news: Roger Helmer won’t be resigning after all.

Helmer’s resignation was supposed to be effective of today, but as party chairman Sayeeda Warsi is apparently insisting on someone other than Matthews, apparently “a less-geeky woman”, takes over, Helmer has decided to dig his boots in. A European co-conspiritor told Guido last night “Roger won’t be going anywhere unless Rupert is guaranteed.” CCHQ sources insist that they won’t be budging on this one, so it looks like Helmer will be staying. Once again, the Tory high-command’s gender-agenda has created an almighty mess…

Saturday Seven Up

This week traffic has halved with everyone off work (including us). A mere 69,532 visitors made 157,783 visits to view 256,668 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

Labour’s Dugher Falsely Accuses Tories of Knighting Criminal

Michael Dugher fancies himself as Ed Miliband’s answer to Peter Mandelson. Guido thinks he is as slippery with his spin, but nowhere near as smart as the Dark Lord. Dugher has just emailed out a press release, Guido is ignoring the embargo because he wasn’t a recipient of this press release:

Date: 30 December 2011 17:13:57 GMT

Subject: EMBARGOED NEWS FROM LABOUR: David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people – Dugher

Responding to the New Year’s Honours List, Michael Dugher, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister said:

“David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people. He’s giving a knighthood to Paul Ruddock, who made millions from the collapse of Northern Rock and has given over half a million pounds to the Tories, and another to Gerald Ronson who was jailed for his part in a share-trading fraud.

“This tells you everything you need to know about the Tories’ priorities. At a time when millions of families are struggling to get by, it’s the Tories’ friends in the City who get the rewards.”

ENDS

A bit rich you might think coming from the party that knighted RBS’s Fred Goodwin. Paul Ruddock has a gallery in the British Museum named after him and is chairman of the board of the V & A. He has given tens of millions to charity and is a well know philanthropist. So no surprise that he gets a well deserved knighthood.

Truly shocking that the Tories would give a knighthood to a convicted fraudster. Except they haven’t. Dugher has screwed up again…

Guidogram Going Out New Year’s Day

The next Guidogram is being sent out to subscribers on Sunday. Make sure that you get emailed Guido’s round up next year by subscribing. Thousands of Westminster insiders like Nick Robinson read it. Join him and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, it is free, to keep in the loop.

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

Toffs Taxing the Poor More

Minimum alcohol pricing won’t affect champagne drinkers, it will hit those on lower incomes. Again.

Regressive taxes aren’t just about forcing up the price of supermarket booze, it was putting up VAT – a mistake that boosted inflation which was already above target and hit consumer spending when it was already weak. Unquestionably that was a regressive tax. Even the usually austerity friendly IMF cautioned against the VAT hike.

The squeezed middle aren’t spared either. Air Passenger Duty means that a family of four flying to America for their annual holiday can pay up to £587 in taxes. The Fawkes family fly back and forth to Ireland regularly spending more on air taxes than on air tickets. UK subjects pay more in air taxes than all the rest of the EU’s citizens – combined. It won’t bother the Chancellor on his £10,000 skiing holiday weeks, but those of us in the private sector, not on benefits, reckon he could do more to cut spending and the tax burden. It is called a growth strategy…

Friday Caption Contest

Andrew Lansley told the Speccie

‘I don’t like a minimum price, we are acting against below cost selling. My problem with a minimum price, well I have two problems. One is it’s regressive, so there are perfectly normal families who just don’t happen to have much money who like to buy cheap beer or cheap wine. Should they be prevented? No, I don’t think so and if you put in a minimum price, one of the journalists calculated that if you set it at 50p a unit it would add £600 million to the profits of retailers and drinks manufacturers which doesn’t seem to me to be the right thing to do in these circumstances.’

Media Analysis You Won’t Read in the Guardian

Today is the last trading day of the year on the New York Stock Exchange, barring any dramatic surprises shares in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation will end the day near the year’s highs. If you are lucky enough to own NewsCorp shares you will have benefited from a rise in value of over 10% this year, well outperforming a stockmarket that has flatlined.

Not that you would realise it if you only listened to the BBC or read the New York Times and The Guardian. The latter in particular always slants financial stories about NewsCorp as if there was widespread shareholder unrest with the Murdochs. Story after story on the media and finance pages of The Guardian quotes shareholders and financial advisers with doom laden sentiments about the Murdochs. Most of those quoted turn out to be activists with political rather than financial priorities…

The fact is that Rupert Murdoch owns the number one daily newspaper in America, The Wall Street Journal. NewsCorp also owns the number one news channel, the incredibly successful and profitable Fox Network. Sky franchises in the UK, Italy, Germany and Star TV in Asia are the pay-TV leaders generating phenomenal subscription revenues. Murdoch also owns the content via television production companies and movie studios. This year Super Bowl on FOX was the most watched TV show in America ever. Even after selling MySpace at a loss, he has dared to launch a new online-only news business, The Daily. Hit movies like Avatar and Black Swan generate colossal ticket sales, American Idol still brings in the ratings, globally Murdoch owned newspapers are still a cash-cow despite him closing the News of the World. In 2011 revenue rose to $33.4 billion, while adjusted operating income increased 12% to $4.98 billion. Cashflow which the owners of the loss making New York Times and Guardian can only dream…

Guardian Media Group is losing a £1 million a week, Mirror Group shares have halved in value this year and the firm has introduced a pay freeze for all workers. Based on the NewsCorp share price alone, the Murdochs finish the year a few billion richer than they started it. Despite what you may read in The Guardian or hear on the BBC, the Murdochs are very far from being against the wall and the left hates that.

No one ever got rich betting against Rupert Murdoch….

Second Policy Salvo Against MilibandMandelson Backed Think-Tank Launches Another Broadside

For the second time in a month Peter Mandelson’s think-tank, Policy Network, has launched a policy salvo against the direction the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. Mandelson privately is contemptuous of young Ed, these high-minded wonkish policy exhortations are the respectable manifestation of that contempt.

Last month his think-tank published “In the Black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand” is a discussion paper in which the authors; Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen, called for Labour to embrace fiscal conservatism. The paper was an explicit rebuttal of the kamikaze economics of Ed Balls endorsed by Ed Miliband, which poll after poll shows is not seen as credible by the public. Despite the state of the economy Cameron and Osborne are supported by the British public to a far greater extend than Miliband and Balls.

In exactly the same vein shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont MP and Oxford historian Ben Jackson have written a paper for the think-tank warning that austerity governments often defeat opponents and that historically the Tories have achieved this on multiple occasions. They also urge Miliband to abandon his “predators and producers” rhetoric and “put forward a more convincing strategy for private sector growth than the Conservatives”. McClymont and Jackson further warn that Ed Miliband must avoid the “tax and spend” trap and “a simple defence of the public sector and public spending”Alas that is Labour policy in a nutshell..

See also: Labour-Centrists Laying Down Reality-Based Policy Ideas

UN Flies Flag at Half Mast for Dear Leader

The UN gives the North Korean dictator an honour not given to the Czech democrat. No such memorial for the two million enslaved citizens he killed…

UPDATE: Amnesty video of the North Korean labour camps which make up the hidden gulag.

2011: The Year of the ‘Pilgrim’

Continuing with the review of the year, one campaign that Guido has been proud to put on the agenda has been the fight against taxpayer-funded trade union activists. He coined their now commonly adopted nickname: “Pilgrims”. 

Eighteen months ago Guido was chewing the cud with a source who works in education in some Westminster watering-hole. Even after four Guinnesses, he still did not believe the story he was being told. Apparently there were teachers that were paid full-time salaries, yet worked full-time on trade union activity. Another teacher had to be employed to cover for this activist, this pushed a particular school over budget. Guido didn’t really think much more on the subject until a piece of research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance came across his desk a few months later. Their formidable FoI team had scatter-gunned almost every area of the state, trying to work out exactly how much of our money was was being wasted on unions bods who are paid for by us rather than out of the union members’ subscriptions. That leaves plenty of union money around to prop up Ed Miliband and bus people around the country for astro-turfed protests. It was on…

With the unions agitating it was only a matter of time before someone said something stupid. In April one such taxpayer-funded trade union official put her head above the parapet and claimed to the Standard that Andrew Lansley had lied about NHS cuts at a pre-election visit to St Georges Hospital in Tooting. Unfortunately for the now infamous Jane Pilgrim, Mark Clarke, the local Tory candidate who had organised said visit, had a slightly clearer recollection of events – mainly that Jane had refused to meet Lansley on political grounds. The first shots were fired and suddenly Jane Pilgrim, the union-funded smearing liar, began to unravel. She had a private consultancy firm on the side and lived at the expense of the taxpayer too. Eventually she was forced back kicking and screaming to frontline nursing, but the can of worms had been opened…

Guido has seen emails sent around senior brothers expressing concern that the activities of Unison’s poster-girl could be the thin-edge of the wedge and they even speculated that her big mouth might ruin the taxpayer funded fun and games for everyone.  How right they were. Suddenly, with personification and a focus point, the outrage about the concept of taxpayer-funded trade-union staff grew. Speeches began to be made in Parliament, motions were put down and people began to realise that there is a Nurse Pilgrim in every hospital, school, government department and pen-pushing office in the country.  The TPA numbers came alive and the bandwagon was rolling

As Guido began smoking out further pilgrims, David Cameron was put on the spot about at PMQs in May. June saw public opinion turn in the polls. The tabloids waded in and Eric Pickles and Frankie Maude soon got behind the issue. As conference season approached word reached Guido that a breakthrough was imminent. On the eve of Tory conference leaked CCHQ briefings saw MPs given anti-pilgrim lines and Pickles and Maude opened fire from the podium. In less than six months a full government consultation had been announced and the figures mooted as potential savings saw even more people get behind the campaign. Union funded Labour MPs went berserk

By the end of the year the term “Pilgrim” was being used by the BBC and every broadsheet. Guido hears that the Oxford English Dictionary might have a surprise for Jane in the New Year. If all goes to plan Guido will personally nail the page to the front door of Unison’s HQ. In April their Head of Press, Mary Maguire, tried to launch a formal investigation into Guido for having the audacity to question her when she said there was no story here. Now we know why…

Guido’s jihad does not stop here though. New TPA numbers reveal the number of Pilgrims went up in the last year, a fact that could be the straw to break the camel’s back. Legislation from the backbenches is in the pipeline, Mark Clarke went on to form the Trade Union Reform Campaign to fight for a total overhaul of union funding, and Guido will be keeping a close eye on Maude and Pickle’s promised consultation when it launches next month.

The threat of ending taxpayer-funding may well be a useful bargaining chip in strike negotiations, but at the end of the day the practice is morally wrong and Guido’s in this one for the long haul…

Labour Membership Flatlining Under Miliband

Over a year ago Harriet Harman, speaking at a Labour delegates reception, claimed that the Labour Party had gained 65,000 new party members. This morning a Labour press spokesman, while defending Ed Miliband’s leadership, again claimed 65,000 new party members.

If the party’s press spokesman is telling the truth that means in over a year since the start of Ed Miliband’s leadership the Labour Party has not made a net gain of any more members. No surprise really, Ed hardly inspires enthusiasm…

Guido Co-conspirators’ Top 12 Book Buys

Guido’s blog reading co-conspirators are massive consumers of books, usually bought online courtesy of Amazon. According to the online retailer our reader’s favourite top purchases of 2011 were:

  1. Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies
  2. The Silent State: Secrets, Surveillance and the Myth of British Democracy
  3. Zetter’s Political Companion
  4. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
  5. The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze
  6. The Triumph of the Political Class
  7. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
  8. Back from the Brink: 1,000 Days at Number 11
  9. Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader
  10. Dirty politics, Dirty times
  11. The Rise of Political Lying
  12. A Walk-On Part: Diaries 1994-1999 (Mullin Diaires 3)

E-editions and books were combined. Pugnacious Mehdi Hasan really should be less chippy given how many of his books Guido helps shift…

12 Most Popular Stories of 2011

Everyone does round-ups of the year, only ours was chosen by our readers, here are the most read stories of the 2011:

  1. Piers Morgan Knew Award Winning Scoop Was Hacked
  2. A Story You Won’t Get from the BBC, Guardian or The Times
    The Secret of Three of Westminster’s Media Gate-keepers
  3. Bet Giles Coren Wishes His Tweets Were Sub-Edited
  4. Morgan Mocked Macca’s Misery Voicemails
  5. Guido’s Celebrity Super-Injunction Advice
  6. Farage’s Rage Going Viral
  7. The Full Boundary Review
  8. Exclusive: Alastair Campbell Evidence to Leveson
    Speculates Morgan’s Mirror Hacked Cherie Blair’s Voicemail
  9. + + + Osborne Coke and Hookers Story Breaking Tonight + + +
  10. Sexist Laurie Penny Exploits Unemployed
    Pays Staff Below Minimum Wage
  11. Unbankable Story
  12. Scandalous European Parliament Email Triggers Gossipping

Not sure that “popular” is the right term for Piers Morgan, nevertheless he is the subject of three of Guido’s most read stories this year. Super-injunctions also occupy three stories (#4, #6, #12). Andrew Marr’s menage a trois is #3 despite being three years old and subsequently disproved by DNA.

The story which amused us most was probably comrade Laurie Penny’s exploitation of an intern. This was funny on many levels, the hypocrisy, her crazed response and the knowledge that whilst travelling in the back of a Mercedes limousine with her, courtesy of the BBC, it was Guido who had urged her on, telling her she “simply must get an intern”.

The Boundary Review scoop was just another example of Guido beating the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media to a story that everyone was chasing. You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Ed Miliband explains his strategy to the Daily Mirror

“I will carry on being what I am.”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Happy Christmas

Christmas Card Going Out in Last Guidogram of Year

Last year’s Christmas card caused much merriment and a minor media kerfuffle, this year we’re sending it out to subscribers to the Guidogram today. Make sure that you get emailed Guido’s weekly round up of the week next year. Thousands of Westminster insiders like Nick Robinson read it. Join him and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop. It is going out shortly…

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

Saturday Seven Up

This week a mere 89,209 visitors made 249,944 visits to view 386,450 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

God Bless Us Every Huhne

Today’s Times front-page should certainly make interesting reading for the the Director of Public Prosecutions.

No rush…

An early Chris-tmas pressie.

Flashback:

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

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

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Corbyn and Sturgeon At Same Event Corbyn and Sturgeon At Same Event
Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down? Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down?
Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition
Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration
Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go
Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go
Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview
Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril
McVey for Upminster? McVey for Upminster?
Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question
Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories
NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge
Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News
CCHQ Caught on Hop: Not Enough Tory Candidates CCHQ Caught on Hop: Not Enough Tory Candidates
Campaign Report – 50 Days to Go Campaign Report – 50 Days to Go
PMQs Sketch PMQs Sketch
Osborne Quits as MP Osborne Quits as MP
Will Tories Drop MOAB on Corbyn? Will Tories Drop MOAB on Corbyn?
Corbyn Getting Beers in Early Corbyn Getting Beers in Early
Labour Staff Told: No Slogan, No Key Seats List, No Budget Labour Staff Told: No Slogan, No Key Seats List, No Budget