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He’s Got Some Nirj

Flamboyant Tory MEP and all round nice guy Nirj Deva is standing for President of the European Parliament. Given he was born in Sri Lanka and was only the fourth Asian-born person to be elected to the Commons, as well as being  the first Asian-born Tory MEP, some of those names supporting his bid look a little odd:

Despite standing on a multicultural platform, Nick Griffin is backing him. This isn’t all the people supporting Deva, (each grouping would have a different form,) but Guido hears the Tories are threatening New Europe Online, who broke the story, demanding they take said scan down. All very odd…

Friday Caption Contest (Talk to the Hand Edition)

After years of trying Guido is pleased to reveal that uber-commenter “Billy Bowden” has finally won a caption contest:

“New moderater joins Order-Order.com”

It’s the end of an era. There’s a t-shirt in the post Billy…

Lobbyists’ Umbrella Group Splits

We have in the past covered the lobbying world’s attempts at self-regulation. The most ardent opponent of a statutory register was Francis Ingham of the widely discredited PRCA trade body, he was instrumental in getting rival lobbying and spin trade bodies CIPR and APPC to join up under the UK Public Affairs Council banner to voluntarily produce a joint register of lobbyists. Guido suggested it might be simpler to just require lobbyists to wear leper’s bells.

Ingham has now performed a volteface and come down on the side of a statutory register.  His email to Elizabeth France, the first and probably last Chairman of the UK Public Affairs Council landed in Guido’s inbox this morning:

From: Francis Ingham

Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 10:44:04
To: Liz

Subject: RE:

As it happens Liz, I was about to email you the text below. Happy to talk if you’d like:

Dear Liz

It is with regret that I write to inform you that we are resigning with immediate effect from UKPAC.

I understand that this will be unwelcome news, and I apologize for that fact.

My Board has concluded that a statutory register is the correct public policy choice for the Government to make. It has also concluded that on the basis of UKPAC’s performance over the past year, UKPAC simply is not a credible body to hold that register.

We have come to this conclusion with regret and after considerable debate. The continued inability of UKPAC to deliver a timely, comprehensive and accurate register is an embarrassment to the whole industry. Having founded UKPAC alongside the CIPR and APPC, and having spent a considerable amount of time and money supporting it, we regret the fact that it has failed, but we are clear that this failure is manifest and irreversible.

We have today written to the Cabinet Office, making them aware of this decision, and urging them swiftly to introduce a statutory register, held by an independent body, to run in parallel with the Codes of Conduct that exist already within the industry. We will also this morning be notifying the press, and sending them a copy of this formal note of resignation.

I should like to thank you for the effort you have put into UKPAC over the past year, and personally wish you well in the future.

Yours sincerely

Francis Ingham

Francis Ingham
Chief Executive

Self-regulation looks dead. They brought it on themselves…

Brillo’s Rave

Guido isn’t quite sure what to make of Jacqui Smith throwing some shapes…

The Right People are Upset

Ben Brogan reports the French fury:

“…the French are very angry – one French diplomat says that Britain is acting “like a man who wants to go to a wife-swapping party without taking his own wife”. So too are the Europeans. The FT quotes an EU official who says “this is going to cost the UK dearly – they have antagonised everyone”

Jon Snow is watching everything he believes in slip away:

The LibDem MEPs are raging:

And the man who failed to build alliances in his own family thinks people want to hear his view:

Needless to say the Guardian is incandescent. What a lovely morning…

Terry Smith, CEO of City broking firm Tullets, says…

“The UK is as isolated as somebody who refused to join the Titanic just before it sailed “

Europe Isolated

Dave “What is on offer isn’t in Britain’s interests, so I didn’t agree to it. “



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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