As Predicted, Rangers Cursed

Some people are sceptical of the Curse of the One Eyed Son of the Manse and think that Guido exaggerates the power and reach of the curse. As this blog would take no pleasure in reporting, stock markets fell in the wake of his visits, natural and political disasters would hit the countries of leaders he met and the most powerful element of the curse was that any association with any sporting figures resulted in them losing. Raith Rovers had cause to regret Gordon Brown’s support…

Back in October 2009 Iain Martin predicted that the jinx would put fear into fans of Glasgow Rangers. With the Club going into bankruptcy, so it has come to pass…

See also: Brown Gets the Celtic Treatment

Murdoch on Politicians

Young Conservatives Hide Their Love Away

The days of the Young Conservatives being a marriage bureau are long gone, but all is not lost for lonely Tory hearts. The YC’s reincarnation Conservative Future are hosting a Valentine’s Ball. Organisers must be a little worried about the pulling potential for the young right wingers though…

It’s masked…

Vince’s SpAd Jumps to Davey

Vince’s SpAd Katie Waring has abandoned her post at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to go work for Ed Davey at Energy. According to Tom Newton Dunn, she claims that she is moving to “broaden” her skills, but it’s certainly on the face of it a self-imposed demotion in terms of government rankings and significance. Unless of course she sees the writing on the wall, and the fact that Davey has much more going for him than the one time Sage. Waring is the former smarter and more attractive other-half of Clegg spinner James McGrory. Guido wonders what the pillow talk was about Vince’s future…

Some Women are More Equal Than Others

How much would you pay for dinner with Harriet Harman? Well the going rate seems to be about £7,500 for a table or £750 per plate. It’s ok though, because you get a two free bottles of champagne…

The fourth annual Labour Party Women’s Dinner will be hosted in the Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden. Having eaten there, Guido would feel ripped off at £75, and that’s without the dubious company. One seat would cost a worker on minimum wage, doing 40 hour weeks, three weeks’ pay. Who exactly is Harman expecting to fork out for the occasion? Surely not those rich successful women?

Balls’ Midnight Encroachment On His Wife’s Briefs

The number of former and current Labour figures standing wasn’t the only reason Guido was a little surprised to receive a ranty email about Elected Police Commissioners from Ed Balls in the middle of the night. While the news was breaking that Moody’s would downgrade Britain if his Plan B was adopted, Ed decided to tread on his wife’s toes at 12:37am and send out polling data showing that Labour members don’t like the move. Curiouser and curiouser.

Yvette tried her hardest but failed, to halt Elected Police Commissioners as Shadow Home Secretary. Since they became a reality, the Party have been recruiting candidates:

“Ahead of the elections next November, Labour wants to hear from a diverse range of candidates, from all walks of life, who are interested in becoming a Police and Crime Commissioner in the area in which they live.”

Guido understands that Labour’s official position is to still oppose the Elected Commissioners, though they accept that there is nothing they can do until after the next election. The Shadow Home Secretary has been rather muted as a result, while a host of Party grandees line up to serve. Yet the Shadow Chancellor isn’t letting it go:

“You want money spent on front line policing to keep our communities safe, and at the very least to save money by holding elections alongside other elections. I completely agree. I’m writing to the Home Secretary Theresa May to ask her to listen to you and reconsider her plans. I’ll be back soon with an update.”

Guido signed up to this list to receive updates about the Ed Balls for Leader campaign, and he is now using that mailing list to stir things well beyond his brief. How odd…

WATCH: A Love Song for Sarah Teather

Something in the water this morning…

Happy Valentine’s Day, Cherie?

After a diary error left Dave, Nick, George and Danny dining together tonight, a quick reorganisation was undertaken by civil servants to allow “the quad” to spend the Valentine’s Day evening with their wives. Guido has been wondering whether such action would have taken place at “the Quartet”. Anyone know if the Blairs will be spending Valentine’s Day together?

Moodys tell us what could move the rating down…

“… weak growth in Europe — and reduced political commitment to fiscal consolidation, including discretionary fiscal loosening…”

Can anyone work out what Miliband is trying to say here?

“I don’t have a solution for this, but in the end government has to invest in housing, and there’s not much money around so it’s a massive challenge. At the very least we’ve got to say ‘you can’t have a no housing anywhere policy’, what we have now is the worst of all worlds, basically.”

Ethical Dilemmas Arising in Journalist and Police Relationships

While journalistic relations with the police are in the headlines, the usual hand-wringers should pause before passing judgement. Whilst slipping coppers cash is morally dubious, is it worse than using what the recent Filkin report described as “long-standing tactics”? The Metropolitan Police report into The Ethical Issues Arising From The Relationship Between Police And Media” was clear, “Flirting is often interlinked with alcohol. Designed to get you to drop your defences and say far more than you intended. Be careful.” Such tactics are not unknown to hackettes from papers that consider themselves to be much more upmarket, almost on a different moral plane to the Sun…

A hypothetical dilemma for you to consider, which is less ethical: performing what the tabloid papers call a “sex-act” on a police officer for information, or paying for it? Normally less of a trail left with the former, if the evidence is swallowed…

Boris 51% v Ken 49%

The latest YouGov Mayoral polling has Boris back in the lead, but within the margin of error. Guido imagines the fluctuation will continue for a while, but Joe Murphy at the Standard hits the nail on the head:

“What the headline figures do show, beyond doubt, is that Ken has failed to extend or harden his January lead. He is like a marathon runner who, in a stupendous effort, catches up with the leader only to find he cannot break ahead. “

Only 44% believe Ken will keep his promises, despite liking the ideas. As ever the breakdown is more interesting than the headline figures:

“In inner London, Ken is ahead by 53 per cent to 47. But the huge outer doughnut is sticking with Boris by 52 to 48. Among voters aged 18 to 24 the pair get 50 per cent each. Ken is somewhat ahead among 25 to 59-year-olds. But Boris has a massive “grey power” advantage, a two to one lead among the over-sixties.”

Crucially that suburban doughnut is a) bigger and b) full of those over 65s who are more likely to vote.

Incompetence Rather Than Infighting


11:29:

Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, in response to today’s Project Merlin figures said: 
“After a year it’s now clear that George Osborne’s backroom deal with the banks has been a total failure… et cetera

11:48:

Commenting on the Project Merlin figures published by the Bank of England today, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP said:
“The news that the lending targets for small and medium sized businesses set under Project Merlin have been missed will add insult to injury for firms… et cetera

Labour are denying that their flurry of press releases represents a rift between their Shadow Business and Shadow Treasury teams. Chuka is higher up the ladder than Chris Leslie so could well be a little peeved that his much-loved thunder was stolen. However if it isn’t a rift, then it’s another sign of increasingly poor press management. Another win for the mythical Labour grid…

Revenge of Steve Hilton Guru

The commons crime wave hit some high-profile targets on Friday. The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour is down an iPad and PoliticsHome’s Paul Waugh has taken the loss of his laptop rather badly. Waugh has been pursuing the identity of the anonymous pranksters behind @SteveHiltonGuru with some vigour recently. Guido’s helpful suggestion that @SteveHiltonGuru‘s famed #DarkArts might be at play did not go down very well…

Sense of Proportion

“Who polices the police?” asks Trevor Kavanagh column this morning. The answer to that question is that a free press sees money changing hands with public servants, seems to be Kavanagh’s main point. Guido isn’t so sure that will cut it.

One of the biggest digs in the whole column is at former Telegraph editor Will Lewis, who authorised payments for the stolen expenses files and is now at News International. He sits on the Management Standards Committee passing the police the ammunition about Sun hacks they need to try to recover their own tarnished reputation. Not popular in Wapping…

The events of this summer proved that the relationship between News International and the police was too close and that it impinged on the group being able to properly fulfil their role in the accountability process. That is not to say though that the police need to respond with anti-terror officers, dawn raids and what looks like a coordinated attempt to go for the Sun’s jugular. Why do journalists like Coulson, Brooks and the Guardian’s Amelia Hill get to meet the police by appointment when they are suspects? For the Sun it’s been very different:

“Wives and children have been humiliated as up to 20 officers at a time rip up floorboards and sift through intimate possessions, love letters and entirely private documents.”

Nobody is saying that any newspaper should be above the law, or that investigations should cease, but the Met are even more foolish than anyone already thought if they believe putting a bit of disproportionate stick about is going to shift the spotlight from their own failures, corruption and general incompetence.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Whitney Singing “Star Spangled Banner”

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) R.I.P.

David Cameron jokes

‘We were really worried we’d be late this evening. The traffic was terrible. So we had to speed to get here on time. It’s a good job Samantha was driving – or at least, that’s what it says on the forms!’

Saturday Seven Up

Last week some 99,468 visitors made 306,358 visits to view 498,442 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

The Real Cost of Peterborough Pilgrims

The unions have often moaned that the investigations into their facility time are unfair. If anything figures put out by the Taxpayers’ Alliance were very conservative. Take Rona Hendry (£43,600 per annum) and Mark Burn (£29,700 per annum) for example, two Pilgrims who seems to spend their time creating ‘social communities’ online for Peterborough Council.[…] Read the rest

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