Zarb to the Slaughter

Labour aide Matt Zarb Cousins shot to village fame when he tweeted that the Queen was a benefit scrounger, on Jubilee day. After initially standing by his gag, he was forced to climb down and grovel by his waspish boss Andy Slaughter, Labour’s lanky lisper of Hammersmith. He avoided the sack though, despite a solid turning over by the most of the press. Or did he?

Guido hears that Zarb will be going his separate ways from Slaughter’s office, and not out of choice. Sources in Parliament suggest that tweet had a lot to do with the decision, but Slaughter was keen to avoid the negative publicity and criticism from his own side if he had sacked Zarb straight up. Probably because he is a republican too. When Guido put it to one person familiar with the situation they were pretty clear:

“I think Andy Slaughter is an a***hole. He didn’t have the guts to sack him at the time, so he goes and does it when he thinks no one is looking.”

Silly Andy, he should know that Guido is always watching.

With an exodus of staff, maybe one day Guido will finally find someone to go on the record with the great Labour Conference Hot Tub Scandal of 2010…

UPDATE: Guido understands Zarb will be joining the team over at Left Foot Forward. Given he’s been trained as an attack puppy, this could be just what they need to get out of their art-house rut.




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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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