Diamond Hits Back With No Jerk Rule

Yesterday Nell Diamond caused a stir telling George Osborne and Ed Miliband to “hold my dick“, but this afternoon Daddy Diamond taught his daughter a lesson by enforcing his strict “no jerk rule“. With Bob explaining to the Treasury Select Committee how he got “frustrated with his technology“, the Lobby didn’t need an excuse to behave like schoolboys:

Brian wouldn’t stand for this smut…

DWP Boss: Pin Benefits Cheats' Photos to Lamp-Posts

A top DWP official has said that benefits cheats should be named and shamed by having their photos pinned to lamp-posts around the towns they live in. Terry Moran, IDS’ man in charge of implementing the universal credit, mooted the idea during a speech yesterday:

“If I had my way I would put their photograph on every lamp-post in the street where they live because it is a very distressing thing for genuinely disabled people to see the reputation of disabled people damaged in the way that is by those people. We have got to do something about it constructively.”

Tax avoiders are getting named and shamed, so fair is fair…

Via Telegraph

IPPR, the Staggers and the €800,000 Bung

Guido was amused to read Will Straw’s Staggers piece today asking: “Europe, what have you done for me lately?“.

His gushing tribute to the EU’s legislation on mobile charges was as sickly as it was suspicious – after all, his organisation IPPR is hardly renowned for its tech prowess.

Perhaps the real answer to Straw’s question lies in the fact that Brussels has bunged his wonk-shop €800,000

Osborne Fingers Brown

In an interview with the Speccie, Osborne has gone for the jugular:

“As for the role of the Labour government and the people around Gordon Brown, well I think there are questions to be asked of them. They were clearly involved and we just haven’t heard the full facts, I don’t think, of who knew what when. …my opposite number, who was the City Minister for part of this period and Gordon Brown’s right hand man for all of it so he has questions to answer as well.”

That should do wonders for the cross-party inquiry consensus… 

Met Police Say MPs Can Claim for Fake Offices

Denis MacShane has had his police investigation dropped. It was triggered in October 2010 after the Parliamentary authorities suspected him of fraud due to the £125,000 in rent that he claimed for a constituency office that turned out to be the grotty garage at the end of his garden. He also put in a plethora of invoices for translation services, paid in cash. To his brother Edmund Matyjaszek. 

Guido suspected this announcement would be coming after he was tipped that the specialist crime cops that investigated MPs expenses had all been transferred to Operation Weeting and the associated investigations. MacShane will not get the opportunity to ever clear his name in court, instead the enduring image that remains in the public mind will be this:

No further questions Your Honour…

Murdoch Men Mystified By News Corp Split

Guido hears that Rupert Murdoch’s decision to separate News Corporation’s money-making arm from its publishing arm left senior employees completely in the dark as to what lies in store for the future of the company. Chatting to News Corp employees last night, Guido was told chaos is reaching such a stage that hacks are only half joking when they say they have had to establish shadow newsrooms where the ultimate scoop is finding out whether or not they will be keeping their jobs. Talk about rogue reporters…

Guido also put it to them that News Group, the UK newspaper wing of the business, doesn’t pay any tax. The denial was pretty damning:

Look, The Sun is the only paper that makes a profit, The Times loses money every day of the week. It’s pretty hard to pay any tax when you’re haemorrhaging money like that. The print media is on the way out, for sure.”

Did someone say dead tree press?

Mirror Hack Nicked

It begins…

PMQs LIVE: Bob Diamond Edition

[orderorder-live-event altcast_code=”047c419c5e” height=”700″ width=”480″]

Balls Shifts Focus Toward Shriti

“As for Ms Vadera, she was a very important adviser, this was a time when there were huge worries about the state of Barclays and other banks following the collapse of Lehmann Brothers and RBS. But she said that she has no recollection of any conversation about the Libor rate and the things reported in the Diamond memo and I hear and take what she said.”

A ringing endorsement…

“I’ve no idea because I wasn’t there and the only way to get to the heart of these matters is to have a Treasury Committee inquiry, and people can appear before that, and then to have the full public inquiry which we are calling for and which the public wants into the wider question, wider than the Libor market, about the culture in banking. But to answer your question, Simon, I have absolutely no idea.”

In summary: It wasn’t me, she says it wasn’t her, but I have no idea if she’s telling the truth…

 

YouGov Polling Backs Leveson Style Banking Inquiry

Labour sources point out that there was a key fact missing this morning from the Sun’s coverage of their latest YouGov poll. The full tables show 55% of the public in favour of a judge-led independent inquiry, with 30% in favour of parliamentary inquiry. One whispers to Guido: “I’m still looking for coverage of this rather interesting poll in The Sun.  I am sure it must be there amongst the acres of coverage about how it is all Labour’s fault.” Though no sign of Labour’s judge-led plans yet…

Boris defends Barclays at Mayor’s Question Time:

” I can see that Barclays is now taking steps to rebuild its own reputation in the wake of the LIBOR revelations. I will not accept that Barclays is a damaged brand, it would be great shame if they unleash an orgy of self-slaughter. They remain a fine institution and a massive London employer. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

Gun Nut is New BBC Director General

George Entwistle has been appointed the BBC’s new £450k Director General. The former Newsnight editor has been promoted from “Director of BBC Vision”. Whatever that means.

Back in the 90s Mark Thompson’s successor went by the nickname General Sir George Entwistle due to his “obsession with tanks and guns“.

No doubt he’s gone native by now. 

UPDATE: We have Entwistle to thank for that lovely BBC coverage of the Jubilee River Pageant that was so widely praised. He chaired the committee co-ordinating the event and is responsible for the “lightening up of the coverage”.

Labour's Awkward Libor Chart

As Labour Uncut reported in 2011:

“Darling details the total breakdown in trust between the prime minister and chancellor. He singles out Ed Balls and Shriti Vadhera as key Brown lieutenants running what amounted to a shadow treasury operation within government. Brown’s demeanour was increasingly “brutal and volcanic”, mistrusting Darling to the extent that he repeatedly tried to place his own aides in the treasury ministerial team to report back on what the chancellor was doing. Darling point-blank refused to have the newly-enobled Shriti Vadhera in his team, describing her as “only happy if there was blood on the floor – preferably that of her colleagues”. He accepted Yvette Cooper as chief secretary to the treasury in January 2008, but was equally clear that the main reason Brown had placed her there was to “keep an eye” on him.”

Strangely their page with the book quotes on it has been pulled.

Graphic via FT

Cathy Newman: You Can Follow Us on S#%&tter

You might call that a Social Media Own Goal…

Ken Clarke told the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday:

“We have been engaged in a war against drugs for 30 years. We’re plainly losing it. We have not achieved very much progress. The same problems come round and round.”

Whitehall Pilgrims Exposed £36 Million For Civil Service Union Time

Pilgrims are back on the agenda. Guido understands that the long awaited consultation into taxpayer-funded trade union officials will be announced next week. For the first time a clear picture of the extent to which unions fleece the taxpayer in Whitehall alone has been revealed.

248 civil servants have been identified who spend 100% of their paid time on union business. There are at least 6,800 civil servants who do part-time trade union work across the civil service.

And the grand total? The annual cost to the taxpayer is £36,000,000. It has been pointed out that this is the equivalent of the salary of over 900 nurses or the cost of over 10,000 primary school places.

A Whitehall source said:

“Francis Maude demanded that departments collect proper, accurate information on the numbers and costs of taxpayer-funded trade union pilgrims. This information was never available before and, unsurprisingly, initial estimates understated the case. No doubt Labour didn’t want to antagonise their union paymasters by monitoring union activity properly. It’s simply wrong that taxpayers are paying Civil Servants to spend years doing nothing but union activity instead of the jobs they are supposed to do.”

Not for long…



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