A judge has banned a drama about the riots from airing.
Read what’s in the script over at Media Guido…
The BBC is considering an appeal after a mysterious court order banned them from running a programme on the riots last night. The show consisted of a dramatisation of last summer’s mayhem based on interviews with those who took part, but a last-minute ruling meant it had to be pulled for undisclosed reasons. Even more oddly the judge who delivered the ruling, the court he is sitting in and the case over which he is presiding cannot be revealed for legal reasons. You can read what they didn’t want you to see here…
KB: Nicola Blackwood, Labour MP, thanks very much.
NB: Actually I’m a Conservative MP.
KB: Oh really? My goodness. Which constituency?
NB: Oxford West and Abingdon.
KB: Well big shout out to all of them…
Cut to adverts.
Mad Frankie Maude has released the figures showing how much former Prime Ministers have been claiming in allowances over the last year. Both Tony Blair and John Major asked the taxpayer for the maximum £115,000 in order to “meet the costs of public duties“, while Margaret Thatcher claimed £109,191. Former Prime Mentalist Gordon Brown made sure no one can say that he’s worse value than Tony, undercutting him by a crafty £1.83. Guido doesn’t quite understand why Blair, Brown and Major need a hundred grand each from the taxpayer each year while they make millions swanning around the world…
Guido catching out TUC National Organiser Carl Roper and his misleading Pilgrim spinning has certainly upset the union cheerleaders today. Roper has gone AWOL, and as of yet the TUC have refused to comment.* It seems they unwilling to defend him…
Others are not staying so quiet though. The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s Matthew Sinclair confirms that Roper was wrong:
“The TUC undermine their own credibility with this shoddy and dishonest attack on our research. The careful and systematic TaxPayers’ Alliance investigation of trade union subsidies is an invaluable source providing a detailed picture of how unions are receiving subsidies across the public sector at the expense of taxpayers and frontline services. However because of organised attempts by the unions to frustrate that research, and the poor record keeping of many public bodies, we have always made it clear that the overall estimate that research provides will be much lower than the true figure. The new figures in the consultation document support that and suggest the true total could be much higher.”
Chairman of the Trade Union Reform Campaign Aidan Burley emails Guido to say:
“Just four days into the consultation and Carl Roper and his Union cronies are already reverting to misleading the public with false statistics – £36m is just the cost of Whitehall Pilgrims, not across the whole the public sector. TURC estimates the true cost nationally to be well over £100m, especially when free office rents and free collection of union dues are taken into account. Mr Roper should try to explain why his comrades need to immorally divert all this public money to fund their left-wing propaganda – which should be spent on nurses and teachers – rather than mislead the public with dodgy statistics that deliberately try to minimise the extent of their taxpayer-funded largess.”
It’s going to be a very long consultation at this rate…
A fantastic spot by the acceptable face of the left over at Though Cowards Flinch. Polly Toynbee might be off on her summer holidays soon, but that hasn’t stopped her from penning one last Olympic-sized rant for the Guardian. The subject of her ire this time is G4S outsourcing:
“No one can prove the value or cost of most outsourcing. What Thatcher began and Labour continued is an epidemic of evidence-free, faith-based policymaking. Politicians have been seized by a conviction that private is always better. With no public service for fair comparison, the weary old mantras of “monolithic”, “sluggish” public services go unchallenged.”
Pretty strong stuff. The only problem is that three years ago poor old Polly said almost exactly the opposite:
“There is no doubt that putting some services out to tender has vastly improved certain standards over the years, broken the power of vested interests and brought in competition that has sharpened up results.”
Even worse, she was writing for the in-house magazine of outsourcers Serco. Fighting a noble crusade against outsourcing from her Italian poolside paid for by outsourcer’s cash. Surely the end of credibility is in sight for Polly?
UPDATE: Further reading leaves Guido flabbergasted to welcome Polly to his side of the barricades on the privatisation of the NHS:
“Just look at how hospital consultants’ waiting lists plummeted when a few Independent Treatment Centres were set up nearby. Suddenly, long waiting lists for hip and cataract operations fell because patients had a choice … a little gingering up round the edges has an electrifying effect on sleepy outfits. Often, private provision makes sense where small units need to buy in some expertise or back-office work they can’t develop themselves. Some things have always been private – GPs, for example, the most-loved part of the National Health Service.”
Political Scrapbook is gunning on the Beeb’s tax story this morning, going particularly hard on Paxo for apparently channelling his earnings through a service company. It’s an almost identical scheme to the one used by tax-dodger-in-chief Ken Livingstone, only for some reason Scrapbook didn’t mention it back before the election.
Carl Roper is sanctioned by the TUC to spin for Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials. The unions are fully aware of the damage that losing this state subsidy would do to their coffers and their ability to buy influence, so are fighting the Cabinet Office consultation launched last week very hard. So hard that they are just making things up:
Either Carl is an idiot, or he is being deliberately misleading. The Cabinet Office £36m figure is only for taxpayer funded union activity in Whitehall, whereas the TPA figure he mentions is in regard to union activity funded by the state right across the country. Channel Four’s FactCheck – so quickly turned to by the TUC when it agrees with them – believe the TPA figure to be an underestimate. It’s based on FOI data released by councils. Many refused. Carl ran away when Guido picked him up on his dodgy spinning.
No doubt he will happily set the record straight when he sees the error of his ways…
Andrew Miller, Guardian Media Group CEO, is leading the group counselling sessions today for the doomed Guardian hacks losing £100,000-a-day:
From: Andrew Miller
To : bcc: all.notes.users
Please check with your department coordinator which session you are booked to attend – they start at 10.30am, 12.45pm, 2.45pm and 5.00pm and will last just over an hour each.
A couple of points to note: please arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled session – latecomers will not be admitted into the hall after the session has started. Also, food and drink is not permitted in hall one so you will be asked to leave any refreshments outside.
Your feedback is really important to us. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the sessions, and we would also like to invite you to share your comments and questions on the noticeboard next to the canteen throughout the day.
If you would like to share your feedback or questions with us confidentially, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is the last day before MPs take 47 days off, some 7 weeks. They come back for two weeks in September then take another month off. Public sector productivity?