Another happy reader…
It’s judgement day…
Another day, another Sarah Palin mess. Her three-year-old grandson used a gay slur in a reality TV show. Tripp Palin, the son of 21-year-old Bristol, screamed at his aunt Willow: “Go away you f*ggot!”
Bristol and Willow responded by laughing and warning the troublesome tot: “God is watching you“.
And the rest of the world…
Media watchers will have followed last week’s Kafkaesque story that Northcliffe Media, the Daily Mail subsidiary newspaper group, are taking legal action against the owner of a spoof account parodying chief executive Steve Auckland. Twitter were handed a subpoena in California ordering them to release all records held on the anonymous tweeter after Northcliffe failed to see the funny side. The deadline against twitter is next week, and Guido has got hold of the subpoena:
Guido understands that Auckland has launched a witch hunt to determine if the tweeter is either an employee or being fed information from inside one of their newsrooms. A number of a senior executives have been questioned over their knowledge of the account and whether they have had any involvement with it, while IT sweeps have taken place to try and establish where the tweeter is getting his information. The sense of humour failure of the century.
This morning Guido named and shamed Treasury minister David Gauke – in his own words – as “morally repugnant” to be criticising others for their tax arrangements, but it doesn’t stop there. It turn’s out that Gauke’s wife Rachel is a professional support lawyer for Lexis Nexis, a company which boasts of its ability to “support every tax practitioner on the front line as they deal with the tax collector“. According to her personal profile Rachel “specialises in corporate tax law…and has advised on corporate restructurings, M&A, investment funds and finance“. Sounds like it an awkward weekend in the Gauke household…
Guido’s old adversary Tim Yeo has been flying the green flag once again this morning, laying into George Osborne for failing to back renewable energy. Yeo sided with Energy Secretary Ed Davey in his dispute with the Treasury: “They are working particularly to target some Conservative backbenchers, pursuing a policy designed to prove that they are not going to get into so-called costly green initiatives. It is extraordinary.”
Rather more extraordinary is the vast amount of money Tim rakes in from his personal investments in green companies. In the past twelve months Yeo has made over £60k as chairman of TMO Renewables, a company which develops and supplies technology for second generation biofuels. He is also chair of AFC Energy, an alkaline fuel cell technology that pays him over £50k per year. Guido has visited this before:
Given that Yeo makes over £100,000 each year from private green investments, using his role to lobby on behalf of the industry for subsidies represents a serious conflict of interest. This is the Chairman of the Energy Select Committee. Replace the words “green” with “oil”…
Tim Montgomerie tweets:
“Mr John Prescott lecturing Charlie Elphicke about waste is like an arsonist lecturing a firefighter“
Hear the one about terrible party management? ConservativeHome is reporting that Stuart Andrew will replace Lords reform rebel Angie Bray as Francis Maude’s PPS. Eric Joyce’s drunken headbutt victim, who has himself rebelled over the EU, leap-frogs the dwindling number of Tory MPs who have stayed loyal to Dave since the Coalition took office. This looks like a peace-offering but a dangerous one for the Party leadership – there is no disguising that disloyalty is being rewarded.
If you had picked up your Daily Star Sunday yesterday you would already know about ‘NSIT’ MPs, more reshuffle ammo, Harman V Maggie and Dave when he wanted a referendum.
Guido’s Sunday column is on holiday for August but back in time for the reshuffle…
Yesterday’s column is now online here.
The BBC has issued a bizarre statement responding to complaints concerning their coverage of the Israeli Olympics team. The Beeb caused a stir last week by apparently mistakenly suggesting that Israel had no capital city, a story picked up by several newspapers and online publications.
An innocent error perhaps, but a letter to a viewer from the BBC‘s complaints department had one particularly suspicious line: “we feel it is worth explaining that a considerable number of complaints have been generated by online lobby activity“. Which “lobby” could they possibly be referring to?
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke writing in The Times this morning says that they are going to name and shame tax dodgers. He also gives examples of what is fair and what is not:
Legitimate use of reliefs, for example taking out a tax-free ISA, is not tax avoidance. Buying a house for personal use through a company to avoid stamp duty, on the other hand, clearly is. Morally repugnant practices such as this are where the Government is cracking down.
David Gauke MP claimed £10,248.32 expenses back from taxpayers to avoid paying the stamp duty and fees involved in the purchase of his home in London. Not only is that in his own words “morally repugnant”, it is beyond hypocritical to lecture others against doing what he himself did. It is shameless.