Team GB Needed 63 Million Medals to Recover Gordon’s Gold

Team GB might have done the nation proud during the Olympics, but they needed to win a lot more medals if they wanted to earn back all the gold the Prime Mentalist sold off. Guido has done the maths:

Each gold medal contains 6g (or 1/5 oz) of gold.

This means five gold medals are needed to make one ounce.

Gordon Brown sold off 12.7 million ounces of gold.

5 x 12.7 million = 63.5 million gold medals.

At least the new Team GB did better than the old one…

Crow at the Cricket

Charlie Wheelan has been tweeting photos of his pal Bob Crow enjoying a drink under a Veuve Cliquot parasol at Lords.

Now we know where Bob’s £145k-a-year salary is going…

Mark Thompson’s Pay Package Revealed

Find out how much the new NY Times boss will be earning…

…Over on Media Guido

NY Times to Pay Thompson Less Than BBC

Mark Thompson’s new pay package has been revealed:

While he is in line for a huge bonus, it means Thompson’s new basic wage is less than the whopping £671,000 he was paid by the Beeb. Who would have thought a public organisation would pay over the odds…

Invisible Twigg Misses Labour Field Day

Earlier this morning Guido pointed out that Labour hadn’t been telling the whole story on school playing fields, but it turns out the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told the New Statesman this month that it was impossible to stop the sale of playing fields:

“It would have been wrong to pass legislation which banned the selling of playing fields entirely, because that would have meant it was impossible to facilitate the development of sporting facilities…In some communities there’s a definite need for more space, but the issue is increasingly more about quality than availability.”

Guido has also come across two very interesting PQs from the invisible Stephen Twigg. The first sets out why Twigg approved the sale of dozens of playing fields while he was in charge of the brief back in 2004:

The second shows that he gave permission for schools to reduce space for children’s sport below the minimum standards, despite the fact that Twigg’s minions have since attacked the Tories for changing the law in order to do the very same: “The Secretary of State’s agreement is needed if changes to the team game playing field provision mean that a school falls, or remains, below the minimum required by the Regulations. Six applications were agreed in 2000, 25 in 2001, 11 in 2002, and 9 so far in 2003.”

The insufferable Kevin Brennan is fighting this on the airways, but for some strange reason Twigg is nowhere to be seen. Maybe the answer lies in the playing fields sold off in Twigg’s own constituency. Guido will look into that later…

Lord Prescott explains to the Yorkshire Post

“The House of Lords is a bit like a job centre, you have to go down there to get paid expenses, and it just gets totally tiring”. 

Friday Caption Contest (Shark Attack Edition)

This week there is a copy of Dan Hannan’s book “A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe” up for grabs.

Usual rules apply…

Taxi For Tim Yeo Green Tory’s Dodgy Wheeler Deal

Conflicts of interest and Tim Yeo seem to go hand in hand. Readers will remember that Yeo makes over £100,000 per year from green investments all while lobbying the government for subsidies on behalf of the industry, a point Guido has made to the Tory MP in person. Now it turns out the green guzzler has been at it again. 

Back in 2009 London mayor Boris Johnson was lobbied to introduce an Age Limit for taxis with the argument that a restriction on the life of a cab was needed to reduce emissions. Boris agreed and he announced at the 2009 Tory party conference that he was pressing ahead with meeting the tougher standards. Cabbies now needed to buy their new taxis from somewhere, but who could possibly provide them?

Who was competing to supply London’s cabbies with brand-spanking new taxis?  Eco City Vehicles, described as an “established specialist vehicle distributor and a leading after-sales service centre for the London Taxi owner-driver market“.

Eco City Vehicles aim to supply the capital with hundreds of new cabs at around £30,000 each, making the company a fortune. And who is Eco City Vehicles’ chairman? One Tim Yeo MP…

School Playing Fields Stitch Up

Michael Gove has taken a kicking this morning following the Telegraph‘s scoop revealing he had ignored internal advice before selling off school playing fields. Labour Stephen Twigg has stuck the boot in:

“The fact that Michael Gove has ignored the advice of independent experts and ploughed ahead with selling off school playing fields shows he is shamefully out of touch. Michael Gove must now come clean and explain what appears to be a secret programme to sell off school playing fields. From the abolition of Labour’s school building programme, to curriculum changes, Michael Gove has form when it comes to ignoring expert advice.”

It is worth noting that Twigg seems to have forgotten that the last Labour government were flogging off playing fields at a much faster rate. The Department of Education have been pushing the following figures today:

Given the staff at DfE are the most effective opposition going these days, it’s hardly surprising they’re trying to stitch Gove up again…

Labour MP’s Meow Son Skips Court

A Labour MP’s son charged with selling legal highs has failed to turn up at court…because he was on holiday. Sean Ellman, the son of Liverpool MP Louise Ellman, was supposed to appear in the dock yesterday but his barrister told the court he was abroad with his “respectable family“.

The irony was not lost on the judge, who described the excuse as “utterly unacceptable“.

Meow… 

Unions Funding Labour’s Left-Wing Dream Team

Militant Unite boss Len McCluskey is continuing his drive to take over the Labour Party by setting up a pressure group to rival Blairite faction Progress. According to the Guardian, the subtly-named Class will aim to “remind Labour of their working roots“. The new think tank’s members read like a left-wing dream team, with Paul Kenny of the GMB and Mark Serwotka’s PCS providing the funding and Seamus Milne, Jack Dromey, Owen Jones and Polly Tonybee sitting on the advisory panel. Sounds more like a union for the 1% to Guido…

The prolier than thou ethos of “class” is to articulate “an alternative that will resonate with working people”. Which must be why they are advised by the Guardian’s Winchester educated Stalinist Seamus Milne and by the three home-owning, multi-millionairess great granddaughter of the Earl of Carlisle. Polly Toynbee was also privately educated (Badminton), went to Oxford (St Annes) and on to the BBC. Toynbee is the daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee and grand-daughter of the famous historian Arnold J. Toynbee, his uncle was the philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee after whom Toynbee Hall is named. She was born into three generations of metropolitan elitists…

The downtrodden workers on minimum wage should be grateful that the likes of GMB’s Paul Kenny on £114,000, the PCS’s Mark Serwotka on £113,354 and not forgetting Len McCluskey on £149,312 are leading the charge for equality. Class act indeed.



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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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