Carry on Boris

There were some golden Boris moments during the Olympics, but Bojo and Barbara Windsor playing sitting volleyball this afternoon has to top the lot. And with that silly season comes to a close…

Wee Dougie Cranks Up Iranian Rhetoric

The latest report from the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA shows  Iran doubling their enrichment of uranium in a deep bunker that is definitely for providing power. Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary has weighed in:

“The threat that a nuclear armed Iran would pose to Israel, to the wider stability of the region and to international security as a whole is deeply concerning and warrants urgent and concerted diplomatic efforts. That is why the report today is so deeply concerning and cannot and should not be ignored.”

Don’t tell Mehdi Hasan though, obviously he is right and the UN Security Council are wrong…

How Much Would You Pay for Maggie’s Suits?

Power-dressing pussybow blouses, stylish salmon-pink suits and classy cocktail gowns…what takes your fancy? Fans of the Iron Lady now have the chance to own the ultimate piece of Maggie memorabilia as seven of her classic suits go on auction at Christie’s. Each dress is expected to fetch around £1,500, making a handsome ten grand for their current owner. Don’t rule out a Tory MP bidding war…

Friday Caption Contest (Watching Over America Edition)

Pearson’s Fake Think Tank is Commercial Front

Pearson plc, the owners of the FT, have caused a minor ripple today through their imaginatively named Pearson Think Tank. They’ve published a prophecy of doom about the state of primary education and teacher training:

“A perfect storm of falling teacher training applications, low staff morale and rapidly rising pupil numbers could easily create a future teacher workforce crisis in primary schools if left unchallenged.”

The Department for Education claim that the report “could not be further from the truth”. Crucially Pearson Think Tank recommends the way to solve the problem is for the government to spend more money on teacher training. So what was it that first attracted one of the world’s largest providers of education services to create their own in-house wonk-shop and produce knocking copy about teachers?

Nothing to do with their commercial interests, of course. Who could sweep in and fix the terrible mess that Pearson claim is blighting  the teaching world? Well these guys look like experts in the area:

Predictably Labour’s sub par education team have got all hot and heavy and are press-releasing quotes about the fake think-tank’s report. Without realising, of course, that they are mere pawns in a corporation’s commercial scheme…

Fake Tory PCC Candidate Stands Down

Earlier this month Guido revealed that the Tories’ PCC candidate in Cambridgeshire was not actually a member of the Conservative Party. Guido reported at the time that local Tories had begged John Pye to sign up but he was refusing to carry the party card.

Following the revelations the pressure has mounted over the last few weeks, and yesterday Pye announced that he was standing down. Apparently he wants to “avoid further disruption” to the campaign. It’s bye-bye to Mr Pye…

Video: Clint Eastwood Empty Chairs Obama

Do ya feel lucky?

Positive Twitter Day

Guido is supporting #PositiveTwitterDay today. Twitter, especially the political Twittersphere can be a horrible nasty place, well today Guido will do his Christian best to be nice to all in his tweets. The idea comes from the invariably polite Sunder Katwala.

A number of well known Twitter curmudgeons have already re-tweeted the hashtag #PositiveTwitterDay and entered into the spirit of the day. Guido for his part is determined to have civil, positive discussions today with the likes of Polly or Mehdi. The power of positive tweeting…



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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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