Very droll from Gordon’s old Chief Whip…
Via Kevin Maguire
Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke’s 10 Minute Rule Bill to introduce a welfare cash card for benefit claimants, especially those on JSA (but excluding disability payments and the basic state pension,) has gone down like a cup of cold sick with the left this afternoon. The food stamp 2.0 would see restrictions placed on booze, fags and Sky TV et cetera, and ensure the safety net was just that. Shelbrooke told the House earlier:
“This is about benefit distribution and spending, not benefit allocation. It encourages responsible spending by welfare claimants; ensuring taxpayers’ money is spent wisely and for the purpose it is intended. Delivering Beveridge’s vision of a temporary security net by using benefits to create a society of strivers”.
A poll commissioned by Demos found that 59% of the country support the move…
At the height of the Mitchell scandal Guido broke the news that Deputy Chief Whip John Randall was threatening to resign if Mitchell did not go. Despite various denials, Randall was hauled over the coals in No. 10. Now the news is emerging via Patrick Wintour that Randall had a hand in the original story coming out. And even more interestingly, Channel Four news have that tape:
“It is understood that Channel 4 will show the CCTV recording of Mitchell’s encounter with the armed officers when he was refused permission to wheel his bike through the gates. The recording, which is silent, is understood to show Mitchell exchanging words with the officers. But it is understood that there are no signs of an angry confrontation in the recording, which reportedly shows that Mitchell wheeled his bike through the side entrance when officers declined to allow him to use the main gates.”
Guido’s theory is that Mitchell Subject Data Access Requested the CCTV footage and has passed it on. This is the story that just keeps on giving…
Rob Wilson is twisting the knife over his opposite number’s refusal to apologise for repeating Eoin Clarke’s lies in PMQs. Jeremy Hunt’s PPS has raised a point of order demanding that Debbie Abrahams correct the record over her claim that Virgin Care is a donor to the Tories. Despite being warned in advance Abrahams failed to turn up in the Commons this afternoon, and has yet to respond to Wilson’s letter. She can run but she can’t hide…
Bet she loved them.
Say what you like about William Hague, the man certainly knows how to play host. Guido has got hold of the list of wines he has served to visiting kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers over the last year. No expense has been spared, out of our pocket naturally.
The Foreign Secretary’s fine choice of the “flamboyantly scented” Château Cheval Blanc 1985 will have impressed guests, at least it should have at £400-a-bottle. Those looking for something a little more subtle could go for the Château Léoville-Lascases 1989, a snip at just £139. A classic Bordeaux is also on offer, the £142-a-bottle Château Cos d’Estournel 1986 will have been enjoyed by visitors from across the Channel. Let it never be said that Hague lets his guests go away unsatisfied, a glass or two of the £87-a-bottle Warre 1977 is how our host likes to end his soirées. And if he’s sufficiently lubricated, he might even let you see his snake…
Conflicted Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman Tim Yeo is at it again today:
“Lumbering the economy with a centralised power system largely reliant on gas would be like running an office using a fax machine in the age of the iPad. I think the choice facing Britain is clear. We can embrace the technology of the future, set a target to reduce our present heavy dependence on fossil fuels and upgrade our electricity system, or we can cling to the combustion-based technologies of the past, gamble the future on assumptions about the availability of abundant cheap gas and slow down the process of decarbonising our economy.”
Tim Yeo’s green interests in full:
- Chairman of AFC Energy, company developing alkaline fuel cell technology. Wage: £4,340-a-month.
- Chairman of TMO Renewables, which develops and supplies technology for second generation biofuels. Wage: £5,832-a-month.
- Director of ITI Energy, manufacturer of environmentally friendly ‘clean’ gasification technology.
Let it never be forgotten…
It’s well over a year now since Gordon Brown has spoken in Parliament but he has manged to put in two written questions on behalf of his constituents. The enquiries to the MOD are on the identical topic to his last batch of questions – ten months ago.
Written Answers – Defence: Dalgety Bay (17 Dec 2012)
Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent
assessment he has made of reports on the incidence of cancer in the
Dalgety Bay area.
So Brown’s total of contribution this year has extended to nine written questions, which on his MPs salary puts that at about £7,300 a pop. And that’s before you factor in the expenses he still has the cheek to claim…