Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Ken Andrew, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Carshalton & Wallington, is obviously happy he got married. So happy he put it on his leaflet (full size) delivered to the electors of Carshalton & Wallington.

Guido thinks Pam looks good, wonder what Pam thought of her wedding photos being used for propaganda purposes?  It is a sweet love story of two widowers finding love and marrying.  Mrs Fawkes very firmly ticks the no publicity box and wouldn’t even let Guido post pictures of the Fawkes’ girls looking cute in pink Conspiracy Member” T-shirts…

Why Did Labour Want to Avoid Expenses Issue?

The total absence of anything in the Queen’s Speech on the expenses issue is glaring, could the above be why? The Telegraph reports that Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, will shortly receive a police file on half-a-dozen suspected political financial fraudsters.  A source told The Times: “The investigation is progressing and a file will be ready to go to the CPS by Christmas.”

In the dock we are likely to see three Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, as well as two Labour peers Baroness Uddin and Lord Clarke of Hampstead joined by one Tory peer Lord Hanningfield.  Tony McNulty, Jacqui Smith and Geoff Hoon have not had police investigations produce a file of evidence for the CPS.  Though they still face the possibility of private prosecutions being brought by the Sunlight Centre and/or the Taxpayers’ Alliance (supported by the Daily Mail).

You can see why Gordon might not be too keen on bringing the expenses issue front and centre…

Queen's Speech

Guido is a bit surprised that not a word was mentioned about the Kelly proposals to clean up and reform parliament. Nick Clegg is right, they should have concentrated on this because most of the legislation proposed is merely an attempt to draw out dividing lines and trap the Tories.   The Tories are unlikely to fall for any of this, so the most practical thing that an honourable government could have done is clean up parliament and implement the Kelly reforms before the general election.  Both Clegg and Cameron have said their parties would support the Kelly package.  On the whole the feeling around Westminster was very “is that all there is?”

Andrew Lansley and Theresa May will be holding a press conference first thing tomorrow morning to launch the Conservative Party’s campaign against Labour’s plans to cut disability benefits for pensioners.  Gordon’s populist care-in-the-home plan seems to be unraveling – it is to be financed by taking away benefits from elderly disabled. That will make an already rebellious Labour backbench unhappy…

Buscombe Reconfirms, Greenslade Correctsand the Comrades Collectively Respond

The unpopular parts of the blogosphere have got all in a tizzy about the PCC expanding into regulating blogs.  Round robins have been signed, letters have been sent to ministers, high horses have been mounted. For nothing.  It was all a misinterpretation which could have been corrected by one of them simply calling the PCC and asking them for comment.  Guido did this basic check.  This apparently makes him an establishment toady.  Guido thought it was just good journalistic practice.

Roy Greenslade has just published a clarification:

Buscombe clarifies blogging intentions: only volunteers will be regulated: PCC chairman Peta Buscombe has said she does not want to regulate bloggers after all unless they sign up for it

In her letter she refers to “my apparent proposal to regulate the blogosphere” and clarifies what she said to The Independent’s media writer Ian Burrell. She writes:

“My point to him was about the dangers of over-regulation, the misplaced desire that can be common to governments to seek to control areas of freedom.  Blogging, as your letter rightly suggests, is a clear area where freedom of expression is absolutely paramount. I have no desire to infringe on that.  My point was that, as there is already pressure to increase regulation of the internet, it is important to make clear that this must not lead to some form of statutory interference.  Rather, a system of self-regulation (such as exists by the PCC for newspapers) would be more appropriate, if any bloggers wished to go down that route. [my italics]  I say ‘wish’, because any advance in this area would have to be consensual. Self-regulation is about collaboration between willing parties.  The PCC is not in any way constituted to impose its views on the unwilling and cannot simply extend its remit to cover non-newspaper sites.”

In other words, she is making it clear that she does not want to regulate bloggers after all unless they sign up for it.

The Fabian Society’s Sunda Katawala has tried to do some rebuttal, as well as some sub-editing, but the fact remains, the PCC had no intention of regulating blogs, nor could it without consent and no consent will be forthcoming.  Guido also spoke with the Indy’s Ian Burrell, he confirms the obvious “Regarding blog regulations, I don’t think they are going to impose it. They can’t impose it can they? They would need to work with people voluntarily”. So comrade bloggers, don’t fear, the storm in a tea-cup is abated…

Pork More Plentiful Under Labour

If you live in a constituency where the train stations are now going to be revamped you are nine times more likely to be living in a Labour seat.  9/10 of those getting a share of the £50 million earmarked by the government controlled Network Rail to be spent on redeveloping stations are represented by Labour MPs. The token opposition station is in Crewe (only recently Tory, and a seat Labour are desperate to get back at the general after their by-election defeat last year.)  So who are the the lucky piggies?

  • Manchester Victoria – Tony Lloyd LAB
  • Clapham Junction – Martin Linton LAB
  • Barking – Margaret Hodge LAB
  • Warrington Bank Quay – Helen Southworth LAB
  • Preston – Mark Hendrick LAB
  • Wigan North Western – Neil Turner LAB
  • Luton – Margaret Moran LAB
  • Liverpool Central – Louise Ellman LAB
  • Stockport – Ann Coffey LAB
  • Crewe – Edward Timpson CON

Perhaps the Labour Party only thinks Crewe is out on loan politically.  Such pork barrel politics is hardly subtle, but what a nice little treat to pop on all those election leaflets next year. Something tells Guido it won’t save Margaret Moran in Luton though…

PCC's Buscombe Has No Ambition to Regulate Blogs

Iain Dale alerted Guido to Ian Burrell’s Indy piece about the PCC regulating blogs

Baroness Buscombe, the new chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, has ambitions for her organisation that go beyond the traditional newspaper companies.

She wants to examine the possibility that the PCC’s role should be extended to cover the blogosphere, which is becoming an increasing source of breaking news and boasts some of the media’s highest-profile commentators, such as the political bloggers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes. Do readers of such sites, and people mentioned on them, deserve the same rights of redress that the PCC offers in respect of newspapers and their sites?

“Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated,” Baroness Buscombe told me. “Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it’s news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It’s a very interesting area and quite challenging.”

Burrell goes on to claim she said she wants to consider extending the PCC’s remit to the blogosphere.

Cue justified horror from Dale, much mocking from many bloggers and the moonbats sent a  rambling letter collective response to Baroness Buscombe, self-importantly copied to Ben Bradshaw MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and John Whittingdale MP, Chairman Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.  They also tweeted it…

Guido thought, given he seemed to be under such dire threat that Comrade Hundal has stepped in to help with the authorities, that perhaps he should call her to find out what she was planning.  You know, like a fact-checking, double sourcing thing. It turns out she has been mischeviously misquoted.  Burrell has stretched her words a long way and given the impression of an intention that just isn’t there.  It was suspiciously noticeable that there was no direct quote suggesting she wanted to expand the PCC into the blogosphere.

Guido suggested she should perhaps put in a complaint about the Indy to herself.  Her press spokesman laughed nervously.

So stand down from the barricades comrade bloggers, our sophisticated ecosystem is safe. Baroness Buscombe won’t be taking your keyboard from your cold dead hands…

Jonah Brown Curses Kent

Gordon’s visited Kent last Thursday. It didn’t take long for the effects of this visit to be felt though, by Saturday the storms were raging across Kent:

“Dover port was closed just after midday on Saturday due to the high winds but reopened at 1630 GMT. Kevin Richardson from the Port of Dover Authority said there were ongoing delays to ferry crossings. The Dartford river crossing, Sheppey crossing and Medway bridge were closed by Kent Police on Saturday afternoon.”

The wind battered and the rain poured down:

“Severe flooding and sewage contamination has forced a church school to close today and send home hundreds of pupils. The heavy rainfall overnight combined with a cloudburst between 7.30am and 8.15am on Friday morning caused sudden flooding to several buildings at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells. The main hall, classrooms and playground were swamped with flood water and sewage.”

The curse of Jonah strikes again…

Yo Dude, Where's the Deflation?

Guido was more than sceptical when politicians and Labour luvvie economists like Gavyn Davies started talking up the bogeyman of deflation at the same time as the government was running up massive fiscal deficits.  It seemed too handy a coincidence that they would print money on a scale never seen before at the same time as issuing debt on a scale never seen before.  They subsequently, coincidentally, bought the debt using the money they had just printed.

This we were told was to stave off deflation which it was emphasised was very bad.  Goods becoming less expensive was somehow worse than goods becoming more expensive.  If we got deflation it would be the end of the good times for ever according to even monetarist economists.  Guido was sceptical that deflation was necessarily bad, history shows that there have been times of increasing prosperity that coincided with deflation.  Deflation happened several times in the nineteenth century.  During that era of rapid economic development there were no central banks and money was calculated as a certain quantity of gold or silver.

Deflation was not necessarily a threat to our prosperity, in a situation where the money supply is stable it is the manifestation of prosperity and pensioners know that their standard of living would have improved.  With inflation now upticking this experiment in Mugabenomics* has to be reversed without setting off hyper-inflation or collapsing the government debt market.  The policy authorities have figured out how to prop up the gilt market – they are changing the regulations to force banks to buy government debt to the tune of hundreds of billions. It remains to be seen if they can avoid an inflationary catastrophe, surging record gold prices suggest the markets suspect not…

*©Vince Cable, who was against QE before he was in favour of it.  God knows what he thinks now.

Gordon's Afghan Summit Excuse for Pre-Election Photo-Op

Funny how desperate Gordon is to have a New Year summit on Afghanistan in London. Withdrawal from Afghanistan could be some kind of a legacy for him. More likely the real reason he wants the summit is so he can get a few photo-ops that feed into his “Gordon leads the world delusion” in time for the General Election.  Remember back in March how he milked the London G20 Summit for all it was worth, desperate for a little stardust to be sprinkled on him during strolls and photographs with Obama?

That fawning and excruciatingly embarrassing joint interview (above) in Washington last March?

Gordon wants a pretext to bring Obama to London so he can play the international statesman saving the world again in the run up to the election.

Al Gore TV Calls Palin a "TWILF"

Whilst the left on both sides of the Atlantic goes completely neurotic about the populist success of  Murdoch’s Fox News they forget that Al Gore owns a TV station aimed at the MTV generation – Current TV – unlike Fox it has lost over $10m every year since it started in 2004.  It is a rabidly left-wing channel, with plenty of mentalism of the enviro kind, that out-crazies Glenn Beck’s infotainment by a long chalk.  It is always claiming that the planet is on the edge of extinction making those Sunday morning hell-and-brimstone televangelists look moderate by comparison.


Current TV has a cartoon show “Supernews” aimed at kids which has just provoked controversy after describing Sarah Palin as a “TWILF” – which Guido likes to believe stands for Twitterer I Would Like To Follow.  The politically correct might note that Palin was also mocked as a “Gun – Ho” which Guido thought was quite funny, but suspects if he used “ho” about a female politician the  left-wing Thought Police would be frothing.  For some reason twittering Conservative women drive left-wingers to apoplexy.  Britain’s TWILFs; Nadine Dorries, Joanne Cash and Louise Bagshawe provoke masses of abuse from the left-wing Twitterati.  Nadine in particular is plagued with fake Twitter accounts impersonating herA dangerous game now the High Court has ruled Twitter impersonation actionable…

Guy News : Friday Thirteenth Broadcast

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3927934&w=480&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

Yes, Emily is back with a Guidorama investigation…

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Oborne Overstates Israeli Influence

oborneGuido occasionally enjoys a drink with Peter Oborne and he is one of very few journalists willing to take a stand that is not popular.  Like him Guido suspects that the threat from Jihadis-Under-the-Bed is a bit overstated.  It is a maverick view, though that doesn’t make him wrong.

Peter will, it seems from reports, be arguing tonight in a Dispatches programme that the influence of the Israeli lobby is too great in Britain and that the Conservative Friends of Israel  group (CFI) is “beyond doubt the most well-connected and probably the best funded of all Westminster lobbying groups”This time Guido sees some flaws in that analysis.

CFI don’t seem to be doing a very good job because the Tories, unlike U.S. Republicans, did not back Israel’s efforts to drive out Hamas terrorism from her border regions.  When Israel acted to defend itself from terrorist rocket attacks, Hague endorsed an Arab-backed UN Security Council call for a ceasefire and called for “war crimes” allegations against Israel to be investigated.  The shadow foreign-secretary is not exactly a patsy for Israel.

ira-ploThe truth is that a Conservative Friends of Palestine group was launched in 1991 at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool.  It bombed.  The meeting was addressed by the PLO’s London representative, Faisal Oweida.  The PLO were anti-imperialist allies of the IRA who only attended Tory Conference venues to bomb them.  Hardly likely to encourage friendship…

Rich & Mark's Monday Morning View

Page3 Cameron

Sunday Sleaze

Sunday Sleaze

byersSteven Byers is standing down as an MP after 30 years of troughing, coincidentally leaked details show that he claimed £125,000 in second home expenses over five years for a flat wholly owned by his lover.  So effectively he authorised payments to his other half. In the private sector he would be fired and probably prosecuted.   The attitude of his fellow parliamentarians is merely “fill yer boots” and retire on a gold plated index-linked pension.

pork-spotlightLabour Party Baroness Whitaker has fiddled £150,000 in expenses by renting a country cottage from Conservative Lord Renton and saying it was her main home. For seven years Baroness Whitaker rented the property, which is on a driveway leading to Lord Renton’s mansion in the Sussex Downs, at the same time as owning a million pound London property.

They really are all at it…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 55,808 visitors viewing 341,170 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

You are either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Loving the Personality Based Attacks

The Guidoisation of politics is finally being embraced by Labour:

Iain Dale was quick off the mark soliciting rejoinders:

Britain Only G7 Nation Still in Recession

Below is Guido’s easy to understand summary of the third quarter GDP growth figures globally:

Global Q3 GDP

As well as being the lamest economy in the G7, we share recessionary woes with economic powerhouses like Romania.  Gordon Brown’s epitaph will be that he didn’t abolish boom and bust, he didn’t save the world and he “led the way” only in his imagination.  The British economy has paid the price for his delusions.

Sources : Eurostat and OECD

Friday Caption Contest (Big Letters Edition)

gordon_writes

Cabinet Office Calls in Tory Wonk for 'Broken Society' Advice

The civil service is getting into planning for the post-Labour period. Who better to get in to give a preview of the likely thinking of the next government than one of Steve Hilton’s favourite wonks, the ‘Red Tory’ Philip Blond?  This email has just been sent out by the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit to senior civil servants:


Red Tory Cabinet Office

Title: ‘The decline of civil society and what it means for society’
Date: Wednesday, 25th November 2009
Time: 5:30- 6:30pm (refreshments available from 5pm)
Venue: Admiralty House, Whitehall
Chair: Gareth Davies, Director of the Strategy Unit
Respondent: David Rossington, Director of Strategy & Performance, DCLG

Dear Colleague

I am pleased to invite you to the above Strategy Unit – evening seminar at Admiralty House.

Phillip Blond’s talk on “The decline of civil society and what it means for society” will focus on the New Civic Settlement: outlining a new politics of civic association. The talk will outline how civic society has been eroded, and what we can do to rebuild it and how a reconstituted associative culture can help solve public policy problems which neither the state nor the market have the ability to solve.

We are also pleased to confirm that David Rossington, Director of Strategy & Performance, from the department of Communities and Local Government will join us to briefly to respond to Mr Blond’s presentation.

Philip Blond is known as the “Red Tory” and is centrist on economics and conservative on social matters. The civil service is obviously starting with the less scary centre-right wonks. Just wait until the bureaucrats hear from the other centre-right think tanks about what the ‘post-bureaucratic age means for them…

Voucher Snatcher

childcare_vouchers_picA lot of working parents find the tax relief afforded by childcare vouchers something that makes it worthwhile working. Gordon calculates that too many middle class people benefit – as if there was something wrong with that. The money saved will supposedly be diverted to provide childcare on a means-tested basis.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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