House Keeping & Stat’ Porn

As the shadow of the coming Brownite tyranny draws ever nearer, Guido finds he turns increasingly to the well designed and conceived The Man Who Would Be King blog, which is something of a Gordon Brown information clearing house. It has become the latest addition to Guido’s blog-roll.

The much awaited redesign of Guido’s blog is nearing completion, some widget related issues remain to be resolved but an über-Geek is on the case. Google smoothly handled the transition from the old Blogger to the new Blogger 2.0 without losing a single one of the thousands of posts or tens of thousands of comments and they held Guido’s hand whilst he fretted. Guido loves GOOG.

In a change from the ususal stat’ porn this month (pageviews: 426,499, unique visitors: 286,901), Guido has taken a look at reader loyalty over the last quarter. Of the visitors, Google analytics shows just short of 60,000 hardcore co-conspirators have visited the site 200 or more times and at the other extreme 44,000 visited once and never came back. The above chart compares last month to a quarter ago. Students of media studies might want to investigate why Guido gets more readers than any other political commentary website in Britain, more than both the political parties, more than the Speccie or New Statesman, more than WebCameron. Why are our lying, sleazy politicians so unable to connect?

LibDems: “Corruption is a Crime”

“We can cut crime” – that’s the message from the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Harrogate, they even launched two new websites last night: a special blog to keep tabs on the multiple failures at the Home Office (www.homeofficewatch.com) and an online petition calling for a full inquiry into corruption allegations.

Excellent news. Perhaps they will now repay the defrauded £2.4m they got from their crooked backer who languishes in jail? Strangely nowhere on www.corruptionisacrime.com is Michael Brown mentioned…

++ INJUNCTION ++

Contrary to rumour, Guido has not been injuncted. He has been on the piss.

The email is news to the BBC, not readers of this blog.

Friday Caption Contest (Posh ‘n Butch Edition)

Phil Taylor Has Overnight Change of Plan

Yesterday he told Guido that he was resigning, that he had told the permanent secretary he was intending to resign and that he had already emailed his NIO colleagues telling them of his intentions. His trembling voice told Guido that as a result he’d be sacrificing his termination pay-off. Today he is telling people he is only taking unpaid leave at the end of the month.

Watch this space SpAd…

Has Bright Joined the Dark Side?

Guido has long respected the New Statesman’s Martin Bright as an investigative journalist, but his extended and continuing proximity to the Smith Institute seems to be compromising his objectivity. He wrote a very prissy and disingenuous defence of his employer, the New Statesman, when Guido pointed out that it is a Brownite fanzine which both cross-subsidises and houses the Sith HQ.
Now he is quoting discredited Sith propaganda in his article this week, claiming that Gordon Brown

is bolstered by a poll of 100 leading figures from the City, industry, media and politics carried out by Opinion Leader Research, which showed that 87 per cent believed what the Chancellor said, compared to 58 per cent for Cameron

That “poll of 100 leading figures from the City, industry, media and politics carried out by Opinion Leader Research” has zero credibility. The methodology is not one recognised by the rest of the polling industry. OLR is run by Brown’s personal pollster, Deborah Mattinson, she is always wheeled out with contrary “research” when Brown gets a bad press from negative polls from more objective organisations.

OLR also has a six-figure contract with HM Treasury. Martin Bright had the cheek to question Guido’s independence last month, how independent do you think that OLR poll might be?

Deborah Mattison also sits on the board of the Smith Institute and OLR does polling for them as well. The Sith’s office is all of six yards away from Martin Bright’s desk at the New Statesman. How independent is he?

The New Statesman publishes glossy corporate “sponsored supplements” for the Smith Institute, but not one single mention of the Smith Institute’s troubles has appeared on it’s pages…

Friday Lunch Alert

Guido has somehow managed to get himself into a cruel and unusual situation. No lunch booked on a Friday…

Shop-a-SpAd : Peter Hain’s SpAd Has Resigned

When Guido finally tracked down the elusive cheating Phil Taylor, he told Guido that it was already his intention to resign, that he had informed the permanent secretary that he was intending to resign and that it didn’t therefore matter. He was going to work on his boss’ campaign and had emailed the rest of the NIO that he was going already. Yeah right, still not quite sure that is good enough.

This of course means he will miss out on a fat termination pay-off. So he won’t be able to bleed the taxpayer another drop.

Just as well he has resigned because Guido has masses of evidence that he has been campaigning for Peter Hain. He would have had to go anyway.

No ifs, no buts, we’re targeting SpAd cheats. Call the national Shop-a-SpAd hotline on 0709 284 0531 or fax evidence to 0709 201 2337.

UPDATE : The SpAdless perma-tanned one is on Question Time tonight. What has happened to your SpAd Peter?

Shop-a-SpAd : First Cheat Identified

Guido asked readers this morning to watch out for breaches of the Ministerial Code by SpAds working for Labour deputy leadership candidates. A few tips have come in and a co-conspirator has even sent Guido documentary evidence of blatant SpAd cheating. In fact a SpAd fiddle plan. So be warned SpAd cheat, have your lunch and expect Guido to call for an explanation soon…

No ifs, no buts, we’re targeting SpAd cheats. Call the national Shop-a-SpAd hotline on 0709 284 0531 or fax evidence to 0709 201 2337.

UPDATE 16:00 : We have a SpAd missing-in-action and presumably on the run. Seems unable to answer his mobile all afternoon, do you think he knows Guido is on to him?

Crash Avoidance

Quick history of recent train crashes:

  • Southall – Occurred 19 September 1997; DPM John Prescott (with
  • responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Ladbroke Grove – Occurred 5 October 1999; DPM John Prescott
  • (with responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Hatfield – Occurred 17 October 2000; Transport Minister, Lord
  • Macdonald of Tradeston, visited the scene the next day.
  • Selby – Occurred 28 February 2001; DPM John Prescott (with
  • responsibility for transport) visited the scene on the same day.
  • Health Minister Yvette Cooper visited some of the injured at
  • Pontefract General Infirmary.
  • Potters Bar – Occurred 10 May 2002; Transport Secretary Stephen
  • Byers visited the scene the next day.
  • Ufton Nervet – Occurred 6 November 2004; Transport Secretary,
  • Alistair Darling visited the scene two days later.
Grayriggs – no ministerial visit. Branson was there within 12 hours despite being on a family holiday in Switzerland. Even the RMT’s General Secretary, Bob Crow visited the scene that night.

On Friday the 23rd of February Douglas Alexander was in Wales for the Welsh Labour Party conference. Returning to a Scottish constituency could have taken him through Cumbria. Labour is having some problems with their campaign in Scotland. Brownite loyalist Alexander is “steering strategy”. He is probably too busy fending off the SNP’s coming electoral kicking on Brown’s home territory to be bothered with his ministerial responsibilities.

UPDATE : Scottish Labour took a £6,000 donation from Network Rail Limited three months ago.

UPDATE II : Scottish Labour had a total of £11,000 from Network Rail Limited last year.

Profit from Politics

Those of you who took Guido’s advice and put some money on Milburn at 100/1 last night will be able to take profits and lay him at around 30/1 this morning. Even easier than investing in private equity…

Guido is Out to Catch SpAd Cheats

As the Labour party’s leadership campaign gets underway it is important to remind the bag carrying, greasy pole climbers about the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

It can be found on the Propriety and Ethics section of the Cabinet Office website – not something that most of them will be familiar with. The code is clear, they can’t assist in any way in a leadership campaign unless they are on leave. Catch a SpAd organising a campaign meeting on the office phone, via the office Blackberry or merely pinning on a “my boss for deputy leader” badge during office hours and they are in breach. This could provide Guido’s conspirators with a lot of fun.

So if you spot a SpAd in the Portcullis coffee shop making the case for votes for their boss, you know what to do. Call the national Shop-a-SpAd hotline on 0709 284 0531.

HMS Margaret Thatcher

Guido can not bring himself to even publicise the name of the non-entity MP calling for Maggie’s new statue to be removed from the Members Lobby. At the unveiling ceremony even the speaker, Gorbals Martin, graciously eulogised the woman who saved Britain from socialist decline. For Guido, bronze is not enough.

The Hitch has come up with a brilliant proposal to honour the woman who sent the Royal Navy half way round the world to defeat a fascist junta and unshackled Britain’s economy, in doing so she restored the nation’s pride and international reputation. Name a warship after her.

Guido has done some research, and discovered that the Navy’s newest and most advanced Type 45 Destroyers come into service in 2009. Costing a billion each they will be the pride of the Navy and the most powerful warships ever to fly the naval ensign. Can there be a more fitting tribute to the lady? God willing she will still be with us to launch her ship in 2009.

Britons never shall be slaves – HMS Margaret Thatcher

2020 Vision Thing

Guido was at the launch of Milburn & Clarke’s 2020 Vision Thing.

It is yet another “participatory” website, policy orientated, debating the future direction of the Labour party, blah, blah, blah. Yawn.

Because we don’t have many of them already do we? CompassOnline, ProgressOnline, LabourHome, LabourSpace and even PM.Gov.UK. None of the Lobby believed it, all the questions were about Gordon. All you need to know from the questions is this: despite being repeatedly asked in different ways, neither of them would endorse Brown for leader, or rule themselves out of running for leader.

Best contribution was from Austin Mitchell, he said websites were becoming “the new opium of the people”. Mitchell went up in Guido’s estimation for that, less than a dozen backbench MPs turned up and the media out-numbered them 5 to 1. This is all about stopping Gordon whatever Milburn and Clark say, Milburn was smirking throughout and his face said, you know I’m lying, I know I’m lying, but we have to pretend this is about policies not personalities. No policies were mentioned at all during the hour long press conference, no one even asked about policies.

UPDATE : Lord Hollick is writing the cheques.

Couple of Quid on a Kamikaze

Miliband has come in sharply to 9/1 second favourite. Time to take profits if you backed him at longer odds methinks.

At an outside 100/1 on Betfair, Milburn is worth a flutter surely? Guido has put a few quid on the Kamikaze for a trading bet. Just in case he runs…

Pollster’s Answers Lead to More Questions

Opinion Leader Research have got back to Guido and they say nobody paid for that research. They just asked questions slanted to favour Gordon for no particular reason. They also say they won their lucrative HM Treasury contract and the Bank of England contract in a competitive tendering process.

They won’t say why the Treasury needs pollsters, what they poll about, or how much they have been paid.

Guido could understand if the Treasury needed statisticians, but pollsters? Perhaps the Bank of England would be interested in measuring, say for example, people’s inflation expectations, but their opinions? If public money has been spent by the Treasury on pollsters who have asked questions that assist Gordon in his personal political ambitions, that would be a massive breach of the Ministerial Code bordering on corruption. If it were to be proved that the payments to do something innocuous were effectively a hidden subsidy covering the costs of doing polling on issues of interest to Gordon Brown for no particular reason it would be scandalous.

Since Gordon’s personal pollsters won’t give Guido answers, maybe Gordon will answer Stewart Jackson’s parliamentary questions?

  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the decision to engage Opinion Leader Research to undertake polling for HM Treasury was subject to a competitive tendering process and will he make a statement.
  • To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent in each year since 2001 by HM Treasury on polling services provided by Opinion Leader Research and will he make a statement.
A co-conspirator points out that they also had no identifiable paying client for their “What it means to be British” research in 2005. Shortly afterwards Gordon began loudly banging his Britishness drum. Opinion Leader Research has helped Gordon on “Britishness” issues before, their research was used extensively in “New Britain” a 1999 publication produced by the Smith Institute. The pamphlet was itself singled out and explicitly criticised by the Charity Commission as being party political in the first 2001 investigation into the Sith.

Guido sees a pattern here; the Treasury hosts over a hundred of the Smith Institute’s seminars – rent-free, simultaneously the Treasury pays the Smith Institute to hold seminars. The Treasury pays Deborah Mattinson’s Opinion Leader Research generously, Deborah Mattinson sits on the Smith Institute’s board and does “polling” that is helpful to Gordon – for free. She also writes hagiographical press articles about Gordon, based on her own polling research, whenever negative independent poll findings come out.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the taxpayer has been paying, via the Treasury, for Gordon’s polling and spin, all tightly coordinated via the Smith Institute to promote the Brownite political agenda. This is abuse of office.

Yippee Aye-Ay

Outriders coming… If you believe all that guff about Milburn and Clarke having a friendly chat with Brown about the “need for a debate” and emailing the PLP for just that reason, you’ll believe the tooth fairy took all the WMD in Iraq away. Them darn Outriders is gettin’ themselves a possee together tomorrow…

Scottish Question

Could someone point Charlie Kennedy in the right direction. He was just seen by a co-conspirator heading towards the Chamber via all four walls.

Blears’ SpAd is on Holiday

Paul Richards is a strange lad. He chooses to spend his holidays working on the boss’ deputy leadership campaign and ringing Guido to tell him he was on leave yesterday and today “in accordance with the Code of Conduct”. Wonder why he panicked and bothered changing his Facebook entry this morning, after Guido’s story, in that case?
It will be September by the time the campaign is over – if he is going to help the boss and stick to the Code of Conduct, he better take unpaid leave. The co-conspirators will be watching…

If you see any other greasy pole climbing SpAds helping their principal’s campaign at the taxpayer’s expense, email Guido. Photos especially welcome.

Sith Launch “Operation Bluewash”

As the Charity Commission looks increasingly likely to deal with the Sith firmly they have launched a transparently obvious attempt to rope in Tories to provide cover for them. One problem – they don’t know any.

So they have taken to advertising in the Speccie in the hope of finding Tories interested in what Margaret Beckett has to say in a John Smith Memorial Lecture.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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