Vince Knows He Called it Wrong on Northern Rock

When Northern Rock was nationalised, Vince Cable cheekily told Gordon the government could have had his advice for free, unlike the advice for which they paid millions to Goldman Sachs. The Commons chamber laughed. Vince said it was the “best way” to protect taxpayers: “After five months, the Government are now in the best position to ensure the repayment of the taxpayer’s money.” Guido said “bollocks”.

The Tories sent mixed messages, essentially they didn’t want to nationalise it (they are not that left-wing) but they didn’t want to say “put it into administration” (John Redwood was the most coherent Tory voice on the issue here and here).

Cable today says that he knew all along that it was iffy:

“These figures confirm the suspicion, held by many of us, that the Government and the regulators were badly deceived by Northern Rock’s former managers when they agreed to bail it out on the basis that it was a good bank with a good loan portfolio… I am encountering cases of people being repossessed as a result of deeply foolish loans and the bank and the taxpayer who now own Northern Rock are having to absorb the resulting losses”

So why did Vince happily congratulate Gordon on nationalising the Rock? Socialising the losses and privatising the profits is not a good deal for the taxpayers. Vince is currently on a damage limitation tour of newsrooms salvaging his reputation for sound judgement…

Tory Candidate Pleads Guilty to Harrassment of LibDems

Councillor Ian Oakley, the Conservative PPC for Watford, today pleaded guilty to five charges of criminal damage and two of harrasment. He also asked for 68 other offences to be taken into account, making a total of 75 offences.

Pictured here standing behind Ming, the LibDems were on the receiving end of most of Oakley’s activities, which crossed the line by a long chalk. Although it was actually Vince Cable who stabbed Ming in the back in the end…

UPDATE : Danny Finkelstein admits that at the final selection committee he “thought Watford hadn’t necessarily selected the best future MP but they had chosen the one who seemed most assured, self confident and politically mature. I thought him a very stable, solid choice even if he didn’t do all that much for me.” The Fink, in his judgement, also thinks promising tax cuts is a vote loser for the Tories.

*He has quit as Conservative candidate and left the Conservative group on Hillingdon Council.

+++ Gove Took £2,000 From NUTS TV Production Company +++

Told you this moralising will come back to bite you:

We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing….”

The NUTS TV production company gave his constituency office £2,000, all in all Red Fig Limited has given a total of £13,500 to the Conservative Party.

Guido has called, emailed and even texted the Govemeister personally to ask : What are you doing Michael?

UPDATE : “No comment, thank you” is the polite official response from his office.

Hat-tip : Recess Monkey

Northern Rock Sinking Taxpayers

The Old Labour backbench was cheering and singing the Red Flag when the enabling legislation to nationalise Northern Rock was passed. Guido said at the time it was the return of seventies socialism.

Now we have a situation where £100 billion of taxpayer’s money has been bet on the UK property market as it goes south. Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling repeat the mantra that the public’s money is secured against the bank’s assets. The bank’s assets are what exactly? The equity in mortgagor’s homes belongs not to the bank, it belongs to the homeowners. The only properties Northern Rock has an interest in are it’s own branches and offices. The only homes it owns are those where it forecloses, usually and increasingly at a loss due to negative equity (remember all those 125% offers).

Northern Rock is selling off any assets of value to pay down the government debt. Essentially the government is asset stripping what it can and like many an asset stripper before it is sacking staff. Unlike capitalist vultures it will not make a profit, the government will be left with billions of bad debts. This half-year’s losses are £585 million, £20 per taxpayer. Mortgage arrears have doubled, repossessions are up another 50% on already bad figures – and the worst is yet to come. The Rock’s bad debts will be borne by taxpayers.

This Labour poster from 2005 will come back to haunt them at the next election…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to point out that adding the debt for equity swap (which the taxpayer will never see back) to the losses gives £3,585,000,000. Divide that by 28 million taxpayers and you get £128 per taxpayer, or some 70 pence per day so far. What would you rather spend the 70 pence a day on?

McCain Leads Obama, Advertising Works

Jokes about him meeting Jonah Brown aside it is arguable that McCain has now inched ahead of Obama since his world tour.

Danny Finkelstein has been lambasting McCain’s advertising. In fact everybody inside the Beltway and in the Westminster Village has been saying the same to Guido. Hang on a second. Can even you political obssessives remember any of Obama’s ads? “Hope, change, blah.” No, thought not.

McCain’s ads may not work with the knowing, his early Hero ad with footage of him as a prisoner of war might be a bit too cheesy for cynics, but how does that play in the heartlands? People will remember that he endured harsh treatment heroically. The Media Love ad on media favouritism was a little reminder, the Paris Hilton ad and The One ad are low intensity attacks on Obama’s politics of empty celebrity. These ads are far more sophisticated than previous Conservative campaign attack ads on “Hollywood liberals” – they work.

The latest line of attack takes the form of a mini-documentary (below) and it is effective because it shows Obama time and time again lacking clear direction on Iraq. He has flip-flopped and trimmed on the key U.S. foreign policy issue of our time. McCain is playing off his experience against Obama’s lack of judgement well…

All the Cameroons swooning for Obama would be wise to be more circumspect…

UPDATE : Punters are moving to McCain as well says Mike Smithson.

Gove Goes at Nuts

ConservativeHome is in puritanical ecstasy over Gove going all prudish:

“I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men’s magazines targeted at younger males. Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available. We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing…. The relationship between these titles and their readers is a relationship in which the rest of us have an interest. The images they use and project reinforce a very narrow conception of beauty and a shallow approach towards women. They celebrate thrill-seeking and instant gratification without ever allowing any thought of responsibility towards others, or commitment, to intrude. The contrast with the work done by women’s magazines, and their publishers, to address their readers in a mature and responsible fashion, is striking.”

Most men actually do have a shallow approach towards women and it has nothing to do with men’s mags and to all to do with biology. Without getting into a treatise on socio-biology it is clear that evolution has designed half the human race to be thrill seeking and after instant gratification. That is why our DNA has programmed us to have an orgasm.

Guido has it from a person in a position to know that, in his bachelor days, Michael Gove was “an enthusiastic lover”. Since he wasn’t intending on pro-creation, presumably he was indulging his hedonistic thrill-seeking side?

UPDATE : Forgot to moan about the Tories having a go at lap-dancing clubs. Seems to be a bit ungrateful to Peter Stringfellow, who has supported the Tories through thick and thin. This puritanical moralising will all in end in tears.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Obama on Iraq

Who Leaked Blair’s Memo?

So Blair’s private memo on his thoughts on Brown’s strategy and tactics has entered the public domain. Cui bono?

Miliband is the clear beneficiary. Who was on the distribution list? Bets are that Miliband, Blair’s anointed one, was on the list so a “friend” of his could have passed it to the Mail. Mandelson might likely be another member of the “A Team” that would have seen it, so to would Ben Wegg Prosser, who if memory serves Guido correctly, managed previously to get the “leave the stage with them wanting more” memo to Blair onto the front page of the Mail.

The tone of Blair’s memo is brutally frank, he prefaces it by saying a toned down more gentle version will be sent to Brown – clearly he knows Gordon can’t handle the truth…

For the Love of an Older Woman

Polly is the most influential member of the commentariat according to the punditocracy, so it is worth noting that she has transferred her affections to Miliband with a public declaration of adoration.

It is also noticeable that as she gets older she has become an ever more promiscuous patron of politicians. The objects of her desire retain her affection for less time as she has become more impatient.

She first fell for David Owen’s good looks and silky social democratic ways and even stood for the SDP in the 80s before they fell apart. It took some time for her to get over that until she was then seduced, like so many others, by Tony Blair’s charm and third way. It was quite a while before she fell out of love with him and got so sniffy she told us to wear nose-pegs. She switched her affections and cosied up to Gordon, stroking his ego and boosting him in her columns, praising him as an intellectual colossus, master-strategist and political titan. Like so many woman before her, she was blinded to a man’s faults by her hopes for him.

That fling has now come to a bitter end and she has nothing but scorn for Gordon for deceiving her. Young Miliband has now set her 62 year-old heart a flutter with hisbold adrenaline shot of optimism. Summer is here and love is in the air again. How long will her affection last this time?

Want To Ask Tony A Question? Become His Friend?

Thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace you can have Tea with Tony on Monday. Go on, you know you want to…


UPDATE : The more eagle-eyed have noticed that Wendi Deng is Tony’s MySpace friend as well as Rupert’s wife and recipient of email from Gordon. Mark Pack over on LibDemVoice reckons Murdoch’s Sun bashes Facebook and boosts his rival MySpace. No news however as to bear activity in the forests…

July Stat-Porn : 695,791 Page Hits from 524,618 Visitors

Those figures were generated by 113,118 absolute unique visitors last month. The top ten referrers were:

#1 Iain Dale
#2 Coffee House Blog
#3 ConservativeHome
#4 PoliticsHome
#5 PoliticalBetting.com
#6 B3ta.com
#7 Times Blogs (Red Box and Comment Central)
#8 Dizzy Thinks
#9 Devil’s Kitchen
#10 Biased BBC

Hardcore stat-porn fans can click the image below for a snapshot of the last year’s traffic. The trend is your friend. Read ’em and weep tree slaughterers…

…. traffic has doubled year-on-year.

Isaby Joins ConservativeHome

What does it say about the decline of the Daily Labourgraph and the rise of the blogosphere that a journalist would move across to ConservativeHome?

Congratulations to Jonathan Isaby, will he be doing the 6 a.m. news links shift? Isaby is rarely missing from a politico-social event, it won’t be easy to combine late nights with early starts…

ConservativeHome is an example of how the news market will become fragmented in the future. High quality, focused niche news boutiques will displace traditional generalist news sources. Nobody watches the BBC for business reporting when we have CNBC, nobody reads Bloomberg for sports reporting. You wouldn’t expect the Guardian to have a clue about the intricacies of the Conservative Party’s internal affairs. Best of breed online news sources can rapidly replace the dead tree press – however well established. The Telegraph has certainly been replaced as the house journal of the Tory Party by ConservativeHome…

Previous Isaby stories here and here.

Friday Caption Contest

Miliband is Due to Go on Holiday Today

Having ruined Gordon’s holiday he is due to be off himself today. The collective Westminster fever will possibly die down now. Though Labour’s lemming-like urge is always strongest in the run up to their party conference. Who knows?

Miliband Was Right About Blair

Miliband made his forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. YouGov confirm that Labour would be better off (25% v 32%) with voters if Blair was back in charge…

The thing Guido doesn’t understand is that 1 in 7 people believe Gordon is up to “getting on with job”.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

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.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It? Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It?
Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe
Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight
Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix
Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control” Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control”
Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard
Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry
Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight
Guido is Secure Guido is Secure
Latest: “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Still Rages on Twitter Latest: “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Still Rages on Twitter
Labour Lose Sunderland Labour Lose Sunderland
Sweariest MP Revealed Sweariest MP Revealed
WATCH: Tories Launch Nuclear Missile At Corbyn WATCH: Tories Launch Nuclear Missile At Corbyn
PICTURE: Le Pen in Trump Tower PICTURE: Le Pen in Trump Tower
Tory: Will You Come to My Own Portrait Unveiling? Tory: Will You Come to My Own Portrait Unveiling?
Al-Jazeera Defends Jackie Walker Al-Jazeera Defends Jackie Walker
Here Are 6 Outlets Who Rejected BuzzFeed Memo Here Are 6 Outlets Who Rejected BuzzFeed Memo
Millionaire Hammond Claimed £90 For Smashed Phone Millionaire Hammond Claimed £90 For Smashed Phone
WATCH: Max Mosley Punches Policeman WATCH: Max Mosley Punches Policeman