Wonder Who Was on the Menu?

Newbie blogger Events dear boy, events, had a little nugget on Gordon’s day yesterday, which saw a PPS (Andy Slaughter) resign, the Heathrow vote too narrowly pass for comfort, the IFS report not kind to Gordon, the IMF report stating that the UK will be the worst performing economy in 2009 and rumours begin that Obama may not come to London* for the G20 hosted by the Saviour of the World.

That was all on top of his kicking at PMQs. Add to the list as well the interview Jon Cruddas MP gave to the Indy’s Andy Grice where he warns that Gordon is perhaps too emotionally retarded to beat Cameron. Not a great day in the bunker…

Guido has more bad news from yesterday to top it off. This came in from a co-conspirator who saw:

Charles Clarke and Stephen Byers finishing a quiet dinner together at the back of Colosseo on Victoria Street this evening. Whatever they were talking about was clearly so important that the socialist bastards didn’t even leave a tip. Clarke was clearly in charge, though, and Byers looked such a drab little creature.

Clarke and Byers eh? Now which Italian dish is it that is best served cold?

*According to a White House press release it is still Obama’s “hope to attend the G-20 Summit in London”.

+++ Source : Conway to be Fined +++

This will be the second Standards and Privileges Committee report (due at 11.00). Derek had to repay money given to Freddie, this is in respect of his other son Henry.

Why isn’t he being charged for fraud?

UPDATE 11.00 : Ordered to re-pay another £3,757 paid to his son. A small fine. and ordered to write a written apology. Not really proportionate to the amount that was defrauded, is it?

Tears of a Brown

Jon Craig reports that last night

Labour MPs claim a “tearful and dewy eyed” Prime Minister called the Labour waverers into his Commons office one by one and pleaded with them to back the Government. If we lose this vote it will de-stabilise the Government and de-stabilise the markets,” said the embattled Prime Minister, according to one MP who voted with the Tories despite the emotional appeal.

Given Gordon’s emotional instability (he is upset that cartoonists draw him as fat) it may well be that if Gordon resigned it would actually stabilise the government as well as give the markets a boost. Gordon’s mental health is being openly discussed, Iain Martin has a euphemistic piece in the Telegraph today recounting government ministers fears that the Prime Mentalist is “psychologically incapable”;

he is stuck… saying basically the same thing over and over and over again. I have said before that from the country’s point of view it risks becoming disturbing: now it really is.

It can only be that the PM has constructed something inside his head which he passionately believes to be the truth. If he was to admit even the tiniest doubt about one element of it then the entire construct might collapse.

Inside his head we know what he thinks, he is “the saviour of the world” doing the right thing, solving global ills not of his making and unbelievably yesterday Downing Street said Brown was right and the IMF was wrong. At PMQs yesterday Cameron demanded a reality check from Gordon to no avail. He would not admit that, even by his own definition, Britain was bust. If Gordon admitted he had not abolished “boom and bust” he would smash his internal “constructed truth” delusion. Blair was right, Brown is psychologically flawed. It is no longer a personal tragedy, it is at the root of the national political and economic disaster unfolding.

A rumour went round after Monday’s disastrous press briefing that Gordon had wet himself. Guido didn’t report the story because he was unable to substantiate it from the video evidence. That it was even rumoured and given any credence whatsoever shows that people in the Westminster Village think he is a man close to the edge of total breakdown. The humiliating truth is that Gordon Brown is not mentally fit for purpose.

See also Downing Street Needs Draper More Than Ever.

Can You Hear this IMF Warning Gordon?

Gordon keeps muttering about how the world needs an economic early warning system. Despite the existence of the IMF, OECD and countless private sector sources of threat warnings already. Do we need another international bureaucracy?

Gordon ignored the last six IMF warnings, so perhaps he will ignore the IMF forecast that Britain will suffer a worse recession than any other advanced economy. The IMF is projecting that the UK is to contract by 2.8%, the worst performance of any major advanced nation for which the IMF publishes data.

Guido suspects the UK won’t end up going to the IMF because the national debt is sterling denominated, which is just as well because IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Die Zeit this morning;

“Several states are already queueing at our doors… At the moment, we have enough money. But if we actually have to help them, the lion’s share of our resources will be consumed in six to eight months…”

The fund might be empty by the time Britain went…

UPDATE : Things must be really bad. Billionaire George Soros took a commercial flight to Davos. No news as to if he went economy…

Is Stephen Fry Now a Tory?

In 1996 the whole of luvviedom embraced Tony Blair, 1997 saw the whole Cool Britainnia thing sweep up celebrities into the embrace of New Labour. So it is interesting to see that Stephen Fry, the luvvie’s luvvie, is giving Tory house journal The Spectator’s Annual Lecture. “So what?” you might say, he has after all a book to promote, except that is not all to suggest a blue slip is showing.

Yesterday Fry, who is a tech-blogging, Twittering über-geek with a huge 82,115 following his prognostications on life and technology, gave his considered support to the Tory policy announced by George Osborne yesterday to adopt a more effective open IT procurement process and shifting towards open source solutions.

Fry said yesterday

“Lo, our sheep that was lost is now found’. This is good news. Aside from anything else the money that could be saved in government: schools, hospitals, civil service, defence, by choosing open source and free operating systems and software. It’s wave that’s rolling over Europe and America and it’s only right that we in Britain should ride that wave too. I think politicians from all sides should endorse the aim for public systems to be run on free open source software.”

One luvvie does not make a landslide. CCHQ will however be pleased that it shows the brand is fully decontaminated…

PMQs Vroom Vroom Edition

Maserati Mandy Motors

Lord Mandelson’s new found willingness to support the “British” car manufacturers is touching. When he tried to get an £80,000 Italian Maserati mid-life-crisis car as his official car out of the EU budget he was less supportive. He was in fact angry that penny-pinching bureaucrats blocked his turbo-tax-powered transport.

It would be a little more credible if the Labour Party last year had listened to the industry when they, in the name of Green taxes, whacked hundreds of pounds extra in tax on all those models that have stayed in the showrooms since. Forgetting that jobs depended on those cars being bought. It is an entirely foreseeable consequence of jacking up taxes that demand has been suppressed over and above the credit crunch problems…

Spot the Difference : FTSE Boom, FTSE Bust

click to enlarge
First he plundered your pension then Crash Gordon worked his magic on the stock market. To mis-quote Neil Kinnock, “I warn you: don’t get old, don’t invest your pension in the stock market”. One long Tory boom, two Labour “boom to busts”…

UPATE : Some half-educated types are claiming in the comments that the above should be done using a logarithmic Y-axis. Not sure why beyond that it would flatter the latter era of the chart. If we are going to be picky than perhaps it should be inflation adjusted or using constant value time-fixed pounds, or maybe done in net present value terms. The graph would look even worse…

Kawczynski Whining

Over on Dale’s blog, Daniel Kawczynski, the Tory MP who handed over a constituent’s letter to the police without a warrant, has written a lengthy self-justification blaming the Speaker and the police for his own stupidity (as well as using his staffers as human shields).

He emailed a very similar lengthy missive last week after Guido suggested he was an idiot. Having taken the time to read his squirming explanation Guido replied
Daniel,

I have taken the time to read all the documentation and simply have one question:-

Would you be willing to hand over another constituent’s letter in similar circumstances?

Guido Fawkes

He hasn’t replied. Perhaps he needs another few days…

Downing Street Needs Draper More Than Ever

Derek Draper’s online campaigning skills are clearly not going to win Labour any votes, perhaps the greatest service he could do his party would require exercising his professional skills. Somebody surely needs to re-connect Downing Street to the reality of the High Street. While Gordon lauds “the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order”, shop after shop is being boarded up as retail chains go bust and jobs are lost. It is Gordon’s denial of the truth that is so apparent.

Interviewer after interviewer, as well as Cameron repeatedly during PMQs, has asked him to admit that he was wrong to claim to have “abolished boom and bust”. Gordon can’t or won’t, because he is too psychologically flawed, face up to reality. How can we secure a national recovery when the head of government is in total denial? Gordon clings to the idea that the recovery will have begun by the end of the summer and that he can win the next election by running around like a headless chicken doing anything for headlines, costing billions in economic vandalism and shouting empty slogans. Derek, your leader needs you…

Dithering De-Regulator Becomes Sagacious Regulator

Gordon Brown: “I called for global financial reform ten years ago” – Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his speech on Britain and the Global economy at the Foreign Press Association claimed today that he had been warning for ten years that the international financial markets needed to be more strongly regulated.

Source: Press Association, January 26, 2009

“by moving away from the old blanket approach, of 100 per cent form-filling and 100 per cent inspection that is inefficient and wasteful of your time, to a new approach based on risk… And I believe, too, we should consider how we can continue to extend our risk-based approach, applying the concept of risk not just to the enforcement of regulation, but also to the design and indeed to the decision as to whether to regulate at all… And we will take the fight on deregulation to Europe.”

Source: Speech to the CBI, 5 June 5, 2006

You are often left wondering if he really believes what he says. Does he really think Britain is best placed to weather the financial storm? Does he really think Britain has a low debt economy? He says these clearly untrue claims which are not accepted by any independent observers or global financial investors.

If Gordon does believe what he is saying you have to assume he is delusional, if he doesn’t believe it, than he’s a liar. Not much of a choice…

Hain Humiliation Scheduled for 3.30pm

Peter Hain is due to apologise to the House at 3.30pm via a personal statement. Will he try to claim his reputation and integrity are untainted?

Don’t think so Peter. After all, paying your 80-year-old mother thousands of pounds out of public funds to do constituency work when she is never seen in the constituency office is somewhat questionable. That fiddle can’t be blamed on someone else or even his own incompetence.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Parliament of Whores*

No one is really surprised in the least that legislation is for sale, that four Labour Lords have been caught brazenly setting out the tariff rates that they are willing to work at is a little unusual. Ordinary non-political people presume this happens all the time, whereas Westminster Village insiders deny it is so and reckon we have a relatively uncorrupted legislature. Sir Michael White is the leading advocate of this proposition and he should really know better.

The ordinary people have it right. You can buy legislation openly, covertly and in a combination of the two. You can even buy yourself a seat in the legislature itself. The Labour Party is structured to sell policy setting to the unions, which is why we have an unreformed and bloated public sector. Corporations buy former legislators to lobby for laws made by their former colleagues day in, day out. Staffers are lobbyists at the same time as providing material support to MPs.

We have a parliament of whores.

Guido confidently predicts none of these lot will go to jail. They may even escape reprimand since no money changed hands. You may wonder why this is the case, after all the original Sunday Times “Cash for Questions” investigation in the Major years involved cash changing hands. The reason no money changed hands this time is because newspapers can no longer “entrap” crooked politicians. They made sure of that after too many close calls in the past...

*Parliament of Whores is the title of a great book by P J O’Rourke.

Is Myners Full of Self Loathing?

Paul Myners, long-time Brown crony and now City Minister, is attacking over-rewarded bankers. Myners made his millions in the City, he was until recently a director of GLG, the hedge fund spawned by ex-Lehmans staff, that made fortunes for traders taking short-term bets. It was one of the funds that profited the most from the collapse of Northern Rock.

He has a cheek doesn’t he?

Does Hain Still Have Campaign Debts?

Peter Black draws our attention to the continuing blame game between Peter Hain and his disgraced former campaign manager, Steve Morgan.

Morgan is widely believed in Labour circles to have been the reason the campaign’s financial reporting went so badly wrong. Morgan is retaliating by casting aspersions on Hain, “My main disagreement with Peter was, and remains, the fact that he was not prepared to pay the Labour Party the full money owed to them on those donations under the rules of the Leadership contest.”

Guido calculated in January 2008 that Hain still had campaign debts outstanding of £41,200, comprised of a 15% tributeto the Labour Party of £16,200 on funds raised under party rules and a debt to Willie Nagel, a diamond broker and former Tory supporter for repayment of an interest-free loan of £25,000.

The £16,200 has still not, according to the Electoral Commission, been paid by Hain to the Labour Party. Harriet Harman and the other candidates struggled to pay off their campaign debts, why should Hain be forgiven the debt just because he was incompetent? Have they written off Hain’s debt as a bad debt? Is it still outstanding?

Friday Caption Competition

What are the Chances of the IMF Bailing Out Britain?

Brown says Cameron is “ridiculous” to talk about the possibility of the International Monetary Fund being called in to bail-out Britain. Brown reckons that is impossible.

The money markets though say different, clearly they think it is a possibility. How probable is a bail-out? Guido listened on Wednesday to Gerard Lyons, Chief Economist at Standard Chartered, Geoffrey Wood, an economist at Cass Business School and Paul Ormerod, author of Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics talk at a Policy Exchange seminar on the Credit Crunch. They were far more sanguine about the economic prospects than Guido. Essentially they thought the recession would run its course over a year or two and we would come out of it with a huge bill in terms of the national debt. The consensus was that Britain probably wouldn’t be humiliated at the IMF again, but it wasn’t impossible. Some joked that if we were going to have to go to the IMF we should get to the front of the queue.

Given most of Britain’s external debt is denominated in pounds, the way to avoid going completely bust is to print more money and devalue the debt. Which is what the markets expect to happen, hence they are dumping pounds…

Economics is a dismal science, but playing www.BailoutBrown.com is a bit more fun. Enjoy throwing your money at Brown for a change…

UPDATE 26 Jan, ’09 : Paul Ormerod emails to correct the impression that he isn’t pessimistic:

I am a great fan of your site. I am sorry you thought I wasn’t pessimistic enough at the Policy Exchange, I thought I was being. I did, for example talk about a 6 per cent switch in GDP purely through consumer attitudes, and on top of this is the impact of tight credit on the corporate sector. So I think things are pretty grim.

+++ GDP DOWN 1.5% Q4 2008 +++

Recession is now official.

+++ Hain Slammed by Standards and Privileges Committee +++

Guido is reading the report:
  • Hain blames Steve Morgan for the original failure to register donations.
  • Accepts he was personally at fault after campaign ended.

Committee concludes:

We agree with the Commissioner that Mr Hain’s failure to register donations on this scale is both serious and substantial.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Dame Laura Cox report into Pestminster slams Bercow and his team…

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