Merkel: “Absolutely No Doubt” There Will Be a Deal

These new lines from Merkel this morning that tell a rather different story to the narrative playing out in parts of the British media:

“From my point of view, there are absolutely no signs that we can’t succeed. If we are all clear in our minds, I have absolutely no doubt that we can reach a good result. What I find it hard to understand, when we need a result by March 2019, is why people are already talking in October 2017 about what might happen at the end of the process. I believe, in contrast to the way things are portrayed in the British press, that things are progressing step by step. We’re in a process, and if it goes on for two or three weeks longer, or even longer, that doesn’t stop us from working hard to reach the second phase. I very clearly want an agreement, not any kind of unpredictable solution, and we’re working very hard on that.”

Add that to Berlin’s talk of a free trade agreement and Sweden preparing to move onto the next stage and there is plenty of tangible positive news this week. Merkel is even admitting the EU has to compromise…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Comments in the comments…

Sweden Drawing Up Brexit Trade Plans

After the news that Germany is seeking a “comprehensive trade accord” with Britain post-Brexit, now Sweden is drawing up plans for the next stage of talks. The Swedish government has asked its National Board of Trade to report on what they want from a trade deal by the end of January. Trade minister Ann Linde says:

“In order to be ready for forthcoming negotiations, the government is currently calling on the National Board of Trade to draw up a basis for Swedish trade interests in the EU’s negotiations with the UK about a new trade relationship after Brexit. The Board shall, on the basis of available statistics, identify which sectors of trade in goods and services between Sweden and Great Britain, which are particularly important for the Swedish economy, and for Swedish employment. The college will then, on the basis of Swedish interests, identify a number of sectors for in-depth analysis. The in-depth analysis will consider how a future trade agreement can affect trade in key sectors and whether there are existing technical solutions in other EU agreements or other solutions that may be desirable for each sector.”

EU countries are getting ready to move talks on…

Bryant’s a Winker

Chris Bryant sets pulses racing on the Daily Politics…

Give Us a Brake: Tom’s ‘Red Diesel’ Hot Air

Last month LibDem Tom Brake tabled an Early Day Motion on air pollution. It specifically called on government to end subsidies for ‘red diesel’ (red-dyed, lower VAT diesel that is meant for use in agricultural machinery rather than cars):

“That this House notes the Government’s plans to tackle Britain’s air pollution crisis and improve air quality…further notes that reduced duty red diesel for certain uses costs HM Treasury £2.4 billion annually; believes that subsidising red diesel also inhibits the Government’s plans to support the take-up of cleaner technologies and tackle air pollution effectively…”

In Brake’s Carshalton and Wallington constituency there are proposals to build a giant rubbish incinerator. Brake’s website proudly trumpets his support for the incinerator in a lengthy defence of the project. There’s just one thing: the proposed incinerator will burn 2,000 tonnes of red diesel per year (in order for the internal temperature to reach the necessary levels). A co-conspirator writes: “If Mr Brake is so keen on cutting the use of red diesel and air pollution, why has he supported the Viridor Incinerator?”. Guido has written previously about murkiness with Brake and Viridor. His Carshalton constituency is a real rotten borough, this is the tip of the iceberg…

McDonnell Confirms Plan to Take Over Labour HQ

John McDonnell has outlined plans to “populate every aspect” of the Labour Party with hard left acolytes. At a meeting of the longstanding lefty Labour Representation Committee, McDonnell revealed his roadmap for increasing the Corbynista takeover of party structures “at every level”. The Shadow Chancellor said the left faced a “make or break” year in consolidating its control over the party. Speaking at a fringe meeting held at Labour’s conference last month, McDonnell said:

I think all of you now have got to recognise you have a responsibility on your shoulders – yes to get us into government – but you’ve got a responsibility on your shoulders as well to serve in elected office whoever you can… 

“And I say this in all serious because I think this next 12 months is make or break about whether or not the momentum that’s built up now will be retained. And in addition to having Jeremy as leader, or elements of the shadow cabinet being solidly – or all of the shadow cabinet now being solidly on the left etcetera, we’ve got to populate every aspect of constituency parties and elected office now with socialists. We’ve got to populate it at every level.”

On the prospect of future strikes, McDonnell said:

“And when that industrial action comes, our role is to be on every picket line, every demonstration – and I don’t say that as an act of provocation. That’s our role. That’s our role.”

Hardly a surprise, but as clear a message yet to Labour centrists that they are about to get screwed…

Car Windscreen Smashed Inside Parliament

This is the scene on the Parliamentary Estate where an object described as a “huge chunk of stone” has smashed through a car windscreen. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but a co-conspirator tells Guido that within the last 30 minutes a “huge chunk of stone fell off Norman Shaw North”. Fortunately, there are no reports of any injuries. Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom has been spotted on scene along with police and parliamentary authorities. The car is rumored to belong to Northampton North MP Michael Ellis. Very dangerous… 

UPDATE 13.30: More pics coming in from the scene:

UPDATE 14.17: A parliamentary spokesperson said:

“The main entrance to Norman Shaw North has been closed for health and safety reasons until further notice. The incident is being investigated by parliamentary authorities as a matter of urgency.”

Russia Today Presenter Fibs With First Word on #BBCDP

Well done to Russia Today’s Afshin Rattansi who managed to fib with his first word on the Daily Politics. Asked if they pay politicians to come on, Rattansi said “no”, before admitting that a production company indeed does. About sums up their trustworthiness.

Shameless Poetry


Guido’s 140 character effort in response to the convicted fraudster and former MP’s tweet took 3 minutes to compose and it shows. Can co-conspirators do better?

Corbyn Tells Brussels Britain Should “Not Countenance” No Deal

Jeremy Corbyn has travelled to Brussels to tell the EU Britain should “not countenance” a no deal scenario, in other words we should accept anything they give us. Cheers Jez, great negotiating tactic.

John Healey: Then and Now

John Healey had an Urgent Question this morning demanding to know why the government hasn’t provided additional funds for fire safety post-Grenfell:

“The Secretary of State has refused any government funds for essential fire safety work… can he confirm… there will be no government funding for councils or housing associations for essential retrofit fire safety work?”

When the boot was on the other foot in 2009, the then Housing minister John Healey was asked the same question in the wake of the Lakanal House fire. Guess what. Healey said no to any additional funds for fire safety:

“The resources local authorities receive for management and maintenance and major repairs should enable them to implement necessary fire safety measures in council housing.”

Hansard never forgets…

Linesman MP Has Attended 96% of Votes, Better Record Than SNP MPs

The SNP are boarding the outrage bus about Tory MP Douglas Ross taking time out from his day job to run the line at the Barcelona Champions League game last night. SNP MP John McNally raised the issue at PMQs yesterday, accusing Ross of missing a (non-binding) vote and producing a red card from his pocket to brandish at the Tory benches. The stunt might have worked if McNally didn’t have a worse voting attendance record than Ross – he has only attended 92% of votes this parliament, compared to Ross’ 96% attendance rate. Indeed, for all the SNP’s wailing, Ross has a better attendance record than most of them. Some Nats are barely ever here: Mhiari Black has voted in just 21% of divisions, Angela Crawley just 54% and so on. Classic Nat fail.

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson “What a good time to get out” of EU

After Macron’s speech Bruce says it is time to “run to the hills”….

On the Red Red Carpet Last Night…

Comrade Emily enjoying the Death of Stalin premiere at the Curzon in Chelsea last night, setting foot on the red red carpet alongside stars Armando Iannucci, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Palin and Paul Whtiehouse. Seumas Milne’s review: zero stars.

Guns Don’t Kill – FOBTs Don’t Harm

Wayne La Pierre is CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the US. A favourite line of the NRA is that “guns don’t kill – bad guys kill”.

The NRA does not accept that restricting the product, the access or the marketing would limit the harm. The NRA claims that controls affect freedoms. Yet there is no other country with the level of gun use harm that the US has. Far-right corporate funded think-tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) support the NRA.

Malcolm George is the CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB). His favourite line is that “betting shops are the safest places to gamble”.  

The ABB does not accept that restricting the product, the access, or the marketing would limit the harm. The ABB claims that controls affect freedoms. Yet there is no other country with the FOBT harm that the UK has. Far-right corporate-funded think-tanks, such as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) support the ABB.

The AEI and the IEA are a mirror image, as are the NRA and the ABB. It is always easy to invoke “freedom” in order to oppose regulation. But libertarianism has no future if it keeps putting corporate freedom first.

What motivated Mr. La Pierre and Mr. George on their chosen career paths? Was it the freedom to make money regardless of the consequences?

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS

PMQs Sketch: Red Sky at Night, Jez’s Delight

Now we know what the red sky meant. This was the week Jeremy Corbyn (68, MI5 watchlist, 2 E’s at A-Level) would finally win at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Before we begin, might we just take a moment to wonder: what does it say about Britain and its government that this outrageous old fool has come so far? This is the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question time. The eyes of the world are fixed on the ancient, near-holy place. Around the globe in TV news control rooms, in bureaucrats’ offices and Ambassadors’ residences, in palaces and parliaments, serious people with serious faces make communion with this weekly High Mass of democracy.

And who do they see beating up the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, the Frank Spencer of politicians, a man with the intellectual prowess of a peanut and the verbal agility of a concrete bollard. Is this weekly national disgrace behind the fall in the pound? How they must laugh at us in capital cities from Athens to Addis Ababa…

Continue reading

Skinner’s Fracking Smears Debunked Days Ago

At PMQs today Dennis Skinner told the House that INEOS’s fracking activities have caused problems with the Bolsover water supply. Residents have had discoloured water for 10 days, and Skinner was not missing the opportunity to blame INEOS and fracking. Just one problem. Severn Trent Water said five days ago that the issues were caused by a broken water pipe, not fracking activities. INEOS have said in a statement in response to Skinner’s PMQ that they were working 3 kilometres away from where the leak happened and that “there is absolutely no evidence that the leak is in anyway linked to our work”. This was all public well before Skinner asked his question. Will he apologise?

Arms Folded in Unity

Actually not a bad ad lib from Corbyn pointing out that Amber Rudd was keeping Boris and Hammond apart at PMQs.

Positive body language… sorta.

Germany Seeks “Comprehensive Free Trade Accord” With UK

Bloomberg has the scoop: Germany’s foreign ministry is working on a “balanced, ambitious and far-reaching” free trade deal with Brexit Britain – apparently they want a deal on security, agriculture, trade, energy, air travel and research. Sounds sensible…

Cliffe Quits ‘The Radicals’ After 12 Hours

12 hours after setting up The Radicals, the Economist’s Jeremy Cliffe has hilariously quit the party:

It is also clear from the — entirely unanticipated — scale of this unplanned experiment that taking this forward would not be compatible with my job as Berlin Bureau Chief for The Economist.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Corbynista media cheerleader Aaron Bastani says his friend Clive Lewis’s “b*tch” comment was:

“beneath any parliamentarian”

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Car Windscreen Smashed Inside Parliament Car Windscreen Smashed Inside Parliament
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