Saturday Seven Up

This week 260,060 visitors visited 854,345 times viewing 1,362,978 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Campaign Report: 20 Days to Go

Vote Conservative for a stronger Scotland, a stronger Britain & a prosperous future.

The Tory Triple Whammy for pensioners: no triple lock, no winter fuel allowance, pay for social care using your own home.

The Tory plans on care are a Dementia Tax. Theresa May is hitting the most vulnerable. We would cap care costs at £72,00.

The Tories are planning to unleash the biggest tax raid in history on pensioner households. UKIP will fight this just as hard as we are fighting Philip Hammond’s plan for a national insurance attack on the self-employed.

We are absolutely in favour of spending £13 billion on foreign aid.

Theresa May today confirmed Scotland’s voice will not be heard in Brexit talks.

Nothing in particular.

In Blaenau Gwent the bookies have Plaid Cymru at 8/1. On the ground Labour’s vote collapsed during the locals. That is good value as an outside bet.

Scottish independence voting intention: Yes: 39% (-1) No: 49% (-) (YouGov/ 15 – 18 May).

Jez Does Not Understand Tory Social Care Policy

Here is Jeremy Corbyn speaking on the Tory social care policy this morning. He says:

“What the Conservatives are doing is to put a £100,000 cap on social care which actually goes nowhere near meeting the needs of somebody with extreme conditions can easily spend £50,000 a year on their care. It’s completely unrealistic, what they’re doing. We will make sure social care is properly funded.”

Er, no. The Tories are not putting a £100,000 cap on social care spending per individual, as Corbyn seems to believe. The policy means people will pay for their own social care until they are down to their last £100,000 in assets, at which point the state pays for it. People with under £100,000 in assets will not pay anything. Corbyn doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Keep up Jez…

Sarah Olney’s Leafleting Lie

When a candidate knocks on your door and you aren’t in, they often stick an “I called to see you today” leaflet through your letterbox to show they made the effort. In Richmond Park however, LibDem Sarah Olney is being very naughty. A local co-conspirator reports that LibDem activists have been putting the above flyer through people’s doors without knocking and without Olney being present. (And she shouldn’t be calling herself ‘MP’ either.) One Richmond resident says:

“This was delivered at around 14.00 on Saturday… It states – ‘I knocked on your door today to see if there were any issues or concerns etc…’This is a lie. I was working in the front room throughout the morning and had a continuous view of the approach area (A ground floor maisonette). The document was delivered by a youth with a backpack full of this material. He was entirely alone, no knock, no Sarah Olney.”

He is not the first Richmond resident to tell Guido that Olney hasn’t been seen during the election campaign. The invisible MP…

Academic Study: Broadcasters Were Biased Towards Remain

An academic study by a team of media studies professors* found that the Tory press is biased against Corbyn and the Labour supporting press is more favourable to Jezza. Taxpayers once again wasting money in academic studies of the bloody obvious. Well at least it keeps the hackademics off the streets…

They also found that the supposedly impartial broadcasters – the likes of Faisal and Peston – did give more airtime to pro-Remain voices during the referendum. Guido could have told them that for free…

*David Deacon, Professor of Communication and Media Analysis, Loughborough University; Dominic Wring, Professor of Political Communication, Loughborough University; Emily Harmer, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, Loughborough University; James Stanyer, Professor of Communication and Media Analysis, Loughborough University, and John Downey, Professor of Comparative Media Analysis, Loughborough University

Friday Caption Contest (Kiss of Jez Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Labour Campaign Group’s Fake News NHS Poster

Labour Future, the centrist grassroots Labour Party campaign group, has posted a fake NHS poster telling voters to buy health insurance, claiming that “from January 2018 the NHS will no longer be a free service”. The poster, bearing the official NHS and Public Health England logos, is complete fake news. It’s pretty distasteful too given it says: “Don’t put your family at risk”. The phone number on the poster puts you through to NHS England, and the poster has been shared over 3,000 times on Facebook. Labour Future are fundraising off the back of this BS, the Facebook post links through to a GoFundMe page. The NHS and Public Health England will not be happy to have their name put to such blatant lies…

UPDATE: Labour Future has now taken down the post.

UPDATE II: An NHS England spokesman tells Guido:

“We treat misuse of the NHS logo extremely seriously and we are investigating the origin of this clearly fake poster. As soon as we became aware that Labour Future had reposted this image we contacted them and asked them to remove it from their social media, which they did.”

Ex-Top Cop Helps Easier Money-Laundering

You might not have heard of Keith Bristow, but he’s the ex-Director General of the National Crime Agency. He was recently made Chair of the Gambling Anti-Money Laundering Group, (GAMLG) whose members consist of the Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association.

New money laundering regulations have recently been introduced requiring those gambling more than £1,500 to be identified. However, it seems that this applies to all except “proven low-risk” gambling sectors.

The Gambling Commission has always thought of betting shops and online gambling as high-risk sectors – that is until Mr Bristow weaved his magic.

By “sexing up” the risk assessment, GAMLG convinced the Treasury that instead of being 86% high risk, as the regulator had assessed, betting shops were just 25% high-risk. This is despite bookies’ FOBTs allowing up to £50 a spin without a name check, and up to £100 a spin with a loyalty card – even without name verification.

GAMLG then proposed “controls” claiming that these would reduce betting shop high-risk factors from 25% down to 0%. The Treasury accepted the GAMLG’s propaganda and excused betting shops and remote betting from the new regulations.

Betting shop FOBTs have also regularly been identified as money laundering machines for drug dealers. A Birmingham Court recently found a drug dealer from Cardiff had laundered over a million pounds through Ladbrokes. The Gambling Commission is yet to announce any sanctions for Ladbrokes.

When anyone gets into bed with the bookies there’s a good chance of reputational harm.

But for Bristow, the opportunity to line his pockets was too good to turn down.

Content produced and sponsored by Campaign for Fairer Gambling

Labour Candidate Campaigning to Make Herself Redundant

Labour’s manifesto pledges to scrap the free schools programme, committing to not “waste money on inefficient free schools”. Not much of a surprise, though it is not ideal for the Labour candidate in Bexhill and Battle. Christine Bayliss is a former DfE mandarin who now runs a consultancy advising on setting up new free schools. Her company CBECS helps new academies and free schools set up:

“Whether you need to provide evidence of stakeholder engagement for your free school application, community support to enable a funding agreement to be signed or parent and stakeholder support for your academy plans, C:BECS can help.  We will develop a tailored solution that not only meets your needs but your budget too.”

Almost as if Christine knows her company is safe…

Fearless MP & Hero Activist Tackle Violent Thug While Canvassing

A Conservative candidate and a young activist are being hailed as heroes after they fearlessly tackled a brick-wielding thug who attacked their vehicle on the campaign trail. Romford candidate Andrew Rosindell and team member Chris Muspratt were campaigning on Monday when they heard a loud commotion. They turned to a see a violent hooligan smashing the passenger window of their campaign Land Rover with a motorcycle helmet. The scumbag then sped off on a stolen motorcycle…

Fearless Musspratt, 24, gave chase on foot. The vandal was promptly wrestled off the bike by members of the public, before making off through gardens. Chris, still in pursuit, cornered the lowlife, who then picked up a large brick block in an attempt to threaten the undeterred activist. Before Chris could carry out a citizen’s arrest, the criminal jumped into a getaway car and sped off…

Chris, an armed forces reservist, said:

“Andrew was so close to grabbing the vandal off his bike immediately after we witnessed him smashing the car... As the younger member in our group, I realised if anyone was going to have a go at catching the yob it was going to be me… I’m glad I didn’t just stand by and look forward to the police making an arrest due to the information and evidence I gained.”

Rosindell said:

“I am very grateful to Chris for attempting to detain the thug. I hope justice prevails and the suspect is found quickly. I was quite shaken but nothing will deter me from campaigning ahead of the general election.”

Police attended and as part of ongoing inquiries have identified a suspect. If you saw any part of the incident please contact Romford police…

Tax Burden to Hit Highest Level Since 1969 Under May

Under Theresa May the tax burden will rise to almost 35% of GDP, the highest level since 1969 when Harold Wilson was in office – who was also a PM who liked to introduce price caps. This of course makes a mockery of the mealy-mouthed manifesto pledge to “keep taxes as low as possible”. The Tories say a vote for Labour means more borrowing and more taxes, the same is true of them…

Graph via Ed Conway.

Who’s On Question Time Tonight

Nuttall Calls Leanne Wood “Natalie”, Twice

Sort it out, Nigel…

ITV Losers Debate Live

Two hours of Farron, Nuttall, Sturgeon, Lucas and Leanne. What more could you possibly want.

Daily Politics Election Interviews Thick of It Mash-Up

Campaign Report: 21 Days to Go

Forward together to a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain that works for everyone.

The Tories are ditching pensioners. They stand to lose the pension guarantee, winter fuel allowance & control of their homes.

The nasty party is back! Theresa May has plans to scrap free school meals for Britain’s poorest children & a new death tax for the elderly.

It’s official: Theresa’s Tories have become the Labour Party.

Theresa May’s plans undermine the welfare state. A caring country should invest in social care not put the burden on those in greatest need.

Whilst the Tories scrap their promise to pensioners, we’re standing up for them. Vote for the SNP on June 8th.

Theresa May launches her manifesto for “mainstream Britain“.

The Hanretty model says there is a 100% probability that LibDem Norman Lamb will lose his North Norfolk seat to the Tories. Currently 4/7 for Tory win.

CON: 49% (-) LAB: 34% (+8) LDEM: 7% (-6) GRN: 3% (+2) UKIP: 2% (-2) (via IpsosMori)

Be the Change You Want to See

LibDem Arch-Remainer Rewrites History

Former Tory MEP and arch-Remainer Edward McMillan-Scott, now standing as a LibDem candidate in West Worcestershire, has sent this letter to voters across the country explaining how he came to swap parties. He writes:

“I first joined the Conservative Party in 1967. I held many different positions within the party – including group leader in the European Parliament. I played a leading role in shaping several election manifestos. But I protested when David Cameron split from Europe’s mainstream political group, and I joined the Liberal Democrats.”

Well, sort of.

McMillan-Scott was indeed group leader in the European Parliament and did indeed protest when Cameron took Tory MEPs out of the EPP in 2009. But he neglects to mention the consequence of that protest: he had the whip withdrawn and was subsequently expelled from the Conservative Party. He begged to be let back in, launching an appeal and canvassing constituents for support, before lining up lawyers for a hearing. He was advised that he had no chance of winning. Only then did he turn to the LibDems. He’d still be a Tory if they’d have had him…

Ignore Middle Class Sneers, Voter ID Could Increase Turnout

There is predictable pinko hand-wringing about one of the more sensible policies in the Tory manifesto: introducing voter ID. Katie Ghose, the middle-class metropolitan Labour-leaning doyenne of the Electoral Reform Society, says:

“This pledge risks making our democracy even more unequal. As we’ve said before, mandatory voter ID is a sledgehammer to crack a nut – there is simply not enough evidence of voter fraud in the UK to justify such a dramatic change to Britain’s democratic traditions.”

The New Statesman claims:

“it makes it harder for poorer people to vote as they are less likely to have the required identification”

A classic middle class sneer, as if “poorer people” don’t have drivers’ licence or passports too.

Anyone who has read Eric Pickles’ report on electoral fraud knows there is no intellectual basis for opposition to voter ID. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Electoral Commission have recommended the introduction of use of ID in polling stations in the UK, arguing the status quo is too trusting and open to abuse. The Pickles report found “the numbers of people [in Northern Ireland] who do not vote because they cannot produce the acceptable ID or forgot ID is extremely small”. Opponents to voter ID argue there isn’t enough proof of abuse to justify reform, though as Pickles says “the absence of evidence does not mean this practice is not taking place”. Indeed, “reforms in this area could actually increase turnout…  requiring some form of identification instead may actually reassure voters that a polling card is not a necessary requirement, encouraging more to vote on the day”. Don’t listen to the sneering middle class lefties, voter ID is a sensible policy that will neutralise voter fraud and could even increase turnout…

Wonks Pan Mayism: Job Losses, Higher Inflation, Living Beyond Our Means

Red Theresa’s manifesto means job losses, higher inflation and Britain living beyond its means for a quarter of a century, say the experts:

Institute of Economic Affairs:It’s concerning that we may be seeing the advent of a Conservative Party which fails to understand that economic and social problems are more likely to be eased by free market solutions than by increased state intervention, however well-intentioned… An increased burden of regulation and further government interference in price and wage setting will raise costs, undermine competition and reduce labour market flexibility, resulting in job losses and higher inflation.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Ed Miliband goes studs in on Theresa May:

“When PM says “nothing has changed” she is lying. If she lies about this what else?”

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