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Welcome to parliament Sarah Olney…

Poll: Majority Now Distrust UK NGOs

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The release of Edelman’s annual “Trust barometer” is particularly well-timed given Oxfam’s attack on philanthropists this morning. The survey of 33,000 respondents in 28 countries has found that trust in NGOs in Britain has plummeted by four points compared to last year. This means more than half of those polled now actively distrust British NGOs. We talk about a crisis in polling and economic forecasting, today’s Oxfam report shows why the credibility of NGOs is falling off a cliff as well…

Labour MP’s Awkward Gaffe Attacking Grieving UKIP Councillor

Labour MP John Healey is poking fun at his opponents on the campaign trail in Dinnington, where he claims the “UKIP councillor walked away from his job”. Well, sort of. Cllr Ian Finnie resigned last month, explaining that he no longer wanted to take public money for a job he could not devote himself to following tragic family circumstances:

“the loss of two of my very close brothers this year and another with serious health issues has taken its toll on me and my family. My full time time job is also a factor and my own constant illnesses in and out of hospital are too… I feel that I cannot give enough time to fulfil my duties expected of me. I will not claim public money for a role that I cannot give enough time to.”

Guido will give Healey the benefit of the doubt and say presumably he didn’t know about all this. Though he has been repeatedly informed on Twitter and has decided not to clarify, which is a bit off. The pitfalls of tweeting before thinking.

IMF Revises Growth Forecast Upwards Again

The IMF has significantly upgraded its growth forecast for Britain in 2017: it now expects the UK economy to grow by 1.5% this year, up by 0.4 percentage points on its October estimate. It has recorded 2016 growth at 2%, up from 1.8%. The IMF said growth:

Held up better than expected in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Remember, Christine Lagarde said the aftermath of a Leave vote would be “pretty bad to very, very bad”. At least Andy Haldane had the good grace to issue a mea culpa…

Gove Defends Trump Interview

Michael Gove is getting some stick for his Trump interview from journalists who could never break a window. By Guido’s count the scoop had at least ten separate news lines, on Brexit, Theresa May, Nato, Russia, Syria, Iran, Merkel, travel restrictions for Europeans, his Twitter, Jared Kushner and Camp David. It was on the front page not just of The Times and Bild, but also The Sun, Telegraph, Guardian, BBC News and MailOnline. Think his editor will be happy.

Donald Trump vs Jeremy Corbyn: Who Said It?

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Bryant Running for Speaker

The worst kept secret produces the worst non-denial. Chris Bryant wants to succeed Bercow as Speaker. His problem is that his abrasive character and sharp tongue are unlikely to encourage the necessary Tories to back him…

Sion Simon Impersonating a Brexiteer

Judging by the campaign material above, you’d think Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor is a Brexit backer who wants to stick it to the Westminster elite. Vote Leave slogan? Tick. England flag? Tick. Platitude about how “Politicians in London have learnt nothing”? Tick. Laughable really, since Sion Simon is still a Member of the European Parliament, backed Remain in the referendum and has been a career Westminster Europhile. His first job was working as an adviser to the Shadow Europe minister, he then ran the Europe desk at Labour HQ, then worked at the Labour press office, then as a political journalist, then as “Alastair Campbell’s shorthand typist”, then as a Labour MP with two ministerial jobs under Gordon Brown, before going to Brussels and taking a fat MEP’s salary. The West Midlands voted overwhelmingly to Leave. “Take back control” indeed…

Oxfam Would Take 150 Years to Raise as Much for Charity as 8 Billionaires

Oxfam this morning launches an attack on eight billionaires whose wealth they label “grotesque“, claiming this “super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us“. Guido has done some cursory digging and found that the eight billionaires lambasted by Oxfam have made at least $60 billion in charitable donations. By contrast Oxfam spends around £300 million a year on charitable causes. It would take more than 150 years for Oxfam to raise as much for charity as the eight billionaires they condemn today.

  1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: More than $27 billion dollars in charitable donations, some 48% of his net worth, saving some 6 million lives fighting malaria and polio.
  2. Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex: More than $95 million in charitable donations.
  3. Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway: More than $21.5 billion in charitable donations.
  4. Carlos Slim Helu, owner of Grupo Carso: More than $4 billion dollars in charitable donations.
  5. Jeff Bezos, founder, Amazon: More than $25 million dollars in charitable donations, invests hundreds of millions in not-for-profit ventures.
  6. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook: More than $1.6 billion in charitable donations.
  7. Larry Ellison, co-founder, Oracle: More than $564 million dollars in charitable donations.
  8. Michael Bloomberg, founder, Bloomberg LP: More than $4.22 billion dollars in charitable donations.
Sources: The IndependentForbes, WealthX

Once again it falls to Guido to point out the wholesale transfer of political operatives to the charity sector is backfiring. In 2014 the Charity Commission found Oxfam guilty of failing to maintain their political neutrality over their anti-Tory electioneering. Oxfam’s policy director Richard Pyle is a Labour supporter whose Facebook likes include LGBT Labour and a string of Labour candidates, MPs and MEPs. Oxfam’s treasurer David Pitt-Watson was Labour’s Finance Director for two years and was even appointed General Secretary of the party. The Red Cross secured a week of anti-Tory headlines with its overblown claims that the NHS is experiencing a “humanitarian crisis”, its new head of media is the left-wing former Guardian journalist Polly Curtis. Today’s Oxfam report effectively endorses Jeremy Corbyn’s new policy position, slamming pay ratios at FTSE 100 companies. People aren’t taking the naked political spin of the Labour-centric third sector seriously. It says it all that the best media hit Oxfam had today was the front page splash on the communist Morning Star…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Bad Al Campbell Heckles Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan on Trump’s Power

Guido’s Impress File on the Sunday Politics

Max Mosley gets Brillo’d as MediaGuido’s Impress File is read out to him on the Sunday Politics. Read it in full here. Mosley also confirmed the money being used to fund Impress comes from his father Oswald, refused to defend the comments made by Impress board members and admitted newspapers were unlikely to ever sign up. Hope Karen Bradley was watching as Mosley’s arguments for Impress and Section 40 were comprehensively dismantled…

Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe

Fighting talk from Phil Hammond, who tells German paper Die Welt he will make Britain the tax haven of Europe if the EU refuses to agree a reasonable Brexit deal:

“If we have no access to the European market, if we are closed off, if Britain were to leave the European Union without an agreement on market access, then we could suffer from economic damage at least in the short-term. In this case, we could be forced to change our economic model and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness. And you can be sure we will do whatever we have to do. The British people are not going to lie down and say, too bad, we’ve been wounded. We will change our model, and we will come back, and we will be competitively engaged.”

As everyone obsesses about Theresa May’s plan, worth remembering that Brussels ultimately decides the deal on offer. This is more like it from Hammond in terms of Britain’s negotiating strategy: we can give the EU plenty of carrots to give us a good deal – tariff free trade with the UK market for example – we can also give them a few sticks too. Ideally Britain would become the tax haven of Europe anyway…

WATCH: Corbyn Trump Mashup

Totally rigged folks, absolutely rigged…

Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight

Hilary Benn’s Brexit select committee has descended into its first inevitable bunfight after it published a report demanding a significant transition arrangement before we fully leave the EU. As Guido reported yesterday, Remainers want to use a ‘transition’ lasting several years to buy time and prevent a real Brexit.[…] Read the rest

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David David responds when asked if he’s confident he can make a success of Brexit:

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