UK GDP Growth Best in 2 Years


UK third-quarter GDP was up 0.6%. Which is the fastest growth in nearly 2 years. The Bank of England says the economy is now operating at full capacity…

On Bastani Being Bastani

Guido has an editorial policy of trying to ignore the ever attention-seeking Aaron Bastani. Currently he has however managed to attract widespread tabloid attention by soiling himself on the subject of the Poppy Appeal; arguing “Close down the British Legion”, “It’s racist, it’s white supremacist”, “F**k off the Invictus Games” and apparently “Mocking people who live on housing estates”. He’s entitled to hold his stupid views in a free society.

He’s on the BBC’s Any Questions tonight. Note there are no calls from conservative leaning politicians or media for him to be no-platformed. That is a left-wing tactic of closed minds. Suspect the infantile leftist will enjoy the all attention, the Devon crowd’s questions however will be less than enjoyable for him…

MPs’ Commons Sense Reminder

Tory Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher has emailed all Tory MPs urging them to use a bit of common sense when it comes to media organisations conducting surveys of Parliament. Labour MPs have also received a similar email. Spoilsports…

h/t Sam Coates 

UPDATE: A co-conspirator gets in touch to reveal that the whips’ advice was sent out in response to a mass email from the Telegraph asking about how many surgeries MPs held in October and how many people came to them. Have any MPs inadvertently revealed that they’ve been slacking?

All The Times We Had Just Months To Save The Planet

The BBC’s left wing topical comedy ‘Mash Report’ programme this week went hard on the UN’s alarming suggestion that we just have twelve years left to save the planet. To Guido it all sounded very familiar…

  • Andrew Simms told us a year later that we had “only 100 months to avoid disaster.” Meaning time ran out in 2016…
  • Al Gore told us that we had just ten years in July of 2008 to ensure the “survival of the United States of America”So America has been screwed for four months now…
  • Jim Hensen, warned in 2009 that Obama only had “four years to save Earth.” Apparently Earth was lost in 2013…
  • Prince Charles told us in May 2008 that we had “just eighteen months to stop climate change.” That gave us until the end of 2009…
  • Prince Charles by July 2009, on the other had this had been extended to “just 96 months to save the world.” Time ran out in 2017…
  • Lester Brown published in 2009 that we had “only months, not years” to “save civilisation from climate change.It’s been years…

So is disaster now inevitable? Is there nothing more we can do? Listening only to the alarmists over the years you’d think we will all be underwater within a decade. On the other hand maybe ever heightened climate alarmism will continue to do nothing to offer remotely practical solutions to the challenges posed by a changing climate. Human ingenuity and faster economic development will see us through – after all, half the Netherlands should probably be underwater right now.

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

Big hitters on BBC1 at 10:45 tonight. Worth tuning in…

SpAd Moves: Lords Leadership Overhaul

The TPA’s popular Campaign Manager James Price is moving to become Special Adviser to Baroness Evans, the Leader of the House of Lords. Price is well known in think tank circles and a stalwart social fixture in Westminster. Smart hire…

Price joins former public affairs executive Tom Kennedy, who joined Baroness Evans’ office at the end of last month. He previously worked as a Parliamentary staffer for Jesse Norman. Thomas Pretty has left in order to become a SpAd down under to Australia’s new Education Minister, Dan Tehan. Congratulations…

No.10 Hard-Selling Backstop With Trade Bill Bluster

Guido hears that Number 10 has been telling Cabinet ministers that they must accept the backstop or else rebel MPs will amend the Trade Bill to force the UK to stay in a customs union outright. Not exactly sending out a strong signal that Downing Street believe the merits of the backstop will speak for themselves…

This appears a red herring to Guido for a number of reasons:

As the Labour Lords pointed out, the Government hasn’t even scheduled the Lords Committee stage of the Bill yet, so it will not be making its way back to the Commons any time soon. Any deal will likely be wrapped up long before it does…

Additionally, for all that Downing Street likes to play up the chances of being defeated in the Commons on a customs union, the fact is that every time the Commons has voted on a customs union in the past, there has been a majority against it.

And even if the Government is defeated on a customs union amendment, they can ultimately just drop the Trade Bill – there is nothing so essential in it that needs to be passed into statute right now. The Government has wriggle room on the Trade Bill, not on the backstop…

Dyson Defeats EU’s Daft Dust Directive

After a five-year legal battle, James Dyson has finally succeeded in his long-running legal battle to get the EU’s top court to strike down their absurd regulation that vacuum cleaners should be tested… without dust. The regulation enabled Dyson’s German competitors to market their vacuum cleaners with superior energy labelling, despite the fact that their performance dropped significantly as soon as their bags contained dust. That is, as soon as they were used…

The ruling means the EU will now have to go back and design a regulation that means that test are carried out “as close as possible to actual conditions of use”. A rare victory for common sense in the EU…

Corbyn Ally, Former Islington Mayor Linked To Radical Pro-Paedophile Group

Sandy Marks, a well known Labour activist and former Islington Mayor, has in a new comprehensive report been revealed to have been involved with a radical pro-paedophile activist group called Fallen Angels. The report, written by Sarah Morgan QC and accepted in full by Islington Council found that despite previous denials, Marks had been listed as a contact point for Fallen Angels, in an ‘International Gay Association’ newsletter in 1980. Her picture also appeared in the publication.

The report concluded that Sandy Marks “spoke for” Fallen Angels, and “expressed support for” abolishing age of consent laws, and for “what was described as the right to sexual self-determination for all”, irrespective of age. Safe to say Corbyn might not want to be so closely associating himself with her in the future…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator has rung up Guido to remind him of more Islington Labour paedophile links. The BBC’s 2011 documentary ‘An Abuse of Trust’ revealed Jeremy Corbyn’s old constituency agent Derek Sawyer had a close relationship with notorious paedophile Derek Slade.

Oh, and the child protection solicitor for Islington Council around the time Marks was mayor? None other than Keith Vaz.

EPP Delegates Ignore Barnier

The centre-right EPP group are meeting in Helsinki to, among other things, select their lead candidate for Commission President who will be a shoe-in to replace Juncker next year. British Conservatives can chuckle that despite having left the group some years ago, proceedings are still conducted in English, the world’s global language…

Despite Barnier being almost deified by pro-EU politicians in Britiain, he was largely ignored by his fellow professional politicians. Darren MacCaffrey is live tweeting from the conference hall:

Brexit Chief Negotiator says he doesn’t have time for a joke or a long speech – as clock is ticking on Brexit. Wide ranging speech on future of EU which suggests he may will still have hopes of getting Juncker’s job… The most extraordinary thing about Barnier’s speech, literally NO-ONE is listening, I mean NO-ONE!!! Most people talking amongst themselves or went off to vote. Actually felt very disrespectful… He did not hold the room… And look at this… Manfred Weber having his picture taken right in front of Barnier – as he talks, as he struggles to hold the room

Merkel walked off halfway through to talk to @ManfredWeber and @alexstubb. The MC had to plead with delegates to sit down and listen to speeches after Barnier came off stage.

Ignored by allies from across the EU, no-one listening to him, disrespected, Manfred Weber and Merkel doing their own thing. Now Barnier knows what it feels like to be British…

Restricted Lending from Banks Gives Rise to Specialist Finance Industry

The continued reluctance of UK banks to lend to small businesses and individuals has created a sense of frustration amongst politicians, SMEs and consumers. Following the economic crisis in 2007, UK banks have shied away from traditional lending to small businesses and have tightened their criteria on lending to consumers, preferring to diversify into alternative investments.

Stark figures show that the traditional process of business owners going to their bank manager has declined dramatically. Figures show that bank loans to businesses as a proportion of domestic lending has declined from 31 per cent in 1988 to 8 per cent in 2016.

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DD: Government Must Release “Complete” Legal Advice

David Davis has added his voice to calls for the Government to release the legal advice they have received on the Irish backstop. Davis told Today that there was “no argument whatsoever” that at the very least the Cabinet should have access to the full information before making their decision on the deal, while rejecting Matt Hancock’s suggestion on Peston last night that Geoffrey Cox answering questions in Parliament would amount to sufficient scrutiny:

“What we must see is the complete legal advice, not a summary, not something that just glides and glosses over the difficult issues, but the actual legal advice.”

Interestingly, Hancock did add that it would be a “decision in exceptional circumstances for the Prime Minister”. Under the Ministerial Code, the legal advice can be released if the “law officers” i.e. the Attorney General agree to it. May herself attacked Brown and Blair for not showing legal advice they had received on the Iraq War to the Cabinet and MPs, labelling it a breach of the ministerial code. The circumstances of Brexit are at least as exceptional as those of the Iraq War…

In any case, MPs may seek to take the decision out of her hands, with Tory rebels considering supporting a humble address motion from Keir Starmer in Labour’s opposition day debate next Tuesday which could compel the Government to release the advice. If there is nothing to hide in the advice, the Government can avoid the whole row by simply agreeing to release it in full…

Remember This? The Most Vicious Attack Ad Ever Failed

In September Guido brought to UK screens this amazingly brutal attack ad. Despite the extraordinary ad blitz, last night Paul Gosar comfortably held on to his seat. Upon winning, he tweeted that said he hoped to see his opponent, along with his “large, somewhat dysfunctional, crazy and wonderful family” at Thanksgiving. Guido wonders if they hope to see him…

May Attacked Blair and Brown for Not Releasing Iraq War Legal Advice

Pressure is mounting on Theresa May to release the full legal advice given to her over the Irish backstop. Senior Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash sums up the issue succinctly, drawing a parallel with his own battle as Shadow Attorney General in the 2000s with Tony Blair over the legal advice he had received on the Iraq War:

“The Attorney General’s advice on critical constitutional issues is for Parliament and the country, not just for the Government. As shadow Attorney General I successfully pressured Blair and the Attorney General to produce legal advice on the Iraq war and it should happen again.”

In 2007, Theresa May herself wrote to Gordon Brown with a dossier of 100 accusations of breaches of the ministerial code under Blair’s government, including this particular entry:

“It emerged in April 2005 that Mr Blair did not tell his Cabinet about crucial legal advice on Iraq. The Prime Minister was forced to disclose the thirteen-page memorandum he received from Lord Goldsmith on the legality of the war. It was never shown to Cabinet or MPs, as Mr Blair should have under the Ministerial Code.”

Constitutionally, the Brexit deal is going to be of greater lasting significance than the Iraq War. If May refuses to release the full legal advice she will be doing exactly what she castigated Blair and Brown for…

David Cameron Doorstepped on Whitehall By Sky News

The former PM says that he “fully supports” what Theresa May is doing. Apparently he was off to see some papers in the Treasury for his book…

Bercow Uses Personal Veto to Block Vaz Investigation

John Bercow has personally stepped in to stop a BBC investigation getting information about the behaviour of Keith Vaz. BBC Newsnight applied under the Freedom of Information Act to see papers relating to Vaz’s trips abroad, after clerks had raised concerns that he was not following parliamentary rules. In August the same programme revealed how Vaz himself had bullied former Commons clerk Jenny McCullough after she questioned his foreign trip expenses.

Bercow argued that administration of committee trips should be covered under parliamentary privilege, and then extraordinarily blocked the matter going to tribunal, using a very unusual personal power to prevent a judge reviewing his argument. Because of this, unlike normal FoI procedure, Newsnight has no means to appeal his decision…

Newsnight’s Chris Cook sums up the extraordinary situation:

“The net result is that the Speaker, who denies bullying, has made an order to hide information about the behaviour of his close personal friend, Keith Vaz, a man who also denies bullying – supposedly to protect MPs’ freedom of speech.

And then he has gone out of his way to use a personal veto to make sure no-one could even consider reviewing that questionable decision.

Bercow will continue to get away with it as long as he is protected by MPs who prioritise his anti-Brexit views over safeguarding and transparency…

Remainers’ Eye Roll “Hero” Actually Backs Brexit

Harriet Ellis, the 21-year-old Birmingham University student who rolled her eyes behind Nigel Farage at Channel 4’s Brexit Debate on Monday night instantly became a “hero” to Remainers.

A host of FBPE accounts jumped in on the praise, JK Rowling liked it, and politicians like David Lammy lapped up the retweets. But little did they know that Harriet Ellis has backed Brexit since she was 14 years old. She told The Bristol Post that “I don’t trust the EU. I don’t like how we don’t really know who’s running it” and has taken to Twitter to tell her new Remainer fans to “Please stop calling me a hero!” and “please unfollow me!” Awkward…

May Under Pressure to Reveal Full Backstop Legal Advice

The Government is facing pressure from all sides to release the full legal advice it has received from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox on the Irish backstop, with Labour, the DUP, the Lib Dems and Tory MPs all calling for the Government to publish the advice. There is no question that this is an issue of fundamental constitutional importance – Parliament and the public have a right to know.

Even Cabinet ministers are being kept out of the loop, with Michael Gove leading the calls within Cabinet for the full legal advice to be revealed. Suspicions are high that Number 10 are trying to bounce Cabinet Brexiteers including Dominic Raab over the line without letting them review the full advice. If there is nothing contentious about it then why is it being hidden from the Cabinet?

Disgruntled Cabinet ministers are complaining that every trick in the book is being used to keep the legal advice from them, from “we’re running out of time”, “you’ll wreck Brexit” and “no deal will crash the economy” to “you’ll be spat at in the street” and, best of all, “we have to keep it ambiguous to fool the Irish”The problem is that no-one believes it’s just the Irish they’re trying to fool…

Boris is Still UK’s Most Popular Politician

Boris Johnson tops out YouGov’s list of politicians by popularity, with a positive rating of 32%, when you look at the net approval ratings Boris is 3 points ahead of Theresa. The other Tory frontrunners to replace May, David Davis and Sajid Javid come in at 18th and 33rd respectively. Despite the unforgiving treatment in the remainstream media Boris still has better net approval ratings than both May and Corbyn…

More people have heard of Jacob Rees-Mogg (72%) than Ruth Davidson (62%), however the people who have the highest recognition ratings are Boris, May and Corbyn coming in at 97%, 100%, and 98% respectively. This helps explain Sajid’s dismally low numbers…

Finally, the public don’t appear to be too enthusiastic about a David Cameron comeback. Despite his name recognition, Dave comes in at 23rd, with just 18% approval and a worse negative rating than Nigel Farage…

Hunt for Hunt

CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Guy newsroom has wasted an hour trying to work out which of these Charterhouse schoolboys is the Foreign Secretary. Guido thinks he knows which it is, but what do co-conspirators think?

Suggestions in the comments…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Jacob Rees-Mogg on Theresa May

“There comes a point at which the policy and the individual become so intimately connected that it would be very hard to carry on supporting the person who is promoting this policy.”

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