Tories Divided Over Will Smith Oscar Slap

A new fault line is emerging in politics. Gone are the days of Leave or Remain; after the slap of the century at last night’s Oscars, you are now either Team Smith or Team Rock. SW1’s biggest hitters are already falling into their new tribes…

While Sir Keir announced on LBC he was in Rock’s corner, the Tories are still fighting it out. This morning North Dorset MP Simon Hoare claimed

“I’d just hope if someone thought it in good taste to make a joke at the expense of a medical condition of my wife then I’d get up and lamp him…”

Later on GB News, however, Westminster heavyweight Iain Duncan Smith clocked Hoare with an unexpected jab:

“Well, I’d find that an amusing sight to watch Simon Hoare… he doesn’t look to me like much of a pugilist, but anyway, the point I would simply say is… I don’t think anybody has the right to get up and hit anybody else, whatever the circumstances are… I wouldn’t recommend anybody takes action into their own hands…”

Nadhim Zahawi has also claimed his “heart goes out” to Will Smith, adding “it’s important not to allow yourself to cross [the] line.” Co-conspirators can weigh in on Guido’s poll. Meanwhile Westminster’s Punch and Judy politics rolls on…

UPDATE: Boris slaps down the Fresh Prince, his spokesperson telling the Lobby that “striking someone is never the answer”.

mdi-timer 28 March 2022 @ 14:00 28 Mar 2022 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IDS: Partygate Damaging the PM and the Tory Party
mdi-timer 6 February 2022 @ 10:30 6 Feb 2022 @ 10:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dowden Commits to Doing Away With “Pointless” Consent Cookies Requests

DCMS Secretary Oliver Dowden tells The Telegraph this morning that he plans to do away with “endless” cookie banners, the pop-up notices that plague our online browsing to tell us what is patently obvious, that websites store personal information about you. Some nerds will wet the bed at this news. Guido set this as a test of whether divergence from the over-regulation of the EU was real. We have long campaigned to get rid of the stupid box-ticking that is required countless times a day…

Iain Duncan-Smith’s Taskforce for Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform – the group investigating how the UK can capitalise on its new regulatory freedoms post-Brexit – explained why the ‘Accept Cookies’ request is a waste of time:

“Both behavioural science and common sense tell you that putting a ‘tick to accept’ box in front of someone at the point they want to access a website or service does not generate genuine informed consent, it just means people are likely to tick ‘accept’ without thinking…a good measure of whether reform is successful will be the end of pointless cookie banners.

Before data privacy fetishists get all angsty, here are some suggestions as to how transparency and privacy can be monitored less intrusively:

  • A toggle could be set at browser level by users one-time to “accept cookies”
  • Websites by default would presume cookie acceptance, whilst being required to allow those users who wish to reset cookie preferences on a standardised privacy page such as websitename.com/privacy
  • Websites could be just required to list cookie providers

Here at Guido, because we want to provide a free-to-air service funded by advertising, we drop advertisers’ cookies. Consequently, we take a militant line against people who want to loot our content without being exposed to the advertising that pays the salaries and expenses that go into producing that content. That is the bargain we make with readers.

Think of the productivity boost from not wasting time every day you are online clicking on irritating cookie banner pop-ups. This alone will make Brexit worthwhile…

mdi-timer 26 August 2021 @ 09:53 26 Aug 2021 @ 09:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Licence to Thrill: Biker IDS

Guido congratulates Sir Iain Duncan Smith for passing his module 1 motorcycle test on Monday with flying colours. Halfway to losing his L-plates…

The module 1 test includes a number of slow and high speed manoeuvres”, and is the first of two exams riders must pass to gain their full licence. Only one more test and Iain never has to use public transport again… 

Taking the test at Learn2Ride Motorcycle Training in Milton Keynes, IDS’s instructor Guy Aitkins had warm words for his latest student: “He’s a lovely fella and a great sense of humour”. Guido expects to see IDS – who has Japanese ancestry – riding around Westminster on Yamahaha soon…

mdi-timer 23 June 2021 @ 10:28 23 Jun 2021 @ 10:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
EU Cookie Crumbles: Post-Brexit Deregulation Imminent

Last year, Guido set an important test for the Brexit-EU trade deal on regulatory sovereignty: would it allow the UK to repeal the EU’s stupid directive forcing websites to put up those annoying “Accept Cookies” banners? It seems trivial, yet this small annoyance is indicative of the hundreds of thousands of trivial and anti-business regulations that have unaccountably poured out from Brussels for decades, rubber-stamped by a servile parliament. If we can repeal the Cookie Law, Guido argued, that will indicate a far deeper sovereignty that allows us to do so much more. Six months later, it looks like the cookie button is finally about to crumble…

Buried deep in a new report published by the Taskforce for Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform – the group investigating how the UK can capitalise on its new regulatory freedoms post-Brexit – is a paragraph explaining why the ‘Accept Cookies’ request is a waste of time: 

“Both behavioural science and common sense tell you that putting a ‘tick to accept’ box in front of someone at the point they want to access a website or service does not generate genuine informed consent, it just means people are likely to tick ‘accept’ without thinking…a good measure of whether reform is successful will be the end of pointless cookie banners.

Finally, after five years of wrangling, the real Brexit victory is now imminent. Guido sends his warmest congratulations to the Taskforce leaders Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers, and George Freeman, who should all be immortalised for their heroism if and when the pointless “Accept Cookies” buttons finally disappear. Guido has long-argued that you can and should set your privacy preferences at browser level, once, not on every site, every time. Boris says Downing Street will “publish a response [to the report] as soon as is practicable”. Guido waits with bated breath for the Prime Minister to fulfil his patriotic duty and show, by banishing the cookie, that Brexit really was worth it…

mdi-timer 16 June 2021 @ 13:00 16 Jun 2021 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Swerves Vote on New Genocide Amendment

There will be no vote today on the new Genocide Amendment today. Instead, Bob Neill’s Government-friendly amendment (with wording similar to what Tom Tugendhat had been discussing with the Government – leaving it to parliament rather than the courts to define genocide) will be brought forward. Using a complicated bundling manoeuvre involving a Labour amendment, the Government has taken the rebel amendment off the floor…

The genocide amendment camp are furious that their chance to vote on an updated and more constitutionally proper version that still lets courts decide where genocide is happening has been taken away. Iain Duncan Smith said in response:

“The Government has run out of arguments and is now using arcane procedural games which demean our democracy and the House of Commons. We should be allowed a straight vote.”

Sources organising the amendment effort have told Guido there is now “open warfare” within Tory ranks. Whips’ threats to new 2019 intake included the withholding of CCHQ funds and unfavourable boundary reforms. In response to taking away the vote today, sources tell Guido that the same amendment will be brought again in the Lords and pass “with an even greater majority“. Not a comfortable back and forth for the Government…

mdi-timer 9 February 2021 @ 12:00 9 Feb 2021 @ 12:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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