Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Yellow Ribbons

I was sent an email by an MP yesterday asking me to wear a yellow ribbon!
Unfortunatly many MPs seemed to have surcomed to pressure and worn them to PMQs although I did notice a number who went in with them had actually taken them off by the time they spoke! What is it with modern British culture that demands people show sympathy (however sad) with a total stranger? Vacuant gesture politics thats what.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

City Circle

Congratulations to Richard Spring MP for organising the Conservative City Circle event last night. Almost too succesful judging by the numbers!
Osborne gave a good performance thanking (somewhat contrevercially) Howard Flight and getting a good roar for his (near) comittment to abolish stamp duty on shares. I guess if getting rid of stamp duty raises the priice of shares in pension funds it also raises the value of ones bonus! NO comittment on Stamp Duty on Houses though, a pity, the Americans declared independence because of Stamp Duty and have coped alright without it.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Gordon Brown for Britain

Gordon has a website! And he has obviously been taking his time thinking of ways to discribe himself!

"Gordon shone from an early age at school, and was a quick learner at his primary school in Kirkcaldy West"

And all courtesy of Rachel Bull of Silverfish fame - no conflict of interest there!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Sir Ronnie and his pall the taxman

Newsnight has just done an interesting piece on Sir Ronnie Cohen's tax status. The jist of it all is when put to him - are you non UK tax Domiciled he could not answer.

Well having spoken to a tax accountant to be non-uk tax domiciled, Ronnie would first have to be born abroad (in this case Egypt) and continue to have the intention to live abroad at some stage (i.e retire and die abroad).

[The alternatives including claiming to have aquired a Domicile in Israel seem even less credible as the man lives in London.]

Now under self assesment it is up to him to claim this but if he is claiming that he intends to retire to Egypt he should definitly be investigated!

The HMRC explanation is called IR20 and makes interesting reading.

If he is claiming to be non UK Domiciled where is he Domiciled? Israel, Egypt? Hampstead?

Add this to the tax relief he gets from chanelling his remaining income into his private charities and no wonder he is such a pall of the Chancellor!

N.B domicile is not to be confused with residency, Non UK Doms pay no tax on non UK income, very useful if you happened to run a large Vulchure fund with operations in Bermuda.

Monday, 23 April 2007

HM Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office

The Telegraph has belatedly caught up on the news first reported here that Michaela Partridge the wife of the head of the office was employed by HM Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office at £500 a day. Well Done!

Stop Press: Private Eye have just published it to.

Brown's vendetta against the Miliband family!

The Mail on Sunday has a scary story about how the Marxist elder Miliband has sought to evade inheritance tax. A part from the "do as I say not as I do" angle [Polly Toynbee sends her children to private school and Donald Dewar owned shares in Railtrack] this seems quite dangerous. How would the newspaper get its hands on personal tax data? My guess is that Brown is using the tax authorities to intimidate his potential oponent, well it seems to have worked. To paraphrase Turner "you must admire the sheer Starlinist ruthlessness of it all."

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Gordon Brown ponders other people's courage

Poor Gordon. Not even published yet and Amazon has had to drop the price of his new book from £16.99 to £11.21.
I'm not suprised - why would you buy a book on courage from a man who forces his colleagues (notably Dawn Primarolo) to take responsibillity for his mistakes? As Mark Hoban once said when Primarolo was again forced to take the rap for the tax credits mess: "Will the Honourable but not Gallant member answer this question?"

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Congratulations to Dizzythinks on his scoop. It is official Gordon is preparing for a leadership challenge.

Searching the registration details of likely websites he discovered that has been registered to a Rachel Bull of silverfishtv. Well Rachel may know a thing or two as Silverfish's web shows she has previously worked both the Treasury and Number 10, and Marcus Lucas has previously designed labour HQ! Silverfish has even designed the famous Cameron cameleon (if only they knew that one famous Conservative MP has it as a screensaver). Ideal company to help run a leadership bid!

Incidentally, I also count Geronimo PR and Tribal PR as their clients. No conflict surely?
[P.S have now seen this on C4 news]

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Gordon's latest fib - EU rebate

Fresh from making an Ed Balls of lying about his supposed advice from the CBI to increase the tax on pensions, it would seem Gordon has done it again this time on the UK's EU rebate.

Reuters have put out an article that stated that Gordon has secretly agreed to surrender the UK rebate in return for the French allowing him to implement an anti avoidance device called the "reverse charge". Strangly (or not) this was agreed on March 19 just before GB's Budget. Questions were asked at the time as to what was given away, some thought a farm deal, some the open skys deal now the truth is out.
"If the British tabloid press gets hold of this, London may change its mind," the diplomat said.
Let's hope so - but how much money did Gordon's lack of influence with the French cost? £3 billion a year.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Gordon is a Moron

Gordon is a moron, apparently...

Thursday, 29 March 2007

The Miliband Dynasty

I don't know if you do but I get a bit confused by the proliferation of Milibands (Not to mention Balls) in the Labour gulag. I thought this might help to tie them down:

Samuel Miliband

Born in Warsaw and joined the invading Soviet Army in the Polish-Sovet war 1919-21
son was

Ralphe Miliband (Adolphe) = Marion Kozack

Marxist Historian born in Brussels, friend of Michael foot and editor of the Socialist register.
sons are:

David Miliband MP (South Shields)
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs
Ed Miliband MP (Doncaster North)
Former speachwriter to Hariet Harman and Cabinet Office PPS

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Lib Dems

Indeed, the Orange Book LDs are definitly in for a charm offensive, personally I think a coalition would be dredfull, and Law's remark to Osborne when he walked into his office "but I am not a conservative" would seem to set the tone, but until that comes we will continue to try and be nice to the LDs in committee - you never know when they might be needed.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Stalin? Moi?

Brown (Andrew) and the Nuclear Question

Given Gordon Brown's new conversion to green issues, could we expect an anouncement on Nuclear energy? I imagine that is what the nuclear industry is thinking hense the apointment of Gordon's Brother Andrew to work as a PR guru at EDF!
"Andrew’s first-hand newsroom experience and business acumen will be a tremendous asset to our department and our business.” I bet!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Osborne and Cohen meet at last

Rod Selkerk the Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association had the pleasure last week of having both George Osborne and Sir Ronald Cohen for dinner at Clariges!

Given the mavarick labour attacks on venture capatalists recently his opening remarks are unremarkable plee for help:
"George, we are grateful to you for the support you have expressed for the industry in recent days and look forward to hearing more from you later. In particular we will be interested to hear about your plans to deliver the economic stability on which the financial services industry depends."

However what is more interesting is what Osborne had to say in return. The Telegraph has the cheeky Osborne starting his talk by noting that the room was chockablock with "lying, cheating parasites'', and then, after an agonising pause, added, "but really, it's good you have invited so many MPs''.

My sources tell me however that while looking at Sir Ronald Cohen (a founder member of the BVCA) he went on to talk about labour fundraising and the remarkable proportion that came from within the room! Looks to me like an implicit bargain - Look you want my help - well it comes with a price!

Monday, 5 March 2007

Friday, 2 March 2007

George Osborne's emails

There seems to a bit of a problem with emails over in the Shadow Treasury team. Despite sitting at adjacent desks an email between Osborne's Rohan Silva, Rupert Harrison and Matt Hancock has made it onto the C4 news. How could it happen? Well my guess is the Parliamentry email system, did the happless Hancock, Harrison or Silva pick the wrong the wrong name from the adress book and send it to the enemy? If so having had a look at the names in the adress book and using some lateral thinking I have narrowed the ememy down to either the office of Gerrry Sutcliffe MP or Meg Mun MP. This seems to be a bit of a habit in the Osborne team (having inadvertntly leeked the Tory's Crossrail plans last year) but keep it up - I thought the email was quite a sensible appraisal of the spending commitment war.

From: HANCOCK, MatthewSent: 25 February 2007 09:45:35

To: OSBORNE, George; Rohan Silva; HANCOCK, Matthew; HARRISON, Rupert; SILVA, RohanSubject:

Re: Labour in opposition - controlling spending commitments

I've seen that Tory document, and we were even more ruthless than they are at finding anything that could be taken as a spending commitment.At least we do have a system of sorts - which we are improving. The key is that it didn't fly much as a subject because Brown was seen to be in control of spending. They will always be able to put together a dodgy dossier of "commitments" - which will include all sorts of things like housing. And I doubt they will stop including it in their briefing to broadcasters when George is on. We need to be in a position to rebut.M

Stop the Iran War or Stop the mad US Presidential wanabe

General Wesley Clark has been busy, launching a Stop the Iran war website and a plethora of other self promotional sites - looks to me like the 2004 Presidential hopeful might be about to get back on his horse.

However - is this neo-dove not the same General who bombed the Chinese Embasy in Belgrade, attempted to bomb the CNN office, ordered the British Gen Mike Jackson to engage the Russians on Pristina airport and is even rumoured to have ordered a nuclear strike. Perhaps an Iran war is just not big enough for this erracible gent? Stop the Iran war and start WWIII?

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Bob Spink MP - The King of EDMs

With the cost of Parliamentary Questions being raised again by Jack Straw again today, I thought it would be good to look at their evil twin brother - Early day Motions. I am particularly impressed by Bob Spink MP's proliferation record a quick look at the database shows he signed every one of the first 102 put down this parliament, sponsored a ludicrus 247 and signed 581, so what was wrong with EDM 103 - COSTS OF POLICING ENTERTAINMENT AREAS?

Monday, 26 February 2007

Bank Charges

any thoughts as to why bank charges do not have VAT on them?

More Labour Donors unearthed

The Electoral Commission will publish more labour donors for 2006 this week, so who migh they be? Peter Hain and the BBC believe they could be -

"Media reports said investors Nigel Doughty, Sir Ronald Cohen and Jonathan Aisbitt each donated £250,000 during the final quarter of 2006."

Cohen is well known as Gordon's financial backer and has been ritisised in the past for tax avoidance, Jon Aisbitt gpt a big payout from Goldman sachs and is now on the board of a hedge fund and an company Ocean Rig that has an oil rig in Angola - very New Labour? Perhaps hedge funds will now avoid Gordon's tax squees? Money well spent!

The Assets Recovery Agency

The NAO have just published their report on the Assets Recovery Agency

To date the Agency has spent £65 million and recovered assets worth £23 million.

"Staff do not record their time and therefore the
Agency cannot measure the resources deployed on
each case. There is no effective case management
and no consistent use of targets and deadlines to
incentivise staff to progress cases."

Another success from the Government of lawyers. Only three years old and it will now be scrapped and the remenants merged with SOCA!

Friday, 23 February 2007

Sir Patrick Cormack

I hear that Sir Patrick has just been told that the meeting where he was deselected as the Conservative candidate in South Staffordshire has been declared invalid by the party leadership and he will have to be rerun.
Good news, although contrevercial he is an individual, and has a sence of history sadly lacking in Blair's Britain.

The SFO incompetence and Saudi Arabia

I read with enthusiasm the news today that the SFO might finally be axed. The SFO under Wardle (left) has been a liability to this country as well as all honest businessmen. They have powers that Cromwell would have envied however lack the intelligence to use them. Even Tony Blair had to interveen to prevent them destroying the British defence industry, and we pay them!

This year according to their accounts they have spent £40 million and a whopping total of £228 millions sonce 2000. And what do we get for our money, 20 years of failure, Maxwell, Jubilee Line, Polly Peck the incompetence is mindbogling especially for a Government full of Lawyers.

Hopefully now British business will now breath a sigh of relief and get on with what they do best, employing people and exporting and yes this includes jets to saudi Arabia.

Sophie Pimm

I notice that Guido (that damnable papist) has taken a fleeting interest in Sophie Pimm, the ex Cameroon, (can it be love), well I was ammused to find her in this photo with Dave (who seems to having trouble reading?) - so was she the makeup artist or the "operations manager" and does she have a seet on this plane?

Julia Goldsworthy

No need to be churlish!

Government chief employs wife at £550 a day

Reading the NAO's published accounts of the HMRC Prosecution Office I see that it has been castagated for losing all control of the money it doles out to its lawyers there were no contracts, "poor audit trails" and no any idea of its liabilities. How many lawyers in the Government does it take to negociate a contract?

Well one can expect a Government of lawyers to waste money on lawyers what I was more amused to read was that the Chief Operating Officer has employed his wife as an employment consultant at £550 a day. Well at least it was his wife.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Legal affairs

What is it with the Government's lawyers?

First the DPP Ken Macdonald is caught having an affair with fellow lawyer Kirsty Brimelow but now it seems he was only following the departmental guidelines set by his boss Lord Goldsmith who has also had an affair with a lawyer (this time a QC) called Kim Hollis

"My wife knows all about this and has done for some time. It is all in the past."

Well that is alright then? Well perhaps not, both the DPP and Lord Goldsmith are responsible for large chunks taxpayer's money spent on, yes lawyers, did any find its ways to these favoured two?

A top idea Sir Percy Blakeney

Why thank you Sir,

What a fine idea. I think it was Arthur Balfour who said that in life "Nothing matters very much, and very few things matter at all." Well I think that is a good starting point, as most of what will come taken in the broard brush of history will not matter, but while it does it makes me mad!

For instant today in the Commons Theresa May pointed out that the total cost of Gordon Brown's special advisors is £1.1 million, and this is despite the Ministerial code limiting the number of advisors to 2 - a good use of my money?

The Treasury is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep