Is it time to switch allegiance?

It’s becoming clear that Balls is doomed. So I wonder if it’s time to take a proper look at Diane Abbott.

Happily, over at DK’s place The Filthy Smoker has done some excellent groundwork.

A vote for Diane Abbott is a vote for

  • Eye-rolling
  • Interrupting
  • Saying one thing and doing another
  • Inexplicable self-satisfaction
  • Patting Michael Portillo on the knee
  • Obesity

For too long, politics has been dominated by a privileged elite. Diane Abbot represents people like you—normal, everyday wealthy Cambridge graduates who send their children to public school and who have never had a proper job.

If you’re one of the 50% of Britons who don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, Abbott will make your voice heard.

If you’re one of the 19% of population who indulge in rank hypocrisy, Abbott knows how you feel.

If you’re one of the 8% of the population who conduct conversations with your eyes closed, as if talking to a six-year old, you must vote Abbott for Labour leader.

Do read on

AJ

Has Ellie Caught Gordon’s Deathly Touch?

Gordon Brown’s Jonah syndrome is well documented. It’s as if anything and anyone he endorses is doomed.

It’s not yet clear by what means his curse is transmissible, but proximity seems key:

What makes me think this? First, Ellie launched Gordon Brown’s General Election campaign. I think we all know how that turned out.

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Well, last week, Ed Balls seemed a shoe in to at least get enough nominations to run for Labour leader, and enough Unite muscle to win.

Enter Ellie.

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Exit Ed.

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Ed Balls is struggling to gain enough support to challenge for the Labour leadership, it was claimed last night.

A well-placed Labour source said Mr Balls was having difficulty in winning the backing of the 33 MPs needed to secure his nomination.

The former schools secretary, who launched his campaign this week, has only 20 declared supporters among Labour’s 258 MPs.

This disappoints me. I wonder how Diane Abbott is doing.

AJ

Mature debate

Love this:

Councillor McKay compared the latest controversy with the SNP’s criticism of the £1 million spent by the then Labour administration on converting the former James Hamilton Academy in London Road into the council HQ.

She said: “Some of those outraged supporters are the self-same people who have now spent an equivalent sum on the council debating chamber alone. They plan to watch themselves perform on You Tube. In the West of Scotland this is a phrase that has another meaning and it certainly applies to this coalition.

That’s right. Labour councillor called the SNP & Tory councillors dicks.

The more I see and hear, the more I’m convinced Labour is the party of the emotionally stunted and terminally immature.

S’not fair!

AJ

H/T Rab

Abandonment issues

Now we’re getting down to it.

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Click to enlarge

A compromise is a defeat one is forced to smile about.

AJ

Let the mongnitive dissonance flow

We’ve already had the bin thing today.

Now this. 13th May:

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Within 24 hours of taking on the portfolio he confirmed the new administration would bring in a "fuel price stabiliser" which would see the taxes reduced if the price of oil rises sharply.

However fuel duties would rise if the cost of petrol and diesel fell.

Mr Hammond, who drives a Jaguar, sought to underline the new Government’s motorist-friendly credentials confirming a manifesto pledge that there would be no Whitehall cash for new fixed speed cameras.

All good – fuel duty stabiliser and death to speed cameras, right? Wrong.

Today:

Conservative plans to cut fuel duty when oil prices are high have been abandoned, leading to fears that motorists will be targeted.

Meanwhile:

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TFI Drinkipoos time.

AJ

Déjà vu, again.

Back in September, I noted this case:

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Today, I see something very similar:

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Surprise!

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And…

Two other men, Reon Hall and Aaron Gelly, both 20 and from Surrey, were sentenced to nine years each in June for their role in the sustained three-hour attack.

From Surrey? Let’s be crystal clear about this: Croydon and Thornton Heath are in Surrey. I doubt they are from Godalming.

Savages.

AJ

Bin there, turned around, came back again

I previously prodded in the general direction of a story about the counterproductive nature of the currently fashionable bin-fascism.

Tory communities spokesman Caroline Spelman said: ‘Weekly rubbish collections were introduced because of the harm to the environment from fly-tipping and backyard burning. Yet the lessons of the past have been forgotten.

‘Labour’s bin bully policies have slashed back proper bin collections. Now Labour ministers have conspired to cover up the serious threat to public health their policies have caused.’

Via Big Brother Watch today, another of Ms Spelman’s previous quotes was highlighted:

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In the Daily Mail, then Shadow Minister for Local Government, Caroline Spelman, slammed the government saying:

"Labour Ministers are secretly planning to roll out bin taxes across the country after the election if Gordon Brown can cling to power. The Government have already forced through bin tax laws and have been funding the bin technology to collect the taxes."

And speaking to the BBC, she said:

"bin taxes would harm the environment by encouraging fly-tipping and backyard burning"

Fairly unequivocal then…

However yesterday – 20th May 2010 – just 78 days later; Caroline Spelman, now Environment Minister, said:

"It will be up to the local authority to adopt a policy on recycling that works locally."

This leaves the door wide-open for councils to bring in "pay-as-you-throw" schemes. Some of you might think that’s fair enough. But we believe councils should not even be given the opportunity to test the water.

Quite so. We already know what the ‘unintended’ consequences will be.

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My recycling, yesterday.

AJ

Greeting fae Glesga

The penny hasn’t dropped for wee Tommy Harris yet.

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AS PLANNED, the new body overseeing MPs’ expenses is going the extra mile to make it as difficult as possible for us to do our job.

Good. Do you know why it’s good? Because it reminds you what we all go through when claiming business expenses, or undertaking any other routine admin activity.

Every organisation that has a thousand customer facing staff has 400 other people responsible for making it impossible for the customer facing staff to do their jobs. Making them unable to deliver on their obligations to the customer in a satisfactory manner. Just ask Obo.

Those ‘trolls’ or ‘business prevention officers’ are all on the company payroll to administer rules and regulations that emanate, directly or not, from government.

Someone, after all, has to be responsible for the 10,000 or so fuel receipts my company expenses team now receives every month, subsequent to a C&E/HMRC rule change around 2007.

Someone has to check that the sandwich I bought for lunch was bought far enough away from my branch office to be eligible for reimbursement. I once bought a sandwich 40 miles into a 200 mile journey to a customer site. My claim was denied. Had I bought my lunch at the next motorway services, I would have been reimbursed.

Tom continues:

I understand that the rule is based on a misunderstanding, or perhaps a deliberate misinterpretation, of a Customs and Revenue rule that people who work from an office based in their private homes can offset only a maximum of 85 per cent of their home phone calls for tax purposes.

I know all about that too. Misunderstanding, or perhaps a deliberate misinterpretation, of a Customs and Revenue rule is a battle I frequently have to do.

Last year, I flew to Glasgow, picked up a hire car, went to the customer site, did my work, returned the car to the airport and flew home.

I was taxed on this hire car as a benefit in kind, because the expenses monkey had either misunderstood the rule, or erred on the side of caution lest he be punished for a lax interpretation himself.

I know he was wrong, because I asked a tax accountant. If the hire car had been at my home address, in lieu of the car I already had an allowance for, it would have been a BiK. It wasn’t and it wasn’t.

I lost the battle, but won the war. I was never reimbursed, having been taxed at 40% on a hire car that was a logical and reasonable business expense, but it never happened again.

At a briefing held by Ipsa last week, a very senior, very highly-paid official (not being familiar with the scheme he’s paid to oversee, the only question from MPs he was able to answer was that he was in the “£80,000-£90,000″ pay band) was unable to justify this petty little rule.

I expect it frustrated you Tom, that his attitude was “and nor do I have to, sonny”.

Welcome to the real world.

As I said yesterday, as soon as you are abiding by the same rules as the rest of us, I’ll support any plea for a relaxation of the rules 100%.

AJ

A Very British Airways

It’s hard to see what damage the forthcoming strikes could do, given the robust financial position BA is in. Oh.. wait.

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£43m lost in 7 days of strikes. Let’s call that £6.2m per day. So another 15 days of strikes is going to cost BA £93million. A drop in the ocean, evidently.

As much as I’d find ranting about the short-sighted, poisonous, imbecility of the strikers cathartic, CF has done the job for me, and with his customary aplomb.

Well done, Unite, you self-interested clique of imbeciles. Well done Derek Simpson, you pointless rabble-rouser.

Well done you mindless snack-vending sheep. A famous courtroom victory: you’ve ‘won'; you’ve got your strike.

Now you can fully exercise your sacrosanct fucking rights to ruin your employer’s business.Go on, teach Willie Walsh a lesson. With a bit of luck, he’ll eventually lose his job – you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Willie can’t keep the business profitable if you’re all sunbathing in your own gardens, rather than sunbathing free of charge on a layover in Mauritius. Yeah, keep this up and he could be fired, and he’d have to either take another hugely well paid job or retire with all his millions. And that’ll learn him, won’t it? You morons.

By all means, read on.

AJ

The name of the game (Choons)

… apparently.

AJ

Singalong-a-Balls

Don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier.

EdBalls-Dedododo-dedadada2 
EdBalls-Dedododo-dedadada1

This is not the end of this, Ed Balls. Oh no.

AJ

ROLF

Teh words. I has none.

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Henchman and campaign manager Trap-Jaw said: "Skeletor is a strong, decisive leader and unlike Balls and the Milibands he doesn’t look like a vaguely confused hotel concierge."

I’m still backing Balls.

AJ

An uncomfortable alliance

As you may recall, I’m backing Balls.

I suppose, therefore, it was inevitable I’d end up on the same side as some pretty unsavoury characters.

And who more so than this one?

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This is classic Comical Ellie. A toxic mix of denial, delusion, diarrhoea and denseness. A hilarious paragon of the genre, no less.

I’ll hand over to @Toadmeister to point out the fundamentally flawed premise in the champagne socialist’s exposition.

Allow me to correct this misapprehension [that the ‘right wing media’ fear Balls’ ‘hunger, drive and fire in the belly’ to lead Labour back into Downing Street]. The truth is that most rightwing commentators would dearly love to see Ed Balls as the next Labour leader. Not only does he come across badly on television – a Stalinist thug trying, unsuccessfully, to seem human – but he’s fatally tainted by his close association with Gordon Brown. He would be a terrible electoral liability, worse even than the insufferably smug Diane Abbott. Next to him, Michael Foot seems positively Churchillian.

Indeed. So let’s all get behind Ellie and support Ed Balls for leadership of the Labour party.

Go Ed!

AJ

No sympathy week

Sweet sweet tears.

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Waaaah.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) was established last year after a collective loss of confidence at the height of the expenses scandal. In an attempt to end the clubby atmosphere, in which MPs would often bully the Commons Fees Office, an outside body was given statutory powers to approve the payment of expenses.

Here are some of the complaints I’ve heard from an array of MPs, whose language about Ipsa would be out of place on this happy-family blog:

• In their initial encounter with staff from the new body, MPs are greeted with a written message which says Ipsa will not tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour. One former minister says:

We are being treated like benefit claimants. Why don’t they just put up a metal grille?

And how do you think the rest of us feel, when we see that sign in hospitals, airports, railway stations and anywhere else some officious shithead is about to bugger up our day?

Good. Carry on.

• The requirements for payment of expenses are too stringent. If an MP wants to claim for the travel expenses from the constituency to Westminster of their spouse or civil partner, they must produce their marriage or civil partnership certificate. If they want to claim travel expenses for a child (under the age of 16 and in full time education) they must produce the original birth certificate. This is what the rules say:

Prior to any reimbursements of this nature taking place, MPs wishing to claim for this will need to submit a completed application form via the online expenses system.

To support this pre-approval, they will need to provide the original certificate of marriage, civil partnership, or utility bill to prove co-habitation.

Evidence for travel for will be the same as for MPs, based on the mode of transport.

One minister is furious:

For Christ’s sake, what has happened if this bloody authority doesn’t believe me when I say my wife is my wife? A utility bill to prove co-habitation? Good God.

Ahahahahaaaaaaa. It’s tough, and it’s shit. It’s tough shit, matey. Sup it up you leeches.

• Taxis home can only be claimed after 11pm. One woman MP says:

What happens on a January night in London? I suppose I will have to take the tube, then a bus and then a long walk home. That is not safe.

That one woman MP can sup it up, too. Is she suggesting that women MPs be afforded special treatment?

MPs are resigned to the fact that there is nothing they can do. They have completely lost the trust of the public which is no mood to tolerate any easing of the rules.

That’s not quite true. All I ask is that they have to abide by the same expenses rules that are imposed upon the little people. I would hope a little more vast quantity of much needed reasonableness could be infused into those rules, which would be a Win-Win.

Some hope.

AJ

Strike alive

Bugger…

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Roll on, commies.

I refer you to Dungeekin.

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Quite.

AJ

EuroStench

Apparently, the Eurozone will be permitting Cameron no honeymoon period.

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Shocked European ministers are preparing for emergency talks to shore up the euro after markets fell in reaction to panic measures in Germany.

Angela Merkel stunned EU capitals by warning that the euro was in danger and triggered fears of a fresh financial meltdown by announcing a ban on risky trading practices by speculators. The German Chancellor’s actions opened up new cracks in the single currency, drawing sharp criticism from France and prompting Brussels to issue an appeal for unity.

Shares in London plunged by nearly 3 per cent, with similar falls in Paris, Berlin and Madrid. The euro plummeted to a new low against the dollar before making a slight recovery.

European finance ministers, who have just hammered out a massive rescue plan for Greece, will hear controversial calls from Germany at a meeting tomorrow for changes to the Lisbon treaty to give Brussels powers to co-ordinate national budgets.

Well, that’s our ‘in’ for a referendum, right there. Sweet.

Ms Merkel believes that the EU should have stronger powers to organise the “orderly insolvency” of countries such as Greece that set giveaway budgets with no means of paying for them.

That’s us, that is.

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After announcing a ban on speculative share trading in Germany’s top financial institutions and the bonds of Eurozone countries until next March,

Question. What is to stop US and Far Eastern markets shorting them instead?

she warned: “This challenge is existential and we have to rise to it. The euro is in danger. If we don’t deal with this danger, then the consequences for us in Europe are incalculable . . . If the euro fails, then Europe fails.”

Rubs hands together and cackles gleefully.

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So where does Cameron come into it?

Her apocalyptic warning came as David Cameron prepared for his first visit as Prime Minister to Paris and Berlin, where he is likely to come under pressure to commit more British funds to EU bailout programmes.

Aha! Ich denke nicht, Frau Merkin. Va niquer ta mère, Monsieur Sarcoma.

Ms Merkel may have intended her words to be a rallying cry to stop the crisis of confidence spreading from Greece to Portugal, Spain and Italy. But the markets were shaken because Germany is seen as the bedrock of the euro, which was introduced just ten years ago and now covers 16 countries.

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Wait! I know what to do! Let’s… wait. what??

Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, called for an urgent rewriting of the eurozone rulebook.

Yeah – let’s bin the basis on which we’ve thus far gulled investors into the Eurozone. Let’s make up something new, that won’t cause a massive revaluation of every single foreign investment in the EU.

Better still, let’s make the market work better by strangling and torturing it some more. Perhaps even a little waterboarding.

He told the Financial Times: “I’m convinced the markets are really out of control. That is why we need really effective regulation, in the sense of creating a properly functioning market mechanism.”

Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council Haiku President, said “Market working wrong. Its body is sclerotic. Let’s shake it some more.”

AJ

Special Needs

A caption would be a good start. I’ll go first.

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Whichever way he turned, all Prescott could see was hair pies.

AJ

George Osborne speaks. Very badly.

I’ve just watched Osborne deliver an address to the CBI (BBC iPlayer, look it up).

He seems to have forgotten that the election is over and that a whole other conversation is necessary where the business community is concerned.

Now to style.

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Whatever merits George Gideon Oliver Osborne may possess, I can safely say one thing:

George Osborne is no orator.

The guy can’t parse a script (or notes) in order to get the tone and meter right. That the meter and emphases were so badly fumbled makes me think it must have been a script.

I wanted to be impressed, but his performance reminded me of myself trying to speak publically, aged 25, with ZERO preparation.

I had two problems back in those days. First was lack of confidence.

Confidence? George, you’ve just won an election. You are the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The pasty new hope. You should be walking into the room with your balls swinging. WTF is wrong?

Second problem was lack of preparation. When I was 25, I didn’t see the need to prepare until I’d fallen on my face a couple of times. Silly really; I’d heard the maxim “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” many times in my youth.

If I need to deliver someone else’s message, even if it’s my message packaged by someone else, I need to read it and internalise it. George manifestly failed to do this.

Perhaps he deserves a break. He’s been busy.

AJ

Heed my advice or fail

Written in June last year:

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Liability of only slightly smaller proportions than Mad Nadine Dorries…. Or is she the equal-opportunities ginger, so immune?

Today, via Obo.

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So, we’ve had a week before the Tories have revealed themselves to be exactly the same thieving, greedy, duplicitous cunts as Labour. Well … we knew it from the expenses scandal, but iDave must be shitting himself at this little clusterfuck.

And if he’d just accepted the warning from the nannygate scandal and given Spelman the heave-ho at the time, none of this rumbling would be threatening his honeymoon with Nick. I can only assume she knows where the bodies are buried.

Still, you massively-foreheaded cunt, let that be a fucking lesson to you.
Not that you’ll listen.

Do read on and follow the links to Guido’s place here and here.

AJ

Not my fault

So says this woman:

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Obviously, this woman cannot be held responsible for her marriage collapsing.

It was nothing to do with the dirty cow spreading her legs for some monkey.

Nothing to do with lying to, and cheating, on her husband, as well as jeopardising her marriage and family life.

No, it was the phone company. Who are responsible for her husband seeing her phone bill.

I hope she caught syphilis.

AJ

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