Ed Balls to become Chancellor???

Gordon Brown wants Ed Balls as chancellor

GORDON BROWN is ready to promote Ed Balls, his closest political ally, to chancellor this week in a high-stakes gamble to restore Labour’s political fortunes.

According to a top-level leak from Downing Street, the prime minister wants to make the appointment the centrepiece of a sweeping reshuffle on Friday, after the local and European polls.

With Balls, the schools secretary, one of the most divisive figures in government, the move would be a huge risk, which could trigger a ferocious backlash within the Labour party that could spiral into a leadership challenge.

Excellent…

AJ

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Some numbers…

In brief:

Of the top 100 Commons troughers,

  • 62% are Labour MPs (against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 21% are Conservative MPs (against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 15% are Lib Dem MPs (against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 2% are other (against 6.2% of 646 parliamentarians) (% figure corrected)

and

Tory MPs cost, on average, about £5500 less than Labour MPs and almost £9000 less than Lib Dems.

Source? Below…..

At www.Theyworkforyou.com there is a useful list of all serving (and past) MPs, which you can download as a CSV and import into excel – get it here.

This was a good start for what I’ve been doing on a bored Sunday evening.

All of the following is ‘errors & omissions excepted (E&OE)’

I added their 2007-2008 expenses, claims and allowances to the spreadsheet.

A little rudimentary crunching told me the following, about 635 of our MPs (the rest of the chaff was cut out of these workings):

Party

MPs

Claims Total

Average

% of counted MPs

% of 
counted  claims

Var %

Labour 350 £47,599,244 £135,998 55.1% 55.8% 0.7%
Conservative 193 £25,157,158 £130,348 30.4% 29.5% -0.9%
Liberal Democrat 63 £8,777,335 £139,323 9.9% 10.3% 0.4%
DUP 9 £1,181,944 £131,327 1.4% 1.4% 0.0%
SNP 7 £837,133 £119,590 1.1% 1.0% -0.1%
Sinn Fein 5 £682,187 £136,437 0.8% 0.8% 0.0%
Plaid Cymru 3 £412,504 £137,501 0.5% 0.5% 0.0%
SDLP 3 £408,855 £136,285 0.5% 0.5% 0.0%
UUP 1 £125,072 £125,072 0.2% 0.1% 0.0%
Respect 1 £136,390 £136,390 0.2% 0.2% 0.0%
  • Labour MPs are the biggest troughers taking 55.8% of allowances paid, while having 55.1% of MPs in the mix here.
  • Conservative, while still in the same league are the least trougherous, taking 29.5% of allowances, amongst 30.4% of MPs in the mix here.
  • This means Tory MPs cost, on average, about £5500 less than Labour MPs, and almost £9000 less than Lib Dems.

Of the top 50 troughing MPs

  • 33 are Labour MPs (66% against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 10 are Conservative MPs (20% against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 7 are Lib Dem MPs (14% against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)

Expand that out to the top 100 and it looks like this:

  • 62% are Labour MPs (against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 21% are Conservative MPs (against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 15% are Lib Dem MPs (against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 2% are other (against 6.2% of 646 parliamentarians) (% figure corrected)

Again, on these measure, Tories are less trougherous than the other contenders. Proportionately, Lib Dems come out worst on this measure.

Here’s the top 100 list… click to enlarge.

image

More if I’m still bored tomorrow… like adding columns for their majorities etc.

AJ

Clarkson Sense….

It’s heartening to see viewpoints such as these propounded in The Sun – beloved by the malleable masses whose opinion must be influenced to ensure a decisive kicking-out of Labour come the next election.

A viewpoint that he and I share:

Brown’s Britain gives me rules rage

We used to get by on the phrase "mustn’t grumble", but now the whole country is starting to drown in its own bile.

I’m not angry though. I’m way past angry. You get angry when you hope to achieve something as a result. But I know that we can’t achieve anything, which is why the feeling I have is a shoulder-sagging despair.

This is how I get by in this terrible world Brown has created. By ignoring the nonsense.

By refusing to obey written instructions on an escalator to face the direction of travel.

By smoking where I can’t. By breaking the speed limit. By having muddy number plates. And by smuggling my toothpaste on to airliners.

It makes no difference to anyone else. But it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

And it’s a better way of dealing with the despair than committing suicide, which is the only other option.

And again:

Get real, Mr Politician or you’ll find yourself sitting next to a Nazi

The main reason why the BNP will do well is because the main parties seem to have completely lost touch with what their supporters actually want out of life.

We have the Conservatives dreaming up policies to suit whatever mood happens to be prevailing at the time, when all their voters want is for the economy to be mended. So that taxes can be cut. And then cut again.

And then we have the fools and madmen in the Labour Party.

Does Gordon Brown, for instance, think that in the clubs of South Yorkshire, where I grew up, people want a smoking ban?

Does he believe that White Van Man sits down to watch Top Gear and thinks: "You know, this would be a whole lot better if Richard Hammond had a vagina"?

Does he think, even for a small moment, that the people who put a cross in his box give even a small toss about "the environment"?

Or that the foundry worker wants to finish his shift and "drink responsibly"?

And then there’s the question of immigration.

Of course, I can quite understand why the champagne socialists are worried about the plight of poor Ndjama.

His village has been sacked by rebels, he has nowhere to live and nothing to eat.

Of course they would want him to have a home in Britain.

Fundamentally, they are good people with big hearts.

But mostly they want Ndjama to come here because when he does, he’s not going to be living in their street.

So, Ndjama will go and live in someone else’s street and that person will be quite cross.

Especially when he goes to work one day and finds Ndjama at the wheel of his forklift truck.

The Labour Party say that immigration is good for Britain and morally the right policy to pursue.

This may be so. But those who put them in power, emphatically, do not think this way.

We are all tribal. We like being in a group and we distrust outsiders.

We have our family unit, our bunch of friends, the town where we live, the football club we support, and, especially if we are Scottish, the country of which we are proud.

The big-hearted, liberal-thinking chaps and chapesses who advise Brown and his gang of fiddlers may think this is backward and pre-historic.

They think tribalism could even be dangerous. And again, they may be right.

But you wouldn’t allow Man United’s fans to sit among the Barca boys in a stadium because it would end in a fight.

And if you let half of Africa come to Britain – no matter how morally correct this may be – you’re going to wind people up and gift the BNP your seat.

Then we’ll see how tolerant these champagne socialists are.

When they go to work and find themselves sitting next to a Nazi.

Now, the interesting thing here is that he mentions tribalism and the liberal left’s attitude to it.

Socialism is a tribal movement. The Labour Party is a tribal party. Any intelligent reading of his modus operandi tells us that Gordon Brown is one of the most stubbornly and fiercely tribal people we have in British politics.

Damn – a cry of hypocrisy would come in useful here… but I’ve burst that bubble below.

AJ

18 millions gawping idiots had nothing better to do on a Saturday evening…

..than watch Britain’s Got Fuzzy Spackers:

More than 18m people tuned in to watch dance group Diversity’s shock victory over singer Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent, early figures show.

I suppose it keeps the fuckers out of my way….

AJ

Cheers, Chelski…

£95 up on FA cup final bets of £100… Bollinger quaffed. Job done.

Particularly satisfying as I know less about football than Gordon Brown knows about driving a car.

AJ

Hypocrisy…

As a child, my appeals to logic and equality were met by my elders with the rejoinder to “do as I say, and not as I do.”

Aged 10, my primary school report card remarked unfavourably upon my penchant for the employment of ‘adult phraseology’.

I have no reason not to identify myself as a hypocrite – the context of which is my belief and understanding that hypocrisy is a fundamental part of the human condition. We are all hypocrites and to call someone a hypocrite is therefore inherently hypocritical.

Chambers Dictionary:

hypocrisy noun (hypocrisies) 1 the act of pretending to have feelings, beliefs or principles which one does not actually have. 2 the act of concealing one’s true character.
ETYMOLOGY: 13c: from Greek hypokrisis play-acting.

The complete idiot’s guide to psychology:

We’re all actors following scripts.

Billy Rattlerod:

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

Wikipedia:

It is a common fallacy (see List of fallacies) to accuse someone of being a hypocrite in an attempt to invalidate their argument. This can be known as an ad hominem attack. In other words, just because someone is a hypocrite, that does not make them wrong.

http://www.livescience.com:

Why We’re All Moral Hypocrites

Most of us, whether we admit it or not, are moral hypocrites. We judge others more severely than we judge ourselves.

Hypocrisy – Ethical Investigations, 2004, by Béla Szabados & Eldon Soifer:

Kant applies the sort of reasoning just outlined in defence of another form of pretence as well, which is even more striking, given our current interest in hypocrisy. This involves presenting oneself as virtuous, even when one is not. Kant welcomes the presentation of a dignified bearing, or the appearance of modesty, even when this is in fact an ‘illusion’, or a case of ‘disguising’ oneself…. But on one standard reading, this is exactly the sort of behaviour that is considered hypotcritical.

http://forums.philosophyforums.com

Inevitable Moral Hypocrisy
Philosophy’s eternal embarrassment

When it comes to ethics and morality we are all hypocrites. Moral hypocrisy is inevitable, part of the human condition, as natural as breathing.
By this I do not mean that people espouse a moral code that they do not follow themselves. If only it were that simple. The hypocrisy of morality is deeper than that.

The nature of morality and ethics can be summed up in two contradictory observations:

1) Morality is subjective, a function of individual perception. Everyone has a unique opinion about right and wrong, every society, culture, and religion its own social rules. There is no logical or scientific proof that any of them are objectively true.

2) We all believe our own morality and ethics to be objectively true. It seems as real and obvious to us as sunlight or gravity.

This paradox has forever confounded philosophers who have sought, by one means or another, to break out of the paradox. To avoid the hypocrisy that they despise in those around them.

But the human condition is such that hypocrisy is inevitable and unavoidable.

Now, what I want to know is when, and how, did the charge of hypocrisy become such a powerful one? Why am I apparently so rare in laughing off such charges as banal and tautological truisms?

“Oooh, you’re sooooooo human!” Doesn’t sound like much of an insult, unless it’s coming from an artificial or alien intelligence. For which I’m prepared to make a grudging exception.

“Oooh, you’re sooooooo hypocritical!” Sounds just like the way to close down most arguments effectively if you’re, consciously or otherwise, handy with logical fallacies.

They are equivalent statements.

Ohhh.. wait a minute… religious conditioning

How can you say to your Brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.‎

Gospel according to Luke.

Say no more, Derek, say no more.

AJ

Amazing disgrace….

It now appears that the tax man is quite interested in some of the MPs’ and ministers’ expense claims. Not least their claiming of personal accountancy fees as ‘expenses’, which is explicitly disallowed in the tax code.

The TaxBuzz blog has more here:

Today’s Daily Telegraph notes that HMRC confirmed that MPs were not exempt from tax laws and that tax must be paid on some expenses. In a statement it said:

“It’s a general principle of tax law that accountancy fees incurred in connection with the completion of a personal tax return are not deductible.

“This is because the costs of complying with the law are not an allowable expense against tax. This rule applies across the board.”

It now seems that more than 40 Ministers claimed and received reimbursement of accountancy fees as part of their Parliamentary allowances.

Those 40 ministers include the current chancellor of the exchequer – head of the treasury and, ultimately, of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Responsible for creating and amending tax laws, rates and regulations.

What a crock. I wonder if Broon, creator of the most arcane tax system in modern history, also claimed for this. You can bet it’s being kept back if he has. Perhaps for the day of the June elections.

Sweet.

AJ

UPDATE: Today’s Tellygiraffe says that Darling declared his claim as a benefit in kind and paid the tax on it, which puts a somewhat different complexion on it. Nonetheless, he still had to hire a specialist to navigate through the tax system he’s responsible for.

And he’s still a badger-faced porridge-guzzling wanker.

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