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There was a time when figures meant something, when we gasped in awe at the thought of a billion dollars, let alone a billion pounds.  I suppose it was Bill Gates’ enormous wealth thanks to Microsoft’s profits that first anaesthetized us the the meaning of vast sums of largesse.  And then along came Google, that aptly named generator of impossible to imagine quantities of greenbacks.

Non the less it is still appalling and quite disorienting to think that our lowly government is set to borrow £100 billion this year.

Still, its all in a good cause isn’t it?


Gordon Brown’s home that is.

The Charity Commission report into the activities of The Smith Institute says that even after being warned that it was unwise, the Institute still held 27 meetings at 11 Downing Street.  And why not – the Smith Institute was run by an old school chum and 3 of its 6 laughably named ‘trustees’ donated to Browns leadership election fund.

No matter how Labour spin this its clear that the Charity Commission report is pretty damning about the careless way the Smith Institute chose to ally itself with Brown.  The report has also done sterling service in highlighting that Brown is so concerned about ‘listening’ that he does not reply to his correspondence.

What is equally damning is the way the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’, in the shape of Michael Crick can shrug its shoulders at this report whilst doggedly dragging Caroline Spelman through 10-years old muck.

Given that labour have not even selected a candidate yet and that Glasgow East is such a safe but derelict constituency that it does not even possess canvassing returns, there is widespread speculation that the SNP could pull of a devastating surprise. Devastating for Gordon Brown that is.

Ironically it may take a good showing by the Tories to save his bacon.

But if events pursue their domesday course, could a new leader possibly refuse to call an early election? Could they seriously expect to govern without a quick General Election after giving the country two new leaders inside 18 months — given that the one they had just removed had been appointed by virtually unanimous acclaim?

Removing Brown would leave the Labour party and its MPs staring down the barrel of a gun, toted by the Dirty Hacks of the media …

” — I know what you Labour MPs are thinking. “Is the swing 10% or 20%?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a General Election, the most powerful peoples weapon in the world, and would blow your expenses clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, Labour MPs? — “

Well I, armed with a magnum full of economic statistics, say to them, “Go ahead, make my day”

A shocking report by Newsnight (1 June) on the lack of progress on the NHS since the Wanless Report.

Massive funding gap based on current projections to deliver the Wanless solution. No clear evidence of any improvement at all over the last 6 years, with outcomes clearly skewered by politically set targets. An amazingly blunt analysis from the Beeb.

So no surprise then that there was no minister hauled over the coals after it. Indeed why was this report left to air AFTER the previous nights (presumably) flagship discussion. A whole raft of carefully analysed devastating statistics carefully hidden away until the Minister had leaped into his limousine and scurried off home.

July 2008
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