David Cameron

Maybe Andrew Little can send our curry chefs to England

SG

David and Samantha Cameron enjoy a curry. They tucked into chicken korai and saag paneer at Manchester’s Saffron Lounge during the Conservative party conference in October – it wasn’t quite as spicy as the chilli-hot specials they ordered at the Paprika Indian restaurant in Birmingham the previous year.

The prime minister even pledged to protect the struggling £4.2bn curry industry, which employs 100,000 people, at the British Curry awards in 2013. He said he would “get the skilled Asian chefs you need” to the UK, while the home secretary, Theresa May, has admitted that curry chefs are a shortage occupation. Read more »

Seems reasonable

Politicians want us to trust them, but they have a trustworthy rating lower than hookers but only slightly above journalists.

Simon Heffer has a solution for the issue. Perhaps they might just start being honest with us.

Had I not been in France last week – a country where several hundred thousand people legally avoid tax by living in the United Kingdom – I should have sought to ease the Prime Minister’s embarrassment by writing a column militantly in favour of tax avoidance. I have long believed it is the duty of every citizen to ensure the state does not take from him or her so much as a penny in taxation that can be legally withheld. Contrary to a fashionable view among certain of the super-rich – George Osborne, for example – this is not “immoral”. It is entirely moral to strive to keep what one has earned, and to stop the government from wasting it on, for example, disgraceful overseas “aid” projects.

Sadly, my short holiday in a country where the deleterious effects of over-taxation are apparent at every turn prevented me from writing such a piece. Instead, I returned to England to find the Prime Minister hoist with his own petard. Having grandstanded about the “immorality” of tax avoidance, he now admits it is something of a Cameron family tradition: and he has dutifully honoured it. I repeat: good for him. It is a pity he felt the need to act as though he had not, and loudly to condemn such behaviour in a pathetic attempt to curry favour with Leftists.

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Great sledge from Boris

Boris Johnson is sledging out David Cameron easily.

Boris Johnson’s dispute with David Cameron over the EU deepened on Friday night after he called the Prime Minister and his allies the “Gerald Ratners of modern politics”.

In a major speech to mark the opening day of EU referendum campaigning, Mr Johnson accused Mr Cameron and his colleagues of pretending to be a eurosceptics despite “loving the idea of a federal Europe” and said that they do not have a “shred of idealism”.

But television viewers watching events in Manchester were treated to bizarre scenes as the London mayor demanded that a reporter stop broadcasting on-air from the back of the auditorium.   Read more »

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Evil Lord Ashcroft makes a good point on the Panama Papers

Evil Lord Ashcroft makes a really good point about the Media party interest in the Panama Papers.

It is the received wisdom that the leaking of the Panama Papers triggered the Prime Minister’s worst week since he took office. From his personal point of view, that may well be true: having the media trying to dig into your family’s tax arrangements is not a pleasant experience, as I can attest. But politically, how much has really changed since open season was declared on the Camerons’ financial affairs?

As so often, it is worth remembering that most people have better things to do than follow the minutiae of political coverage. Nothing very important gets past the voters, but they have a knack of getting straight to the point. The Cameron tax story, then, boils down to three essential elements.

First, the Camerons are rich. (To anyone who did not know this already – a Peruvian goatherd, perhaps, or a hermit – the last week’s news will have come as quite a revelation.) Second, they may have taken some steps to avoid paying any more tax than they had to. Third, nothing they did was against the law.

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Pommy bastards seem to be making the right decision on Brexit

The Pommy bastards seem to be making the right decision.

The decision over whether the UK remains inside the European Union could depend on whether young people shake off their apathy and vote in sufficient numbers on 23 June, a revealing opinion poll conducted for the Observer shows.

In a blow to David Cameron and the pro-EU camp, the online survey by Opinium puts the Leave side on 43%, four points ahead of Remain, on 39%. Some 18% of voters said they were undecided, while 1% refused to say.   Read more »

The demise of Europe’s left

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The left-wing is in disarray world-wide.

We are witnessing the demise of the once proud Labour party in New Zealand, and world-wide the left-wing seems in disarray. This is particularly obvious in Europe.

The Economist examines the demise of the left:

Early in this century you could drive from Inverness in Scotland to Vilnius in Lithuania without crossing a country governed by the right; the same would have been true if you had done the trip by ferry through Scandinavia. Social democrats ran the European Commission and vied for primacy in the European Parliament. But recently their share of the vote in domestic (and Europe-wide) elections has fallen by a third to lows not seen for 70 years (see chart 1). In the five European Union (EU) states that held national elections last year, social democrats lost power in Denmark, fell to their worst-ever results in Finland, Poland and Spain and came to within a hair’s-breadth of such a nadir in Britain.

Elsewhere, it is true, the centre left is in power: as an unloved and ideologically vague junior party of government in Germany and the Netherlands and at the helm of wobbly coalitions in Sweden, Portugal and Austria, all countries where it was once a natural party of government. In France, President François Hollande is plumbing new depths of unpopularity and may not make the run-off in next year’s presidential election. Matteo Renzi, Italy’s dynamic prime minister, is in better shape but his party is still losing support (and possibly, in May, Rome’s mayoralty) to the Five Star Movement (M5S), an anti-establishment party founded by a blogger. Former municipal and regional bastions like London and Amsterdam, Catalonia and Scotland have slipped from the traditional centre left’s grasp.

Where are all the votes going? Many have been hoovered up by populists, typically of the anti-market left in southern Europe and the anti-migrant right in the north. But alternative left parties (feminists, pirates and greens, for example), liberals and the centre-right have also benefited. And so has the Stay On The Sofa party.

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Key stays out of US politics, but jumps both feet into the UK’s exit from Europe

John Key is staying well out of US politics, probably because his golfing buddy Barry is leaving at the end of the year.

But his other mate in the UK is in trouble and so Key is trying to help.

The Prime Minister doesn’t want to share any opinions he might have on the United States presidential election and hopeful Donald Trump but he is taking a stand on Britain’s referendum on European Union membership – he wants the UK to stay in the EU.

Today, speaking on Britain’s European Union referendum on June 23, John Key said: “When Britain is part of the EU, it gives us a strong and supportive voice in the EU.”

He said New Zealand was trying to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the EU, and Britain had been a really strong supporter of New Zealand’s case. Germany had to.

“If you are asking, from New Zealand’s perspective, are we better off with Britain as part of the EU or worse off, I think on balance we are better off, but the British people will decide whether they want to stay or go.”   Read more »

Face of the day

British actor Jude Law gestures during a visit to the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais

British actor Jude Law gestures during a visit to the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais

But shortly after the cameras stopped rolling, their minders were ambushed by some of the migrants and had their phones stolen.

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Winston looking for more Free Trade; doesn’t sound like a Green coalition partner to me

Nice to see Winston embracing free trade.

Though it might be problematic for Labour and the Greens to see someone they regard as their putative coalition partner now promoting free trade.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is calling for a free trade agreement among Commonwealth countries, and wants to use New Zealand’s CER agreement with Australia as a template.

He said a British exit from the European Union could offer such an opportunity and could “heal a rift” with New Zealand that occurred when Britain became a member of European Economic Community in 1973.

Mr Peters also believes that New Zealand should take advantage of the troubles Russia is having with Europe and restore a full trading relationship with Russia.

His endorsement of CER as a model for others is a shift in position – at the 2014 election his policy was to review all bilateral free trade agreements, including the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia, to ensure they were in New Zealand’s interest.    Read more »

Sledges of the Day

David Cameron is under pressure supporting the campaign to remain in the EU.

His party is divided on the issue though and Boris Johnson has come out in support of Brexit.

Cameron has reacted badly, but put in a veiled attack on Boris Johnson.

David Cameron had come to the Commons to make a statement on the EU referendum. At least, that was his official purpose. His real purpose, quite nakedly, was to treat Boris Johnson to the thrashing of his life.

It was extraordinary. In political journalism we often refer to “thinly veiled attacks”. Here, there wasn’t even a veil. Not even the flimsiest wisp of gauze.

Since the Mayor announced his decision to campaign for Brexit, some commentators have inferred that he doesn’t really want Britain to leave the EU; rather, he thinks a Leave vote would prompt the EU to offer Britain more favourable terms of membership, enabling us to stay after all.

It would appear that the Prime Minister shares this interpretation.    Read more »