Strive Awards in Wokingham

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:01 pm
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Posted by johnredwood

On Friday I had the pleasure of giving out the Strive certificates to all those who have completed the business start up course organised by Wokingham Borough Council and their partners.

People wanting to establish a business of their own gave presentations on what they wish to achieve. 4 experts on a panel gave advice on what might help them to success, and 3 of the business plans attracted prize money to help them on their way.

This is a good annual initiative which reminds people that setting up a business can be a rewarding challenge, and assists them with the many issues you need to sort out when doing so. I wish them all well.

Spicer Resigns

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:04 pm
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Posted by Ross Kempsell

The New York Times is reporting that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned. A White House official confirmed Spicer had left the position; President Trump is expected to replace him with Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci. Let’s hope his briefings are as entertaining…

The post Spicer Resigns appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:41 pm
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Posted by Ross Kempsell

City employers’ confidence is high as hiring rates rocket and more roles are available than this time last year. The Robert Walters City Job Index finds the number of Square Mile jobs rose 17% in June compared to the same month in 2016. Chris Hickey, Robert Walters’ chief executive for UK, Middle East and Africa, said:

“It is extremely encouraging to see that the number of roles has risen following the election, as has the number of jobseeking professionals, suggesting an increase in confidence among both candidates and employers.”

The news comes in stark contrast to the ‘brexodus’ from the City widely predicted by remain campaigners; the survey went unreported in the remain press. Funny that…

The post City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

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Posted by Ross Kempsell

Officials put the brakes on investigating a Labour councillor who was accused of being a paedophile in order to help the party during the 2015 General Election campaign, an independent inquiry has concluded. A child protection expert’s report – seen by the Manchester Evening News – finds that two Bury Council officers acted under either “direct political influence” to downplay the allegations against the councillor, or “the mistaken belief by senior officers that they needed to be seen to be doing their best to protect members of the Labour group from any political embarrassment at a sensitive time“. After the election the councillor, Simon Carter, was convicted of downloading sexual images of children…

The report is one of a number of probes into the scandal which has engulfed Labour in Manchester. Last month the Council’s Chief Executive Mike Owen resigned before a disciplinary could be completed; it is alleged he admitted stalling child protection procedures in “a favour” for Labour (he has denied this). The council’s director of children’s services Mark Carrilin also resigned after being found guilty of serious misconduct. Just last night it emerged that Labour has suspended Mike Connolly, the elected former leader of Bury Council, from the party. This Labour scandal continues to unravel…

The post Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’ appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

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Posted by Ross Kempsell

Today sees the launch of UnHerd – a new venture edited by Tim Montgomerie. UnHerd will break the mould of traditional news services by refusing to chase the daily news cycle. The site will use the talents of its journalists to delve into and understand the key issues of our time...

The site will kick off, appropriately, with an examination of the news industry and the power it has in western culture. The launch will see the release of an original documentary ‘News in Crisis’ featuring Alastair Campbell, Sir Craig Oliver, Justin Webb and Jonathan Dimbleby. One key theme is the question of whether the BBC is overly influenced by newspapers…

Both Webb and Dimbleby concede there is an issue, with Dimbleby saying:

“The BBC looks over its shoulder at what is being written in the newspapers or online…..Partly because you don’t want to be behind the game but partly also, though I don’t think they’re correct in the way in which they put it, it is that journalists generally collude. Whether you’re a broadcaster or a writing journalist, if you’re in the lobby, if you’re in the bubble of Westminster you’re sharing information, ‘’What did he say? What did she say? What’s the story here do you think?’”

Another theme of the documentary is the tortured question of BBC impartiality, with Sir Craig concluding that:

“One of the biggest problems with the BBC was really highlighted during Brexit: that they mistook balance for impartiality. And they got to a situation where they felt, look here are two campaigns that they’re both officially recognized, today one is saying this, the other is saying that — we simply report that. I felt very strongly during that not just from the point that the Leave campaign is getting away with murder, there was also criticisms of the Remain campaign too. But the BBC should have been better than that. They should have used the expertise that they had to say — this is simply not true.”

UnHerd will also publish a YouGov survey that underlines the need for a new approach, and lays bare the extent of public scepticism. The survey finds that 54% of people think that news providers “don’t understand people like me”. 77% believe news providers are politically biased…

UnHerd has recruited a stellar collection of regular writers and big name guests from around the world. Contributors also come from all sides of the political spectrum – from Douglas Murray on the right to Ayesha Hazarika and James Bloodworth on the left; Brexit supporters like Douglas Carswell and Brexit opponents like Ian Birrell and Chris Deerin. Crucially, the cutting edge original content they provide will be free to access…

Content produced and sponsored by UnHerd

The post Is News Working? UnHerd Launches With Analysis of 24/7 Media appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

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Posted by Ross Kempsell

Britain’s ‘Green Brexit’ will set the “global gold standard” in environmental policy and protections, Michael Gove pledges today. The Environment Secretary this morning addresses green group WWF, where he will tell his audience:

“Leaving the European Union means leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, taking back control of environmental policy… Indeed, outside the European Union there is scope for Britain not just to set the very highest standards in marine conservation, but to be a global leader in environmental policy across the board…”

Gove will refer to himself as an environmentalist as he outlines the UK’s freedom from the CAP, meaning post-Brexit subsidies can be restricted only to those who meet rigorous standards determined by Britain not Brussels. The CAP, under which the EU allocated funding based on the size of landholdings, led to staggering examples of waste. Last year BBC News revealed £400,000 of taxpayers’ money was being dished out to the Newmarket farm of billionaire Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah al Saud. The prince’s farm is used for breeding racehorses. The CAP also meant nearly £800,000 in taxpayer subsidies being granted to the Mormons. It encouraged a pratice called ‘slipper farming’: farmers simply bought up vast tracts of land to get the subsidies attached to it. Britain’s freedom from this madCAP scheme will make Europe’s farmers green with envy…

The post Green Brexit Means End to MadCAP Waste appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Comic for July 21, 2017

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:59 pm
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Dilbert readers - Please visit to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to

The role of junior Ministers

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:16 am
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Posted by johnredwood

Under Labour junior Ministers spent most of their time it seemed on local and regional media and trade press. They tended to define the Ministers role as communication. If you went to a meeting with one of them about a constituency issue or problem they usually left the substance to officials, whilst thumbing through files of press clippings to highlight items they disliked. To me it looked as if they were only doing part of the job . Before you can communicate as a Minister you need to have satisfied yourself about the policies, and played your part in ensuring good delivery of service. You have a media problem if the department is letting people down through poor policy or poor execution of policy. The fix for that is not to get better at media handling, but to engage with sorting out the underlying problem.

The ONS study of public sector productivity shows it fell most during the middle Labour years when they threw plenty of public money at their departments and programmes. Ministers did not supervise the way the money was spent properly, and did not supervise it to achieve better results. The new Conservative government needs to learn from this disappointing history, and put Ministers of State in charge of supervising budgets, achieving higher quality results, ensuring extra spending is matched by extra output. Taking an interest in what staff can achieve with the money, encouraging them and assisting in putting it in the right places should be an essential task of Ministerial leadership. Cabinet Ministers need to be strategic and to contribute to the wider government policy debate, so this is an ideal task to delegate to experienced Ministers of State.

I held two important Minister of State commands. One was in the business department in the days when that department was the financial and general business regulator for all firms apart from the banks. I needed to take an active part in ensuring quality and in targeting resources on the handful of cases where we needed to take action. The second was as Minister for local government, where I had a huge budget to allocate and supervise. In both departments various quangos reported to the Secretary of State. I took on the detailed tasks of setting and reviewing budgets, setting and reviewing performance targets, mentoring or replacing Directors and CEOs. It was interesting and worthwhile work. There was plenty of what business calls low hanging fruit or easy wins when it came to finding ways to do things cheaper, better, faster.

The new government needs to hone its skills and use its Ministers to raise the game of the bodies they supervise. The Chancellor is right to make higher productivity his main crusade. What better place to start than the public sector which he helps control. We already have the people in place to do the job. The Ministers need directing and energising to perform this role.

There is no cliff edge

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:46 am
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Posted by johnredwood

I have been asked to write about the so called cliff edge if we leave the EU without a deal. That is easy to do.

There is no cliff edge.

It’s another of those silly metaphors that have characterised much EU debate for years, like the instruction that we must get on the train, or be part of the convoy. The EU was never either a train or a convoy. It is a set of ever increasingly complex laws and rules, a single currency, common borders, the four freedoms and the rest as they progress to political union.

If we leave without a deal the planes will still fly from Paris to London on 30 March 2019, the Danish pig farmers, and French dairy industry and the German car industry will still send us their products.


Jul. 20th, 2017 11:37 pm
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Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.

Alice Grove is finished. I'm going to take some time to just do QC for a while and then start another side project sometime in the fall. Patreon subscribers will get sneak peeks, advance previews, and other stuff as it develops. Thank you for reading my comics.

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Posted by johnredwood

I don’t understand why there is any lack of clarity on this simple subject. The UK owes our regular contributions up to the date of departure. The UK owes no contributions thereafter or special payments to leave.

If they want us to stay in the EIB we can come to an agreement about our capital in that Bank. If we want to stay in Erasmus and they want us in there will be a continuing payment related to our share of Erasmus spending as a non EU member of it. Our paid up capital in the ECB is small and not a major issue. If they want us to keep our small shareholding we could.

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Posted by Ross Kempsell

Turns out Jezza and Tom Watson were showered with freebie Glasto tickets. Corbyn – who spoke on the main stage at the event – received two free tickets from the organisers at a total value £476 via “a member of his family“. Watson had it even better, wangling a total of five free tickets paid for by Live Nation, an American events firm based in Beverly Hills. Watson’s fistful of tickets came to a total value of a whopping £2,445. Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh also had two free tickets, paid for by Michael Dugher’s lobbying group UK Music (total value £900). John McDonnell, who branded the Grenfell fire “murder” at the festival, didn’t declare any Glasto freebies. While their middle class fans paid thousands, Labour’s headline acts went Glaston-free…

The post Glaston-free: Labour’s Headline Acts Showered with Freebie Tickets appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Visit to National Grid

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:01 pm
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Posted by johnredwood

I had the pleasure of attending the National Grid graduation day for their interns. Under their theme of “Employability” they give young people a better chance of a future job by good intern programmes. One of this year’s intake has been offered a job with National Grid, who are helping the others find jobs or College or work placements elsewhere. Contracting companies of National Grid are encouraged to participate in their Employability programme. The current special school partner is Addington.

I welcome this good scheme to give students a better chance of employment, by concentrating on their many abilities.

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Posted by WikiGuido

David Davis has banked nearly £35,000 in donations in the last month, from a variety of benefactors across the Brexit spectrum. Intriguingly Davis accepted £15,000 from Allamhouse Ltd, a firm owned by former major Labour donor and top Blairite Assem Allem. Readers may remember Allem as one of Labour’s main individual donors from the 2010-2015 parliament, before he became disillusioned with Corbyn and tried to convince Tony Blair and the LibDems to set up a new centrist party. Curious he is now backing Davis…

DD also accepted £5,000 from businessman and Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis, a Leave voter who oddly wants to Remain in the EU. Paphitis took the unusual position during the referendum of backing a vote to Leave so the EU would give us a better deal and we could ultimately Remain:

“I believe that if we vote to leave the EU there’s a very high chance that our friends in the EU will stop and smell the coffee and propose the sort of reforms that many would like to see and would make them comfortable to remain… I feel that the best way to leverage change and achieve our aim would be to vote out. At that point I am confident there’s a high chance that there will be another renegotiation and then we’re in.”

Fear not, Davis also accepted cash from three Brexiters: Anthony Bamford, Alan Halsall and Peter Cruddas. Raising a decent wedge from across the political spectrum, intriguing…

The post Davis Accepts Donations From Top Blairite and TV Remainer appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

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Posted by order-order

With Heat Street now at a dead end, Louise Mensch has a new online enterprise called Patribotics, strapline “Exposing Vladimir Putin’s War on America”. Her latest story headlines that Fox News Under FBI Counterintelligence Investigation:

Specifically, Sean Hannity is on signals intelligence co-ordinating his pro-Trump message with organs of the Russian state, such as RT, Sputnik, Wikileaks and Julian Assange

Her sources also tell her that Trump’s White House chief strategist is facing the death penalty for espionage. Guido admittedly hasn’t been following the whole Trump/Russians thing that closely. So this is shocking news given he hasn’t even been charged. The site has a lot of other conspiracy theories which Guido has not had the will time to read. Guido has his own conspiracy theory – her whole site is actually a Russian false flag operation to discredit all the Trump / Russia conspiracy theories as crazy…

UPDATE: Co-conspirators point out that Louise reckons President Trump too faces the executioner. Huge if true…

The post Mensch Claims Steve Bannon to Be Executed For Espionage appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

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