It’s not the ‘crime’ that gets you: it’s the cover up.
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It’s not the ‘crime’ that gets you: it’s the cover up.
Just when you thought the Lib Dem’s priorities couldn’t get any more skewed, Danny Alexander has told his constituents he backs naming and shaming of supermarkets who give dairy farmers a bad deal — whilst telling the country he won’t do the same for companies who avoid millions in tax.
In a local press release, Beaker backed the introduction of a watchdog with the power to name and shame supermarkets who pass on unexpected risk and costs to dairy farmers. Unveiling the plans, Alexander boasted:
“Farmers, in the Highlands and across the country, will now be able to enter into contracts with confidence, knowing they will get a fair deal from retailers. I am extremely proud that we are delivering on this in Government.”
But faced with seething public outrage that companies such as Starbucks and Google have paid less than 3.2% tax, he told this morning’s Today programme there would be no naming and shaming of the corporate giants:
Ironically evading the question, Danny told Radio 4:
“I’m not sure that naming and shaming is a good idea by the tax authorities. I think taxpayer confidentiality is a very important part of our tax system”
It looks like large corporations are exempt from more than just tax.
Fraser Nelson’s Telegraph column makes sobering reading for government benches:
“Those same Tories, who once gossiped about a 2019 battle between George Osborne and Boris Johnson to be the next PM, now talk of a 2015 race to be leader of the opposition.”
Some — including at cabinet level — are already making plans to flee the sinking ship:
“I know of one Cabinet member who is already moving his family to London, after concluding that it doesn’t matter what his constituents think because they’ll boot him out at the next election anyway.”
So who could this mystery (male) cabinet member be? With nearly all Tories in possession of handsome majorities, the nomadic member of the executive can likely be narrowed to one Conservative and two Liberal Democrats:
Can our Westminster and Whitehall readers shed any light on the matter?
Bad news for Danny Alexander over at the Lib Dems’ leading grassroots website today, where a survey of members reveals more of them want David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith and William Hague in the cabinet than Beaker.
With a September reshuffle looming, it looks like beleaguered party supporters don’t fancy another 18 months of Alexander spinning their austerity policies (badly). His poor performances see him as the 14th most popular member of the cabinet, with a significant minority demanding his removal.
Lib Dem Voice co-editor Stephen Tall sticks the knife in:
“I think it’s crucial we retain a foot-hold in the Treasury with the post of chief secretary. Whether Danny Alexander is the right person for the job is another matter … I just don’t think he’s the person you want fronting for the party on Newsnight.”
Scrapbook has to agree he has a point. Here’s some vintage Beaker from Question Time, in which the former Cairngorms National Park press officer shows his mettle:
Nearly half of Tory activists think the Prime Minister is costing the party votes, according to ConservativeHome – but the leading grassroots website still won’t reveal his standing in the cabinet league table.
Yesterday, Scrapbook revealed Cameron’s had been quietly airbrushed out after previous poll results showed his popularity plummeting. The site has now released some damning numbers this morning, revealing 43% of members don’t think Cameron is a vote winner, as opposed to a miserable 36% who do.
But the outcome of the poll’s key question, which asked if members were satisfied with each individual cabinet member, remains absent for the PM — prompting speculation over where his low watermark will lie.
Imagine the embarrassment if he polled lower than Beaker.
Rather than work on contingencies in the event that Greek voters rejected the country’s EU-IMF bailout deal last Saturday, chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander instead opted to party with his former colleagues – from a campaign for Britain to enter the single European currency.
With Greeks poised to go to the polls in an election which could have determined the fate of Europe’s economy, revellers quaffed champagne at the reunion party for the now defunct Britain in Europe campaign, where Alexander was director of communications.
Beaker is pictured above enjoying himself the Belgravia pub near Sloane Square — some one and a half miles away from his office in the Treasury.
Good to see he has his priorities straight.
When a “Ladies & Gants [sic]” fabric stall from Pakistan goes in search of a British fashion icon for their hoardings, there can only ever be one winner. Step aside Beckham and Brosnan, Wazir Tailors of Islamabad proudly boast the image of Westminster style guru, errr, Danny Alexander.
This is nearly as good as the “Ken Livingstone Coffe Shop [sic]“ in India.
Photo via: Jonathan Boone
It appears that Treasury spinners may have told BBC producers that Danny Alexander would not debate with Ed Balls on Newsnight. With his department stewarding the economy back into recession, Alexander did not engage directly with the shadow chancellor late yesterday — despite being one of the most senior figures in the government with an annual salary of £134,565.
In bizarre scenes, Balls and Alexander were sat opposite each other but never exchanged blows, with the segment split into two seperate interviews with Kirsty Wark.
Danny: if you can’t stand the heat then get back to the Cairngorms National Park press office.