Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Riddle of the Rifkind Rib-tickler

George Galloway, the Respect MP and former official spokesman for David Cameron's anti-independence campaign, asked Hugo Rifkind yesterday if he had any comment to make about his father's spectacular fall from grace.  Rifkind responded with a rather tired and unimaginative attempt at a put-down -

"Thanks for asking, George. I suppose I'd just say I salute my dad's courage, strength and indefatigability. Hope this helps."

For some reason, though, the Mirror thought this boilerplate insult was bloody hilarious, and gushed about a "brutal smackdown" and a "truly epic burn".  This raises a few questions -

1) Why is the "left-wing" Mirror cheerleading so fervently for a posh Tory journalist?

2) Why are two of Cameron's disciples squabbling with each other anyway?

3) Why did Rifkind think comparing his dad to Saddam Hussein would annoy Galloway?

Answers on a postcard...


  1. There are no 'left wing' papers, James. There are papers that pretend to be left wing, so that they can slowly alter their readers politics.

  2. YouGov sub-sample: SNP 39, Lab 29, Con 15 (others 7 or less).

    Towards the lower end of the typical range, but nothing outlandish. SNP down-weighting a bit greater than normal.

    1. Aye, back in late 2014 it was x0.95 (5% down-weight), now its x0.69 (31%), with that accounting for any overall sample down-weight due to excess Scottish respondents.

      Seems to be still growing in impact, i.e. SNP down-weighting continues to get larger. This would make sense given the number of people identifying as SNP has hit new highs with those identifying as Labour new lows (36[+9]% SNP vs 19[-9]% Lab since the iref according to Comres); increases the probability of SNP being down-weighted as polls weight to out of date party identity data. Likewise increasing probability of people saying they voted SNP in 2010 when they didn't; if they now see themselves as firmly SNP but tactically voted Labour in 2010 they may be more likely to change the past in their own minds.

  3. In fairness to Hugo, Malcolm Rifkind's government helped to arm Saddam Hussein, so maybe the comparison isn't totally silly.

  4. Oh you and your alliteration...

    That is corker!

  5. "Answers on a postcard"...can I use the back of a brown envelope?

  6. Buh bye Rifkind! :-D

    Some priceless footage of the arrogant westminster sleazebag.


    Speaking of Galloway (though I know there will be plenty of posters being created right now featuring the greedy corrupt coupons of Straw and Rifkind with Better Together across them both) here's another prime candidate for a poster.

    MPs' outside earnings : Top 10 earners in 2014


    Who is that at number 1? Well, well, well. Better Together indeed. And at number 3?


    The "MPs' outside earnings by party" graphic would also make a very informative poster.


    1. Mick - I stumbled across the 'List of Members Interests' a couple of years ago, and I've checked it every month since.
      It probably won't surprise you that '1600/hour' is nowhere near the highest - some come in at around £4,000 !
      One of the list's puzzles is the charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It's pointed angry fingers at the Coalition with regard to inequality and poverty recently - but while it's doing so it hands tens of thousands (in total) to LibDem MPs - including Danny Alexander (£3,750, listed on 5 December).

  7. Answer to question 3) is that the words "courage, strength and indefatigability" were part of George's eulogy of Saddam Hussein.

  8. 'Gorgeous George' saying anything about this is hilarious - he's one of (possibly THE) the highest earners at Westminster.
    Last time I checked only Gordon Brown made more - and he was listing earnings of around £1,300,000 - plus salary and expenses.

    Those companies, corporations, organisations, and charities don't simply bump into MP's in the loo - someone makes an approach, meetings follow, and a deal is done. That's why we have Labour, Tory, and LibDem MP's receiving 'gifts',being 'sponsored' - or employed - by tobacco companies, oil companies .... mining, finance, fur (yes - fur - see Phillip Davies' entry), alcohol, property, gambling, media, and hundreds of other companies, with a few foreign banks thrown in for good measure.
    It's why Peter Hain receives £31,500 from a West African gold mining outfit, and Richard Harrington earned over £450,000 from his 'other employment' over the last 12 months.

    Hundreds of other MP's can exist without the extra income, and it's safe to say they are the ones you see most in the main chamber, Westminster Hall, and Select Committees.

  9. Love that interviewer in the video with Malc: 'Sorry I'm walking backwards: i'm trying to do several jobs!"