Village People: Tories ill at ease with the wheeze that is quantitative easing


Andy McSmith
Saturday 08 October 2011 00:00 BST

The Tory right does not approve of the Bank of England's decision to inject £75 billion into the economy in the latest round of quantitative easing, or QE.

The MEP Daniel Hannan came close to accusing the Bank of printing counterfeit money, the MP Steve Baker said a worse crisis would be the inevitable consequence and the MP Douglas Carswell, pictured, called it a "disaster". At this point, that inveterate tweeter Iain Dale popped up. "Douglas Carswell is absolutely right, QE is a disaster. Pity it seems only to be the two of us saying it," he offered. This greatly offended James Delingpole, sage of the Daily Telegraph, who tweeted back: "Oi, bugger off, Mister Ego. LOADS of people are saying QE is a total effing disaster, not just you and Carswell." Nice.

MP apologises for kicking soccer fans when they are already down

Harriett Baldwin, the Tory MP for West Worcestershire, has apologised to Millwall fans. Describing how it feels to be campaigning for better representation of women, Mrs Baldwin told Channel 4 that it was like being assailed by Millwall fans. This provoked a rebuke from a one of the football club's fans, City fund manager John Coppock, who asked that she "refrain from such stereotyping".

Mrs Baldwin emailed back: "I am quite sure that Millwall supporters are unfairly stereotyped, not least by me. However, I believe they use the slogan 'Nobody likes us and we don't care', which led me to suspect that I was unlikely to offend them with my off-hand remarks. "However I can appreciate that being compared to Labour backbenchers in full cry at PMQs must be extremely offensive to all Millwall supporters and I apologise profusely."

Has Ed shaped the Labour succession?

The chances of Ed Miliband being succeeded by a white male diminished after yesterday's Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. Rachel Reeves, appointed shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, has not quite matched the achievement of Harold Wilson, who joined Clement Attlee's Cabinet at the age of 31, but at 32 she is the youngest person to serve in a Labour Shadow Cabinet.

She has the look of a future leader, but could be beaten to it by Chuka Umunna, who is only a few months older.

Role reversal now the order of the day in Downing Street

When the political journalist Julian Glover was running the Guardian website years ago, he looked for bright young MPs to contribute, and alighted upon the MP for Witney, David Cameron. But in future their roles will be reversed. Glover will write for Cameron, when he becomes a Downing Street speech writer.

Don't bank on money men to do right thing

Lord (David) James, a former corporate trouble shooter, told an interesting tale in the House of Lords this week. A little over 20 years ago, he alerted the Government to the development by Iraq of a 'supergun' made with steel tubes fabricated in Britain. Dr David Kelly, the weapons specialist who achieved unwanted fame after the Iraq war, was put on the case.

"We went together to see the National Westminster Bank and asked it to make available all the details of all the people that it was paying for armament developments with Iraq," Lord James said. The bank refused, he said, telling him: 'We absolutely cannot touch it because it would be a breach of our obligations to our customers'.

"Later the same day," Lord James went on, "we went to see Lloyds Bank and asked the same question, and Lloyds Bank unfolded the whole lot to us. Remarkably, at the end, they turned to Dr Kelly and said, 'While you're here, Dr Kelly, would you like to see the details of the capacitors for the Iranian nuclear bomb as well?'"

Lord James added: "Which of those two banks behaved correctly that day? Lloyds did."

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