Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Facepalm Mk II

Actually, this one is funnier:

Brown makes Britain an international Laughing Stock

I've had a look at what impact Brown has had in the International Press. Each of these images comes from the front web page of an international newspaper.

Thanks to Brown Britain is being mocked in Dubai, Italy, France, Argentina, the US and Singapore. And that's just the first six places I looked!

I've got no idea what "Un Disastro quella bigotta" means, but it sounds to sums up the situation perfectly!

Isn't The Mirror missing something?

Image taken at 1300BST.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dave winning on Twitter

Current trends on Twitter, with ten minutes to go:

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Spoiling Political Scrapbook's Attack on Shaun Bailey

Political Scrapbook appears to be trying to attack My Generation/ a charity run by the Tory PPC for Hammersmith at the next election (A Mr Shaun Bailey).

The scope of their attack appears to be this annual report of the charity.

I assume at the moment, that this will take the form of the Charity receiving £35,110 from Gifts and Donations, with £10,904 spent on Management and Administration, with only £5,740 spent on Direct Charitable expenditure.

I've also had a look at the 2009 accounts which lists the following:

"Incoming resources from generated funds: Voluntary income: £58,572"
"Total Charitable Expenditure: £58,572"

EDIT (13:22 21/4/2010): This was only Restricted Funds, Total Charitable Spending was £116,000

Looks like once the Charity was set up, it got a lot more efficient at spending the donors money on actual Charity works.

I assume PS's attack is based in this very old post.

EDIT: (13:24 21/4/2010): I assume the attack will come through the "high" wages paid by the Charity, totaling £10,904 in 2007 and £52,199 in 2009. It appears this salary is paid to the Chief Operations Officer and the Operations Manager, along with the Part-Time Project Co-ordinator, Administrator and Youth Worker.

Assuming that this is 4.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) workers, that works out at less than £15k each, not exactly a high salary for people running a Charity.

For reference, the Salary of the CEO of WWF (another Charity) has salary and benefits of over $250,000.

EDIT: (16:17 21/4/2010) This whole thing was probably kicked off by this article in The Times. Basically, the Charity has donated £15,952 without any records of where it is. The tone of the article suggests it's a case of bad accounting (as you'd expect from a Charity that increases its donations nearly ten-fold in two years), rather than fraud. That article also mentions Joanne Cash in a similar context (she used the word "Charitable" to describe a social action project run and funded by her Conservative Association) but there doesn't seem to be any financial allegations.

EDIT: (10:44 22/4/2010) No sign of anything from Political Scrapbook. Maybe they've realised there's not actually much in the Annual Reports worth reporting on.

EDIT: (16:34 22/4/2010) Looks like Political Scrapbook have finally got around to releasing their attack . As expected they're claiming that the amounts used for administration are far too high. This is principally around the 2008 expenses, when £76,657 was spend on "Administration". Persumably, we're supposed to feel that this is money that has been creamed off into Shaun's pockets.

Well, let's have a look at exactly where that money was spent. This photo was taken directly from this annual report.

Despite their 'subtle' suggestion that Mr Bailey has been creaming money towards himself, it appears that the two biggest parts of the admin spend were "rent" at nearly £23k and salaries at £28k (Assuming this is split between the 3 FTEs identified in the report, they're pulling down a salary of £10k each). This doesn't seem to be gouging to me.

Ah ha! (you might say). But those nice people quoted a professor saying that Charities should only spend 15% of their income on Admin.

Charity Facts also says:

"What is an acceptable figure?
This is a difficult question to answer. The structure of the organisation, the nature of the work it undertakes and it's accounting conventions will all play a role in this. Also, good management typically costs more than poor management, so seeking to reduce costs in this area may ultimately be counter-productive as talented staff move on."

I'm sure also that a Charity pulling in £100k will have much higher overheads as a percentage than one pulling in £100 million.

There is another local Charity, which I have no reason to believe doesn't do sterling work, called The Hammersmith and Fulham Refugee Forum. In 2006 they recieved £83,492 in Grants (and £50 in Donations). They spent £87,099 on Administration (£47,570 on Salaries). (source)

NOTE: This is a work in progress, I'm going to react to Political Scrapbook's attacks as and when they actually happen (or, at the moment, before they do!)

Disclaimer: I don't know Shaun Bailey, I've never met him. I'm not a member of any poltical party. I'm not working in Conservative HQ (or anywhere else for that matter). I don't run a Charity, donate to anyone in particular. Any questions can be sent to the email address over there --->

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Crap Photoshop of the Day Mk III

Anyone wants to steal this, or any other images (and do them properly), please feel free. Minimal credit required on my part (though not none, i'm a vain, vain walrus).

Monday, 12 April 2010

Crap Photoshop of the Day MkII


Reading the Labour Manifesto - Chapter 1

I decided to have a look at the Labour manifesto, to see if there was anything entertaining to see. Of course, looking at this election's would be pointless, so instead I thought I'd have a look what they said in 2005.

I've included a couple of pictures below I pulled from here:
As you can see, I didn't get very far into it before I started spotting some hilarious predictions.

Apparently, under Labour the country won't go "back to Boom and Bust". Where we were fourth in the world in terms of GDP, we've now slipped to 6th, behind both France and Germany (I could have sworn that we were "better placed" than them before this recession!).

It's now 2010 and Employment certainly isn't full, not even with Labour's "Economically Inactive" tricks.

Have a look at this next snippet:

Inflation at 2%? Over the past year it's varied from +5% to +1% and it's now back over +3%. That doesn't seem like something that Labour are doing so well on.

Even better is Labour promising to "Borrow only to invest" and keeping Net Debt at a stable and prudent level. Well, National Debt was £400Bn in 2005. It's now over £951Bn and rising by half a Billion pounds a day (Unfortunately I'm not joking, see my other posts for what else we could buy with this sort of money).

See here for a live tracker:

I'm only a few pages into their last manifesto and on these fairly basic promises Labour didn't just fail, they failed so catastrophically they've potentially ruined the countries finances for vast majority of the foreseeable future.

Would you really trust the man who set your house on fire to put the fire out?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

£12m Labour donor's company sign the Tory NI pledge letter

I was highly amused to read this post from Left Foot Forward.

Apparently, some of the people who signed the letter pointing out that Labour's planned NI rise might not be a good idea (not surprising, seeing as it will cost at least 140,000 jobs!) have donated to the Tories.

If you include their companies, this comes to the total of £2.5 million pounds.

However, one of the signatories was Justin King. He's the CEO of a small grocer called Sainsburys. One of his major shareholders is a chap called David Sainsbury, that's Lord David Sainsbury of Turville to you and I. Him and his family control about 15% of the company. Effectively, he's Justin King's boss!

Over the years he's been a great donor to Labour. If you trawl through the Electoral Commission's list of labour donors, you'll find he appears a few times.

In total, he's donated a phenomenal £12,582,808 to the Labour Party since 2002. Over £4 million of this was in 2008 and 2009. That's about 12% of Labour donations over those two years, much more than Lord Ashcroft has donated to the Tory party. Compared to this, the £2.5m donated to the Tories is just small change.

Why didn't Left Foot Forward mention this when they were castigating the Tory donors?

Even Labour's biggest donors know that this NI rise is bloody stupid.