Daily Archives: March 4, 2009

Jim Pickard

This won’t be a view shared by those who think we’re in for a short, sharp recession.

But Robert Waller, an authority* on British politics, reckons we are in for a new era of ping-pong politics where parties are ditched after each term in office. 

Jim Pickard

Very interesting story in this morning’s Times about Essex County Council looking to outsource some or all of its services to the private sector. The contract could be up to £5.4bn and – if the council goes ahead – would be the biggest of its type.

What the piece doesn’t mention is that the council has just axed BT Group from providing its I.T. services and taken provision back in-house.

BT was removed two months ago and the two sides are now in legal negotiations over an appropriate termination fee. 

We all know it sounded wrong when Gordon Brown blurted out “Barack” in the Oval Office. But this wasn’t just a matter of straying from the West Wing script. Brown was officially in breach of protocol.

The only publication worth consulting on this terribly important matter is the Hand-book of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonials at Washington, a must-read for visiting dignitaries hoping to build special relationships. 

Jim Pickard

Many of the best lines at today’s noon exchange were from William Hague, standing in for David Cameron as Tory leader.

The best were digs at Harriet Harman’s alleged leadership ambitions…and even had some cabinet members laughing. 

Jim Pickard

Barely a ripple. Perhaps it was the late release of the report into “Nannygate” – it didn’t emerge until after 6pm last night. Or it was a busy day. But newspapers could barely find the room to explain what the Commons’ authorities ruled over the Spelman affair.