Archive for the 'Betting' Category


The buzzword bingo on Theresa May’s Florence speech

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Ladbrokes have a market up on what Theresa May might say in her Florence speech tomorrow, and I get the feeling that this is another market that will help contribute to the Ladbrokes Christmas bonus fund.

If I had to choose I’d back the 12/1 on ‘Global Trading Power’, but if PBers spot any value, please let me know.



The consequences of Amber Rudd’s decision to ignore the courts

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

By acting ultra vires, Amber Rudd’s actions should worry anyone who believes in the rule of law

Because of Boris Johnson’s behaviour there’s one story that hasn’t received the attention it deserves and that is the story of Amber Rudd being held in contempt of court, last Thursday The Guardian reported

An asylum seeker is holed up in a hotel room in Kabul in fear for his life after the home secretary breached a high court order not to remove him from the UK and instead put him on a plane back to Afghanistan.

Samim Bigzad, 23, says he is a prime target for the Taliban because he worked in construction for the Afghan government and American companies before he sought sanctuary in the UK. 

Now he is back in Kabul he is even more fearful after a group of armed men in plainclothes arrived at the hotel on Wednesday and demanded to know his whereabouts.

Two high court judges have made separate orders calling for Bigzad to be brought back to the UK as a matter of urgency. The second states that the home secretary, Amber Rudd, is in contempt of court for breaching the first order not to remove Bigzad.

If ministers can flout the rule of law and the courts then that sets a dangerous precedent for their successors, if any Tory wants to go down the partisan route and defend Amber Rudd, just think of how you’d feel if say Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell were in government flouting the rule of law by being held in contempt of court?

Lord Falconer, a former Lord Chancellor, has written an article on this subject, the headline says it all ‘If Amber Rudd can’t explain why she defied the courts, she should go.’ If Labour had someone with more substance and nous than Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary, then Amber Rudd might be in trouble to the point of resigning, however I’m going to take the 40/1 on Amber Rudd as next out of the cabinet that Paddy Power are offering.


PS – This is why I, like many others, have huge concerns about the ‘Henry VIII powers’ that the government is planning to use in the forthcoming European Union Withdrawal Bill, the executive want us to believe they will act honourably, Amber Rudd’s actions indicate the opposite.


Boris Johnson the David Miliband de nos jours?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

On resigning, it’s BoNo, I can’t leave, with or without you Prime Minister.

We’ve been here before, an unpopular analogue Prime Minister in a digital world who most of their party would like to ditch, a Foreign Secretary writing a newspaper article setting out their vision which many took as the beginning of a leadership challenge but then chickened out of that challenge.

I wonder like David Miliband, Boris Johnson has damaged himself with these shenanigans and ultimately rue not quitting/toppling the Prime Minister. But as many sources and outlets have reported overnight Boris Johnson has pulled back from the brink and cancelled his seemingly inevitable flounce that was scheduled this coming weekend.

If Boris decides to repeat his antics of the past week in the future and doesn’t topple Mrs May then he’s going to lose even more support and lustre, like the Grand Old Duke of York (and Albany) marching his troops up to the top of the hill then marching then back down again, it won’t end well.

What will other cabinet ministers make of this? I suspect they will see Mrs May capitulates under the slightest pressure and provocation, this does not bode well for good governance, as Ken Clarke noted, in normal circumstances Boris Johnson would have been sacked for his recent actions.

Amusingly like David Miliband, Boris Johnson has a younger brother who is also an MP, if history is about to repeat itself, you might consider taking the 100/1 on Jo Johnson as next Tory Leader that several bookies are offering.



It seems the only exiting going on at the Department for Exiting the European Union is the staff exiting

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

David Davis is paying the price for the poor state of the negotiations and 20/1 on him as next out of the cabinet looks good.

Over the past twenty-four hours it appears Mrs May is taking back control from both Boris Johnson and David Davis, the tweets above see to confirm that Mr Davis is effectively being sidelined from the Brexit negotiations.

I suspect this is an indication of how poorly he has handled them so far, for example having promised ‘the row of the summer’ over the sequencing of the talks he meekly surrendered, like the French army in 1940, on the first day of talks.

No wonder Mrs May is taking charge, I wonder if David Davis might flounce out of the cabinet, he does have a history of vanity flouncing out of the (shadow) cabinet. Paddy Power are offering 20/1 on him being first out the cabinet, I reckon that’s value, given his past form and recent events, especially when Ladbrokes are offering 16/1*.

You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you’re making Theresa May look decisive and assured, that’s how badly David Davis has sunk. No wonder ‘Boris Johnson believes Brexit negotiations will fail.’ Although I’m sure David Davis will be able to turn things around through these challenging times with the help of his current Chief of Staff, Stewart Jackson, the successor to James Chapman.


*Note the Paddy Power terms are slightly different to the terms Ladbrokes are offering, Paddy Power say ‘This market will be settled when the person no longer has a position in cabinet. Reshuffles do Not count. Dead heat if more than one leave on the same day.’


Betting on when Boris Johnson ceases to be Foreign Secretary

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Why I think Boris is about to F Off from the F. Off.

Paddy Power have a market up on when Boris Johnson ceases to be Foreign Secretary, judging by the tweets atop this piece, and my own hunch, I think Boris is itching to leave the cabinet.

Whether he’s not keen on Mrs May’s approach to Brexit, wants to be Mrs May’s successor, or sees the tempest long foretold of a bad/WTO Brexit and wants nothing to do with it. If Brexit does turn into the long term disaster that Remain predicted then I suspect the architects of Leave will be seen in the same light as the appeasers of 1930s. If Boris is on the backbenches he can argue he wasn’t able  to deliver his version of a successful Brexit.

He might also be looking enviously at his contemporaries David Cameron and George Osborne earning, inter alia, £650,000 per year for working one day a week, and fancy earning that. Although he might not be able to command that level of salary given that he was really a glorified council leader, and so far a not very successful Foreign Secretary whereas as Cameron and Osborne were successful job creating, deficit reducing First and Second Lords of the Treasury.

So if you think Boris is about to quit, you’d be better off backing the 6/1 Ladbrokes are offering on Boris as next out the cabinet, but if you think he’s in for the long haul the 4/1 on 2019 looks interesting, 2019 which is the date many expect Mrs May to stand down. I think his intervention in his newspaper article on day of a terrorist attack on London will look like the crassest of mistakes, the early polling seems to be pointing that way.



Boris has blown it again

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

In the aftermath of the referendum, the job of Prime Minister seemed to be Boris Johnson’s for the taking.  As one of the leaders of the Leave campaign with proven star quality and the intellectual backing of Michael Gove, he looked to be clear on goal.  But from six yards out he skied it over the bar.  Somehow he lost the backing of Michael Gove and he withdrew.

The eventual victor, Theresa May, made him Foreign Secretary but it rapidly became apparent that he was woefully miscast.  His mouth has regularly run ahead of his brain and rumour has it that he is deeply unpopular with his opposite numbers, hardly helpful at a time when Britain badly needs friends and influence in order to secure the best terms for Brexit that it can manage.  It seems that for some time Theresa May has kept him out of the inner circle and since the election he has evidently been brooding on his options.

Number 10 was reported earlier in the week to have him on flounce-watch but sadly it seems that their agents were unable to apprehend the suspect before he detonated his device.  On Friday evening, he struck with his preferred weapon, the newspaper article.  Knowing that the Prime Minister was going to set out her vision for Brexit in Florence this week, he has dictated his own terms first.  This is lèse-majesté in its purest form.

In the wake of any atrocity, it is customary for those attacked to confirm that they are not going to be deterred from carrying about their usual business and that they are unruffled.  But Theresa May is going to be unable to ignore this without her lack of authority being exposed still more painfully.  She is either going to have to sack him or she might as well just give up.  She usually takes her time to make any difficult decision but she must surely eject him from the Cabinet.

Boris Johnson is a highly intelligent man.  He will have foreseen this.  So he must be rolling the dice in preparation for a leadership bid once he has been sacked, to cross the Rubicon with the forces that he can muster from the backbenches.

But he has been just too transparent in his appeal to the most diehard Leavers, who have never particularly trusted him anyway.  The likely reaction of those who have more to their life than Brexit is going to be distaste for such obvious and calculated ambition.

He has been unlucky with his timing too.  He could not have known when he made his move that London was going to be hit by a botched terrorist attack and have its alert level raised to critical.  This makes him look callously self-interested.

This is not, however, good news for Theresa May.  If Boris goes ahead with his plan, I expect the numbers will be found to hold a vote of no confidence in her.  Whether or not that succeeds, she will be critically undermined, just as Margaret Thatcher and John Major were critically undermined when they were challenged too.  She may limp on, as John Major did all the way to the general election, but the knowledge that a large chunk of her party want shot of her will rob her of the vestiges of authority that she currently possesses.

So this may well be the prelude to a new Prime Minister.  The chances of that new Prime Minister being Boris Johnson, however, look to be receding.  That is good news for David Davis in particular.

But there is one other politician for whom this is unequivocally good news.  Michael Gove was reviled for pulling the rug from under Boris Johnson’s feet last year.  Right now, his judgement of the man looks to have been completely vindicated.  He is hugely respected among the Conservative rank and file, and just as importantly his Leave credentials are impeccable.  He holidayed with George Osborne, so may well be able to count on the support of that wing of the party, allowing himself to present himself as a unifying candidate.

He can be backed for next Prime Minister at 40 with SkyBet and at odds of 30 or more on Betfair (don’t forget Betfair’s next Conservative leader market either).  He was good value at those prices before the weekend’s events.  He definitely is now.

Alastair Meeks


Betting on the number of tweets by Donald Trump next week

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Paddy Power have a market up on how many times Donald Trump will tweet from his @RealDonaldTrump account between the 18th and 24th of September.

The website twittercounter has analysed Trump’s twitter account, and over the last 30 days he’s averaging six tweets per day, so over a week, we should expect something around 42 tweets per week, so by my reckoning the 11/1 on 31-40 tweets represents value. However I’m not comfortable on staking much on someone as volatile as Donald Trump and is the living embodiment of David Cameron’s maxim about twitter.



Mrs May’s Italian job could see Boris quit

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off Mrs May, not lose your Foreign Secretary.

Overnight it was revealed that Mrs May will give a speech in Florence a week on Friday. The Telegraph says [she will] set out her vision of post-Brexit Britain in her most important speech about the EU since January. Downing Street announced that the Prime Minister would speak in Italy on Friday, September 22 and had chosen the venue to show that Britain was “leaving the EU but not leaving Europe.” Mrs May is expected to give fresh details about the future relationship she wants with the EU, but will not talk about how much money the UK is prepared to pay for the so-called “divorce bill.”

The Times is reporting that 

Allies of Theresa May are trying to placate an “out of sorts” Boris Johnson for fear that he could disrupt the Tory conference or even quit.

The foreign secretary is angry at claims that he misled voters during the Brexit campaign about whether the UK would face an exit payment.

He is said to believe that he has been sidelined as Mrs May prepares to compromise over the divorce bill to unblock negotiations. One cabinet minister said that Mr Johnson was the biggest threat to the short-term stability of Mrs May’s administration. Downing Street has promised him a higher-profile role on Brexit but only after her big speech on the subject on September 22. Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s chief of staff, is thought to be consulting Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, over its contents.

The foreign secretary is thought to have two red lines: the size of any exit payments and no transition deal that lasts more than two years. One insider said that this could lead to key elements of the speech being “fudged.”

Ladbrokes are offering 8/1 as Boris Johnson as the next cabinet minister to leave, I suspect he won’t flounce, as it will be damaging to both he and Mrs May, like his predecessor in Henley, Boris knows, “He who wields the knife never wears the crown.”

I suspect Mrs May and Boris Johnson will maintain their self preservation society that seems to have been in place since 10 p.m. on June 8th.