Monday, January 7, 2008

BBC / Al Jazeera’s Bin Laden Tape Interview

BBC Interviews Al Jazeera’s Bin Laden Tape Guy

Brown came in promising an end to spin yet six months later he is appointing Stephen Carter, head of the PR firm Brunswick, to be his “Principal Political Adviser”. So a spin doctor is now in charge of all SpAds including (the unpopular with the Lobby) Damian McBride. Carter will be in overall charge of political strategy and communications.

He had been at Brunswick for only a year after failing to get the job of ITV chief before leaving the media industry regulator Ofcom. Spinning for Brown will keep him very busy.

So looks like the Smith Institute’s Wilf Stevenson has missed out on the rumoured chief-fixer job. Matthew d’Ancona, the Daily Mail and the Indy seemed to think he was the front-runner. Or has he? Ah well…

UPDATE 17:22 : The Tories have just sent out a press release pointing out that Carter told the Guardian last year: ‘I’m not thinking of politics. I made that decision a long, long time ago’. A statement that is clearly untrue and inconsistent with reality, so he is perfect for Gordon. They also allege that Stephen Carter is being paid a salary of £137,000 to be “Gordon Brown’s spinner-in-chief”. Memorable phrase that…

Electoral Commission "Still in Contact with Mr Hain’s Office"

The new Register of Members Interests for Peter Hain shows a £5,000 donation belatedly registered on December 18 from Bill Bottriell. Hain registered it with the Electoral Commission as well on the December 12. However he still hasn’t registered Mendolsohn’s donation with the Electoral Commission but has put it on the Register. Incompetent or deceptive?

Guido has asked Hain’s office what is going on to no avail. The Electoral Commission says only that it is still in contact with Hain’s office, could that be because they are now being a little bit more rigorous? So the issue remains unresolved and incomplete to put it kindly. Is there a problem? Guido thinks so…

UPDATE 23:30 : The Pink ‘Un’s George Parker re-hashed Guido’s story and got a quote this evening from Hain’s office. Hain will provide the information “very shortly” but “aides have refused to explain why it was taking him so long, other than to say he wanted to be sure he got the facts straight. They said it was “ludicrous” to suggest he had something to hide.”

Outed

The Indy’s John Rentoul has got things a little mixed-up. There is a dark secret in Guido’s political past from his youth…

He was indeed a paid up member of the SDP, as was Liberty’s Shami Chakrabarti (she was always a cutie). Guido was on the national-executive of the youth wing no less.

It was apparently an incubator of political talent, or maybe not…

Will Be Blogging Westminster, Not Washington

Does the British Commentariat really know what it is talking about? They seem awfully ready to provide analysis of the local psephology of states they have never even visited. Dale is off to Washington at least, almost every British hack seems to have a view on the U.S. elections. Guido doesn’t really have a view, sure he might want Ron Paul to win, but knows he won’t. In reality so long as Hillary loses it will be fine by Guido.

During Christmas Guido’s Tongan-American brother-in-law (a Republican) said he was going to vote for Obama. Barack’s book The Audacity of Hope comes highly recommended. Time to read up methinks…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Russell Brand’s New Book “Sub-Undergraduate Dross” | Telegraph
Tory MP Barrister Represents Monaco Billionaire | Scrapbook
MOBO Singers Slam UKIP | ITV
Could UKIP Keep Britain in the EU? | Iain Martin
Why Piketty is Wrong | ConHome
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Milburn Levelling Down | Kathy Gyngell
Crosby and Carswell Make Friends at Guido’s Dinner | Mail
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail


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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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