Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flashback 2008 : Labour’s Draper to Dominate Blogosphere

From September 2008:

PR Week can reveal that the Labour Party is exploring plans for an online rapid rebuttal unit, designed to kill off damaging stories circulating in the blogosphere. Former lobbyist Derek Draper will oversee the initiative, having recently been called in by Labour’s general secretary to advise on how the party can communicate its message. Labour strategists are keen to respond to the growing influence of right-wing blogs.

Channel 4 covered the bright new dawn hereIt didn’t quite work out…

Flashback 2007 : Revitalised Left-Wing Blogosphere

Back in November 2007, when Comrade Hundal launched his site, we were on a Radio 4 show together, he told them “it will become ‘the hub’ of a revitalised left-wing blogosphere”. Two years later they are making the same claims all over again

The Online Left Thinks 2010 Will Be Their Year

Look away if you hate blogging on blogging. The unpopular left-wing part of the blogosphere is convincing itself that 2010 will be the year they take off. Prospect’s editor James Crabtree has an article in the New Statesman to that effect.

Most critics and even the right-wing blogosphere gives Will Straw’s Left Foot Forward credit as the best new online offering from the left.  It does what successful blogs need to do, produces timely original content that runs ahead of the mainstream media’s news agenda.  Will knows this won’t directly achieve much electorally, instead he aims realistically to influence and frame the media debate, rather than win votes, which he doesn’t think any blogs can deliver.  Sometimes we can Will.  Yes, we can

LabourList is, like LabourHome before it, a bit directionless and seems more about cheering up the troops than scaring the enemy. That might be a valid role. It is of course way better than back in Draper’s day. Boy, does Guido miss him. To match up to ConservativeHome’s influence and be taken as seriously by the host party as Tim Montgomerie is will take some doing.

  • Sunny Hundal’s Liberal Conspiracy suffers from what Lenin would call an “infantilist disorder”, that is the kind of leftism Guido wants to see dominate the Labour Party in the next decade.  A modernised version of the loony left of the eighties would be ideal fodder for this blog.
  • Hopi Sen, Tom Watson and Tom Harris all write well, but are they really willing or able to put in the hours Dale does?
  • As for Twitter, it isn’t going to win any votes and is a tool, not a means. Forget it.
  • This blog?  Guido plans to be in the same position, performing the same role under the next government as this one.

The left has to get the post-election civil war out of the way first before it re-groups. Given that the online left is way to the left of the electorate, there is a good chance that the Labour blogosphere will help consign the Labour Party to irrelevance for a good while. 

There is a good chance the Labour blogosphere will be as much of a hindrance to the Labour Party in 2010 as it was in 2009…

Guy News : The Out-Takes

Watch out for the weather girl…

Happy New Year…

Quote of the Decade

Gordon Brown said

“What you as the City of London, have done for financial services, we as a government intend to do for the economy as a whole.”

Mansion House speech, June 2002

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cherie in Swindon

A co-conspirator draws Guido’s attention to Swindon Wide’s reporting of the upcoming ‘Swindon Festival of Literature’.  Undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights of the year.  Cherie will really have to prostitute herself somewhat to push her book, she got a reported £1 million advance and it has sold a mere 33,000 copies.

Guido knows Cherie has a reputation for money grubbing, but even so, the headline is a little unfair…

Quote of the Day

James Crabtree predicts

“2010 will see the ‘rise of a genuinely powerful, left-wing blogosphere’ ready to take on ‘the Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United of British politics’ (aka Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and ConservativeHome).”

Guido’s Portfolio 2009

In the right hand column of this blog below the book ads there is a spot updated in realtime showing Guido’s portfolio position. For the readers who are interested (there are a few) this is the portfolio report for the second half of this year (first half here).

The huge pink drop on the chart is when Guido decided that the U.S. stock-market was getting carried away to the upside and shorted U.S. Dow futures.  He was at the time sat in a deckchair in France drinking rosé in the August sun.  When over the next few days the trade started to go wrong, and the Dow pushed well past 9000, Guido drank more rosé and doubled up his short.  Who said rosé was cheap?

By the time Guido sobered up and exited the trade it had wiped out all the profits from the first half of the year (and some) putting the portfolio in the red.  So Guido stuck to jobbing the gilt market from the short side and dodging the QE bidding, then figured out that it was possible to join the QE bidding.  Next trade mess-up was trying in November, despite being a huge gold bull, shorting a technically over-bought gold market.  Except it wasn’t really over-bought fundamentally as India’s central bank had bought 200 tonnes.  Net-net the year’s trading of gold didn’t really make any money as a result.  Made small profits jobbing oil and getting long the euro.  The portfolio was mostly flat with no positions or risk during the year (68 trades were made all year, mostly held for less than a week).  Guido was too busy doing other things and has removed the trading software from his Blackberry to prevent himself from trading financial markets under the influence.  Nevertheless the portfolio is up 40.82% on the year versus a stock-market up about 23%.

The portfolio’s high leverage and sharp moves in Net Asset Value* are due to having a target of making a 100% annualised return.  Guido was 78% up at one point in early November before giving back profits.  Next year Guido can see no reason to hold gilts, if the markets sense a close election it will spook the gilt market and there is going to be a continuing flood of supply no matter what.  The exit from QE will probably be horrendous.

*Eagle eyed readers might spot a discrepancy in the NAV figures, the final figure is based on NAV versus the start of the year and the NAV changes throughout the year are based on trade by trade changes.

Sh*ts of the Year 2009

The lack of real news flow means that the media start doing predictions and awards to pad out space. Dale’s listmania has  once again gone into overdrive, could have sworn he posted “My Top Ten Lists of 2009″. So Guido will, for the same reason, invite co-conspirators to nominate their “Sh*ts of the Year”.
  • Sh*t Politician of the Year
  • Sh*t Journalist of the Year
  • Sh*t Blogger of the Year
  • Hoon Prix d’ Sh*t of the Year

The last category can come from any field of human endeavour. Put your nomination in the comments together with less than 30 words giving your grounds for your choice. Do not misunderstand, it is not a vote for another bloody list, it is a contest of wits, you have to make a nomination with illuminating, witty amusing grounds in 30 words or less. Not just say “Brown is a sh*t.” It is for a T-shirt after all…

Multiple entries permitted, a co-conspirator T-shirt to the wittiest nomination received by midnight tomorrow…

UPDATE : Despite emphasising that this post is seeking witty nominations and prize is for the best grounds for the nomination, people are just making nominations without giving reasons. Doh!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

Comrade Hundal says

“Class War remains an electorally viable strategy because … it highlights wedge issues Labour needs to advance to narrow their defeat…”


Seen Elsewhere

Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times
1,400 Children Abused In Labour Rotherham | BBC
Stop Mills Motion Revealed | Speccie
Former Clerk Warns Against Bercow’s ‘Gofer’ | Times' Letters Page


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


UKIP waste no time going for the Boris class war: “more Oxbridge than Uxbridge”.



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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