“The Independent columnist’s award-winning work included pieces on a cruise with American rightwingers, a report on Saudi Arabia, multiculturalism and women, and another on France’s “secret war” in the Central African Republic. Johann Hari’s work combines courageous reporting and forceful writing with honest analysis,” said Orwell Prize judge Albert Scardino, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.” More…
“The Orwell Prize became aware of allegations concerning Johann Hari, the winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2008, on Monday 27th June. (Johann Hari has also been shortlisted for the Prize in the past, and entered this year’s Prize.) Given the seriousness of the allegations that have been made, we feel we have no choice other than to investigate further.
The Council of the Orwell Prize takes the integrity and reputation of the Orwell Prize, and the rigour, fairness and transparency of the entry and judging process, very seriously. As stated on Tuesday 28th June, there is a process to follow in such situations, which we have been following since Monday and continue to pursue …
Since 2008 the entry process has been made more robust still. The governance of the Prize has been reformed, and all entrants are required to sign a disclaimer, declaring that the submitted work ‘is wholly or substantially that of the named author or authors, and does not contain any plagiarised or unacknowledged material.”
If they want a proper investigation then they should allow some open sourced scrutiny of the pieces. Seems to have worked so far…
As his ball and chain marched, Miliband went to Birmingham for the relative comfort of the Local Government Association conference this afternoon. Before telling them that both the strikers and the government were wrong, Red Ed demanded his own private green room, kitted out with tea, coffee, biscuits and juice for his seven strong entourage. Guido’s LGA eyes and ears also chuckled at the security guard outside the room. When the Prime Minister went up to speak to the conference on Tuesday he shared a green room with the other speakers, as have all the other cabinet ministers who dropped by. Nothing’s too good for the workers.
UPDATE: Team Ed got in touch to argue Pickles was in the same room. Team Pickles say he only went in to watch Ed’s speech on the telly after he had vacated. Take it outside lads…
There is one group of public sector workers with gold plated pensions who don’t seem to be suffering. If “we are all in it together” maybe the government should take a look at their pension entitlements, which will make private sector workers drool with envy. Compare these two average pensions within the public sector; after a career of risking his life for his country a soldier gets a £7,987 pension, after a life of wind-baggery combined with drinking in subsidised bars and fiddling expenses the average MP gets a £21,364 pension. If they become Ministers the sky is the limit. Multi-millionaire John Prescott’s pension pot has £1.5 million in it. Gold plating at an unaffordable level.
For those in the private sector who had their pensions disastrously raided by Gordon Brown, wrecking Britain’s private pension system, today’s strikes might leave them wondering if they should have gone on strike in protest at his 1997 stealth tax raid. Taxes that Gordon used to splurge on the now striking public sector. Small businesses don’t go on strike, usually owner-run or family businesses, staffed by people who are friends and family, who would they strike against? Today is the last day of the month, many small business owners will be struggling to making enough money to cover the payroll, totting up the VAT they collect for the government and the taxes they have to pay for merely employing people. Imagine if they, the taxpaying backbone of the economy, went on a taxpayers’ strike. It could lead to great changes…
Guido has wondered in the past what exactly Alison McGovern does as Gordon Brown’s PPS. He never turns up or speaks, so why the dubious honour? Given McGovern is pregnant, speculation is mounting as to who will fill in for her when she goes on maternity leave.
If she’s not replaced then questions will arise about her onerous and demanding role.
Backbenchers should form an orderly queue to make their pitch for the job.
With nearly 200 thumbs up, the winner of last Friday’s caption contest is Yeah It’s Me Again with:
“UK Army provide boiled egg to go with soldiers…”
Guido thought there were funnier ones, but it’s the will of the people. Get in touch Mr Yeah for your prize of two tickets to see Yes, Prime Minister which returns to the West End from 6 July at the Apollo Theatre. Guido saw it last time round and it’s very funny.
The Indy have a hilarious Comres poll in which 2,000 voters were shown pictures of various members of the Shadow Cabinet. Unsurprisingly the majority of the bland B-team were not recognised, but most damning is the facet that one in four people identified Ed as David. You might wonder what exactly he has been doing since September…
Guido is fairly sure Johann Hari has breached Article 1 of the PCC Code. He has admitted misleading his readers. Despite the desperate attempts by his editor, Simon Kelner, to spin that his favorite son is being attacked for political reasons, the Hari-wagon is coming off of the tracks.
The Telegraph are coming down on him heavily. Firstly there is Brenden O’Neil rightly pointing out that “the notion that one can reach “the truth” by manipulating reality should be anathema to anyone who calls himself a journalist.” Janet Daley weighs in with a valid arguement:
“Many, if not most, of his interviewees were people whom he admired and whose political views he shared. By replacing what he admits were often their less-than-articulate responses to live questions with text from their published works, he was performing a service to their reputations which was worthy of a spin doctor or a professional propagandist.”
Toby Young points us to the career ending decision:
“His fate now turns on whether the committee that awarded him the Orwell Prize for Journalism asks him to return the prize (and the £3,000 prize money). It is hard to see how they could do otherwise, given that Hari still doesn’t seem to think his cut-and-paste habits are anything to be ashamed of.”
And in a slap to Kelner’s face and reputation, this issue goes beyond any left or right divide. The New Statesman is being particularly thorough in making sure the golden child of the left is held to the level of accountability that his platform and reputation deserve. The most damning revelation of the day so far comes from the Staggers, who reveal that Hari directly lifted other peoples work for an “interview” he did with Chavez in 2006. The dictionary definition of plagiarism.
Meanwhile The Guardian have provided a helpful poll on whether you think Hari’s apology was enough, needless to say it’s not looking good for him. Guido is digging around rumours of Hari being fired from his student paper for “making things up in order to make a story stronger”. He also bought you two more accusations of plagiarism earlier and Forbes have compiled cases of Hari getting his facts completely wrong, deliberately perhaps. Hilariously historian Guy Walters has found Hari lifted text Ann Leslie’s biography for his own interview with her. No wonder she said he wasn’t “a real journalist” on Newsnight last night. Brian Whelan, who triggered this onslaught has found another smoking gun.
Right now hundreds of articles by the disgraced bard are being scrutinised, fact-checked, cross-referenced and flagged up. You shake one branch….
Roy Greenslade reveals in his Standard column today that the Sunday Times’ lawyers have declared that there are no legal grounds for appealing the court order demanding that they hand over of their Pryce/Huhne tape and documentation to Essex Police. The hour is getting late Chris. Time to reach for your simple sword of truth and that trusty shield of British fair play.
UKIP Fundraiser Was Jailed for Running Brothels | Times
Bercow Faces Probe Over Pass Mystery | Mirror
Harman Breaks Rules on Paying Staff | Express
Labour Whinge About Sandi Toksvig Joke | Mail
BBC Boss Search in Disarray | Times
Tory Membership Set to Outstrip Labour | Staggers
Three Cheers for the David Brents | Ed Conway
Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…
“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”
What time will dinner be ready this evening?
Rob Wilson MP
In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.