July 3rd, 2011

Helena Kennedy Should Recuse Herself Over Harigate

A co-conspirator sent in this email this afternoon. If this is true and it was Helena Kennedy he overheard, she should recuse herself from the decision over Johann Hari and the Orwell Prize.

On Friday, mid afternoon I hopped on a train at Clapham Junction heading to Gatwick. Behind me was a softly Scottish accented lady who started to have a conversation on her mobile. There was someone quite upset on the phone and she was very consoling. She then announced that she was high up in the Media Standards Trust and started name-dropping her connections. I’d never heard of the MST till I read your blog today. She was clearly talking about the Hari story, which I had heard about, so I listened in. I don’t know who she was (their website is down* right now and didn´t see her), but she firmly came down on the side of Hari, and seemed to be suggesting that she’d be doing all she could to avoid the guy being treated badly. Who is she I wonder, and who was the person on the phone? She seemed to be being asked to give advice about what to do next, and kept on telling the person that she’d call them when she got home as she was on a train. It seemed rather urgent. I wondered if it might be Hari himself or someone being pulled down by the consequences. Kelner? I tried finding out who this Softly scottish accented woman was…

In a short time the co-conspirator and Guido came to form the opinion that it was Helena Kennedy. His second email continued:

Can’t be sure it was her because I didn’t see her (I was sitting directly in front of her and didn´t want to turn around). Her voice fits exactly. I’d never heard of the MST. In response to the call she received, she quickly declared her role in that organisation as well as some personal links some people associated with the Orwell Prize, and that was what pricked my ears up. If she’s the only “posh Scot” woman in that organisation, then it can’t be anyone else. The conversation that followed seemed to fit exactly as though she were talking about the Hari issue, and she was giving that defence of Hari I’ve read elsewhere. She didn’t actually mention Hari by name. She seemed to be travelling with two other people (men) as she was talking with them as I got off at Gatwick. I got on the train sometime around 3pm at Clapham if it helps.

Helena Kennedy is on the boards of both The Independent newspaper and the Media Standards Trust. Guido will caveat this by saying he has yet to speak to Kennedy to get her confirmation or denial. Prima facie this doesn’t sound like the beginnings of something that is going to be transparent and accountable. Hari deserves due process, not a liberal-establishment stitch-up…

*The Media Standards Trust website is currently down.


  1. 1
    spreadforOil says:

    Scotish lady, probably a female relative of his. Likes his fem personality.

  2. 2
    sirsocks says:

    Is she as corrupt as me + my wife ? #PCC #PactScandal

  3. 3
    Lord Envious of Avarice says:

    Hari kari

  4. 4
    Johann Hari says:

    Look out for my new novel. It’s all about a young wizard who attends a school for gifted wizards and becomes best friends with a blonde girl and a ginger boy.

  5. 5
    Shuddupayourface says:

    But he is not Scottish. What on earth are you talking about?

  6. 6
    Shuddupayourface says:

    I read one article saying that Mr Hari looks like a lesbian; this is completely true. He also looks like my brother who is not a lesbian but who is a total and utter pervert. Hence I can’t stand Johann, no matter how gay he is.

  7. 7
    Everyone says:

    This email could be complete BS from someone who saw her, knew exactly who she was, and made up the conversation. It could also be from someone who was never on a train at all.
    Such loose hearsay, what a rubbish post.

  8. 8
    The Mechanical Turk says:

    He’s finished as a journalist, whatever she and the rest of the Righteous cook up between them. Something tells me the new editor of the Indy will be handing Little Johann his P45 tomorrow morning.

    Never mind, Ms Kennedy, a replacement in the guise of Kia Abdullah is coming up fast on the stand-side rail.

  9. 9
    Miss Marple says:

    “Scotish lady, probably a female relative”

    A Scottish lady’s not likely to be a male relative.

  10. 10
    Hell hath no fury like the other woman scorned says:

    I have no idea if this was her or not but one thing is true in my opinion, she is a self opinionated c unt who labours under the misunderstanding that We give a flying fuck what she thinks.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    Looks like all these fundamentalist extreme nutters are closing ranks.

  12. 12
    Weygand says:

    If it is her, then they should both go now.

    But, for partisan reasons, I will enjoy seeing their clutching fingers ever so slowly lose their grip as they plummet in to obscurity, which of all things they fear the most.

  13. 13
    WVM says:

    Right click to zoom in and then scroll to the right to see how the UK’s political blogs stack up in the popularity stakes.
    (All traffic ranked)


    Well done GF!

  14. 14
    Peter Grimes says:

    So the Leftist Marr this morning has as his guests a Leftist peer, another Leftist Scottish female peer (Kennedy) who is also a director of the Independent and finally, the new editor of the Leftist Independent whose former editor is the Leftist Marr.

    Nice balanced news panel there then.

  15. 15
    Clarence says:

    Could be.

    I am sure a hack or two will ask Ms. Kennedy if this conversation took place.

    And it goes without saying that she will answer truthfully – she is a lawyer and lawyers never lie.

  16. 16
    Peter Grimes says:

    Scrotish not Scottish lady; you know an androgyne like Mr Bollox’ husband Yvette.

  17. 17
    Stan Stedd says:

    What someone like Johann Hari d’you mean?

  18. 18
    Anonymous says:

    She should sue her hairdresser!

  19. 19
    That's News says:

    What does it say at the top of the blog? “Tittle tattle, rumour…”

    Hearsay does not exist outside a court. It’s a legal term often misunderstood, often misapplied. Like in your comment.

  20. 20
    Bogbrush says:

    Hari is in good hands. I seem to remember it was Helena who pioneered a woman’s defence to murder that the victim had driven her to it.

  21. 21

    And Helena said “Will ye that I release unto you the King of the News?”

    But the crowd of readers called out “Free Barabbas! Or if there isn’t anyone called Barabbas..free Will Self. He’s smug, but he isn’t such a righteous cock as Hari.”

    And Helena said “I find in him no fault at all”.

    But the crowd spake out against him saying “Just because you’re mates doesn’t mean he isn’t a pompous, self righteous, toad. We’re sick of him. We much prefer Charlie Brooker . Its tedious, predictable, bores like Johann that have plunged your sales figures into the low thousands.”

    Helena than hears from Lebedev that Hari has become an embarrassing liability and she washes her hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; you will see. But I want to keep my job so..nail him up boys..”

  22. 22
    Peter Grimes says:

    Did she specify the make and model?

  23. 23
    Johann Hari says:

    I’m recording an album of covers.

  24. 24
    Peter Grimes says:

    BTW, which ‘newspaper’ did Johan Hari Kari write for anyway?

  25. 25
    Tachybaptus says:

    Surprised to see that Iain Dale was still listed when his blog has been a corpse for many months, and of course flatlining in these statistics. So I look at it. And after weeks of nothing, there was a post from this morning. His dog has died too. I went there to giggle, but I am sorry for him.

  26. 26
    Eyeruletheworld says:

    Just nail his sorry ass!

  27. 27
    pigs in space says:

    Born in Glasgow, Scottish mother, fat, leftie hoon, so yes, he’s Scottish enough for most purposes.

  28. 28
    Kia Abdul says:

    When I heard that Johann Hari’s career is destroyed and that he is a white male I pmsl – does that make me a bad person?

  29. 29
    Johann Hari says:

    I’ve written a song. I’m very proud of it. It’s called Jillie Dean.

    Jillie Dean is not my lover
    She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
    But the kid is not my son

  30. 30
    That's News says:

    Hell. With Hari and Abullah journalism really is being done no favours!

  31. 31
    not a machine says:

    claps …..

  32. 32
    The Barnet Formula says:

    What makes you think she uses one?

  33. 33
    R Ripley says:

    A common complaint about education these days is the high percentage of youngsters who cannot read. In your case, the time spent teaching you to read was completely wasted.

  34. 34
    not a machine says:

    Hari , Huhne , Helena , I think there is definite london bias on this blogg against northerners having trouble with flat constanants!
    Mind you could be worse i thought I was having some DIY turned out to be deceptocon stasi , over to you as they say , cannot do much here until sockpuppets get rumbled , very unsporting .

    adue for now

  35. 35
    Lord Lavender et al. says:

    I saw a Lady recuse herself once. With an Eel it was. Dreadful racket she made an’ all.

  36. 36
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Guido – shame on you.

    If it is not bad enough that all our movements, thoughts, phone calls, emails, whatever – are NOT already on the GCHQ and NSA darabases, now we have a


    type tittle-tattle blog post like this.

    As if it is OK to ‘out’ someone on a fucking train, where the fucking STASI (nonce/spy/grass) ‘outer’ is too fucking scared to look around, or, even better, take a walk up the aisle ‘looking for the toilet’… and take a look at the softly spoken Scots woman…

    Jesus HFC…

    This is pure Orwell, disgusting.

    Getting folks to grass each other up?

    Thin end of the wedge – shameless non-forward thinking – the crapper, where this fucking reprehensible SHITE belongs…

  37. 37
    Cynical Old Man says:

    If the Scottish woman looked like Stanley Baxter in drag, then it probably was Helena Kennedy.

  38. 38
    Tachybaptus says:

    Adue to yue tue, and not a moment tue suen.

  39. 39
    Cynical Old Man says:

    Dalai Lama Ding Dong, you’ve obviously not had to sit on public transport when some annoying twat has a loud conversation on a mobile phone. Not only do you have to put up with being forced to listen to the inane mutterings of this moron, the whole fucking carriage/bus have to be party to it. On this occasion, the Jock female’s conversation aroused the interest of the person in front of her who then passed it on to Guido. No different, really, to one of Fleet Street’s finest overhearing some politician uttering some unguarded comment and printing in his employer’s daily rag.

    Dalai, you’re chuffing paranoid!

  40. 40
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Why do you have to state the obvious?

    Of course it is fucking annoying to have to listen to twats on mobile phones – remember the old sketch 15 fookin’ years ago with a bloke with a 4 ft high mobile, screaming at the top of his voice???

    Very funny at the time.

    I suggest you reread my POINTS above about spying – snitching- STASI-like activity…

    the “new norm”

    another STASI saying/sound bite

    This is the way big brotrher at the mo want to police society – they are training a gazillion kids to ‘report’ on their parents or anyone else, they are training Sainsbury’s staff to report suss activity to ‘social workers’ about dodgy sales of marmite of cornflakes, they want voluntary paramedics, they want have a go if you like brain surgeons, etc etc etc

    i am not fucking paranoid at all

    i have clear eyes

    guido is CONDONING the STASI big brother spying/snitching bullshit from 50 years ago

    used to be about 1 spy to 6 folks

    multiply THAT from 1950 1960 with today’s technology and you have


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about the secret police of East Germany. For its other common meaning, see Stasi Commission. For the regular police in East Germany, see Volkspolizei.Ministerium für Staatssicherheit

    Seal of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR
    Agency overview
    Formed February 9, 1950[1]
    Dissolved October 4, 1990 (End of GDR)
    Headquarters East Berlin, GDR
    Employees 68,000
    Agency executives Wilhelm Zaisser (1950–1953)
    Ernst Wollweber (1953–1957)
    Erich Mielke (1957–1989)
    Wolfgang Schwanitz (1989–1990)

    The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi

    Stasi operations
    Further information: Eastern Bloc politics
    See also: Censorship in East Germany

    Between 1950 and 1989, the Stasi employed a total of 274,000 people in an effort to root out the class enemy.[8][9] In 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 persons full time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of GDR army,[10] along with 173,081 unofficial informants inside GDR[11] and 1,553 informants in West Germany.[12] In terms of the identity of inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants, by 1995, 174,000 had been identified, which approximated 2.5% of East Germany’s population between the ages of 18 and 60.[8] 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.[8]

    While these calculations were from official records, according to the federal commissioner in charge of the Stasi archives in Berlin, because many such records were destroyed, there were likely closer to 500,000 Stasi informers.[8] A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.[8]

    At its height[when?], Stasi personnel reached one employee per 166 citizens.[13] When informants were included, the Stasi had one spy per 66 citizens of East Germany.[13] When part-time informer adults were included, the figures reach approximately one spy per 6.5 citizens.[13]

    You fucking patronising idiot.

    But thanks for the reply, I will have you card marked in future you OAP caaaahnt!

  41. 41
    Jimmy says:

    She must have been the poshest kid in her tenement.

  42. 42
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Hearsay indeed – and STASI would be proud of the good citizen that reported the anti-statist vermin!

    GULAG!!! Off ye go!

  43. 43
    oops says:

    Typo – he meant a jooooo

  44. 44
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    So what would YOU say if some vermin came along and said that you took the name of St Bliar in vain, or perhaps St Mmadlebum??? On a train? In a lift? In acar? At a party? In a pub?

    Geddit yet????


    The ‘establishment’ – the Hunts running everything, want you all to be ‘open season’ – THEY get to chose who goes down or not…

    HUHNE??? Maybe, but he is green and wind turbines, so I doubt it…

    HUSH PUPPIES??? One of ‘them’ and a euro, so top marks, nope…

    HARI??? Nope, too young, too bendable, too useful…

    and etc etc etc

  45. 45
    oops says:

    So which branch of the secret police do you think Guido is attached to/paid by?

  46. 46
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Zavod imeni Likhachova, more commonly called ZIL (or ZiL, Russian: Завод имени Лихачёва (ЗиЛ)—Likhachev Factory, literally “Factory named after Likhachov”) is a major Russian truck and heavy equipment manufacturer, which also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders.

  47. 47
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    IMHO Guido is legit – he is a “useful idiot” – research the term.

  48. 48
    Jimmy says:


  49. 49

    The difference is Guido only represents himself and those supporting his aims voluntarily.

    The MSM on the other hand often seek to control and direct our lives and have no compunction about using the instruments of the state and their power bases to do so. Their hypocrisy and machevellian machinations should be exposed at every opportunity.

    That is the difference between fighting against the state and voluntary servitude:
    “Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?” Etienne de la Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, c.1553

  50. 50
    Listen very carefully I shall say this only once.... says:

    I wonder if her phone was being hacked by the NOTW?

  51. 51
    Agent 99 says:

    “I did not have verbal relations with that woman”

  52. 52
    The Bash Street Kids says:


  53. 53
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    I hope this co-conspirator is known personally by you, Guido. The conversation reeks of being a set-up, with you as patsy. There are a lot of lefties and queans who would love to see you cut down to size, as they’d put it. Please tread carefully.

  54. 54
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Making victims out of criminals is a Lefty Core Value.

  55. 55
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    What gets me is the way Orwell’s books, especially Animal Farm and 1984, has always been claimed, or, hem, ‘co-opted’, by the left. Whereas Animal Farm is, at best, neutral in the left right dichotomy, 1984 is, if nothing else, an anti big state therefore anti left essay. He even calls the party of Big Brother ‘Ingsoc’ which has to be short for English Socialism.
    Yet ever since its publication the left, who seem permanently in denial of this, and the obvious anti ‘collective’ aspects of Animal Farm still portray Big Brother as a ‘far right’ political party; their most preferred choice of description being FASCIST.

    I’m certain that Orwell would be turning in his grave at these bbc types who use his name to booster their own grubby little careers.

    Champaign Socialists, bah, *spits*.

  56. 56
    Rich Socialist Bitch says:

    Tell you what. I’m fed up with Helena Kennedy constantly appearing on my Telly and telling me what I should think.

  57. 57
    Bald old git says:


    Didn’t mention Hari by name … v significant.

    To summarize; someone you don’t know tells you they have heard someone else you don’t know talking about an un-named third party who may or may not be Hari in the context of the Media Standards Trust and she intends to see that said party is not ‘treated badly’.


    1) your co-consiprator is absolutely reliable; and
    2) has heard correctly; and
    3) has understood correctly; and
    4) the person was Kennedy; and
    5) the conversation did relate to Hari; and
    6) meant that ‘treated badly’ might mean losing the Orwell Prize as a result; and
    7) meant sincerely what she was saying to her caller (as opposed to being placatory); and
    8) intends to fulfill that declaration of intent; and
    9) in fulfilling that declaration intends that she will not judge any matter related to it according to its merits;

    then there probably isn’t a story & Guido should at least have waited for comment or denial.

    Makes you wonder, though …

  58. 58
    Anonymous says:

    Pompous Hunt – fuck off and die you sad pathetic little drama queen.

  59. 59
    Bald old git says:

    Have no idea where that smiley thing came from …

  60. 60
    You can not be serious says:

    Her haircut looks like John Mcenroe’s of old.

  61. 61
    David Cameron says:

    Samantha was so smug. “Call me the brains of the family from now on!” she said. “I’ve saved a fiver filling the car across the road!”

    “What did you do, flash your tits at the attendant?” I laughed.

    “Ooh, you men are so silly. It’s easy to spot they’re 10p a litre cheaper.”

    “Really and on our doorstep?”

    “Yes! God knows why you fill it up with diesel if unleaded’s that price!”

  62. 62
    Rich & Mark says:

    But it is Monday morning. Where’s the toon?

  63. 63
    Marcus Aurelius says:

    the most amazing thing about this story is that such a senior liberal elite apparatchik as Helena Kennedy actually travels by train rather than having a taxpayer funded chauffeur.

    I assume though that like “Red” Ed Millipede she travels first class?

  64. 64
    Eeu to me says:

    Shhh ,lets forget and hope he does.

  65. 65
    Gossip says:

    Piss off Twat. Blurting out all yor secrets on a train is no different from leaving your memory stick on a train.

  66. 66
    cheche says:

    Why doesnt Andrew Marr introduce her as a board member of the Independant in his paper review surely thats a vested interest

  67. 67
    Andrew Efiong says:

    The establishment closes ranks.

    Sod the poor reader who gets fed false information, the “media standards trust” sounds more like the NUJ.

  68. 68
    smoggie says:

    It’s too late for a superinjunction.

  69. 69
    Terrible But True says:

    ‘This email could be complete BS’

    True; just like a Michael Crick or Nick Robinson source that can end up a main news story?

    Two wrongs, of course, do not make a right.

    But they can make a trend.

    ‘Peter Grimes says:
    July 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm
    So the Leftist Marr this morning has as his guests a Leftist peer, another Leftist Scottish female peer (Kennedy) who is also a director of the Independent and finally, the new editor of the Leftist Independent whose former editor is the Leftist Marr.

    Nice balanced news panel there then.’

  70. 70
    smoggie says:

    I hope Kia Ab-Dullah’s first job is to be shoved off to interview some recently berieved parents.

  71. 71
    smoggie says:

    bereaved, even

  72. 72
    Eyeruletheworld says:

    Beano’s too intellectual for him – probably the Dandy.

  73. 73
    blase says:

    Useful Idiot was a term Stalin used for people like Hari.

    tat is having another frenzy. Poor tat – and Jimmy for that matter – keep coming back to have a pop at Guido.

    Do something useful yourselves you sad bastards.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    The Pedant says:

    me too

  76. 76
    shutuperyerface says:

    are you sure it wasn’t Gordon Brown on the train?

  77. 77
    Eyeruletheworld says:

    Probably travels second class, but claims for a first class ticket.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Eyeruletheworld says:

    Yes, there were no flying phones, she appeared to be using it as a phone and not as a missile.

  80. 80
    Kipper Eater (waiting for repeat fee) says:

    Do you write scripts for Ed Miliband?

  81. 81
    Billy Bowden is the world's greatest umpire ! says:

    Happy 4th to all my American friends and relations

  82. 82
    Chuka's burning question says:

  83. 83
    Two days late says:

    Typical of the Yankers to get the date wrong. It was the 2nd of July when they became independent of Great Britain

  84. 84
    nell says:

    I remain ever hopeful that when we finally free ourselves of the socialist, parasitic eu , we too shall celebrate our 4th July every year.

  85. 85

    It is now 50 years since I read these at school. I saw 1984 as an anti left polemic. But the extremes of left and right that we experienced so vividly last century virtually merge into one another. As I think Bill Quango MP said elegantly the other day, they just use differently oriented parameters to get to precisely the same end result.

  86. 86
    Sir William Waad says:

    “….she should recuse herself “. I know that ‘recuse’ has become fashionable now, because of its use in American legal terminology, but the right word is ‘excuse’. To recuse is to refuse to take part in something when the people in charge think that you should. Helena Kennedy might for instance recuse herself because she disapproved of re-examining the decision to award Hari a prize, but if she thinks she is disqualified from taking part in the process (even though she would like to) she should excuse herself.

  87. 87
    Gweeedo says:

    as ever sam and mark are

    a) not funny
    b) there is no tag line
    c) i dont get who the cartoon is about


    How about a robotic ed millband – and gromit saying “Wrong ‘ed” !!!!! with a robotic control in his hand and the “ed” saying “strike wrong, governement too fast ….”

  88. 88
    Sir William Waad says:

    Or September 3, the date of the Treaty of Paris.

  89. 89
    Deep Froat says:

    Actually Hari is perfect for the Orwell prize. Orwell’s 1984. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery etc, and how thanks to Hari..’Truth is a Lie’, ‘A verbatim quote is whatever my researcher can Google’.

    Easy ..Jonathan please send me cash , small bills non consecutive numbers or your reputation as a Journo gets it…….er too late.

  90. 90
    Jess The Dog says:

    Fine words butter no parsnips is a well-known Blair quote. Kia is in quite a bit of trouble career-wise. Most novelists make bugger-all from novels. 50p a copy. Most novelists will be lucky to sell a few thousand copies early on in their careers, particularly if their work is less than original or controversial… Kia on both counts. Royalties are paid twice-yearly. So novelists need additional income, which is often from freelance writing…which can be quite lucrative (not CiF though). Controversy of this sort is not exactly helpful and is what happen when technology strips out the publishing filters that will normally stop such comments seeing the light of day. Penny Dreadful appears to be in another bind, with a publishing slot and an undelivered book.

  91. 91
    Sir William Waad says:

    It’s much worse. If you leave a memory stick on a train, it is unintentional and the finder has the option of not looking at what’s on it.

    If you babble on the phone at high volume, you choose to impose your thoughts, or lack thereof, on everybody else in the carriage and they have no choice but to hear what you’re saying.

  92. 92
    Gonk says:

    Blair has been quoted as saying
    ‘Politics has become a conspiracy against
    rational decision making’
    I’ve got an innovative ground breaking
    idea then. Listen to the people and carry out their wishes.
    Hey, blue sky thinking and moving forward.

  93. 93
    Kia abdullah says:

    I laughed when I read about the death of Iain Dales dog
    Does that make me a bad person?
    The pampered tory pooch probably choked on a fillet steak drenched in the blood of workers

  94. 94
    Blair and bollocks says:

    Ed Balls ‘plotted to oust Tony Blair’, claims former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell
    ‘TB… said he had just about had enough of Ed Balls talking to him like something on his shoe.’


  95. 95
    Clapham Junction is in Battersea says:

    Don’t forget all the verbiage on the importance of rule of law in HK’s book “Just Law” (also an apologia for the left leaning legal establishment supporting and failing to understand the consequences of Blair’s attack on civil liberties)

    Perhaps is she is involved she might care to re-read her own book before gonig further.

  96. 96
    The Editor, Trainspotters' Monthly says:

    It was us, but we’ve now decided to review whether Hari has really ‘classed’ the Virgin Pendolino coach units, as he claims. Some of his ‘spots’ seem to require him to have been in two places at once.

  97. 97
    Wattock Hunt says:

    Wrong thread?

  98. 98
    Jess The Dog says:

    Shame. I’ve always quite liked Kennedy. Her voting record indicates a streak of independent thought and conscience that is rare nowadays. Despite the unmanageable range of public roles, she was obviously talented and hard-working at the start of her career. She’s proper grassroots Labour to the roots.

  99. 99
    Airey Belvoir says:

    Ed’s flunkeys have been seen removing the first class headrest covers before a train interview; pathetic.

  100. 100
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I had that Hari in the back of the cab and he said, flicking his locks back from his eyes with a whimsical gesture, ‘It might seem strange, but I have found that one way to be happier is to spend much less time pursuing happiness.’

    (Just to be clear, when I say ‘said to me’ I actually mean ‘I read it on his website’).

  101. 101
    trevor_nunn says:

    i always regarded 1984 and animal farm as anti left/statist. what is the extreme right anyway, anarchist? nazism, fascism, national socialism are all variants of the left.

  102. 102
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    The Media Standards Trust is an arm of Common Purpose, the not so secret Marxist ‘charity’.

  103. 103
    It's all about Communication Luvvie says:

    A media lefty using influence in the media to get another lefty off the hook.

    Nothing new there. The BBC have been doing that for Labour for decades.

  104. 104
    Desperate Dan says:

    We can’t have third-rate copyists posing as journalists just because Polly Toynbee, Deborah Orr and Helena Kennedy want to practise their mothering skills.

  105. 105
    Marcus Aurelius says:

    message to cast iron Dave
    “When is our independence day, Dave?”

  106. 106
    Anonymous says:

    He’s a member of the jooish community.

  107. 107
    Desperate Dan says:

    Helena Kennedy managed to squeeze herself, as a late addition arrival, between the two paper reviewers on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday in order to dominate proceedings. The week before David Aaronovitch performed the same function.
    Both of them lowered the tone to reduce a Sunday morning current affairs programme to a Labour Party Political broadcast.

  108. 108
    Anonymous says:

    I attended his barmitzvah.

  109. 109
    Do keep up says:

    Has anyone told Chukka that Cable is now Business Secretary?

  110. 110
    Mark Skid says:

    Well done Guido. I had never heard of the MST or Helena Kennedy, but your outing of these lefty shitbags has lifted some of the scales from my eyes.

  111. 111
    Jess The Dog says:

    I hate the Blair-apologist Aaronovitch. I saw him speaking in public once and he was an arrogant dismissive twat. That’s what Johann Hari will look and sound like when he’s older. He just needs a silly little beard.

  112. 112
    Sir Ming says:

    Aye. Everyone knows all Scots live in tenements. And that cricket is a posh game only played by English public school boys.

  113. 113
    M'Learned Friend says:

    That’s why she wears a wig in court.

  114. 114
    Old Etonian says:

    And he’s one of ours.

  115. 115
    J G Brown says:

    I’ve read that one. It’s The Da Vinci Code.

  116. 116
    Cynical bastard says:

    There is a delicious irony in Ha-ha-ha Hari winning the Orwell Prize considering that the Orwell is thought to have ripped off Zamyatin’s “We” that was written in 1921:

    Wikipedia says:
    George Orwell began Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) some eight months after he read We in a French translation and wrote a review of it.[16] Orwell is reported as “saying that he was taking it as the model for his next novel.”[17] Brown writes that for Orwell and certain others, We “appears to have been the crucial literary experience.”[18] Shane states that “Zamyatin’s influence on Orwell is beyond dispute”.[19] Russell, in an overview of the criticism of We, concludes that “1984 shares so many features with We that there can be no doubt about its general debt to it”, however there is a minority of critics who view the similarities between We and 1984 as “entirely superficial”. Further, Russell finds “that Orwell’s novel is both bleaker and more topical than Zamyatin’s, lacking entirely that ironic humour that pervades the Russian work.”[12]

  117. 117
    I'll get it at the cashncarry says:

    Is Kia-Abdullah a brand of halal orange squash?

  118. 118
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    The Guardian did something on this a couple of years ago. I don’t think you can really compare a decent writer like Orwell (who was also a brave man – shot in the throat in Spain and all that) with a little creep like Hari, do you?


  119. 119
    Cynical bastard says:

    Perhaps Orwell was just a classier rip-off merchant. Was he such a good writer or did he just know the right people? He seemed to rely a lot on family connections and school friends for favours to get along – even his burial plot was acquired after making an appeal to friends.

  120. 120
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I think it’s a combination of the two – he was a good writer AND he knew the right people. But, grant him this, he did get up the noses of the Stalinist literary establishment.

  121. 121
    Jimmy says:

    And all Scottish lawyers come from Morningside and sound like Malcolm Rifkind?

  122. 122
    Intertextual Mixing says:

    Helene Hegemann says “I can’t understand what all the fuss is about…I went everywhere I could find inspiration…There is no such thing as originality anyway, there is just authenticity”

  123. 123
    Peter Grimes says:

    I know I’m a bit slow, but having looked at the now live MST website, I note that not only is it another charidee but that one Robert Peston, arsepiece to ZaNuLieBor’s disclosures about banks a couple of years back, is another of their twatrustees.

    No hope for it being impartial then.

  124. 124
    Barry says:

    Is this the same lady who appears to be a permanent fixture on the Andrew Marr show.

  125. 125
    Scrap the TV tax says:

    The Media Standards Trust (A charity no less) is nothing more than a front for the Guardian/BBC with common purpose thrown in for good measure.

    Chair: Sir David Bell | Chairman, Financial Times Group
    Deputy Chair: Julia Middleton | CEO, Common Purpose
    Mary-Ellen Barker | Journalist
    Sir Cyril Chantler | Chairman, King’s Fund
    Geraint Talfan Davies | Chair, Institute of Welsh Affairs
    Will Davies | Research Fellow in Governance, Accountability and Innovation at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
    Amelia Fawcett | Chairman, Guardian Media Group; Chairman, Pensions First
    Roger Graef | Films of Record
    Baroness Helena Kennedy QC | Lawyer, writer, broadcaster
    David Loyn | Developing world correspondent, BBC
    Charles Manby | Goldman Sachs
    Sir Philip Otton | Retired judge
    Robert Peston | Business Editor, BBC
    The Right Reverend Stephen Platten | Bishop of Wakefield
    Anthony Salz | Executive Vice Chairman, NM Rothschild; member of the Scott Trust
    Albert Scardino | Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
    Sue Stapely | Quiller Consultants; Sue Stapely Consulting
    Sir Robert Worcester | Founder, MORI

  126. 126
    The Snitch on the Clapham Train says:

    I was Guido’s source for this story.

    I’d not heard of Hari before all the stories started circulating about a well known journalist who had imaginary conversations, perhaps because I read things mostly online, and the Independent’s website was too horrible to look at (seems less shit these days). Maybe I had read his stuff. I just don’t know.

    I do follow guido, as I can’t stand lying troughing fuckers, and I enjoy his occasional scalpings.

    So who was this self important woman? I didn’t see her face, so I checked the wikipedia page and worked down the members of the MST – which I’d not even heard of till she declared her lofty role in it to the mystery caller.

    Helena Kennedy seemed the only person to fit, so I downloaded a few youtubes of her speaking and that voice definitely fitted.

    I don’t know that it is Helena Kennedy. One thing I’m absolutely sure of is that it was a soft-accented scottish woman who fits Helena’s voice, and who clearly claimed to be high up in the Media Standards Trust on a conversation on a busy train. Perhaps there’s another scottish woman at the MST. Perhaps there’s a person who travels on the train making up stories about being an Important Person at the MST. Perhaps I was making it up… in which case it would be a stunning coincidence if someone from the MST were travelling on that train… Helena Kennedy for example. Such things are possible too.

    Supposing it is her for a moment, and having read the MST website (which is working now – it wasn’t when I last looked), then I have to say I’m a bit disappointed.

    How can people working for a charity which understandably wants to highlight the passing off of press releases as journalism wish to defend a well known award-winning journalist who turns out to have, for years, invented conversations and then put them in articles?

    Surely that’s just the sort of activity that such a charity would want to stamp out?

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