July 25th, 2011

Hari Disgraced
Indy Fantasist Loses Orwell Prize But Announcement Delayed

Johann Hari looked set to be stripped of one of the most prestigious prizes in the industry, but at the eleventh hour the Orwell Prize committee has agreed to delay their formal decision until an investigation is completed by the Indy. Guido noted the row between the two organisations earlier, and it seems the Indy has got it’s own way by successfully gagged its imaginative columnist. The rather grumpy statement makes it pretty clear which way things were heading for Hari:

“After extensive deliberation, the Council arrived at a clear and unanimous decision, which drew from the combined journalistic and academic expertise of its members. It also considered a representation by Johann Hari in its deliberation, and appropriate weight was placed upon it. The Council of the Orwell Prize is fully satisfied that it has adopted the appropriate procedure for an exercise of this kind. The Independent has now requested that the Council consider further representations by Johann Hari before announcing the decision. However, it would appear that Johann Hari is not permitted to make any further representations whilst The Independent’s investigation is conducted.

In these circumstances, the Council of the Orwell Prize has reluctantly consented to delay any formal announcement as to the status of the 2008 Orwell Prize for Journalism until The Independent has completed its own investigation. We will take no further action and make no further statements until that time.”

Waiting two months won’t make this any less embarrassing Mr Blackhurst, if the announcement was that Hari was going to keep it, you wouldn’t have wanted the delay…

UPDATE: Sources are adamant and that statement is obvious: Johann Hari has lost the Orwell Prize. It was even reported as such yesterday. It’s only the Indy’s PR machine causing trouble, and the Orwell Prize doesn’t smell of roses for caving in.


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Let him squirm!!!

  2. 2
    Ac/Dc/Ac says:

    I’m willing to wait the two months to see the thieving tw@t suffer again

  3. 3
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Sorry but ignore my ignorance, But isnt the Indie relaunhing as the “I” ? If so is he not just being hid away until a fantastic relaunch and he can write under a differetn name?

    Maybe Billy Bullshiter or Liam Lies?

  4. 4
    Goldcountry says:

    I guess they figure Orwell can spin in his grave a little longer before the bleeding obvious conclusion comes. What a pathetic disgrace these people are.

  5. 5
    misterned says:

    For another couple of months. If anything this will keep the media focused on Hari’s totally unprofessional breach of his journalistic obligations.

    And hopefully, be a constant and painful reminder to each of the other lefty bastards who rallied around him, that their judgement is also seriously flawed.

  6. 6
    Blah says:

    “Waiting two months won’t make this any less embarrassing…”

    Rather naive IMO. In 2 months, people will care about it about as much as people care about the Huhne debacle now.

    Ie, politicos will shout, the other 59.8million people in the UK won’t care.

  7. 7
    Popeye says:

    Typical appeasement, the bane of this benighted country now!

  8. 8
    Reg511 says:

    2 months to keep the story going, 2 months to sharpen the appetite for the inevitable

  9. 9
    Hard-Lazing Voter says:

    So instead of just having his Prize revoked now and getting it over with, he’s going to have to wait two months for an outcome we already know about.

    Well played, Hari/Indy. You have the lowest circulation for a very good reason.

  10. 10
    Blue Eyes says:

    “clear and unanimous decision… It also considered a representation by Johann Hari in its deliberation, and appropriate weight was placed upon it

    I think the correct response in this situation is WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    He is lucky he is not a household name, I mean imagine if someone like Ken Clarke had said that the sexual abuse of young men was less damaging to them than the sexual abuse of young women?

  11. 11
    Loungelizard says:

    He’ll be a gonner when they find out he wrote Gordon’s Commons speech.

  12. 12
    Newsagent says:

    The ‘I’ already exists, its The Independent’s version of the Metro free paper, news in brief basically. Its been around a few months now.

  13. 13
    Tax Payer says:

    “a clear and unanimous decision” is hardly going to be he’s innocent.

  14. 14
    ??? says:

    What happened to the liberals sigh of relief story?

  15. 15
    The BBC says:

    We’ll still be using Johann Hari as a ‘Voice Of Reason’ talking head and there’s nothing you can do to stop us!

    In a statement a spokesperson for the BBC said:

    “Sod you.”


  16. 16
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Cheers, dont buy newspapers (apart from the last ever cop of the NOTW R.I.P), as i have said lets make sure Hari has a fair trail before his hanging!

  17. 17
    smoggie says:

    When will the latent Hari be Coming Up For Air?

  18. 18
    non believer says:

    Billy doesn’t buy newspapers….

    what a shocker

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    This one?

  21. 21
    Li'l Rimmer says:

    In the interest of transparancy, they need to release the full text of the “representation by Johann Hari”. That will be amusing.

  22. 22
    Media standards distrust says:

    Any news as to whether Blackhurst has passed on Mr Lebedev’s invitation to a little sushi to the fragrant Johann…..?

  23. 23
    Bogbrush says:

    Hide the cutlery. Don’t let him do an Amy or a Britvic.

  24. 24
    Warning. David Tennant is also in the link. says:

    Can being wrong ever be right? Kathryn Shulz author of ‘Being Wrong. Adventures in the Margin of Error’, debates the issue with columnist Johann Hari


  25. 25
    Archer Karcher says:

    Who still does?

  26. 26
    Little homes for little people says:

    Are you sure it wasn’t John’s Wendy house?

  27. 27
    PD77 says:

    Is there a precedent that Hari can copy?

  28. 28
    Jack says:


    I think you should concentrate on the dozens of journalists, policemen and private investigators who will be going to jail for hacking, blagging, bribes etc …rather than Hari who is already dead…

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    No, it’s mummy’s brothel

  30. 30
    Must get a pseudonym one day says:

    Chances are it’s actually my Wendy house, along with all the other tax-payers in the UK, as we’re most likely to have paid for everything the feeble Squeaker and his floozie have managed to accumulate.

  31. 31
    Polly says:

    The Orwell prize committee are behaving like extreme right wing fundamentalists, Johann does not deserve such treatment for a minor peccadillo.

  32. 32
    Joss Taskin says:

    You might say, Orwell that ends well then ??

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    Clearly the young girl has inherited the sense of entitlement and casual arrogance of her parents.

  34. 34
    Joss Taskin says:

    Will the Fees Office be getting the bill ??

  35. 35
    Sir William Waad says:

    Possible new careers for Johann:

    Copier salesman
    Duplicate bridge champion
    Blue Peter presenter (‘Here’s one I made earlier’)
    Secondhand shop assistant
    Recycling operative
    Paperhanger (cut ‘n’ paste, cut ‘n’ paste)
    Fantasy fiction author….

  36. 36
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    See post further down, headline already used :-)

  37. 37
    Ivor Biggun says:

    The clue is in:

    “The Independent has now requested that the Council consider further representations by Johann Hari before announcing the decision…”

    …further representations wouldn’t be needed, offered or sought if they’d decided in his favour.

    Didn’t Hari once work for that other great fabulist, Jeffrey Archer, who at least labels his works of fiction as such!

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Clarence says:

    Hari is heading the same way as Tendulkar – out.

    The comparisons end there: the Little Master is a batting legend whereas Hari is just a batty bell-end.

  40. 40
    Bellpot Inger says:

    Think that’s probably enough about Hari. Anything else been going on in the world recently?

  41. 41
    Mike Hunt says:

    Meanwhile the country is STILL overspending at about £2000 / per second.

  42. 42
    Tax Payer says:

    Hari hasn’t denied re-using quotes from elsewhere. And presumably this must have been one of the strongest arguments for removing the prize.

    What on earth could he or the Independent say which would change their mind?

    And what if the Independent clear him first?

  43. 43
    I'll have some of that says:

    Perhaps he’ll relaunch as “David Rose”….??

  44. 44
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Why pay for yesterdays news?

  45. 45
    Engineer says:


    “Could you direct to the fiction section, please?”

    “It’s all fiction, sir.”

  46. 46
    Joss Taskin says:

    I’ll walk to the pavilion then.

  47. 47
    JH says:

    I believe Johann’s alter ego has explored such issues in an exciting bit of fiction involving fraternal love.

  48. 48
    Jess The Dog says:

    He’ll knock up a tear-stained article about his disgrace and redemption, and sub it for the Orwell Prize in 2013.

  49. 49
    IPSA says:

    So that explains the claims for furnishing and cleaning of Wendy’s house.

  50. 50
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Was only being helpful but the third umpire said you hadnt grounded your bat :-)

  51. 51
    nell says:

    ‘the orwell prize doesn’t smell of roses’ !

    neither does the indy!!

  52. 52
    Civil Servant says:

    “has got it’s own way”

    I bet Hari knows how to use an apostrophe.

    Anyway, Hari told me that Margaret Thatcher used to go around at night slapping working class people across the face while dressed in a burkha.

  53. 53
    Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the Orwell Prize committee an autonomous body? do they decide who wins the prize only if the Independent says so?

  54. 54
    Selohesra says:

    Seems daft to delay the news – whilst now it would barely get high billing in most of the media what with Murdoch frenzy and Norway things may be a lot quiter come Sept. Now might have been a good time to bury bad news.

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    If the Indy doesn’t sack Hari, they open themselves up to criminal prosecution for commercial copyright infringement as they didn’t make him acknowledge his sources. How can he get a fair hearing from them under those circumstances?

    The guy’s not a plagiarist; he’s a pirate. They should make him walk the plank, or they’ll go down with him.

  56. 56
    misterned says:

    Ken is smart enough to keep that opinion to himself (If he holds that opinion).

    Think of the outraged howls from the left if it had been Theresa May who said that instead of Hari?

  57. 57
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    +++++++Billy fact++++++

    the top 3 run scorers for England in the test match were all born in south africa.

  58. 58
    Ani Diot says:

    Maybe it is an Independent body?

  59. 59
    Norman Tebbit says:

    On Sunday evening the BBC even dug up a psychiatrist to say that Breivik was perfectly aware of what he was doing and it was all about leading a Right-wing, conservative revolution. It makes one wonder what the Corporation might have made of it all but for its statutory duty of impartiality.


  60. 60

    “I didn’t do it.”

    “You’re all fascists!”

    “This is so unfair! I hate you!”

    “You’re a racist.”

    “No, I won’t go to room!”

  61. 61
    Bled White Taxpayer says:

    The only way the mother country can get 11 decent cricketers into an England side is to import the sons of Empire. 5-a-side cricket played by real Brits isn’t going to win any tests.

  62. 62
    Mike Hunt says:


  63. 63
    Harold Wilson in a mac says:

    Will he now go into politics with such a track record of truth?

  64. 64
    Henry Ford says:

    I wonder if he will have to give back the interest on the prize money?

  65. 65
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Freedom is the only the way to conduct politics or anyother protest.

    Most violence has come from the left over the years.

  66. 66

    No, that’s a different one that I gave to charity because I found it too big and spooky! :(

  67. 67
    Loungelizard says:

    All a bit funny hand shakes if you ask me but then these things are. What about Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize, who next, hard act to follow,

  68. 68
    Tax Payer says:

    Diagnosing serious mental illness, still less motivation, from photographs and patchy anecdotes is tantamount to professional misconduct.

  69. 69
    Anonymous says:

    The Orwell Prize committee should have had the backbone to tell the Indy where to shove its delayed anouncement.

  70. 70
    Top Deck says:

    Like the police officer that fabricates evidence in order to make the accused more guilty, Hari has distorted to truth for his own ends, he has distorted the truth in order to “prove” his point.

    Hari should be charged under the Fraud Act 2006

    “Fraud by false representation” is defined by Section 2 of the Act as a case where a person makes “any representation as to fact or law … express or implied” which they know to be untrue or misleading.

  71. 71
    Loungelizard says:

    All a bit funny hand shakes if you ask me but then these things are. What about Obama and the Nobel P……Prize, who next? hard act to follow.

  72. 72
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Kinda feel sad that the little master didnt get a ton at Lords.

  73. 73
    finger of fudge says:

  74. 74
    Red Lorry says:

    It will allow the Not INndy to state, in two months time, “…so, after an extensive investigation we have concluded Mr Hari had deceived us and his employment has been terminated. He is also being stripped of the Orwell prize.”

    It’s designed to allow them to pretend (for history and apologists) that they discovered, rather than ignored and encouraged his plagarised articles.

  75. 75
    Silly Short Leg says:

    Was hoping he’d run himself out on nought and make Agnew cry.
    Toenails on TMS at the moment.

  76. 76
    finger of chutney says:

    The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, prizes are awarded to the work – for the book, for the journalism and for the blog – which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Each Prize is worth £3000.

    Hari has done the equivalent of submitting a print into a painting competition

  77. 77
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Johann Hari involved in hacking?

  78. 78
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Hari has done the same as a sport star fixing matches or drug taking.

  79. 79
    TheRealGeorgeOrwell says:

    He copied that from somebody else.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    annette curton says:

    Prize chumps, will anybody ever take them seriously again?, any recipient of it in the future would rightly take is as an insult, the equivalent of being given the order of the wooden spoon.

  82. 82
    TheRealGeorgeOrwell says:

    I think Piers Morgan is up for a Sainthood.

  83. 83
    annette curton says:

    I don’t think it was what Nobel intended, but they now award it to the person that has lit the biggest stick of Dynamite.

  84. 84
    Cut and paste says:

    Ed’s blank sheet of A4 paper was a lot easier to copy.

  85. 85
    Clarence says:

    Yes, it’s all kicking off. Rebekah Brooks has resigned!

  86. 86
    Fetch the bill says:

    Is Tom Watson still claiming for food?

  87. 87
    So what........ says:

    Still trying to work out why this really matters? The guy must have seriously upset Guido in the past!

  88. 88
    Just a thought says:

    Billy, I am sure General Pinochet would agree with you.

  89. 89
    Ross says:

    Why not David Rose or Niko?

  90. 90
    Ross says:

    Didn’t see comment 43.

  91. 91
    Just a thought says:

    Does the Indy finance this prize? if so, it might explain their reaction.

  92. 92
    Hugh Jampton says:

    I wonder if the Indy is any closer getting to the bottom of the strange case of “David Rose”, the sub-editor who apparently shared an Indy phone line with Hari and who appears to be responsible for maliciously changing Wikipedia entries?

  93. 93
    pissed off voter says:

    This does not reflect well on either the Orwell prize committee or the I-sore. If they have reached a clear and unanimous decision, how could that be in any way affected by ‘independent’ investigation by the independent?

    Are the committee saying they have no faith in their own investigation? Is the Independent suggesting the committee investigation is suspect?
    Will the committee, therefore, change it’s decision if the Independent does not agree with it?

    A plague on both their houses.

  94. 94
    hedgetrimmer says:

    Bad move of course. The lawyers have spoken. Either Hari or the Independent on Hari’s behalf are threatening to sue – there is simply no other reason for the Orwell judges to wait.

    Hari’s lawyers now have 2 months in which to pressure the Orwell judges into a compromise that either:

    (a) allows Hari to return the prize in return for no ruling of fault or

    (b) allows the Orwell judges to withdraw the prize without officially giving reasons for doing so, thus allowing Hari to say that he was never found guilty of plagarism.

    The longer the Orwell judges wait the less likely their current position will stand.

  95. 95
    Political pundit. says:

    Or the Mary Rose

  96. 96
    Political pundit. says:

    “Waiting two months won’t make this any less embarrassing Mr Blackhurst, if the announcement was that Hari was going to keep it, you wouldn’t have wanted the delay”
    Reminds me of two Lords discussing a third. One states he is his own worst enemy. The reply – Not while I am alive he is not.
    Keep up the good work Guido.

  97. 97
    Li'l Rimmer says:

    If you don’t see why fabrication by journalists “matters”, you are beyond help.

  98. 98
    Li'l Rimmer says:

    “…Johann said to me, staring determinedly, the fiercenss of his wisdom shining upon me with the effulgent grace of a blinding light blistering forth from his brother’s ass.”

  99. 99
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    One day it may be Wendy Dung’s playhouse (again)…

  100. 100
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    And Antonia Miranda Blair (convicted war criminal in waiting)…

  101. 101
    Dalai Llama Ding Dong says:

    Only 3k? I wouldn’t get out of bed for less than 30k…

  102. 102
    NickH says:

    It was actually Ernie Bevin who said that (Not while I’m alive…) about Herbert Morrison, grandfather of the fragrant Peter “Hello sailor” Mandelson.

  103. 103
    Anonymous says:

    Who gives a flying fuck about some 3rd rate journo’s stories? Why is this so important to Guido? Was Hari fucking Mrs Fawkes by any chance? – it’s the only possible explanation I can think of.

    I am getting really bored of this story on this blog. I do not give a fuck about “I-suck-your-dick-if-you-suck-mine-and-give-me-a-little-prize” winners or losers. Hari has now lost it, he didn’t suck enough cock. Guido, if you want to win, you know what you need to do…

  104. 104
    Anonymous says:

    Because it’s all fucking made up. Don’t read it.

  105. 105
    Anonymous says:

    Sat on a pin…

  106. 106
    Brown Eye says:

    He is not a household name because no one gives a fuck.

  107. 107
    anonymoo says:

    But they’re his friends… and it’s politically unwise to jack off to a friend’s downfall (publicly).

  108. 108
    Disgusted of Neasden says:

    At current interest rates, that will be about 9p!

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