A musical treat for our American friends who might not be completely up to date with full career of everyone’s favourite CNN headache:
Interesting to note that it’s the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal that is firing the latest shots across the Mirror Group’s bow. There is no doubt that the target of their story this morning was the former Screws editor Colin Myler, who not only questioned the Murdoch’s version of events, but conveniently edited the Sunday Mirror between 1998 and 2001. The paper hardly comes out of the story well though. The WSJ reports:
“In 2000, a reporter for the Sunday Mirror testified under oath that he paid £50, or about $82, to a police source in exchange for a tip about the arrest of the brother of a government minister, according to two lawyers for the plaintiff.”
The brother of Baroness Tessa Blackstone sued the Sunday Mirror over the alleged content of that tip, a case which the paper subsequently lost in 2000. They had to pay out £50,000 in damages and another quarter of a million in costs. That’s a pretty expensive bribe. Trinity Mirror Group continue to deny accusations of criminality, despite the confession of bribing cops being on oath…
When self-proclaimed funny man and Murdoch pie-tosser Jonathan May Bowels was pleaded guilty to assault last week, he said it was “the most humble day” of his life. We’ll give him that one, but it seems the judge didn’t quite see the funny side of things and has sent him down for six weeks. Splat!
While Balls lounges on a beach somewhere, his old department have lost their appeal against his unfair dismissal of the ghastly Sharon Shoesmith over the Baby Peter failures at Haringey Council. As the Guardian leader said back in May: “If Mr Balls had still been in office, yesterday’s ruling should have forced his resignation.” Even more so today.
Thanks to the fact he did not go through the proper process in sacking Shoesmith, the disgraced council worker is now in line for a one million pound pay off. No wonder she is always grinning. It’s small fry when you add it to what else Balls has cost the taxpayer, but an humiliating blow none the less.
Guido’s BBC sources neither denied or confirmed the rumour going around that Andrew Neil is set to move from BBC2’s weekday Daily Politics to front Sunday’s The Politics Show, as part of a bigger restructuring of the Beeb’s political programming. With co-host Anita Anand already going over to Radio 5, it’s certainly looking like the end of an era for political nerds and junkies. You read it here first…
The increasingly impressive James Purnell mooted some pretty well trodden ideas last week. The former Labour MP had the audacity to question whether millionaires should really get a pensioners free bus pass and state supplied fuel. A long overdue debate, but Labour grassroots have whipped themselves up into a fury of self-righteousness, that only they do best. The pitchforks and iPads have been out in force, culminating in one of the greatest headlines on LabourList that Guido has seen in a long time:
“Purnell is a heretic, and he’s in the wrong party”
He should then of course be burnt at the social-democratic stake right? Sentiments like that go a long way to explain Labour aren’t being taken seriously. A well deserved Order of the OTT…
The Guardian Media Group’s annual results are always worth a read for a laugh, but leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. While The Guardian has riled against bankers, and sacked hundreds with the same corporate efficiency they decry elsewhere, life is good if you are at the top. While GMG lost over £54 million, Alan Rusbridger received £605,000.
Revenue is down from £221 million to £198.2 across the group, not least due to the slashing of government job recruitment through the paper. Losses are up, with The Guardian and The Observer’s coming in at £38.3 million in the red. That’s an unsustainable loss of over three-quarters of a million pounds a week…
Though both the IMF and the Treasury are quick to stress that deficit reduction is the right thing to do, it’s not going to be as pleasant as the Chancellor will have us believe. Ronald Reagan asked to be judged on whether you were richer at the end of his medicine or before, but George will probably want to avoid that particular campaign slogan, given the IMF warn that British households will apparently be £1,500 worse off each year of the slowing recovery.
It’s still steady as we go though, unless the UK experiences “a prolonged period of weak growth and high unemployment”, when an additional plan could be called for. Not the one Labour drone on about though, with a slow down in cuts, but Plan A+, with added tax-cuts to complement the state trimming…
Which isn’t the worst idea Guido has ever heard…
What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester
George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:
“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.