Monday, February 13, 2012

Can anyone work out what Miliband is trying to say here?

“I don’t have a solution for this, but in the end government has to invest in housing, and there’s not much money around so it’s a massive challenge. At the very least we’ve got to say ‘you can’t have a no housing anywhere policy’, what we have now is the worst of all worlds, basically.”

Ethical Dilemmas Arising in Journalist and Police Relationships

While journalistic relations with the police are in the headlines, the usual hand-wringers should pause before passing judgement. Whilst slipping coppers cash is morally dubious, is it worse than using what the recent Filkin report described as “long-standing tactics”? The Metropolitan Police report into The Ethical Issues Arising From The Relationship Between Police And Media” was clear, “Flirting is often interlinked with alcohol. Designed to get you to drop your defences and say far more than you intended. Be careful.” Such tactics are not unknown to hackettes from papers that consider themselves to be much more upmarket, almost on a different moral plane to the Sun…

A hypothetical dilemma for you to consider, which is less ethical: performing what the tabloid papers call a “sex-act” on a police officer for information, or paying for it? Normally less of a trail left with the former, if the evidence is swallowed…

Boris 51% v Ken 49%

The latest YouGov Mayoral polling has Boris back in the lead, but within the margin of error. Guido imagines the fluctuation will continue for a while, but Joe Murphy at the Standard hits the nail on the head:

“What the headline figures do show, beyond doubt, is that Ken has failed to extend or harden his January lead. He is like a marathon runner who, in a stupendous effort, catches up with the leader only to find he cannot break ahead. “

Only 44% believe Ken will keep his promises, despite liking the ideas. As ever the breakdown is more interesting than the headline figures:

“In inner London, Ken is ahead by 53 per cent to 47. But the huge outer doughnut is sticking with Boris by 52 to 48. Among voters aged 18 to 24 the pair get 50 per cent each. Ken is somewhat ahead among 25 to 59-year-olds. But Boris has a massive “grey power” advantage, a two to one lead among the over-sixties.”

Crucially that suburban doughnut is a) bigger and b) full of those over 65s who are more likely to vote.

Incompetence Rather Than Infighting


11:29:

Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, in response to today’s Project Merlin figures said: 
“After a year it’s now clear that George Osborne’s backroom deal with the banks has been a total failure… et cetera

11:48:

Commenting on the Project Merlin figures published by the Bank of England today, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP said:
“The news that the lending targets for small and medium sized businesses set under Project Merlin have been missed will add insult to injury for firms… et cetera

Labour are denying that their flurry of press releases represents a rift between their Shadow Business and Shadow Treasury teams. Chuka is higher up the ladder than Chris Leslie so could well be a little peeved that his much-loved thunder was stolen. However if it isn’t a rift, then it’s another sign of increasingly poor press management. Another win for the mythical Labour grid…

Revenge of Steve Hilton Guru

The commons crime wave hit some high-profile targets on Friday. The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour is down an iPad and PoliticsHome’s Paul Waugh has taken the loss of his laptop rather badly. Waugh has been pursuing the identity of the anonymous pranksters behind @SteveHiltonGuru with some vigour recently. Guido’s helpful suggestion that @SteveHiltonGuru‘s famed #DarkArts might be at play did not go down very well…

Sense of Proportion

“Who polices the police?” asks Trevor Kavanagh column this morning. The answer to that question is that a free press sees money changing hands with public servants, seems to be Kavanagh’s main point. Guido isn’t so sure that will cut it.

One of the biggest digs in the whole column is at former Telegraph editor Will Lewis, who authorised payments for the stolen expenses files and is now at News International. He sits on the Management Standards Committee passing the police the ammunition about Sun hacks they need to try to recover their own tarnished reputation. Not popular in Wapping…

The events of this summer proved that the relationship between News International and the police was too close and that it impinged on the group being able to properly fulfil their role in the accountability process. That is not to say though that the police need to respond with anti-terror officers, dawn raids and what looks like a coordinated attempt to go for the Sun’s jugular. Why do journalists like Coulson, Brooks and the Guardian’s Amelia Hill get to meet the police by appointment when they are suspects? For the Sun it’s been very different:

“Wives and children have been humiliated as up to 20 officers at a time rip up floorboards and sift through intimate possessions, love letters and entirely private documents.”

Nobody is saying that any newspaper should be above the law, or that investigations should cease, but the Met are even more foolish than anyone already thought if they believe putting a bit of disproportionate stick about is going to shift the spotlight from their own failures, corruption and general incompetence.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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