Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram this week will round-up budget week highs and lows. Don’t forget you can now read the Sunday edition of the blog exclusively in the Daily Star Sunday.

Subscribing to the Guidogram makes sure that you get emailed Guido’s round up of the week. Thousands of Westminster insiders read it, Labour HQ never misses it.

Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop.

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

UPDATE: Too late it has gone.

Finally a Good Front Page for George

This was the sort of headline Guido imagines they were going for:

Shame George’s biographer isn’t the Political Editor of all the newspapers…

Murdoch’s Lawyers Say “Stop the Front Page”

This lawyer’s letter has just been sent out to media organisations:

Not for Publication
Private and Confidential

Dear Sirs

BBC Panorama

We act for News Corporation.

We understand that the BBC is due to broadcast a Panorama programme on Monday 26 March 2012, in which serious and defamatory allegations may be made against our client. We say this, not because any allegations have been put to our client prior to broadcast, but because the BBC is publishing on its own website the following synopsis of the programme:

“As Rupert Murdoch faces accusations of law-breaking and corruption at his British tabloid newspapers, Panorama reveals fresh hacking allegations at the heart of News Corporation’s pay-TV empire. The investigation examines the role of former senior police officers in recruiting people to break the law – in order to bring down Murdoch’s commercial rival.”

The allegation which the BBC appears to be broadcasting on Monday is that News Corporation has been involved in illegal activities designed to cause the collapse of a business rival. We write to put you on notice that this allegation is serious, defamatory, false and highly damaging; we urge your paper not to republish it, especially in circumstances where our client has not been given the opportunity to respond.

Yours faithfully

PSB Law LLP

Panorama’s ratings should be good…

Friday Caption Contest (Binge Britain Edition)

There’s a crate of premium strength lager for the winner. (Now worth £120)

Andrew Lansley tells the Spectator just three months ago:

“I don’t like a minimum price, we are acting against below cost selling. My problem with a minimum price, well I have two problems. One is it’s regressive, so there are perfectly normal families who just don’t happen to have much money who like to buy cheap beer or cheap wine. Should they be prevented? No, I don’t think so and if you put in a minimum price, one of the journalists calculated that if you set it at 50p a unit it would add £600 million to the profits of retailers and drinks manufacturers which doesn’t seem to me to be the right thing to do in these circumstances.”

Leaked Labour HQ Letter Shows Staff Anger Over Charles Allen
+ Row Set to Flare Up Again Over More Job Appointments
+ Labour Staffer Preparing Industrial Tribunal Against Leadership

Some of the  heat was taken out of the stand-off between the Labour high command and their unhappy HQ staff last week by a promise that all future jobs would be advertised internally. The row over the appointment of a new Labour Party Executive and a reorganisation of the party structure reached a peak with HQ staff calling in the unions to try find a solution. Guido has now got hold of a letter from the Joint Trade Union Committee (GMB and Unite), to the Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol outlining the complaints:

The new confused chain of command and  in particular the ex-Goldman Sachs adviser turned Labour Chief Exec Sir Charles Allen comes in for serious criticism, as does Ed’s leadership on this and his team’s handling of the whole process. Now the row looks set to boil over again. Despite a promise from Ed’s Chief of Staff Tim Livesey that all future jobs would be advertised, Guido can reveal this lunchtime that various senior positions have been filled without due process. Staffers claim that there were not even interviews for the following jobs:

  • Mr Paul Harrington – Head of Field Operations
  • Mr Joe Derrett- Head of Press for Ken Livingstone’s Campaign
  • Ms Veronica King – Press and Campaigns Officer for Ken Livingstone
  • Ms Anneliese Midgley – Head of Events and Visits for Ken Livingstone

Guido hears that at least one Labour staffer is preparing to take the Party to an industrial tribunal…

One in Three Labour Voters Fleeing From Ken

While the apparatchiks over at LabourList declare that “Ken’s campaign is in fact moving from strength to strength”, the Labour Uncut website is home to Labour members of the reality based community. This morning they have gone tonto on Ken. With facts to back up their argument… 

While Boris Johnson’s 49%-41% lead on first preferences was widely reported, some of the most striking results were lost in the news vortex of the budget. Chief among these is the scale of Ken Livingstone’s problem with Labour supporters: 31% say they will not vote for him in the mayoral election. Just weeks before the election, almost 1 in 3 Labour supporters are refusing to back the party’s candidate for mayor.

The figures highlight what anecdotally we have been saying for weeks – many on the left just cannot bring themselves to vote for the hypocritical friend of the clerics.

Those Labour types that are still in denial that Ken’s tax hypocrisy is not a problem need only look at these numbers.

Pre-Loaded Spinning

As far as Guido can tell, the last time a Ministerial Statement was rushed on to the Friday agenda was when we bombed Libya. Given that the government has bombed quite enough already this week, unsurprisingly this rushed distraction job is not having the desired effect. It failed to push the Granny Tax off of the front pages and has gone down like the proverbial dodgy pint. Theresa May is not helping matters by constantly talking about “pre-loading” to describe drinking cheap alcohol at home before going out. It seems she alone has coined this phrase…

UPDATE: Yvette just gave the Home Secretary a good going over declaring that May “is being used as human shield and she should have said no”. The Shadow Home Secretary also confirmed that there have only been three statements on a Friday in last decade. Two were concerning war and the other Swine Flu.

Wee Dougie’s New Number Watcher

Eyebrows have been raised by the replacement Douglas Alexander has chosen for his departed spinner Steve Van Riel. You would have thought that as shadow Foreign Secretary he would have brought someone in with some actual foreign policy experience, but […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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