The Penny is Dropping

Guido understands that Johann Hari’s close friend, protégé and replacement at the Indy “Laurie Penny” could be about to get caught up in a similar quote fabrication scandal. With the Indy’s terrible handling of one star’s demise, Guido does not imagine that their new £25,000 per annum columnist could, or would, receive the same leniency afforded to Hari.

Hari slayer Brian Whelan is up to something, but many have long suspected that the “voice of a generation” was actually listening to voices in her head. Take this correction to her infamous Guardian article about her alleged time spent taking her clothes off on a stage:

“This article was amended on 8 July 2009. Changes were made to the second paragraph to make clear that the author was not persuaded by the managers of a local burlesque troupe to get into stripping, but did so voluntarily. The Burlesque troupe, with which the author performed, created a new format for the show after the Edinburgh 2005 run, not before, as the article originally suggested. The sentence beginning “Peeling off my fluffy underwear…” was moved from the end of the relevant paragraph to the beginning to correct this impression.” The words “after I left” were added before “as my troupe became more successful” to make clear that Laurie Penny did not perform in the new show.”

If you read the article without the words “after I left”, it is a riveting personal read and once added it becomes clear that the second half is almost totally embellished. Guido is confident that the Indy would have done a full and thorough check up of their recent hire in the wake of the Hari scandal. Once was bad enough, but twice…

UPDATE:

Demagogue wannabe Ken told the Press Gallery:

“I’ve never been convinced of the mayoral system because it leads to celebrity politics…”

Odd Ed Hits an Iceberg

He was in Gordon’s bunker when the film came out and presumably too busy with his Rubiks cube in his spare time.

Shock Labour Selection

When she was short-listed last month Guido said he would “eat his hat if Lucy Powell does not win the Labour selection process for Manchester Central.” Well what do you know?

What was it that first attracted the members to the leader’s deputy Chief of Staff and a member of the Labour Party’s new Executive Board? Presumably this is one by-election that Harman and Watson will find acceptable? A brazen stitch up…

The UKIP Surge is Not a “Shock”

Lots of chatter this morning about the “shock” poll that has seen UKIP overtake the LibDems, but once again it seems people just haven’t been paying attention. UKIP bloggers like Michael Heaver have been tracking this trend for months and predicted it was only a matter of time. Although they use a slightly different methodology, last week Survation had a similarly high UKIP standing. Yesterday the Standard called an Assembly Seat for the Eurosceptics and predict that the Greens will lose both of theirs, though you wouldn’t know that from most of the coverage. The crucial figure for UKIP strategists is where this surge is coming from: with reliable pensioner voters UKIP are on 17% and ten points clear of the LibDems. For those hacks saying how shocking this all is, Guido recommends reading Anthony Wells who calls it “inevitable”.

Christopher Chope reckons the government’s plain packaging policy…

“…will give them more room on the back of a fag packet to write down their latest policy announcements.”

Paddick: My £387,239 is “None Of Your Business”

Forced into a corner last night by Iain Dale on LBC, Brian Paddick did not deny that he had received at £387,239 taxpayer-funded pay-off from the Met when he retired in 2007, as revealed here yesterday. Instead he declared “to be honest with you, it’s none of your business” despite the public paying for it and the LibDem candidate cannily not releasing financial information for the year in question – “What is the point of publishing 2007/2008?”. Maybe he should avoid lecturing others on transparency while deliberately masking a huge source of income…

UPDATE:  We have just confirmed that Brian Paddick himself commented on the previous post last night:

We agreed to publish earnings and tax since the last election, that is:

2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12

There was no point in publishing 2007/08 because Ken Livingstone was mayor during that tax year, paying tax by PAYE, and had not yet set up his private company to avoid paying tax. Ken’s tax avoidance was the whole point of publishing our tax affairs.

No cover-up just bad journalism.

We will let the readers decide if the revelation was news to Londoners or bad journalism. Other candidates did reveal their 2007/08 figures…



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Quote of the Day

Former Labour MP Dame Anne Begg:

“[Iain Duncan Smith] took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair. Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.'”

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