BBC’s Eddie Mair to guest…
“Hold your nose for a minute would you, if you were trying to sell Mitt Romney to the American people what should he say…”
The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.
Thousands of Westminster insiders read the Guidogram, everyone from Downing Street insiders to Fleet Street never miss it. Silly season is drawing to a close so don’t miss out on the latest rumours that threatened to leave Labour stumped.
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…
Back in May, Guido brought you a crystal clear example of vested interests blocking reform. The fight put up by the Isles of Scilly council against their local school becoming an academy was a perfect microcosm of the problems faced up and down the country.
We wrote: “The headteacher of the only school on the Isles of Scilly was hastily suspended yesterday, without explanation, after it emerged that he was venturing to the mainland and travelling all the way to London to discuss potential Academy status for his school.”
It only took three and a half months of stonewalling, illegal FOI blocking and digging, but finally the proof we knew was there has found the light of day. Many laughed when we ran our original posting but the Telegraph and the BBC finally caught up, picking up on the “culture of fear“ on the islands.
We were first and bang on the money, as today’s leak to a Cornish local paper proves. The locally loathed Council Chief Executive Philip Hygate has been caught red-handed illegally circumventing the school governors and attempting to suspend the Headteacher himself. Just as we reported. His position as the islands’ well-remunerated überfuhrer is looking pretty shaky this afternoon. Meanwhile, Guido understands the islanders’ wish for an elected Mayor is not out of the question…
It is almost exactly a year ago that the Daily Mail’s RightMinds site launched under the direction of Simon Heffer. It is to be mothballed.
The comment section of the world’s most popular news site will not close down immediately and current contributors will still be able to publish there, they are however calling it a day on commissioning new writing although the existing bloggers will be able to upload their wit and wisdom onto the site. Guido understands that Mail Online editor Martin Clarke has won his battle against RightMinds which he saw as a great distraction from the Mail Online’s winning formula of beach babes, celebrity gossip with fashion shoots focusing on lingerie clad tits and arse. Martin Clarke apparently clenched the argument against focusing resources on RightMinds following the Arbeit Mach Frei comment article debacle.
Politics online for the Mail will be in the hands of the newly appointed Matt Chorley. Heffer himself tells Guido he will now focus on writing for the paper…
Boris has been fielding questions from tweeters this afternoon. Here are some of the best:
— Dan&EmmaCatchpole (@DanEmma2) August 30, 2012
#askboris I drove down an Olympic vip car lane earlier and got away with it. How does that make you feel?
— Jamie_Dodger_ (@Jamie_Dodger_) August 30, 2012
— Original Bal (@BalCollins) August 30, 2012
You’ve gotta love him…
Keith Vaz has been doing the rounds today voicing his concerns over this morning’s decision to ban London Met university from handing out visas to foreign students:
“The way this has been handled is appalling. I am afraid it may damage the reputation of UK as best place in world for overseas students.”
Guido isn’t quite sure how Vaz has the nerve to come on TV to talk about visas. Back when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2001 Vaz was sacked in disgrace after an inquiry revealed he had lobbied the Home Office to give citizenship to the millionaire Hinduja brothers. They had bunged his wife’s company £1,200.
Vis-à-vis visas, Vaz is on shaky ground…
Earlier this month Guido showed how he who pays the IPPR calls the tune, and now it seems the Labour wonk-shop have been at it once again. Today they have published a report making the case for wind power. Apparently wind is an effective way of reducing carbon emissions and can provide a secure and reliable source of energy for the future. Who would argue such a thing?
Dig a little deeper and you will see that two of the three authors of the report are senior employees of GL Garrad Hassan:
It turns out that GL Garrad Hassan is an energy company that specialises in both onshore and offshore wind projects. As they boast on their website:
“GL Garrad Hassan is recognised worldwide as a provider of services at all stages of onshore and offshore wind projects. It has developed industry standard software products for onshore and offshore wind turbine and wind farm design.”
So we have the IPPR letting a wind energy company write a report on wind power, only for them to inexplicably find that wind is the way forward. Fancy that…
The BBC Trust has ruled that Diane Abbott should appear less frequently on Andrew Neil’s This Week programme. The Beeb‘s editorial standards committee also found that the £6,700 Abbott has pocketed from them was against their guidelines as politicians paid to speak on BBC shows are not allowed to “express political views“.
If it means Diane won’t be appearing on Guido’s TV screen as often in the future then that really is cause for celebration…
As the Olympics drew to a close a couple of weeks ago Guido reminded readers just how much they had forked out for the Games. Now the Paralympics are under way there is one last stat to boil the blood of Olympic-sceptics one last time.
The Indian government spent a staggering £30 million training up their athletes for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a tenth of Britain’s £300 million annual aid budget to the country. And what did we (or they) get for our money? A grand total of zero gold medals, two silvers, four bronzes and an embarrassing final ranking of 55th in the world. As for the Paralympics, India has sent just ten athletes to London. Now Indian Olympian Randhir Singh is asking for more cash:
“The government is spending tremendous amount of money and taking sports seriously. If that continues, there is no limit to what we can do. Take the case of Australia, they spent a lot and did so well. Now they have stopped spending and finished just in the top 10. There can’t be a comparison with China. They have been spending generously for a long time. We’ve just started.”
When will Andrew Mitchell wake up…
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Now Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Labour Will Lose Commons if Scotland Votes Yes | Times
Miliband Blanked Gordon | Damian McBride
Cameron Surrenders Keys to Union | Rachel Sylvester
Boris Not Moving to Uxbridge | Scrapbook
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”