Friday, October 26, 2012

Lights Out at the Guardian

Guido knew things were bad at Guardian towers, but he didn’t think they were this bad. A leaked internal memo sent today reveals that Guardian employees have been told to clear out their cupboards immediately, with the lights to be turned off officially this weekend. Has the day of reckoning finally arrived?

Alas, no. Kings Place will merely be undergoing a full power shutdown on Sunday in order to fulfil health and safety requirements, and normal service will be resumed on Monday morning. You didn’t get your hopes up, did you? 

Video: The People’s EU Withdrawal Bill Debated in Parliament

Today history was made as the first-ever crowd-sourced Bill was debated in Parliament. The majority of 5,000 readers of this website voted for Douglas Carswell to propose Britain to withdraw from the European Union, and today Carswell stood up in the House to argue the case for the People’s Bill. The debate can be watched at length here

Video via @liarpoliticians

Local Council Boss Accused of Employee Surveillance Operation

Guido smells blood on the Isles of Scilly. Regular readers will remember back in May when he broke the news of the local council throwing the rule book out of the window to try and stop the island’s school becoming an academy. The Department for Education is investigating on the ground and the mainstream media has been chasing the “the climate of fear in paradise” saga. It seems things are coming to a head…

A school employee is accusing the locally loathed council Chief Exec Philip Hygate of placing her house under observation and threatening her family. Hygate has lawyered up and has been spotted leaving the Town Hall late at night clutching bundles of documents. The police have been called in under S1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Beckham Hacking: Mirror Cover-Up (Part II)
Mirror Shares Drop Further as Brown Tribunal Rears Head


Roy Greenslade’s blog in the Guardian this afternoon reminds readers about the all-important testimony of former People reporter David Brown, who claims that routine and systematic phone hacking was taking place at the hands of Mirror Group journalists during his time there. Back when the Mirror’s original internal investigation into hacking was announced over a year ago Guido, in an effort to be helpful, reminded them of the very same fact:

Investors have clocked what could be coming – Trinity Mirror’s share price is down another 13% today and over 30% for the week, wiping tens of millions off the Mirror’s capitalisation. If only their legal director Paul Vickers had listened to Guido in the first place…

‘Baggy MP’ and the Online Sex Shop Mystery

Computer nerd Tom Watson’s online username is ‘BaggyMP’. Here is his Flickr account, his FriendFeed account, his online university account, and his Last.fm profile. All with the distinctive username “BaggyMP”.

There is an eBay account which coincidentally also uses the name BaggyMP. There is no suggestion Mr Watson used this account to access eBay. Guido doesn’t know for sure – unlike those internet accounts above the eBay account doesn’t provide a real name. Most of the purchases are pretty boring; musical instruments and toys for the owner’s kids etc. Except one. On February 13, 2005, “BaggyMP” left feedback for an online sex shop called Love Erotic that specialises in bondage gear and products like “male enhancer cream”. Apparently BaggyMP was delighted with his or her buy, commenting: “a very nice and unusual acquisition, thank you”. Whomever the eBay BaggyMP is, Guido hopes they had a happy Valentine’s Day…

Friday Caption Contest (Rent Swapping Edition)

Europe Labour Chief Calls for EU Referendum

Meet Hannes Swoboda, president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats of which Labour’s MEPs are proud card-carrying members. In a withering rant about British attitudes to Europe, Labour’s European Parliament chief announces their new referendum policy:

“Why should we be accommodating with them and not with the pro-Europeans? He [Cameron] is not a child with whom you have to be patient. They should decide what they want. It is not for me to push Britain out. I want Britain in, because without Britain we are weaker, but finally we cannot hold someone who wants to go. Or we have someone who doesn’t want to go but always tries to go. We have make it clear he has a choice…We should have a referendum now.”

That puts Labour’s bonkers Brussels crowd in an interesting position… 

Video: Halloween Dave

The MP Who Only Travels First Class

George Osborne wasn’t giving any answers on camera when Ed Conway asked him if he had ever travelled in standard class yesterday, though he did confirm “of course I have” off the record afterwards. But can the same be said for all Tory MPs? Step forward Daniel Kawczynski, the unpaid intern exploiting tallest man in Parliament. Shameless Kawczynski charged the taxpayer for first class tickets for every single one of the 72 train journeys he made between his Shropshire constituency and London since March 2011.

That adds up to almost £4,000 of our cash helping Kawczynski avoid the plebs over the last year. At the least the Chancellor pays his own way…

£20 Million-a-Year Blair Refuses to Pay Interns

Last year jet-setting former Prime Minister Tony Blair trousered an eye-watering £20 million from his foreign interests advising the likes of JP Morgan and the authoritarian Kazakhstan government. He is even sniffing round a £70 billion deal involving the Qatari royal family in the hope of taking home a slice of the pie. Surely the man who introduced the minimum wage to these shores can afford to put his millions where his mouth is and pay his interns?

The Office of Tony Blair runs an internship programme promising “valuable experience in a high profile and fast moving work environment”. The scheme runs for three months and it very much looks like a real, if temporary, job. Just how much is Tony coughing up for the lucky candidates? Merely a few quid a day for lunch and a bus ticket – the position in the multi-millionaire’s office is expenses only. Those who can’t afford to work unpaid are swiftly told where to go.

If we use the £20 million-a-year figure Guido has calculated that Blair would have to work for just twenty minutes to earn enough to pay a young staffer minimum wage for three months. That’s twenty minutes too long for our Tone…

H/T Graduate Fog.

Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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