More changes afoot in the government spin world this afternoon.
In an rather interesting move Nick Robinson’s producer Thea Rogers has joined team Osborne, replacing Poppy Mitchell Rose, who was last seen in a first class carriage and is now off to Washington.
Guido always had Rogers down as Labour, though she is said to be friendly terms with Craig Oliver.
UPDATE: More details on Speccie:
“She’ll have a particular emphasis on the broadcast presentation of Osborne’s economic and political strategy. She’ll fit in alongside Ramesh Chhabra, Osborne’s political spokesman who is in charge of daily news management for the Chancellor.”
In without a doubt the most amusing news of an otherwise dull by-election results day, the LibDems came fourteen votes short of keeping their deposit in Corby. The humiliation was complete after two recounts and heated discussions between the LibDems, the returning officer and an electoral commission official. UKIP came third as Labour won back Louise Mensch’s old seat. Mr Mozzarella got closer to the LibDems than the LibDems did to UKIP. They’re having a whip round for Clegg’s candidate…
The Mail were bang on the money with this morning’s revelations about the cosy close-knit community of Guardianistas and tabloid-bashers advising the Leveson Inquiry. One of Sir David Bell’s previous endeavours that they highlight was founding the Media Standards Trust which gave birth to the Hacked Off campaign. According to their website the MST is “governed by a board comprising respected figures from civil society and the media”.
So just who are these respected figures?
The MST’s deputy chair is Julie Middleton, CEO of Common Purpose. Her superior on the board, acting chair Baroness Helena Kennedy, is a Labour peer and former chair of anti-Thatcher group Charter 88, who is herself reportedly associated with Common Purpose, Medical Aid for Palestinians and perhaps should not be described as a Guardianista given she sits on the Indy’s board. Then we have Anthony Salz, who is a member of the Scott Trust which controls the Guardian, and Albert Scardino, a Murdoch-hating Guardian contributor who is married to Marjorie Scardino, CEO of FT owners Pearson PLC.
In their mealy mouthed mission statement about the “news ecosystems” and “think-and-do-tanks”, the MST pride themselves on “promoting quality, transparency and accountability in news”. So just how accountable are they? They hold no elections and have no membership structure for supporters. Guido asked board member Mary Ellen Barker how he could get on the board, she told him that proposals are made and discussed by the board. The very definition of a self-selecting elite. They claim not to be a lobby group yet admit “we do seek to influence policy and will try to talk to senior figures in politics”. Sounds like a lobby group to Guido.
The MST has a self-selecting, closed circle leadership structure that is accountable only to themselves. Essentially it is a clique of the usual chattering class suspects who are using their influence inside the Leveson Inquiry to try and undermine their more successful press competitors. They really are enemies of a free press…
Giles Coren tells James Delingpole:
“I’m not with you on climate change, as you know, but that Nazi c*** Bell wants nailing to a f***ing windmill.”
The people have spoken, and the undoubted winner of last night’s by-elections and PCC plebiscites is the increasingly anti-politics Guidoisation of the British public. Here are the key stats so far:
Meanwhile UKIP’s odds in Corby have come in from 120/1 to 6/1 and Prezza is under pressure…
Ah, the puppet master. Never gets old…
Sir David Bell is a trustee of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the crisis-hit amateur hacks who produced the infamous McAlpine Newsnight report. Bell also co-founded the Media Standards Trust, the body that helped set up tabloid-badgers Hacked Off. It’s more Thick of It than Watergate, but it does highlight the cosy close-knit group lobbying for an unfree press.
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
International Moaning Day | Kathy Gyngell
Cameron Alienating Core Voters Without Attracting New | City AM
Andy Burnham Villain of the Week | Sun
London’s Laundry Business | NY Times
The End of HS2? | Seb Payne
Elvis Speaks | Nottingham Post
Dave Mocked | Sun
MPs Want to Decriminalise Dodging Licence Fee | Sun
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”