Chris Huhne █████ ██ ████ █████

███████████████████████████████ Chris Huhne ██████████████████.

████████████████████████████████ tomorrow ██████████████.

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████████████████████████ former bi-sexual, ████████████████████!

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Where Have All the Women Gone?

men

Not many talking points from this afternoon’s snooze-fest mid-term review, though Dave and Nick’s failure to take a single question from a female journalist was noted by many. No. 10 told the BBC that “none of the TV or newspaper political editors there” were female as an explanation. To be fair to them the Lobby is hardly brimming with females.  Some chauvinist media outlets are particularly guilty…

The Mirror’s all-male political team is made up of James Beattie, Tom McTague, James Lyons, Mark Ellis, Paul Routledge and Kevin Maguire, with the Sunday Mirror’s passholders made up of Vincent Moss and Nick Buckley. As for that bastion of feminism the New Statesman? Jason Cowley and Rafael Behr have Lobby passes, but there is a grand total of zero for the Staggers’ female staff. As an ardent feminist, Guido says shame on them…

UPDATE: Guido was not the only one to notice:

Mid-Term Review In Full

It reads an awful lot like the Coalition Academy letter in Private Eye…

BBC HQ Revamp Blew £6 Million in 6 Months

BBC-b

Over a hundred million pounds over budget, four years late and the subject of a National Audit Office investigation, the BBC’s revamp of Broadcasting House was a disaster from start to finish. The ten year renovation project, which was supposed to be completed in 2008, was still haemorrhaging money right up until the day it was completed last year.

patten2Media Guido can reveal that as the project drew to a close in the first six months of last year, the BBC blew close to a further £6 million of licence-fee payers’ money on the ill-fated rebuild. The £5.765 million finishing touches figure includes £3.2 million forked out for furniture and some £26,000 on “graphics”, presumably those aesthetically-pleasing billboards Lord Patten proudly did his TV pieces in front of at the height of the Jimmy Savile scandal. The Beeb are refusing to reveal how much they spent on individual decorative items, citing the feeble excuse that disclosure would weaken their “commercial bargaining position”. Nothing to see here.

Almost £6 million of licence-fee payers’ cash spent on the finishing touches of a doomed revamp that spent over a hundred million more than budgeted. 2012: a year to be proud of for the BBC…

Where There’s Muck There’s Brass

draculaLabour attack dog Michael Dugher went off on one in the Mirror this weekend, slating the “snobbery” of government arts cuts and the decision to award the British Federation of Brass Bands a grant of of just £23,000 last year. So how much did the Federation receive under the obviously less snobbish and much more generous Labour government? According to their accounts, in 2009 the Arts Council grant to the BFBB was a whopping £23,941, while in 2008 it was £23,313. Cuts? What cuts?

H/T @KulganofCrydee

Lord Strathclyde Resigns: Westminster Reaction

Whatever the reasons behind the departure, Downing Street can’t be that annoyed. “The Queen has been pleased to appoint the Rt Hon the Lord Strathclyde to the Order of the Companions of Honour.” Suggests a friendly exit…

Lord Strathclyde Resigns – Full Letters

Having been in the Shadow Cabinet or the Cabinet since 1997, the leader of the House of Lords Tom Strathclyde has just announced his resignation. Apparently he wants to pursue other interests. You have to wonder why the change of heart given the recent reshuffle. Intriguing… 

UPDATE: And the Dear Tom from the PM:

It may be the first day back at school, but odd to resign on relaunch day.

UPDATE II:

Hill was bored of education, not life, if Guido remembers correctly…

Hacked Off Bill Falls at First Freedom Hurdle

Hugh Grant’s lobbying group Hacked Off are trying very hard to pretend that they do not support statutory regulation of the press. Their draft bill, which would implement Leveson in full, is nicely dressed up as apparently defending “media freedom”, when in fact the opposite is true. They claim that ‘The Leveson Bill will enshrine press freedom in law. Political meddling will only debase it,” yet their “statutory underpinning” falls over almost immediately. In the third clause to be precise:

(3) Interference with the activities of the media by Ministers
of the Crown and public officials shall be unlawful
unless it is for a legitimate purpose and is necessary in a
democratic society, having full regard to the importance
of media freedom in a democracy.

So the government can’t intervene with the press unless it “for a legitimate purpose”. And who will be deciding what is and is not a “legitimate purpose”? Surely not the lawmakers? Back to the drawing board please, freedom haters.

Red Len and Laurie Follow in Gaddafi’s Footsteps

The Ralph Miliband Lecture has been no stranger to some rather explosive characters recently. Readers will remember how in 2010 Ed’s mate at the LSE David Held invited Saif Gaddafi, the Butcherer of Bengazi to be, to speak as […]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Jim Boasting in the Carlton Club and Lembit’s NYE
Guido’s Sunday Column Now Online

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday:

JIM Davidson was praised by Iain Duncan Smith as “a true Conservative supporter” back in 2001, after the comedian bankrolled his victorious Tory leadership campaign. Davidson returned the favour, calling IDS a

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Quote of the Day

Jacob Rees-Mogg on lessons from his father:

“it was easier to get cannabis in Hinton Blewett than a copy of The Spectator.”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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