Yesterday saw the beginning of another fightback for Gordon with him trying to get hold of the media narrative with a keynote speech on education. Sky News covered Joanna Lumley speaking to a select committee in preference. Prescott helpfully intervened – supportively pulling a face which he described as his impression of Gordon’s smile. Guido wondered if it was in fact the face that Tracey saw at climax. On Sky Breakfast this morning Eamonn Holmes and his guest (some kind of media adviser) were openly laughing at the Prime Mentalist. Gordon’s twattishness is the only think we have to keep us smiling…
Guido finds it hard to believe that traditional newspapers have a future, yet a surprising number of mediasaurs do continue to stick their heads in the sand. Warren Buffet says the internet will kill newspapers. Would you bet against him?
A back of an envelope calculation suggests that the Indy could abandon the printed edition to go digital only and, for some £20 million, give everyone of its 215,000 average daily readers an Amazon Kindle or iPhone type device. Users would be given the device free with access to the Indy site hardwired in. Users would only be charged for using the device to surf other sites. Crazy? What is crazy is that as things stand the Indy hardly covers the cost of production and distribution. As circulation shrinks the fixed costs associated with producing a newspaper are becoming terminal. The INM annual financial report is not that transparent, nevertheless Guido reckons the paper is not even covering operating, production and distribution costs as things stand – never mind servicing the corporate debts. Going digital will take it out of the costly tree slaughtering business and make it a content producing pure play. Will advertisers go for it? They are already migrating from ink to pixels.
Guido has one more suggestion; there is a glaring broadsheet market positioning gap to be seized by shifting from an editorial stance that reluctantly backs the LibDems towards enthusiastically backing Cameron’s liberal conservativism. With the Telegraph floundering editorially there is a market opportunity. The Indy is never going to capture the ground held by the Guardianistas. The Times is probably going to row in behind Cameron with a heavy dose of skepticism from Murdoch. The Indy should therefore enthusiastically embrace the socially liberal Notting Hill Cameroons, in all their weed tolerating, groovy green glory. Become the modernised news brand that Cameroons are not embarrassed to be supported by…
The Sun reported Gordon gushing “It’s going to be a tough fight but I know Ricky can beat anyone. He will have the whole country behind him and I wish him the best of luck.” Ricky Hatton really didn’t need that endorsement did he?
Hatton went down in the second round. Out cold.
Andy Murray, Britain’s No. 1 tennis player, met Jonah Brown in late April, the next week he crashed out of the Rome Masters tournament in the first round. His worst result since last August. The curse struck again.
Globally Gordon’s curse continues to wreak havoc in the third world. The Fiji tourist board must be regretting ever seeking the endorsement of the jinxed Prime Mentalist. Guido has previously reported the effect on the local economy. The Curse of the One-Eyed Son of the Manse has now seen Fiji suspended from the Pacific Forum due to the fact it hasn’t held elections. Something Gordon has in common with the Fijian regime…
UPDATE : Nicola Burdett was hired from the BBC to prevent Gordon getting into embarrassing picture situations. She must have had a day off today:
Today was supposedly the beginning of the fight back…
Guido was only 12 years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power. The original memories have been blanketed over the decades by the re-runs of video footage. Watching some of the BBC Parliament channel’s re-broadcast of that election day, something that came through was the fundamental decency of James Callaghan. He came over in much the way that John Major did, as an honourable man doing his best in difficult circumstances. Not something that can be said of his current successor.
American actor Clarke Peters (Mandela, The Wire) was on Adam Boulton’s Sky show this morning. He cracked a joke that would have had Sunny Hundal putting Guido up on a thought-crime charge if it was first cracked here on the blog:
“People used to say ‘pigs would fly’ if we had a black president. Well 100 days into Obama’s presidency, swine flu.”
On a sadder note, Jack Kemp has died after battling cancer. Guido wonders how different the world might have been if the former NFL quarterback had been the vice-presidential running mate of Bush senior instead of Dan Quayle. If the libertarian-conservative Kemp had then succeeded the original President Bush, we might never have had Presidents Clinton or Dubya. Instead after nine terms as a Congressman for Western New York, from 1971 to 1989, he served as Housing Secretary in the George H. W. Bush administration.
Kemp an advocate of low tax, supply-side policies was until recently still active in the Washington think tank world. He was conservative on abortion and libertarian on immigration, with Chicago school economic ideals. His crucial contribution to the Reagan agenda was as architect of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, possibly the greatest tax reduction in American history since the Boston Tea party. The world sorely needs more Jack Kemps.
Think the public have a right to know what happens to public money? The Sunday Times reports that expense receipts to be released in July will be cesored so that we don’t know what they were for, where the taxis went, the names of shops or hotels.
Labour MP Jim Devine has fiddled a total of nearly £17,000 in “car” and “mileage” costs, but the office manager, Marion Kinley, told the Sunday Herald she did all the driving and “I received only £60.” Devine has some improbable excuses.
The Sunday Times reports that the Labour peer Baroness Uddin has named a flat in Maidstone, Kent as her main residence and claimed around £100,000 in Parliamentary expenses for it. This is despite the flat being empty and Baroness Uddin living in Wapping, East London – just four miles from the House of Lords.
After the Sunday Times challenged Uddin about her “main residence”, she appears to have done a quick “move in”. This is prima facie fraud.
David Miliband wants a private jet and spare on standby according to the News of the World. Despite the fact that he invariably could fly commercial for a fraction of the price.
Well, even so, it is going to be hard for a Labour MP to cover up building a sauna on expenses…
Peter Oborne, once second only to Janet Daley as Gordon’s biggest booster amongst the right-wing pundits and the last to lose faith in him, is now calling for Gordon to sit down with a bottle of whisky and a revolver. Oborne says Brown is imploding mentally.
Polly Toynbee once praised Brown as an intellectual colossus, master-strategist and political titan. Now she says Gordon Brown has no ideas and under his leadership Labour has become a rotten, defeatist rabble. Polly recollects that “Many said he had neither the temperament nor the political skills for the top job. I was among those who hoped he had, because you have to live in hope.” Now she has no hope.
Tomorrow is the thirtieth anniversary of the coming to power of Margaret Thatcher. Under Gordon’s chancellorship and premiership Britain has tested to fiscal destruction the tax and spend approach, perhaps a return to sound money and fiscal conservativism is the change which will bring hope.
Somebody really has too much time on his hands, it does remind Guido of one particularly confused night in Vauxhall with James Cleverly…
UPDATE : Huge hit with the Fawkes girls this morning “Dadda is a star!” Please don’t call social services…
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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”