There have been a few newspaper stories about the BNP’s popularity online suggesting it is surging in ‘popularity’. It is even claimed that it is the most popular political site online. The BNP boast that this is the case based on Amazon’s Alexa rankings. The problem with Alexa is that it is easily gamed, download the free toolbar or extension and you boost your own ranking when you visit your own site. If BNP activists are encouraged to download the toolbar, they will make it appear that they are more popular. Of necessity given the BNP are not given mainstream space they are (disproportionately to their size) very active online with a well developed web presence. It appears to be true that they have the highest traffic of any official website of any UK political party. They are not however quite as popular as they claim.
The online advertising industry demands independent, verifiable metrics. Three firms dominate the online metrics business, ABCe, Comscore and Hitwise. They all use different methodologies and none are perfect. ABCe is more precise but is paid for by the publisher and uses verified data from the publishers own servers. Comscore and Hitwise are by nature inexact but have the advantage of sampling on sound methodologies and are very good at measuring relative market share, even of competitors. If you know your own traffic you can therefore derive the approximate traffic of your rivals relative to your own. Below is the Hitwise ranking data for April 2009 for blogs and political sites viewed in the UK:
click graphic to enlarge
So given that last month Guido knows he had circa 3 million page views, the BNP (with half the relative market share) probably had circa 1.5 million page views. You might note that the Guardian’s Comment is Free, with all the cross marketing, budget and staff only manages to have 31% more readers than Guido. It must drive them crazy at Guardian HQ that a part-time, rarely sober, lone blogger with a lap-top and a site that costs a couple of hundred quid a month to maintain, runs them so close. No wonder they lose so much money…
Today Guido learnt that the Minister for Work and Pensions, Rosie Winterton, claimed close to the maximum allowance for second homes – including soundproofing her bedroom. The MP, John Prescott’s former mistress, claimed for the work in February 2007, before the fees office reduced the payment to £3,800 after refusing to pay for the use of acoustic felt and wool slabs.
The full claim was for ‘soundproofing of bedroom wall and redecoration to bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, staircase’. What is she was so keen on us not hearing about?
You campaign for years for troughing MPs to go and then three come along at once.
Goodbye and good riddance.
Yesterday Guido did momentarily consider voting for Fine Gael, Libertas however have guaranteed one more vote in Wexford today. This is obviously not some cheap photo-opportunity publicity stunt putting words in the mouth of page three girl Amy Diamond :“I am delighted to bare all for Libertas. What have MEPs got to hide? I want them to get everything off their chest like me. Stop covering up if they’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.”
Robin Matthews, who leads Libertas in the UK, makes the point that: ‘The expenses scandal is rife in Europe, it is not just our MPs here at Westminster with their noses in the trough. Greater abuse is taking place at the European Parliament. The only way to sort this out and make change is by MEPs baring all and letting us see what they have spent our money on’. Quite.
They are going like skittles today…
Guido has been sniffing around and now has positive confirmation that the game is really on. Jack Straw’s claim yesterday that Gordon was secure in his job and would not be “ousted” shows that it is very much on the agenda. If UKIP were to beat Labour, Nigel Farage is right, Brown would have to go. No amount of spin that “all mainstream politics is disgraced” would save Gordon, that would only make sense if the Tories were beaten by UKIP as well. Just as the end of David Owen’s SDP was signaled by them losing to the Monster Raving Loony Party, UKIP beating Gordon would confirm his demise.
This prospect is viewed with absolute horror by CCHQ. If Tory staffers could save Gordon by voting Labour on June 4, they would.
The scenario put to Guido goes like this; Thursday June 4 is Labour’s worst nightmare, Labour’s local council low-point goes even lower. Either the LibDems or UKIP beat Labour on the percentage share of the vote in the Euro vote. The Sunday press is of course totally hostile to Brown with Labour MPs clamoring openly for him to stand down. If Sarah Brown can’t or won’t save him from humiliating himself that weekend, he will on the Monday night ( June 8 ) have to face the PLP disarmed of McBride and unable any longer to put the press frighteners on critics as much as in the past. Watch out for a recent former cabinet member making the Geoffrey Howe speech. Not Clarke or Byers, it will have to be someone without previous, who has served in Brown’s cabinet, someone like Peter Hain or Ruth Kelly. For the good of the party and the good of the nation he will be implored to go. If the mood of the room goes against him, he will fall shortly after, much as the Speaker went.
Guido’s source cautions that we have been here before and Brown has a knack of hanging on by his bitten down fingernails. Chickens are not being counted. Campaign teams are however being assembled in readiness with the weekend of June 12/13 pencilled in for them to break cover. Miliband’s SpAd Sarah Schaefer has sounded out a team ready to go within weeks, Alan Johnson’s unsuccessful deputy leadership campaign team is also clearing the decks. The game is very much on…
Hull is not the most economically successful region in the best of times. Nevertheless yesterday morning the Hull Daily Mail launched a campaign for economic optimism in the face of a recession. The first edition announced the support of the Prime Mentalist himself for the paper’s ‘Bounce Back’ campaign:
“We all have a part to play in helping our communities survive this difficult period and I am pleased to see the Mail galvanising support around local businesses with the launch of the Bounce Back campaign.
The 350,000 small businesses in the region are the lifeblood of the area’s economy.”
Inevitably the late edition of the Hull Daily Mail reported bad news for jobs and the local economy as the curse of Jonah Brown saw 349 jobs lost from a Hull food factory after Northern Foods announced plans to cease production at the plant. All are cursed who take the words of the one eyed son of the manse…
UPDATE : If only Guido had noticed this he would have put his communion money on Barcelona. The Prime Minister’s Spokesman told the Lobby yesterday afternoon that
… the Prime Minister expected and looked forward to watching the match later today when he returned to Downing Street from his visit. Asked if he had sent a message of goodwill, the PMS said that it went without saying that he would always want a British team to win any such match.
Poor the reds…
Quick reminder of Jonah Brown’s cursing of British sporting internationals:
When England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup against Portugal – Jonah was there. When they lost 2-1 at Wembley against Germany – Jonah was there. When Scotland lost to Italy- Jonah was there. When England lost the rugby World Cup final – Jonah was there.
Beware the curse…
Kirkbride was pretty good in what must have been a tough interview that she had put off for too many days. It was the best version of the MPs’ “it was all within the rules” mantra we have so far heard. Doesn’t necessarily mean she shouldn’t go.
This is Emma Kiernan, who is standing for Fine Gael on Newbridge Town Council, Kildare, Ireland. Guido was until now thinking of voting for Libertas in Ireland. This could change things. She certainly looks a lot different from her official photo which, unlike this Facebook picture, is not splashed all over the Irish media and political blogs.
Emma says “Admittedly it’s not a great photograph”, Guido begs to differ. She now has a Facebook fan club…
BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian
UKIP Winning Class War | Tim Stanley
Ralph Miliband on the English…
“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”