MySpacers Don’t Vote

Politicians including Hilary Clinton think getting down with the kids requires a MySpace site. Research by Heather Hopkins at Hitwise suggests it is an ineffective way of reaching voters. In the UK MySpacers are more likely to be welfare chavs on council estates* who don’t vote. Peter Hain’s leadership campaign has a MySpace site. Is that smart targeting of his likely supporters, or just stupid?

*Heather didn’t describe them in those words.

Doughty Street Moves Away from Tory TV

As Doughty Street heads towards a more commercial footing, ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie is moving out to become a programme producer in a separate unit, which backer Stephan Shakespeare thinks will enable the station “to develop as a truly independent, commercial broadcaster of non-partisan, interactive and innovative political, news and current affairs programmes.”

The technology is proven and the emphasis is now on making the channel pay for itself with a less partisan nightly news programme. “That doesn’t mean we shall be less opinionated, but it does mean we will be giving more opportunities to people with different perspectives” Iain Dale says. Guido thinks that the recruitment of Peter Tatchell and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown as presenters will definitely take the online broadcaster in a new direction.

A Newsnight Producer writes…


Dear Guido,

I am writing to you to check your availability the weekend of August 24-26th.

It would be fantastic if you might be available at some point that weekend (most likely the Sunday) to take part in this year’s MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. We were hoping you will be free in principle for a high-profile session we intend to put on titled “The Power of Gossip.” This session which will involve panellists including the author of the websites/mailouts “holymoly” and Adam Bullmore of October Films – will entail discussing the power of blogs and the internet and will question whether TV will ever be able to produce gossip as successfully.

It would not be a problem to arrange your participation behind a screen of sorts if you wish to protect your identity.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

With best wishes

Lucy

Lucy Crystal | Interview Producer | BBC Newsnight

Guido is not falling for that one again…

Slippery as a Silverfish

Dizzy got a nice scoop* yesterday. Basically Silverfish TV have bought up gordonbrown4leader.com and similar sites. So what? Well Gordon doesn’t officially have a campaign and when he does he will be expected to list cash donations and donations in kind. The Electoral Commission is taking a tough line on this sort of stuff. Silverfish rushed out an explanation that they had bought the domain merely as a speculative punt to make money (something – as Dizzy points out this morning – is prohibited by the internet authorities). Guido frankly finds it unbelieveable that Silverfish really were going to try and make a quick profit out of Gordon Brown.

Silverfish.TV are Labour’s preferred new media / video producers, doing most recently Scottish and Welsh Labour’s Party Political Broadcasts. They also did the “Dave the Chameleon” video for Labour, for free. Obviously it costs quite a lot to do an expensive CGI animation, but they didn’t charge the Labour party a penny. They do however have a number of juicy contracts awarded by Labour cronies and paid for by the taxpayer.

Do you see a pattern here? The Smith Institute is paid thousands of pounds to organise seminars for HM Treasury at the taxpayers expense. The Smith Institute gets to use No. 11 Downing Street for seminars for free. Opinion Leader Research is paid huge amounts to do polling for HM Treasury. Opinion Leader Research does polling for the Smith Institute for free. Silverfish are paid by Downing Street at fat rates, subsidising them to do “Dave the Chameleon” attack videos and coincidentally buy campaign websites on Gordon’s behalf for free.

It is a corrupt practice, Gordon’s campaign bills are being picked up by the taxpayer indirectly. In a secretive, behind closed doors, third-world style, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours way”. He is running an undeclared campaign, it is funded, and no declarations are being made to the Electoral Commission because the funding is covert. Donors get tax relief from HM Treasury on donations to the Smith Institute, which is a charity of which Gordon is the only identifiable beneficiary. His pollster gets HM Treasury contracts and produces positive push polling for him. Labour’s friendly new media production outfit similarly wins Whitehall contracts and does work for Labour and Gordon for free. It has come to something when Nigerian newspapers are running stories about political corruption in Britain which feature the Smith Institute.

*Notice how despite Channel 4 News and the Times running with it, no credit was given to Dizzy. They say bloggers are parasitical leeches on the Dead-Tree-Press etc.

Recess Monkey on Newsnight

Looks like they really are having difficulty getting anyone on Newsnight these days…

See Recess Monkey’s Newsnight Interview on Guynews.

Recess Monkey on Newsnight

London Mayor : LibDems No Hope, Tory Mayor Hopefuls

The LibDems have matched the Tories finally. Matched their inability to find a Mayoral candidate that is, Iain Dale reminds us that the LibDems were supposed to announce a shortlist of London Mayoral candidates yesterday. Silence.

So despite, in the words of Simon Hughes, “casting their net far and wide in our search for a candidate to represent our diverse capital” they struck out in their talent search. Mind you look at the motley crue that have now come forward for the Tories. Guido is not sure this is even the complete list:

Richard Barnes No web site as of yet.
Andrew Boff www.easteight.com/
Nick Boles www.nickboles.com
Victoria Borwick www.mayor-for-london.co.uk
Lurline Champaignie www.lurline4london.com
Simon Fawthrop www.fawthropformayor.co.uk
Peter Hobbins No web site as of yet.
Warwick Lightfoot www.lightfootforlondon.com
Winston McKenzie www.myspace.com/winstonmckenzieuk
Mike Read No web site as of yet.
Lee Rotherham www.newstartforlondon.com

Some of them are very strange indeed. God help London.

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 9

Click on the map* for the big interactive Where’s Gordon?™ map. Still missing a few days when Guido was either not paying attention or in the back of a gondola. So if helpful co-conspirators could post in the comments if you know where he was over Easter and on April 4 please. Thanks.

UPDATE : Added missing bits with the help of co-conspirators, presumably he just sat at home on Easter weekend (7th to 9th) brooding and snapping at the wife and kids.


*Still haven’t figured out how to make it interactive on the blog yet.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View(Terminator Edition)

Wasting Police Time in Downing Street

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: A well place co-conspirator emails to say he has seen Robert Gould, from the PM’s Downing Street Strategy Unit, thumbing through a copy of Wasting Police Time, the book of the blog by everyone’s favourite plod, PC David Copperfield. The police minister, Tony McNulty, reckons the book is “more of a fiction than Dickens.”

Strange that one of the top wonks in Downing Street is reading fiction the week after Nick Herbert, the talented Tory shadow police minister, put forward some interesting policy ideas. Perhaps it is just holiday reading.

Where’s Gordon?™ Day 3

Today Gordon was off to Gleneagles, promising to “give every child in the world a better chance – freed from poverty and liberated by education.”

A few months ago UNICEF reported that British children were the unhappiest in the Western world. Youth unemployment is higher now than it was in 1997. 15% of British school-leavers are functionally illiterate. Bit early to be claiming “mission accomplished” at home?

N.B. Could a co-conspirator let Guido know where Gordon was yesterday? Wasn’t paying attention and will need it for the Where’s Gordon?™ interactive mapping thingy being developed.

Ciao Tutto da Venezia

Am away for the weekend and forgot to put comment moderation on. You-know-who posts five comments on one post – then cries “he deleted me” when the inevitable happens. Iain has now banned him as well, so he is starting an anti-Iain Dale blog to join his anti-Guido blog. That is fine by me, freedom of speech means he is entitled to publish his views.

The difference in audience size enjoyed by the likes of Iain and Guido compared to the contributors to our respective anti-blogs is growing. Now readers will know that Guido, like Iain, is a humble type, shy and retiring even, so it is with some hesitation that Guido ventures to say that the reason Iain and Guido have far more readers is that we try to be entertaining and bring news. Now Guido may only aspire to gossip and tittle-tattle (over 80,000 people have watched the Gordon the Bogeyman story), but that seems to be what people want and enjoy.

It may not be what others think Guido should write about, it may not be in the deferential style that others think should be employed, it certainly gets up the noses of the old media and the embedded-in-the-political-system journalists known as the Lobby. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Simple. Better still, offer a more compelling and attractive product that beats Guido in the competitive marketplace that is the blogosphere. That takes hard work. The easier path is just to call for censorship or attack and try to undermine the legitimacy of your rivals. Claim that Iain and Guido’s ascendancy is not based on hard work or talent, but lies and fiction, claim that the two most successful and well known bloggers in Britain somehow undermine blogging. We have done so much to popularise this medium – it is not going to wash. Blogging is just an easy way of publishing, it is a software platform, not a religious movement. Get real.

The new anti-Iain blog is in a sense a tribute blog and further evidence that the contributors have a poverty of ideas. They would enjoy more success if they tried something less derivative and more novel. Meantime Dizzy wants an anti-blog as well. You’re no one daahhling, if you haven’t got one.

And Lo, It Shall Come to Pass…

On the first day of this year Guido made 5 predictions. Including this one –

2. Following a surge to the SNP in local elections the Conservatives will finally move away from Unionism and towards spinning off Scottish and Welsh sister parties as part of their localism agenda.

ConservativeHome and the Speccie are now confirming this will happen.

Osborne’s approach to David Laws means that another prediction has already come off –

4. Informal Tory approaches will be made to leading LibDem figures as to discussions on the shape of the future governing coalition.

Watch out Mystic Meg…

Smith Institute : Polly Advised Sith on the “Legend for the Left” Against Tories the Month Before 2005 General Election

MPs like Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne, Martin Salter discussing with Polly Toynbee anti-Tory political strategies is nothing new, discussing them at a non-partisan, non-political charity event would be very interesting. That is exactly what they did at a seminar held on Tuesday 22nd March 2005 on the very eve of the General Election.Also attending were – surprise, surprise – Deborah Mattinson and Scarlett McGwire from Opinion Leader Research, pollsters for the Treasury.

Polly advised the Labour team about the Tory’s tactics; “Dog whistling is exactly what it is: hitting and running day after day, leaving Labour looking lame, wrong footed, unable to keep up. All the more important is to be able to produce the kind of moral vision that is envisaged here or is beginning to be described here.”

All the more important for who? Ed Balls tells her he was “very taken by Polly’s language in terms of a need for a legend for the left.” The seminar transcript goes on and on. So the question is – does the Charity Commission still believe that the Smith Institute is non-political?

Isn’t it just Gordon Brown’s strategic campaigning arm?

UPDATE : Christopher Hope in the Telegraph has discovered that Ed Balls advocated a new NHS tax at another closed meeting of the Sith.

A Happy Reflective Analyst?

Following on from Gordon telling us last week he doesn’t bear grudges, he now tells us, via his own handwritten aide memoire reproduced below,* that he is happy, relective and analytical.

Is that normal? Write a note to yourself so that you remember how to describe yourself? You know, must make a note just in case one gets forgetful, “I’m Guido, with a bit of cheeky rebellious streak, who is overly partial to a drink and likes to poke fun at politicians.” Wouldn’t a note to self like that be a bit odd?

According to a graphologist the handwriting shows

“He will dig his feet in over issues because he is so convinced he has the right answer. He is obviously forceful but he was very, very angry when he wrote this – and a bit shaken. He has a vulnerable side but is suppressing that. He doesn’t want to admit a weakness. Quite a few signs of being self-centred come through, even to the point of being egotistic. And he would not like people digging too deep – he wouldn’t be comfortable with that at all.”

*From the Daily Mail.

UPDATE : How does his handwriting compare to the Granita days when he got shafted by Blair in 1994? Here is the note where Brown wrote Blair “guaranteed this will be pursued”. Slightly less SHOUTY but still stroppy is Guido’s considered view.

Spin Cycle : Fiona Melville

Guido hears that another one of Daves’ babes is leaving CCHQ. Fiona Melville is off to pastures new. Anyone know where?

More stories of Tories off to spin merchants welcome.

Do email Guido names of newly minted Tory lobbyists…

+ READ MORE +



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Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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