Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jonah Brown Curses Ericsson, Wishes Jade Well

Guido forgot to mention in his story on Monday (Jonah Brown Mini-Curse) that the Prime Mentalist had also visited workers at the Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson’s new research and development plant at Ansty Park, Coventry. Inevitably Guido reads today that Ericsson is cutting 5,000 jobs.

At his monthly press conference this morning he sent best wishes to Jade Goody. As if she isn’t suffering enough.

UPDATE 21:00 : This just in: Angry drivers are urging Mini to recall almost a quarter of a million cars following a spate of sudden power steering failures“. Guido thinks he knows the cause.

Doh!

Hat-tip : Recess Monkey

Standards Commissioner Asks Jacqui to Explain Herself

Paul Waugh has the scoop – John Lyon has finally written to Jacqui Smith asking her to explain her £116,000 fiddle.

She is going with the “it was all approved” line. Guido very much doubts she told the Fees Office she was going to spend most nights of the year with her family rather than at the “main home” (actually her sister’s spare bedroom).

On the basis of the Trend ruling, where the Tory MP in parallel circumstances had to pay back £90,000 and the precedent established ironically by Mr & Mrs Balls, she has a prima facie case to answer. (The Balls’ argued successfully that in the recess and school holidays they spent the majority of the time away from London at their constitutency home, therefore on the basis that they spend more nights there, that was their main home). The Standards Committee needs to take a hard look into the evidence of where she spent most nights.

UPDATE : Isn’t there a huge conflict of interest here? The best independent source of evidence for where Jacqui spent her nights will be the records of the police protection unit. Who oversees the police?

Kawcznyski Irony

Daniel Kawczynski, the tallest MP in the house, who handed over a constituent’s letter to the police without a warrant, is blaming one of his interns for what happened with the police. His wife is pushing him to fire the intern.

Ironically he is asking them to sign a confidentiality agreement first before he fires them, preventing them from giving out any personal information about constituents. Bit late now…

UPDATE : He is looking for a new intern as of last week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today on DraperList

Guido will keep today’s update short:
The National Organisation of Labour Students’ Philip Honour, a campaigner and listed contributor to Draperlist, wrote on Dolly’s Wikipedia entry that “A rumor that Derek has been asked to handover control of Labourlist by influential Labour party insiders is yet to be confirmed.” Guido understands that it was in fact Dougie Alexander who had a frank exchange of words with Derek.

Mencap accept Draper’s apology (as reported in the Indy this morning) over “Window-Licker” abuse and consider the matter closed. On the other hand MIND, the mental health charity which (as reported by this evening’s London Standard) made Derek “Mental health Journalist of the Year 2007″, would rather not comment – even through gritted teeth. Draper’s press handling as skilful as ever.

Guido keeps calling and emailing his alma mater the Wright Institute (in Berkeley, not at Berkeley). Unfortunately, it seems to be just an answerphone at the other end…

And finally: after last night’s premiere of Draper’s Downfall, some unkind Labour wags are calling DraperList the “Volks Blog”. Derek himself Twitters that he is appalled, embarrassed and flattered by the parody. So one more time with the flattery:

LibDem Surpise Speaker is Liberal Democrat Howard Dean

Ed Davey is very chuffed at having secured the attendance of Howard Dean at the LibDems Spring Conference in a fortnight. Dean will be advising them on his experiences of online campaigning and, errrm, losing. Still at least he made an impact on the national psyche, with his famous screeeaaaam. Given today’s polling, perhaps Clegg needs to clear his throat…

Ciao Fella! David Mills Gets 4 1/2 Years Jail Time

+++ IPSOS/Mori : 20% Point Lead +++

Tories +4% to 48%
Labour -2 to 28%
Lib Dems 17%.

The Prime Mentalist’s personal ratings plummet: Two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with Gordon Brown.

UPDATE : From the small print of the poll:

  • The public’s opinion of how David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party has shown a slight increase since last month: 43% are satisfied and 34% dissatisfied, yielding a ‘net’ figure of +9, which is a three point increase from last month (last month’s figures are 44% satisfied and 38% dissatisfied).

  • Similar to last month, around a third (35%) of the public are satisfied with the way Nick Clegg is doing his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and a quarter (26%) are dissatisfied. As in previous months, however, the most frequent response to this question is ‘don’t know’ (39%).

The deal is not yet sealed for Dave and Clegg still can’t make an impact…

Harman Wants Brown to Sail Off into Sunset on "Lifeboat"

Jackie Ashley set the cat amongst the pigeons yesterday with this story:In it she claimed that Gordon was being lined up for an international job as a super-regulator by Angela Merkel. Jackie said the storycomes from quite close to the inner core.” Like the Deputy-Leader’s office? From another member of the sisterhood? Ben Brogan is pointing the finger at Harriet Harman, claiming that “Brown was the victim of a botched spin operation by the party’s deputy leader amid signs that his authority is weakening.” Who better to be a caretaker leader if Gordon goes off into the sunset on a lifeboat or for ill-health reasons than the current deputy leader? She could hold the party together as it takes the inevitable punishment at the polls, performing the same role that Michael Howard did for the Tories. Labour could do worse…

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Defence of Derek Draper

Ever the contrarian, it falls to Guido to defend poor Derek, the pressure must be getting to him, universally criticised even by his own readership.

How else do you explain that after getting a little bit of criticism from some of his readers on his DraperList blog, he abused them as “Window Lickers”. Which is something Guido too has done in exasperation with some of the loonies who leave comments on this blog. The fact is that any high traffic site attracts a fair number of nutters, and unfortunately they are far more likely to leave comments than ordinary readers. Derek has now made amends and given two full apologies, both on DraperList and his own personal blog.

Guido usually has to retro-moderate comments, deleting those he deems over-the-top or are pointed out to him as such, after they are published. Fortunately for Derek he has a £20,000-a-year assistant (paid for by the Unite union) to filter out the bad comments for him. Unfortunately they couldn’t stop Draper leaving offensive derogatory comments and saving him from himself.

Just before Christmas Guido wrote a long piece reflecting on the problem of the Economics of Blog Comments. Derek must have read it – it was in that piece that Guido referred to some of his comment makers as “window-lickers”. Worth re-reading Derek.
Still perhaps having learnt another lesson, he will show a bit more humility on this subject now. Or maybe not…

UPDATE : It is a rite of passage and a tradition in the blogosphere to do a mash-up of Downfall at important moments. Laugh out loud at Draper’s Downfall. It is priceless.


Seen Elsewhere

How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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