Mandy in Marakesh

Apparently the Dark Lord is in Marakesh, this tip-off has just arrived in the inbox:

My sister just txted me from Marakesh. Mandy spotted with a young boy. Unfortunately she is not politically nerdy enough to have followed up the spot so the trail is cold. Not much of a tip-off but it may be the start of a trail.

Anyone out there got a camera-phone?

One night in Marakesh some years ago Guido was in a taxi with a champagne-filled Irish girl (not Mrs Fawkes). She somewhat louchely dared Guido to procure some professional company for the night. Guido turned to the taxi driver (from whom we had already obtained some local hashish) and asked him to take us to a brothel. He didn’t bat an eyelid and simply asked “boys or girls?” Guido turned to his companion and asked her what she fancied… well when in Rome…

Sh*ts of the Year 2008

The lack of news flow means that the media start doing predictions and awards to pad out space. Dale’s listmania has gone into overdrive, could have sworn he posted “My Top Ten Lists of 2008”.

So Guido will, for the same reason, invite you to nominate your “Sh*ts of the Year”. Here are a few categories, do feel free to add your own categories.
  • Sh*t Politician of the Year
  • Sh*t Journalist of the Year
  • Sh*t Blogger of the Year
  • Hoon Prix d’ Sh*t of the Year
The last category can come from any field of human endeavour. Put your nomination in the comments together with less than 30 words giving your grounds.

A co-conspirator T-shirt to the wittiest nomination…

UPDATE : Some of the entrants seem to misunderstand, it is not a vote for another bloody list, it is a contest of wits, you have to make a nomination with amusing grounds. Not just say “Brown is a sh*t.” It is for a T-shirt after all…

Blair Just Hangs Around in a Tracksuit All Day

According to Ruth Turner, Blair’s former director of government relations and now charity foundation aide, quoted in the New York Magazine, whenever she sees Blair “He wears a track suit all day.”

You know how it is; one minute you are working hard, suited and booted, next thing you are made redundant. It happens to so many middle aged men who thought they were at the prime of their careers. You end up irritating the wife mooching around in a tracksuit, flicking through the teletext pages all day, shouting at the telly. Bit sad really…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Cameroon Nuptials

Douglas Smith, one of the early modernisers behind the scenes at Policy Exchange, who went on to become a Cameron speech writer and now guides political research at CCHQ and Munira Mirza, Boris’ Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries, should today now be Mr and Mrs Smith.

To the surprise of many they were married in a very private small ceremony in front of witnesses. Congratulations.

Things Are Going to Change Around Here…

Nothing too dramatic immediately, just that Guido likes to try to stay ahead of the rest of the blogosphere.

The first change is that Guido will be leaving the tender embrace of Google’s Blogger platform. A lot of geeks and “expert” consultants look down on Blogger, but it is a brilliant (and reliable) place to start blogging at no cost. They have been excellent with technical support, they have weathered days when traffic has spiked to over 100,000 hits in a matter of hours without their backbone even noticing the bandwidth jump.

One reason for leaving is because as the site becomes more commercial it really isn’t appropriate to use free services (as that recent Flickr foul up demonstrated). Secondly as it is the intention that the site will also slowly become more three dimensional, there will be a lot more user interactivity opportunities for you the co-conspirators. This necessitates a shift to a less vulnerable more “distributed” platform, which for legal and practical reasons has to be on infrastructure not owned by enterprises that crumble at the first hint of a writ. Google have until now been very resilient but at the end of the day they are not going to risk their corporate neck for Guido or his co-conspirators. Google UK likes to please governments, that presents a risk to Guido that he can no longer take.

Wikileaks has demonstrated that the British legal system can be thwarted, even as privacy laws become ever more draconian and the government and the EU start thinking about how to suppress blogs, it seems to Guido wise to pre-emptively protect himself from legal threats to freedom of speech. The UK press is nowadays one of the most injuncted, litigated and censored in the West. British ISPs quite understandably don’t want to risk their profits for a principle. The most straight forward way for Guido to frustrate lawyers is to make sure no element of the infrastructure of the site is within the domain of a British judge.

Comment policy is also under review; Guido likes a free wheeling comment section, but the light policing of the comments is necessary otherwise they will become over-run by the BNP, 9/11 Troofers, T** I******, New World Order Jewish Lizard Conspiracists, illiterate Lefties.

The new functionality will start to be introduced early in January. Hopefully the platform change will be little noticed by users at first.

Up Yours Carter-Ruck

Guido is with the in-laws for Christmas and only has internet access via a dial-up or his mobile. So the megabyte size attachment from libel solicitors Carter-Ruck received a few days ago has only this morning been downloaded. Guido emailed Carter-Ruck back at the time to explain he was driving and only had mobile internet access, so what were the contents of the attachment? No reply from Carter-Ruck.

The email contains a Court Order by Mr Justice Tugendhat, threatening Guido with contempt of Court if Guido even reveals the existence of the Order. Guido believes that he is not the only leading blogger to receive the injunction. He is however the only one willing to break it. Unfortunately for Carter-Ruck they seem to have forgotten that since 1922 the orders of British Judges have been happily ignored by us Irish in our own country. So Carter-Ruck have merely tipped Guido off to a case of which he was previously unaware and Guido will, as a consequence, now share what little he knows with with his co-conspirators as a Christmas treat.

Somebody (unknown) hacked into the email accounts of Zac Goldsmith and his wife Sherazade, Jemima Khan also appears to have had her email accessed. They thieves tried to sell the illegally obtained information to the Sunday Mirror and the Mail on Sunday. Not really that interesting politically, though Goldsmith is a Conservative candidate and presumably Zac is his father’s son…

This particular case isn’t really a matter of principle and Guido isn’t claiming it as such. As fascinating as Zac’s love life probably is, it isn’t really hypocritical. It does illustrate how Britain is increasingly heading towards the French situation of a politically cowed client media injuncted and restricted by privacy laws from reporting on the rich and powerful. The government has also been making a lot of noise about curtailing online publishers and Stephen Carter is gearing up with legislation to attack bloggers. Freedom of the press is soon going to be even more curtailed in Britain.

So we will have a situation where offshore bloggers broadcast the truth to Britons in much the same way as Radio Free Europe kept the citizens of the Soviet Empire informed. The legislation won’t succeed, only Chinese style internet censorship will prevent the truth getting out. Is that the path politicians want to go down?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Friday Caption Competition (Drapers Edition)


[…]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive : Meanwhile Over at Labour HQ…

Tomorrow morning Derek Draper is convening a “New Media Breakfast” meeting with dozens of Labour bloggers and New Media types to hear from Blue State Digital how Labour can use the internet to win the next election. Blue State Digital

[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Economics of Blog Comments

Guido is winding down for Christmas and mulling over whether that means he has to put comment moderation on over the holidays or just let anarchy prevail. This graph from this article on the economics of blog comments is thought

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Fred Explains Bailout Economics

As it is in the U.S. of A. so it is in the U.K., borrowing is how Gordon will save the economy. Our children will be truly in Gordon’s debt.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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