Monday, November 3, 2008

Exclusive : Paxman : The Faked Evidence of Support

Jeremy Paxman writing in the Mail on Sunday this weekend “Wear a poppy… for the lions killed in war, not the donkeys who send them there” has fine words about the wars that have cost the lives of so many heroes:
“I shall wear a poppy because an act of remembrance once a year is the very least that those of us who have not been asked to risk our lives can offer those who did not have a choice.”

Empty words. In the picture byline above the article bearing his photo he is wearing a poppy. Hypocritically it is faked.

We know what Paxman thinks of faked evidence (watch him grill Policy Exchange’s Dean Godson here). He told Godson with his trademark sneer: “Authenticity is all, as you well know.”

Paxman, who is paid by the BBC £1 million for a three day week on Newsnight, was not available to answer Guido’s questions.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Cameron : BBC is Bloated and Left-Wing, But I Appreciate It

Dave writes in the Sun this morning that he wants the BBC to change its ways, crucially however on funding he would rather stick with a structure that has produced good television and radio programmes, led by an institution — the BBC — that is still respected at home and abroad.” Is the BBC really respected in America and Israel?

Dave is reported elsewhere as telling BBC executives that he is all that stands between them and an angry Conservative Party. Is that his role? To blunt the will of Conservatives?

Poll after poll finds that Conservative supporters strongly feel that the BBC is biased against them. Dave apparently tells Conservative advocates of wholesale BBC reform that “I have an election to win”, suggesting he recognises a problem but does not want to risk the repercussions of taking on the BBC’s vested interests. He writes this morning that the BBC’s funding via the Telly Tax “tends to make the BBC instinctively pro-Big State, distinctly iffy about the free market and sometimes dismissive of a conservative viewpoint.”

Dave seems to be accepting that without a change in the funding model there will be no culture change at the BBC. It will remain a cultural drag on Britain, always wanting government “to do something” and deaf to other solutions. Lets not forget the way the BBC crowds out private sector competition, sucks up technical talent thus stifling innovation and is the primary reason we do not have a vibrant Silicon Valley equivalent. The only way to effect change is to change the funding model in 2013. The BBC does not need to do everything, in fact a larger cultural breathing space for other voices, rather than the current monolithic dominance of the BBC undercutting the competition all the time, would be extremely healthy. It will be interesting to see if the Policy Exchange report on the BBC that is in the pipeline will indicate future policy direction…

UPDATE : The BBC is cutting back the champagne for its huge Obama Victory Party in New York.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Glenrothes : Internal Minutes Show Scottish Labour in Disarray

Highlights from the leaked document (below) include:
  • Cllr Iain Chrichton “The Gordon Brown photo with Thatcher was a big mistake.”
  • Cllr Alex Rowley – election agent to Gordon Brown “The party in Fife is not geared up for modern campaigning.”

Labour Cllr Minutes

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clegg : Cut Income Tax 2p Now
Fink : Re-Fight the 2001 Election

After a bad start Guido is beginning to warm to Clegg. He is clearly one of us right-wing “punk tax cutters” that Danny Finkelstein warns his readers about. He is advocating a “socially just” income tax cut of 2p and the LibDems also back substantially raising tax thresholds as well. This would really help millions of people on lower incomes and give them a greater disposable income. We need economic growth and boosting private spending is the best way of doing it.

The Cameroons are being out-flanked here, listening too much to the Fink re-fighting the 2001 election campaign in his column every week. (Did you know he used to work in CCHQ? No? He did, really.)

Like a First World War veteran of the trenches, Fink is so traumatised by the destruction meted out by New Labour to the Hague-led Conservatives in 2001 that he suffers a policy version of post-traumatic stress syndrome. As soon as he hears the phrase “tax cut” he has flashbacks to New Labour’s old line of attack on “cutting public services”. The conditions are very different today, voters attitudes have changed, they know that tax and spend policies can’t be afforded now. Voters realise, as Clegg rightly says, that the public sector is bloated after a decade of big government policies. Voters want, poll after poll confirms, a tax relief agenda – tax cutting was once the Tory Unique Selling Point. The LibDems are the weather vanes of politics, the Tories should not allow them to take the wind out of their sails.

Ask the PM Competition Still Open

This is the current front-runner for Guido’s Ask the PM competition prize. Suspect Gordon is not going to answer Luke’s* question on the technicality that it is not strictly speaking an economics question. Still not too late to enter, details here, competition closes and the prize winner will be announced Monday midday.

*Can you email Guido your postal address Luke.

Stat-Porn October : 864,178 PageViews from 644,316 Visits by 115,367 Visitors

Traffic growth is steady Guido is pleased to say. The absolute unique visitor number for the last 12 months was some 867,210 according to Google Analytics. This is comparable in traffic terms to any of the broadsheet newspapers online and although they are very reluctant to confirm this, which is revealing in itself, greater than either the Spectator or New Statesman command online.

This trend away from old media sources is reflected across the Atlantic. During the election period Drudge has scored more traffic than the New York Times according to Hitwise data. Here is something else for the mediasaurs of the Dead Tree Press to worry about: the 3 year old Huffington Post, which is squarely parked on the Gray Lady’s liberal/leftie lawn, is now more profitable than the 157 year old NYT.

Guido is willing to bet that likewise come the British general election, he will have more readers and be more profitable than the New Statesman, even combining both their online and print editions together. Particularly as the new editor’s strategy seems to be to make the articles longer and corner the market in dullness. Over to you Mr Danson…

UPDATE : Comment Central reports 867,693 page views from 725,608 visits, the Speccie reports unique users soaring to 338,053 and 2,147,545 page impressions – the Speccie page count is inflated because you have to click “read more” all the time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Scare the Voters

FT Calls Cable “Loony”

LibDem activists adore Cable, and are incensed whenever Guido knocks him. Which is frequent because Guido has been calling him over-rated ever since he called for the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

Vince Cable says this of the recapitalisation of Barclays:

This is a scandal of mammoth proportions. Here is a bank which relies on the taxpayer to bail it out if the going gets rough but which has offered Middle Eastern investors a much better deal than the banks are offering to the British taxpayer.

The FT doesn’t mince words – Vince Cable, Loony” :

But, Vince, the taxpayer hasn’t bailed out BARC, that’s the point. No matter:

We have to ask why Barclays is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer… The answer is simple: they don’t want the British Government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.

So apparently the LibDem Treasury spokesperson would rather the UK taxpayer was taking the risk here. Odd, because not so long ago, Cable was thundering on about the unbearable burden the taxpayer was being forced to bear. More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British Government must not simply let this pass.

You heard it: only the mediocre will do. Too bad they’re otherwise engaged in the LibDem Treasury team.

Guido has said it before; Vince Cable’s real expertise is in soundbites and faux gravitas.

Brown : Bonkers or a Liar?

Gordon has just told BBC News that he can go on a spending splurge because:
“National debt is low and we’re able to borrow to do it.”

This is just delusional, he has run up the debt burden during his decade of unfunded spending, we have the biggest national deficit of all time, the books have never been so unbalanced as they are now. He fiddles the statistics, we know that, the Office of National Statistics even says so. Journalists know it. His own cabinet knows it. The Civil Service knows it. The City knows it. Foreign investors know it. This is why the pound has plunged against almost everything apart from the Icelandic Krona.

Guido Asked the PM to explain why, for example, the unfunded public sector pension debt is not government debt and hopes he can answer it without evasion. Because if he can’t he must either be (a) bonkers (b) a liar. Which is it?


Seen Elsewhere

Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Guido’s Column | Sun
Elite’s Obsession With Climate Change Alarmism | David Keighley
Charities Should Not Demonise Freud | ConHome
Double Standards of Police Leaks to Guardian | Mail
My Year in Court | Charlie Brooks
Legalise Pot | NY Times
Spooks Recruited IRA Paedo | Mirror
How Police Hack Phones and Email | Times
Labour’s Minimum Wage Pledge Not Ambitious | Alan Milburn
Lord Freud’s Comments | Ryan Bourne


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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