Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rock Crumbles

In case you were wondering, Ireland beat England at Guinness Guzzling. Incidentally, cold Guinness gives you brain freeze, don’t try it at home.

May Numbers, Never Knowingly Undersold

May saw 722,219 page-views from 530,201 visits by 102,459 absolute unique visitors. Top referrers in order: Iain, ConservativeHome, Coffee House, PoliticalBetting and PoliticsHome.com.

To get these figures into perspective – The Guardian itself claimed 67,000 absolute unique visitors online in February for the Guardian Politics pages as measured by comScore. Deborah Summers, Guardian Online’s politics editor, is going to have to increase her readership by 50% to match Guido. More people are interested in reading Dale’s take on politics – who is the mass media now?

Guido’s most popular story of the month was the Richard Littlejohn slapdown of Polly Toynbee

For comparison here are some (non-blog) comparative absolute unique numbers as measured by comScore (February 2008):

BBC News UK Politics 1,090,000
itn.co.uk 96,000
theyworkforyou.com 69,000
Guardian Politics 67,000
barackobama.com 56,000
conservatives.com 40,000
bnp.org.uk 37,000
democraticunderground.com 32,000
labour.org.uk 29,000

This was Guido’s best month on record, no taxpayers were harmed in the production of the blog. Many thanks to advertisers.

Follow up with Deborah Summers here.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Get Down to Grosvenor Place for Noon (and Free Guinness)

Midday today will see supporters of the I Want a Referendum campaign outside the Irish Embassy.

Guido will be supporting them in the sunshine and then moving on to the Guinness Guzzling fund raiser (see below for how to donate).

Guido will be out-drinking the national chairman of Conservative Future, Michael Rock. He is a big lad so it could be a close run thing…

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sponsor Guido in the Anglo-Irish Guinness Guzzling Competition

At midday tomorrow I Want a Referendum campaigners will be gathering outside the Irish embassy to congratulate the Irish on getting the referendum that Brown has denied the British. All over Europe pro-referendum campaigners will be turning up at Irish embassies.
Once the political niceties are out of the way the serious business of the day will begin. The first ever Anglo-Irish Guinness necking competition will get underway. In the green corner Guido will take on the might of the Conservative Future Chairman Michael Rock in the blue corner. Whoever manages to guzzle 4 pints of Guinness quickest will be crowned champion.

Get involved in this titanic struggle by pledging money. You can sponsor Guido or Michael through I Want a Referendum’s PayPal link:


All money raised will go to referendum campaigners
from the winner’s home country.
Depending on who downs the Guinness first, the funds will then be paid out to either Stuart Wheeler’s Fighting Fund by Michael Rock if he wins, or if Guido wins, he will pay it to the Irish No campaign being run by Libertas.* Michael will be wearing England colours, Guido will of course be wearing an Irish shirt…

By happy coincidence this knees-up is on the last day that Londoners will still be allowed to drink legally on the underground. All who are still standing after the Irish bash (and those light enough to be carried) will be heading over to Liverpool St for the Last Orders on the Underground party on the Circle Line. Unfortunately that starts at 9pm so Guido won’t be able to make it…

UPDATE : I Want a Referendum campaign just called – there will be free Guinness for all who turn up!

*Guido can legally donate to the Irish No Campaign because he is an Irish citizen.

Friday Caption Contest (Escher Edition)

Labour Polls The Lowest Since British Polling Began


The latest polls have Labour at the lowest ever recorded since polling began in 1943 and Gordon Brown is the most unpopular PM in history, he is polling worse than even Neil Kinnock or Michael Foot! How must it feel to be the most hated Prime Minister of all time?

Guido likes to remind all those Labour lemmings, like Tom Watson, who plotted and worked to get Blair out and Brown in, that we told you so. So here is a reminder, again:


John Hutton didn’t mince his words when he gave Nick Robinson his prediction. He was right.


He made this forecast (video here) to a Question Time audience. He got it wrong, it took five months.


They are going to miss three times election winning Blair when he is gone. Wait and see…
26 June 2007

Labour have acted like lemmings, dispensing with their most successful leader of all time for a less popular, less likeable replacement. The more the voters see of Gordon, the worse it will get.
May 13, 2007

You have to wonder if the Labour party is having a collective moment of Lemming-like lunacy... The Brown bounce will be a dead-Lemming bounce.
April 27, 2007

We really did tell you so…

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Downing Street Forces Purnell to Sack Adviser

Whatever the spin being put on this, the truth is that the Brownies do not want to hear criticism. Particularly when the criticism comes from media favourite James Purnell’s speech writer (who was once Blair’s speech writer).

Phil Collins has written in this month’s Prospect Magazine a wonky piece which can be summarised roughly as Brown is crap, Cameron is right. How did the man who after the local elections said he was “listening and would learn from [his] mistakes” react? Gordon and the Brownies went berserk.

Purnell has been forced to sack his speech writer.

The line coming out that Purnell has not sacked Collins, he just now has a civil service speech writer, is of course bollocks. Civil servants don’t write party political speeches. This is the spin from the same people who you may remember insisted that David Pitt-Watson was taking up the General Secretary position and contrary stories from Guido et al were wrong. Just a “few contractual wrinkles” to sort out they claimed. They subsequently admitted we were right and by implication they had lied shamelessly to their chosen interlocutor – Ben Brogan. This is what they do. Lie unattributably. Paul Waugh is their more sceptical chosen interlocutor this time….

Hillary Waits for the 3 a.m. Call,Brown Calls You at 6 a.m.

PR Week reports another failed PR putsch from the bunker…

“Hello? Gordon here. I’m calling about your letter…’

Clare O’Connor and David Singleton

Gordon Brown’s latest comms offensive involves cold-calling members of the public who have written him letters, according to sources close to Downing Street.

The initiative is said to be the brainchild of Downing Street chief of strategy Stephen Carter and is intended to humanise the Prime Minister as his popularity continues to wane.

‘Carter thought it was a good idea to have Brown call people personally,’ said one insider. ‘Carter will choose a letter or email at random, have one of his team at Number 10 prepare a response, then get Brown to call.’

The move is an attempt to spread positive word of mouth for the PM, especially in the regions.

However, one of the first phone calls backfired spectacularly, according to one anecdote told to PRWeek.

‘Brown made a phone call at 6am, without thinking,’ said a well-placed Labour source. ‘Luckily the person he called was a shift worker, so he was awake.’

The source added: ‘Carter’s idea is well meaning, but it’s not working. Improving Brown’s image through PR is now being looked at as a lost cause.’

Downing Street declined to comment on the story.

Source : PRWeek

Pundits Think Politicians Paid Too Little

PoliticsHome’s “Insider Panel” has been polled on politicians pay and surprisingly “Britain’s most authoritative survey of expert and inside political opinion” has a majority of the panel (56%) reckoning MPs are currently paid too little.
Hmmm, a poll of politicians, political insiders and their friends reckons they should be paid more. In other surprise news, a poll of turkeys votes against christmas celebrations.

+++ Oil Tax Windfalls :Treasury Rakes £115m Weekly More Than Budget Forecast +++

Maurice Fitzpatrick, senior tax manager at Grant Thornton, the accountants is quoted in the FT:
Since the Budget in March, the Treasury has already taken an estimated £820m more than its forecasts in North Sea oil tax. The £6bn of surplus revenue would easily cover the cost of U-turns on both fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, where ministers are introducing new bands which could cost an extra £200 for drivers of inefficient cars. Deferring the 2p increase in fuel duty by six months would cost £550m. Scrapping the revamped vehicle excise duty altogether would mean the loss of an estimated £465m next year and £735m next year – although ministers may only remove the retrospective element of this tax.

So scrapping the poll tax on wheels and the 2p hike on petrol taxes would cost about 9 weeks extra than forecast windfall taxes due to high oil prices. Scrap ‘em now…


Seen Elsewhere

Ruffley Loses Confidence of Constituency | Guardian
Ruffley Under Pressure to Quit | Telegraph
Gove Launches Ruffley Probe | Staggers
Clegg Must Fire David Ward | Sun
David Ruffley’s Campaign Against Domestic Violence | Buzzfeed
LibDem Criticises Clegg Over Farage Debates | Express
Ruffley Must Go | Guardian
Political Correctness Breeds Extremism in Schools | Chris McGovern
Ruffley Faces Crisis Meeting | ITV
I Sang “Maggie Out” (When I Was 7) | Liz Truss
UKIP Have Learnt How to Street Fight | Dr Rob Ford


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)


New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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