Monday, June 2, 2008

Smith Institute Used to Sell 42 Days

Gordon Brown is in a lot of trouble over 42 days, his attachment to this Blairite legacy policy has become a trial of strength. Jacqui Smith is going round selling the policy to sceptical Labour backbenchers and implacable opposition.
Strange that tomorrow evening of all days, in the middle of this effort to sell this most politically controversial security policy, Jacqui Smith is giving a speech on the issue to a Smith Institute invited audience. Haven’t we been here before?

The Smith Institute is supposed to be an independent charitable think tank, set up “to undertake research and education in issues that flow from the changing relationship between social values and economic imperatives”. The Smith Institute during the first (2001) investigation by the Charity Commission undertook to stick to its charitable objectives – education in social and economic issues. The second investigation, now into year two, is yet to report.

How does the Home Secretary pushing government security policy in this controversial government policy area constitute “education”? Her speech is on “How can the state adapt its traditional security approach to manage a new and wider range of threats?” “Lock people up for 42 days without trial” will, Guido suspects, be the answer.

This is not even in the charity’s remit and is completely incompatible with the Smith Institute’s charitable status and stated aims. It is merely a politically convenient platform provided for Jacqui Smith when no respectable think-tank would touch the issue…

Mediasaurus-like Stat-Porn

Just got off the phone with Deborah Summers, Guardian Online’s Politics Editor. She doesn’t really dispute the figures, just that they are not “like for like”. She reckons we should include Comment is Free to boost up her numbers.

Not sure about that, since CiF re-distributes content from The Observer and the main site’s editorial pages as well as third parties. It also has an entirely different editorial team headed up by Georgina Henry.

The fact is, head-to-head, like for like, Guido and Dale each have more readers than Guardian Politics. Elsewhere in the MSM at The Times, the Fink’s Comment Central blog has a respectable record month with 608,143 page views from 491,351 visits. The Telegraph‘s blogs play it close to their chest and are in a war of words with the Guardian’s CiF over traffic and who provides a platform for the BNP / “anti-zionists” and their respective main-site traffic figures. Funny how the MSM don’t like to reveal how bad they are doing in absolute terms – the relative actual number of individual readers is not that impressive – which is why they don’t publish the stats transparently. The dead-tree-press, even in online form, is losing money…

De-Googlisation?

It is all very well CCHQ’s spinmeister, Steve Hilton, following his partner, Google’s spinmeister Rachel Whetstone, off to California – he can time shift his remote control of the Tories whilst waiting for Rachel’s stock options to vest. The much more important question: Who is Guido going to call now if the blogger software plays up?

Today Your Tax Serfdom is Over for this Year

According to the annual calculations made by the Adam Smith Institute, today is Tax Freedom Day:
that wonderful point in the year when the average taxpayer has finally earned enough to cover all their taxes and at last can start earning for themselves.

It may come as a shock that the average UK resident has spent the last 155 days working solely to support government expenditures, but that is the reality of it. More than two-fifths of an average earner’s wages is taken from them in taxes.

Medieval serfs were forced to work sometimes up to 40 days in the fields for their baronial tyrants. Progress means that taxpayers now work for 155 days to pay tribute to the state. It amazes Guido that slaves of yore effectively consented to their chains, when they so greatly out-numbered their slave masters or that millions of Indians accepted imperial rule by a few thousand British soldiers. How many tax bureaucrats are there?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

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)


Seen Elsewhere

Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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