Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Patten Stands Down

The BBC Trust’s head of media says:

Big vacancy…

UPDATE: Diane Coyle is acting chairman while a replacement is found.

UPDATE II: Patten had heart bypass surgery last month after experiencing serious chest pains. His statement in full is here.

BBC Pays MPs More Than Every Newspaper Combined

Press Gazette has crunched the numbers and worked out that the BBC pays more money to publicity-seeking MPs for vanity appearances than every national newspaper combined. Rory Stewart trousered £8,000 for his documentary, Alan Johnson pocketed £5,317, while part-time MP and TV personality Diane Abbott has been paid £2,800. Tim Loughton got £1,500 for appearing on Have I Got News For You, as did wannabe London mayor Sadiq Khan, who probably now regrets that ill-fated idea to boost his profile.

It all adds up to £20,000 of licence fee payers’ money paid to MPs so far this year, well ahead of the £17,905.40 the entirety of Fleet Street has stumped up. If ever there was a reason for scrapping the licence fee…

Friday, May 2, 2014

McTernan the Tables

A downbeat John McTernan didn’t think much of Labour’s chances in the European elections when asked by Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics today:

Brillo: “Are we inevtivably heading to European elections in which UKIP is a clear victor, Labour not a great second and the Tories a poor third?”

McTernan: “It’s got that feeling at the moment, hasn’t it. They’re certainly setting the terms of the debate and they have to be derailed by the other parties.”

Yet just two weeks ago the former Labour spinner claimed it was in the bag. In an effort to cheer up Labour supporters with little faith in Ed Miliband’s leadership he listed a “dozen reasons to be cheerful” to the Blairite faithful at Progress, McTernan boasted:

“Labour is set to win the European elections.

Now he admits that is unlikely, what changed?

McTernan also asserted in that same article that Labour would “storm London in the borough elections.”

More bad news for McTernan, Guido’s top campaign source at CCHQ told him yesterday that he was getting more confident that the Conservatives will do better in London, where economic growth is already resurgent, than might be expected. That storm is looking to blow an ill wind for Miliband…

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paxman Quits Newsnight
Guido Revealed Katz Wanted Him Out Earlier This Month

Earlier this month in his Sun column Guido revealed that Newsnight editor Ian Katz was attempting to force out Jeremy Paxman.

“GUIDO hears the knives are out for Newsnight star Jeremy Paxman.

Ian Katz, the groovy former deputy editor of the Guardian now in charge of the BBC news show, wants to bring in a fresher face.

Who still tunes in to watch Paxo’s pantomime interviews, where he acts like an outraged great-aunt shocked by a politician’s lack of straight answers? Newsnight of the Long Knives, indeed.”

Today Paxo has quit. You’re either in front of Guido…

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lobby Boris Bubble Deflates Embarrassingly Quickly in Newark

Astoundingly incompetent analysis from much of the political media this evening speculating on Boris standing in Newark. Only one problem – the local Tories have already selected their candidate back in November. CCHQ have been on a by-election footing for weeks as Guido reported in The Sun two weeks ago.

Michael Crick on Channel 4 News and the BBC’s Nick Robinson as well as Norman Smith have both been speculating that Boris might stand in Newark.  A little bit of investigative Googling would have revealed Robert Jenrick’s web page on conservatives.com.robert-jenrick

And his Twitter feed:

robert-jenrick

Or the press release

Cllr Stuart Wallace, Chairman of Newark Conservative Association, said:

“The Association wish to express our thanks for the work Patrick has done for Newark and for many of his constituents individually, over the last 13 years, both as a Conservative and as an Independent MP.

“Following Patrick’s earlier decision not to stand again, we selected a superb candidate, Robert Jenrick, who has already been very active locally.

“The Association are united in support for Robert and will be campaigning to ensure that he will be elected as Newark’s next MP.”

Doh!

WATCH: Daily Politics Mood Box Verdict on Miliband

The Daily Politics travelled to the marginal seat of Stevenage to find out if voters see Ed as the next PM. Labour supporters look away now:

Apart from the bloke who thought he was a chef, the result was definitive…

Hacked Off Seek EU Diktat to Force Through New Press Laws
Watson Backs Brussels Directive on Media Ownership

After Sajid Javid signalled that he wanted to put the issue of press regulation “to bed”, Hacked Off last night called for an EU directive to force through new laws and overrule the Culture Secretary. Evan Harris and Natalie Fenton, two of the group’s directors, endorsed a new campaign aiming to secure a petition of one million signatures and seek a diktat from Brussels to set limits on media ownership at a European level.

The campaign, which has the somewhat sinister name ‘Reclaim the Media’, is backed by the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the National Union of Journalists, the Trades Union Council and Labour’s Tom Watson, who was due to chair last night’s meeting but failed to attend after he was “unavoidably detained in his constituency”Evan Harris’ face told you everything you need to know about the prospects for Hacked Off’s latest doomed venture…

Click to enlarge.

MediaGuido was particularly interested by a series of graphs provided at the meeting. Reclaim the Media’s campaign for plurality focuses on the Murdoch and Rothermere titles, despite their own evidence showing that it is actually the BBC that enjoys unrivalled dominance in the news industry. Confused Labour MP John McDonnell suggested the motives were personal: “there are thousands of asylum seekers locked up because the government is pandering to the racism of the Daily Mail”, adding that MPs were “petrified by the bucket of sh*t that The Sun pours on you”. Yet according to their own evidence it isn’t the Mail or the Sun that threaten press plurality, it is the BBC…

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BBC Refuses to Comment on BBC Story About the BBC

North of the border the BBC has got itself in some bother this afternoon. Fair and balanced BBC News Scotland correspondent James Cook is reporting that the BBC is facing increasing pressure to explain how it can claim to be impartial on Scottish independence while it remains a member of the CBI, which is a registered backer of the No vote. The BBC Scotland correspondent approached the BBC for an answer, reporting on the BBC website that:

“The BBC is yet to comment on its position.”

Auntie is eating herself…

UPDATE:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Farage Admits: I’m Sleeping With My Secretary

No doubt the BBC will show this in full…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

GRAPH:  BBC Mind Share v Public Market Share

BBC-PAPER-CHARTFor years the BBC has explained its disproportionate consumption of the Guardian newspaper compared with public market share by arguing that it needs to buy more broadsheet papers than popular ones to best provide news for licence fee payers. It is not an issue of left-right bias, they claim, rather a distinction along broadsheet-popular press lines. Guido has analysed new figures released by the BBC to see whether this excuse stands up to scrutiny.

Methodology: By dividing a) each paper’s percentage share of the total papers purchased by the BBC , with b) each paper’s percentage share of the public market, we get c) the BBC mind share / public market share ratio. This tells us how greater or smaller BBC consumption is proportionally compared to public consumption.

Results: As the graph above shows, BBC consumption of the Independent is proportionally over 11 times that of the public market share. Next follows the Guardian at almost 5 times. BBC consumption of the Telegraph is proportionally just 1.7 times that of the public, and consumption of the Tory establishment’s Times newspaper is proportionally just 2.5 times as much as the public. The left-wing broadsheets have a far higher BBC consumption ratio than their right-wing rivals.

However, the popular press is where the BBC really gives the game away. Proportionally its consumption of the Mail is half that of the public and its consumption of the Sun is just a third that of the public. These are by some distance the two best-selling newspapers among the general population. Yet BBC consumption of the Mirror is proportionally double that of the Sun and 1.5 times that of the Mail.

Conclusion: This analysis shows that while the BBC is right that it makes a distinction between low circulation broadsheets and the popular press, there is a left-wing bias that extends to all papers. Among broadsheets, the BBC’s consumption of the Guardian and Independent is proportionally considerably higher that of the right-wing broadsheets (Times and Telegraph). Among the popular press, the BBC’s consumption of the Mirror is proportionally considerably higher than the Mail and the Sun. The numbers clearly show that the BBC’s newspaper purchasing patterns are not determined along a broadsheet-popular divide, they are determined on a left-right political bias.


Seen Elsewhere

Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror
The Sick Of It | Sun
UKIP MEP’s Welfare Hypocrisy | Channel 4
Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker
May SpAd Removed From Candidates List | ConHome


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The Economist asks Tony Blair about Wendi Deng:

“Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was (at least) careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps. But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt. Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him—not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.”


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