ConservativeHome have bolstered their ranks following the departure of Tim Montgomerie. Mark Wallace, best known for his excellent TV appearances at the TPA and IOD and as the blogger behind CrashBangWallace, joins as Executive Editor. As expected Paul Goodman is Editor. Boris biographer Andrew Gimson is appointed Contributing Editor, and Iain Dale now has a weekly diary. At last some new competition…
10 days, zero posts; there is no sign of life over at Britain’s leading left-wing blog. Not even – if their lefty pals are to be believed – the death of the welfare state and the privatisation of the NHS could revive Political Scrapbook. Nor could IDS’ £53 petition or Osborne’s dodgy figures wake them from their blogging coma. The Scrapbook twitter account, posting tweets from “the whole Scrapbook team”, has lain dormant for over a week. Rest in peace…
Guido would like to welcome BuzzFeed to the UK online scene. They’ve had a highly prolific first day and are pressing the right buttons with their booze up tonight. Guido thought he would share with them some top tips for surviving the British blogosphere:
- Iain Dale invented the online list format in Britain before you.
- Don’t worry about HuffPo over here, they couldn’t break a window.
- Waking up before lunch is not a necessity, see Political Scrapbook.
- The rate you should charge for #SkyPapers is £300.
- It’s very important to Paul Waugh that he gets credited for any story, pun or hashtag.
- SideBoob stories are an admission of creative failure.
- Take the phrase “evidence based blogging“ with a pinch of salt.
- If the New Statesman’s Alex Hern sends you another job application, just send him back this:
- “Dr” Eoin Clarke writes about healthcare a lot but ignore him because he is not a doctor and he is always wrong.
- We recommend a flame war with Derek Draper.
- Meet Larry and Freya. You’ll like these two.
The number one rule:
You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…
- Lebedev, the owner of The Indy, the only paper with an editor keen on the press control Royal Charter, has said it is a bad idea.
- Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is suggesting delaying it all for a year.
- The Economist has joined the Speccie, Staggers and Private Eye in shunning the new system.
- Most of the big newspaper groups are looking less and less likely to go along with things as they stand.
- Editors of local papers are livid that they will be brought into this regulatory quango when they are already under financial pressure.
- The former campaign manager for Hacked Off has disowned the campaign – “I wanted reform that understood the press, but some of them wanted reform that punished the press. They became more militant, more politically aggressive and I felt uncomfortable with it.”
- Lawyers say the exemplary damages provision is in breach of Article 10 of the ECHR.
- Bloggers from across the spectrum have united against the ill thought provisions.
- Hacked Off now say that blog regulation was never their intention.*
- Over the weekend there were tri-party talks to try and figure out how to exempt blogs – which Leveson never intended to regulate.
Still the political class may still ram it through the Lords this afternoon…
Lord Lucas has a sensible amendment to exempt blogs and small publishing enterprises:
131C At end insert— “Other publishers
9) A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.”
131D At end insert— 10) A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.”
131E At end insert— 11 ) A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium- sized enterprise as defined in sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006.”
Just because the amendments are sensible and widely supported doesn’t mean they will pass…
*Evan Harris told the Open Rights Group that he wanted to see Guido regulated. Can’t imagine why…
Here are Lord Lucas’ three amendments to the Crime and Courts bill:
“A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.
A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.
A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”
Here we go…
With only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here).
The aim is to insert a new Schedule into the Crime and Courts Bill:
‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”
“A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”
This effectively takes out all small independent bloggers and re-calibrates the legislation to only cover what Tom Watson rightly calls “Big Media”. Hopefully this will command cross-party support…
“It is clear to all but the very stupid that the new system should only apply to big media -with print operations that might also have a digital presence. Maria Miller should urgently clarify how this will be achieved.”
As one of the guilty men leading the charge against the free press, it’s better late than never.
Good to have a “propa blogger” on board…