LabourList Brings Blairite Benjamin Wegg-Prosser Onboard

Who you gonna call when you need some cash? None better than Mandy, who gets out the begging bowl in an email to LabourList subscribers this afternoon. “Dear Comrade, oops, colleague…”, begins the latest in a raft of requests for donations from the Labour blog. Could it be they are trying to wean themselves off their reliance on union gold?

LabourList are “proudly sponsored” by the GMB, CWU, Unite and Unison, though in April they added one Benjamin Wegg-Prosser to their ranks as a Managing Partner. Wegg-Prosser is a Mandelson protégé who went on to become Tony Blair’s Director of Strategic Communications, famously drafting theleaving the stage with the crowd wanting more memo. He is currently also the managing partner of Global Counsel, Mandy’s lobbying firm. If there is a coming battle for the heart and soul of the Labour Party, controlling the most popular Labour-affiliated website is a smart move… 

Order of the OTT: LabourList’s Tiny Violin

Mark Ferguson of LabourList well and truly earned his union keep with his response to today’s Spending Round. Choking back the tears as he whined about Osborne’s “nasty, vicious, small politics”, Ferguson launched into a tour de force of hyperbolic, hand-wringing rhetoric well worthy of the Order of the OTT:

“But it’s fine, because we can all marvel at hilarious jokes about how fatty Eric Pickles is an example of lean government, as people starve and are driven to charity by this heartless, vindictive and mean little man. Ed Balls, in response,was excellent – far better than last autumn – lambasting and lampooning the Chancellor. And I’d love to write about how good that felt, watching him whomp this ignorant fool about the chamber.

But if I did I’d be lying. Because I couldn’t stop thinking about those people. And that hunger. And those lost jobs. And those presentless Christmases. And those queues growing outside payday lenders and food banks. And I just felt f***ing sick.”

Imagine what he’d be like if spending was actually going down…

ABC Online Figures for Newspaper Websites

UK national newspaper website figures for the last month are out, with the Mail still well out a head. The percentage change is year on year.

-MailOnline: 7,833,182 (up 39%) 4,771,866 (up 23.1%) 3,041,594 (up 29.8%)

-Mirror: 1,176,217 (up 78%)

-The Sun: 1,698,572 (up 11%)

-Independent: 1,131,150 (62.5%)

-Metro: 406,187 (38,5%)

For the sake of comparison Guido had 516,730 unique visitors in April (up 53%).

Despite the new pay-wall, the Telegraph is beginning to catch up with the freebie Guardian.

Saturday Seven Up

This week 121,113 visitors visited 361,555 times viewing 603,977 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Ipsos Mori v LabourList

For some reason Ipsos Mori haven’t taken kindly to a ‘Labour source’ telling LabourList’s Mark Ferguson that they “consistently brief highly selective data to create misleading impressions”. In a withering riposte on their website, they insist things really are that bad for Ed:

“Mr Ferguson’s complaint appears to be about Joe Murphy’s coverage of our questions about Ed Miliband in the Evening Standard. He states that “To read the report you’d think that the results were abnormally bad for Ed Miliband (as it happens, Cameron was far further behind Brown at this stage than Miliband is behind Cameron)”, and Joe Murphy himself reported that “A Labour source said David Cameron was further behind Gordon Brown at the same stage in the last Parliament.” But the results are, all, abnormally bad for Ed Miliband, and Cameron was not further behind Brown at the same stage in the last parliament… We therefore request that Mr Ferguson:

  • provides evidence for or corrects his assertion that Cameron was further behind Brown than Miliband is behind Cameron at this stage of the parliament;
  • makes it clear in his piece that the changes in satisfaction for both Cameron and Miliband since last month are not statistically significant.”


New ConHome Line-Up Announced

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…

RIP Political Scrapbook

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…


12 Things Buzzfeed Need to Know About the British Blogosphere

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.

And finally…

The number one rule:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Lords Vote on Amendments As Press Charter Unravelling

Blog OffHow bad is it for the Hacked Off drafted Royal Charter’s prospects?

  • 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.


Lord Lucas Amendments in Full

Here are Lord Lucas’ three amendments to the Crime and Courts bill:

blogoff“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.



Breaking: + + + Amendment to Protect Bloggers Put Down + + +

blogoffWith 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).[…]


Media Bitch Fight: Scrapbook v HuffPo

With the future of the blogosphere at stake today, Guido takes absolutely no pleasure in seeing two old friends turn on each other:



Tom Watson Backs Blog Off

There is now cross-party unity condemning the Hacked Off drafted attempt to regulate the blogosphere, as Tom Watson backs the Blog Off campaign against control of the internet:

“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.



Hacked Off Faces Backlash from Thousands of BloggersEffort to Exclude Small Enterprises from “Relevant Publisher”

blogoffLast night’s hasty launch of the Blog Off campaign for a free and unregulated blogosphere has seen over 2,400 people sign the petition telling Hugh Grant and Evan Harris where to put their regulations. Hacked Off are revising their hitherto arrogant stance and furiously back peddling this afternoon as the legislation they advocated has backfired after UK bloggers realised they would be pushed into costly and cumbersome regulatory organisations.[…]


Guido's Warning to Liberal & Progressive Bloggers:Royal Charter Aims for Tabloids and Guido, It'll Get You Too

One thing that surprises Guido is that his comrades in the liberal, progressive blogosphere have seemingly not noticed that the proposed Royal Charter aims to control and regulate them as well as the tabloids.

Schedule 4, Point 1 of both the government and the opposition’s versions of the Royal Charter will bring blogs under the regulator’s control:

“relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom: a.



Two Left Feet Hires Blunder Blogger

A big welcome to Left Foot Forward’s new associate editor James Bloodworth. Rather awkwardly for the new boy at the bankrupt blogging slave workhouse, just a few days in, he’s already had a nightmare. Here is what Bloodworth wrote earlier:

Just the two problems.[…]


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