A Story You Won’t Get from the BBC, Guardian or The Times
The Secret of Three of Westminster’s Media Gate-keepers

Yesterday on the Today programme there was a discussion as to if the mainstream media would sit on a story that Guido would not. Sarah Montague dismissed the idea that there is in fact a cosy media elite.

Well here is another story that everyone in the Westminster media knows yet won’t publish. It involves three household names; Jackie Ashley, the Guardian’s cheerleader-in-chief for the Brownies, Alice Miles of The Times, who cheers for the Cameroons and Andy Marr, Gordon Brown’s much favoured BBC interlocutor.


If this story was about soap stars, footballers or chart-toppers it would be all over the papers. If an actress on EastEnders had an affair with an actor on Coronation Street who was married to the star of Emmerdale which resulted in a love-child it would be front-page news on every newspaper.

Yet Andy Marr fathering a child with Alice Miles whilst married to Jackie Ashley goes unreported. Across newsrooms, at Islington and Hampstead dinner parties it has been common knowledge for years. These three journalists are at the heart of the politico-media nexus that constitutes the new ruling class. The producers and editors who are the media gate-keepers would not be keen to dish the dirt on their own… despite the fact that it would be of huge interest to the public.

UPDATE : Lots of high minded left-windbag pomposity about this story. Excellent. The great Stanislav returns in the comments with a verbal tour-de-farce which very eloquently mirrors Guido’s thinking. Don’t recall any of those now attacking “gutter blogging” raising any such hackles when another prominent political journalist’s sexual foibles and follies were exposed. In fact most of them rejoiced everytime Boris Johnson was caught with his pants down…

UPDATE 2011: According to reports, following a DNA test Andrew Marr turns out not to be the father despite having paid paternity for years.

Informed Sources?

An article by Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian, describes David Laws this morning as theTory education spokesman. Not yet…

UPDATE : The Grauniad online subs have now changed it to read “Tory schools spokesman”. Note, he is a LibDem you plonkers. He looks like a Tory, sounds like a Tory and has remarkably sympathetic policies, but he isn’t…

Bitch Bitching or Briefing Brownies?

Fink thinks Rosa Prince has blogged for the Telegraph a clever bit of speculation about Shaun Woodward’s limited career prospects. Kevin Maguire has been given the same steer from a Brownie as his former Mirror stablemate Rosa, so perhaps there is something in it other than “clever speculation”.

As Lobbybore asks in this blog’s comments, is the speculation actually firmly based on briefing, “or is the post from the Telegraph blog from dopey Rosa Prince motivated by malice? She used to slave away under the Mirror’s political editor Oonagh Blackman who now works as, you guessed it, a special adviser to Mr Woodward!” Guido would like to think it based on both bitching and briefing…

Incidentally, Guido lived for a few happy bachelor years in a luxury riverside apartment complex opposite parliament, the neighbours included spooks from Thames House opposite, Carol Vorderman, richer parliamentarians and security conscious Russians. Guido’s smugness with his panoramic pussy pad was dented when he discovered that the Woodwards had an apartment in the complex just for their butler, who serviced their £5 million penthouse duplex above him.

Blogging Brogan Applauds Disgraced Blunkett

Benedict Brogan on his blog quotes approvingly the disgraced Blunkett giving a speech to the assembled hordes of the Dead-Tree-Press at the What the Papers Say awards shindig. “Bloggers sometimes but rarely know what they are talking about, sometimes but rarely talk sense.” “Hear hear” says Brogan of the always sensible Daily Mail.

To get this into the proper perspective one should know that David Blunkett told the head of the Prison Service to call in the Army and “machine-gun” rioting inmates to regain control of a jail in 2002. Martin Narey, then director general, said the then Home Secretary told him he did not care about possible deaths during bids to retake Lincoln prison. This was at a time when the Daily Mail was lauding him as a great Home Secretary, but before he was exposed (by the Daily Mail) for fathering a son with another man’s wife, fiddling his expenses and fast-tracking for his mistress her nanny’s visa. All covered in detail on this blog…

Bye Bye Westmonster, Hello Whirlwind

We say farewell to Sadie at Westmonster. Her star shone bright briefly before Guido saw her off. Whatever happened to the Honourable Fiend?
We now say hello to another girly political gossip from the Westminster Whirlwind (a.k.a. Katy Taylor-Richards). Her new blog for the Express this week takes a look at some of Dessie Swayne’s moves.

They do say write about what you know…

Et Tu Maguire

Things must be really bad, Kevin Maguire is now channelling Guido and putting his pseudo-working-class boot in

…cheap stunts like shamefully pouring tea for Maggie Thatcher [don’t] look so clever when you’re in trouble and desperate for friends. Fair-weather right-wingers Brown wooed are long gone, firm backers he recklessly took for granted no longer prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Brown will pay dearly for repeating Tony Blair’s mistake, neglecting Labour’s core while pegging his big tent on the shifting sands of floating voters. A premier who unwisely blew then blew some more into an election bubble that burst his authority, looks dangerously clueless now the going’s got tough… Can you think of three good things to say at the moment about Brown’s Government? No, me neither.

Might be nearly time to back Labour at the bookies…

Stat-Porn : Give Guido the Crown Back Iain

Normal service has returned, Guido has got the crown back from Iain, with 305,624 unique visitors making 423,598 page loads last month. More people visited Guido than any other comparable political website.

The biggest referrers are (in order) Iain, ConservativeHome and PoliticalBetting. As Big Media becomes more blog-centric it is interesting to see how they are faring comparatively – it implies their relative traffic. The BBC is the biggest source of Big Media traffic from their politics pages and the Newsnight site. They are followed by the Times and the Speccie courtesy of Comment Central and Coffee House.

This suggests that Ben Brogan, Sky’s Boulton & Co and the Telegraph political blogs are critical but not box office successes – yet. For what it is worth, Guido suspects the Telegraph is making the same mistake that the Guardian made with CiF – too many bloggers. Successful blogs need strong personalities and a clear voice. Readers faced with multiple authors and too many choices of variable and unknown quality decide to click on what they know best, rather than waste time clicking on the unknown. There is a time cost to information overload even when “comment is free”.

The other pressing question is, are these blogs commerically sensible? Paying journalists to write on low traffic blogs is not a commercially sustainable model. Politics is not popular outside the political elite, far more people watch Sky Sports than Sky News, Murdoch runs the latter as a loss leader. With losses at the Guardian, Telegraph and Indy’s online operations continuing to mount without end, the penny will drop with proprietors eventually. Big Media can do it, can do it well even, but who will pay the elephant to dance?

On that note, Guido would like to thank his advertisers this month for their support and contribution to profits.

Amazon – The Bumper Book of Labour Sleaze will fit in a Christmas stocking.
Anne Summers – Get your sexy Christmas stockings, and something for her as well.
Argos Online – They deliver toys.
Backlash – Kinky libertarians.
Betfair – Clegg or Huhne? Place your bets.
18 Doughty Street – See you next year in your new form.
eBay – For everything.
Hamleys – Forgotten that present for your Godchild?
La Senza – Christmas is coming.
Laithwaites – Booze to the door.
Lastminute – Go Ski, go Caribbean.
Norwich Union – Socially responsible, unlike Guido.
Total Recall – That Alastair Darling ad was the best of the month.
War on Want – Have a right on, ethical winter festival.
Westminster Live – Studios overlooking Parliament.

To advertise on this and many other fine political sites contact MessageSpace.co.uk on 020 7107 2280.

Sun’s Clever Trevor Now Predicts Brownies Doomed

Trevor Kavanagh is the sage of Wapping. Today his regular Monday Sun column says definitively
“Gordon will never govern in his own right as an elected Prime Minister.”

Trevor Kavanagh appears to have done an about turn. Cast your mind back a few months (Monday, July 23rd) Kavanagh told us equally confidently that

“Gordon Brown is going to win—and win big. In the process he will likely set Labour up for a fifth term and 20 unbroken years of socialism.

Guido suspects that Mystic Meg’s job on the Sun is safe…

Now Indy Plagiarises Entire Blog Concept

Guido has just noticed that the Indy has a new blog, Open House. The distinctively chocolate coloured blog has a certain familiarity about it, running a daily “pick of the commentators”. It is early days but

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Not Clever, Not Confident

Sir Michael White @ 10.06 on the Guardian website

Did you hear Admiral Lord West, GB’s newly-recruited security minister on Radio 4’s Today, scene-setting for the PM’s security statement to MPs? He is supposed to be an amateur politician, a

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dacre’s last Days?

Paul Dacre has been off work for the last three weeks with “gastric flu” (trans. his heart condition is playing up). In fact his absences this year have been numerous. Rumours are flying around that the dark days of

[…]

+ READ MORE +

New Media versus Old Media

The news that the Telegraph lost £10m last year encourages Guido to believe that in the coming years the truth will slowly dawn on loss making media moguls. Comment is just a click away. Good quality comment is free of

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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