Friday, December 17, 2010

Jemima Khan’s Hypocrisy

Seeing a passing bandwagon, attention craving Jemima Khan decided to delve deep into her family’s wealth to help bail out Julian Assange. Explaining her decision she wrote:

“I believe that this is about censorship and intimidation… On the one hand, the US is proud of its First Amendment and its long-standing commitment to the freedom of speech…On the other hand, it is examining ways to take legal action against Assange, who is in effect editor of the world’s first stateless (non-profit) media organisation… WikiLeaks offers a new type of investigative journalism… I feel passionately that democracy needs a strong and free media.”

A noble sentiment perhaps, but Khan hasn’t always put her money where her mouth now is, in fact quite the opposite. She seems to have suffered slight amnesia forgetting the time when she wasn’t such an advocate for free speech. The Goldsmith consiglieres, with the aid of Carter Ruck, flipped a switch when their super-injunction gagging order was leaked to, wait for it… Wikileaks:

WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE / EDITORIAL
December 24, 2008

December the 15th saw a secret UK court hearing, with secret participants, produce a secret order to secretly gag the population, the terms of which are secret and the revelation of which is punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment. How many of these orders exist is unknowable—we glimpse at the severity of the problem only when the orders are violated. So let’s start violating them.

Wikileaks previously released the gag order for the Northern Rock bank collapse, now we release the secret gag order made by High Court Justice Tugendhat on Dec 15, 2008 aimed at covering up an email leak from the British establishment. The secret order first targeted UK newspapers, but our copy was destined for the UK Parliamentary blogger ‘Guido Fawkes’, editor of ‘order-order.com‘. The summary states:

  1. The identities of the Applicants/Claimants must remain confidential.
  2. The fact of the existence of the Orders must remain confidential.
  3. The terms of the Orders must remain confidential.

The order concerns emails from Zac Goldsmith, a noted 2005 Conservative party recruit, and social climber sibling Jemima Khan. Both are heirs to the late billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith. Needless to say there are no teachers, small business owners or technicians being granted secret media gag orders in the UK.

The order states that anyone who knows of the order must obey it, so plaintiff lawyers Carter Ruck have served the order on media outlets across the British Isles.

Britain is an increasingly dangerous Western disgrace, but you won’t hear about it in the British press.

Oh the irony, needless to say Guido told them to get stuffed

Friday, December 3, 2010

Elusive Assange E-FIT

The Mail says he is in south-east England, but Gawker says Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is drinking with a shaved head in Manhattan. So Interpol must be looking for someone like this:

Julian, come to Ireland, we’ve centuries of experience in hiding outlaws and the people are friendly with a soft-spot for trouble-makers. You can sleep in Guido’s barn…

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where’s Billy?™ : Rifkind Revisited

Hillary Clinton said in her presser yesterday that “a counterpart” told her “well, don’t worry about it, you should hear what we say about you…” An interesting line, clearly from a native English speaker in its idiomatic use of “well” and “don’t worry about it”, which is bordering on slang. No one with English as a second language, however fluent, would ever come up with a line like that. Add a barbed sense of humour and the fingers are pointing at William Hague.

Talking of Hague, Guido isn’t the only one to have noticed that in the past few days former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind has been put on Sky News, BBC News, BBC Radio 2, 4, 5 and Channel Four speaking about Wikileaks and other foreign policy issues. It’s almost as if the current Foreign Secretary has been sidelined and a new spokesman found. Guido can’t think why Hague might not want to hit the airwaves to discuss why the Americans were featuring his personal life in their intelligence dossiers. Rifkind seems well on top of the brief still and would be high up the list of likely candidates for the job, were a vacancy to arise…

UPDATE: Paul Waugh questions why Hague isn’t representing the UK on the international stage in Kazakhstan tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It Was Ivan

Further to Guido’s speculation as to who is the “hound-dog” minister that the American diplomats referred to, an authoritative source gets in touch. Apparently it wasn’t Prezza who the American’s found handy, but none other than Ivan Sex Text Pest Lewis.

It was McBride that briefed the story to the News of the World, was he also gossiping with American diplomats? Guido wanted to ask Ivan how he felt about being described in such explicit ways, but it seems he isn’t so keen on phones anymore. No reply from his office yet…

UPDATE : Guido put it to someone in Ivan’s office that this was about to break. They said they were “aware”…

Hound Dog Minister

According to the Guardian one cable reveals how the US embassy in London passed on intelligence about a British Labour minister, picked up from civil servant contacts, saying he “reportedly remains a bit of a hound dog where women are concerned” he was “forced to apologize … to a female … who accused him of sexual harassment … and has had marital troubles in the last few years … Contacts who know him well report he has manic depressive tendencies – ‘he’s very up one minute, very down the next’, and at least one … colleague has described xxx as a ‘bully’.”

Guido’s money is on Prescott, this rumour went around some years ago and concerned not Tracey Temple but another civil servant. The Guardian’s quest for transparency has limits – they are holding back the name – your media betters keeping you in the dark…

UPDATE : Some suggestion that it is Ivan Lewis. To be fair, it could be any one of many randy Labour ministers…

Friday, November 26, 2010

+ + + Confirmed : D-Notice Issued Over Wikileaks + + +

Two issued of types:

DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities

DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services

+ + + RUMOUR: D-Notice Issued on Wikileaks Stories + + +

The Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC) which consists of top MOD civil servants and representatives from the media have according to Wikileaks issued a “D-Notice” – an attempt at a news black-out, on the imminent release by Wikileaks of two million diplomatic wire conversations between US Embassies and the White House/CIA. Rumours have been swirling around all day of US envoys meeting counterparts in Israel, London and Australia etc preparing them for extremely embarrassing news. Guido wonders what the US had to say about Blair, Brown and Cameron before bi-lateral meetings. Apparently Obama has been smoothing feathers on the phones.

Guido has just put a call in to Andrew Vallance, the DPBAC, secretary and is awaiting confirmation. If it is true something tells Guido that this isn’t going to work.

Remember what happened to Trafigura and their super-injunction…

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Election Night Blogging from ITV News

Keep your tweets coming in if you are at counts, let Guido know what you are seeing in the real world rather than only online.

Log on to :

www.itv.com/news/election2010/

For instant rolling results from around the country.

Watch to see if Will Straw kicks off as his night falls apart…

Friday, January 8, 2010

Who Really Broke the Hoon-Hewitt Scoop?

As so often happens, who broke the story first is fiercely contested.  Guido doesn’t have a dog in this fight, but for the record, since the Staggers is trying to cite Guido as evidence to back up its claim that it broke the news, here is the timeline:

  • Unnoticed by Guido when it happened was Andy Sparrow’s PMQs live-blog, which had this at 11:57:

    11.57 am: Hot news: We’ve just heard that Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt are going to make some kind of statement about Brown’s leadership after PMQs. That’s all I know at the moment.

  • The first Guido knew was when someone shouted out across the newsroom after Andy Sparrow’s Tweet came up on the Guy News Tweetdeck screen, that was time-stamped at 12:01.
  • The Guardian’s website also had a teaser headline at 12:15.
  • The New Statesman at 12:17 publishes what it calls an Exclusive that “A letter is being circulated among Labour MPs this afternoon calling for a secret ballot on Gordon Brown’s leadership. According to one MP who would like Brown to leave office, the letter is being co-ordinated by a number of rebels, including the former cabinet ministers Charles Clarke, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon.”

So there you have it. The Guardian was first, though in the augmented reality of the Staggers It was the NS wot got itIn reality, you snooze, you lose, it ain’t news.

Sparrow told Guido that “it would be nice to take the credit myself, but actually Patrick Wintour obtained the information.” Incidentally, Guido understands that ITN’s Channel 4 News has changed policy on breaking news.  Whereas it restricted scoops to the 7 p.m. broadcast they now put it up as soon as they can on the website and tweet the link.  A cultural change for a mainstream media source.  Steve Hilton getting nicked was tweeted last night by Cathy Newman in advance of telly viewers being told.

It almost goes without saying that Guido tries to be first.  If not first, fast.  When inevitably occasionally wrong, not for long.  We no longer have news cycles, we have news streams…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guido Killed the Lobby Star

guido killed the lobby starThe PMOS, Simon Lewis, and the chairman of the Lobby, Jean Eaglesham, yesterday announced that the system of Downing Street Lobby briefings is to be reviewed  “in light of the changes in the reporting of the work of government in an increasingly fast-moving and on-line media world”.  On hearing the news Guido – enjoying a two bottle lunch since PMQs was delayed – paraphrased  lyrics from the Buggles hit on Twitter in celebration.

A working group of six lobby hacks and five government spin doctors is going to come up with recommendations to be implemented next year. No one from the fast-moving online media world is on the working group. Guido has made his views about the Westminster embedded client media that constitutes the Lobby system clear over the years (see Newsnight and The Times). The meek acceptance of non-attributable briefings, often of questionable truth, is hardly helpful to the functioning of an open democracy. This method of information distribution is glorified as “on Lobby terms”.

Comical AliFriends of Mandy have spun the Guardian the idea that the Dark Lord himself should give twice weekly televised briefings* in a new information minister role.  The prospect of Comical Mandy batting off questions from the Lobby has some appeal.  It will all be a pantomime until the clubby culture of the Lobby changes.

*Guido has long supported televised Lobby briefings, ask yourself why is it that Lobby hacks oppose televising them?


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



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