Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Case Study in Media Disintermediation : #Trafigura

The blogosphere and Twitterati come out of this quite well. M’learned friends will have to rethink strategy. Guido will have more to say about the bigger picture tomorrow. It is time to take the freedom of the press into our own hands.

The full story is on the C4 News site here.

Raw (unedited) video for Guido’s interview:

Wikileaks still hosts the the Minton report which you are not allowed to see, by order of the Court, hereSuck on that Carter-Ruckers…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More New Media Muscle Flexing – Montgomerie Takes a Scalp

Who really removed the Shadow Leader of the House from his position? David Cameron?

duncan_poll

No, not really. Tim Montgomerie and Heydon Prowse, the blogosphere’s sheperd of the Tory grassroots and the angry young man with a video-cam did the job:

Tim Montgomerie runs a regular poll asking the ConservativeHome grassroots to rate the Shadow Cabinet.  Do not for a second underestimate how much of a whip hand this gives him.   Whereas once upon time a frontbench Tory politician would worry about keeping the proprietor, editor and political correspondent of the Telegraph happy, as well as perhaps sharing a few drinks with the young and upcoming editor of the Spectator, now his horizon is much more extensive.  Fail to keep Tim Montgomerie and ConservativeHome’s readers onside and he might just commission a special poll on how you are doing.   If that poll finds tells the party leadership 65% of Tory members want you to resign…  you won’t last a month.

just_go_alanOld media looks on in bemusement in Washington as cable news’ Glenn Beck gives White House Environmental Czar and former communist 9/11 “truther” Van Jones his marching orders, and the White House demurs.   Heydon Prowse, who is he? He just destroyed the career of a greasy pole climbing Westminster slitherer.  No house trained political nouse, no insight, in fact a little naive.  He still did it.  The news is now disintermediated. 

Power has shifted from the top down to the bottom.  Adjust your sets and tighten your belts, it is going to be a bumpy ride…

Friday, September 4, 2009

Channel 4 Snooze

cathycorporatepic_biggerThe race for exclusives and scoops is of more interest to hacks and bloggers than it is to the readers and viewers.  News distributors take great pride in being first with the scoop.  Guido is no different in this respect from Channel 4 News, and boasting emails like this from newsrooms are not uncommon:

from: Laurent, Fiona <[]@itn.co.uk>
date: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 7:12 PM~
subject: C4 NEWS EXCLSV: DEFENCE AIDE RESIGNS – ERIC JOYCE’S LETTER TO BROWN
Embargoed until 19.30 hrs on 3rd September 2009
*LEAD STORY* LEAD STORY* LEAD STORY
CREDIT CHANNEL 4 NEWS WITH ALL MATERIAL USED  CHANNEL 4 NEWS EXCLUSIVE:
PARLIAMENTARY AIDE TO THE DEFENCE SECRETARY RESIGNS

Sure enough the lead story on C4 News at 7pm had been Eric Joyce resigning. Was it really an exclusive? Co-conspirators will note that at 6.27pm Guido reported a rumour that a PPS was resigning, just after that Guido publicly tweeted @EricJoyce to badger him to answer the phone – he hadn’t been answering his mobile for hours – (the Twitterati picked up the hint).  At 6.46pm Guido named Eric Joyce after a co-conspirator emailed some corroborative information on the back of the 6.27 pm teaser.

Cathy Newman confirmed the story and lead with the contents of the resignation letter at 7.01 on C4 News, she apparently had got the story the night before. Guido heard the story late yesterday afternoon, as Cathy tweeted after her broadcast So hard to keep a secret in Westminster. Somehow the mod got wind of our Eric Joyce scoop mid afternoon. Hmm.”

Eric Joyce Newswire Timeline

Cathy undoubtedly had the resignation letter first, nevertheless the first news source to put Joyce’s resignation into the public domain was this blog, as PoliticsHome’s “as it happens” newswire confirms. You snooze, you lose…

UPDATE : Remember Dizzy’s story which became a “C4 News Exclusive” the next day?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reporting from the Guardian

IndexGuido was at the Index on Censorship Awards ceremony last night, deep in the bowels of the Guardian’s new fancy offices. The purpose built modern building will make a great museum when the paper eventually goes bust.

The event was packed to the gills with media luvvies and Islington’s finest. David Hare gave a splendidly acerbic speech. Chairman Johnathan Dimbleby raged against the “censorship” of the BBC’s Middle East reporter Jeremy Bowen, who was mildly criticised for his blatant anti-Israeli bias by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee. Guido thought it a gentle rebuke to Bowen given how biased his broadcasts from the supposedly impartial state broadcaster seem. Hardly makes him a dissident, does it? He has been given no punishment, no demotion, nothing. Wonder if he had been criticised for anti-Palestinian bias would the room have been so concerned?

Václav HavelStereotypically the auction fundraiser saw a week in a Tuscan villa get the top bid from the assembled Hampstead liberals and Guardianistas. No, it really did. Guido was very pleased to win the auction for a copy of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto signed by Václav Havel himself. The dissident playwright was imprisoned multiple times during the Soviet era by an authoritarian socialist Czech regime, his plays were banned and he was reduced to working in a brewery. After the Velvet Revolution he ended up being President of the freed Czech Republic. It went for a tenth of the price of that week in Tuscany. Guardianistas really do have different values…

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Political Class Starting to Fear the Public’s Anger

Not often that Polly Toynbee, Tim Montgomerie and Guido agree: popular anger with the political class is rising.  Something that Polly wants Labour to adjust to by moving policy to the left as well as limiting public-sector fat-cat pay. Tim Montgomerie agrees on the latter but wants the Tories to wake up to popular anger by putting on hair-shirts and getting their own snoughts out of the trough.  Guido welcomes both pundits to the anti-politics banner.

Democracy is broken, the political media elite distant from the people with the two main parties offering no choice and no change.  Osborne is promising no change and blaming the economic crisis.  Taxation will remain penal, spending will remain prolific, there will be some reforms of a failed state bureaucracy but no rollback and no radicalism.  Hannan is at least making the case for a radical shift of power from the centralised state bureaucracy to people at local level.

The Cameroons can’t seal the deal with the people with pragmatism,  “Triangulation Now!” is not the banner that will get people marching.  Voters are angry with Brown and disenchanted with politicians offering more of the same.  Bedazzled during the Blair years, Cameron, Osborne and Hilton have yet to show that they realise the times have fundamentally changed.  Taking strategic advice from the wrong Danny* has left the Tories outflanked on their USP – the LibDems are now the only party promising to reduce the tax burden on the low paid.  Hannan told Newsnight last night that people are fed up of being, “ripped off, lied to and ignored” by politicians.  Disenchantment with politicians has never been higher, most think they are overpaid and dishonest.  Hannan gets it.  This crisis is an opportunity to radically change the plan.

*Finkelstein.  Nice guy, but wrong.  Danny has been consistently one political zeitgeist behind the times all his life.

Cameron Hails Hannan’s “Brilliant Response”

In an email tonight to Conservative Party supporters Dave hails

Dan Hannan’s brilliant response to Gordon Brown in the European Parliament. It was so effective and shows the growing power of the internet over TV.

Meanwhile Sir Michael White is getting a lashing from his own readers on the Guardian website for, well, just not getting it.  Douglas Carswell MP is taking the opportunity on his blog to remind Sir Michael that he recently mocked Carswell for saying YouTube was  going to be politically important.  On the other hand Guido has to give full credit to John Prescott, who clearly does get it:

I must say I find the internet sensation caused by Dan Hannan’s speech to the European Parliament remarkable. Normally, an obscure Eurosceptic Tory MEP would not get any coverage for a rant against the Prime Minister in the mainstream media. And it proved to be the case. None of the networks or the newspapers originally covered it. But once he uploaded it onto YouTube it took off. Firstly it got up to 30,000 hits after being promoted by Guido Fawkes on his website. Then it exploded in the US once it was put on the Drudge Report site. The mainstream media were then forced to cover it and it has now been seen by more than a million people. I think this is a perfect example of the power shift away from the mainstream media to the internet. Instead of having to get past the editorial filter of journalists and editors, people are starting to set the news agenda and the hacks are having to catch up.

All the left-wing think-tanks and pressure groups have been having seminars and meetings on how to harness the internet “after Obama”.  Maybe they should have looked to Ron Paul instead, he had a clear libertarian political message that he articulated via the internet.  The internet insurgency shook up the Republican party during the U.S. primaries when Ron Paul, then a little known anti-War Republican running for President, shocked the U.S. political establishment by raising over $4 million online – in one day It was not for nothing that his campaign song was “Google Ron Paul”.

Hannan’s first choice for U.S. president was the libertarian Republican, not really surprising considering Hannan and Carswell are two of the most libertarian leaning Conservative politicians.  If you read their book The Plan“, you will see they both get the internet and the effect it will have on politics.  Right now some 1 1/4 million people have “Googled Dan Hannan”…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rushies, Co-Conspirators : “Hannan is Our Leader”

Rushies UKRush Limbaugh says, “Hear, hear. Hear, hear. Republicans in Washington could take a lesson from the bravery of this man.”

Guido spoke to Dan earlier today, he seemed bemused at the colossal impact of his speech. Guido tried to explain to him he was about to go inter-continental. “I have to deal with a lot of constituent’s letters today”, “Dan, Drudge has just front paged you”, “Yes, it is strange, I have said the same thing before.”

Cometh the hour, cometh the man – we are all ditto-heads now; Rushies and the Co-Conspirators.   British politicians are mesmerised by Obama, without noticing that two months into his presidency Obama’s ratings are lower than Dubya’s were at the same time.  Dan, we know you won’t back down, stick to your guns…

Fox : Danny Tells Cavuto - “I Wanted Ron Paul, But I Backed Obama”

UPDATE : Hannan’s reply to Gordon Brown is already at 1/3rd of million views on YouTube and on course to be the most viewed political speech in the fastest time in internet history. It is the speech that many Republicans wish  they had someone to deliver to Obama.

Friday, November 28, 2008

ePolitix Not Closing, "Re-Focusing"

Michael Hepburn, CEO of Dods tells Guido that ePolitix.com is not closing (despite rumours to the contrary), it will instead focus more specifically on specialist in-depth analysis of policy and legislation rather than general political news stories. They will be cutting back on “3 or 4 journalists” as a result…

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not Nihilistic, Realistic

Yesterday afternoon Guido put in a call to Paul Richards, Hazel Blear’s SpAd, after being tipped off that she was going to attack Guido in a speech later today to the Hansard Society. Guido also called the Hansard Society to arrange to attend the speech. He was told it was a closed meeting. The subject of the meeting, ironically, is political disengagement.

The pre-speech spin to the press is that corrosive cynicism, fueled by politically nihilistic blogs and a retreat from dispassionate reporting is endangering British political discourse and fueling growing political disengagement in Britain. She will say:
“We are witnessing a dangerous corrosion in our political culture… Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a ‘Samizdat’ style. The most popular blogs are rightwing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes. Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour government. Perhaps if there was a Tory government, all the leading blogs would be left-of-centre?

“But mostly, political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy.

“Until political blogging ‘adds value’ to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair.”

Paul Richards, Guido understands, wrote her speech. (Guido has written about him a few times.)

Anti-establishment and occasionally vicious Guido may be, but nihilistic? Never. Nihilists deny that an objective morality exists. Guido has a clear sense of morality – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Blears really shouldn’t use words she doesn’t understand. Does Blears actually think that Guido rages against political corruption because he cares not for morality?

She is however correct to say that Guido has disdain for political corruption and seeks to unearth scandal and hypocrisy. Does Blears really think that is a bad thing?

Asking political bloggers to “add value” is to misunderstand the relationship between a free press and politicians. Take a memo Ms Blears, we are not here to “add value”, or do what politicians want, Guido has his own values and aims to hit back at political hypocrisy and lies. Politicians make laws, so they should be held to account, to a higher standard. The Nick Robinsons, Peter Riddells, Michael Whites and Steve Richardsons of the world don’t do investigative digging, they report back their impressions from their lunch meetings. They re-package and interpret spin from the party machines. That is how they “add value”. They are what Peter Oborne memorably described as the “client media”.

Guido has, without the platform of a newspaper or broadcaster backing him, achieved a position of influence for some reason. From nowhere this blog has become one of the most widely read political sources in Britain. It reaches a lot of people who were once disillusioned with and disinterested in politics, it is written (on a good day) in an accessible and entertaining way. Why does Hazel think this fuels political disengagement? The Labour Party would love to have a website that engaged as many people as this blog.

What has deservedly brought about disengagement from and cynicism towards politicians is spin, triangulation, focus group derived policies, positioning purely for partisan advantage, vacuous slogans and meaningless promises. Add in personal self enrichment from expense fiddles, petty corruption and barefaced lying to that toxicosis. Hazel has herself personally defended with repulsive sophistry everything from 45 minutes to mass destruction and cash for honours in her time. Who has really fueled corrosive political cynicism? Look in the mirror Hazel.

Monday, October 27, 2008

BBC Drama Shock : Not Left-Wing

What has happened to Spooks? Have they got a new script writing team? The heroes in tonight’s episode were MI5 agents, saving the lives of innocent women and children – service families. Adam the hero dies in the process despite having already saved the life of a British soldier from would be Al Qaeda terrorists set on a beheading. The soldier was presented sympathetically, as a father and husband who refused to read out the speech dictated to him, preferring death to dishonour.

The ultimate baddie was a Russian spymaster. What no evil Christians? No duplicitous Americans, no Israeli Mossad manipulators, no big business plutocrat exploiters? This is the BBC, we expect to be force fed left-wing platitudes and propaganda, not given a patriotic tear jerker.

The 10 O’Clock News returns things to normality: “Tonight America is accused of terrorism…” Don’t start paying the TV licence fee just yet.


Seen Elsewhere

Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times
1,400 Children Abused In Labour Rotherham | BBC
Stop Mills Motion Revealed | Speccie
Former Clerk Warns Against Bercow’s ‘Gofer’ | Times' Letters Page


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UKIP waste no time going for the Boris class war: “more Oxbridge than Uxbridge”.



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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