How to Handle a Story

It’s rare that a press release makes Guido laugh. Normally it would take the fake exchange of kind words between a PM and a outgoing Cabinet member, but Louise Mensch’s hit the mark.  This allegation was put to Mensch, née Bagshawe by investigative hack David Jones:

Whilst working at EMI, in the 1990s, you took drugs with Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott’s in Birmingham, including dancing on a dance floor, whilst drunk, with Mr Kennedy, in front of journalists. Photos of this exist.

And the reply:

Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Nigel Kennedy, whom I remember with affection. Additionally, since I was in my twenties, I’m sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young. I am not a very good dancer and must apologise to any and all journalists who were forced to watch me dance that night at Ronnie Scott’s.

Seems to have done the trick…

Off To Drink Arianna Dry

With the Adam Smith Institute’s do last night and the Speccie tomorrow, party season is in full swing.  There’s lots of clashes tonight though. Guido was thinking Mitt Romney’s could be fun, but then remembered he’s a Mormon, so doubt there will be much drinking happening there. The Balls’ are having a BBQ tonight for the B-team, but Stoke Newington is a bit of a trek. Looks like it’s going to have to be Arianna’s bash at Millbank. Remember HuffPo writers, that drink tonight is all the payment you are getting…

Osbournomics

There are many reasons why the NHS is not the “envy of the world”, but Guido reckons they could have tried a little harder with their token celebrity endorsement for the NHS’s 63rd birthday today. Step forward Ozzy Osbourne. The ageing rocker sings the praises of the organisation, though he seems to have changed his tune from his last public utterances on a medical theme. In 2005 he famously told a crowd in Michigan that he’d been warned not to sing, but “the doctor can go f**k himself”.

Things have been little uncomfortable for Lansley in recent months, but Guido had no idea things were that desperate at Richmond House…

Labour's Ban Comes Home To Roost

Amend the Ban

Given the last Labour government went out of their way to hit pubs and clubs with regulations, duties and, worst of all, the smoking ban, it’s no surprise to see their actions come back to bite them. CR Consulting have found that Labour constituencies are being disproportionately hit  by the pub closures. Though Tory held Westminster suffered the most closures, nine out of the top ten worst hit seats were Labour:

Cities of London and Westminster, Con -99 pubs
Birmingham, Ladywood, Lab -56 pubs
Glasgow Central, Lab -56 pubs
Manchester Central, Lab -49 pubs
Liverpool, Riverside, Lab -45 pubs
Bristol West, LD -39 pubs
Leeds Central, Lab -38 pubs
Edinburgh North and Leith, Lab -34 pubs
Argyll and Bute, LD -32 pubs
Nottingham South, Lab -31 pubs

Guido will be supporting a cause that is very dear to his heart today, the campaign to Save our Pubs and Clubs as they hold a lobby of parliament this afternoon. Labour MPs might want to have a little think about the impact of their actions on their own constituencies…

An Unexpected Disinvitation

Summer Party season is upon us. So Guido was shocked and, to be honest, a little hurt when he was told on the phone that he wasn’t to come along to tonight’s book launch for James Macintyre and Mehdi Hasan’s “Ed”.  What did they think Guido was going to do, take the mick? 

The publishers have subsequently emailed to say Guido can come, if he behaves, and doesn’t upset James Macintyre. Unfortunately we have a prior appointment.

Guido is off to the Policy Exchange party to drink Pimms in the sunshine, with the Prime Minister…

Guido's Advice to the Chinese Communist Party's Propagandists

It is not often that Guido is invited to speak to an audience of Communists, so the invitation to speak to twenty or so visiting Chinese Communist Party propagandists and Information Ministry officials was hard to resist. The audience at the seminar included security officials, it would be fair to say that this was not a home crowd. Almost as bad as a Goldsmith’s Media Studies audience, but not as left-wing.

Guido had difficulty logging into his Google mail account to download the Powerpoint file, having temporarily forgotten the password, the joke that maybe one of the audience could help seemed to get lost in translation.

The Q&A afterwards was what the FCO would describe diplomatically as a “frank exchange”, genuine interest in how political blogging works, great interest in the possibility that it could be an anti-corruption tool. Laughter at the sex scandals, the TBGBs and the influence of Mrs Fawkes on the economic imperatives of blogging. Towards the end of the presentation Guido tried to make it relevant to China. The last slide provoked a sharp intake of breath, some of the audience laughed nervously, some choked, some argued that Ai Weiwei had committed economic crimes. Nixon had the IRS investigate his political opponents.

Apparently he has not filled out all his tax returns, not something that makes him a bad person in Guido’s book. Afterwards this was the focus of one-to-one discussions, it became clear that they – and these were propagandists – have no media strategy to deal with human rights abuse allegations. When challenged that even a criminal suspect should have freedom of speech, they were silent. Maybe in China that is safer.

Off to Speak to Chinese Communist Propagandists

Blogging will be light. Guido has accepted an invitation to speak to twenty government information ministry officials and Communist Party propagandists on their visit to London. Looking forward to explaining why they should allow anti-government bloggers. Will be illustrating the benefits of freedom of expression with Powerpoint examples of the resignations of Peter Hain, Damian McBride and Chris Myers. The 5% drop in the poll ratings of the Brown government the week following Smeargate should convince them methinks.

Oh, and why they should free Ai WeiWei…

Reader, She Married Him

Guido hears that the author, and member consistently voted sexiest MP on that website, has had a surprise wedding in New York.  Louise Bagshaw has tied the knot with rock and roll power broker Peter Mensch, two decades older than her, and manager of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sigh. 

Exclusive: Dave the Rave Easyjets to Ibiza


Guido understands that the PM was on a crack-of-dawn flight to Ibiza this morning. He paid for premium boarding. Sam flew out yesterday, again on Easyjet taking the baby but leaving the rest of the kids at home. She also took Friday’s Easyjet 3043 which leaves Stansted at 6 a.m.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Happy Birthday George

They say life begins at forty, but Guido reckons George Osborne’s birthday today won’t be as much fun as when he was twenty. He still has one vice these days – orange jelly[…]

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Jonah Brown Does for Scottish Labour What He Did Nationally

It seems appropriate that Kirkcaldy, Jonah Brown’s home town, provided the SNP with their majority. Saorsa![…]

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Osama's Final Hours

Class ending…[…]

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Gotcha Osama

Cue a thousand conspiracy theories about his quick burial at sea. One thing is for sure: Hell is going to be a bit of a surprise for Osama…[…]

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Tory Bagcarriers Census Sleepover

Overblown comparisons to the suffragette movement seem to be all the rage this weekend. After Miliband’s “I have a dream speech” one parliamentary bag-carrier took things a step further. Emily Davidson slept in parliament on the night of 1911 census to highlight the issue of votes for women, and a number of Tory researchers did the same last night to apparently highlight the that “overbearing government is the big issue of the day.” One emailed Guido early this morning to tell him:

“Ordinary people are being increasingly spied on by government snoopers.

[…]

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Real Anarchists Don't Oppose Cutting the State

Guido is always bemused that the ritual destruction of private property on left-wing demonstrations is attributed to “anarchists”. It seems very unlikely that they are anarchists, far more likely Socialist Worker Party toytown trots and knuckle-dragging leftie trouble makers. Anarchists want to smash the state not increase the size and scope of it…

Because it is a sunny Sunday here is Guido’s favourite funky anarchist anthem, No Governmentby Nicolette:

Remember kids, real anarchists don’t pay taxes…[…]

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Tripping Balls

The budget debate has been rather tetchy and laden with low blows and bitchiness. Excellent.

After Jess Norman had to withdraw the suggestion that the Shadow Chancellor must have been hallucinogenic drugs when he wrecked the economy, Ed Balls, (or Edgar according to Ben Brogan) saw an open goal.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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