Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Guardian Poll Finds 50%-34% Support For Thatcher

The Guardian are saying the results of their ICM poll are “divided”. In electoral terms, that would be called a landslide…

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Tip-Off For the Guardian Investigations Team

Today’s Guardian splashes on millions of leaked emails revealing the “secrets of the super-rich” using offshore tax havens to hide vast sums of money from the Exchequer. One company was missing from the list: GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, registered and still active on the Cayman Islands. The last time Guido asked the company’s owners, Guardian Media Group, for an explanation he was told their spokesperson was, er, abroad. When Guido asked Liz Forgan of the Scott Trust what was going on, she tried to blame it on Apax, GMG’s investment partner. Even Alan Rusbridger promised to look in to it, making a note of the company name on his phone.

Always one to help their journalists get to the bottom of the mystery, Guido suggests the Guardian’s investigations team take a look at the following:

  • If GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited holds no assets, why have its owners continued to pay registration fees since 2007 so it can remain an active company?
  • If it does hold assets what is the total present value of GMG and associated companies’ assets held via the Cayman Islands or other offshore tax havens?
  • Does GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited have “sham” nominee directors, if so, who are they?

If they could answer these questions, now that would be a great story…

Further reading on the Guardian’s tax hypocrisy:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Media Bitch Fight: @ToryEducation v Suzanne Moore

The mysterious @ToryEducation has gone all Toby Helm on Suzanne Moore this afternoon:

Yadda yadda yadda…

Rusbridger Blinks

The Guardian sprung a surprise last night by not completely capitulating and signing up to statutory regulation. Rusbridger says wait a year to see if the press can show it can behave itself under an independent regulatory system:

“Establish an independent recognition panel – again free of press or political involvement. Equip it with a copy of the Leveson report and the minutes of all the meetings between politicians and the press since November, which helpfully flesh out its meanings and ambiguities. Let them reach a judgment on whether the new regulator is, and does, what Leveson had in mind. Allow the system to bed in for a year or so and for a dialogue between regulator and recogniser about what works and what needs tweaking. Then, and only then, think about wrapping it all up in a royal charter. People may by then have a clearer idea of the value of an endorsement by Buckingham Palace. A charter should in other words seal the deal, not describe it. If the press can show it is committed to a truly independent system that works then there may be less need for royal cement. Real independence matters more than statute and there may need to be a hard deadline to keep up the pressure on the press.”

Chris “yes please” Blackhurst is looking pretty lonely right now.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monbiot’s Three Year Charity Sentence

Guardian green and loony lefty George Monbiot has agreed to carry out three years of charity work as payment for libelling Lord McAlpine. In a grovelling statement a grateful Monbiot said:

moonbat“I accepted the suggestion immediately and without reservation. I feel the proposed settlement reflects very well on Lord McAlpine, who is seeking nothing for himself, but wants to see work done which could be of great benefit to others. I have been prompted by Lord McAlpine’s admirable proposal to do the right thing – something I should have been doing all along – and I hope very much that I am able to do it well.”

Unlucky Philip Schofield

Friday, March 8, 2013

Guardian Plain Packs Scoop Plain Wrong

“Government to legislate for plain cigarette packaging this year”, claimed Tuesday’s Guardian scoop. A “senior Whitehall source” vows “there will be legislation”, reported Patrick Wintour. All pretty certain then; no chance of having jumped the gun. Step forward David Cameron on Thursday: “The decision has not been taken”. Doh.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Guardian Goes on Strike

Scabs beware: the NUJ are taking no prisoners for this afternoon’s Guardian and Observer strike. The walls at Kings Place have been emblazoned with shouty red “stop work” posters and hacks are being warned not to break ranks. Friday evening without them, what will we do…

Via @KevinJRawlinson

Friday, February 8, 2013

Polly’s Ill-Fated NHS Omen

Back in the summer of 2008 everything was so rosy for Polly Toynbee. Eleven years of Labour dominance, the Prime Mentalist was in power and, according to her, the NHS was going from strength to strength:

“This anniversary week the NHS has never been in better health. Never good enough, but now is the golden age on just about every available measure. No deficit but a surplus, no winter ward closures, no annual crises. Best of all, mortality amenable to healthcare figures – the avoidable death rates – now show a 21% improvement, far more than any other EU country. As those figures cover only 1998 to 2003 before the big spend, they are expected to have improved sharply.”

As Polly penned that piece from the confines of whichever million-pound house or Tuscan villa she was staying in that week, just what was happening back in the real world? This week’s Francis Report found that hundreds of patients had died needlessly at the mid-Staffordshire trust in the years between 2005 and 2008.

“Fundamental rights were denied,” Francis says, slamming the “appalling and unnecessary suffering”. Polly saw a golden age, Francis found a “lack of care, compassion, humanity and leadership”. For Polly it was a story of the NHS never being in better health, for Francis: “this is a story of appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients. There was lack of humanity”.

Truly the envy of the world…

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hostile Progressives

Hotting up at the Guardian, HR hits back at the NUJ..

From: Carolyn Gray

To: All

Dear All,

Last week, the GMG Board agreed a change in the management and running of the Remuneration Committee (RemCo).

A new Remuneration Committee Information and Consultation Forum will be created, made up from elected representatives from across the business. This forum will be briefed and de-briefed before and after each RemCo meeting by Judy Gibbons (GMG Non-Executive Director and Chair of RemCo) and myself, giving them the opportunity to input and influence all subjects on the RemCo agenda including pensions and benefits.

This is a progressive decision that sets GMG apart from the majority of other organisations and is a significant development in our on-going commitment to move employee engagement up the agenda and more fully embed it in our organisational culture. The GMG Board also hopes it will give us a solid platform to increase participation in RemCo over time.

I am setting up an implementation group to work through the details of how the forum will run and the election process for representatives. We will share further details with you as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best,

CAG

Carolyn Gray

Group Director of HR, Pensions, and Sustainability

The NUJ complains about the management negotiating by email:

Dear Colleagues

You will have all received an email from Carolyn Gray regarding the executive pay remuneration committee. I have just sent her this reply on behalf of the chapel. It is not generally the NUJ’s policy to negotiate by email, but as this seems to be the latest trend it behoves us, as always, to be flexible. BW

Dear CAG

Thanks for your email re Remco. As you know, the company’s failure to honour its commitment to the NUJ – made as part of last year’s settlement – for elected representation on the committee is now a matter of dispute between us. That being the case, we are unable to take part in the forum you suggest, and will be consulting with our colleagues in Unite in the hope they understand and support our position.

For the record, we believe that your proposition – rather than being the progressive step you envisage – actually undercuts the rights of trade unions to make representations about executive pay. As ever, we would be happy to discuss our concerns with you. In the meantime, I would ask you to reconsider your proposals. As they stand, they can only be seen as a hostile move at what is clearly a very difficult time.

Yours

Brian (on behalf of the NUJ)

She says progressive, he says hostile, let’s call the whole thing off…

Rusbridger Does Reverse Ferret on Bosses Pay

Over at the workers’ paradise which is the Guardian they were promised a say in Rusbridger’s pay. The bosses have gone back on that pledge according to the NUJ:

From: Brian Williams

To: editorial.gnm

We would have preferred to avoid a running commentary on what are so far inconclusive ACAS talks, but given the note sent out by company negotiators yesterday we felt it would be helpful to clarify a couple of points.

Throughout the latest round of negotiations, we have repeatedly suggested that if the company really has no wish to make compulsory redundancies nor impose worse terms and conditions it should revoke the HR1 form that started the 90-day consultation period that has to precede such draconian measures. It has declined to do so on each occasion.

Also, it has emerged in the past few days that the company has gone back on its commitment to introduce elected staff representation on the ‘remco’ panel that determines executive pay – a pledge which underpinned last year’s settlement. Such a breach of undertaking clearly undermines our ability to reach agreements in good faith.

As chapel negotiators, we feel we are still some way off a package that would bring the stability for both the company and staff that we are seeking.

We will of course keep you informed as things develop – and call a chapel meeting as soon as we have something concrete to report.

Regards

Brian (on behalf of the chapel officers)

Someone should write a strongly worded letter to the editor…


Seen Elsewhere

Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice
Why Britain Needs to Leave the EU | Douglas Carswell
Who Tells Ed When He’s Wrong? | Speccie
Hands Off Our Cojones, Mr Clegg | Laura Perrins
London Live Averaging Just 2,400 Viewers | Forbes
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome


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Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:

“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


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