Alan Rusbridger: See You Next Tuesday

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger will face the music before the Home Affairs Select Committee next Tuesday.

Time for a yes or no answer – did knowingly or unwittingly ship the names of British agents across borders?

Maybe he could bring the sword of truth that hangs so proudly on his office wall along with him.

Sham Pain

“It was hard to stomach David Cameron preaching austerity from a golden throne” writes Guardian contributor Ruth Hardy, who waited tables at the Lord Mayor’s banquet on Monday. Guido commends Ruth for her use of cliché; rolling off all the old classics about “the cuts”, it being “like a scene from Downton Abbey”, and not forgetting the requisite moan about a “champagne reception”. Apparently not a fan of the stuff, she slams Dave for “the idiocy of calling for cuts while wearing a white tie”, somewhat bravely asking “has the man never heard of Twitter?” Well, talking of Twitter, here is a picture Ruth tweeted of herself drinking champagne in what could be “a scene from Downton Abbey”:

Has she “never heard of Twitter”?

MPs Demand Yes or No Answer From Rusbridger

Following Alan Rusbridger’s mealy mouthed letter, Julian Smith and Stephen Phillips QC have asked him to deny in unambiguous terms sending the names of British spooks abroad:

“You have also been exceptionally careful in your response to the concerns raised by us and other colleagues as to the issue of the communication of the identities, or information which might reveal the identities, of intelligence personnel.  Specifically, the inference from the contents of your letter – and you nowhere deny this – is that the files stolen by Mr Snowden have been sent by you overseas, to others over whom you have no control.  Can you please now confirm, in clear and unambiguous terms, whether you or (to the best of your information and belief) anyone at The Guardian has directed, permitted, facilitated or acquiesced in the transfer of the files, unredacted by you, which you have obtained from Mr Snowden to any person in the United States or elsewhere.”

Which is going to be a tough one to answer, to say the least…

Rusbridger’s Spooky Non-Denial Denial

Wednesday’s letter from 28 MPs to Alan Rusbridger specifically asked him to come clean about any identifying details of any member of the British intelligence services that have been distributed abroad. Something the Guardian has denied doing previously, but is now being oddly vague about. Guido has seen Rusbridger’s response, it is worth taking a look at the very careful language he uses:

“On the issue of staff names, you will be aware that over 850,000 people worldwide have access to not only the Snowden documents but to a whole range of information on GCHQ. Neither we nor any of our journalistic partners have published the identities of any personnel from the intelligence community, a point accepted and welcomed by the relevant agencies.”

All but confirming that names were sent abroad. Interesting how he denies ever having published the names. That wasn’t quite what they were asking, was it?

What is Going On at the Guardian?

Last month the Guardian flatly denied spreading the names of GCHQ intelligence agents abroad, now they are refusing to do so. The paper admits sending some of its leaked documents abroad, though now for some reason today won’t make the same denial that spies’ identities were not amongst them. Have they only just checked? Did they even know at the time?

Guido is not sure how shipping names across borders is necessary when exposing the over-reach of the NSA. It is worth noting that two of the journalists most intimately involved the original NSA coverage have now either left the Guardian or moved on to different things, in different countries…

Guardian Jobs Carries Advert Banning Female Applicants

Many of the thousands of jobs advertised on the Guardian website are in recruitment. They are currently carrying an advert for a position down in Bristol as an account director at Pure Recruitment. So far, all pretty standard. Just the one thing: due to the successful candidate having to deal with businessmen from the Middle East, women are banned from applying.

“To include clients in the Middle East. Please note; Due to the travel and work restrictions for women in this area, we need to limit our candidate selection to males only.”

The Guardian turning a blind eye to workplace discrimination against women at home and abroad. Everyday sexism…

H/T @LAMillinery.

UPDATE: Victory!

Psycho Huhne Versus “Fictional Stories”

Is there a better argument against state regulation of the press than the last politician to be jailed after newspapers exposed his criminality coming out and backing it? Huhne’s latest rehab rambling in the Guardian reads like a spoof:

“What’s all the fuss about the royal charter meaning the end of press freedom? The royal charter doesn’t establish any regulation of the press – but the fourth estate still needs urgently to re-establish credibility…  If the Sun could not make up fictional stories when accuracy is too boring, time-consuming or costly, how would it make money?”

Huhne moralising about people “making up fictional stories”. Another reason to bring up those famous words again:

“What I want to say is these allegations are simply incorrect, they’ve been made before and they’ve been shown to be untrue, and I very much welcome the referral to the police as it will draw a line under the matter.”

Credibility has never really been Huhne’s strong point.

Ed Balls’ £5 Million State Subsidy For The Guardian

Guido isn’t sure who this one is more embarrassing for. While in office, Ed Balls used taxpayers’ money to subsidise the Guardian to the tune of 1% of its turnover. As Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Balls bunged Kings Place £4,899,688 between 2007 and 2010. The money went on services ranging from advertising to training courses. Guardian News & Media had a turnover of £261.9 million in 2007/2008, that year they were the lucky recipients of £2,445,787 from Balls’ department or 1% of their annual turnover. Someone had to help keep them afloat, turns out it was the taxpayer…

Knowing Me Steve Coogan, Knowing You Alan Rusbridger

A very special guest at the Guardian’s morning conference today: Hacked Off’s very own Steve Coogan. Must have been some smiles around Kings Place when a gushing memo telling hacks how coke and hookers fan Coogan is an “ethical standard […]

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You’re Either In Front of Guido…

The Telegraph, Mirror, Indy, et all finally played catch up this morning. So what did the fearless seekers of truth over at the Guardian make of yesterday’s latest nudge down the global rankings for press freedom? Poor Rusbridger pet […]

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Where do the BBC Go to Find the New Peston?

The Guardian, of course. The Beeb are advertising Pesto’s old job in the paper’s job section. You don’t have to read the Guardian to work at the BBC, but it helps…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Julian Smith’s Spooky Flip Flop

Tory MP Julian Smith has been busy doing the rounds in the TV studios today, sticking the boot in to the Guardian for publishing the Snowden files. This afternoon he has a debate in Westminster Hall debate on “The Guardian […]

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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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