Over at the Guardian’s broadcast arm, Ian Katz has given increasingly unhinged criminal homewrecker Chris Huhne free rein on Newsnight. It is definitely worth watching in full:
Let it go Chris, it’s over…
Margaret Hodge isn’t wasting any opportunity to bleat about the £84 billion Vodafone/Verizon deal today:
“We must demand reassurance that HMRC has thoroughly examined this proposition to ensure British taxpayers get their rightful share of this massive profit. If there’s a flaw in legislation it has to be urgently addressed by Treasury ministers. I don’t understand how anyone can justify such a massive windfall without handing a fair share to the Exchequer. If this is an instance in which Vodafone has simply played the system then clearly they themselves have an obligation to UK consumers, on whom they depend for their business, to do the right thing.”
Flaws in legislation, you say? Well the two companies are exploiting the so-called “Substantial Shareholder Exemption” loophole to legally dodge the tax, the very same loophole used by Guardian Media Group when it sold Autotrader. SSE is a corporation tax exemption for businesses disposing of a substantial shareholding in a part of their business. The idea is that businesses should be able to restructure their businesses without having to worry about chargeable gains implications. And who was it introduced by? One Gordon Brown…
UPDATE: That “flawed tax law” Hodge is complaining about? She voted for it.
Spare a thought for the Daily Star today. They have splashed on the “shock secret love children” of Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou, sensationally revealing that he “secretly fathered two children with a straight girl pal”. Just the one problem. Unfortunately Condou’s kids were less than secret, he wrote a column devoted to them in the Guardian for a year.
In their defence, it’s not like anyone would have read it…
A reconstruction, obviously…
The full story of how state security came to oversee the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives, not in the Guardian, but the Mail.
Something they deny:
Who do you believe?
Guido gives you a fair and balanced (as always) run down of everything you need to know on the developments of the last few days. As well as the key questions to both the Guardian and the security services that have gone unanswered.
Fascinating stuff from Alan Rusbridger last night. The Guardian editor claims that two months ago he was approached by a government official on behalf of the PM demanding he destroy material they were working on. A month later Rusbrisger says he received a phone call in which he was told “you’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back”. Then a quite extraordinary day at Kings Place:
“And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.”
You can read his account in full here. Of course there are unanswered questions, chiefly why did Rusbridger allow the spooks to do this? Though what this comes down to is that state security was in the Guardian’s basement destroying their hard drives. Which is a hugely worrying development. After all, this could be Guido one day…
Press Gazette’s scoop on Friday that Guardian hack Nick Davies is off to America will remain exclusive. They reported that the paper’s “US invasion gathers pace” as “Nick Davies joins Paul Lewis Stateside” in a now pulled piece.
No need to get the PCC involved this time, but still. […]
Whatever your position on the Guardian’s in-house “pompous douchecanoe” Glenn Greenwald, the detention of his partner under the Terrorism Act raises eyebrows, to say the least. Front of the queue is Labour’s favourite bandwagon-jumper Keith Vaz:
“What is extraordinary is they knew he was his partner… Bearing in mind it is a new use of terrorism legislation to detain someone in these circumstances, I’m certainly interested in knowing, so I will write to the police to ask for the justification of the use of terrorism legislation – they may have a perfectly reasonable explanation.
According to the ONS the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees in 2011/12 was £26,500. A lower sum than that paid to every single full-time editorial member of staff at the Guardian. Guido has been leaked the pay structures of junior staff, and it makes for an intriguing read in these austere times.[…]
A leather jacket-clad suspicious looking “warm, sweaty and dazed” man turned out to not be a returning David Leigh to the Guardian offices. He was a heroin addict caught “chasing the dragon” in the toilets at Kings Place. No one batted an eyelid when Clayton Earlington wandered through the security alongside a pack of Guardian hacks, presumably because he fitted right in.[…]
As reported last night, the Guardian have added some important details to their Lynton Crosby/healthcare yarn, after Guido’s little fact checking yesterday. Lobbying firm Westminster Advisers “declined to comment” last night over Guido’s revelation that the firm “run by the Labour supporter and former councillor Dominic Church, organised a cross-party meeting at the end of 2010 which was shown the Crosby Textor research.” They told the Guardian: “I’m not going to go into that.[…]