Exclusive Footage of Guardian Hard Drives Being Destroyed

A reconstruction, obviously…

How Prime Minister Ordered Destruction of Guardian Hard Drives

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.

WATCH: Rusbridger Speaks Says It Went Right to Number 10

Something they deny:

Who do you believe?

Guardian v Spooks: Key Questions

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.

  • David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow by UK security services. They took his computer and memory card.
  • It has since emerged that Miranda was carrying sensitive information from one of Greenwald’s contacts, something which was not mentioned in the initial Guardian report.
  • Miranda says he did not know anything about the contents of the documents but was simply transporting them for Greenwald.
  • Why did the Guardian fail to mention any of this in their initial report? Why has their side of the story, at least in part, begun to unravel?
  • What justification do the security services have for detaining him under the Terrorism Act? Did they believe he was a terrorist?
  • Alan Rusbridger claims that GCHQ spooks smashed hard drives in the Guardian basement after a series of demands that they were returned.
  • Why did Rusbridger allow this to take place? Why did he not begin a legal battle or do his reporting from abroad, as he ponders in his article?
  • With the knowledge that the Guardian would have made copies, for what purpose did GCHQ do this other than intimidation? What did it achieve?

Worthwhile further reading on this from Dan Hodges and David Allen Green. Both sides have important questions to answer…

Spooks Smash Guardian Hard Drives

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…

Andrew Rawnsley Still on Holiday

Three weeks since Guido published the remarkable similarities between Andrew Rawnsley’s Observer column and a piece in the Economist. Three weeks since Andrew Rawnsley has appeared in the paper. Still no comment from him despite Guido asking again and again. Hope he is enjoying his break…

Smacked Bottom For Press Gazette

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. Ouch.

Labour MPs Attack Labour Terror Law

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. But if we are going to use the act in this way … then at least we need to know so everyone is prepared.”

Yvette Cooper is particularly angry:

“Any suggestion that terror powers are being misused must be investigated and clarified urgently – the public support for these powers must not be endangered by a perception of misuse. The police and security agencies rightly work hard to protect national security and prevent terrorism. But public confidence in security powers depends on them being used proportionately within the law, and also on having independent checks and balances in place to prevent misuse.”

While Tom Watson has helpfully chipped in:

The answer, of course, is that David Miranda was detained under the Terrorism Act that Watson, Cooper and Vaz’s party voted in. If it turns out it is being used to go after journalists and their partners, it won’t take a whistleblower to work out where the blame lies…

Leaked Guardian Editorial Salaries

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Police Arrest Deranged Smackhead at Guardian

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Maggie Funeral Final Cost: £1,205,809

The final figures are out: Margaret Thatcher’s funeral cost £261,976, plus £943,833 for security. A total of £1,205,809, or 1.9p per person. Worth remembering again how it was reported by some at the time:

For some reason the final figure hasn’t made the front page…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Spotted in Today's Guardian Editorial Meeting

A special guest who somewhat stood out from the crowd:

If they ask Nigel Farage about his offshore tax arrangements he can just ask them about theirs…[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Invitation Westminster Advisers Won't Comment About

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Puts Record Straight

wholepicture

The Guardian has done a follow up which largely corrects the record after Guido pointed out the factual errors in their healthcare lobbying story from this morning. Namely that they had got the target audience completely wrong and that the firm organising the event wasn’t Tory leaning CTF, it was in fact Labour leaning lobbyists Westminster Advisers.[…]

+ READ MORE +

"Crosby Presentation" Organised By Labour Lobbyist Labour MPs Attended Event Held in Commons

clippingThe Guardian, which likes to boast that they give “the whole picture”, are very excited this morning with the suggestion that “The lobbying firm founded by the Tories’ chief election strategist, Lynton Crosby, advised private healthcare providers on how to exploit perceived “failings” in the NHS, according to a leaked document obtained by the Guardian. […]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Still Losing Half-a-Million a Week

Guardian News and Media made an annual loss of £30.4 million last year, as hard as they try to spin it that still means they are haemorrhaging half a million quid a week. Guardian Media Group made an operating loss of £54.8 million last year, reporting profits before tax of £22.7 million.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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