Guido is enjoying the squirming of the offshore elite as much as anyone – the Icelandic premier is a corker, the Putin case study is great, the Bollywood stars who make their millions from millions of poor Indians will find it hard to survive the reputational hit. All very enjoyable.
It is worth mentioning that most of the UK’s big media organisations shelter assets and cash flows offshore. Top of the hypocrites in this respect is The Guardian. They put their assets in the Caymans, and they used a Luxembourg tax shell designed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to funnel cash flows beyond the reach of HMRC. They previously blamed the difficult economic environment for committing the sins for which they condemn others. This isn’t just hypocrisy, this is an insult to us all. The Guardian’s entire heritage is one of tax dodging, the original founding Scott Trust was itself a tax dodge. They have year after year avoided tens of millions of taxes…
Other media organisations using offshore entities include the Huffington Post – whose journalists criticised Amazon for doing the same. The owners of the Mail, News UK and The Telegraph also have various offshore tax-efficient structures. Facebook, Google and Guido are not UK-owned though in the latter groups’ cases they have at least never claimed to be in favour of clamping down on tax havens. Guido’s point is that the likes of the Guardian should practice what they preach, hold all their assets in the UK and pay all the taxes which will consequently arise.
Some Easter holiday reading: don’t miss WikiGuido’s profile of Seumas Milne in this month’s GQ. Read Milne’s extraordinary defence of a self-confessed KGB stooge, the inside story of the ‘revenge reshuffle’ and how he was floored in a game of chicken in the Guardian newsroom:
Former colleagues reveal how, despite his slight figure, Milne had a remarkable habit of refusing to give way in corridors. Over several years, his fellow journalists grew tired of his insistence that oncoming co-workers make way for him. Eventually, one snapped, telling his desk, “I’m not going to do it again. Next time he plays chicken with me, I’m not going to get out of the way.” The whole office waited for the inevitable confrontation. Soon enough, it happened. As Milne walked down a corridor, the six-foot colleague approached from the other direction. They smashed into each other, sending Milne flying, along with the papers he was carrying. “Seumas was in shock,” recalls an onlooker. “No one had ever done that to him before. He expected people to show deference to him. There was a horrible silence in the office. It was a moment that demonstrated how aloof he seemed from the rest of the working environment.”
Read the full profile here…
Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel emails staff:
Given that over half our current costs are people, we propose to reduce our UK headcount by around 250 people. While protecting journalism remains our priority, we anticipate the impact will be spread across all departments, including editorial. We hope to achieve the target reductions through voluntary redundancy. If we do not achieve the reductions we are targeting through voluntary means, we will consider whether voluntary redundancies are necessary.
Around 100 editorial redundancies expected. Will Seumas Milne be one of them?
UPDATE: The Midland Goods Shed is also dead. 20% cuts across the board mean that
crazy idea “new space for debate, culture and curiosity” is no more. Thankfully…
Congratulations to Nick Watt, the telegenic Guardian chief political correspondent who has been appointed the new Newsnight political editor. A deserved escape route from Kings Place for pretty-boy Watt after he was snubbed for the pol-ed job there. Ian Katz hires yet another Guardian journalist. More as we get it…
The Guardian’s Ed Snowden coverage in 2014 led to a series of high-profile awards, notably a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy. So what on earth was this gong doing on sale in a Richmond Oxfam?
Guido dispatched a roving reporter to find out…
Apparently an unidentified benefactor turned up at the Oxfam on Friday afternoon and handed the Pulitzer in. It was quickly snapped up for a fiver by a mysterious telephone bidder just before the store closed, though Guido managed to get his hands on the Guardian‘s Emmy for just £4.99.
The prizes were most likely wall hangings for senior journalist’s offices. Guido’s new intern has only been here a week and he’s already landed an Emmy…
Earlier Guido pointed out the Guardian’s hypocrisy in criticising the Tab for using unpaid student writers, when they do the exact same thing. The Tab has asked the Guardian’s press office how many student writers they have on their ‘Blogging Students’ site. The response is sensational.
A Guardian News & Media spokesman said:
“Blogging Students is part of our established Guardian Students network with over 13,000 members. As active members of the community, students are invited to share their experiences through blogging. The guidelines about how to pitch work for Blogging Students outline that these blogs are not paid. Some of our best bloggers have been commissioned to write paid pieces.”
So the Guardian has a potential total of over 13,000 unpaid student bloggers. That is more than four times the number who wrote for the Tab last year. The most successful Guardian student bloggers get paid, as do the Tab’s, but most do not. Amusing that the Guardian would accuse the Tab of “exploitation” when they do the same thing with four times as many students…
The Guardian has executed a drive-by shooting on The Tab, the popular student news site which has successfully disrupted the old student media establishment. Headlined “The Tab picks up business without paying”, the hit piece accuses the site of “exploitation” because some student contributors are unpaid. The Guardian article’s pay-off line implies the Tab is “starting to look like” a “bullsh*t company who are trying to f*ck [young people] over”. Miaow!
Five days ago the Guardian updated its own “editorial experience” page for young writers. It “offers a limited number of short editorial experience opportunities throughout the year to those dedicated to a career in journalism”, and includes real work writing stories, “getting involved in editorial activities”. Applicants are told: “These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”.
The Guardian’s double standards are all the more bizarre since student contributors to the Tab do not expect to be paid. The Tab’s executive editor Joshi Herrmann cuttingly replies: “I think we’re one of the few media groups at the moment that’s employing people, not laying people off”. The Tab last night asked the Guardian’s press office how many unpaid interns they use a year. They have yet to receive a response…
UPDATE: Read the spectacular update on MediaGuido here.
Martin Belam, possibly the most over-rated person on social media, is going back to the Guardian to continue wasting money on behalf of people who don’t really know what to do on the internet. He cratered over at Trinity Mirror, where the appeal of his Ampp3d / UsVsThem projects was lost on executives struggling to keep the media group viable.[…] Read the rest
As we go to pixel, a major company meeting is taking place over at King’s Place where Guardian staff are being informed of 20% cuts to be imposed on their publisher, Guardian News & Media. The meeting had to be split into two parts – one at 11am, a second at 2pm – because the Guardian has so many members of staff.[…] Read the rest
The ‘one Pat in, one Pat out’ approach to the reshuffle confounded poor Sir Michael White:
The incoming Pat (top right) certainly is a proper northerner, but she isn’t a “he”.
Guido knows the feeling, it was approaching day three of the reshuffle when the move was announced.[…] Read the rest
Congratulations to the Guardian for the most unpleasant headline of the day. John Crace, the man who writes their unfunny parliamentary sketches, had this to say about the Maggie Thatcher auction yesterday in a piece laced with bitterness:
[…] Read the rest
“The old dear would have loved it, with her friends and enemies at last united.
The Guardian have appointed Sky’s Anushka Asthana and Observer economics editor Heather Stewart to share the political editor job. A massive snub for Nick Watt, who was the overwhelming favourite for the job and seemed a shoo-in to step up following Patrick Wintour’s departure.[…] Read the rest