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Stephanie “Two Eds” Flanders used to annoy Tory MPs when she was the economics pundit on Newsnight, before her the quasi-Marxist Paul Mason had them shouting at the telly. Well imagine how they are going to react to the news that the TUC’s senior economist Duncan Weldon has been hired as her replacement. Weldon is a former Labour Party staffer who has blogged for the Fabian Society, Left Foot Forward and written a series of posts praising Labour politicians and attacking the Tories on LabourList. If that were not enough he also writes regularly for the Owen Jones launched and Unite-funded CLASS think tank. Guido looks forward to his fair and balanced reporting…
BBC sources say that it would be unfair to blame the former Guardian deputy-editor Ian Katz who is now Newsnight’s editor for the hire as James Harding (ex-Times editor) signs off the hires. Katz seems sensitive to complaints about the politics of Newsnight:
@MediaGuido Excellent work!…thought it would take you longer to expose whole conspiracy
— Ian Katz (@iankatz1000) March 14, 2014
It is clearly provocative in a pre-election year to hire a well known Labour Party advocate for the position when the economy is going to be the central election issue. The BBC’s Charter is up for review in 2017. Conservative HQ will be as suspicious as ever of the BBC…
UPDATE: Livid Tory spokesman: “Highly questionable appointment. Arthur Scargill would be a more objective appointment.”
UPDATE II: Duncan Weldon ran as a candidate for the Labour Party in Crouch End, Haringey in the 2010 elections.
Interesting post by Crouch End Labour's Duncan Weldon on the government's supposed 'green investment bank' http://s.coop/agy
— Muswell Hill Labour (@MuswellLabour) January 31, 2011
UPDATE III: Duncan Weldon was the economic adviser to Harriet Harman when she was acting leader of the Labour Party. This might just lead some to question his objectivity in reporting on Labour’s forthcoming 2015 manifesto.
— Media Guido (@MediaGuido) March 14, 2014
Hotly tipped by MediaGuido in the past, Janine Gibson is coming home from the US to be deputy editor of Guardian News & Media and editor-in-chief of the Guardian website. Cementing her position as the heir apparent to Alan Rusbridger. Fair play to her for celebrating her good news appropriately:
Gibson’s main rival to the job Katharine Viner replaces Gibson as US editor, leaving her position in Australia. She is replaced by Emily Wilson, who was UK network editor of the Guardian website. Rusbridger spent an hour today explaining the moves to some hundred staff who, according to reports, were not too happy…
Privately educated Janine has previously been media editor and editor of the G3 supplement, so as a candidate she is from outside of news and features but is more than just a techie. The promotion leaves her back in Kings Place and in line for the throne…
Ticks every Grauniad box.
Roy Greenslade stood surety for IRA bomb suspect John Downey it emerged during the failed prosecution of Downey at the Old Bailey in London. Greenslade, the Guardian’s media commentator and a journalism professor at London’s City University, owns a home near Downey’s in Donegal. The Old Bailey was told, according to a report in the Irish Independent, that Greenslade gets his oysters from Downey’s farm.
Lt Anthony Daly, 23, Cpl Roy Bright, 36, L Cpl Jeffrey Young, 19, and Trooper Simon Tipper, also 19, all of the Blues and Royals, died in the blast along with seven of the regiment’s horses. Two hours after the Hyde Park blast, an IRA bomb killed seven Army bandsmen in nearby Regent’s Park.
The case against on-the-run John Downey, 62, collapsed after a senior judge heard the defendant was among the IRA terrorists who had received a “get out of jail free” letter protecting them from prosecution. Greenslade’s illustrious career in journalism includes editing the Mirror and writing for An Phoblacht, Sinn Fein’s pro-IRA propaganda sheet, he is also the Professor of Journalism at City University London. Greenslade is said to be a close friend of former Sinn Fein vice president Pat Doherty, who was also a member of the IRA Army Council.
The Guardian’s latest GCHQ leak reveals that our intelligence services have stockpiled a massive collection of people enjoying themselves on the internet. GCHQ’s ‘Optic Nerve’ surveillance programme intercepted webcam images of millions of users, a large number of which were at intimate moments.
It would seem that GCHQ has amassed a huge collection of cum face pics. Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has it about right:
“Secretly intercepting and taking photographs from millions of people’s webcam chats is as creepy as it gets. We have CCTV on our streets and now we have GCHQ in our homes.
It is right that the security services can target people and tap their communications but they should not be doing it to millions of people. This is an indiscriminate and intimate intrusion on people’s privacy.”
Don’t forget though, some of those masturbators may be terrorists…
Just before Christmas Guardian contributor Babar Ahmad pleaded guilty to terror offences, well today another has been nicked. Moazzam Begg, who has written for the paper’s website no less than thirteen times, has been detained on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences. Who’s next?
Nick Robinson was the focus of ridicule among his Lobby colleagues last night after he yet again lifted a newspaper journalist’s story and claimed it as his own. “BREAKING”, he tweeted, the three major parties would reject a currency union with an independent Scotland, “the BBC has learned”. Just one problem, Nick Watt at the Guardian had broken the story some 21 hours earlier.
— Nicholas Watt (@nicholaswatt) February 12, 2014
BREAKING…BBC learns that 100 mile an hour winds could hit Britain tonight….
— Dan Sabbagh (@dansabbagh) February 12, 2014
Several Lobby journalists have since been in touch with MediaGuido to express their increasing frustration at Robinson claiming stories broken elsewhere as his own, attributing them instead to “BBC sources”. It is a running joke that BBC news broadcasts consistently refuse to credit other news organisations – putting up ‘Breaking News – the BBC has learned’ graphics half an hour after it was on Sky - but Robinson telling readers that this story was his own has crossed the line. One hack notes his regular surprise to see lines from government or opposition press releases (emailed out to every Westminster journalist at the same time) reported as “a Tory/Labour source tells me” on the News at Ten. The fact he is “never around” is hardly helping his popularity either. BBC head of news James Harding is cracking the whip demanding exclusives from his political team, Robbo seems to be feeling the pressure.
When MediaGuido spoke to Nick Watt last night, he wanted to stress that “I hold Nick in the highest regard” and suggested we take a look at the high volume of critical tweets from Lobby journalists to gauge how other hacks feel. Despite Robinson confessing to reading the Guardian story first, last night’s News at Ten again fibbed “our political editor Nick Robinson broke the story”. Tut tut…
Ed Miliband is due at Guardian HQ shortly to give the Hugo Young Lecture, and what happens?
The internet goes down…
From: Sheila Fitzsimons
Dear all, In order to try and resolve the internet connectivity issue in Kings Place we will make a network change at about 3pm. It would help if those of you who don’t need to use the internet could limit your use for the rest of the day. Thanks for your patience today – everyone is trying as hard as possible to resolve the problems. Sheila
Have they tried switching it on and off?
Guardian green and resident loony lefty George Monbiot looked into his crystal ball and made a somewhat brave prediction about “our rivers” back in 2006:
The Thames today:
How’s that working out for you?
It Was Guido Wot Won It | BBC
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian
UKIP Winning Class War | Tim Stanley
Ralph Miliband on the English…
“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”