Doctors: Capitalism ‘Conflicts With Health and Public Interest’

bmj logo

The BMJone of the world’s oldest and most respected general medical journals, have condemned capitalism for inducing behaviours that conflict with “ecological health“.

“There should also be agreement that the primary and legally bound duty of fossil fuel companies to maximise profit for shareholders induces behaviours that conflict with ecological health and the public interest.”

The punchy claim was made in a peer reviewed editorial backing the Guardian’s nutty campaign for charities to withdraw their investments from fossil fuel companies and coincided with an open letter signed by the BMJ’s editor-in-chief that also backed the campaign. According to the BMJ paper, the world has a “23 year deadline” to prevent “unprecedented harm to global health”. Half of the editorial’s authors work for Greenpeace front “medical charity” Medact

Supercar Socialist: Polly Toynbee’s £135,000 Ferrari

polly totnebee ferrari supercar

Watch Polly Toynbee call a Ferrari a “misogynist motif of the patriarchal social order” and George Monbiot rev up a Land Rover as they ‘audition’ to be the new presenter on Top Gear:

Well at least Guido has a new stock image for Polly stories…

Peak Comment is Free


LOL: Guardian’s Janine Gibson New Buzzfeed UK Chief

Confirming Buzzfeed’s status as the growing place where disappointed hacks retreat for more money and less work, Janine Gibson is off to do “serious news” as their editor-in-chief.

In a swift update to his Twitter bio, current editor Luke Lewis has been forced sideways to be Executive Editor. According to their press release he will remain in charge of entertainment news / cat pictures:

Gibson will manage the more than 40 reporters and writers currently based in London and oversee all editorial content, including the site’s News, Buzz, and Life divisions. She will also be hiring across those areas, with plans to invest particularly aggressively in BuzzFeed News’ British operation. Lewis will continue as a key leader in BuzzFeed’s London newsroom, with a focus on entertainment coupled with data and analytics as BuzzFeed continues to grow internationally.

From one loss maker to another… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Guardian ‘Posh’ Whinge Backfires

The best-rated comment under this Guardian whinge about Oxbridge and privately educated candidates getting all the top jobs?

Collar 8h ago:

Then why doesn’t the Guardian take a lead on this?

Guardian Staff: (all school fees are as 2013/14)

Katherine Viner / Ripon Grammar School (Selective) / Pembroke College, Oxford (English)
Alan Rusbridger / Cranleigh Independent Boarding School (per term £10610) / Magdalene College, Cambridge (Eng Lit)
Martin Kettle / Leeds Modern School (Grammar) / Balliol College, Oxford.
George Monbiot / Stowe (fees per term Day £7500 / Boarding £10325) / Brasenose College, Oxford (Zoology)
Jonathan Freedland / University College Independent School, Hampstead (per term £5720) – / Wadham College, Oxford
Catherine Bennett / Lawnswood High School /Hertford College, Oxford.
Zoe Williams / Godolphin and Latymer Girls School (per term £5760)
/ Lincoln College, Oxford (Modern History)
Tanya Gold / Kingston Grammar School (Independent – admission by exam and interview) / Merton College, Oxford
Marina Hyde / Downe House for Girls (per term Day: £7 910 / Boarder £10930) / Christ Church, Oxford (English)
Bidisha Bandyopadhyay / Haberdashers’ Aske’s Independent School for Girls (admission by exam and interview) / St Edmund Hall, Oxford (Old and Middle English, LSE (MSc in Moral and Political Philosophy and Economic History)
Emily Bell / ? / Christ Church College, Oxford (Jurisprudence)
Peter Bradshaw / The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Independent Boys’ School (admission by exam and interview) / Pembroke College, Cambridge (English)
David Mitchell / Abingdon School Oxford est. 1100 (per term Day £5290 / Boarder £11180) / Peterhouse, Cambridge (History)
Riazat Butt / ? / /A. N. Other College, Oxford
David Shariatmadari / ? / King’s College, Cambridge
Timothy Garton-Ash / Sherborne School est 1550 (per term Day £8545 / Boarder £10555) / St. Antony’s College, Oxford (Modern History)
Simon Tisdall / Holland Park School (generally receives 1000 applicants for its 240 places a year) / Downing College, Cambridge (History, Politics and Philosophy)
Jane Martinson / ? / A. N. Other College, Cambridge (English)
John Hooper / St Benedict’s Independent School, London (per tern £4450)
/ St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Ian Black / ? / A.N. Other College, Cambridge
Sam Leith / Eton College (per term £11090) / Magdalen College, Oxford
Peter Preston / Loughborough Grammar School est 1495 (per term Day £3575 / Boarder £7705) / St John’s College, Oxford
Andrew Rawnsley / Lawrence Sheriff School (selective boy’s grammar) / Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (History)
Simon Jenkins / Mill Hill School est 1807 (per term Day £5948 Boarder £9398) / St John’s College, Oxford (PPE)
Alexander Chancellor / Eton College (per term £11090) / Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Richard Norton-Taylor / Kings School, Canterbury (per term Day £8090 Boarder £10745) / Hertford College, Oxford
Clare Armitstead / Bedales (per term Day £8,590 Boarder £10,930) / St Hilda’s College, Oxford (English)
Janine Gibson / Walthamstow Hall Independent School for Girls (per term £5470) / St John’s College, Oxford (Eng Lit)
Martin Wainwright / Shrewsbury School Independent School est 1552 (per term Day £7100 Boarder £10140) / Merton College, Oxford
Victoria Coren / She attended various girls’ independent schools from the ages of 5 to 18 / St. John’s College, Oxford (English)
Nick Cohen / Altrincham Grammar School for Boys est 1912 (admission by exam and interview) / Hertford College, Oxford (PPE)
Ben Goldacre / ? / Magdalen College, Oxford (Medicine)
Seumas Milne / Winchester College Independent School for Boys est 1382 (per term Boarder £11250) / Balliol College, Oxford (PPE)
Rowenna Davis / Hampstead School (Comp) est 1862 / Balliol College, Oxford (PPE)
Hadley Freeman / She attended a “boarding school in Cambridge” / St Anne’s College, Oxford (Eng Lit)
John Harris / Wilmslow High School formerly Wilmslow County Grammar School / Queen’s College, Oxford (PPE)

Reposted without comment.

Before you ask, 75% of the Guy Newsroom went to a state school…

Guardian: How Climate Change Could Ruin Your Weekend

guardian logo

The Guardian have taken their trolling game up a notch with the spectacularly titled article: “No more beer, chocolate or coffee: how climate change could ruin your weekend”.

It warns that if we don’t take global warming seriously, we will run out of beer, there won’t be any oysters left to eat, we will hit “peak chocolate” ( like peak oil, but worse), the coffee growers will give up and we’ll have to drink Swedish wine. Viner’s tenure is off to a flying start…

Rusbridger Redux


Rusbridger was banged out of the building by his staff last week. His successor is Katharine Viner:


He wrote his own obituary for his editorship in his last paper, it seems only right that the Guardian’s fiercest critics should have a look back as well.

Rusbridger bet big on digital; The Times, Telegraph and cash-starved Indy don’t really match The Guardian in the quality of their digital offer. Rusbridger decided on digital first before the other papers – some of which still hold back the best stories for the second edition to serve yesterday’s news in tomorrow’s papers – which doesn’t really cut it in the digital age. The second big bet was on a “free-to-air” model with no internet paywall. The Mail and The Guardian are both close to making this work financially, the jury is still out as to if the greater scale of advertising will trump paywall subscriptions. The Guardian’s mobile app is quite simply way ahead of any other British newspaper’s app.

Rusbridger maintained the liberal traditions of the paper, it is safe to say the editorial values of the Guardian and Guido clash. We’re believers in the liberating power and prowess of capitalism in raising living standards for all. They’re hand-wringing worriers about social justice who want to tax us into equality. So much for economics as politics by other means. However we’re admirers of the tenacity with which Rusbridger pursued some stories – phone hacking was mostly indefensible, the Snowden revelations were in the public interest, as were the Wikileaks revelations – which they handled well in the circumstances.

Rusbridger’s Guardian lost money, this along with their shifty offshore assets tax hypocrisy was a constant theme of ours for years. Guido believes that profit is the best guarantor of independence. A multiplicity of revenue streams means never being so dependent that you are compromised. The Guardian’s business model has profit as a secondary consideration, having succeeded in creating a massive tax efficient endowment from selling Auto Trader. If they don’t overspend too much that will last them for many decades yet and, even if they do, Liz Forgan told Guido that she could see a few billionaires endowing their brand of liberal journalism in perpetuity.

On balance as a news brand Rusbridger’s Guardian is a triumph, as a business less so. However, to be fair, who in the newspaper business has been more successful?

Two anecdotes: Guido was once cornered at an awards ceremony by Rusbridger’s two daughters, they physically pinned him to a pillar and berated him for an age – in no uncertain terms – for being sexist and, far more importantly, mean to their father. On recounting this story to Alan he literally beamed with fatherly pride.

Some years before that, at a think-tank lunch, Rusbridger was the guest speaker and positively glared at Guido throughout his talk on the difficulties of keeping a newspaper viable in the dawning digital age. When it came for questions he seized the moment to have a go back at Guido. Pointing his finger, he sneered “you’d probably be glad to see us go under, wouldn’t you, well?” At this point Guido turned to the chairman of the lunch: “This is under Chatham House rules, isn’t it? None of us can report who says what?” The chairman nodded. Guido turned back to Rusbridger, “Whenever I am abroad on holiday it is the paper I choose to buy for the breadth and depth of coverage. You edit one of the greatest papers in the world.” Deflated, Alan slumped back in his chair with a bemused grin…

Rusbridger Steps Down After Spending £4.5 Billion


So, farewell then Alan Rusbridger, stepping down today after 20 years as editor of the Guardian.

Since Rusbridger took the helm in 1995, Guardian Media Group has declared operating costs of £4,495,292,000 for their national newspaper subsidiary.

Around £230 million-a-year in the later years.

What you might call big cheque book journalism…

Janine Gibson Out: Rusbridger Email to Staff

MediaGuardian were scooped to the departure of their own paper’s deputy editor by Politico on Friday. Seen as the heir apparent to Alan Rusbridger for the editorship, Janine Gibson was overlooked and is now off. Rusbridger finally gets round to emailing staff:

Dear all,

Sorry that we got scooped on this, but no-one was really anticipating rival breaking news late on the Friday of a bank holiday.



Guardian Sets Crude Example


Saudi Arabia have come out in support of the Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground:

The hated, oppressive regime which opposes everything our country holds dear, joins forces with Saudi Arabia…[…]


Guardian Coy on Coal Cash

guardian question

Alan Rusbridger is very coy about whether the Guardian makes money from fossil fuel companies, despite campaigning for the Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation to divest their investments from them. In a recent Q&A, Rusbridger wriggled around the straightforward “Will The Guardian refuse advertising from fosil fuel companies?” question, claiming that his commercial director “didn’t think we took vast sums from fossil fuel companies.[…]


Boris Johnson Slaps Down Guardian’s Divestment Crusade


Boris Johnson has roundly rejected a motion from the London Assembly that called for City Hall’s pension fund to pull out of fossil fuel investments. The motion, inspired by the Guardian’s nutty divestment campaign, called on Boris to put the retirement of London’s public workers at risk in order to stop the “havoc of climate change“.[…]


Seumas Milne: Putin Good, Tories Bad

The Guardian’s Kremlin-apologising in house former Stalinist, Seumas Milne, has outdone himself.

The same Shameless Bilge who says we shouldn’t “demonise” Putin is accusing a British political party of an “anti-democratic coup”. Irony is dead…[…]


Guardian Backs Labour


Though they warn:

“Of course there are misgivings. The party has some bad instincts – on civil liberties, penal policy and on Trident, about which it is too inflexible. Questions linger over Ed Miliband’s leadership, and whether he has that elusive quality that inspires others to follow…

This newspaper has never been a cheerleader for the Labour party.



Lutfur Rahman Roll Call of Shame

As Lutfur Rahman is found guilty of a string of election offences, here is a piece the Guardian published on him last year:

Apparently “there had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman” and “the story of Lutfur Rahman is a democratic success story”.[…]


Happy Earth Day Sheeple


It’s Earth Day, the “largest civic event in the world” that was started to give bored anti-Vietnam hippies something else to protest about. It’s also an annual excuse for earnest news publications to run eco-garbage scare stories. Just take a look at this gem from the Guardian:

“Earth Day: scientists say 75% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in ground.”

The Guardian story is following in a fine tradition, here’s some choice quotes from 1970, the year Earth Day was founded.[…]


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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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