Friday, November 1, 2013

Knowing Me Steve Coogan, Knowing You Alan Rusbridger

A very special guest at the Guardian’s morning conference today: Hacked Off’s very own Steve Coogan. Must have been some smiles around Kings Place when a gushing memo telling hacks how coke and hookers fan Coogan is an “ethical standard bearer” was delivered this morning. Of course he’s got a film out, so now the press are his best friends. The Royal Charter was only signed on Wednesday and already Hacked Off are running their own paper…

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You’re Either In Front of Guido…

The Telegraph, Mirror, Indy, et all finally played catch up this morning. So what did the fearless seekers of truth over at the Guardian make of yesterday’s latest nudge down the global rankings for press freedom? Poor Rusbridger pet James Ball, who is off to the States to be their new investigations editor after colleagues claim he was approached by another organisation then used that as promotion leverage, did not have a good day. Is this is the level of investigative journalism we can expect from the Guardian in the future?

He went on to claim it was a diary story at best. Perhaps he should be taking over from Hugh Muir instead.

Indeed it was snarky slow claps all round at Kings Place:

But then again if the story’s not handed to you on a plate by Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, why bother leaving the office? Come back Glenn Greenwald, all is forgiven.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where do the BBC Go to Find the New Peston?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Julian Smith’s Spooky Flip Flop

Tory MP Julian Smith has been busy doing the rounds in the TV studios today, sticking the boot in to the Guardian for publishing the Snowden files. This afternoon he has a debate in Westminster Hall debate on “The Guardian newspaper and its impact on national security”. Julian clearly takes the concerns of spooks very seriously.

Apart from the time he chose to ignore parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee report on how Chinese firm Huawei – banned by the US and Australia on security grounds – was able to gain a foothold within Britain’s internet infrastructure. When BT, heavily invested in Huawei kit, was awarded the taxpayer-subsidised contract to install broadband in Smith’s constituency, he dismissed any security concerns:

“This announcement is the modern day equivalent of the coming of the railways or the introduction of canals.”

If only he’d had the chance to talk about it on telly…

Taxpayer Still Subsidising Guardian

Back when they were in government Labour used to give the Guardian a helping hand by bunging them taxpayer cash for advertising departmental jobs in the paper. It was one example of government waste the Tories vowed to crack down on. Well in 2012 Maria Miller’s DCMS gave the Guardian £10,698 of taxpayers’ money “as part of the drive to attract a wider spectrum of candidates to the boards of our country’s institutions and encourage more diverse public appointments”. Every little helps…

Monday, October 21, 2013

Huhne Becomes Guardian’s Best Man

The Guardian’s efforts to help Chris Huhne on the road to rehabilitation continue with some aplomb. Either Huhne is being super canny and coat-tailing onto the Guardian’s pet causes for their affection, or someone is helping him on the inside. Always worth remembering that Huhne was best man of to Patrick Wintour, the Guardian political editor who wrote today’s front page story. Huhne says that while he was in Cabinet he knew nothing about the controversial Tempura surveillance programme.

“The invasion of privacy is breath-taking. The defence that you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide is as outrageous as it was when made by the totalitarian states. Citizens may – for good or bad reasons – want their activity to be private without in any way being illegal. Privacy matters.”

Enjoyable as it is to read Huhne’s opinions on law, order, liberty and privacy, funny he never felt so strongly about the activities of our security services while he was in power and could actually do something about it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Polly Blames Headline Writer For Baby P Smear

Polly Toynbee is blaming her Guardian headline writer for her smear of the year contender this morning.

“many commenting here have not bothered to read my article carefully (or at all), and the headline (which I didn’t write, and which is more provocative than the print Guardian) I didn’t write.”

Of course that hasn’t stopped her from tweeting the very same headline. This excuse didn’t wash for Geoffery Levy. For some reason the same privilege wasn’t afforded to the Mail…

Guardian’s Bid for Smear of the Year

Polly Toynbee, or her Guardian sub, has found the culprit responsible for the deaths of young children at their hands of their parents: the Tories of course! Apparently Baby P and Hamzah Khan’s deaths can be blamed on “Tory vandalism”, Michael Gove to be specific. Just the one problem. Aside from Polly ignoring the role of you know, the parents, or even social workers, teachers and doctors, both Baby P and Hamzah Khan died under a Labour government. And this from a paper that moralises about rival’s ethics.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WATCH: Psycho Huhne Newsnight Interview in Full

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…

Via the appropriately named @liarpoliticians.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hodge Blames Gordon For Vodafone Tax Dodge

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.


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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