A reconstruction, obviously…
A reconstruction, obviously…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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. Given the interest the paper takes in how much other people are paid, it’s only fair that this document sees the light of day:
For some reason the rates for columnists and executive level staff have been left off the list. And lets not forget all those workers on zero-hour contracts that actually keep the paper and website going…
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. After twice approaching Alan Rusbridger’s office and doing smack in the loos, the cops were called.
“Three to four weeks before that I had used the Guardian toilets – I had asked a guard and he had let me in. So I went back. This time there was no guard there so I tailgated some people. I had been there before but I couldn’t remember where the toilet was. At the time my state of mind was not good, I was ‘clucking’. That was why I didn’t want to talk to anyone or ask anyone where it was. But I found the toilet eventually. I ‘chased the dragon’, I burnt it on a piece of foil. I used the drugs, basically. And I went back out. That is all. I didn’t want to steal nothing, it was just to use the drugs. I left and I went back home.”
Confirming long held suspicions that those inside Guardian towers are on drugs…
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth
Why Do Politicians Keep Getting Caught on Tape? | BBC
Ed Guru: It’s Good to Tax the Dead | Mail
Dave Must Get Serious or He Will Lose | Tim Montgomerie
Polling Averages Trend | PoliticalBetting.com
Speaker Faces Questions Over Pass for Donor | Sun
Tory MPs’ Visit to Israel Condemned | Guardian
John McTernan told Channel 4 News…
“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, you don’t win in politics without breaking legs.”
What time will dinner be ready this evening?
Rob Wilson MP
In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.