WATCH: Rusbridger Speaks
Says It Went Right to Number 10

Something they deny:

Who do you believe?

Guardian v Spooks: Key Questions

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.

  • David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow by UK security services. They took his computer and memory card.
  • It has since emerged that Miranda was carrying sensitive information from one of Greenwald’s contacts, something which was not mentioned in the initial Guardian report.
  • Miranda says he did not know anything about the contents of the documents but was simply transporting them for Greenwald.
  • Why did the Guardian fail to mention any of this in their initial report? Why has their side of the story, at least in part, begun to unravel?
  • What justification do the security services have for detaining him under the Terrorism Act? Did they believe he was a terrorist?
  • Alan Rusbridger claims that GCHQ spooks smashed hard drives in the Guardian basement after a series of demands that they were returned.
  • Why did Rusbridger allow this to take place? Why did he not begin a legal battle or do his reporting from abroad, as he ponders in his article?
  • With the knowledge that the Guardian would have made copies, for what purpose did GCHQ do this other than intimidation? What did it achieve?

Worthwhile further reading on this from Dan Hodges and David Allen Green. Both sides have important questions to answer…

Spooks Smash Guardian Hard Drives

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…

Andrew Rawnsley Still on Holiday

Three weeks since Guido published the remarkable similarities between Andrew Rawnsley’s Observer column and a piece in the Economist. Three weeks since Andrew Rawnsley has appeared in the paper. Still no comment from him despite Guido asking again and again. Hope he is enjoying his break…

Smacked Bottom For Press Gazette

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.

Labour MPs Attack Labour Terror Law

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…

Leaked Guardian Editorial Salaries

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…

Police Arrest Deranged Smackhead at Guardian

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…

Via Camden New Journal.

Maggie Funeral Final Cost: £1,205,809

The final figures are out: Margaret Thatcher’s funeral cost £261,976, plus £943,833 for security. A total of £1,205,809, or 1.9p per person. Worth remembering again how it was reported by some at the time:

For some reason the final […]

+ READ MORE +

Spotted in Today’s Guardian Editorial Meeting

A special guest who somewhat stood out from the crowd:

If they ask Nigel Farage about his offshore tax arrangements he can just ask them about theirs…[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Invitation Westminster Advisers Won’t Comment About

As reported last night, the Guardian have added some important details to their Lynton Crosby/healthcare yarn, after Guido’s little fact checking yesterday. Lobbying firm Westminster Advisers “declined to comment” last night over Guido’s revelation that the firm “run […]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Puts Record Straight

wholepicture

The Guardian has done a follow up which largely corrects the record after Guido pointed out the factual errors in their healthcare lobbying story from this morning. Namely that they had got the target audience completely wrong and that the […]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Feminist Jazz Hands Explained Feminist Jazz Hands Explained
WALTER MITTY CV OF ANTI-FRACKING CANDIDATE WALTER MITTY CV OF ANTI-FRACKING CANDIDATE
Cassetteboy v Cameron and Farage Cassetteboy v Cameron and Farage
MICROSOFT SHAKES DOWN PUBLIC SECTOR FOR DOSH MICROSOFT SHAKES DOWN PUBLIC SECTOR FOR DOSH
WATCH: Toby Young Skewers Labour Zero Hours Contract Attack Line WATCH: Toby Young Skewers Labour Zero Hours Contract Attack Line
MAIL TRICKED INTO QUOTING BATMAN FILM IN PLANE CRASH COVERAGE MAIL TRICKED INTO QUOTING BATMAN FILM IN PLANE CRASH COVERAGE

ANTI-FRACKING PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE WANTED TO WORK FOR FRACKERS ANTI-FRACKING PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE WANTED TO WORK FOR FRACKERS
Crick Gets Paxo’d Crick Gets Paxo’d
Cameron’s Secret A-List Cameron’s Secret A-List
Corrections and Clarifications: Brooks Newmark Corrections and Clarifications: Brooks Newmark
What is Wrong With the Lobby? What is Wrong With the Lobby?
Arrogant Bercow: “I’m Not Going Anywhere” Arrogant Bercow: “I’m Not Going Anywhere”
GOVERNMENT SHELLS OUT FOR PHOTO OF DEAD ZEBRA GOVERNMENT SHELLS OUT FOR PHOTO OF DEAD ZEBRA
DWP Press Office Wins the Internet DWP Press Office Wins the Internet
Two-Faced Chuka Ruins Labour Attack Ad Two-Faced Chuka Ruins Labour Attack Ad
Cameron Mauls Miliband at PMQs Cameron Mauls Miliband at PMQs
Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage
Dave’s SNP Poodle Zinger Dave’s SNP Poodle Zinger
GREEDY SOLAR INDUSTRY WANTS MORE PUBLIC CASH GREEDY SOLAR INDUSTRY WANTS MORE PUBLIC CASH
This is the worst thing the LibDems  have ever done This is the worst thing the LibDems have ever done
CLIMATE CHANGE FUELLED MOSQUITOES ARE NOT COMING TO GET YOU CLIMATE CHANGE FUELLED MOSQUITOES ARE NOT COMING TO GET YOU
ORDNANCE SURVEY OPENS UP DATA MAPPING TREASURE CHEST ORDNANCE SURVEY OPENS UP DATA MAPPING TREASURE CHEST
“I’d S**k Off David Cameron” “I’d S**k Off David Cameron”
WATCH: Cameron Heckled By Pensioners WATCH: Cameron Heckled By Pensioners
WATCH: Gove v Campbell WATCH: Gove v Campbell
Politician dumps his wife over sexy selfies Politician dumps his wife over sexy selfies
UKIP PROTESTERS ORGANISED BY GREEN LOBBYIST UKIP PROTESTERS ORGANISED BY GREEN LOBBYIST
You’ve Been Cricked! You’ve Been Cricked!
He’s Not Dancing Anymore He’s Not Dancing Anymore
Miliband’s Hedge Funder Hypocrisy Miliband’s Hedge Funder Hypocrisy