Introducing Happy Hour

Blends, briefings, bulletins, memos and closing prices, the inboxes of Westminster wags are being clogged up with an endless stream of dry takes on the day’s play. So Guido thought he would mix it up with a heady cocktail. Happy Hour will reel off the Six@Six most popular stories of the day (20% more than PoliticsHome’s 5 at 5), giving you a quick way of catching up on today’s gossip. Depending on events, subscribers will be treated to new features such as Picture of the Day and Question Time, where Guido will dissect great matters of state, from clandestine corridor plots to who is bonking whom.

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What to Expect from Labour’s Social Media Stategy

If former Obama digital guru Matthew McGregor’s work for the Australian Labor Party over the summer is anything to go by, Miliband can expect great things from his social media campaigner in the UK. With his Buzzfeed-style blogs listing the six reasons to vote for Kevin Rudd, it is a wonder he managed to lose. Number six is a classic. Those hand actions sum up Rudd’s recent career:

What a surprise that an animated picture did not actually motivate people to vote, dude.

Future of Porn in Cameron’s Britain

Well this is one way to get round the government’s porn ban. The suitably named www.cameronporn.com (Safe For Work – though still weird) lets you watch all the adult videos you want, only without the sex scenes. That means, free from distraction, viewers can fully appreciate the unrivalled acting ability on display. As the website puts it:

“Cameron Porn: free sex videos fully adapted to the UK porn ban. 0% XXX. 100% drama.”

Better get used to it…

iPoker Face

If you are one of the most senior US politicians attending a crucial hearing on potential military intervention in Syria, being snapped playing poker on your phone doesn’t look great. Well that’s what happened to John McCain last night:

Suppose the British equivalent would be Tom Harris watching Doctor Who on one of his many taxpayer-funded iPads…

Peers Confused By Twitter, Call Each Other Usernames in Lords

Reading his collection of Lords Hansards, as Guido spends all of his summer doing, he came across this bizarre exchange from last week. Confused Peers have taken to referring to each other with their Twitter usernames:

Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Conservative)
My Lords… the noble Baroness, Lady Basildon, has given notice that she wishes to debate this order again today, so it may be helpful if I briefly remind the House of the order’s intention.

Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour)
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for her explanation. I should point out that I am only “Lady Basildon” on Twitter; it is usually Smith, but I am pleased to have the Minister as a follower on Twitter. 

Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Conservative)
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon. My apologies for using her Twitter moniker in the Chamber; I will avoid doing that again.

There is no escape.

Via @davelee

Tories Hire Obama Campaign Chief

Jim Messina, who ran Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, has been snapped up by the Tories as a strategy adviser to Lynton Crosby. Messina’s approach to “winning the fight of the future”, will be key. Labour will love that…

Via BBC.

More Flaws Emerge in Government Transparency Website

The Register has followed up Guido’s story yesterday about the government’s less than transparent new transparency website. They have delved a little deeper and found that when they downloaded the raw data of a department selected at random , this is what appeared in Excel:

Useful. Invariably, downloading the data merely gives you the limited information in the colourful boxes above in table form. But only for each sub-category of each department at any one time. So if you wanted a comprehensive spreadsheet of all the data across the whole government, across one department even, you would have to spend hours doing it yourself. In fairness to the Cabinet Office this is a beta version so they do the opportunity to iron out these faults. If they do GIST does have the potential to be a useful tool. And after all, all the best people in tech do go and work for the government…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out the maths is dodgy too:

No Interest in New Government Spending Website

GIST is the government’s new spending website, the beta version of which is up today. On the surface it all looks very sharp and transparent, showing you how much each government department has spent in each quarter and allowing you to click through to more detailed information. There is one thing they clearly don’t want taxpayers to find out about however. 

For some reason there is no big, colourful box for the government’s debt interest payments. This year’s debt interest payment is £47.1 billion. Per quarter, that would be the fifth largest square on the table above. All we get are vague non-explanations such as “reducing the structural deficit in a fair and responsible way: £26 million”. Which means absolutely nothing. Hashtag transparency…

UPDATE:

Young MPs With Slim Majorities Are Top Tweeters

Nottingham Uni student James Donald has crunched the numbers and found that the younger an MP and the smaller their majority, the more likely they are to use Twitter. Unsurprisingly, younger MPs tend to tweet the most.  Micky Fabricant being […]

+ READ MORE +

Labour’s iCampaign Inspiration

Labour have taken their quest to get an answer from Cameron on Lynton Crosby to social media, getting hundreds of tweeters to ask the PM the same question again and again. Where might they have learned that little trick? Back […]

+ READ MORE +

Tories Launch End of Term American Style Attack Ad on Ed

The Tories will go away from the last PMQs of term happier than the reds. The Labour frontbench looked like they had all shared a delicious cup-a-sick for elevenses by the end of the bout. For good measure the Tories […]

+ READ MORE +

Seriously Selous?

Maybe he should have his expenses docked until he learns how to spell?

Via Chappers.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Cameron on Trump:

“I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election deserves our respect.”

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