As we go to pixel, 14,320 people have signed the petition to the Bank of England to keep a woman on English banknotes. The signatories argue that, other than the Queen, it is important we have another woman represented:
“not only have numerous women emerged as leading figures in their fields, they have done so against the historic odds stacked against them which denied women a public voice and relegated them to the private sphere – making their emergence into public life all the more impressive and worthy of celebration.”
Always one to back the feminist cause, Guido agrees. Their suggestions of Mary Wollstonecraft or Mary Seacole are admirable, but Guido has a much better idea:
Craig Oliver, the Alan Partridge of strategic government communications, has had another brainwave for how to deal with the press. His latest wheeze for getting hacks onside is to hand them so-called Twitter exclusives. The plan is to spoon feed patsy journalists stories to be broken online before they are officially announced. Presumably in return for favours.
Dave will be hoping it goes down better than Number 10’s last big brainwave. Guido understands that private focus groups have tested the effectiveness of the phrase “aspiration nation”, only to find the public hates it. It’s not like Cameron used the leaden phrase in his last party conference speech or Osborne used the term as the theme of his recent budget. A-ha…
Culture Secretary Maria Miller is rather chirpy this morning that the government have won their case in the ECHR against opening the door to the freedom for political parties to reach a wider broadcast audience:
“We welcome the fact that the European Court has upheld the UK’s blanket ban on political advertising. Political adverts are – and have always been – banned on British TV and radio. That ban has wide support and has helped sustain the balance of views which is at the heart of British broadcasting – and ensures the political views broadcast into our homes are not determined by those with the deepest pockets.”
UPDATE: PA has more:
“An animal rights group has narrowly lost a bid to open up paid political advertising in the UK. Human rights judges in Strasbourg ruled in a 9-8 test case verdict that Government refusal to allow Animal Defenders International to screen a TV advert promoting animal rights was not a breach of ADI’s freedom of expression.”
It was close…
Dr Evan Harris told all who would listen that he wanted this blog to be regulated, Max Mosley wanted the government to “cut the wires” of the internet for bloggers who didn’t submit to judicial censorship and the nutty Professor Brian Cathcart who mutters about freedom of the press while trying to stamp it out didn’t really engage. Well they have completely and utterly failed in their ambitions.
The government has announced that for-profit blogs which make less than £2 million will be exempt from the new system of press regulation and there would also be an exemption for blogs with fewer than 10 employees under the amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill. Which leaves plenty of room for Guido to expand his operations…
We would not in any event have gone along with a regime that attempted to put an unbearable and unjustified regulatory burden on us. This is not to say that Guido supports the legislation, it seems pretty unfair on small newspapers who will still be regulated and it means there is not a level playing field. There will, as Guido told Leveson, be a thriving unregulated free press and a withering regulated unfree press with one hand tied behind its back. You only have to consider the Rolf Harris story revealed on this blog three months ago and only today seen on the front pages of the newspapers…
UPDATE: Labour’s Ian Mearns has waded in:
“This extraordinary attack is another example of derogatory language by the Toryeducation twitter feed. Michael Gove needs to investigate if this feed is run by his advisers – if so that would be very serious. There is no place for these kind of personal attacks in public life. The Education Secretary needs to take action.”
The cynics amongst you might think it’s an interesting time for CCHQ stalwart Nick Park to jump to the private sector.
The Tory head of research and attack crafter is off to energy giants Centrica.
The loss of the best part of decade’s experience is a blow for the Tories.
Meanwhile Labour are beefing up their attack team for the coming digital battle. Obama’s rapid rebuttal unit “backroom Brit” Matt McGregor:
“McGregor was responsible for the digital rapid response unit that attacked Mitt Romney relentlessly, ensuring that any statement by the Republican was picked over and rebutted, often within minutes or hours.”
Could get bloody…