What You Can and Cannot Say on Twitter

The CPS have released their guidelines on what you can and cannot say on Twitter before getting a knock on the door from the cops. On the banned list are:

  1. Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence to the person or damage to property.
  2. Communications which specifically target an individual or individuals and which may constitute harassment or stalking within the meaning of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
  3. Communications which may amount to a breach of a court order. This can include offences under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, breaches of a restraining order or breaches of bail. Cases where there has been an offence alleged to have been committed under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or section 5 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 should be referred to the Attorney General and via the Principal Legal Advisor’s team where necessary.
  4. Communications which do not fall into any of the categories above and fall to be considered separately (see below): i.e. those which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.

And crucially:

Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:

Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or

Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or

The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.

See the guidelines in full here. Prosecution face…

Cyber Wars: UKIP Trumping Tories

UKIP’s efforts to do battle online are clearly paying off. According to analysis done by UK General Election 2015, the party is gaining Twitter followers and Facebook likes at a considerably greater rate than its opponents, with the Tories in particular falling way short. By way of comparison, over the same period @GuidoFawkes gained some 7,000 followers and now has 109,745 followers – more than any UK political party. Social media campaigning will have a big part to play over the next two years, so these stats make interesting reading…

UPDATE: Just noticed that LetBritainDecide.org seems to redirect UKIP.org. Not to be confused with CCHQ’s LetBritainDecide.com, or rather it is…

Digital Dave Launches Online Referendum Push

lbd

businessforbritain.org/

The Tories have finally realised that they need to bang on about Europe now UKIP have pushed it up the political agenda. The launch of the all-party Business for Britain campaign was the starting gun for the referendum campaign Cameron is promising for 2017.

Though the LibDems will hate it, the ‘Let Britain Decide’ website will target MPs who are refusing to trust the public with a referendum. Finally we are seeing the Tories utilising their European policy as a strength, it could all have been so different for Ed Miliband…

UPDATEFew teething problems, possibly CCHQ were a bit unwise to brief out the site before it was ready:

lbf-text

Google Have More Access to Dave Than Ministers, Says Minister

Scathing insight from BIS minister Viscount Younger on Google’s access to Number 10. As Dave was ushering Eric Schmidt out of the Downing Street back door yesterday, Younger was revealing all about how Google has better access to the PM than even some ministers:

“I’m very aware of [Google’s] power, put it that way. I’ve also very aware that they have got access, for whatever reason, at higher levels than me at No. 10. They are a vociferous action group and a big company to put it bluntly, and are quite powerful.”

A relationship that isn’t going down too well with the Tory troops:

Unheard of for a non-Etonian to have such access.

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Petition For a Woman on the Fiver: Vote Maggie!

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:

The first female party leader, first female First Lord of the Treasury, first female Prime Minister and first female to be awarded full membership of the Carlton Club.  Sign here for Maggie

“Aspiration Nation” Poll Flop

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…

Another DCMS Blow to Free Speech
ECHR Uphold UK Censorship on Political Adverts

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.”

Pity.

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…

Victory: Guido’s Blog Will Remain Unregulated
Government Tells Evan Harris to “Blog Off”

MAX-SAYS-CUT-THE-WIRES

blogoff

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 […]

+ READ MORE +

Download the Guido App Today

Free, faster and formatted for your phone.

The Android native app can be downloaded hereFor all other devices you can download it here[…]

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Tim Loughton V Tory Education: Round 42

https://twitter.com/toryeducation/status/316557901953122306

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Brain Drain as Labour Beef Up Attack

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 […]

+ READ MORE +



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