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…
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:
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.
— Cabinet Office (@cabinetofficeuk) July 30, 2013
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…
Still don't see the £5 billion that gets sent to Brussels anywhere on those spending graphics…
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) July 30, 2013
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 the exception that proves the rule…
MPs with majorities under 10% are relatively prolific users, with those in safe seats much less likely to bother:
Makes you wonder whether they are doing themselves more harm than good…
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 in 2011 Guido used exactly the same technique to hijack an #AskEd twitter Q & A session, bombarding Miliband with enquiries about his dinner with lobbyist Roland Rudd. Then there was the #HodgeTheDodge hashtag, which hundreds of co-conspirators used to tell Margaret Hodge to answer Guido’s questions about her tax hypocrisy last year.
Guido has plenty more ideas to help Ed win, just get in touch…
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 have launched an American style attack on Ed over the job figures. Loving the bold, impact “Wrong, Ed” headlines…
UPDATE: Labour hit back with… a giant piece of cardboard.
Maybe he should have his expenses docked until he learns how to spell?
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:
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…
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…
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.
Europe has changed. It’s 40 years since the British people had their say – we need to #LetBritainDecide in a referendum, by the end of 2017.
— Let Britain Decide (@BritainDecides) June 11, 2013
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…
UPDATE: Few teething problems, possibly CCHQ were a bit unwise to brief out the site before it was ready:
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:
“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”