Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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:

Monday, July 29, 2013

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 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…

Via Notts Politics, Democratic Audit.

Friday, July 19, 2013

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 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…

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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 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.

Pic via ITV.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seriously Selous?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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…

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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…


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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