Alibhai-Brown Tries to Sniff out British Jews


The increasingly doddery Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has been wheeled out by the Indy again today and her column is a corker. In it, the ever perspicacious Alibhai-Brown defends Jeremy Corbyn against accusations that he is anti-Semitic, declaring that some of his closest friends are “conscientious and ethical British Jews“.

“Some of the people Corbyn has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews. The late Mike Marqusee, a Marxist, New York secular Jew who migrated to the UK, was his friend. So, too, is Ken Loach, a liberal British Jew and fierce defender of Palestinian rights.”

Mike Marqusee is, as Alibhai-Brown astutely points out, actually dead. Perhaps he and Corbyn carry on their friendship via seances. And Ken Loach, as far as we know, is not Jewish…

Newspaper Readers Party Preferences


This British Election Study survey shows Indy readers are a mixed bunch and as many back the coalition parties as Labour. So that endorsement will please and anger readers in equal measure. No surprises in the data. 

Beer Drinkers Love Fracking

beer fracking

Beer drinkers join the fight against fracking” declared the Independent on Sunday as it waxed lyrical about a progressive motion being debated Campaign for Real Ale to oppose fracking. Apparently cheap, home grown, low-carbon fuel is a “real and substantial threat to the production and quality of real ale.

Odd then, that the very same day CAMRA roundly rejected the motion.

Gaia is still waiting for the Indy’s update…

Lebedev in North Korea

Never seen without his beard, the Hacked Off backing publisher of the Indy and Evening Standard, Evgeny Lebedev, has travelled to that bastion of press freedom, North Korea. The AP’s former Pyongyang bureau chief ponders:

His search for a buyer for the Indy continues…

Indy Quietly Changes ‘Powerful Jewish Lobby’ Headline

The Indy’s eccentric Mira Bar Hillel is off on one again this afternoon, with the headline writer wheeling out the age old “Jewish lobby” slur for her latest frothing about Israel, which includes the charming imagery of “tentacles”. Unfortunately the online subs didn’t get to the headline before MediaGuido had grabbed a screenshot.

Sindy’s Civil Service ‘Exclusive’ Will Remain So

‘Scoop’ from yesterday’s Independent on Sunday:

“Labour will be given only six months to “road test” its plans for government with senior civil servants, after David Cameron controversially intervened to block early talks, The Independent on Sunday has learnt.”

But is it actually true that the amount of time the opposition is being given to consult with civil servants before the election is being cut? Oliver Wright notes that “In previous elections, under a convention set by John Major, such talks could take place up to 16 months before the last possible date an election could be called.” Though that was before the era of fixed-term parliaments when election dates were chosen at the PM’s discretion, usually 12 months before the last possible date, giving the opposition party four months and not the full 16. The 16 month period allowed the PM to avoid revealing the exact date of the election which could otherwise be calculated from the date access was granted. Indeed, a reader points out that in 1983, 1987, 2001 and 2005 the opposition party had as little as four months’ access to civil servants. So, actually, Labour are getting a pretty good deal.

This is part of a wider pattern of whining from Miliband, following on from Labour’s moan that he didn’t have enough time to respond to the Budget. This should really help Ed beat the perception that he is weak and pathetic…

Dear Amol Rajan,

The Cellar
House of Commons

Mr Amol Rajan,
Editor of the Independent.

Dear Mr Rajan,

I am writing to propose a syndication deal. As you can see below your diarist Andy McSmith deems my work worthy of your pages on an almost daily basis, so I am sure he will be happy to provide a reference.

This week alone Mr McSmith has seen fit to lift yesterday’s lead in your newspaper’s excellent diary revealing that Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey had been put in an awkward spot by their son working for Paddy Power, they of the famous Oscar Pistorius bet. An amusing tale, which appeared on the pages of my blog the previous day.

Today, Mr McSmith has another fine story about a crafty coalition organised by local LibDems so they can keep child rape charge councillor Ryan Hope in the tent. Worrying developments indeed, and a niche story first reported on my blog last Friday.

Mr McSmith was also tickled by a Twitter bitch fight between Sally Bercow and fellow magpie Andrew Pierce, which he duly wrote up in his diary last week. Hardly an exclusive of course, though Mr McSmith’s readers were well behind the curve given the very same words had already appeared on my website.

It is some years since McSmith took a picture of me from the blog reposing in bed with Toby Young and it was with some difficulty that we successfully extracted payment in the end.

I propose that since Mr McSmith appears to lift my copy without payment or attribution, perhaps we could come to an arrangement by which you cut out the middle man and get your diary stories straight from the source? I know that money is tight at the Indy and I would not want you to waste your budget employing a diarist who simply lifts stories from elsewhere.


Guido Fawkes Esq.


Is the Indy Up for Sale?

Greenslade thinks so. Having gutted the editorial staff and rebranded, it seems the cash strapped Lebedevs have got bored:

“The Independent is up for sale. The paper’s founder, and current chairman of its publishing company, Andreas Whittam Smith, has been authorised to seek out a buyer. The owners, Alexander Lebedev and his son, Evgeny, have been indicating for some time that they would be happy to dispose of the paper and its sister titles, i, and the Independent on Sunday. They have made various cryptic statements over the last six months about their willingness to offload loss-making papers that they see no prospect of turning into profit. Alexander Lebedev’s fortunes, based on a variety of businesses in Russia, have declined dramatically over the last couple of years.”

Don’t all rush at once.

Steve Richards Takes Lobbyists’ Money


Guido can reveal that Steve Richards, the Indy’s political pundit and sometime TV talking head, has taken up a role with the public affairs lobbying firm Hanover Communications. When Guido spoke to Steve he was a little sheepish and […]


Chris Blackhurst’s Kama Sutra

Indy staff have been left baffled this afternoon by an email inviting them to help themselves to “a crate of unclaimed stuff in front of Chris Blackhurst’s desk including some high heels, a copy of the Kama Sutra, an assortment […]


Indy’s Almost Perfect Relaunch

Indy editor Amol Rajan will have come down from last night’s celebrations by now, his stylish redesign of the paper has been well-received almost universally this morning. With all eyes on the new look, the subs forgot to take out […]


Indy Looking for ‘Augmented Reality’ Editor

According to the advert, “The Independent is seeking a digitally focused journalist with experience producing and presenting content for a daily news-driven augmented reality service”. Surely there is only one candidate.[…]


Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Lord Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“If they ever got anywhere near electing him and him being the Prime Minister then I think we should all move to China or somewhere like that and let this place just rot.”

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