Monday, March 31, 2014

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…

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Indy Pol Ed, UKIP and the Six Year Old Guardian Quote

Fascinating insight from the Indy’s political editor Andy Grice on Thursday last week:

“The wildcard on May 2 could be the UK Independence Party. The anti-EU party is consistently in double figures in the opinion polls and is fielding 1,001 candidates, up from 319 last year. Its best hopes are in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire. Although Ukip says it would do well to gain more than 15 seats, it could prove a “spoiler” which prevents Tory victories, helping the Lib Dems in the South and Labour in the North.”

Though as Bloggers for UKIP point out:

“In actual fact, we have 1,734 candidates – up from 593 last time. Hull, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees don’t even have any Council elections this year, whilst West Wiltshire council was abolished in 2009.”

Which is odd. It appears the Indy have tipped UKIP to do well in councils without elections and even in a council that has been abolished. So where did Grice get this dodgy information? It can’t have been from the UKIP website, that clearly lists which candidates are standing where.

Well scroll back six years and those figures and locations were more accurate. It was once reported that “Ukip is fielding 1,001 candidates, with its best hopes in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire”, though not by Grice in the Indy, rather by Will Woodward in the Guardian in April 2007. Can anyone remember Grice getting into this sort of trouble before?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hacked Off Funded By Billionaire Russian Oligarch

Before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee this morning, representatives from Hacked Off  refused to comment on Guido’s exposing of their donors. They got a comprehensive kicking from most of the MPs present though:

The elite club of multi-millionaires with an axe to grind have confirmed however that they are “due to receive soon a grant from the Journalism Foundation of over £20,000″. The Journalism Foundation was former Indy editor-in-chief Simon Kelner’s £600,000 vanity project bankrolled by billionaire Russian oligarchs and Indy owners Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev. The former KGB agent set up the Foundation to promote “free and independent journalism”, pulling the plug on it after less than a year. Seemingly not before they channelled a chunk of the cash to those freedom lovers Hacked Off…

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exclusive: Angry Indy Staff Move to Strike Ballot

Though notice is yet to be served on the paper’s management, Guido understands that tensions over that the Indy are boiling over and the NUJ chapel has moved to ballot for industrial action. The latest round of cuts see 25 editorial jobs on the line and further integration with the Standard looms. In this round the cuts are only coming from the Indy. Derry Street sources are expecting a big majority on the side of strike action in the vote. One tells us:

“People are scared for their jobs but also for the quality of what will be left behind if this slash and burn exercise is pushed through. We already produce three newspapers and a website with by far the smallest staffs on Fleet Street, those of us left will be asked to do more with even less; not to mention this TV station.”

The anger is being directed at the very top:

“Evgeny Lebedev, who has backed the titles with huge amounts of his own cash, has constantly talked about quality journalism. We’ve always been heartened to hear that. I think a lot of people are now wondering how we’ll be able to produce it if we lose even more staff.”

All out!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fabricant Files: A New Pact for 2015

Back in August Guido pointed out that

“the Cameroons like to remind the disgruntled Tory right of a simple bit of coalition electoral arithmetic: Tories on 34% + LibDems on 8% = 42%, just about enough to form a government again in 2015. Well UKIP have been also been polling between 6% to 10% for over a year now. If those right-of-centre voters could be brought back into the Conservative Party embrace they would have a good chance of forming a majority government. UKIP have no MPs in Westminster under first past the post, they do however have plenty of voters for Westminster elections.”

The Indy’s John Rentoul said Guido was mad. Today his paper is front paging a report written by Mike Fabricant, the Conservative Party’s vice-chairman for Campaigns, making the same case for a Tory-UKIP pact:

Guido also reported Charles Tannock MEP producing a briefing note making similar points last month.  Increasingly Tory MPs see activists, especially young activists, shifting their allegiance to UKIP. Without the boundary review and a rapprochement with UKIP voters the Tories are going to lose in some 20 seats – unnecessarily. Downing Street is kidding itself if it believes Andrew Cooper’s claims that UKIP votes are going to melt away at the general election…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Laurie Penny Leaves Indy

An intriguing media move today as Laurie Penny leaves her post at the Indy:

Could it possibly be that Indy bosses wielded the axe? Or maybe £23,000 was just not enough…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sindy Hack Set to Quit Over Late Payment
70 Guardian Journalists Face Sack as Cuts Bite

It looks like an Independent on Sunday journalist is set for an acrimonious departure from the struggling paper. Last month music hack Simon Price was left strapped for cash after the Sindy, clearly feeling the effects of a 19% drop in circulation year-on-year, failed to pay him on time. MediaGuido understands that the money eventually came through, but last night Price was told he had to accept a 25% pay cut or face the axe. Price himself is refusing to comment. Watch this space…

Meanwhile over at Guardian towers Alan Rusbridger’s economy drive has hit a stumbling block.

Guardian bosses had hoped around 100 hacks would accept voluntary redundancy, but only a mere 30 came forwards.

Meaning 70 face the sack…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Indy’s Parliamentary Sketchwriting Shifts Leftwards

The Indy’s march to the left continues. They have replaced long-standing parliamentary sketchwriter Simon Carr, who had robustly sound views, with left-leaning Donald MacIntyre (pictured wearing glasses), who is being recalled back from Jerusalem. His politics are left-wing to the extent that he was close enough to Mandelson in his Lobby days to write his biography.

Don is the sober more thoughtful father of James MacIntyre and in more politically incorrect times he was once voted the sexiest man in the Lobby by the hackettes – some say Maggie fancied him. MacIntyre may not be quite as acerbic or non-partisan as the much-missed Simon Carr, but given his clout he should be a big enough figure to tell the editor Chris Blackhurst to get lost if he tries any editorial bossing about. Getting rid of Carr means there is one less reason to read the Indy…

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Matt Chorley to Become MailOnline Political Editor

Guido has learned that the Sindy‘s political correspondent Matt Chorley is jumping ship to become the first Political Editor of the MailOnline. Chorley has confirmed to Guido that he will start his new job on September 10, just in time for party conference season. The Sindy gets 120,000 odd readers and the MailOnline has some 5.3 million visitors a day. Quite a step up…

Sunday, July 15, 2012

5 Year-Old Vintage Hennessy


The Sunday Telegraph’s Patrick Hennessy has gone big today on his mate Damian McBride’s confirmation two weeks ago of the truth of a Guido story about a secret email system dating back from 2007.

Hennessy’s rival John Rentoul over at the Sunday Indy mocks the vintage of the story:

Truth will out. Eventually.


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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