Indy Pol Ed Runners and Riders

Andy Grice is stepping down after 17 years at the helm as Indy political editor. As ever, MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders to replace him:

Oliver Wright
Indy Whitehall Editor

Wright has been at the paper for seven years since coming over from the Times, first as news editor and then bringing in stories as Whitehall editor. The clear favourite for the job.

Nigel Morris
Indy Deputy Political Editor

Veteran correspondent Morris has been at the Indy even longer and is said to be keen. Would be a safe pair of hands, if a little unexciting.

Jane Merrick
Sindy Political Editor

Already writes a regular column for the daily so not impossible that she might jump over from the Sunday edition. Good for hard-hitting scoops about Michael Gove. Would be a crying shame if her widely-enjoyed allotment blog suffered.

Craig Woodhouse
Sun on Sunday Political Correspondent

Has spent three years as the number two on the Sun on Sunday and has previously worked at a Lebedev stable over at the Evening Standard. Experience in tabloid discipline would also be useful for the i sister paper, which has significantly higher circulation.

Matt Chorley
MailOnline Political Editor

A former Sindy man, bosses won’t have forgotten classic Chorley scoops during his stint at the paper such as Welcome to Britain’s sex toy capital. Could be a goer if he is overlooked for the Daily Mail pol ed job.

Joe Murphy
Evening Standard Political Editor

Already on a Lebedev paper, Murphy has one last big job in him and a move to the Indy would make sense. Known for such top scoops at the 2013 Budget.

Simon Carr
Guido Fawkes Sketchwriter

Sketch master Carr was at the Indy before moving to this parish. There would need to be a serious negotiation about allowing him to file from his Portugal holiday home. Would also mean writing for a smaller readership.

So, who will it be?

Indy Pol Ed Andy Grice Quits

Sean O’Grady, managing editor of the Independent, emails staff:

“After 17 glorious scoop-filled years, our friend and colleague Andy Grice is to step down as Political Editor of The Independent later in the summer. We all know what an amazing job he has done and the debt we owe to him. Happily, Andy will continue to contribute to our titles. Applications are therefore invited to fill some exceptionally big shoes.”

Newspaper Readers Party Preferences

newspaper-party-affiliation

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. 

Indy Backs Second Tory-LibDem Coalition

Well this is a turn up for the books. The Independent has endorsed a second Tory-LibDem coalition:

“A hung parliament is certain this week. For all his talk of no deals with the SNP, Miliband is bound to rely on that party to get his legislative programme through. This would be a disaster for the country, unleashing justified fury in England at the decisive influence of MPs who – unlike this title – do not wish the Union to exist. If that were to be the case while Labour were the second biggest party either in terms of vote share, or seats – or both – how could Labour govern with authority? They could not. Any partnership between Labour and the SNP will harm Britain’s fragile democracy. For all its faults, another Lib-Con Coalition would both prolong recovery and give our kingdom a better chance of continued existence.

This title casts no vote. But we prize strong, effective government, consider nationalism guilty until proven innocent, and say that if the present Coalition is to get another chance, we hope it is much less conservative, and much more liberal.”

It’s damning on Miliband:

“in key areas his policy prescriptions suggest a party unready for government. Tampering with tuition fees would harm universities while benefiting wealthy rather than poor students. Taxing property more is smart, but rent controls won’t work and a mansion tax is a centralising, blunt tool: much better to reform council tax instead. And though he is right not to flirt with leaving the EU, far too many businesses of all sizes fear Labour”

What could non-dom Indy owner Evgeny Lebedev have against Labour…

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…

Chris Blackhurst’s Northern Fellow Schtick

“Whenever I meet a fellow Northerner these days, the conversation frequently turns to Manchester and devolution”, writes the Indy’s demoted Chris Blackhurst. “All this devolved power is just governing on the hoof – we Northerners won’t be taken in by it”:

“We’re agreed that we’ve never known a sustained, serious call for self-rule. There’s been plenty of grumbling (people from the North of England love to have a good moan) about Westminster and the power it holds over distant lives. But self-determination? Never. Contrary to what Southerners might think, the North is not a separate country.”

So in which industrial city does this “fellow northerner” live?

In which pit village does our hero dwell?

The bleak, grim and desolate Kingston-Upon-Thames, where Blackhurst has lived since 1986.

Evgeny Lebedev Photographed Sans Beard

Via @archiebland

Guido’s World Exclusive Interview With Johann Hari

“Look,” said Johann, his dark eyes welling up with emotion. “I can talk to you about why what happened in my life happened. But I just think that’s a way of trying to invite sympathy, and that would be weaselly.

Thinking this was the moment, Guido leaned in closer to the disgraced former Indy columnist, waiting for that magic word to come from Hari’s lips:

“If you tell a detailed personal story about yourself, you’re inherently asking people to sympathise with you, and actually I don’t think people should be sympathetic to me. I’m ashamed of what I did. I did some things that were really nasty and cruel.”

“I’m very reluctant to go into a personal narrative and give the why,’ the disgraced columnist sighed. “Most people restrain their self-aggrandising and cruel impulses, and I failed to. I failed badly. I think when you do that, when you harm people, you should shut up, go away and reflect on what happened.”

Or say sorry, thought the interviewer…

“Going on about myself would just be arrogant and actually repeating being nasty, and that’s what I’m trying not to be. When you fuck up, you should privately reckon with the harm you have caused and you should pay a big price.”

And apologise perhaps, but still no…

Of course Johann Hari didn’t say any of this to Guido, but to Decca Aitkin of the Guardian.

See attribution isn’t so hard after all.

Apparently Hari is back promoting his new novel about drug addiction.

So much for shutting up and going away to reflect on what happened…

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:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

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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?[…]

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Dear Amol Rajan,

The Cellar
House of Commons
London
SW1 0AA

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.[…]

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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.

[…]

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Steve Richards Takes Lobbyists’ Money

steve-richards-lobbyist

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 seemed unsure of his role, he said he would be providing political advice to the firm.[…]

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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 of dog shampoo and a speed camera (hand-held).”

Sounds like one hell of a kinky night…

 […]

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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 an unfortunate comment at the end of this sport piece:

Harsh words.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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