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?
A US journalist has been forced to resign from the New Yorker magazine after being caught making up quotes from singer Bob Dylan. Jonah Lehrer first tried to contest the allegations but yesterday conceded that he had falsified quotes from the sixties legend: “I said that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. I then continued to lie and say things I should not have said.” Seems Johann Hari took his old tricks with him when he fled across the pond…
Despite Chris Blackhurst admitting that the paper’s reputation had suffered great damage at the hands of Johann Hari, the Indy editor also confirmed to Leveson, taking a sip of water and looking directly into the camera, that the disgraced fraudster will be “returning as a columnist” in the next four or five weeks. He’s banned from conducting interviews though…
Apparently the fact Hari produced a doctor’s note saying he was mental was enough to satisfy the internal investigation, and subsequently the fearless inquiry into press ethics. No mention of late night racist, incest fantasy stories though..
We are now hearing, as yet unconfirmed, that Johann Hari has returned his Orwell Prize.
In an envelope.
In the post. UPDATE: Delivered by courier.
With no note.
And no cheque…
The Orwell Prize will not confirm…
Twenty minutes ago we put this story to Gavin Freeguard of the Media Standards Trust. Asked if Hari had returned the prize he said no.
Hari has admitted the whole thing. The fakery, being “David Rose”, the works. He is going to retrain, apologise and come back in 2012.
Absolute cowardice from the Indy.
UPDATE II: Hari is apparently going to Columbia to study journalism. Pah.
UPDATE III: The Indy says: “The report on his conduct is a private one and will not be published”.
Guido’s man-in-the-know tells him that Johann Hari has confessed all to Andreas Whittam Smith, who is charged by the Independent with investigating the plagiarism charges. He has apparently owned up to being “David Rose”. Which means he has implicitly confessed to harassing the likes of Christina Odone, Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen, altering their Wikipedia pages to reflect negatively on them. In Odone’s case he went so far as to question her sanity and accuse her of all manner of falsehoods. He has, Guido is told, blamed his lying, cheating and smearing behaviour on “depression”.
One of Guido’s co-conspirators at the Indy sent this in. They are clearly worried about Johann Hari and have put this thoughtful missing poster at strategic points around the Indy’s newsroom floor at Northcliffe House.
The Council of the Orwell Prize met yesterday to consider and review Johann Hari’s cut ‘n pasting as well as evidence of plagiarism and passing off helpfully submitted by the public and readers of this blog. We await their judgement.
Grayling: Bercow Faces Questions | Sun
Paul Flynn Could Learn a Lot From a Trip to Israel | Breitbart
50 Shades of Grayling | Speccie
Bercow’s £12,000 of VIP Sporting Freebies | Sun
Aldous Huxley v George Orwell | FatPita
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth
Why Do Politicians Keep Getting Caught on Tape? | BBC
Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:
“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”