As this is to be my last regular column for The Times, I am in a different position today from other commentators. I don’t have to worry about whether the new regime at No 10 will return my calls, at least until the autumn. I don’t have to curry favour with anyone or worry about giving offence. Instead I can give you an unvarnished prediction of what the next few years of a Gordon Brown premiership will be like.
She has, it is rumoured, taken up the offer of a redundancy payout in the latest round of News International job cuts. Last time Guido indulged in a bit of Times-bashing they got very upset. Peter Riddell even called up an associate to tell him to stop associating with Guido, there was talk of them getting Guido back with an “exposé”. But here you have it from someone who knows; Peter Riddell, Phil Webster et al suck up to Brown and Balls out of fear. It must be true, it is printed in The Times…
Phone calls and emails go unanswered. Guido strongly recommends that he pays up this week.
Incidentally, Guido’s champagne-swilling co-conspirator spied Dominic Lawson deep in conversation with John Scarlett for much of the evening.
UPDATE : Just noticed that d’Ancona outed himself as an attendee on his blog this morning. He mentions the “oblique reference in His Lordship’s own speech to the great cloud of loans for honours and the files now with the CPS.”
Having read the stories in the Sunday papers, it does seem that there was a speech in Glasgow on Saturday where Gordon tried to have it both ways – more bugging and surveillance with more accountability. Clearly a briefing of the Sunday Lobby by somone on Gordon’s spin team followed.
Hennessy and Kirby imply there was no condition of the briefing that they should keep it from being put to David Davis, Nick Clegg or even John Reid. Nevertheless Iain is right, it does seem odd not to ask “what do you say to this?” when according to the Sunday Times “a source close to Brown” is spinning that he plans “to build a nonpartisan consensus on the best balance between obtaining convictions of people plotting terrorist acts and preserving our sources of intelligence for the future.” One would have thought a good journalist would have asked Clegg or Davis did they see much chance of a nonpartisan consensus on 90-days-without-trial? Just a thought…
Clarke in ‘kamikaze’ challenge
By GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON
May 03, 2007CHARLES Clarke was last night poised to mount a “kamikaze” challenge against Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership. The former Home Secretary has successfully rounded up the 45 Labour MPs he needs to back him in the contest.
Clarke will not challenge Brown
By Sun Reporter
May 05, 2007
…and another classic bit of old media punditry from Alex Bell:
Guardian Media Section,
Monday April 30This week voters north of the border will decide who to elect to the Scottish parliament, but despite the SNP’s popularity in the polls, not a single newspaper will back it, reports Alex Bell
UPDATE :Iain Dale has shredded a so-bad-it-is-bonkers article by Melissa Kite-Flier on the shape of the Tory re-shuffle. Honestly some of these dead-tree-press types seem to write any old crap.
The job opening comes at a crucial time, Murdoch having basically decided to back Brown and try to crack the whip on Cameron to bring him into line. If our tele-democracy is about bread and circuses, Guido is in no doubt who is the ringmaster. So who will be the clown who gets the job?
It will be interesting to see if it goes to a journalist with known sympathies. If Tom Baldwin gets it, you can be sure the Times will be slanting reportage even more favourably to Gordon. It is one thing for the comment columnists to be partisan, if they weren’t, it’d be boring. Some days even the Times’ political reporting reads like it was written by Ed Balls.
Strangely they turned down Guido’s generous counter-offer to direct and produce a 5 minute look at why the Lobby/BBC lets us down, and how bloggers are performing a necessary service to democracy.
Guido suspects that they would much rather record and edit the footage to fit their agenda. Guido would rather “frame” them.
Mandela was Christ-Like | Peter Oborne
Maggie Personally Donated £20,000 to Mandela Foundation | Bono
Why Environmentalists Should Favour Fracking | CPS
Balls Gag Falls Flat | Asa Bennett
Mandela the Thatcherite | John Pilger
Balls’ Heckling Hypocrisy | Isabel Hardman
Gordon Dinner Raises Just $350 | Trending Central
Labour Need Darling to Replace Balls | Peter Oborne
Osborne Will Have to Push Harder Than This | Fraser Nelson
No, Cameron Did Not Make Hang Mandela Posters | Buzzfeed
Guido’s Shadow Chancellor Runners and Riders | Paddy Power
Gordon Brown pretends:
“I learnt courage from Nelson Mandela.”