Thursday, December 4, 2014

Autumn Statement Panned on Inside Pages

Look only at the front pages and you would think Osborne’s Autumn Statement had been met with almost universal approval. Delve inside and the analysis is very different. The Telegraph’s business team in particular are scathing, with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard calling for “a change of course”:

“For sheer brass, it is hard to beat the mellifluous assertions of the Chancellor. “We do not shy away from the problems that remain unresolved in the British economy,” he began. From there George Osborne escalated to an outlandish claim. “Out of the red and into the black for the first time in a generation, a country that inspires confidence around the world because it seeks to live within its means.” This comes a day after Société Générale said the UK “cannot compete”, is on an “unsustainable” course and has carried out “zero structural reform” – a view held to varying degrees by a great number of economists around the world. Britain has a current account deficit of 5.2pc of GDP, in spite of the post-Lehman devaluation. It is the worst of any major country, and just about the worst in our peacetime history. The Office for Budget Responsibility has now raised its estimate of the likely deficit by 1.5pc of GDP annually to 2018. It is becoming entrenched. This is prima facie evidence that we are not in fact living within our means.”

Allister Heath meanwhile condemns the new wealth tax on homes:

“this improvement [to stamp duty] has been ruined by the fact that George Osborne has conceded the philosophical ground to the property and wealth-hating Left and turned stamp duty into a horrendously graduated tax. People with more expensive homes will pay cripplingly large amounts to the Exchequer for the privilege of buying a home, a move which is bad on all levels. The top marginal tax rate will hit 12pc; time and again, it seems, the Government adopts Labour or Scottish National Party policies. For decades, property transactions were rightly barely taxed; now they are a milch cow.”

And Jeremy Warner isn’t exactly impressed:

“Listening to the Chancellor’s statement, the overriding sense was of déjà vu. Rewind five years, and almost exactly the same things were being said. There was George Osborne announcing plans to close the Budget deficit within the five year lifespan of a single parliament. There was his then Labour opponent, Alistair Darling, saying it couldn’t be done, would send unemployment rocketing, would destroy the fabric of society, and to boot would undermine growth and therefore prove self-defeating. And here we are again today, listening to much the same script, only with the positions reversed; Mr Osborne has had nearly five years as Chancellor, and Labour is in opposition. It scarcely needs saying that in terms of what the Government said it would do back then, it has failed.”

The Sun’s Pol Ed has a pop:

“It’s also quite a left wing move… what effect will all this have on economy with a new housing and mortgage debt bubble now possible, you may well ask? Well that’s a problem for after the election, of course.”

As does their City editor:

“For the moment George is still borrowing tens of billions a year to make ends meet. The Government can borrow more easily than families because it sets its own interest rates. But this is still a colossal bet that we will all, somehow, get much richer soon, and be able to pay the debt back. The Chancellor’s failure to cut the deficit as much as he hoped is a black mark against him. Cute ideas about a “Google tax” or a cut to stamp duty on cheaper houses can’t disguise that.”

Osborne will take the splashes, but will hope no one reads too closely inside…

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First Times Profit for 13 Years

2009: -£70 million

2013: -£6 million

2014: £1.7 million

First time they have been in the black since 2001. News UK say their “paid for” strategy is “working well and is helping to secure a sustainable future”…

Permanent Revolution at the Telegraph Continues

Via Gorkana, the permanent revolution at the Telegraph continues:

Malcolm Coles has been appointed to the position of Director, Digital Media, replacing Ben Clissitt who leaves TMG at the end of the year. Malcolm joins from the Mirror Online where he is Digital Director. He will be responsible for all of TMG’s Digital Media. Malcolm will start in early 2015.

In addition, the following appointments have been made:

Robert Winnett, Deputy Editor and Deputy Director of Content, will be responsible for News content both online and in paper. Rob will oversee The Telegraph’s homepage, UK News, World, Politics, Breaking News, Print Production as well as Sport, Comment, Obits, Court & Social & Letters.

Allister Heath, Deputy Editor and Deputy Director of Content, will oversee all Business content including personal finance. In addition he will be responsible for the Tech and Property sections both online and in paper.

Ian MacGregor is appointed, Director, Leisure in addition to Weekend Editor. Ian will oversee the following sections: Travel, Arts & Entertainment and Cars as well as the specialist channels of food & drink, gardening, interiors, health & wellbeing and puzzles.

Kate Day is appointed Director, Future Media. Kate will help to shape strategy for digital media for TMG, identifying trends, opportunities and requirements. As part of this expanded role, she will liaise with a range of technology and media companies. Kate also assumes responsibility for devising and implementing all editorial staff digital training.

Additionally, there will be an announcement of Director of Lifestyle, overseeing magazines, features, fashion, luxury and beauty in due course.

Poor Ian Macgregor, once editor of the Sunday Telegraph, has been reduced to commissioning the sudoku. It’s almost as if they’re trying to force him out.

No Sun, No Comment

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Well done to the FT’s Chris Giles, George Parker and Vincent Boland for the front page confirmation today of Guido’s story from back in October about the Tory offer to the Northern Irish unionists on corporation tax. As Guido’s readers in The Sun and here already know, the Tories have promised a deal on business taxes to allow Northern Ireland to compete with the Republic’s lower taxes. Guido’s unionist source told him it was likely the corporation tax rate would be cut from 20% to “12% or 13%” to compete with the lower tax rates offered by Dublin. “Anything but 12.5%, we’re not harmonising with the Republic. No!”

Monday, December 1, 2014

Russell Brand Flips Out at Media, Drags Female Human Shield

Multi-millionaire conspiracy theorist and Marxist revolutionary Russell Brand did not take well to some hostile questioning from the media. He was so uncomfortable about scrutiny from Channel 4 about his own personal wealth that he physically grabs the nearest woman drags her in-front of the camera instead of him. Telling…

Telegraph Lose Head of Planning After Just a Month

Congratulations to whoever had ‘Monday lunchtime’ in  the sweepstake for when the next person to leave the Telegraph would quit:

Just a month ago “J-Lo” was promoted:

“Senior video planner Jon Laurence has been appointed to the new role of head of planning, to help deliver digital content across all of editorial.”

And now he’s off. Who is going to upload the shaky footage from Chris Hope’s iPad now?

Seiken Shutting Telegraph Blogs

The crumbling of The Telegraph continues. Dan Hannan reports this morning that The Telegraph is now incorporating its blogs into the online comment section in much the same way that Daily Mail online did before effectively shutting Right Minds.  Hannan writes:

This is it. The last post. After nearly eight years, Telegraph blogs is coming to an end. It comes as quite a shock to realise that mine is the only column to have been present from the beginning to the end.

How things have changed in those eight years. Back in 2007, blogs were new and unproved. Established columnists disdained them, and assured their readers that they would never take off. Some excitable bloggers spoke of displacing the old media.

Neither thing happened. Instead, blogs became part of the media scene, often attached to an established newspaper title. Simply by existing, they changed the terms of trade. No longer could the old media asphyxiate a story by choosing not to report it.

The difference between an online title and that newspaper title’s blogs has become indifferent to the readers. Though readers often enjoy writing that is fresher and not part of the metropolitan establishment’s groupthink, decided by consensus in editorial meetings –  something that worries Guido as we expand our stable of writers (yes we’re hiring). Hannan is off to Iain Martin’s CapX

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ben Brogan to Spin for Lloyds

ben-brogan-lloyds

Ben Brogan is riding over to the dark side on a black horse. The Daily Telegraph’s former political and deputy editor is crossing over to the more lucrative world of banking as Public Affairs Director for Lloyds Banking Group. Finally dashing the hopes of those of us hoping for him to launch a British version of Politico…

Read Guido’s Column in the Sun on Sunday Online

Penny Mordaunt’s cock-tale speech in parliament is the Mail on Sunday splash, and also makes Guido’s column in the Sun on Sunday. It was too poultry for our front page…

Also in today’s column, don’t miss out on:

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  • Which New Labour smoothie ex-Cabinet Minister is wandering Westminster in moth-eaten rags?

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  • Lord Ruffley not likely
  • Villainous “Lord Blofeld” at the 1922
  • Theresa May’s paranoia
  • Ken’s Boris delusion
  • Snoozing Diane Abbott

Click here to read Guido’s column for free with a free 30-day trial…


Media Reader

Bad News About News | Bob Keiser
When to Quit Your Journalism Job | Press Think
Guardian Looks Outside North London For New Editor | Media Guido
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Clodagh’s Law | Press Gazette
Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
All Star Line Up for New BBC Theme Park | David Keighley
City AM’s Kate McCann Joins The Sun | MediaGuido
What Has 57 Heads, 12 Controllers and 321 Editors? | Press Gazette
Where are Brand’s Ideas? | Nigel Farage


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Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….

“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”


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