Friday, January 9, 2015

Electoral Commission Trying to Regulate Blogs:
Notifies Guido, ConservativeHome, LabourList & LibDemVoice

ec-pef

The Electoral Commission has written to Guido, ConservativeHome, LabourList and LibDemVoice to provide them with “guidance” to bring them into line with the Putinesque provisions of the new Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

Mark Ferguson at LabourList says

“It seems particularly bizarre (and that’s being generous) that there’s one law for “newspapers and periodicals” and another for “websites”. Perhaps the government are finding this new-fangled internet thing very confusing. We’re still working through what the most appropriate response is to this dreadful law – more worthy of a banana-Republic than a democracy – that clamps down on campaigning and free speech at a time when it’s needed most, election time. Whatever response we decide on though, we will not be submitting ourselves to any form of regulation that stops us from writing, reporting and commenting on the election campaign as we see fit.”

ConservativeHome’s editor Paul Goodman tells Guido whilst sorrowfully shaking his head, that he feels the site has no alternative, given the terms of the Lobbying Act, but to “run some pieces by senior Labour MPs during the election campaign”.

After ringing round it seems that other political blogs like the Spectator’s CoffeeHouse and PoliticalBetting.com have not being offered “guidance” by the Electoral Commission. Guido has written back to the Electoral Commission:

Dear Electoral Commission,

Thanks, but we’re not registering with you and
we’re not going to pay any attention to your rules.

Yours in freedom,

Paul Staines
Editor Guido Fawkes’ Blog

Guido has no intention of registering with the Electoral Commission or reporting a penny of spending or anything else to them. This authoritarian law is a nonsense. If you read the guidance it should apply to newspapers. We haven’t just rejected statutory control of the printed press by one regulator for political control of digital media by another…

See: Electoral Commission letter in full [PDF]

LibDemVoice Today Compares Charlie Hebdo to KKK

The first line of this blog published by LibDemVoice today tells you all you need to know: “Let me start by saying that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was a despicable attack on freedom of expression. However…” Nope.

It’s loony author, George Potter, continues: “Charlie Hebdo was, and is, a racist, xenophobic and bigoted  publication. Sometimes it attacked powerful targets like the Catholic Church but it was largely white men attacking powerless, marginalised and oppressed groups in France, especially Muslims who face horrific levels of discrimination. That’s not “satire”, it’s bullying.” It mocked Jews, Muslims, Christians, white people, black people and politicians.

He goes on to compare Charlie Hebdo to the KKK and EDL: “Imagine if a KKK organisation in the US had been bombed. Would people really be saying, without even thinking about who they’re endorsing, “I am the EDL””.

Except Charlie Hebdo were not the KKK or the EDL, were they George? They were just a satirical magazine.

BBC Mo-ment: Depicts Mohammed in Physical Form

This image is a screengrab from last night’s News at Ten. The BBC web page explaining their editorial guidelines on the issue has mysteriously disappeared today.  A very big Mo-ment for free speech…

It seems Dimbleby was still reading from the now ancient text on Question Time after the image went out last night:

“The prophet Mohammed must not be represented in any shape or form.”

Guido has contacted the BBC press office to see if they have had any complaints or threats…

UPDATE: BBC confirms the change in policy:

“This guidance is old, out of date and does not reflect the BBC’s long-standing position that programme makers have freedom to exercise their editorial judgement with the Editorial Policy team available to provide advice around sensitive issues on a case by case basis. The guidance is currently being revised.”

They had no complaints.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Twitter Bitch Fight: Broadcaster Bun Fight!

Guido understands the ladies of the Lobby are not happy with Nick Robinson. Tom Bradby got an on camera line out of David Cameron about not doing the TV debates unless the Greens were included.

Nick does have some form for what would be called in print “byline banditry”.

Here’s a flavour of the outrage….

Ladies, ladies…

James Kirkup Telegraph Reverse Ferret

A ray of sunshine for the Telegraph at last. James Kirkup, who decided in November to leave the paper this year, has changed his mind. MediaGuido understands his planned departure in the spring has been reversed and he has now agreed to stay to write comment and analysis online.

Did they make him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

Buzzfeed Writer “Regrets” Charlie Hebdo Victim-Blaming

siraj-datoo

Siraj Datoo has responded to our story in a statement, admitting he was wrong to write “Don’t let Charlie Hebdo be seen as a victim” in a 2011 Muslim News article:

“I wrote a piece more than 3 years ago as a 21 year old undergraduate student. The headline is false and overblown, and I regret it: the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were victims then and were, horrifically, victims yesterday. I strongly believe in freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to offend.

The article was clumsily trying to say what many journalists have since reported, that the magazine was a provocative one, with satire that aimed to provoke, but that has no bearing on yesterday’s horrific, indefensible attacks.”

No apology…

Anti-Press Freedom Lobby Express Sham Solidarity

irony – ˈʌɪrəni/ – noun

1. the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

2.  a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.

This is not a spoof.

Round of Sackings Imminent at Standard

From: Editor
Sent: 08 January 2015 15:00
To: ES ALL (Editorial)
Subject: A message from the Editor, Sarah Sands

Dear all,

Unfortunately, we are having to make some editorial redundancies in order to reach savings targets. Those at risk are in the process of being informed. We respect confidentiality but I would ask everyone to be sensitive to the situation of valued colleagues who have done great service to the newspaper and who may be leaving us. Meanwhile, thank you to everyone for your professionalism and dedication to producing the best newspaper, magazine and website that we possibly can.

Sarah

What’s happy new year in Russian?

Buzzfeed Reporter: “Don’t Let Charlie Hebdo Be Seen as Victim”
Accused Dead Journalists of Whinging After Firebombing

siraj-datoo

Here are 6 reasons why Buzzfeed’s UK political reporter Siraj Datoo might have thought twice before sending the above “#JeSuisCharlie” tweet today. Writing in Muslim News when Charlie Hebdo was previously firebombed in response to its publication of a cartoon of Muhammed, Datoo wrote under the headline “Don’t let Charlie Hebdo be seen as a victim”:

  1. “Now Charlie Hebdo has started to act the martyr”
  2. “The issue is simply an attempt to mock perceived Islamic values, rather than to make a serious point”
  3. “this issue was direct goading and I argue that the primary aim was to create controversy”
  4. “this special issue lacked hilarity and instead has continued the right-wing Islamophobic trend that has been sweeping the country”
  5. “Perhaps the political leaders should now be asking whether they have indeed gone too far with their attack on Islam and should instead be concentrating on real matters that affect the nation”
  6. “They re-published the same issue in the name of freedom of expression and started to whinge”

Hardly in keeping with Buzzfeed’s professed editorial values:

We tried to get hold of Siraj Datoo, he was not available for comment…

NB. For context, here is the original article.

UPDATE: Nigel Farage weighs in:

EXCLUSIVE: Ofcom Indicate that Greens Will Not Be in Debates

After consulting with their rivals, Ofcom have ruled that the Green Party do not qualify for ‘Major Party Status’ at the election. UKIP do qualify. 

Guido understands this is based on a lack of sufficient support in previous elections and polling.

This all but means they’re out of the Leaders’ Debates – it’s up to the broadcasters, but Ofcom’s ruling will be seen as a marker.

UPDATE: Here is the official word:

Ofcom has today published a consultation on the political parties it lists as ‘major parties’ ahead of the General Election in May 2015. The list of major parties is important for Ofcom’s regulation of election coverage, in particular requiring the relevant broadcasters to allocate at least two Party Election Broadcasts to each major party ahead of an election.

These broadcasters are ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Classic FM, Talksport and Absolute Radio. Broadcasters can also choose to allocate additional Party Election Broadcasts. Party Election Broadcasts on the BBC are regulated by the BBC Trust and currently the subject of a consultation. Ofcom keeps its list of major parties under review to ensure it reflects political developments in the UK.

 Ofcom’s initial view is that UKIP may qualify for major party status in England and Wales for the General Election and English local elections on 7 May 2015.

 Ofcom’s initial view is neither the Green Party (including the Scottish Green Party) nor the TUV have secured sufficient support in previous elections and current opinion polls to be added to Ofcom’s major party list for the purposes of the May 2015 elections.

Evidence for proposed change to major parties list

In deciding which parties are on the list, Ofcom assesses all relevant evidence of support including:

  • previous electoral performance, including an analysis of share of vote alongside seats won; and
  • current opinion polling data.

In relation to the Green Party (including the Scottish Green Party), the TUV and UKIP the evidence indicates that:

The Green Party (including the Scottish Green Party)

The party has not demonstrated significant past electoral support in General Elections. The Green Party has performed better in some other forms of election, such as the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, obtaining 8.0% and 8.1% of the vote in England and Scotland.

In terms of evidence of current support, the party’s opinion poll rating in Great Britain-wide polls has increased in recent months to 5.9% in December 2014 (4.0% on average during 2014).

Should be said that Ofcom’s ruling is guidance, not regulatory.


Media Reader

Page 3 and the Art of the Self-Pity Statement | Guardian
Here is What a 7 Way Debate Sounds Like | BBC
Poll: Sun Readers Want Page 3 to Stay | Business Insider
The Sun: An Apology | Press Gazette
More Women Prosecuted For Telly Tax | Mail
Je Suis Page 3 | Toby Young
Page 3 Website Enjoys Huge Surge in Traffic | Media Guardian
No One Was Ever Forced to Read Page 3 | Will Walter
Why is Roy Greenslade Doing Labour’s Dirty Work? | Peter Oborne
Today’s Actual Sun Page 3 | Media Guido
Has the Sun Scrapped Page 3? | Guardian


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,716 other followers