Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Tip-Off For the Guardian Investigations Team

Today’s Guardian splashes on millions of leaked emails revealing the “secrets of the super-rich” using offshore tax havens to hide vast sums of money from the Exchequer. One company was missing from the list: GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, registered and still active on the Cayman Islands. The last time Guido asked the company’s owners, Guardian Media Group, for an explanation he was told their spokesperson was, er, abroad. When Guido asked Liz Forgan of the Scott Trust what was going on, she tried to blame it on Apax, GMG’s investment partner. Even Alan Rusbridger promised to look in to it, making a note of the company name on his phone.

Always one to help their journalists get to the bottom of the mystery, Guido suggests the Guardian’s investigations team take a look at the following:

  • If GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited holds no assets, why have its owners continued to pay registration fees since 2007 so it can remain an active company?
  • If it does hold assets what is the total present value of GMG and associated companies’ assets held via the Cayman Islands or other offshore tax havens?
  • Does GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited have “sham” nominee directors, if so, who are they?

If they could answer these questions, now that would be a great story…

Further reading on the Guardian’s tax hypocrisy:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Telegraph Digital First Insults

Scottish Sun Deny They Will Say No to Freedom

Much has been made of the Scottish Sun’s apparent decision to say no to freedom for Scotland over recent days. The Indy reported that “Rupert Murdoch’s interest in winning independence for Scotland has ended” as the paper “will not be backing independence”. It seems they’ve jumped the gun. Today the Scottish Sun have released a statement insisting it is “far too early” to make a decision on whether to back the yes or the no camp. One to keep an eye on…

Tories Formally Complain to Lord Hall Over IDS Interview

First day in the job and already the Tories are complaining to Lord Hall. Media Guido has a letter sent by Tory MP Dominic Raab complaining about the “market trader” David Bennett who was used by the Today Programme to put that question to IDS. Like many, Raab is confused as to where the Beeb found Bennett and what checks were done. He asks:

  1. How was Mr Bennett selected by the BBC for this interview?
  2. What background checks were made by the BBC to ensure the veracity of Mr Bennett’s claims?
  3. Mr Bennett claims that he ‘put a comment on [the BBC website] saying David Cameron can stick his Big Society where the sun doesn’t shine’. Why did the BBC not take this as an indication that his claims merited deeper examination?
  4. Why did the BBC not act to ensure that Mr Bennett was not left vulnerable to media criticism of his personal circumstances?
  5. Was the BBC contacted at any point by the Labour Party or any third party campaign groups before the interview was broadcast?
  6. Will the BBC be investigating this incident, to ensure that in future all interviews broadcast meet the highest standards of impartiality and accuracy?

The question to IDS was fair enough, but given Bennett claimed that he was working 70 hours a week for less that three thousand pounds per year, you can see where Raab is coming from. A bit too late though…

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Edwina Curries Favour

Rule number one when wading into a debate on welfare, don’t do this:

Doh…

Ingrams to Hislop: Time to Move On

An interesting snippet from the Press Gazette interview with Richard Ingrams, who reflects on Private Eye:

“It’s very, very different from what it used to be, I think the satirical part of it is different – it’s become a lot of little pieces as opposed to a few quite long pieces. It’s much more bang, bang, bang. There’s a lot more factual stuff than there used to be, particularly at the front of the magazine. I find I could do with less of it. I think Ian Hislop’s attitude is that the punters have to be given their money’s worth but you do feel slightly that every page is crammed with as much copy or jokes as you could get in.”

Ingrams, who is 75, ended his official involvement with Private Eye at the beginning of 2012 when he gave up as chairman, though he points out that this was always an “honorary” title after he stood down as editor in 1986. Although Ingrams appointed Hislop to replace him, he also suggests that perhaps it is time for his successor to start thinking about stepping down – “I’m a great believer in resigning”.

Guido is hearing more and more moaning about l’enfant terrible turned BBC six figure game keeper. A subject he shall return to…

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Read Guido’s Column in The Sun Today

sun-spread-31-3-13Today’s Sun is packed with politics: read Louise Mensch on the Labour MPs who condemned her for “abandoning her constituents” but are now praising David Miliband, and Danny Alexander on “Labour’s better-off bedroom blockers”. In Guido’s column:

  • David Miliband’s cursed followers
  • Balls keeping his distance from toxic “Mr McBride”
  • McPoison’s row with a Labour candidate
  • Stella Creasy coy over her ambitions
  • Boozy Tory MPs partying with young Conservatives
  • Burnham’s fearful cagefight
  • The Treasury has a secret-spy in the Foreign Office

All for only 50p. Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goodbye Glen Oglaza

Goodbyes are flooding in to one of the nicest blokes in politics, seasoned telly hack Glen Oglaza, who is leaving SkyNews today.

Glen says he is “open to interesting well-paid offers”, and that “the time is right” to move on.

Another favourite face from Sky gone.

Gunboat for Guido

Just a week after Guido wrote in the Sun that they’d need to send a warship to regulate this blog, his local paper reports that an US aircraft carrier is on course for Wexford. Apparently talks are taking place for the vessel to be stationed of the Irish coast this summer for the fiftieth anniversary of JFK’s visit. They’ll never take us alive…

BBC Apologises to Tories for Using Term “Bedroom Tax” on Air

Local Tories have managed to get an apology out of the BBC for their use of the term “Bedroom Tax” on BBC Look North.  Economic and Social Affairs Correspondent reporter Jayne Barrett told Pendle Conservatives that she was “told off” by her boss and emailed to asking them to “please accept my apology”. Given the widespread use of the term all over the airwaves, perhaps someone more senior might like to apologise for misleading viewers…


Media Reader

The Piers Morgan Connection to Hacking | Indy
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
10 Years of Guido | Iain Dale
Tory MP Tells Leftie Jon Snow to Retire | Guardian
Guido Whips Politicians Into Shape | Guardian
Mrs Danczuk Beats Mensch to Win Guido | Telegaph
PM Congratulates Blogger Who Destroyed Minister | Mail
Revealed: Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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