Laurie Penny Leaves Indy

An intriguing media move today as Laurie Penny leaves her post at the Indy:

Could it possibly be that Indy bosses wielded the axe? Or maybe £23,000 was just not enough…

Ed Not So Intern Aware

The papers are all going with Millionaire Miliband this morning, as the fine details of Tuesday’s speech begin to unravel. It’s also worth noting how Ed pledged to “crack down” on unpaid internships in Manchester. Just who are these evil predators who don’t pay their exploited young staff?

Guido is sure an upstanding paragon of virtue such as the New Statesman would never offer unpaid positions, and with all that union gold Political Scrapbook can surely afford to fork out for more than the odd lunch. It would be pretty bad if, say, the Guardian offered ethnic minority kids work without pay, and Intern Aware-backing Left Foot Forward would have to pay their own interns, right? And what about two-faced Chuka? Guido is still waiting to hear whether Labour HQ pay their interns. Ed needs to look a bit closer to home…

Which Magazines the Beeboids Buy

Following the news last month that the BBC buys more copies of the Guardian than any other newspaper, Guido thought he would have some more FOI fun. It turns out the BBC’s love for lefty rags doesn’t extend to the New Statesman – the Beeb bought more copies of the Speccie than the Staggers between January and July this year. An ideological shift to the right? More likely they’ve just realised there’s nothing worth reading in the Staggers any more…

Meanwhile Ian Hislop clearly hasn’t sorted out his BBC colleagues with any free copies of Private Eye, with the Beeb having to fork out for 155 in the last seven months. They aren’t buying James MacIntyre’s predictions that never come true though – Prospect fares pretty badly at a sobering seven a month. And as for Total Politics? Oh dear…

Shambles at Staggers Towers

The New Statesman has been left with egg on its face this morning.

Read all about it over on MediaGuido

Staggers Shambles as NHS Remains State Run

The New Statesman site descended into a shambles this morning after they ran a story on an apparent hushed-up plan to privatise the NHS that turned out to be complete and utter rubbish. It sounded too good to be true…

George Eaton reported that Andrew Lansley was sneakily set to announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS trusts would be abolished:

“When the government unveils a policy change on a Friday it’s a sure sign that it doesn’t want you to notice. Today, Andrew Lansley will announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS hospitals, which his bill introduced, will be abolished. In other words, the Health Secretary has just opened the door to the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, with hospitals able to raise 100% of their income from private healthcare.”

The left exploded in uproar, even Labour MPs got involved:

https://twitter.com/marycreagh_mp/status/223707457296408576

Unfortunately for the Staggers, the whole story turned out to be entirely untrue. They updated their post with a statement from the Department of Health, leaving Eaton and co with egg on their faces: “The Department of Health has been in touch to say that the cap is not being removed, rather that the planned 49% limit will be introduced from 1 October 2012″. Guido is disappointed that it was just rumour of an NHS privatisation, but a little Staggers schadenfreude provides some consolation…

UPDATE: The New Statesman are now trying to blame the cock-up on some sloppy churnalism from the FT, but the LibDems are in no doubt as to where the blame lies:

IPPR, the Staggers and the €800,000 Bung

Guido was amused to read Will Straw’s Staggers piece today asking: “Europe, what have you done for me lately?“.

His gushing tribute to the EU’s legislation on mobile charges was as sickly as it was suspicious – after all, his organisation IPPR is hardly renowned for its tech prowess.

Perhaps the real answer to Straw’s question lies in the fact that Brussels has bunged his wonk-shop €800,000

Hodges Returns to the Staggers

Guido understands that Dan Hodges is returning to the New Statesman. The move comes weeks after his old foe Mehdi Hasan was “promoted” to the Huffington Post. Guido is told he’ll be an occasional columnist. Ed will love that…

UPDATE: Guido has just spoken to Hodges, who confirms he will continue to write for the Telegraph while contributing fortnightly to the New Statesman magazine.

New Statesman Declining into Irrelevance

A few years ago the New Statesman withdrew from having circulation for the print edition independently audited by the industry’s Audit Bureau of Circulation. This caused a lot of raised eyebrows in the trade. Guido has managed to get his hands on the newsstand sales figures for the two years up until March this year. The numbers are dire.

The data above says it all, the sales decline has continued, some weeks the New Statesman sells less than 4,000 copies. By way of comparison Guido’s blog usually has 4,000 readers a day before the Today show has a finished in the morning. This figure does not include subscribers, Guido suspects that may not even number into five figures.

Online nothing has changed since 2009, Guido still has comfortably more online readers than the Staggers. Incidentally tracking data suggests that a fair number of Staggers readers are Guido readers, this site is the ninth most visited site by Staggers readers – despite the magazine’s policy of not linking to this site.

The relative decline of the Staggers versus the Speccie suggests that it is not just because the printed magazine business is in trouble. The Speccie has a paywall yet still has more online visitors than the Staggers, the Speccie sells an online edition, the Statesman does not.

The problems at the magazine are manifold, readers are increasingly unwilling to pay for comment unless it done with panache, yet they got rid of the flamboyant Dan Hodges. There is a distinct lack of news in the magazine, Labour HQ has just experienced a near mutiny, something that would be of great interest to the natural readership of the Staggers and would in the past have been covered in forensic detail. Nothing appeared in the magazine. The only “news” in the magazine that you have not read elsewhere is usually found in Kevin Maguire’s gossip diary.

Mehdi’s Muddle on Iran’s ‘Bombastic’ President

Followers on Twitter will have enjoyed many, many Twitterspats between Guido and the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan. They follow a familiar pattern with Mehdi usually citing someone who wrote something in the New York Times once and then calling Guido […]

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Labour HQ’s Cheltenham Loser

Following the car crash of a staff meeting on Monday at Labour HQ, staff were further outraged to learn the reason Iain McNicol was not in the office the following day (Tuesday) was, in true David Brent fashion, that he […]

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Ed’s Guru Glasman Goes For Jugular

Ed Miliband seems to have missed out on those popular few months that even Gordon managed to achieve in the summer of 2007 and has gone straight to the continual leadership crisis stage. Just when Guido thought the Don’t Unseat […]

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Guardian Hack: “I’m a Dodger”

A classic snippet from Kevin Maguire’s column that Guido thought deserved more than New Statesman’s niche, and still declining, audience:

“Boris Johnson’s pledge to take the last of London’s bendy buses off the road by Christmas could prove costly for

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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