Thursday, September 23, 2010

Robinson’s 10 O’Clock Hiccup

To Liverpool’s Gusto restaurant on Tuesday night where the great and good of the BBC political team were loudly dining. Guido’s scouser eyes and ears spotted the full house of  Nick Robinson, Laura Kuenssberg, Jon Sopel and James Landsdale.

Having told  the waiter that he couldn’t drink anymore because he had to go to work, Robinson darted out at 9.50 to do his piece for the 10 o’clock news, but not before speaking with Laura, furiously scribbling down what she said. 10 minutes later her phone rings and she leapt up and went outside. Apparently it was Nick on the phone asking what he should say, hic, again…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Robinson – “I Must Try Harder”

When the Political Editor of the BBC is writing public memos to himself suggesting that he he “must try harder” because he managed to miss the fact the coalition was coming, things aren’t exactly going well. Just like he missed the leadership coups when his sources’s Blackberries were vibrating right under his nose.

Robinson took a month making a documentary about the coalition negotiations before seeing the light, Guido was outlining the contours of the coming coalition before election day. It became blindingly obvious the Tories were not going to get a majority. Is better-late-than-never-Robinson really the best talent that the BBC’s vast news budget can buy?

The race to take over from Robinson is well under-way, this mea culpa should help those vying for the job.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Post-Robinson Age

At the noticeably well attended Policy Exchange party last night, Guido was chatting amiably to James Landale the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor when, just for sport, he asked, “Do you think you are going to get Nick’s job?” “There isn’t a vacancy” he said in the manner of a politician’s answer. Sensing opportunity, “Laura’s prettier, she wants the job” Guido teased.

“There is that” and then his body tensed and his face reddened, “the deputy never gets the job”. It was Heseltinian, it was a non-denial of ambition. There is a lot to be said for Landale, although his explanatory style sometimes seems to be too derivative of Robbo, he has his merits, and he is of course the same generation as the new governing generation. Perhaps more importantly, he is an Old Etonian…

See also: Taxi for Nick Robinson

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Taxi for Nick Robinson

Despite a shaky start to the year, the BBC‘s Nick Robinson didn’t cock-up during the election like some were expecting him to do. The fact that both Labour and Tory activists were complaining about his bias towards the other probably means he was pretty even-handed. Either way his future as Political Editor is being widely speculated upon, with some suggesting that he will be heading to Newsnight or the Today program. Which leaves a very coveted role up for grabs.

Four names see to be doing the rounds already. Mandrake tips ITV‘s Tom “Gordon’s weird” Bradby, though he would have a fight on his hands against the BBC‘s feisty Laura Kuenssberg who has won over many a fan in the last few months. Jon Sopel also had a very good election. Getting out from behind the news desk on the Campaign Show was key and he does a solid interview. Other wild card contenders with a shot have to be C4‘s Cathy Newman, though as with Adam Boulton at Sky, she is arguably too associated with the C4 News brand.

The jump from reporting up to broader analysis and comment would traditionally have been done on experience, but this race is wide open. The knives are being sharpened behind Robinson’s back. As he once said – that’ll teach him…

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Here’s To You Mr Robinson

The only person to have a worse day than Gordon yesterday was the BBC’s Nick Robinson. First he humiliated himself on the Daily Politics making an ill-judged attacked on the madness of nameless bloggers and tweeters for reporting rumours of another push against Gordon.  It was the political equivalent of Michael Fish’s “no hurricanes” broadcast.

Within half an hour he had to eat his words, Guido texted him for an apology, he was less gracious off air (see picture) than he was on air  where he invited mockery.

This morning he was lambasted by Jack Straw for his shoddy reporting; “a very substandard piece of journalism”, “I was named by Mr Nick Robinson of the BBC – he sent me an apology” – which is more than Guido got.  Guido (and more neutral academic observers) thought he deserved an apology too.

So Guido took him up on his invitation and the Guy News video of Robinson’s on-screen reversal has gone viral around BBC TV Centre…

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Robinson Late to the Party, Calls Rumours “Blog Madness”

Guido was reporting rumours that a cabinet minister was going to call for Brown to go last night.  Bad day for Nick Robinson, at midday he dismissed the rumours as “the madness we might get into with blogging and tweeting” on the Daily Politics.

With all his authority he definitively told viewers that there was no plot and nothing going on. The Guardian‘s Andrew Sparrow had the first squeak of the story at quarter past, Guido had the letter just after half past and yet it takes another half an hour for the BBC‘s Political Editor to break the fact that MPs might be texting each other:

The BBC’s News & Current Affairs operation costs taxpayers billions…

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ding Dong and a Gong

debateLast night’s panel debate on the internet and democracy was as expected a bit of a bunfight, Guido got to deliver about half his speech (intended full text here).   Sir Michael interrupted as soon as Guido gave him some stick (no one had interrupted him). Nick was more reasonable in BBCish way, he bemoaned his blog’s comments – something we have in common.  He was a bit sarky, characterising Guido as a self-absorbed, overgrown student political hack, which was odd given we first met and clashed when he was the dripping wet chairman of the Young Conservatives in the 80s.  He did try to shift the debate back to the big picture.

Grant Shapps was all starry eyed about the possibilities of the internet.  Peter Kellner didn’t like direct democracy.  Questions from the floor complained that we were all in broadcast mode not listening mode.  When the debate organisers (Delib) listened and read out some of the abusive #idebate Twitterings from the large screen feed, it kind of confirmed the panel’s prejudices against listening to crowd sources.  All in all Guido enjoyed himself, hopefully it was entertaining if not that informative for those there.

Guido had to dash, to pick up an alternative award, bumping into a very hurt Lembit at the ceremony.  Had a few pints with the entertaining Stephen Pound, stopping to chat at the bar briefly with the chief whip, Nick Brown, who claims he enjoys avidly reading this blog.  Hmmm…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Derek Ducks Out of PR Masterclass

pr weekSadly Guido’s old adversary Derek Draper ducked out of giving us the benefit of his PR and blogging expertise at PR Week’s “new media” conference at the very last moment.  Guido had to improvise his speech since he was expecting to just have another ding-dong with Draper.  Most speakers seemed to be using Draper as a case study in how not to win friends and influence people online. At the conference Guido learnt that LabourHome’s Alex Hilton has gone all corporate and formed a “Digital PR Consultancy” with David Prescott.  So no more monkeying around from him.

Incidentally, the Henry Jackson Society have organised a talk for next Tuesday to which they sent out invitations on Monday.  All tickets went straight away, much to the surprise of the non-partisan society which usually holds dry talks about geo-political flash points like the Middle East.  Such is the demand for tickets the organisers have now moved the event to the biggest room available in Parliament, the Grand Committee room.

When you know that the speakers on the subject of  ‘the internet: saviour or corruptor of democracy?’ include Nick Robinson, Guido and Sir Michael White, you would be right to guess that this could make the Hamas – Likud peace negotiations look calm by comparison.  Unlike Nick, Guido won’t be pulling his punches…robbo-fawkes-white

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Public Service Broadcasting

So in search of the truth and information as to what is really going on the British public turns to the state broadcaster, the venerable BBC, the broadcaster the people are involuntarily forced to fund.  Who, we want to know, is behind the attempt to oust the Prime Minister by email?

John Humphrys : …who’s behind it? Our political editor Nick Robinson, do we know Nick?

Nick Robinson : We do know, I am not entirely sure I am going to tell you on the Today programme…

(Listen online here.)  You pay taxes so Nick Robinson can report on politics.  Sky News says Charles Clarke is behind it, no taxpayers were harmed in bringing you that information.  Incidentally, Clarke was seen chatting to Hazel Blears at Andrew Neil’s sixtieth birthday party on Sunday…

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brown’s Empty Claim to Economic Leadership of the World

Only Nick Robinson would give Brown’s ludicrous claim a serious hearing:
“BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the fact that a series of countries now look likely to implement packages of tax cuts and spending increases would allow Mr Brown to claim the UK is in the lead when it came to dealing with the economic crisis.”

Well it will allow the Prime Mentalist to make that claim to “leadership” only if Nick fails to ask the right questions. Here are a selection of packages already announced from around the world:
  • The U.S. fiscal stimulus plan worth $150 billion went into play in February with bi-partisan support.
  • The Chinese stimulus package is a $586 billion public works acceleration plan announced last week.
  • The German Cabinet approved a stimulus package weeks ago, as did the French.
  • Australia’s second stimulus package was announced last month – though they have the advantage of a massive budget surplus after a decade of Conservative economic policies.
  • Spain’s fiscal stimulus package was announced in April.
  • Conservative run Canada also has for years run a budget surplus and remains determined to balance the budget and cut taxes.
  • Japan has been doing fiscal stimulus for two decades.
In fact of the G7 countries it appears that only Berlusconi and Brown have yet to announce a fiscal stimulus package. Of course Brown is way behind the curve on this, because he was until a few months ago delusionally claiming that our economy was strong and in better shape than the rest of the world including America. Brown’s last budget as chancellor was a fantasy in forecasting. Some leadership…

Seen Elsewhere

A Bold Plan to Reform Welfare | Ruth Porter
Clinton’s Busty Mistress Nicknamed ‘Energizer’ | Mail
Photo Analysis of Miliband’s Obama Visit | Buzzfeed
Dave Shouldn’t Have Moved Gove | Michael Howard
Bercow’s Nightmare | Alex Wickham
Miliband Abandons Britain to Meet Obama | Sun
Tequila-Quaffing Chat Show Plonker Clegg | Quentin Letts
Pragmatists v Romantics | Rachel Sylvester
I’m Sorry | Colin Brazier
Blair Was a Gradualist Prime Minister | Janan Ganesh
Why Blair Will Worry Ed | Steve Richards


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Owen Paterson lifts the lid on the Green Blob:

“I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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