Speccie Parliamentarian of the Year Award Winners

Speech of the year – Johnny Mercer

Lifetime achievement – Harriet Harman

Backbencher of the year – Natascha Engel

Insurgent of the year – Ruth Davidson

Minister to watch – Amber Rudd

Newcomer of the year – Tommy Sheppard

Peer of the year – Molly Meacher and Patricia Hollis

Guy Fawkes award for guerrilla politics – Michael Gove

Campaigner of the year – Jeremy Corbyn

Parliamentarian of the year – David Cameron

British Journalism Awards Bunfight! Speccie v Newsnight / Buzzfeed

yentob

It wouldn’t be the British Journalism Awards without a good old barney about the nominations. Newsnight and Buzzfeed are jointly nominated for Investigation of the Year for the Kids Co scandal – a story on which they did a lot of good follow-up work but was broken by Miles Goslett in the Speccie. Five months earlier…

Buzzfeed’s ‘Head of News’ Stuart Millar is probably regretting engaging:

Media organisations can pay £75 for a vanity-satisfying nomination, something Newsnight and Buzzfeed apparently wasted no time in doing but Miles Goslett, who is a freelancer, didn’t. As Goslett explains:

“Until February 2015, when The Spectator published my article on Kids Company, not a single bad word about it or its chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh had appeared in the mainstream media.”

You can read the original Goslett scoop here

New.Spectator.co.uk

new-speccie

Just in time for Tory conference the Spectator has had an online refresh. As with the New Statesman‘s recent refresh it has gone more tablet friendly and swipe-able. The design is responsive to different screen sizes. The Speccie has a lot of advert-free Kindle subscribers so the servers have to work hard to cope with the various formats. It appears to be paywall free currently – so give new.spectator.co.uk a try…

Dave Meets UKIP

Guido is very hungover after last night’s Speccie bash. It was very hot and there was a lot of Pimms involved, also an inexplicable number of pretty models there…

Sadly no Miliband this year, instead it was Harman’s turn to pretend she wanted to be there. Osborne took a couple of hours off from preparing for the Budget while Michael Fallon was bullish about the jihadis. Liz Truss was flirty and Nicky Morgan wandered around looking for someone to talk to. Boris was banging on about some airport…

unnamed (3)

Most amusing was the PM’s drive by, where he immediately got locked into conversation with UKIP spin supremo Gawain Towler. Apparently Dave’s defence was that the smaller European nations are going to support his renegotiation plans. There are about four million reasons why that conversation looked painful. 

Despite the heat the PM’s old pal Steve Hilton got a proper hug, though the hippy chat was soon troubling Dave:

unnamed (4) Blogging may be light…

Oborne on Ill Mannered MPs

Grandstanding on Fleet Street’s moral high ground has not always paid off for Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph hack who resigned claiming his paper corruptly buried the HSBC bank scandal. In his days with The Spectator, Oborne once named and shamed ‘ill mannered’ MPs who had not penned him a thank you note for taking them out to one of his liquid lunches in Pall Mall. The following week the Speccie was inundated with letters from MPs who had taken ‘ill mannered’ Oborne out to lunch and were still waiting for a thank you note…

Rifkind Defends Tech Giants

This week’s Speccie cover on the state’s war on tech is well worth a read. Its author wisely warns against heading down the slippery slope of surveillance:

“There’s no means of monitoring terrorists that doesn’t leave every-body else thinking you’re monitoring them, too… Think of Britain’s experience over the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which was introduced to allow the surveillance of serious criminals, and expanded, chaotically, to enable councils to spy on people suspected of fiddling school places. Make it much, much easier for Special Branch to read Geoffrey Al-Wannabi-Jihadi’s email, in other words, and how long until the local council can read yours, and use the fact you booked a rafting holiday as an excuse to cancel your disabled badge?”

In the end, he concludes attempts by the government to crack down on the likes of Google and Facebook are futile and disingenuous:

“If these vast new media empires were railroads, or sewage systems, or fibre-optic networks, then the clamour from governments would be to counter their own impotence by nationalising them… If Google and the like cracked on encryption and rolled over for every state demand, would that make us safer? Perhaps, but only for a week or two. For as long as there are other services more secure, or even just more obscure, those who do not wish to be seen will use them. The security services must know this, and increasingly I struggle to comprehend why they pretend not to.”

Malcolm Rifkind, chair of the Intelligence and Security committee, could do worse than heeding the advice of his son, Hugo…

Posh People Politely Tell Scotland to Stay

Speccie readers really do need somewhere to go stag hunting…

Former Telegraph Editor Launches Coded Attack on Seiken

Former Telegraph editor Charles Moore has launched a blistering coded attack on the paper’s editor-in-chief and ‘chief content officer’ Jason “Psycho” Seiken. Writing in this week’s Speccie, Moore uses the metaphor of Horse and Hound magazine, criticising the countryside periodical for replacing its editor with a “content director”, and accuses other publications that have made up similar new digital job titles of “suffering an identity crisis”:

“Horse and Hound, my other magazine outlet, is to lose its excellent editor, Lucy Higginson. She is to be replaced by a ‘content director’ whose background is as a ‘brand director’. A cull of the section editors is expected… It is well known that most magazines (though not, interestingly, The Spectator) are suffering an identity crisis as the world goes digital, but why is getting rid of editors the answer? The editor of a publication is its maker’s guarantee. His or her loyalty is to the title and, above all, to the readers, even if this sometimes seems to conflict with the wider, short-term interests of the owning group. Readers trust the publication, and therefore buy it, because it is edited. If it isn’t, they won’t, so it will collapse. It is a strange thing that the current media culture, though obsessed by the idea of the ‘brand’, does not recognise that editors and titles are by far the strongest known form of branding in publishing. The trick is to find the best way of expressing this digitally, not to abolish it.”

Who could he possibly be talking about?

The Wandering Hands of Westminster’s Gay Mafia

As anyone who has ever spent 30 minutes in Westminster will know, it’s not just the girls who receive unwanted attention from pervy MPs.

“As I walked out of the bar, I noticed a Conservative MP following me. It had

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Speccie Hits a Million Online Readers as Staggers Still Obfuscates

Today the Speccie have hit a million unique users every month after their relaunch and redesign last year:

spec

By comparison, Guido’s readership nowadays (excluding feed readers and app traffic) is about a third of that:

So come on then New […]

+ READ MORE +

Two Cartoons for Miliband’s Loo Wall

A belter of a conference cartoon special from Peter Brookes on the front page of this week’s Speccie. Guido would like to put in a bid for the original.

By delicious coincidence, this week’s New Statesman also goes the […]

+ READ MORE +



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