Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Labour’s “Groundbreaking New Initiative” In Spin

Labour breathlessly declared a “groundbreaking new initiative” this afternoon. Ed has “personally” invited thousands of members of the public to Labour party conference for an “open day”. Another wonderful engagement strategy and of course absolutely nothing to do with the fact that conference applications this year have hit a new low. The heightened interest last time round for the conclusion of the leadership race has not been sustained. It’s a sorry state of affairs when the conference - traditionally a golden fundraiser for parties – has to be packed with members of the public enticed by a freebie…

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dozy Ed and His Sleepy Spinners

It’s handbags and at dawn between the Murdoch empire and Ed Miliband. Hardly news anymore, but after Gordon’s hackgate blunders, you would think someone would check the facts before going into battle. People spotted that Ed Miliband had clearly dozed off for a moment during Yvette Cooper’s speech yesterday, and who can blame him. The official line given to the Sun was that he was “looking down at his iPhone”. You can be the judge of that…

Anyone with any clue what they were doing would have left it at that, but instead Ed couldn’t help but try to have the last word with this tweet from his press team:

Harsh words you might say, but all the more embarrassing when you look at which other paper covered the nodding off. Step forward the darlings of the Hackgate scandal – the Guardian:

“He blinked. He kept his eyes open with imaginary matchsticks. Then he finally gave up and drifted into the arms of Morpheus, only to wake up with a jerk.”

Never too late to say sorry Ed…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cameron’s Irish Mercenaries

What the media in Britain isn’t telling you is how “the rebels of Britain approach Liverpool in hit-and-run battles with Cameron’s brigades and mercenaries from Ireland and Scotland.”

But then again perhaps Libyan State TV has better sources on the ground…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ed Blames HQ For Balls Leak

When Ed Balls had his sneaky shafting of Blair splashed across the Telegraph in June, he was fuming. He even called in the coppers to try find the source of his humiliation and serious destabilisation. Guido imagines he was hoping they would find that the leak originated from the new holders of his old Education brief…

Well Guido would like to point the bruised Shadow Chancellor in the direction of a new clue. It’s been reported that Miliband blames someone in Labour’s Victoria Street headquarters for the “Project Volvo” leaks and the leader’s office is barely on speaking terms with HQ as a result. So over to Balls, will he be pointing the coppers in the right direction now that the suspicion is falling on his own side?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Labour Wants Coulson Cake But Ate It

The Mirror and Political Scrapbook, with more than a little help from the Labour Party press office, have gone big on the story that CCHQ did background checks on people they put on posters as part of the election campaign. Seems pretty sensible to Guido, who would have pointed and laughed if one of them turned out to be a blunder…

The Tories claim using the company Control Risks was perfectly sensible and they use them to check out their staff. The checks were done with the full consent of those involved. There is growing speculation that they were the company alluded to by Dave in reference to who checked out Coulson in 2007. Talking of which, what were Labour cheerleaders saying just the other day about vetting? 

The Guardian and Alistair Campbell were particularly succinct in their cries of foul play. So lets get this straight, you’re not allowed to vet people, but then get slammed when you don’t? Imagine the Mirror front page if the poster boy or girl had a dodgy past. There is more to this story to come. Guido gave the the Labour Party a clear chance to deny they never did a background check on anyone they have used to front a campaign. Their silence is very telling…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

£4.2 Million To Change Labour’s Mind

When the government announced that they were switching from the Retail to Consumer Price Index for pensions, Labour kicked off. Stephen Timms set out their absolute opposition to the move in the Commons, and Balls told the GMB union that the move one of the biggest hits “to the living standards of your members in a generation”However it seems that it was all just opportunistic bluster…

Kudos to the eagle-eyed Tory spinner in CCHQ who spotted that Labour’s  annual accounts show that they too have changed from RPI to CPI for their own pension scheme. And why the sudden change of heart? Well a £4.2 million reduction in the cash-strapped Labour Party’s own pension liabilities must have helped…

Monday, July 25, 2011

Growing Concern for David Rose’s Mental Health

Guido understands the Indy team used every card in the book to secure a delay in the announcement that Johann Hari has been stripped of the 2008 Orwell Prize. The words “delicate” and “state” keep coming up. Sources for the prosecution seem to be outraged at how the Indy are conducting themselves during this humiliating time. While many are concerned at what a fall from grace might do to someone who already claims to be unstable, using a threat of their suicide as emotional blackmail to avoid professional embarrassment has been seen as a step too far. Johann Hari’s accomplice and loyal defender, David Rose, is said to be on suicide watch…

Miliband’s “Staggering” Hyperbole

When Downing Street rushed out their list of media meetings as part of Dave’s fight back at the height of the phone-hacking storm, they missed a couple off. It was typical of the unnecessary communications errors that so often blight this government. With the fact that Miliband hadn’t missed an open goal, a headstrong Labour put the boot in, briefing the Telegraph that a social meeting with Brooks was  a “staggering omission”. “He has got to get a grip on all this and come clean” screamed Ed…

But what’s this from Team Miliband? An updated list this morning. At first glance not much has changed from the first edition, except for, oh yes, previously undisclosed meetings with Screws editor Colin Myler, and one with Rebekah Brooks for good measure. Is this a “staggering omission” as well? Get a grip on this Ed, and come clean et cetera…

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bell Pottinger Trained Rebekah Brooks For Grilling

Having retained the global spinmeisters to handle her press, Guido got a tip-off yesterday that the flame-haired former News International CEO was spotted in Bell Pottinger’s Holborn offices on Tuesday.

There have been unconfirmed rumours that Lord Mandelson was advising Rebekah via Global Counsel on how to deal with tricky questions from politicians, but Bell Pottinger confirmed to Guido this morning that their “public affairs team prepared her for the process she would face at a select committee.” Perhaps they could have a word with James Murdoch about the best bit of advice for dealing with Select Committees – probably best to just tell the truth.

UPDATE: Guido’s spinning eyes and ears suggests the training was done by Bell Pottinger director Alex Deane. Cosily, Deane was Cameron’s former Chief of Staff. Apparently when Brooks arrived she demanded the lifts be cleared so she could be alone.

She might be spending rather longer in a small confined room soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

+ + + Brooks Resigns + + +

It was looking tricky as soon as Murdoch’s real daughter turned on her this morning.

UPDATE: Brooks’ email to staff:

At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.

As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.

I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.

This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.

Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert’s wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.

I would like to thank them both for their support.

I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world.
News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives.

I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.

As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.

My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.

I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.

I wish every one of you all the best.

Rebekah

UPDATE II: Tom Mockridge the CEO of Sky Italia will replace her. Interesting decision to reassure the world that you won’t be selling your newspapers by putting a telly man in charge of them. 


Seen Elsewhere

Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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