Thursday, October 6, 2011

2,000 Jobs To Go at the BBC -
White City to Become Ghost City

It seems the BBC are at least beginning to wake up to reality. 2,000 jobs are to go and White City could be completely abandoned. You have to chuckle at the mindset though. In justifying the cuts, Director General Mark Thompson told the 25,000 staff that the Beeb is “still the biggest employer of journalists, outside of China.”

As if that isn’t the problem…

Mirror Review Whitewash Wonder

Trinity Mirror are set to announce that their review into phone-hacking has found that there was no widespread malpractice taking place at its newspapers, despite a growing list of allegations around Ulrika Jonsson, Frank Bruno and Noel Edmonds. An internal investigation whitewash? Sound familiar yet? 

Sky’s Mark Kleinman is reporting that:

“Paul Vickers, the group legal director of Trinity Mirror, told a meeting of the company’s board last month that a review lasting about six weeks had been completed and that there were no grounds for directors’ concern.”

This is despite clear allegations from a former member of staff at The People that, Kleinman reports, were not considered by Vickers. We know full well that the legal director had been made aware of the allegations in this letter from the Sunlight Centre. Add this to the fact the same former staff claim the Mirror Group’s HR department “urged colleagues to deny any knowledge of phone-hacking at the company on the same day that Clive Goodman was arrested in 2006.” Plenty here for the Guardian to really get their teeth into…

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conservative Conference Midland Hotel Escort Scandal

Normally “women problems” at Tory conference involve the more amorous members of Dave’s cabinet and too much champagne, but his own issues are clearly getting to him. After his  apology in the Sunday Times for being sexist, the PM was overheard thanking their political editor at last night’s media shindig for “getting his message out to women”.


Guido hears the smarm offensive has gone even further though, with female MPs press-ganged into a rota to escort the Prime Minister between the Midland Hotel and the conference hall, or at any other time he might be seen on camera. Form an orderly queue ladies…

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scotland’s Top Tory Spinner in a Spot of Bother
Tension Added to Tomorrow’s Leadership Face Off

Another Sunday and another hit on “Dave’s candidate” for the Scottish Conservative Party leadership – Ruth Davidson. The Herald team report:

“The Conservatives’ top spin doctor in Scotland is under intense pressure over claims he has been advising a candidate in the party’s leadership election. Ramsay Jones, who as head of media has to be neutral in the contest, recently attended a meeting at Ruth Davidson’s home with her campaign strategists.”

The controversy focuses around a meeting on Sunday September 18 at the Cameroon former BBC journo’s Glasgow home. Jones, a party official paid for on short money, did a 150 mile round trip to attend. Officially, it’s  no comment all round, but Guido has spoken to other Scottish Tory figures who are fuming…

With one candidate ready to start all over again with a new party, and presumably new staff, the phrase “self-preservation society” is being thrown around an awful lot up north. Murdo Fraser’s plans have defined the entire debate to find a new Tory leader, and Davidson immediately became the “stop Murdo” candidate for those looking to save their own jobs. This meeting isn’t the first sign that the Tory establishment is backing Ruth, but it is the proof of the pudding.

While Cameron wants to keep out of this race, the timing of this story couldn’t be worse for him given that the candidates are going to come face to face at a conference hustings tomorrow afternoon in their first high-profile ding-dong. Given the temperature of the briefing going on this weekend it could get very messy…

UPDATE: Tory Party Chairman Baroness Warsi just told the Politics Show that she though Davidson was “fantastic”. There was no such praise for any other candidate. Seems the impartiality of the Party is well and truly out of the window…

Friday, September 30, 2011

Indy’s Independence Whacked

Have you noticed anything different about the Indy in the last couple of days?

Well it seems that the paper has finally conceded that it is politically biased and susceptible to proprietorial influence. Given Evgeny Lebedev “speaks regularly” to the editor Chris Blackhurst, it was only a matter of time before the paper would have to quietly drop their lofty pretensions…

UPDATE: Co-conspirators point out that the change coincided with the arrival of Chris Blackhurst in the editor’s chair.

Follow Friday FoI

Paul Waugh has confirmed that a locked and hidden Twitter account is in fact that of the Downing Street Director of Communications:

Given that Craig Oliver is using his job title and place of work in his Twitter name, Guido feels we have a right to know what he’s pushing. As well as being nosy…

Nick Boles a Wide Ball

Nick Boles has taken to the pages of the Telegraph to give a not-so-coded warning that Tory MPs should behave themselves at their conference and not to rock the boat:

” …what we need now is to put away our favourite ideological hobby horses, ignore the political positioning of the other parties…”

Heaven forbid that a newbie MP might dare utter something vaguely ideological to the party faithful. Even worse they might try to tackle an issue close to the heart of their party in a pamphlet. It’s probably best not to mention that this time last year “Enoch” Boles was being praised for the “radical approach to immigration” set out in his pre-conference book “Which Way is Up“ then. What a difference a year makes though, eh Nick?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yes Campaign Attempts to Rewrite History

John Denham, Labour’s anti-Business Secretary, told an electoral reform fringe meeting yesterday that the:

“Lib Dems were totally kippered in Yes campaign by thinking ‘We mustn’t do anything to upset the Tories…'”

N02AV veterans have barely been able to keep a straight face at this one, especially given that Chris Huhne was sitting on the very same panel. What was it about Huhne calling other members of the Cabinet Nazis that suggested he was reining in his behaviour?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rory Unreal: Ironic Tweet of the Day

“Something for Something” or Something

In an attempt to mop up the mess that yesterday’s speech has made, Red Ed took to the airwaves this morning and received a savaging on the Today program. His “not anti-business, but anti-business as usual” soundbite is neat, but the rest of the performance was pretty dire. When told focus groups find him weird the Son of Brown took his political father’s stance of pretending not to care and claiming that:

“It is absolutely about substance. I’ve got an old-fashioned view: substance wins out”

Which is weird giving the most insight and policy depth that we got from his speech was the revelatory “something for something”. Possibly the worst line going, after a “new bargain for Britain” of course…


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


VOTER-RECALL
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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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