Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Official: Twitter is a Leftie Echo Chamber

Boffins at the University of Cambridge have confirmed what Guido has long suspected – Twitter is a leftie-dominated echo chamber. Analysis the influence of US media outlets on the site came out with some worrying numbers:

“We assumed that a user follows media sources that match his political leaning if all the media sources he follows are of one political leaning. These users with clear political preference, whom we call seeds, accounted for 7 million or 50.8% of all audience. Most seeds were either left-wing (62%) or center (37%). Only 61,164 users (1%) were right-wing.”

Despite the numbers not being in their favour, the right does still apparently hold their own. Retweets could be the key: “17.8% of the left-wing seeds received retweets from right-wing media and 57.2%, vice versa.” So the lefties retweeting the righties weakens their inbuilt advantage. Not sure Sally got the memo…

If nerdy numbers are your thing, you can read all of “Media landscape in Twitter: A world of new conventions and political diversityhere.

Misery Index : Inflation Falls, Happiness Spikes

On the day that Action for Happiness launches, a genuine membership organisation for the promotion of happiness, we have re-calculated the Misery Index with the latest RPI off highs but at a still eye-watering 5.3% in March. Guido’s Misery Index is taken from the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and incorporates inflation and unemployment as well as a deficit component. In addition to inflation going sideways, the seasonal low in the public sector net cash requirement has seen a spike in happiness.

Perhaps the sunshine is helping a little too…

N.B. Stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Seven Up

7upAt the beginning of the week Oliver Letwin put his foot in his mouth, again, telling Boris Johnson that: “We don’t want more people from Sheffield flying away on cheap holidays”. It looked like a disastrously out of touch gaffe as millions of “squeezed middle” swing voters prepare to go on their cheap annual holiday away from austerity. David Cameron inadvertently provided the perfect rebuttal by flying away on a cheap Ryanair flight. On Thursday this blog’s readers saw him pictured with Sam looking grumpy in a way that fellow cattle class travellers will recognise.  On Friday it was front page news around the world…

Political hacks agreed it was the best PR Cameron had got in months. Sceptical media cynics reckoned it was too good to be true and that it was a Downing Street inspired photo-op, BBC and Sky hacks speculated that it was a set-up and even admired the cleverness of the user-generated-content style camera phone shot. Somewhat flattering Craig Oliver’s abilities…

Last week saw 76,061 visitors make 213,679 visits to view 334,914 pages – that is twice as many readers as the New Statesman – we’re Britain’s number one political website. The seven most popular stories were:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Seven Up

7upThe AV debate touched the public consciousness this week, just about, with politicos hitherto being the only people to show interest. Stories that were picked up in the Dead Tree Press from Guido included Tory MP Gives Labour Two Fingers, and Pickles Flying the Jolly Roger. We were of course ecstatic that our campaign to get Ed Miliband to propose to Justine succeeded. Proof that this blog can bring the Labour leader to his knees…

The month of March saw 185,776 visitors make some 2 million visits to the blog – more than the online editions of The Times and Sunday Times combined. Last week saw 77,264 visitors make 221,072 visits to view 353,087 pages. The seven most popular stories were:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

VOTE: Who is the Most Annoying MP?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Seven Up

7upThe budget and Libya dominated the week’s newsflow. Ken Clarke almost upstaged George Osborne just by going to sleep – or did he? Guido was pleased to see that an idea pushed on this blog two years ago – to give MPs charge cards for expenses – has finally been accepted by IPSA. Riddle of the week – was why did Ed Balls deposit £7,000 in NatWest in Victoria? Second question: Is Gaddafi a More Savvy Economist than Ed Balls?

Last week saw 70,165 visitors make 202,417 visits to view 311,371 pages. The seven most popular stories were:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Despite What You Hear, Osborne is Not On Course

Norman Lamont has been wheeled out as one eye is turned to tomorrow’s budget. He claims.

“In many ways, the best Budget the Chancellor could introduce would be one that did nothing.  The Chancellor has courageously set out his strategy over five years, moving Britain back towards budget balance, largely through expenditure cuts but also with some tax increases.  The overwhelming important task is to stick to that strategy.”

That’s the Christmas card list sorted, but John Redwood has pointed out a few inconvenient truths in the last few days. Take a glance at the numbers for the next few years compared to the last year of Labour:

“Total spending plus £71 billion a year, Total tax revenue plus £176 billion a year, 5 years additional state borrowing £440 billion.”

Osborne is hardly the axeman. And nor are his Cabinet colleagues it seems. Redwood has put together a database of how the departments are getting on, specifically the promise to cut staff overheads by 30%:

“So far, they have lost around 4% of their staff numbers in an eight month period. This suggests the overall annual rate of  leavers is 6%. What is surprising is they have replaced half of these, meaning that the overall numbers are only down around 2%.”

Chris Huhne’s Department of Climate Change has seen its numbers increase, Pickles has managed to hire 263 new staff to replace 266 who left. Only Defence and the Home Office have made any real headway in the last few months:

Some three thousand people left the MOD and yet 1,700 of the posts have been re-filled. And that’s in the department making the most headway… The 30% target is still miles off.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Seven Up

7upThis week we opined that inviting the King of Bahrain to the Royal Wedding did not send the right signal to pro-democracy campaigners in that kingdom and on the day the Labour campaign for AV launched the blog  pointed out that the campaign’s leading light Neil Kinnock just happens to have been paid £103,000 in fees by a firm which stands to make millions out of electronic voting systems. Our boyo’s 30,000 shares in the firm will rocket in price if it is a “yes” in May…

Last week saw 70,484 visitors make 202,616 visits to view 314,204 pages. The seven most popular stories were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Misery Index : Reaches New All Time High


Oh dear. Unemployment rose by 27,000 in the three months to the end of January to 2.53 million, the highest since 1994. The jobless rate is now 8%. The Misery Index is taken from the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and incorporates inflation and unemployment as well as a deficit component. The continuing rise in unemployment means misery is creeping up…

N.B. Stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Seven Up

7upWith news from Tokyo and Tripoli dominating the news agenda Westminster politics seemed trivial in comparison this week. Fortunately this blog specialises in tittle-tattle and trivia, super-injunctions allowing. Our top story this week was about the super-injunction, which we were only able to report because John Hemming used parliamentary privilege. Our story, unlike the newspapers, explains what is behind the injunction…

Last week saw 71,794 visitors make 211,247 visits to view 340,255 pages. The seven most popular stories were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…


Seen Elsewhere

Woolas Agent Standing for UKIP | MEN
Compassionate Left in Action | Mark Wallace
Sainsbury’s Distance Themselves From Sick Cam Tweeter | Speccie
Elites Pay Price for Killing Grammar Schools | Jago Pearson
Thornberry Makes Burnham Leadership Favourite | Matthew Norman
Guido’s Column | Sun
BBC Still Ignoring Savile Evidence | Telegraph
Politicians Brought Down by Twitter | CityAm
Ed the Biggest Loser in Rochester | Trevor Kavanagh
A Just Way to Manage Migration | Mats Persson
Farage is Right | Lord Ashcroft


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Boris on his fellow Islingtonista Emily Thornberry:

“It was an entirely run-of-the-mill English townscape, with some straightforward words to go with it. There was no obvious insult, no abuse, no overt sneering. She might have got away with it entirely, had some alert blogger not spotted it. He instantly detected the coded message that Emily Thornberry was sending to all her right-on, bien-pensant, Labour-luvvie friends in Islington, or wherever else it is that they follow her on Twitter.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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