Saturday Seven Up

7upPolitics is back in full swing and so is the blog. Usual mix of low goings on, political totty, political violence and what passes for wit in the comments. On the subject of comments, Guido was most amused to discover that Oxford academics deemed the wit of the likes of Tuscan Tony and other assorted window-lickers worthy of serious study. Just imagine the study grant application: we want the money to read the comments on Guido’s blog. The published results can be found here. Shocking!

This week the blog had 329,676 page views from 211,096 visits by 72,541 visitors. The top 7 stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

How to Avoid the VAT Hike

There are many ways the government could have avoided hiking VAT and stuck to their pre-election plans. They could have cut spending a further 2% rather than the mere 3.3% they are planning to shave off spending. The best solution to unfunded over-spending is to reduce spending, not raise taxes. The UK’s gross contribution to the EU budget exceeds the expected income from the VAT hike…

Both the LibDems and the Tories knew how bad the deficit was before the election and yet both said they had no plans to raise VAT, yet it was raised in the first budget. So what changed?

Misery Index : Jump in Government Borrowing Adds to Misery


Today’s release showing a shock rise in borrowing means Osborne is now at risk of missing his fiscal target for 2010/11. The increase is blamed on higher NHS and defence spending plus more money going to the EU.

The Misery Index calculation reflects the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and is based on the inflation and unemployment rates plus public sector borrowing in terms of GDP. More government over-spending means more misery…

The Year’s Interweb War

It was billed as the “internet election”, but almost all are agreed that didn’t really happen. However the social media battle between the three parties did heat up during the television debates and especially with Cleggmania. For all their talk, Labour became the “party of Twitter” for all the wrong reasons, losing a candidate and having an MP cautioned under the Representation of the Peoples Act for innovatively using Twitter to break election law. Facebook is where the most cut through from the Westminster bubble was achieved though:

Social media boffins Famecount have been comparing the state of the parties online over the last year and it seems the Tories came out on top in terms of Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. Despite the fair amount of flak picked up along the way, they spent plenty of cash online. Ed Miliband has some catching up to do, despite his near constant inane Twitter outpourings

Saturday Seven Up

7upThis week saw Iain Dale depart the blogosphere and a lot of talk that Twitter is supplanting blogging. Guido thinks it more accurate to say that twittering complements blogging, though it is fair to say that a lot of casual commentary has migrated to Twitter. There is a lot of life in the blogs yet…

This week the blog had 380,136 page views from 232,412 visits by 80,886 visitors. The top 7 stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

Misery Index : Britain’s Feeling a Little Better

Continuing with the Reagan inspired Misery Index, it seems the country got a little happier in the last few months but things have taken a downward turn again. Given the budget deficit is the biggest economic challenge the country faces today, Guido’s Misery Index adds the government’s deficit divided by the GDP to RPI and the number of people unemployed, all taken from the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Retail Prices Index + Unemployment rate + ( Public Sector Net Cash Requirement / GDP ) = Misery Index

The latest available figures for December 2010 give you:

4.6% + 7.9% + (2.4 / 331.4 x 100)  = 13.30

The Misery Index was steadily increasing since the beginning of the year. People got happier as Danny Alexander and Osborne took their axes to the deficit, however the latest rise in unemployment has reversed this trend. And that’s before the regressive VAT rise…

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

Saturday Seven Up

7upThis week the most popular stories were about Jeremy Hunt, Denis MacShane and Mike Hancock – the c***t theme being common to them all.

Guido’s favourite story of the week (which got no follow up in the Dead Tree Press) was an extract from Steve Hilton’s policy grid. There is more fun to come from that.

This week the blog had 415,100 page views from 253,109 visits by 88,009 visitors, which means this blog now has more daily readers than The Times online. The top 7 stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

Saturday Seven Up

7upGuido’s favourite story this week was about Katie Myler, Ed Miliband’s chief spokesman, committing Twitter suicide by accusing the Prime Minister of “pimping himself”, whilst Guido was on on the phone to the Labour Leader’s office asking if Ed stood by his spokesgirl’s comments she twittered an apology and withdrew her remarks.

We were faster than the papers in going through the party election returns, identifying Labour’s unpaid bills from the taxpayer and the Tory Bambi killing expenditure first – pixels beating print yet again.

This week the blog had an above average 422,866 page views from 251,700 visits by 87,979 visitors. Including feed readers Guido had some 2.5 million hits in November, with student unrest related stories being the most popular and perhaps consequently the blog seems to have more earnest, angry, left-wing flavoured reader comments section, presumably from misguided students. The top 7 stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

Another One Bites the Dust

As the news emerges that The Telegraph is set to join the FT, News of the World and The Times behind the paywall, Guido is intrigued to why such a decision was made when all the evidence shows it’s not […]

Saturday Seven Up

7up

Guido’s favourite story this week was also the top story of the week, catching the left-wing comic Ed Byrne “mis-remembering” his appearance in a government promo for tuition fees after telling David Willets that he had done no such thing. […]

Saturday Seven Up

7up

Guido’s under-rated story of the week was the launch of the blog’s Misery Index as a counter-balance to the more airy-fairy Hiltonesque Happiness Index proposed by the government. It will be regularly updated with every data release.

This week the […]

Guido’s Misery Index : Britain’s Got the Blues

Dave wants us to have some kind of gross national happiness index, an idea Sarkozy has also pushed. Not sure if the government really has any control over our overall happiness, it seems to Guido that governments mostly cause unhappiness […]



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Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

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