Hundreds of BBC Jobs Offshored Under £560 Million Contract

Hundreds of BBC IT jobs will be offshored to India and Poland under a £560 million contract renewal with outsourcing firm Atos. The Register reports that this latest development in the BBC’s troubled ‘Project Aurora’ IT plan will mean a “significant amount of offshoring and new tooling“. Telly tax payer’s cash being spent to move jobs abroad…

Some 400 Atos staff currently work in BBC IT; they will be pushed into an “availability pool” or redeployed away from the BBC account. One member of staff said that although the workers are not being made redundant , “there was some uncertainty as to what would happen if they remain in the “availability pool” for too long.” James Purnell, BBC director of Radio and Education, said on Newsnight last week that the £75 million saved by the move could help address the gender pay gap. What, by moving roles out of the UK to low cost countries? 

Welsh SpAds Cost Taxpayer More Than £700,000

The Labour government in Wales employed a total of 13 special advisers in the last year; that compares to around 70 in Westminster. You’d think the relatively low number would equate to savings for the taxpayer. Not so fast. The Welsh government chose the dead of summer recess to sheepishly slip out this admission:

“The paybill cost for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 totalled £592,616. This includes salary, employers’ national insurance contributions and pension contributions.  Severance payments of £127,661 were also made which were related to the election in May 2016 and the First Minister’s appointment of a new Cabinet.”

That makes a grand total of £720,277 over the year for just 13 staff, meaning your average Welsh SpAd is on more than £60,000 pa, a lot of money in Wales. They’re not spending your cash Caerphilly

+ Paul Harrison New Press Sec +
+ Kirsty Buchanan to No.10 +
+ Davis Hires Stewart Jackson +
+ Tim Smith to DexEU +

Guido can reveal a raft of new senior special adviser appointments. The new Number 10 press secretary is Paul Harrison, an experienced SpAd who moves from the Department of Health. He is well-respected and a grown up who knows the Lobby. Harrison will be joined in Downing Street by Kirsty Buchanan, formerly a SpAd at the Ministry of Justice and a former political editor of the Sunday Express. She will be working on Number 10’s political press team. A significant beefing up of Theresa May’s spin operation.

Tim Smith, currently a Number 10 press aide, is moving to the Brexit Department to be David Davis’ new media SpAd. A very important job for the next few years and an appointment which shows the close relationship between DexEU and Number 10. Guido is happy to confirm Stewart Jackson is also joining DexEU as DD’s chief of staff – you read it here first. A true Brexit believer and a very encouraging appointment for any Leavers worried the department is going soft – sorry Remainers.

The new Downing Street regime is quickly getting on the front foot. As well as the new personnel, there has been a steady stream of positive government announcements and news stories over the last couple of weeks –  the ban on petrol and diesel cars today the latest example. It’s as if Number 10 has a proper grid for the first time in a long time. The Tories and CCHQ also successfully weaponised the Corbyn student debt shambles – this has been one of their best weeks in ages, a few more weeks like this during the election campaign and the result might have been very different. Punchy, aggressive… a welcome, much-needed change of tempo…

Momentum Use Vote Leave Actress in Student Debt Video

Momentum last night posted a rushed rebuttal video attempting to limit the damage of Corbyn’s student debt u-turn. An eagle-eyed co-conspirator has noticed they employed the services of the same actress who starred in Vote Leave’s famous campaign video on the NHS back in May 2016. Sources confirmed the curly-haired blonde is indeed one and the same person. Does this mean Labour will be promising £350 million a week for the NHS?

Telegraph Publishes 17 Stories About Love Island in 24 Hours

Remember when MediaGuido uncovered the Telegraph’strash traffic” strategy to game Search Engine Optimisation and secure millions of extra Google juice clicks? Well, in the last 24 hours the Telegraph website has published a grand total of 17 articles about Love Island, the popular ITV2 reality show featuring scantily-clad ladies and on-screen romps. This is the sort of “premium content” lucky Telegraph subscribers get to read today:

  • 16 things Love Island taught us about sex
  • Love Island’s Caroline Flack: ‘It’s not about sex’
  • How Love Island convinced me to stud my poodle
  • The top 10 cringiest moments from this season’s Love Island
  • Viagra sponsorship: how will Love Island contestants will make their millions?

A reminder that at the Telegraph it’s the SEO Chartbeat monkeys, not editors, who call the shots…

Corbyn Deletes Another Wrong Tweet

Yesterday Corbyn tweeted out a Telegraph article, crowing: “As school holidays start today, many will struggle to meet childcare costs, which have doubled under @conservatives“. Amusingly, this contradicted even Labour’s own data released that very morning, which claimed “the average weekly cost of childcare has risen by over 50 per cent from 2010 to 2017.” A 50% increase is not a “doubling” in costs. The tweet was deleted…

It’s the latest deleted Jez tweet: last week he got a tweet attacking the Tories over car parking charges at Welsh hospitals wrong (Labour runs the NHS in Wales and is responsible for the charges). Is a summer intern running his account?

CBI Survey: Everything is Awesome for Manufacturing

The ONS Q2 fall in manufacturing is due to a significant drop in the manufacture of cars. Elsewhere it’s a different picture if you read the new CBI Quarterly Trends survey, a long-standing survey of 397 blue-chip manufacturers which shows the state of Britain PLC. This quarter is astounding when you remember the predictions of economic disaster rolled out by George Osborne last year. The numbers are awesome:

  • 32% of manufacturers said employee numbers with headcount increasing at the fastest rate for three years and hiring intentions for the coming quarter also improved.
  • Expectations for growth in export orders improved to a four-decade high.
  • Export optimism is strong, 43% of firms said the volume of output over the past three months was up – the highest since January 1995.
  • 35% of businesses reported an increase in total orders.
  • Domestic orders were up +19%, with export orders growth remaining strong at +17%.
  • Alongside robust expectations for demand, firms accumulated raw materials at the fastest pace in forty years and stocks of work-in-progress expanded at a record rate. Strong confidence levels saw stock building of raw materials (+20%) which was the strongest since April 1977 (+22%), whilst stocks of work-in-progress rose (+16%).

By any measure these are good numbers, in the context of Osborne’s predictions for an immediate economic collapse, job losses, a collapse of business confidence and investment, these numbers are awesome. Reading the FT you’d never know it…

GDP Would Need to Collapse 5% in Next 12 Months to Meet Osborne’s Treasury Predictions

Worth reading the new growth figures in the context of the Treasury’s pre-referendum projections. HMT warned that in the two years following a Leave vote, the UK would enter recession with GDP falling by between 3.6% and 6%.

There has been growth in each quarter following the vote to leave: 0.6% in Q3 2016, 0.6% in Q4 2016, 0.2% in Q1 2017 and 0.3% in Q2 2017. That means to meet Project Fear’s two-year prediction, GDP has to fall by over 5% in the next 12 months. Let’s see…

Sock-puppet “charity” the IEA slapped down by regulator for general election bias

Somehow, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) enjoys charitable status, which means they are not required to disclose who funds them. This allows the IEA to carry out its work of lobbying for deregulation without being accused of a conflict of interest.

Charities, of course, are not permitted to be politically partisan. So, the IEA decision to publish a report with the Taxpayers’ Alliance on “Policy Proposals for a Conservative Manifesto”, and to put out a press release entitled “Labour’s manifesto pledges would add at least £40bn to public spending”, were in breach of Charity Commission guidelines. As a result the regulator insisted that these were withdrawn.

The IEA’s report “The Crack Cocaine of Gambling?”, which called into question the demonstrably addictive features of £100 a spin FOBTs in betting shops, suggests a commercial relationship with the bookmakers that the IEA’s charitable status has concealed.

It is laughable that the report’s author, Chris Snowdon, writes for Spectator Health when he is effectively a lobbyist for the tobacco, sugar and gambling industries by proxy. It says a lot about the Association of British Bloodsuckers (aka Bookmakers) that only the IEA are prepared to make their case for them, an organisation for whom freedom only means freedom for corporations.

The BBC should cease inviting anyone from the IEA onto its programmes until the IEA declares all funding sources.

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS.

A Classic of the Genre

Yesterday’s hat-trick of Brexit good news is covered the only way the FT knows how…

Gove: No to Chlorine Chicken

Michael Gove flatly ruled out chlorinated chicken in Brexit Britain’s supermarkets on the Today programme, hours after Liam Fox insisted there was no health issue with US-style chemically washed poultry. Fox is right that this whole row is confected and that the science doesn’t justify the ruffled feathers. Scaremongering by opportunistic Remainers maybe, but regardless of the facts chlorine chicken is always going to be unpopular, will cut through to the public and not help the PR for Brexit. The story should have been shut down days ago, it is distracting from Labour’s student debt row and what should have been a very good week for the Tories…

BBC Making Foreign Office Documentary

The BBC has commissioned a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the inner workings of the Foreign Office, Guido hears. The Beeb has wanted to produce a behind-the-scenes film revealing the inner workings of the FCO for a number of years, and Guido understands they have finally been given the sign off. A Michael Cockerell-style doco like his Inside the Commons series would be worth a watch; he did an episode on the FCO in his 2010 Great Offices of State series and also made a film about Boris Johnson in 2013. Sure Boris won’t do a Seumas and say anything unguarded with the cameras still rolling…

Amazon, Mini, EasyJet in Brexit Good News Hat-Trick

A hat-trick of #DespiteBrexit good news today, as three major employers strengthen their commitment to Brexit Britain. EasyJet has announced its largest ever intake of new cabin crew, recruiting an enormous 1,200 extra staff. More than half of that number will be based at London Gatwick. EasyJet became notorious for its sky-high levels of Remain rhetoric before the EU referendum; chief executive Carolyn McCall said Brexit “would not be good at all” for the airline. Good for those extra staff, though…

From the skies to the roads: BMW have announced that the new electric model of the iconic Mini will be manufactured in the UK, not in Germany. The car will be built at the firm’s Cowley plant, near Oxford. Business Secretary Greg Clark said the move was a sign that the UK is now “the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles“. BMW were involved in a letter from car industry executives ‘leaked’ to the Guardian which claimed:

“For BMW Group, more than half of Minis built and virtually all the engines and components made in the UK are exported to the EU, with over 150,000 new cars and many hundreds of thousands of parts imported from Europe each year. Tariff barriers would mean higher costs and higher prices and we cannot assume that the UK would be granted free trade with Europe from outside the EU.”

But now BMW is building its new Mini in Britain…

Amazon, meanwhile, is undertaking a massive expansion of its UK headquarters. The online retailing giant says it will take up the entire 15 floors of a newly constructed building near the City. The firm had planned to only occupy 11; now 450 new staff will work there. Doug Gurr of Amazon UK said:

“The U.K. is a fantastic place to find talent and we feel good about building a global R&D center here. We’re very confident we’ll be able to recruit everyone we need.”

In a staggeringly self-contradictory sentence, Bloomberg reports:

“Amazon is expanding its space in the new building, which features a roof garden and surrounded by new cafes and restaurants, amid nervousness in the property market created by uncertainty over the nature of the U.K.’s divorce from the EU.”

Three more reasons to believe in Brexit Britain…

Team Jez: Labour Frontbenchers Were Mistaken

George Osborne’s Evening Standard has splashed on Guido’s student debt scoop from this morning. Team Corbyn have a new line: that frontbenchers Imran Hussain and Sharon Hodgson were “mistaken” about Labour’s policy and shouldn’t have said that Jez was planning to wipe out debts. If Corbyn’s own top team were mistaken, not sure how voters were meant to understand it. Almost as if the Corbynistas are lying to cover their tracks…

Momentum Activists Threaten and Jeer Councillors Over Antisemitism Motion

This is the moment hard left activists backed by a London Momentum branch threatened, heckled and jeered Haringey councillors as they voted to adopt a standard definition of antisemitism. The agitators disturbed a full council meeting last night during a cross-party motion to adopt the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which is officially recognised by the government and widespread in the public sector. The Jewish Chronicle reports that a Haringey Momentum Facebook group encouraged its activists to attend the meeting. Reportedly the group said:

“The campaign for councils to adopt these guidelines – which is not Labour Party national policy – has been ramped up in the context of the denigration of Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.”

After the meeting, Labour Councillor Joe Goldberg tweeted how he had been “threatened” and “shouted down” by “momentum people“, and squarely blamed the Corbynista group for “hosting a lobby” against the motion:

The entire incident was recorded on video; one heckler is heard to shout: “We’ll see you in your constituency Labour Party”Menacing…

Chorley Not That Long Ago

Westminster’s favourite wit Matt Chorley writes in his Little Read Box email this morning:

“Next month it will be 13 years since I joined Twitter.”

Odd since Twitter was only founded 11 years ago and Matt’s own feed says he signed up in 2009:

On the other hand, colleagues remark it feels like he’s been on WhatsApp forever…

Commonwealth Nations Ask: How Much Longer Can Baroness Scotland Continue?

News of Baroness Scotland’s abject humiliation with the IPSO press regulator yesterday has travelled quickly around the Commonwealth. Caribbean News Now has published an editorial today headlined: “How much longer can Baroness Scotland continue as Commonwealth secretary-general?” The site accuses Scotland of “questionable appointments”, “attempted suppression of press freedom” and “allegations of profligate spending“, warning: “The resulting implications of her continuing in office for much longer are now of active interest in a growing number of Commonwealth capitals”. It concludes:

“The question now is will United Kingdom exert any influence and shield the Queen from further damaging controversy as Head of the Commonwealth at the London Summit next April.”

Commonwealth nations are getting jittery…

Starmer Forced to Turn Down Mishcon Second Job

Sir Keir Starmer has bowed to pressure and been forced to reject a lucrative second job at anti-Brexit law firm Mishcon de Reya. A win for Tory MP James Cleverly who wrote to Starmer last night pointing out the conflicts of interest the job would entail. Corbyn voted against second jobs and had a veto on the appointment, did Jez stop Sir Keir from taking the gig?

Shadow Minister: Every Existing Student Will Have All Their Debt Wiped Off

Let this put an end to the Corbynista spin that they never pledged to wipe out student debt. Here is Shadow Justice minister Imran Hussain speaking in a campaign video during the election:

“Just this morning Jeremy Corbyn has announced that the tuition fees will be abolished straight away from September if there’s a Labour government, and that we will bring back immediately EMA and also that every existing student will have all their debt wiped off. That’s fantastic news, isn’t it guys?”

That’s at least two Labour frontbenchers who made the student debt pledge during the election. Promise broken, Corbynista spin unravelled…

UPDATE: Schools minister Nick Gibb says:

“Day by day Labour’s top team are being found out for their betrayal over student debt. Their irresponsible offers to students are unravelling before our eyes. It is becoming abundantly clear that Labour’s election pledges were pure fantasy and they cannot be trusted to keep their promises – will they now step forward and apologise to this country’s young voters?”

Corbynistas DID Tell Students “Vote Labour” to Get Debts Written Off

Corbynistas are disingenuously claiming they never let students believe their policy was to write off debts, and that the whole furore is an MSM smear. The above tweets from Shadow minister Sharon Hodgson reveal the truth: they did use the pledge as a reason for “All those in early 20s with student debt” to “Vote Labour”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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