In the Hamptons, USA. Might be back next week.
Gossip will resume on my return.
In the Hamptons, USA. Might be back next week.
Gossip will resume on my return.
Guido is an avid reader of Recess Monkey, and noticed a story that he ran on Thursday about an over-heard young researcher using the chat-up line “If you come out with me, I’ll introduce you to the prime minister.” It brought a smile. So this morning when he read the Sunday Times’ Atticus column he was amazed to read the same story. Is the Monkey moonlighting for the Sunday Times?
Or is it another cut ‘n paste job? Guido thinks it time the Blogosphere came together to honour the MSM with its own awards. A nomination panel should be assembled, composed of bloggers who have had stories lifted without attribution. A suitable trophy should be found for the Press Plagiarist of the Year Award.
Contact Guido (box on the right) if you want to be on the nominations commitee and with great examples of cut ‘n pasting. Special prizes for cut ‘n paste jobs which copy errors as well. Only unattributed specimens are eligible, we want to encourage them to give credit where credit is due.
Tartan Tories in particular think their only hope of winning elections is to fight as a Scottish party, English Tories already win their national elections and Wales, well, who cares its never votes Tory anyway. Crazy for a party that until recently called itself the Conservative and Unionist party?
There is evidence of law-breaking by the American left-winger George Bush dubbed the “garbage man” and Labour hired to create its sophisticated email campaign. Zack previously worked at the anti-Bush, Soros backed MoveOn.Org campaign. He also worked on Kerry’s campaign. All the Labour Party campaign emails designed by Zack made bold references to the Privacy Statement on Labour’s website which states
You may be asked for personal information if you complete one of the forms on this site. Please see below the information we ask for and what this information is used for. In each case we will only use the information about you for the purpose for which you provide it. The Labour Party does not sell or disclose this information to outside organisations or individuals, nor transfer it outside the United Kingdom
David Naylor, partner, Technology Transactions Group at global technology and finance law firm, Morrison & Foerster points out that
These laws were brought into force in the UK on 11 December 2003, under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. Companies and other data controllers that ignore these laws may be subject to regulatory investigation and fines, civil liability and, in some circumstances, criminal liability. In certain circumstances, criminal sanctions may be imposed for breaches of data protection laws not only against a company that acts as a data controller, but also against its directors. You should note that the regulations apply to all cookies and tracking devices, whether or not they are used to store personally identifiable data.
During the campaign Guido had been digging into this for a few weeks when he exchanged emails with Zack Exley and challenged him on this issue. Despite initial denials, when presented with proof he later admitted that the links were in the emails, but denied they were utilised and claimed they were an over-sight by the outside software supplier Email Reaction. He tried to put Guido off the scent, eventually threatening that he would “cut you off for life” if Guido disclosed this information. (Guido will cope.)
Subsequent campaign email sent out by the Labour party did not contain the unique identifiers. The press office and the legal department will not respond to any information requests. Failure to disclose the Spyware and failure to offer opt out facilities are criminal offences under the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. Melanie Onn, the Constitutional and Legal Officer for the Legal and Financial Compliance Taskforce for the Labour Party stonewalled on giving answers to all questions and requests prior to May 5. Applications and requests under the Data Protection Act were ignored – in breach of the law. But breaching the Data Protection Act by not supplying blogging applicants such as Guido and Tim Ireland with the information they are obliged to supply, in the time they are supposed to do, is the least of Melanie Onn’s worries. Guido understands that privacy advocates are contemplating legal action in what would be a test case, who better to test the laws against than the governing party that introduced them?
Galloway has I think left London to fly to Washington for his sparring match with the US Senate sub-committee which has accused him over the oil scandal.
Problem for him is, that he has not sworn the oath in the House of Commons. He will not be back in London until after the Queen’s Speech, which is the deadline when all MPs have to have affirmed or taken the oath.
Unless the Speaker lets him off, if he sets foot on the floor of the House when he gets back, he will be fined £500, and his Bethnal Green and Bow seat would be automatically vacated.
So she was wrong on both counts.
Tony Lord Banks…
Loaded now, he gave another £500,000 donation to New Labour, and got made a life peer by Mr Blair six weeks later. He sold his company two years later, trousered £100 million and joins the government today. Hey, that’s politics with integrity…
Therein lies the fears of Howard about the current system.
Writing in The Times Mary Ann Sieghart sheds some light on matters and hits the nail on the head for the modernisers. Who to do it, not what to do, is their problem.
My new source was correct apparently about a meeting of the modernisers on Monday. Sieghart says Maude, Dorrel and Andrew Tyrie discussed who they should support. She says they opted for Andrew Lansley. Dorrell told Alan Duncan and Damian Green their views. If Sieghart is correct it seems very unsporting that Francis Maude, party chairman, is getting involved in intra-factional infighting. Her judgement however has to be questioned since she backs Willets.
Guido has a simple suggestion, it will bring increased involvement in the party, and it would emulate the most successful right-of-centre political party in the world, the Republicans. Hold primaries, let the membership choose two leadership candidates who would be voted on by their MP colleagues. In the twenty-first century, democratic parties require democratic procedures, any attempt to edge out the membership’s primary role is ridiculous. If you want to be leader, communicate your message around the country to party members at hustings, get their support, don’t get yourself foisted on the membership by the parliamentary party.
Yes, IDS was a disaster chosen by members, but Major was chosen by MPs. You don’t want a leader in this day and age who is not trusted by the party membership. Unless you are Tony Blair of course.
A name mocked by the CBI as “old-fashioned corporatism” (the CBI attacking corporatism, that is the kettle calling), the unions weren’t keen on the productivity bit either.
Alan Johnson declaimed all responsibility for the idea in the FT “I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t mine.” So who had the dippy idea of the DPEI? Was it Hewitt? Leaks to the usual places (see the box on the right).
For those of you who miss the election campaign, the Beeb has some of the best moments on its website, the Reg Keys speech in Sedgefield, Howard’s resignation, Galloway v Paxman, Tony Blair on Question Time, and sleepless Kennedy unable to explain LibDem policy.
Some other juicy bits ‘n pieces as well, enjoy.
Letwin has confirmed he is out, “I am not going to contest this time. I think one has to know one’s limits.” Quite.
UPDATE: Tebbit to ITV on Rifkind “I don’t think a Scottish lawyer would win an enormous amount of seats in England. We’ve forgotten that we have a majority of votes in England – we’ve polled more votes in England than Labour. Now we have got a problem, but it is not one which I think the Scottish lawyer would be the natural to resolve.”
Some real modernisers have been writing in the anti-Tory press about what they think the Tories need to be doing. John Bercow has been putting himself about telling the Indy and anyone else who will listen what needs to be done (he won’t run, but might be a key lieutenant). Tim Yeo said similar things in the Guardian, Alan Duncan got profiled in the Indy, Malcolm Rifkind in the Observer signaled he wants to go back to watered down socialism. All very well, but do Tories read those papers? Chaps, who elects the next Tory leader?
Guido thinks it amusing, and a sign of shrewder judgement, that only David Davis has thought to write in the Torygraph for the benefit of his potential constituency. Maude and Stephen Dorrel, neither of whom are running, are the only others to do so. Of everything so far, John O’Sullivan talked the most sense in the FT about what is going on.
Can it be true that he still lives with his mum?
Nick its time to leave home, you are 30.
UPDATE: Could someone clarify this story about our hero declaring in the Oxford Union bar that he wanted to be known as “Shezza”?
Guido plans to post daily but not five-times-a-day as before. Those of you who don’t subscribe to the syndicated feed are recommended to do so – it saves checking the blog. Guido uses Bloglines to monitor all the blogs he reads, it saves clicking from site-to-site amongst favourites, only to find them not updated and valuable click time wasted. Click on the little [SUB-BLOGLINES] subscription button in the right-hand column half way down and follow the instructions – it makes life easier.
Apparently Guido won the Guardian’s Political Commentary Blog of the Year Award – for what its worth. My view of the Guardian is that they have been trying to feed vampirically off the buzz and energy of the Blogosphere for whatever edgy cachet it has, to “get down with the blogs”. Despite loathing its public-sector politics, Guido admits it is the most web-savvy serious paper, but whilst many of my fellow bloggers are seduced by the hope of a mention on the Guardian’s website and the traffic it brings, personally I’m not really impressed by the Dead-Tree-Press hacks who attempt to patronise bloggers. Unlike bloggers, journalists may have a sub-editor, but not a proper job. Admittedly bloggers failed during the election to claim any scalps, unlike in the US where they got Dan Rather and helped destroy Kerry. Hopefully Guido will do better in the next parliament…