Guido Killed the Lobby Star

guido killed the lobby starThe PMOS, Simon Lewis, and the chairman of the Lobby, Jean Eaglesham, yesterday announced that the system of Downing Street Lobby briefings is to be reviewed  “in light of the changes in the reporting of the work of government in an increasingly fast-moving and on-line media world”.  On hearing the news Guido – enjoying a two bottle lunch since PMQs was delayed – paraphrased  lyrics from the Buggles hit on Twitter in celebration.

A working group of six lobby hacks and five government spin doctors is going to come up with recommendations to be implemented next year. No one from the fast-moving online media world is on the working group. Guido has made his views about the Westminster embedded client media that constitutes the Lobby system clear over the years (see Newsnight and The Times). The meek acceptance of non-attributable briefings, often of questionable truth, is hardly helpful to the functioning of an open democracy. This method of information distribution is glorified as “on Lobby terms”.

Comical AliFriends of Mandy have spun the Guardian the idea that the Dark Lord himself should give twice weekly televised briefings* in a new information minister role.  The prospect of Comical Mandy batting off questions from the Lobby has some appeal.  It will all be a pantomime until the clubby culture of the Lobby changes.

*Guido has long supported televised Lobby briefings, ask yourself why is it that Lobby hacks oppose televising them?




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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