Flashback 2008 : Labour's Draper to Dominate Blogosphere

From September 2008:

PR Week can reveal that the Labour Party is exploring plans for an online rapid rebuttal unit, designed to kill off damaging stories circulating in the blogosphere. Former lobbyist Derek Draper will oversee the initiative, having recently been called in by Labour’s general secretary to advise on how the party can communicate its message. Labour strategists are keen to respond to the growing influence of right-wing blogs.

Channel 4 covered the bright new dawn hereIt didn’t quite work out…

Flashback 2007 : Revitalised Left-Wing Blogosphere

Back in November 2007, when Comrade Hundal launched his site, we were on a Radio 4 show together, he told them “it will become ‘the hub’ of a revitalised left-wing blogosphere”. Two years later they are making the same claims all over again

The Online Left Thinks 2010 Will Be Their Year

Look away if you hate blogging on blogging. The unpopular left-wing part of the blogosphere is convincing itself that 2010 will be the year they take off. Prospect’s editor James Crabtree has an article in the New Statesman to that effect.

Most critics and even the right-wing blogosphere gives Will Straw’s Left Foot Forward credit as the best new online offering from the left.  It does what successful blogs need to do, produces timely original content that runs ahead of the mainstream media’s news agenda.  Will knows this won’t directly achieve much electorally, instead he aims realistically to influence and frame the media debate, rather than win votes, which he doesn’t think any blogs can deliver.  Sometimes we can Will.  Yes, we can

LabourList is, like LabourHome before it, a bit directionless and seems more about cheering up the troops than scaring the enemy. That might be a valid role. It is of course way better than back in Draper’s day. Boy, does Guido miss him. To match up to ConservativeHome’s influence and be taken as seriously by the host party as Tim Montgomerie is will take some doing.

  • Sunny Hundal’s Liberal Conspiracy suffers from what Lenin would call an “infantilist disorder”, that is the kind of leftism Guido wants to see dominate the Labour Party in the next decade.  A modernised version of the loony left of the eighties would be ideal fodder for this blog.
  • Hopi Sen, Tom Watson and Tom Harris all write well, but are they really willing or able to put in the hours Dale does?
  • As for Twitter, it isn’t going to win any votes and is a tool, not a means. Forget it.
  • This blog?  Guido plans to be in the same position, performing the same role under the next government as this one.

The left has to get the post-election civil war out of the way first before it re-groups. Given that the online left is way to the left of the electorate, there is a good chance that the Labour blogosphere will help consign the Labour Party to irrelevance for a good while. 

There is a good chance the Labour blogosphere will be as much of a hindrance to the Labour Party in 2010 as it was in 2009…

Guy News : The Out-Takes

Watch out for the weather girl…

Happy New Year…

Quote of the Decade

Gordon Brown said

“What you as the City of London, have done for financial services, we as a government intend to do for the economy as a whole.”

Mansion House speech, June 2002

Cherie in Swindon

A co-conspirator draws Guido’s attention to Swindon Wide’s reporting of the upcoming ‘Swindon Festival of Literature’.  Undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights of the year.  Cherie will really have to prostitute herself somewhat to push her book, she got a reported £1 million advance and it has sold a mere 33,000 copies.

Guido knows Cherie has a reputation for money grubbing, but even so, the headline is a little unfair…

Quote of the Day

James Crabtree predicts

“2010 will see the ‘rise of a genuinely powerful, left-wing blogosphere’ ready to take on ‘the Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United of British politics’ (aka Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and ConservativeHome).”

Guido's Portfolio 2009

In the right hand column of this blog below the book ads there is a spot updated in realtime showing Guido’s portfolio position. For the readers who are interested (there are a few) this is the portfolio report for the second half of this year (first half here).

The huge pink drop on the chart is when Guido decided that the U.S. stock-market was getting carried away to the upside and shorted U.S. Dow futures.  He was at the time sat in a deckchair in France drinking rosé in the August sun.  When over the next few days the trade started to go wrong, and the Dow pushed well past 9000, Guido drank more rosé and doubled up his short.  Who said rosé was cheap?

By the time Guido sobered up and exited the trade it had wiped out all the profits from the first half of the year (and some) putting the portfolio in the red.  So Guido stuck to jobbing the gilt market from the short side and dodging the QE bidding, then figured out that it was possible to join the QE bidding.  Next trade mess-up was trying in November, despite being a huge gold bull, shorting a technically over-bought gold market.  Except it wasn’t really over-bought fundamentally as India’s central bank had bought 200 tonnes.  Net-net the year’s trading of gold didn’t really make any money as a result.  Made small profits jobbing oil and getting long the euro.  The portfolio was mostly flat with no positions or risk during the year (68 trades were made all year, mostly held for less than a week).  Guido was too busy doing other things and has removed the trading software from his Blackberry to prevent himself from trading financial markets under the influence.  Nevertheless the portfolio is up 40.82% on the year versus a stock-market up about 23%.

The portfolio’s high leverage and sharp moves in Net Asset Value* are due to having a target of making a 100% annualised return.  Guido was 78% up at one point in early November before giving back profits.  Next year Guido can see no reason to hold gilts, if the markets sense a close election it will spook the gilt market and there is going to be a continuing flood of supply no matter what.  The exit from QE will probably be horrendous.

*Eagle eyed readers might spot a discrepancy in the NAV figures, the final figure is based on NAV versus the start of the year and the NAV changes throughout the year are based on trade by trade changes.

Sh*ts of the Year 2009

The lack of real news flow means that the media start doing predictions and awards to pad out space. Dale’s listmania has  once again gone into overdrive, could have sworn he posted “My Top Ten Lists of 2009”. So Guido will, for the same reason, invite co-conspirators to nominate their “Sh*ts of the Year”.
  • Sh*t Politician of the Year
  • Sh*t Journalist of the Year
  • Sh*t Blogger of the Year
  • Hoon Prix d’ Sh*t of the Year

The last category can come from any field of human endeavour. Put your nomination in the comments together with less than 30 words giving your grounds for your choice. Do not misunderstand, it is not a vote for another bloody list, it is a contest of wits, you have to make a nomination with illuminating, witty amusing grounds in 30 words or less. Not just say “Brown is a sh*t.” It is for a T-shirt after all…

Multiple entries permitted, a co-conspirator T-shirt to the wittiest nomination received by midnight tomorrow…

UPDATE : Despite emphasising that this post is seeking witty nominations and prize is for the best grounds for the nomination, people are just making nominations without giving reasons. Doh!

Quote of the Day

Comrade Hundal says

“Class War remains an electorally viable strategy because … it highlights wedge issues Labour needs to advance to narrow their defeat…”

Prezza Becomes China Apologist

Chinese culture venerates the wisdom of the aged, that must be why they made John Prescott a Professor of Climate Change at a Xiamen University.  It surely can’t be for his grasp of thermo-dynamics or theoretical climatology.  All the honours and flattery have secured his services as a Sino-apologist, a role in which he follows in the footsteps of Ted Heath, who combined his latter years of sulking with making excuses for the Chinese, greatly enriching himself in the process.

Guido has no idea what the terms of his honourary position are, so far he has only declared copious hospitality from the Chinese regime.  This has seemingly secured his trademark one-sided campaigning belligerence on their behalf in return.  You would have thought China’s blocking of a deal in Copenhagen would have soured Professor Prezza the climate change campaigner’s relationship with the Chinese.  Not a bit, he even wrote a letter to the Guardian loyally pointing out that the Copenhagen Conference failing  was all America’s fault, despite NGOs and EU negotiators squarely blaming China.  Guido will bet that a letter to the Guardian has never before been reported favourably in the Chinese People’s Daily…

This morning a British citizen was executed by the Chinese.  David Miliband had led an international campaign to get the sentence commuted, even Gordon Brown pleaded for clemency.  So did John Prescott use his campaigning skills and contacts at the highest level of the Chinese regime to intervene? 

No, not a tweet was heard from him…

UPDATE : Prezza managed to mess up a Chinese wedding. Have a laugh watching the wedding video hereAt least he didn’t grope a bridesmaid…

Playing With Piggies

For Christmas as well as socks and slippers, Guido got a power drill.  Middle-aged fatherdom is like that.

The kids on the other hand got a Wii game which is great fun with a large-picture projector, though Mrs Fawkes tends to get a bit over-excited with the boxing game.   

Kicking the parliamentary troughers re-starts soon enough, back to Peppa Pig

Quote of the Day

Ed Balls said

“Yvette and I are married. I personally think it is better but I certainly would not say that to other people.”

Rich & Mark's Christmas View

Guy News : Christmas Special

For those of you who don’t get the Guidogram every week, here Guy News gives you the top ten video moments of our year.

As is traditional at this time of year they are of course repeats…

Quote of the Day

Miss Fawkes (aged 4) said…

“Guido is a bit like Santa, he knows when politicians have been good or bad…”

Christmas Service

Guido is with his in-laws and the laptop is out-of-action ever since Microsoft insisted on an urgent security update to Windows XP.

Which is probably for the best, though there will be occasional updates, Guido suggests your best bet is to get stuck into the sherry.

Miscellaneous snippets:

Am enjoying Prescott spinning over Copenhagen, Gordon and Miliband claiming that it is a successful “first step” when they previously claimed it was a “last chance to save the planet”. It was all going so well until Gordon said he would go…

Think that Sion Simon has some serious explaining to do about lack of receipts for rent supposedly paid to his sister.

Looking forward to the pictures of pole dancers due outside Harriet Harman’s house tomorrow complaining about changes in licensing laws that will take the shirts off their backs. Will also hit girl guides and boy scouts village hall dances.

Am told this week’s Private Eye (yes, it is still going) has a section on ‘Jonah Brown’, which is odd because Hislop insists, contrary to evidence, they don’t take material unattributed from blogs. Nor do they appear to have paid for the last load of cut ‘n pasting for which Adam Macqueen promised to send a cheque.

A very silly attitude. Private Eye could end up being made available for free on the web whether Hislop likes it or not…

UPDATE : Adam Macqueen points out that Guido was actually paid. Had no idea, but will take him at his word.  A book-keeper will be shot.

Friday Caption Competition (Guido Claus Edition)

This image of Guido Claus and his Christmas angels – Nadine and Yvette – is taken from the  Guy News Christmas Special going out shortly. Guy News is now easily the most popular political channel on YouTube, with more viewers week after week than the official WebCameron, LabourVision or Downing Street channels.  The Guidogram goes out free to thousands of subscribers every week…

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Nailing Brown's Big Lie : GDP Can Grow During Fiscal Squeezes

Time and time again during PMQs Brown claims that the Tories would choke off a recovery by cutting government spending.  This he uses to justify the fiscal nihilism that has seen the PSBR hit a record high of £20.3 billion last month.  Suicidal unfunded spending.

The Tories don’t make the case for cuts very well, they don’t feel comfortable doing so and thus they shy away from nailing one of Brown’s big lies – that taxing and spending is the only way to get out of recession.  This chart from Bloomberg shows that the UK economy has previously “enjoyed growth during fiscal squeezes in the early 1980s and mid-1990s, calling into question Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s assertion that cutting the deficit too soon would wreck the recovery.”*

Ben Broadbent, an economist at Goldman Sachs says “… periods of fiscal tightening in the past 30 years — the early 1980s and the mid-1990s — saw quite strong economic growth.” Britain’s budget deficit will peak next year at 13.2%, the worst in the G20 according to the IMF. Yet Alistair Darling says a quicker reduction in the deficit risks “putting the recovery at risk.” History shows that both Margaret Thatcher and John Major cut spending and boosted economic growth…

*From an article by Reed Landberg and Andrew Atkinson (not online).

Who Knew What and When?

Government officials, ministerial denials, attack blogs, smears, sound familiar? In the last few weeks Scottish politics has been caught up in its very own blogging scandal.  Dead-tree-press hacks have declared war on the nationalist blogosphere, picking off anonymous bloggers one by one and claiming five or so scalps so far.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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