+ + + 23 Year-Old Student Arrested + + +

So the news wires now have it.

Our target was arrested earlier in Cambridgeshire.

Guido would put money on our laughing boy being from Anglia Ruskin University Students Union…

UPDATE 18.00 : At this moment it is not clear which of the two  extinguisher brandishing yobs has been arrested.

Pay-Wall Silences Purnell Spurn

Labour Uncut have got a lot of attention today for revealing that Ed Miliband offered former Blairite MP James Purnell the job of his Chief of Staff. The only man brave enough to stand up to Gordon Brown, before being let down by David Miliband, seemingly refused to touch the job with a barge pole. The story has sent ripples of excitement through the Labour lot and the hacks. But was this as exclusive? No.

The Times apparently ran the story nine days ago, but because of their pay-wall no one saw it or took any notice. For their take Labour Uncut get all the credit and the traffic, leaving Wapping’s finest with nothing. Guido bets their political team are a happy bunch this afternoon given they managed to save Red Ed from humiliation.

Friday Caption Contest (Hand of History Edition)

Second Extinguisher Wielding Yob Sought

Do you know the name of this extinguisher carrying individual? He seems to be a different yob from the one pictured in the wanted poster yesterday, carrying a different extinguisher, more likely to be the one that was tossed at the police.

Your information will treated as in confidence and you do not have to give your name…

FOI Payments Get Pickled

Eric Pickles has decreed that councils can no longer charge for FoIs.  One of the most frustrating answers to truth-seekers, of which Guido counts himself amongst, is that the information is too expensive to obtain. Always taken with a pinch of salt.

So to your keyboards co-conspirators. Though this is a good move, wouldn’t it just be simpler to put all the information on-line in the first place?

Keeping a Sense of Proportion on Twitter

Two cases of humour on Twitter have brought a disproportionate response that Guido really can’t let pass without comment.

The first case is that of Paul Chambers, the 27-year-old man convicted of “menace” following a Twitter joke about blowing up an airport – “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” He has lost his appeal.

Not a very good joke, but not one in context that deserves a full blown trial. Then we have Tory councillor Gareth Compton arrested and charged for an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for what Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says is racially motivated incitement to murder.

Not very funny, more a jest in exasperation at something ridiculous she has said on a radio show. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is exasperating, she has built her whole career as a columnist on being as exasperating as a slightly dotty outspoken aunt who you can’t get to shut-up. Guido would also bet that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, as an outspoken high profile muslim woman,  is on the receiving end of a lot of unpleasant racial abuse to which she has probably become acutely sensitised and is fed up with. Is this tweet, in context, really of that order?

Everyone who has any public profile gets abuse and threats. Nutters, particularly online, are ten-a-penny and Twitter gives nutters a direct feedback channel for abuse (for the last few days student trots have being giving Guido the benefit of their badly spelt views). It is the price you pay for a public profile, particularly online.

Guido has only referred threats to the police when they have been of the “we know where your kids go to school” kind. Straightforward abuse on Twitter justs gets the tweeter blocked, abusive emails just get the sender added to the spam filter.  No doubt Guido could have plenty of antagonists charged under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. Twitter, blogs and email provide easy written evidence. There is one obsessive in Guildford who occupies megabytes of hard-drive storage with abusive profane voicemails, emails and libels, another in Hull who regularly blogs about Guido’s supposed National Front past. Distressing? Actionable? Life is just too short to drag them all through the Courts Yasmin.



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Quote of the Day

Via the FT’s Jim Pickard: Seumas Milne’s idea for Labour election catchphrase:

“The Tories are the real extremists.”

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