+ + + BBC's Craig Oliver Replaces Coulson + + +

He is the 41 year old controller of BBC Global News.  A TV guy, as Guido recommended a week ago…

UPDATE : Lucy Manning points out Oliver has worked for ITV, Channel 4, 5 and the BBC. Up yours Rupert.

UPDATE :

Dear Colleagues,

As you will have seen from Peter’s email, I have decided to take the role of Government Director of Communications. It involves working in Number 10, co-ordinating the message for the Coalition Government. I’m sad to be leaving the BBC after a fascinating few years. It’s been a privilege to edit some of its key output, from BBC News at Six and Ten, to last year’s General Election. More recently I have enjoyed working at Global News. The commitment, passion and expertise in the World Service, World News and bbc.com/news has been truly inspiring. I wish everyone the best, particularly the World Service after the difficult announcements last week. I was approached about the role over the weekend, the first time I had been considered for it, and came to the conclusion that it will be an exciting and challenging opportunity.

I hope we won’t be strangers, though I am closing this chapter in my career.

Best wishes,

Craig
(Former Controller, Global News (English))

Shameful Socialist Fraternity with the Egyptian Dictatorship

Labour’s sister party in Egypt up until the day before yesterday was Hosni Mubarak’s NDP. The Socialist International grouping of left-wing parties only noticed on Monday that their sister party had run a brutal regime for thirty years which tortured opponents and used the secret police to suppress opposition. Fancy that…

Guido is grateful to friends for this copy of the letter expelling the NDP from the club. The man who got his party back, Neil Kinnock is the honorary President of Socialist International…

Deal or No Deal?

Scotland’s disgrace of a Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said yesterday that a Wikileaks cable alleging that a UK government minister had advised the Libyans about how to get Al Megrahi released “vindicated” his decision to release Al Megrahi. Guido isn’t so sure given the terrorist released to die within three months is still standing.

This month’s Vanity Fair will make for awkward reading for not only MacAskill, but Blair, Straw and Salmond too. David Rose’s deep investigation concludes that Salmond had a remarkable change of heart about releasing the only person convicted of the mass murder on his patch after he cut a deal with Straw to save a few million. The Scottish executive was facing numerous legal cases over making prisoners use slop buckets. According to an official listening in to phone calls

“Salmond indicated that the Scottish government would drop its objections if the Parliament in Westminster would engineer an amendment to the Scotland Act,”

A change that would kill the legal action from former prisoners dead in the water. Salmond’s spokesman Kevin Pringle says the story is “complete and utter garbage without a shred or scintilla of truth.” That’s the same Kevin Pringle who doesn’t have the greatest track record in being open and frank with the facts.

PMQs Live: Don't Mention Manufacturing Edition

[orderorder-live-event altcast_code=”d2879fdd4c” height=”700″ width=”480″]

+ + + Jim Devine Pleads Not Guilty + + +

Two counts of false accounting. Trial to last a week.

UPDATE: After an excellent investigation by the Herald’s investigations chief Paul Hutcheon it was the Sunlight Centre that got the ball rolling:

UPDATE II: Sky and the BBC are both tweeting live from the court.

UPDATE III: The judge just told the jury not to search the internet about the case. Despite what Guido said about Krishnan in the last post, this was no doubt his finest hour:

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Guido imagines the interview will be played by the prosecution. And that’s all he has to say on the matter.

CCHQ Share Baldwin's Lines

Tom Baldwin must have more influence than Guido has given him credit for. Not only has he got toadying newsreaders like Krishnan Guru-Murthy to obey his decree that the coalition must be called the “Tory-led government”, but it seems even CCHQ are pushing the line:

He should write those letters more often.

Clegg : "You Don't Have to be Crazy to Work Here…"

Nick Clegg told Radio 5 Live this morning that

“Today we’re announcing we’re going to remove the law that means if you’re a politician or an MP and you suffer from a mental health problem for more than six months you are disqualified from standing for public office… That’s an old fashioned approach to mental health that is completely out of step with what we now know.”

Clegg wants to “end the stigma attached to mental illness”, he also wants to shift away from medication to spending £400 million on “talking therapies”. All well and good. Guido may be going out on a limb here, but lunatics getting their “talking therapy” in the chamber of the House of Commons seems like a bad idea. MPs are paid by the taxpayers to represent us and exercise their judgement, voting as our representatives. If they are crazy they can’t do that effectively.

That is the reason we have legislation barring the insane from being MPs. It is a good reason. It isn’t outdated and old-fashioned to think that the certifiably insane should not be deciding legislation of national importance. If this passes they will have to change the old workplace sign you still see in some places:

“You don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it won’t matter if you are…”



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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