Saturday Seven Up

7upLast week saw 91,437 absolute unique visitors make 237,042 visits to view 354,369 pages. The Royal Wedding pretty much dominated the week, and now finally there might be some decent coverage of the AV referendum. Strangely all sorts of stories from a a few years back about a certain Andrew Marr have popped in to the most read list this week though.

So Dave finally gave in and wore his tails, but what’s missing from this picture?

The top stories this week were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Friday Caption Contest (Sillyband Edition)

When a car arrives outside Ed Miliband’s office displaying Silly Millie The Clown, children’s party entertainer, the jokes pretty much write themselves. Good luck anyway…

The NO Campaign's Secret Weapon

As polling day approaches, the No campaign have deployed their most devastating attack on AV yet.

Signed, sealed, delivered. 

Keynes vs. Hayek, Round Two

Maybe instead of arguing with Guido on Twitter, Will Straw should just step into the ring. Will always advocates more government taxing, borrowing and spending, Guido always advocates lower taxes, balanced budgets and an end to subsidies and bail-outs. Here is the rap version:

Council Pilgrims

Tory MP Alok Sharma has been digging into the union officials that are paid full time by the state. Basically local government versions of Nurse Pilgrim, whom Guido exposed last week.

Sharma asked the number of council-paid employees working full-time on trade union business, as well as the aggregate bill and the estimated cost of any other resources used by these officials

319 of 429 councils responded to the FOI request. 132 had a paid full-time union official in at least one of the last 3 years, whilst 187 did not. As yesterday, 110 councils had not responded including the  slashing Labour controlled Manchester City Council.

The total salary bill over the last three years for full-time union reps was £35 million. This does not include the cost of employing someone else to do the job vacated by the union reps. The unions should be paying for these staffers, not the taxpayer.

Meanwhile our favourite Nurse Pilgrim is causing trouble again. Outraged that the hospital she works at won’t be shutting down for the Royal Wedding she is organisng an official complaint

From: Jane Pilgrim [mailto:Jane.Pilgrim@███████.nhs.uk]
Sent: 26 April 2011 16:48
To: ████████████████
Subject: RE: royal wedding
Sensitivity: Confidential

Dear All,

It seems that the Trust are putting up stiff resistance to our various letters,

It does now seem that a collective grievance would be appropriate. UNISON has agreed to this..

Please let me know if you wish to be part of a collective grievance by 11th May,

Many Thanks

Jane Pilgrim ( Staff Side Secretary)

Guido wouldn’t have had this “peace and love” hippy squatter down as an arch-monarchist. Especially as she has now joined the Green Party who are abolitionist. Heaven forbid she might actually have to do a days work though. How exactly is Jane expecting lives to be saved if everyone at the hospital gets the day off?

Balls's Reliance On Double Dip Destroyed

Blinky BallsThe UK economy grew by 0.5% in the first three months of the year, reducing the risk of a double-dip recession. Reacting to the  fact that his doomsday scenario hasn’t quite come true, Ed Balls said Cameron was “patronising, sexist, insulting and un-prime ministerial and he certainly should apologise.” Back to the drawing board for a Ballsian economic theory.

The Guilty Men

Poor Patrick Wintour, just a couple of weeks ago he has was gleefully preaching the merits of the AV system to the Guardian choir, yet today he has almost begun naming the names of who is to blame for Yes running such an antiquated campaign.

Bad news for Huhne. His less than subtle leadership politicking has has gone down badly with the Yes team saying it “went on too long for self-serving purposes”. The campaign had until then had taken the decision not to rebut all the accusations put to them by No, but this may prove to have been their fatal mistake. But all is not lost, they do have one big trick up their sleeves: “The yes team are even scanning the 10-day weather forecast in the hope that God will prove to be a late convert” Desperate times…

The Telegraph's Political Priorities

What has Dave unleashed? There are those that say The Telegraph has dumbed down in recent years, and those that can see that the Guidoisation of the media is almost complete. Colonels will be doing a little more than choking into their corn flakes when they see the latest from Assistant Comment Editor Lucy Jones:

Well Lucy, Guido can put you out of your misery. They were in fact Lisa Nandy’s boobs. Who, he hears you cry? One of Miliband’s, until recently, rather bland, new-model rent-a-mob.

Dave's Line Might Not Be a Winner

Cameron evoking Michael Winner at PMQs with “a calm down dear” has led to Labour kicking off and press releasing a demand for an apology. Presumably they are upset that he didn’t say “honorable dear”. Lets hope that someone doesn’t say Go Compare at the dispatch box next week.

Silencing Court Jesters

The role of a court jester was subtler than you might think, he made fun of the king and his courtiers in such a way as to often tell truths which could not be said directly. A strong king did not fear the role of the jester, knowing it was a safety valve for dissent and an indirect source of intelligence that would be otherwise difficult to convey to his face. A wise king who was lucky enough to have a clever court jester could learn much from how the court reacted to his japes and court observers could learn from how the king reacted more than might otherwise have been known.

Only a king too weak or too arrogant would find a jester insufferable. Jesters strengthened kingdoms.

It seems to Guido that today the rich and the powerful are too arrogant and perhaps too afraid of the media, much as weak kings feared the jester, they fear an unfettered free press.

In an age of moral relativism the court of public opinion is so often the only one we have in which to judge public figures. The politician who disports himself naked in parliament – like Nigel Griffiths did – may feel no shame, his wife may be blameless, his party may stay silent, but should he really be able to hide his foolishness from the voters? Should he be able to go to the Courts to protect his privacy after literally cavorting with his lover in the public offices of parliament? He won an injunction to stop a free press reporting the full truth about him to his voters. That seems to Guido to be dangerous to our freedom and to the exercise of informed choice in a democracy.

Celebrities who use their wholesome image to endorse products similarly protect their commercial value using the Court to cover up their sordid reality.

Celebrities, soap stars and footballers go to Courts of Law to avoid being judged by the court of public opinion. If they succeed they escape censure and society is worse off in two ways; public figures get away with behaviour which society rightly disdains and they still manage to project a false self-image without the truth being exposed to the society they deceive. Secondly there will exist in society those who know the truth about public figures – mainly people in the media, politics and the law – and those who are kept ignorant like Roman plebeians.  That can’t be right.

Fear of widespread humiliation and popular opprobrium are two social restraints on the tendency of flawed humans to succumb to their baser instincts. It is an unfortunate fact that many of the characteristics which drive men to power are the same that make them scoundrels. If society wants those who rise to fame and fortune to behave less scandalously, society should keep the justified fear of exposure by a free press as a restraint. Muzzle the press by protecting the privacy of public figures and public life will be even more dominated by unreported scoundrels.

QotD

Jackie Ashley writes without irony…

“Now, perhaps, it’s time to shine the light on the one profession that has too often been able to work quietly, in the shadows, without full disclosure or scrutiny – journalism.”

POLL : Permanently Marred?

As the anger grows over Andrew Marr’s audacity at paying to hide his own public interest story, while being paid to probe the lives of the rest of the political class, Guido thought he would gauge opinion:

Don’t forget we pay him £600,000 a year for the pleasure. No wonder he could afford the luxury of an injunction and to support a child that wasn’t even his.

Bercow Surrenders Parliament to the Courts

As John Hemming MP stood up to make a point of order, under parliamentary privilege, having  announced his intention to break a superjunction in advance, he was silenced the Speaker. Twice Hemming tried to stand to make his point and twice he was silenced by Bercow who insisted the matter be discussed privately.

Away from that pesky public eh. 

UPDATE: Hemming has blogged that he sees today as mission accomplished. He broke a gag in Parliament therefore someone, whose name was previously injuncted can now be reported.

Quote of the Day

Fleet Street Fox has her claws out:

Andrew Marr should never work as a journalist again. He probably will, because the BBC can be very stupid like that, but his credibility is shot, his impartiality is gone and his reputation is ruined. If only he’d kept his trousers on, hey?

A Pilgrimage to Westminster

Following exposés by both Guido and the Mail on Sunday into the activities of Jane Pilgrim, pressure is now mounting to make the practise of employing trades union officials full time on the taxpayer illegal. David Morris MP just raised this at today’s Health Questions:

“There have been press reports recently that money earmarked for frontline NHS services is being used by hospitals to pay salaries to Trade Union officials. Does my Rt Hon friend (Andrew Lansley) believe it is acceptable to spend taxpayers’ money on union hatchet people and will he order an urgent investigation.”

The reply came with the usual expectations of “behaving responsibly”. But Pilgrim’s activities did not go unnoticed in parliament and in councils around the country. Plates could well start to move on this issue soon…

Yes's Disappearing Support

Accountability. Openness. New politics. These are the watch words of the Yes to AV campaign, but are they the watch words of some of the campaign’s most fervent and chatty supporters?

Why have the details of  the Labour Yes Fundraiser with comedian David Schneider been removed from the Yes to Fairer Votes website?

Luckily though the Google Chache has helpfully stored it. How odd.

Flashback – Jan' 08 : The Story You Won't Get From Them

Remember this one from January 2008. The shock and horror was quite a sight to see:

With Andrew Marr currently topping the Twitter trends in the UK, that well known Yes2AV campaigner with a superinunction must have shaky hands today while they are stuffing envelopes.

Secretive Marr in Action

As Labourlist point out, here’s Andrew Marr in action, while using the courts to keep discussion of his own life off of the television and out of the papers:

The politics of that story aside, Marr was not the right person to be seeking the truth. Was the BBC officially aware of the conflict of interest?

Marr Decries Injunction

This morning’s ding-ding on the Today program was miles apart from your usual stuffy debate. Ian Hislop tore a chunk from Andrew Marr over his 2008 love child super-injunction

“As a leading BBC interviewer who’s asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction when acting as an active journalist.”

Just to think, Marr could have spared all that time, money and not to forget damage done to his reputation, if he and Alice Miles’s child had just done the DNA test in the first place. Marr says that injunctions are out of control these days, yet it seems they were fine when he needed one.

Desperate Yes Deploy Mandy

“New Politics” is out of the window over at YES2AV this morning. Desperation has sunk to such a low, that someone in the offic has come to the conclusion that ditching Eddie Izzard and replacing him with Peter Mandelson is a good idea.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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