Some wise words for these troubled times…
The Serjeant at Arms Jill Pay is to retire in January. The serial survivor managed to cling on for years, despite letting the police in to arrest one of the Members of Parliament that she was meant to protect, with no warrant. Her career ended the moment that the pie throwing idiot Jonathan May-Bowles was able to assault Rupert Murdoch during his Select Committee appearance in August.
Smart money is on the current Deputy Serjeant Mike Naworynsky to take over…
Guido just asked Ed Miliband at his Labour HQ press conference (with Ed Balls) if the lobbyist Roland Rudd is a producer or a predator? He waffled on about meeting business people all the time but didn’t answer the question. He did promise to reveal who he met at last night’s dinner held off-the-record at the lobbyist’s home. So we will find out if he dined with producers or predators.
Flying in from China to face the growing music, Michael Hintze, the donor in the spotlight regarding Liam Fox’s shadow operation, is said to have hired Lord Bell to spin for him this morning. Hintze, the chairman of the hedge fund CQS, gave Adam Werritty a desk in his Grosvenor Place office and is one of his key benefactors. Given that the Sunday papers are crawling over anyone who has ever given Fox a penny, it seems Hintze is getting ready for a fight…
UPDATE: It looks like they are keeping it cosy. Richard Alston the Non-Executive Director of Bells’s Chime Communications (which owns Bell Pottinger,) also sits on the international advisory board of CQS. Bell Pottinger also represent the Sri Lankan government and have worked closely with Liam Fox in the past.
After a bidding war across the mainstream media blogs, Dan Hodges has signed up to the Telegraph, which is sure to put a few noses out of joint.
“On Thursday morning I got a call from Throatdeep. There had been “an editorial meeting”. This, I knew, was bad. No good ever came from editorial meetings.
The party “incident” had been discussed. Ed’s team were apparently unhappy. Their people had been talking to our people. Three issues had been identified: me and Ralph Nader; the fact that week’s interview between Ed Miliband and Mehdi Hasan hadn’t been featured prominently on the front of the magazine”
He’s blown open the truth about why he left the New Statesman, leaving Ed’s office and the Staggers with red faces:
“And that was it. I shook hands with Throatdeep, in that awkward way men do when they know their paths are diverging. I should give it until Friday, he said. That was fine, I responded. Unless he heard from me, he should take it I’d resigned.
And resign I did. In that dignified and time-honoured manner so beloved of Westminster insiders: the story was leaked to Guido Fawkes.
Did I jump? Was I pushed? Did I flounce? The answer to all three is yes.”
Ed Miliband’s press office tweeted a public denial of any pressure from them:
Hodges has left some parts of the story in code. So Guido thought he would decrypt them for you:
- “One long-serving staff member” – Mehdi Hasan
- ThroatDeep – Obviously Jon Bernstein
- Ms. Orange – Total Politics political editor Amber Elliott.
Guido won’t hold his breath for an apology after the New Statesman trashed his story at the beginning of the week. He’ll let you be the judge…
Earlier this week Guido took Mrs Fawkes to a preview showing of George Clooney’s new political thriller “The Ides of March”. Mrs Fawkes isn’t interested in politics, but she is interested in George Clooney. Half the Lobby were at the screening as well – some with their other halves – it is a deeply political thriller about a US presidential campaign. Clooney follows in the footsteps of Robert Redford in “The Candidate” (1972) in as much that it is about a good looking liberal-left politician who has to make compromises with reality to win an election. Guido won’t spoil the story, but it will appeal to co-conspirators.
There was one line that particularly amused Guido and judging by the loud guffaws, the Lobby – “You can start wars and bankrupt the country. They’ll forgive you for that. But you don’t f**k the intern.” Or the political adviser…
The Heff, with a seemingly heavy heart, has called for Fox to go:
It is what we now know about what the two men did in the public eye that makes Dr Fox’s position so precarious.
If even some of us who are sympathetic to Dr Fox’s politics feel he now lacks the credibility to do his job, what must his opponents think?
At the moment, he is dying by inches in public with each new revelation about his behaviour.
Heffer’s assertion comes on the back of another round of dodgy headlines for Defence Secretary. The news that private donors were running their own adviser for Fox in order to by-pass the Civil Service is only going to anger more people. Especially as there is no declaration of interest. Werritty looks set to be interviewed again today by Sue Gray, the Cabinet Office’s Director of Propriety and Ethics. You have to wonder how he will react to being compared to Walter Mitty…
The Daily Mail’s Right Minds, also known as the “Heffington Post“, has been going for a month now. It is getting sharper. Nevertheless some old inky habits die hard, newspapers like to pretend they are the font of all knowledge and will rarely acknowledge other sources. Guido is used to being referred to by newspapers as a mysterious unnamed gossip website whenever we are leading on some scandal the papers are too timid to touch. Only this week the NewStatesman’s niche-website ran a disingenuous rebuttal to our scoop about Dan Hodges exiting their magazine without either linking to or naming this blog. We put that bizarreness down to bitterness, it must be soul destroying working for a discredited low circulation, loss making left-wing vanity publication.
In the case of our friendly commercial rivals at the Mail and the Telegraph we can only presume they don’t get it. In the last month for every reader referred to this blog by the Mail, Guido sent them 14 readers, for every reader sent by the Telegraph website, Guido sent them 12 readers. This asymmetry is counter-productive, Guido suspects they still have the print mindset, where a paper is held by the reader and holds onto the reader from cover to cover. Online the readers know the next story is really just a click away, anywhere and everywhere.
All the research suggests that linking-out doesn’t just give readers a better service, in increasing the utility to the reader websites get more traffic when they press the back-key to return, you don’t lose many. The Spectator is the biggest referrer to Guido followed by ConservativeHome, we in turn send them a fair chunk of traffic in return. Linking works in our mutual interests.