Paxman has twisted the knife on the stand today:
I was really struck by something Piers Morgan said, I was sat between him on my left and editor of Sunday Mirror on my right. Ulrika Jonsson was sat opposite. Morgan said, teasing Ulrika, that he knew what had happened in conversations between her and Sven Goran Eriksson and he went into this mock Swedish accent. Now I don’t know whether he was repeating a conversation that he had heard, or he was imagining this conversation … It was a rather bad parody. I was struck by it because I am wet behind the ears, I didn’t know this sort of thing went on. He turned to me and said have you got a mobile phone I said yes. He said, have you got a security setting on the message bit of it …. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He then explained that the way to get access to people’s messages was to go to the factory default setting and press 0000 and 1234 and if you didn’t put your own code in, his words were, ‘you are a fool’ I don’t know whether he was making this up, making up the conversation, but it was clearly something that he was familiar with and I wasn’t. I didn’t know. I didn’t know that this went on.”
Perhaps Lord Leveson will insist that Morgan actually attends when he is recalled…
When Ken Livingstone told us he was going away and would not stand for another election, he was lying. He’s written today begging for votes for Labour’s NEC. One particular segment made Guido chuckle:
“Whilst I deeply regret that I fell 3% short on winning the Mayoralty, we both advanced in the Mayoral and in the London Assembly elections. Labour’s Assembly vote rose from 28% (at the last election) to 41%, and my vote in the Mayoral election – also rose despite Johnson’s strong personal vote and the worst smear campaign I have ever experienced from the Tory press.”
Let it go Ken – you never managed to release those tax returns did you? Maybe the other Labour NEC candidates might like to ask him nicely…
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Government comms types are getting increasingly irritated by the nonsense they are forced to spin about Olympics. This is at the top of today’s “Top Messages For The Day”:
“1. The people of the South West are embracing the Torch with hundreds of thousands lining the streets to welcome the Flame.”
Has the smack of the North Korean Ministry of Information, no?
With the combination of Iranian military chief Major General Hassan Firouzabad saying on Sunday that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel”, as well as today’s news that the National Security Council discussed the growing threat of war last week, Iran is firmly back on the agenda. So far the Huffington Post have played a straight bat with their coverage, but that will likely change over the summer. The Yanks are certainly concerned by their new “Political Director”…
Lots of chatter and austerity prosecco at the Taxpayers’ Alliance launch party for their 2020 Tax report at the reopened Atrium last night. Downing Street jobs were high up the list of conversation. Guido put it to ITV’s Tom Bradby that his name comes up as a possible communicator. He sort of denied that he was interested:
“Can you think of anything f***ing worse?”
Guido will put him down as a maybe.