BBC News Boss “Non-Story” Turns Out to Be Story

The Controller of the BBC News channel is in a politically sensitive position, constantly accused of bias. After Guido reported that the BBC buys the Guardian more than any other paper yesterday evening, a clearly exasperated Kevin Bakhurst piped up:

At the time Guido thought that was a risky thing for the head of news at the BBC to be saying:

Bakhurst seemed to have forgotten that the days of Big Media’s gatekeepers deciding what is news and what is not news, are long gone. We decide tomorrow’s news…

And so it turned out, as the “Guardian of Beeb story not only made the Sun but was also the subject of blogs by Dan Hannan at the Telegraph and Roy Greenslade over at the Guardian themselves. Greenslade asked “Why is that so surprising?” It wasn’t to Guido.

Greenslade was on the money when he wrote

“There are so many similarities between the BBC and the Guardian aside from assumptions about politics. Both organisations are free of commercial ownership, with the corporation funded by licence and the paper owned by a trust.”

Which isn’t an unbridled good. It imbues both with an anti-profit ethos bordering on anti-business as well as anti-capitalist.  The shared mindset of the two organisations is most clearly visible in their coverage of America and Israel. The Republican party is extremist because they don’t subscribe to left-wing nostrums and Israel is the primary cause of trouble in the Middle-East. These are axiomatic truths for the Guardian-BBC axis of “progressiveness”…

Clegg Car Crash Grinds Coalition to a Halt

The Coalition are forever telling us how they want to get the country moving, but today the LibDems have firmly slammed on the brakes not once, but twice. This morning they conspired to lose the votes of just about anyone who owns a car by suggesting that the 30mph speed limit on residential roads be slashed to 20mph. The  baffling suggestion was dismissed by the AA as being “totally impractical and would impact on driving times and add to costs and delays“.

If that wasn’t enough, Team Clegg then picked a fight with Justine Greening by proposing a motion to oppose Boris’ Thames Estuary airport, or any new runways at any of the London airports. The LibDems have ground the government to a standstill, now they’re doing the same to the country too…

ITV News Shake Up

Read all about the latest job swaps in the ITV newsroom…

…Over on Media Guido

Lucy Manning Leaving the Lobby

Congratulations are in order for ITV political correspondent Lucy Manning, who has been promoted this afternoon. Manning becomes the channel’s new UK editor, with the ITV News shake-up also seeing Chris Ship made deputy political editor to Tom Bradby.

Guido wishes Lucy all the best for life outside the Lobby…

Labour Corby Campaign Cock-Up

Last week Guido revealed that Labour campaign chief Tom Watson had been busy massing the troops in Corby as party bosses seek to avoid a repeat of their Bradford nightmare. Watson might have dragged half of Labour HQ’s staff with him to Louise Mensch’s old constituency but their plan to hit the ground running has got off to a slow start. Back on the 9th August a helpful tweeter alerted Labour’s holidaying hopeful Andy Sawford to the fact that he had yet to set up a website for his campaign. Sawford promised he would get on the case:

https://twitter.com/AndySawford/status/233660830380601344

Almost a week later Labour have sent out a press release encouraging constituents to visit their candidate’s brand new website, but when they do this is what they find:

Guido wonders what Watson and co have been up to the past six days…

Farage: EU Resembles Communism

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has given yet another storming interview to Fox News:

“Things are getting worse. We’ve now got Mario Monti, who is the unelected, appointed Prime Minister of Italy almost begging for his country to be bailed out because, as he says, he fears that parliament will derail the project. So what they’re actually saying now in Europe is we must not let democracy intervene with our great, grand project. We’re living in this sort of noddy land where frankly we’re not facing economic reality. The UK now trades with the EU at a massive, massive deficit. The idea that Mercedes would not sell their cars in Britain if we left the EU, or the idea that my favourite Spanish rioja producer would refuse to sell me a case of red wine, is ludicrous. Even though the UK is not part of the eurozone we are being constrained and constricted by being part of something that frankly begins to resemble communism in terms of its belief that the state and government creates jobs. It doesn’t, it destroys them.”

Guido hereby endorses Farage’s rioja policy…

More Magic Money Tree Madness

Richard Murphy is a left-wing economist, accountant and blogger who has advised Brendan Barber’s TUC and Mark Serwotka’s PCS and written regularly for the Guardian. Twitter users will know that he maintains a close relationship with several tweeting Labour MPs. This morning Murphy put his foot in it by betraying the loony left’s true thoughts on the public debt:

When will the flat-earthers learn…

Britain Sends Aid to Mars

The Indian government has today announced plans to launch a mission to Mars next year. The $82 million project, funded in part by the British taxpayers’ money meant for starving children, will see an unmanned spacecraft set off for the Red Planet in November 2013.

The least they could do is plant a Union Jack…

Unions Help Teachers Pay Less Tax

Guido would like to express solidarity with £142,000 per year union fat cat Christine Blower, who has found an innovative new way to reduce her members’ tax bills. For all her moralistic demands that people “play fair on tax“, it turns out she wasn’t talking to union members. 

Unionised teachers are being advised that they can now claim tax back on their union subscriptions. Any member of the National Union of Teachers, NASUWT or any of the other major teaching unions is eligible to a generous rebate on their yearly union fees. Guido is thinking of a forming a union of yacht owners…

Osborne’s Olympic Hangover

If George Osborne were not putting his feet up he would surely be gloating about today’s latest unemployment figures, which show that the jobless rate has dipped to the lowest level since July 2011. Unemployment fell to 8% last month while over 130,000 new jobs were created. But Chancellor Zero should not be feeling too pleased with himself.

Stats released by the EU last night show that Britain’s economy is performing worse even than crisis-hit Spain. The UK shrank by 0.7% in the last quarter, more than Spain’s 0.4% decrease and outdone only by bankrupt Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Meanwhile London’s businesses have reported an unexpected decline in sales during the Olympics, with the two-week tourists failing to make up for all those who deserted the capital. Recovery will be a marathon, not a sprint…

Iain Duncan Smith on his predecessors:

The last government spent money like drunks on a Friday night“.

Chuka’s Mandy Mistake

Chuka Umunna has been upping the pressure on Dave over Sunday trading laws, accusing ministers of misleading Parliament and writing to the holidaying PM to demand clarification. Last night he snorted:

Clearly Chuka has forgotten all about Labour’s attempts to deregulate Sunday trading restrictions, when old boss Gordon Brown tried to force the then Trade and Industry secretary Alan Johnson into adopting the policy. The FT reported at the time:

“Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are tacitly supporting deregulation of Sunday shopping to allow 24-hour trading for large shops, according to a leading industry lobbyist. The lobbyist insisted there were differences between Mr Brown and Mr Johnson. “Gordon Brown wanted to include deregulation in the Budget, but Alan Johnson put the brakes on,” he said.”

And they weren’t even in Coalition…

Chancellor of Fire

The Prime Mentalist has caused a stir north of the border by recreating the famous opening scene from Chariots of Fire. Still dressed in a suit, Brown sprinted across a Scottish beach with former first minister Henry McLeish. A stunned eyewitness reported:

They were suited and booted and I wondered if it was a photo call. But there were no cameras in sight. They carried on to the front of the beach and it looked as if they were making a line in the sand. Brown ran about 50 metres and then stopped. The others stopped for a second but then carried on and ran for another 300 metres.”

Knowing Gordon, they probably should have let him win…

Mark Thompson Scoops New York Times Role

There was big media news overnight as former BBC Director General Mark Thompson was appointed president of the New York Times. Thompson, who infamously admitted the Beeb was guilty of a “massive left-wing bias“, had announced he would stand down after the Olympics. Gun-toting George Entwistle was named as his replacement in July.

Guido is shocked that a BBC boss would take over at arguably the most liberal paper in the US…



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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

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