Broke Guardian Selling the Rest of the Auto Trader Silver

Somehow Sky beat the Media Guardian to the story in their own backyard – GMG are selling their remaining 50% stake in Auto Trader for up to £600m. Things must be getting really bad…

Of course it was the sale of the first chunk of the car classifieds goldmine that employed the finest tax avoidance techniques known to the Cayman Islands. Guido will be watching this sale closely…

Quote of the Day

Tom Baldwin offers Ed’s view on the Royal baby:

“He’s not the father.”

Roy Greenslade on Media Accuracy

Roy Greenslade was giving his views on Leveson to his students today.  “Significant and reckless disregard for accuracy”? Well Guido can see one howler…

Via @HenryCTaylor

+ + + Kate Preggers + + +

Turns out the Mail were right all along…

Does the Left Cheek Know What the Right Is Doing?

Today Mehdi Hasan writes on the Huffington Post UK:

“And consider the newspapers’ treatment of women and minorities, which Leveson also – and rightly – highlighted in his report. On women, he wrote that the tabloid press often fail to show “consistent respect for the dignity and equality of women” and have a “tendency to sexualise and demean” women.””

Apparently Mehdi feels it is right to criticise tabloids that sexualise and demean women. Got that?

Today the Huffington Post UK has run a piece with the following headline: “Carine Felizardo Crowned Top Buttocks Of Brazil In Miss BumBum Pageant (PICTURES)”. Recently Mehdi’s boss, HuffPoUK’s editor, Carla Buzasi lamented:

“The fascination with bodies, celebrity or otherwise, isn’t exactly something new, of course, and shows no sign of abating. But here’s a thought: why don’t we just stop?”

Do as we say not as we do…

Bring It On Hodge

Margaret Hodge told the Daily Politics that she will be taking action against anyone that points out that her  family firm Stemcor pays very little corporation tax on a billion pound turnover. Yet, she will still not explain the exact nature of her “tiny, tiny, tiny” shareholdings worth several million pounds and the trusts involved. Where is our writ? Where is the letter before action? Guido says: Bring it on.

Video via @LiarPoliticians

Guido’s Daily Star Sunday Column Now Online

Guido’s column in the Daily Star Sunday will be regulated if Labour get their way. No wonder Chris Bryant was so smug:

“Labour MP Chris Bryant, who has campaigned against the Press for years, seemed pretty smug, sneering at a lift full of reporters: “Ah journalists, the ones that are still alive, for now…” His smirk was soon gone, though, and he had a face like thunder when he got up in the Commons a few hours later to whine that the Prime Minister was selling out by sticking to the principle of no state control of newspapers.”

This week’s column, full of wee puns, is now online here.

All Eyes on Hodge the Dodge

dodge

Margaret Hodge is enjoying her day in the limelight but continuing to dodge Guido’s questions about her own perfectly legal and sensible tax efficiency. The slayer of Starbucks and chief inquisitor at the Public Accounts Committee has been peddling around a Private Eye story that she says exonerates her over the tax avoidance allegations put to her by Tory MP Priti Patel. The Eye claim that one figure used by the Telegraph and Mail was “complete b******s”, but there was more…

Cute as it is of the Eye to fight her battles for her, their whitewash conveniently ignores why Hodge described the valuation of her family business shareholdings as “tiny, tiny, tiny”, and whether or not – as even Polly Toynbee suggests – placing some shares in trust reduces the inheritance tax liability of her children. Guido put those questions to her again last week, but still Hodge is dodging answering. If she called Stemcor to the Public Accounts Committee, as recommended, we would get to the truth once and for all…

Victoria’s Secret Labour Candidate’s Lolita Lingerie Business

VS

Labour’s newly chosen candidate for Reading West has a saucy secret. By day she pounds the streets with her red rosette, but by night Victoria Groulef runs Saumarez Lingerie Boutique, a racy fair trade business that “believes that women should be able to wear beautiful luxurious lingerie with a clear conscience”. Among the most popular ‘ethical’ items on sale are her ‘Mio Lolita garter tank’, her ‘Shock Me body cage garter belt’ and her ‘Black Lashes thong’. Victoria’s ‘Forever Blue’ bridal garter could be cause for concern for Ed, though she is offering a ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ bra. Just what every Labour girl needs…

lingerie

Victoria explains that she has “always had a crazy side”, revealing that she can personally vouch the products herself: “I tested clothing from each of my designers. Quality and durability was very important…I love knickers”. Now this is a boob story, HuffPo…

Labour Using Milly Dowler to Harvest Election Data

Tom Watson used the Labour Party mailing list to send out a characteristically dramatic email over the weekend, calling for the government to “implement the core recommendations” of the Leveson report:

“We will bring to bear every resource, call in every promise, rattle every skeleton in every cupboard. This is a step too far by Cameron. The whole country knows he doesn’t have the moral legitimacy to do it. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we implement the core recommendations of the Leveson report. Cameron wants to sell-out to Rupert Murdoch and powerful press interests because he is scared, and he is weak. But that is why he cannot succeed – because he is weak. And he is wrong.”

Despite the celebrity astroturf group calling for full implementation, Watson is using Labour Party resources to direct people to the Hacked Off petition, where you can sign up as many times as you like, with as many fake names and watch the supporter count grow. Guido signed as Divine Brown.

Team Miliband have rowed back slightly from their hook, line and sinker swallowing of Leveson last week. Apparently there are some data protection worries to deal with. Talking of data, Labour HQ are using Leveson as an opportunity to cynically harvest voter data for the next election. A section of the party website features Maddie McCann and Milly Dowler, asking people to pledge their support. Except the small print reveals the postcode and email data will be used for Labour MPs to contact you. Stay classy…

Internet Advertising to Exceed Newspaper Advertising in 2013

internet-ad-v-newspaper

Despite Leveson ignoring the internet, the elephant is getting bigger…

Hat-tip: paidContent.

Kelvin for Parliament

Kelvin MacKenzie has penned a withering attack on the main three parties in the Telegraph today, accusing George Osborne of sadistic tendencies and the government of failing to represent the south of England:

kelvin“Sick and tired of subsidising folk from the rest of the country? You belong to a select club – the club of the hard-working, clever and creative people living in London and the South East who single-handedly are giving the rest of the nation a standard of living they can’t, or won’t, create for themselves. George Osborne, the allegedly Conservative Chancellor, truly loves you. He loves squeezing the life out of your wallet. He loves your pain. And in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday he will be doing one more time what he does best – taxing the hell out of London and the South East.”

Reads like a PPB, doesn’t it? It’s no coincidence – Kelvin is calling for a new party to defend the interests of the south, even suggesting its manifesto might include home rule for London and the south-east. Needless to say his new plan has been greeted with near universal approval across the political divide. “A new dawn has broken has it not…”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

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Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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