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The Hitch is funnier of course. Like you imagine the original would be like if he hit the bottle harder, swore more and was a little less restrained – a Viz version of the original. The demo outside the Mail’s offices complaining about the parody Hitchens’ blog still ranks as one of the most amusing moments in left-wing, po-faced protestor stupidty. Hitchens crying to Iain Dale about his suffering made Guido laugh as well.
Incidentally, some months ago Peter Hitchens’ producer contacted Guido to assist with his upcoming docu-turnover of Cameron. The producer talked an unbearable amount of bollocks about how it was going to be a fair and balanced portrayal of Cameron. Guido said he’d be happy to discuss Dave over a bottle or two with Peter (trans. not bloody wasting time with the dreary media studies graduate who makes Hitchens’ tea). Have heard nothing since.
First Hitchens complained to Yahoo that the Hitch was using the name Peter Hitchens in his Yahoo mail address. The complaint resulted in Yahoo removing his service. So he simply re-registered as therealpeterhitchens@… Then Guido got a phone call from the Hitch – “Peter Hitchens has just cycled up my drive”.
On his blog he elaborates –
I didn’t answer the door for a few reasons.
1, He didn’t ring the bell
2, I was wearing nothing other than my underwear
3, I thought “Fucking no way is that Peter Hitchens”
Having put a pair of pants on and gone to the door he was gone, If he hadn’t I would have invited him in. I have to say I admire his balls for doing it, the man has made a career out of touring some of the scariest places on earth and confronting far nastier folk than your humble blog host.
This “Hitch” admires the other “Hitch” but thinks he is a bit up himself and should lighten up, having said that , as long as he keeps threatening me he can fuck off and I will ratchet this up as high as he likes.
Improved as it has been under Kampfner’s editing it still lacks something because the hand of Geoffrey Robinson is suffocating it. He is prone to wandering up to writers post publication and congratulating them with the line “Gordon liked your piece”. As if any self respecting serious writer on the left would care.
The whole issue of Robinson’s ownership and his total devotion to the Brown cause depresses staff. The embarrassment of being known as the Brownite house magazine with the symbiotic “independent charitable non-partisan think-tank” – which just so happens to have moved offices three times with them in the last ten years (can you guess who?) – makes staff blush.
Guido was filming outside their offices recently when Kampfner came out, “What are you up to?” he asked of us. “We’re doing a piece on the Smith Institute, care to comment?” “Oh no”, he said and walked off. What kind of state of affairs is it when the editor of the liberal left’s house journal won’t discuss the question of the independence and integrity of his magazine? It shares offices with a controversial think-tank under investigation by the Charity Commission for dubious practises involving the future leader of the Labour party. Every newspaper in the country is covering the story and the New Statesman ignores the elephant literally in the same room as it. Not a single story about the Smith Institute has appeared in the magazine with which it shares offices. Bizarre.
Nick Cohen, a New Statesman journalist, has a bestselling book out, What’s Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way. Guido can’t help but wonder if part of the answer can’t be found in the silence and timidity of the left’s leading journal when it comes to discussing what is going on under its own roof.
UPDATE : Guardian’s Greenslade challenges Kampfner, Martin Bright tries a Sith mind trick, “these are not the stories you are looking for, you can go about your business…“
Now a statutory authority has issued a direction threatening Guido with contempt of court, imprisonment and fines unless Guido hands over documents obtained from whistleblowers. Guido will provide evidence of the Sith’s wrongdoing, but he intends to protect his sources as well. Now I’m off for a drink…
“When the Labour Party got in it was all about children and education and yet 10 years down the line there’s people saying that kids are better off in Poland… I don’t really think there’s anything left to vote for. That’s why people don’t vote… why people would rather vote for celebrity talent shows than would vote for politics.” says the Oasis front man today.
Don’t look back in anger Noel, roll with it. He clearly won’t be supping champagne at No. 10 any time soon…
Remember Guido’s 2005 prophecy?
“a candidate whose hands have been on the steering wheel for the last decade”
Labour’s Yoda said his party’s best hope lay in the
“younger generation, in a candidate who is not linked in the public mind with what will soon be seen as stage one of New Labour’s journey.
Step forward, David Miliband.”
Well the mental pressure must be immense, what will his defence be? Guido fears it may all get too much for him in the way that it did for Ernie Saunders. Whatever happened to Ernie?
This is another small step forward in the Guidoisation of democracy. When the chairman of the Lobby starts doing totty-watch pieces to camera, victory will be total…
“We cannot be seen to bend, but we have to listen. There is a difference between listening and capitulating,” said an anonymous government source yesterday. The unnamed source (not a million miles from Douglas Alexander) is said to have claimed that “whoever came up with this idea might be a prat”. Guido emailed his friend Tom Steinberg of MySociety for a comment about that on Monday, but unusually no reply has been received from Tom. He is presumably very busy.
Ooofy Wegg-Prosser is the “web-genius” at No. 10. He apparently saw the e-petition plan as an answer to the interactivity and popularity of WebCameron and, err, Guido. Well that worked brilliantly didn’t it Ooofy?
That may be, but we will know that he is just as slippery as Blair when it comes to covert funding. We’ll know that his big business friends with interests in government contracts, government preferment and personal advancement, backed his campaign with cold cash given behind closed doors. Gordon glad-handed them at events at No. 11 organised by the Smith Institute, subsidised the Sith’s events by allowing them to use No. 11 rent free, the Treasury paid tax kick-backs on donations to the “educational charity” and even went so far as to pay thousands directly to the Smith Institute’s private company to organise events.
Gordon then tried to get a peerage for his allies Wilf Stevenson, the director of the Smith Institute and Ronnie “PFI” Cohen, the financier and Gordon backer. When Blair goes will anything really change when it comes to New Labour sleaze?
*Hat-tip to Hencke
Of course mistakes can be made by anyone in pursuit of the truth.
Can you remind Guido which unfiltered, agenda-free broadcaster confidently predicted with a knowing, worldly-wise smirk to camera, that ‘the police will simply go through the motions of investigating allegations of “cash for peerages’? in March 2006?