Guido has learned that the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr was flown to Australia to report on Nigel Farage’s tour of entertaining evenings. Must be strange for her to have a go at reporting events that actually happened, for a change.
Things didn’t all go to plan for the Orwell Prize winning journalist as she was refused entry to an evening event with Farage at the prestigious Melbourne Club because she wasn’t dressed appropriately for the venue. Oops.
Observer rent-a-conspiracy writer Carole Cadwalladr has stuck her foot in it yet again by incredibly suggesting that Anti-Semistism in the Labour Party is the product of paid Tory trolls and her favourite bogeymen Cambridge Analytica.
She approvingly quote tweeted a conspiracy thread suggesting that Brandon Lewis has hired “a team of Tory trolls” and that recently suspended Labour members like Damien Enticott were just ‘hacked’.
This thread was written by a Labour supporter who is backing Pete Willsman for Labour NEC, a figure even too toxic for the likes of Owen Jones and Matt Zarb-Cousin.
Another brilliant piece of codswallop from Carole.
UPDATE: Carole has deleted her tweet and posted this apology…
“Man. What times. I’ve deleted this tweet asking if there was disinfo afoot…because there’s been a pile-on saying the tweet about disinfo is itself disinfo. Which it may be? I honestly don’t know. Yikes. Sorry. I’m keeping out of this one…”
Whoever wrote this news article for the BBC website about Vote Leave’s Facebook adverts is going to have some explaining to do to their editor. The article talks about how Vote Leave and BeLeave“micro-targeted” adverts during the referendum, “with 252 of them seen fewer than 1,000 times”. Just one problem: it’s total nonsense. The adverts were never requested by Vote Leave or BeLeave. They never ran. That is why they appear in the “0-999” impressions box in the DCMS select committee’s numbers. The true number is zero. A glaring factual error completely demolishing the BBC’s story that Vote Leave “micro-targeted” adverts to data sets of fewer than 1,000 people.
This fake news has come about because the DCMS select committee refused to publish evidence that would have clearly explained what happened. Aggregate IQ wrote to the committee with the explanation back in May. The committee refused to publish the letter, and now off the back of that the BBC has ended up publishing nonsense. Yet more evidence of Damian Collins’ Remoaner select committee, which is supposed to be impartial, losing touch with reality as they peddle their conspiracy theories about Vote Leave…
UPDATE:Carole is going on about there being no imprint – on the ads that didn’t run – “That look completely illegal”. There is no legal requirement for imprints on online adverts. This is not a “whole new massive can of worms”. It is Carole showing her complete lack of knowledge of the rules.
The reason online adverts don’t require an imprint is because generally they are too small and when viewers click they will in any event be taken to a site that generally says clearly who the advertiser is by advocating a vote for them.
Here we go again… Hidden away on page 42 yesterday, The Observer had to publish yet another correction following Carole Cadwalladr’s wild claims about Vote Leave. They have admitted that their Orwell Prize winning super sleuth was wrong to say that Vote Leave’s COO Victoria Woodcock had deleted herself and others on a shared Google drive. Cadwalladr has argued that this was an attempt to hide evidence from the Electoral Commission and ICO, but the Observer admits that
‘we accept that Ms Woodcock did not try to destroy evidence and that allegations of trying to thwart official investigations or pervert the course of justice do not fairly arise against her from this reporting’
This ‘evidence’ was put forward by whistleblowers Shahmir Sanni and Chris Wylie, and reported by Carole as if it was gospel. The Observer has now been forced to admit that this was yet another false claim brought by Zoolander and Walter Mitty. Carole has also been made to delete all of her tweets in which she claimed that Ms Woodcock was trying to destroy evidence.This comes after the Observer had to publish two corrections against the Leave campaign, including accusations that Vote Leave, AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica were all working together. The Observer has agreed to pay Ms Woodcock’s legal fees. How much more will they have to fork out for Carole’s conspiracy theory reporting?
Meanwhile, this afternoon Carole tweeted that Piers Morgan “hacked a deal girl’s phone”, referring to Milly Dowler. That was a different paper…
Brexit probe grandstander Damian Collins appears to have gone off the deep end. The DCMS select committee chair is due to appear alongside Carole Cadwalladr next month at the crackers Byline festival in Sussex. The panel is entitled ‘Is Silicon Valley a Danger to Democracy?’. Readers will remember Byline as the conspiracy theory website founded by the tin foil hatted Peter Jukes.
You have to wonder what a select committee chairman is doing hanging around with cranks like Byline. Collins has already lowered the standing of select committees with his disastrous performances so far – even Remainers were protesting at his incompetence after he was humiliated by Arron Banks. Sad.
Carole Codswallop has done it again. The top Observer sleuth has been forced to delete yet more error-strewn tweets after launching an unhinged attack on the BBC. During her meltdown last night about Isabel Oakeshott being invited onto Question Time, Codswallop launched a pile-on against the Beeb’s head of live political programmes, Rob Burley, demanding an explanation. Her tweet tagging Burley was retweeted more than a thousand times. For hours Burley was under attack from hundreds of tweets from Codswallop’s crazy legion of followers. Just one problem: Burley has nothing to do with Question Time, which is produced by the independent production company Mentorn.
12 hours later, Carole deleted the tweet and apologised.
She also tweeted claiming that, during her Marr appearance with Oakeshott, they didn’t ask her about her Observer story about Shahmir Sanni. They did. That has now been deleted. This is basic stuff…
Top investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr has told the European Parliament she is unaware of any allegations of the Remain campaign breaching spending rules during the referendum:
“I am unaware of any issues on the Remain side. There is none that I have come across. There is none that I understand the Electoral Commission has come across… if there are then I very much hope that journalists uncover this and it will be investigated.”
Carole must have missed the dossier of evidence about Remain cheating handed to the Electoral Commission this weekend. And the fact that the Electoral Commission has said they are looking into it. Guido is glad to hear Carole’s commitment to exposing Remain campaigners as well and looks forward to reading about it in next weekend’s Observer…
Just the two corrections for Carole Cadwalladr this week. First, she has deleted a tweet linking to her Observer article last weekend in which she claimed the Information Commissioner’s Office had launched “legal proceedings” against Leave.EU and Arron Banks. Carole has conceded that she was wrong to say any legal proceedings had been launched:
Update: I have deleted this tweet from the thread. I am happy to clarify that by ‘legal proceedings’, I meant to refer to regulatory action taken by the regulatory body, the ICO, in the form of ‘information notices’. Okay, @arron_banks? @Mishcon_de_Reyapic.twitter.com/3BobQXZeSA
Second, Carole claimed in this all caps tweet that a payment from UKIP to Cambridge Analytica was “an EXPENSE” that was “not DECLARED”. “Right here is literally a year of my life”, said Carole.
So, look, have you got this? Because it’s IMPORTANT. Work was DONE. By Cambridge Analytica. On Brexit. We have the INVOICE. Money was PAID. This is an EXPENSE. It was not DECLARED. Apologies for the CAPS. But right here is literally a year of my life… pic.twitter.com/E8OMjpA53e
Just one problem. The invoice is dated 14 December 2015. The EU referendum date wasn’t announced until 20 February 2016. The spending limit period didn’t begin until 15 April 2016. So it wasn’t an expense and it didn’t need to be declared. Her story, which she described as “literally a year of my life”, is literally wrong. Is there anyone left who buys this embarrassing nonsense?
Russia Novichoking a British citizen is shocking and a cause of huge concern. Facebook data harvesting the entire nation and using that data in our elections in ways we cannot see, comprehend is on another scale…
Oh dear… TheObserver has had to publish a Carole Cadwalladr correction for the second week running. Last Sunday they snuck out a page 50 correction admitting her central claim linking Vote Leave, Aggregate IQ and Cambridge Analytica was untrue. Today they have admitted her story about AIQ being paid to set up a website for Michael Gove but the website never going live was also completely wrong. The site did go live.
“We mistakenly said the website for Michael Gove’s bid for the Tory party leadership in July 2016 never went live. The website Gove2016 did go live.”
And guess what, they buried this correction at the bottom of page 50 as well:
This is pretty basic stuff. No wonder even most Remainers think Carole and the Observer have lost it…
Yesterday the Observer published a page 50 correction conceding that Carole Cadwalladr’s central charge linking Vote Leave, Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ is untrue. And it gets worse…
The paper yesterday also ran a new article about AIQ’s work for Michael Gove’s leadership campaign. Gove told them that AIQ set up his campaign website, but Carole’s award-winning investigative work found that the site “never went live” and “failed to secure the domain”.
“When asked about the work AIQ did for Gove, a spokesman said: “The Gove 2016 campaign paid AIQ £2,720.46 in July to set up its website. The payment was authorised by the campaign manager and paid for from funds donated to the campaign. All campaign spending was fully declared to CCHQ as required under Conservative party leadership election rules.”
AIQ did not respond to inquiries about its work on the Gove 2016… Gove 2016 never went live – according to reports, the campaign failed to secure the domain”
This is just wrong. The domain was secured, the website did go live. An archived version is available here:
This could have been determined by the most basic of web archive searches, but Cadwalladr didn’t bother and the Observer has published another untruth as a result. And the conspiratorial insinuation that some Brexiteer trickery was involved once again falls apart. Will next Sunday’s Observer have to publish its second Cadwalladr correction in two weeks?
UPDATE:Carole confirms her story yesterday was wrong. She’s now admitted her reports have contained fundamental errors two weeks in a row…
Yes Alex. Well spotted. @upguard made an error in their report which they spotted last night & relayed to us. Thanks for your ongoing attention to our story pic.twitter.com/XLqOxROxpq
A humiliating correction for Carole Cadwalladr in today’s Observeras her conspiracy theory that Cambridge Analytica, AggregateIQ and Vote Leave were all working together falls apart:
In two news articles last week (“Revealed: the ties that bound Canadian data firm to Leave campaign in referendum” and “Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team ‘may have broken law’”), we are happy to clarify that we did not intend to suggest that AggregateIQ is a direct part and/or the Canadian branch of Cambridge Analytica, or that it has been involved in the exploitation of Facebook data, or otherwise been involved in any of the alleged wrongdoing made against Cambridge Analytica. Further, we did not intend to suggest that AIQ secretly and unethically co-ordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU referendum. We are happy to make clear that AggregateIQ is and has always been 100% Canadian owned and operated.
This was one of the central pieces of the story published by Cadwalladr – who has won a British Journalism Award for her nonsense – and her source Chris Wylie. Even ultra-Remainers who Guido has spoken to over the last week think Cadwalladr has lost the plot. Seems her editors at the Observer are now catching up…
UPDATE: This is where the Observer buried its correction admitting Carole Cadwalladr’s central charge linking Vote Leave, Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ is untrue. Page 50.
Guido hears Carole Cadwalladr has another big scoop lined up for Sunday about money paid to the Canadian digital marketing firm AggregateIQ. Carole has emailed Michael Gove asking what AIQ did for his leadership campaign in the summer of 2016. Has she uncovered a new layer to the great Brexit conspiracy? It turns out AIQ was paid £2,720.46 in July 2016 to set up the campaign website. The payment was put through by campaign manager Nick Boles, a prominent Remainer and Stronger In campaigner. Which slightly throws a spanner in the works for Carole’s next sinister Brexiteer flow chart. Just how deep does the conspiracy go?
Interesting tactical split between the remainers exposed in this tweet by Andrew Adonis this morning. Adonis thinks remainers “mustn’t fall into the trap of saying 2016 referendum vote was invalid”. That is of course a blatant sub-tweet of Carole Cadwalladr and the proponents of this week’s spectacle. When Adonis says you’ve gone too far it really is time to step away from the keyboard…
The Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr loves a flow chart to lay out her Brexit conspiracies. Guido has borrowed her tin-foil hat to show just how easy it is to uncover a dark web of sinister connections and hidden collusion. Our flow chart uncovers the Remain secrets of Best For Britain, the Fair Vote Project, Byline, Impress, Max Mosley, Bindmans, Chris Wylie, Shahmir Sanni, Gina Miller and Jolyon Maugham. How deep does it go? Just call Guido ‘Carole’ and give us a British Journalism Award…
There is a long list of reasons why Carole Cadwalladr’s claims that Vote Leave “cheated” on their spending during the referendum are wrong. First and foremost, the Remain campaign did exactly the same thing that Cadwalladr is accusing Vote Leave of, only far, far worse. Vote Leave gifted BeLeave £625,000. Yet in the month before the vote the Remainers set up FIVE new campaigns and funnelled a MILLION pounds into them so they could stay under the spending limit:
DDB UK Ltd registered as an independent campaign on 25 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. DDB UK Ltd received £191,000 in donations.
Best For Our Future registered as a permitted participant on 27 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £424,000 in donations
The In Crowd registered on 10 June 2016, less than two weeks before the referendum. It received £76,000 in donations.
Virgin Management Ltd registered as a permitted participant on 3 June 2016, less than three weeks before the referendum. It received £210,000 in donations.
Wake Up And Vote registered as a permitted participant on 24 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £100,000 in donations.
The Remain campaign did exactly the same thing as Vote Leave, only with more money and with five new campaigns. This renders Cadwalladr’s central charge against Vote Leave completely obsolete.
Reason number two why the claims about Vote Leave and BeLeave coordinating are bonkers. The lawyer championing the Cadwalladr claims, Jolyon Maugham, has called the validity of the referendum into question over alleged collusion among the Leave campaigns. Yet the various Remain campaigns coordinated on a much greater scale, holding conference calls every morning to coordinate their messaging, sharing data, suppliers and campaign materials, and coordinating spending. Cadwalladr and Maugham have completely ignored the fact that the Remain campaigns colluded on a much larger scale.
Reason number three, and the most obvious of the lot: how can Vote Leave reasonably be accused of cheating on spending when the Remain campaign spent far, far more and had the entire machinery of Whitehall behind them? Electoral Commission figures show the Remain campaign spent £19 million. The Leave campaign spent £13 million. The government spent £9 million of taxpayers’ money on Remain campaign literature. £3 million of this was spent on online ads and “digital promotion”. How can Vote Leave possibly be accused of cheating when the overall spending was so blatantly biased in favour of the Remain campaign?
As the Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman says:
The Remain campaign coordinated their efforts on a conference call every morning. They used taxpayers money to send campaign literature to every household under the guise of information. If it was stacked, it was stacked against Leave. I voted Remain but this is ridiculous
The truth is the only people pushing Cadwalladr’s nonsense are ultra-Remainers who cannot fathom that the country wants Brexit, and have to believe that the Leave vote only happened due to some corruption or cheating. The facts simply do not bear this out.
Observer source Shahmir Sannisays being “outed” was an “attempt to scare me” which has put him in “danger” and threatened his family’s safety. Well he didn’t look too worried as he partied with fellow whistleblower Chris Wylie at ‘Sink the Pink’ in Brixton last night. Shahmir and Wylie were certainly making the most of their newfound fame. Carole Cadwalladr promised Watergate and delivered a dodgy Zoolander.Almost as if this whole thing has been hyped up and exaggerated into the realms of fantasy in a bitter act of sour grapes following the break-up of a relationship…
A fiery exchange between Isabel Oakeshott and Carole Cadwalladr over the Observer splash this morning. Isabel challenged Cadwalladr:
“I feel this is utterly baffling to most people… you’ve been incredibly persistent, incredibly dogged, but at the end of it all I think you’ve proved is that Cambridge Analytica is a pretty dodgy and bad company… I have one question for you, are you going to apply this same forensic investigation to the remain campaign?”
For the past few months it has become clear that certain members of the politico-media bubble have been undergoing a Brexit induced breakdown. The Remainiac bug is spreading – even some Remainers who were previously worth listening to have started to sound like tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorists. It falls upon Guido to stage a public intervention for their own good. Our list does not merely include ultra-Remainers who might be irritating but have kept their marbles. These are the 10 people who have been truly driven off the deep end by Brexit…
AC Grayling – Where else to begin? Grayling has become Twitter’s nutty professor, every day pumping out increasingly unhinged anti-Brexit diatribes. Some highlights include labelling Brexiteers “vermin“, seeking a general strike to oppose Brexit, claiming “90% of informed opinion” is against Brexit, alleging other ultra-Remainers were being “silenced” by forces of the state, and arguing that the Tory government is “alt-right”. Grayling is alt-reality.
Andrew Adonis – Every day he tweets about “stopping” or “halting” Brexit, which he calls “self-mutilation”. Some of his more vitriolic attacks are reserved for fellow Remainers who he reckons have sold out, he claims for example that Brexit is being driven by a “David Davis-Keir Starmer axis”. Peak Adonis was when he wrote to Lord Hall demanding the BBC sack Andrew Neil. Remarkably he still has a government job…
Ben Bradshaw – Bradshaw has taken to tweeting out Louise Mensch blog posts citing “multiple sources with links to UK intelligence” who apparently say the referendum should be voided due to Russian intervention. Yesterday he tweeted that it was time for the Tories “to come clean about extent of Kremlin’s reach into heart of Government”. Friends don’t let friends retweet Louise Mensch.
Carole Cadwalladr – Cadwalladr appears to genuinely believe Brexit was a Russian plot, she has claimed the Leave campaign used psy-ops to hoodwink voters and doesn’t appear to realise she is being elaborately trolled by Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore who have christened her “Carole Codswallop”. Last night she suggested lifelong Eurosceptic Michael Gove only backed Vote Leave on the orders of the Legatum Institute, who she reckons are agents of Putin. It’s so ridiculous even Newsnight have taken the piss. The Observer’s continued indulging of her conspiracy theories seems almost exploitative.
Tim Walker – The waspish former diary columnist delights in dishing out snark, but thin-skinned Tim can’t take it when his conspiratorial babble is called out. The former Telegraph man turned freelancer and New European contributor reckons “Putin will continue to govern this country through stupid, weak, vain, greedy politicians so long as we, the people, are prepared to sit back and let him”. Cuckoo.
Jolyon Maugham – Twitter’s most attention-seeking QC once said he considers it an honour that he is known as “the biggest c**t at the English bar”. Brexit has turned him mad as well as bad. Just read how nasty Maugham was to the genial Danny Finkelstein about Article 50. And who can forget the time he decided to set up a new political party to fight Brexit. Always a telltale sign of a Brexdown.
Jeremy Cliffe – Talking of which, the Economist’s Berlin correspondent started The Radicals, seriously pledging to reverse Brexit, join the Euro, join the EU army and make Ken Clarke the next European Commission president. He quit the party after 12 hours following an all-staff internal email bollocking from his bosses. The Economist’s embarrassment was the happiest the FT newsroom has been all year.
Liam Byrne – Byrne is partly responsible for setting off the Russia conspiracy theorists (and the Mail on Sunday), demanding a “US-style judge-led inquiry” in response to a Louise Mensch blog. He’s tweeted out crank articles quoting intelligence “sources” saying the referendum will need to be re-run. He’s in danger of going the full Bradshaw. And Liam, we really need to talk about the beard.
Tom Brake – There has always been something of the night about Tom Brake, and the mood of parliament’s most humourless MP has not been helped by Brexit. When he’s not complaining to Bercow about Guido, Brake is making a fool of himself about Legatum. LibDem press officers play a game where they compete to put the most OTT lines into his press releases, knowing Brake will never tell them to tone it down.
Alastair Campbell – Okay so he always was a few billion short of a trade deal, but Bad Al is really not taking things well at the moment. He calls Leavers “Brextremists”, compared them to jihadists and even launched into a xenophobic rant against Gisela Stuart. He’s not gone in for the Putin stuff to be fair. Though that’s possibly more to do with his own Russia Today appearances.
Guido wishes them well and looks forward to their post-Brexit recovery in April 2019…