Facebook Blocks Speccie Joke at Biden’s Expense

Unlike Elon’s Twitter, Facebook has no such love of free speech. Today the Spectator attempted its usual practice of running their latest front cover as an advert. This week’s cover takes a light-hearted pop at Joe Biden; captioned “Six more years” it has an elderly President holding up five fingers. Pretty mild by The Speccie’s standards…

Facebook has, however, decided to block the advert. Even on an appeal, on the basis they’re a political magazine, the social media site rejected the advert.

As editor Fraser Nelson points out, it appears that splashes aimed at Trump, Boris and Truss – to name just a few – are fine. Biden appears to be a protected character. Unfortunately for the Spectator, the recent Steerpike article entitled ‘The tragic embarrassment of Sir Nick Clegg’ won’t help their cause…

mdi-timer 5 January 2023 @ 16:29 5 Jan 2023 @ 16:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fraser Nelson’s Grounds for Optimism

Fraser Nelson on the revival of the democracies

“Boris Bondarev, until recently a Russian diplomat stationed at the UN, has explained how Putin has now ended up with everything he didn’t want. United democracies, tooled-up neighbours, a rejuvenated Nato: how could it go so wrong? But Putin’s dictatorial style, he said, means no one in Russia’s foreign service dares point out the flaws in his ideas. Just as it will be hard for any ambitious Chinese official to tell Xi Jinping that his vaccines don’t really work and that his flagship zero Covid idea has failed.

In the end, authoritarian regimes stumble because they are authoritarian. Without debate and dissent, it’s harder to spot and correct errors. The arguments and protests that make democratic politics so messy are a feedback mechanism. Without this feedback, governments end up embarking on – or wedded to – calamitous mistakes.

This has been a pretty miserable year for Britain – but Ukrainian courage has made it a good year, perhaps even a decisive one, for the free world. We now have the widest democratic alliance the world has seen and a few more reminders why democracy, for all of its flaws, remains the world’s least-bad option.”

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Fraser Nelson Forgot the Prime Minister’s Name

Sometimes it’s hard to wake up properly before your 9 a.m, coffee. It’s even harder when you’re the Spectator’s editor, appearing on the Today Programme, the morning after your magazine hosted its famously boozy conference party. To be fair to Fraser, Lee Anderson did the same thing several hours later. PMs come and go, like Guido’s editor, the Spectator’s editor is on his sixth PM

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Fraser Nelson on the Terrible Record of Economic Forecasting

Fraser Nelson on economic forecasting’s terrible record

“Economic forecasting has had a mixed record of late. A recent Bloomberg study looked at 469 downturns in national economies between 1988 and 2019, and found that the International Monetary Fund predicted only four by the spring of the year before they began. In the UK, there was that recession predicted after the Brexit vote that didn’t materialise. The 2009 crash that, as the Queen pointed out, no one saw coming.”

mdi-timer 6 August 2022 @ 13:53 6 Aug 2022 @ 13:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
We Won’t Comply With Sturgeon’s Crown Office Censors Because When Truth is Silenced, the Silence is a Lie

Today’s Spectator has a leader (The Crown Office, The Spectator and a Fight for a Free Press) which explains how the Crown Office, led by a member of Sturgeon’s cabinet, is seeking to censor and redact Alex Salmond’s allegations against Sturgeon. Allegations which were published on the Holyrood Parliament’s website, in the Spectator and here on Guido. The Crown Office subsequently instructed that they be removed from the Scottish Parliament’s website, the parliamentary authorities meekly complied. Which signals the Scottish Parliament is subordinate to the Scottish executive. A constitutional state affairs that is not the case in Westminster.

We reported and explained the story to our readers here, taking care not to name any witnesses, which we thought responsible. We produced another story after the take down highlighting an example of a redaction demanded, specifically where Salmond’s original submission states that Sturgeon’s tale to the Scottish Parliament of when she first learned of complaints “is untrue and is a breach of the Ministerial Code”. The redacted version deleted this entirely. We described this as “fishy”.

The Scottish Crown Office subsequently wrote to us on March 5th demanding we remove the article. Guido decided to ignore it as it seemed unlikely to prejudice matters or reveal witnesses. The Spectator has taken the same approach to the same letter.

The Crown Office even told us not to tell our readers about its demand, which we are now also ignoring. As the Spectator’s leader puts it

“we can’t be silent about its mendacious threats to a free press. Even if we end up succumbing to its censorship, we can still put its methods on record. This is how the SNP government and its supine supporters operate. The recently passed Hate Crime Act gives them even more powers to menace the press. Scotland is being ushered towards an era of censorship, threats and state repression. The good news for those who cherish the principles of democratic debate — and those of the Scottish Enlightenment — is that this will not happen without a fight.”

Guido wouldn’t comply with an instruction from a Chinese Communist Party official to censor criticism and has no intention of complying with a Scottish National Party cabinet official’s demands. Fraser Nelson and Andrew Neil may be more vulnerable to threats from the Scottish jurisdiction. Good luck extraditing Guido’s editor to Scotland…

mdi-timer 18 March 2021 @ 12:54 18 Mar 2021 @ 12:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brexit Big Beasts Going Wobbly

Brexiteers are getting seriously nervous after Parliament voted this week first to block no deal, and then in favour of an Article 50 extension – with Theresa May’s support – with another load of egregious antics from Bercow thrown in. The Benn/Cooper/Letwin coup was seen off by just two votes. While neither of the main votes was legally binding, the fact that an extension was proposed by the Government and carried with a majority of over 200 has alarmed many committed Leavers…

Numerous Brexiteer MPs have been dropping hints over the past few days that they are starting to feel that voting for May’s dire deal may be the lesser of two evils, given the risks of losing Brexit altogether once lengthy delays start being put into law. The price is that May herself agrees to quit

Resolute Leaver Lucy Allan told the FT: “I have to seriously consider supporting the prime minister’s deal, although in my view it is a worse option than remain”. Conor Burns added: “I’m actively looking for reasons to support the withdrawal agreement. That’s why the attorney-general’s advice was so important, critical to many of us to see whether we could be persuaded to support it.” Burns is one of Boris’s closest allies…

Even Esther McVey dropped a very strong hint today, saying “people are going to have to think a different way next week”. Her diehard Eurosceptic other half Philip Davies already raised eyebrows by voting for the deal at MV2…

Other leading Brexit supporters are also coming round to this view, Fraser Nelson wrote in The Telegraph yesterday that May’s deal is:

“a pale imitation of the Brexit that could have been, the Brexit a different leader might have been able to negotiate. It’s half a Brexit – but it’s better than no Brexit.”

Matt Ridley tweeted out Fraser’s article this morning, adding: “I am fairly sure now, after yesterday’s votes, that this is right.” Even deeply committed Brexiteer economist Professor Patrick Minford wrote yesterday: “Let not the best with little chance be the enemy of the good with a reasonable chance”…

The DUP will be in London all weekend to try to hammer out further reassurances from the Government over the backstop, after Nigel Dodds told the press “we want to leave with a deal” this afternoon. Ultimately they still hold the key, if the DUP come over then many MPs will follow, if they don’t budge then MV3 is going the way of MV1 and 2…

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