Peter Oborne Rejoins the Mail

Peter Oborne, who dramatically quit the Telegraph in February, will be rejoining the Mail according to sources at both papers.

The Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator cited the troubled broadsheet’s coverage of the HSBC banking scandal – or lack thereof – in a well timed career move.

Oborne starts in September…but will it be the only high profile political move from the Telegraph to the Mail this autumn?

What is Wrong With the Lobby?

Oborne on Ill Mannered MPs

Grandstanding on Fleet Street’s moral high ground has not always paid off for Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph hack who resigned claiming his paper corruptly buried the HSBC bank scandal. In his days with The Spectator, Oborne once named and shamed ‘ill mannered’ MPs who had not penned him a thank you note for taking them out to one of his liquid lunches in Pall Mall. The following week the Speccie was inundated with letters from MPs who had taken ‘ill mannered’ Oborne out to lunch and were still waiting for a thank you note…

Oborne Allegations Shot Down By Three-Breasted Woman

In his withering resignation statement Peter Oborne revealed the final straw that left him with no choice but to quit:

“On 22 September Telegraph online ran a story about a woman with three breasts. One despairing executive told me that it was known this was false even before the story was published. I have no doubt it was published in order to generate online traffic, at which it may have succeeded. I am not saying that online traffic is unimportant, but over the long term, however, such episodes inflict incalculable damage on the reputation of the paper.”

Today Jasmine Tridevil hits back, insisting Oborne is wrong and that there is nothing false about her third titty:

“I know my breasts are real and I do not care what anybody thinks.”

Has Peter boobed?

PETER OBORNE QUITS TELEGRAPH

telegraph

Five years ago I was invited to become the chief political commentator of the Telegraph. It was a job I was very proud to accept. The Telegraph has long been the most important conservative-leaning newspaper in Britain, admired as much for its integrity as for its superb news coverage. When I joined the Telegraph had just broken the MPs’ expenses scandal, the most important political scoop of the 21st century.

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Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: Oborne v Maguire

Today’s Mirror splashes on “heartless” George Osborne giving his SpAd Rupert Harrison, apparently “one of the chief architects” of the “cruel austerity drive”, a 19% pay rise.

The story very much upset Man of the People Mirror Associate Editor Kevin Maguire, who Peter Oborne has the temerity to speculate is on rather more than Rupert:

Kerching!

POLL: Who’s Right, Peter Oborne or Craig Oliver?

Peter Oborne went on Newsnight on Wednesday to express a rarely vocalised view in Westminster, namely that Craig Oliver is a “particularly grubby individual”:

No.10’s Super Spinner has responded in a letter published by Ephraim Hardcastle this morning, accusing Oborne of being drunk:

Dear Peter

I just wanted to check you are OK. Some BBC people have been on to me worried you were a bit tired and emotional last night.

Let me know if I can help.

Best wishes,

Craig Oliver.

To which Peter replies:

“I am absolutely astonished that an official working for the Prime Minister would use such terminology. It is offensive and inaccurate. I hope that when he has taken time to consider it he’ll withdraw these remarks which are unworthy of a Downing Street Director of Communications.”

Who was right?

Let the people decide…

Media Bitch Fight Farage / Clegg Special: Kirkup v Oborne

The Telegraph’s James Kirkup hasn’t been very impressed with the profundity of the punditry following last night’s debate. He’s gone off on one this afternoon:

“A lot of stuff being written about the Clegg-Farage debate today could come from the Idiot’s Guide to Being a Political Commentator. It follows the same paint-by-numbers form.

Step One: Pronounce that everyone less clever than you is saying the same thing.

Step Two: Say that they are wrong because actually the opposite thing is true. You know this because you are clever and incisive and other people do not because they are stupid and out-of-touch.

Step Three: There is no Step Three. That’s all there is to it. Really, you can make a very nice living out of this.”

Which of Kirkup’s fellow Telegraph writers followed a very, very similar step by step approach in his own write up? Here’s Peter Oborne:

“British political journalists love to pretend that they are independent and objective, but the majority are nothing of the sort. In Britain we have a system of client journalism, with reporting a manifestation of political class dominance.

Last night’s debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg was a very good example of this phenomenon. The lobby wanted a Clegg win and… collectively called victory for Clegg the moment that the debate was over.

It was only when the YouGov poll came through showing that Farage had won the debate hands-down with the public that lobby journalists were forced into an abrupt U-turn.”

Who could Kirkup possibly have been talking about?

UPDATE:

She Was So Good That Oborne Saluted Her Twice

You could hardly imagine a busier first day in the office for Tim Montgomerie as the Times‘ new comment editor. It must also have been some baptism of fire for his replacement over at ConHome, Paul Goodman. Meanwhile not only did the prolific Peter Oborne tell us to marvel at Maggie in the Telegraph, he also managed to pen an obituary for the Mail as well. At least they were both consistent…

Miliband Had Peter Oborne In His Pocket

Ed weirdly confessed this lunchtime that he had kept an article by Peter Oborne in his pocket for three months, but Rainman refused to say which one. The Labour leader was hardly spoilt for choice for favourable Oborne articles, however. Was it Oborne’s “Ed Miliband can’t score even when he has an open goal”? Or his view that “Ed Miliband is the Labour Party’s invisible man” or the claim that “in every area of our public life the left is losing the argument”? It probably wasn’t Oborne’s review of Miliband’s biography, which apparently “cast Ed in the murderous role of Cain and David as his innocent victim”.

Far more likely is Oborne’s post-riots suggestion that Miliband was right about moral decay at the top of society, in which he laid into the likes of Sir Philip Green and attacked the culture of greed amongst the rich. Oborne should send an invoice for the conference speech…

Telegraph Cover Up Warsi Guest Blunder

Guido has been most amused by the frantic changes made to the Sunday Telegraph’s Baroness Warsi story on their website today. The original photo of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan lunch has been replaced by a four-year-old picture of Dave and Sayeeda with a completely unrelated caption. Guido wonders if that could possibly be because someone at Telegraph towers realised the first photo they published on a piece that slammed the guests at a Warsi event made one guest in particular really stand out. Who was this shady figure given unchecked access to the PM?

Step forward the Telegraph’s very own Peter Oborne…

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Peter Oborne writing on the pinkos at the Pink ‘Un

“About 25 years ago something went very wrong with the FT. It ceased to be the dry, rigorous journal of economic record that was so respected under its great postwar editor Sir Gordon Newton. Turning its back on its readers, it was captured by a clique of left-wing journalists. An early sign that something was going wrong came when the FT came out against the Falklands invasion. Naturally it supported Britain’s entry to the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1990. In 1992, under the slow-witted editorship of Richard Lambert (in a later incarnation, as director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Sir Richard was to become one of the most sycophantic apologists for Gordon Brown’s premiership), it endorsed Neil Kinnock as prime minister. It has been wrong on every single major economic judgment over the past quarter century.”

Oborne Has Guilty €urophiles Squirming

Younger readers will not know that “Guilty Men” was a book written by Michael Foot,  Frank Owen and Peter Howard, published in 1940, attacking the leading establishment figures of the day for their appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. As denunciations go it is the classic and an equal to Émile Zola’s J’accuse. Peter Oborne and Francis Weaver have entitled their new pamphlet to be published by the CPS tomorrow Guilty Men in a conscious echo of that great score settler. It is a coruscating attack on those who would have entangled Britain in the disastrous euro.

Their premise is that “Very rarely in political history has any faction or movement enjoyed such a complete and crushing victory as the Conservative Eurosceptics. The field is theirs. They were not merely right about the single currency, the greatest economic issue of our age — they were right for the right reasons.” This is not a mere opus of a gloat, they name and shame the establishment figures who shamelessly exaggerated, lied and eulogised on behalf the euro and the European Project and have yet to apologise for the disaster they would have wrought. The institutions who are guilty include the CBI, BBC and of course the Financial Times. The guilty men include the shameless pundits who smeared their opponents, for example David Aaronovitch, who compared David Owen to Oswald Moseley and Enoch Powell because the founder of the SDP had become sceptical of the wisdom of the euro currency. Andrew Rawnsley, Chris Patten, Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Charles Kennedy, Danny Alexander and from business Niall FitzGerald, Adair Turner and David Simon figure among the guilty men. It is instructive and amusing to remind ourselves of the hysterical claims and wild accusations made by these europhiles. Though this isn’t referred to in the text, it occurs to Guido that many of the same guilty men are currently making the same kind of hysterical claims about global warming.

Oborne has employed his usual panache in delivering the charges. It is well worth reading if you enjoy the thought of europhiles squirming guiltily. 

Oborne Flip Flops Again


Yesterday Peter Oborne in The Telegraph blasted Cameron for being in the sewer with Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and James Murdoch. It was a terrific piece that Guido and everyone in the Westminster politico-media Village enjoyed immensely. Tim Montgomerie reminded us that it was just over a month ago that Oborne thought Cameron was on the verge of attaining “heroic status”.  Guido is second to none in admiration for Oborne, his books The Triumph of the Political Class and The Rise of Political Lying are the most compelling analyses of the failings of the British political class and client media. If he has a failing it is that he is a man who hopes for better and expects better of our political class, it is this that leads him to lavish praise on politicians whom he has high hopes for, thus he lauded praise on Cameron and then when Cameron, inevitably, disappointed him he turned and lashed him. When it comes to this hope and disappointment cycle he has previous.

At the begining of the Brown premiership when David Miliband mulled over a coup he wrote an article explaining Why none of them are fit to fill Gordon Brown’s shoes, in which he argued thatThe Labour Party’s only hope is to rally behind the man it idolised for so long when he was Chancellor”. Within a year he was warning of Brown’sHubris, hoopla and claims that were false, cynical and very, very dangerous“, calling Gordon Brown a cynical, dishonest liar. Quite a volte face.

Oborne gets into this situation because he wants to think the best of men, Guido on the other hand starts with the view that politicians are probably lying or crooked, or at least venal. This policy towards politicians makes for fewer about turns.

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Liz Truss on the next Tory leader…

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