We’re Hiring

In what is a new speed record for the Guido Fawkes School of Applied Journalism, after just 2 weeks here The Sun has poached Steven Edginton to beef up their video output. We wish Steven well, they must have made him an offer he could not refuse to entice him to break his contract. We are as a consequence hiring. If you have video editing skills and are ambitious email paul@order-order.com

Former Economist Editor Lambasts Bagehot Columnist

Guido has been chronicling the decline of The Economist and in particular the once revered Bagehot column for some time. This week’s copy has a letter to the editor from a former editor-in-chief of The Economist, Andrew Knight and Charles Moore, the biographer of Margaret Thatcher. It is a a corker on the subject of a recent Bagehot column on “Thatcher Undecomposed”. They are not impressed…

The full letter is worth reading, it tears apart the contradictions, oversights and mistakes in the column. The conclusion alone is pretty damning:

What one looks for in Bagehot’s newspaper is analysis, rather than generalising replete with attitude. Leaving aside his protracted expression of dismay over Brexit and Euroscepticism (the “flames” of which Thatcher wickedly “fanned” with her Bruges speech), Bagehot’s overall conclusion is an odd (in your pages) mercantilist sally. His Little-Britain lunge is that Thatcher’s free-marketry has left Britain “the Wimbledon of global capitalism, more successful at hosting world-class players than producing them”.

Thatcherites should celebrate that metaphor. Wimbledon: a great global tournament in the heart of British suburbia creating lots of jobs; lots of national prestige; lots of exciting visitors to the grass courts; lots of competition. Lots, in short, of the levelling out, the subsidy-less prosperity, the excitement, enjoyment and fun of the very sort she (and the original Walter Bagehot) would have relished.

That today’s Bagehot can be accused of mercantilism shows how far The Economist has strayed from and is betraying the free trade cause it was founded to further.

Somehow this letter to the editor only appears online and not in the print edition. Fancy that…

The full letter is reproduced below:

Continue reading

BBC Announce Boris-Corbyn Debate

The BBC have announced a live debate between Boris and Corbyn six days before the election. These will take place as well as ITV’s November 19 debate

In addition to the big BBC head-to-head on the 6th, there will also be:

  • A leaders’ Question Time Special – Tory, Labour, SNP and Lib Dem – November 22
  • A further 30-minute Question Time Special – Farage and the Green Party
  • An under-30s Question Time – December 9
  • A post-election Question Time – Friday, December 13
  • All in addition to region-specific debates

Despite also announcing a seven-way podium debate on the November 29, the Lib Dems have announced they will begin legal proceedings against the BBC over their exclusion from the Boris-Corbyn debate on December 6. They’ve already begun them against ITV…

Laura Kuenssberg Tries Explaining Shitposting

The BBC’s flagship BrexitElectioncast podcast turned its attention to online media strategy last night, bringing the term ‘shitposting’ into British households. As ever, they’re well behind Guido on this…

Referring to CCHQ’s deliberately poor Twitter graphics, Laura K explained

“There’s also this thing called [shit]-posting, where… political parties or campaign groups make an advert that looks really rubbish and then people share it online saying ‘Oh, I can’t believe how s*** this is’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared and shared and they go ‘ha ha ha, job done'”

Twitter’s more youthful hacks leapt on Laura claiming she’d butchered the definition. Most failed to clarify anything, choosing only to sneer…

The mistake of Laura’s was the Tories’ digital strategy is an example of shitposting, but shitposting is far from limited to political strategy – indeed political parties are only just testing out the well-loved internet joke format. Definitively, shitposting is most often a deliberately low-quality, jokey post or comment that derails – or devalues the quality of – the conversation.

The intent of the poster is important. For example, the Tories’ garish yellow and pink Brexit graphic was posted to get attention, but it wasn’t until they saw the mass negative reaction and put out their black and white comic sans version that it could be classified as shitposting.

Laura and the Brexitcast team gave a good example but a poor definition. Most ironically of all, the Brexitcast video ended up itself being memed for shitposting purposes – perhaps this was Laura’s intention all along…

Oh Kay: Burley Empty Chairs Cleverly When He Wasn’t Booked For Her Show

Kay Burley ’empty chaired’ James Cleverly this morning and the video is doing the rounds on social media, with almost 200,000 views it has been – shared by left-wing figures and Labour activists like Owen Jones. The only problem is Cleverly wasn’t booked to come on her show…

Cleverly had been scheduled to appear on TalkRADIO this morning but as he arrived at the Millbank studio booked for his Julia Hartley-Brewer interview, Kay Burley burst in. Guido understands Kay harangued Cleverly for not coming on her show at 8:30, but this was a last-minute booking and got squeezed because GMB overran this morning. He had been scheduled to appear on TalkRADIO at 8:40…

Millbank sources tell Guido that the studios descended into an unedifying shouting match. Guido understands even radio producers could hear Kay’s shouting over the microphone in James’ studio….

Politico‘s media round listing clearly shows that the Tory chairman wasn’t booked to appear on Sky today.

Listen to James’ baffled response here…

Pulling a stunt like this during purdah is a brave move for Sky. Guido hears a furious Number 10 are planning a formal Ofcom complaint…

BBC Announce Election Night Plans

The BBC has shown off how organised they are by already announcing their election night presenter plans. Guido’s still in the process of sorting out drinks…

The announcement confirms that Dimbleby will be stepping down from presenting their coverage after 40 years and 10 elections, to be replaced by Huw Edwards. Huw got his work experience in by covering the last set of EU election results…

Edwards will present the BBC’s main election night coverage alongside Reeta Chakrabarti, Andrew Neil, Tina Daheley and Jeremy Vine, with the usual reporters (including Laura K).

Most excitingly for political nerds, the BBC has revamped the traditional ‘Arthur’ theme tune – used by the BBC for generations and scrapped in 2010. 

Depending on how Boris’s campaign goes, it could be the only thing we’re left looking forward to on election night.

First Election Debate Announced for November 19

The first election debate – a head-to-head between Corbyn and Boris – has been announced by ITV to take place on November 19. In both their interests to exclude Swinson…

Trump: Corbyn “Would be so Bad for Your Country”

Impressive get for Nigel and LBC. The Brexit Party leader has an exclusive 30-minute interview with the US president tonight at 6:00 pm. Surely worth a listen…

Twitter Bans Political Advertising

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announces worldwide ban on political advertising:

“A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money. While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions. Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale…”

A cynic might add that Twitter made little money out of political advertising compared to Facebook…

Brexit Voters Told Not To Apply for ‘Grand Tour’ Job

Brexit Voters were told to not apply for a job as Associate Producer for Amazon’s Top Gear knock off The Grand Tour. The ad, posted by producer Katie Waple, appeared in an exclusive Facebook group called ‘People who work in TV who know people who work in TV’. The group is only open to people who know at least five people who are already members.

At least one member called the questionable post out in the comments but was not responded to. Katie did not respond to Guido’s repeated requests for comment either…

Jon Snow’s Senior Moment

Last night on Channel 4 News Jon Snow had a senior moment, introducing Jo Swinson as leader of the SNP, well she is a Scottish, white, female. You can see how 72-year-old Snow could be confused, again…

Sky News’ ‘GP’ Is Actually Labour Activist

This afternoon, Sky News prominently featured someone billed as a ‘GP’ to discuss the drop in MMR vaccinations. In fact, Dr Sonia Adesara is a prominent Labour activist – something Sky failed to mention…

It didn’t take long for her to start criticising the Government, repeatedly accusing them of “putting children at risk”.

In reality, Sonia is Chair of the Young Fabians Health Network, has appeared in an attack video on Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook account, her Twitter account is littered with pro-Labour anti-Lib Dem and anti-Tory comments. No one could have anticipated this from Sky…

UPDATE: Guido understands Sonia also ran for selection as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip but was beaten by friend-of-the-site Ali Milani. To lose to him is quite a feat…

Peter Oborne Fired Contract Not Renewed With Daily Mail

Guido understands from a Daily Mail source that Peter Oborne‘s services as a columnist are no longer required. Oborne has been rampaging around broadcast studios for the last few days railing at the corruption of the Lobby and their “Downing Street sources”. His targets of attack included the political journalists of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, his now former employers. As yet this is officially unconfirmed. Peter is not answering his phone either. It is of course a Friday…

UPDATE: Alex Bannister, managing editor at the Daily Mail, gets in touch to insist that it is Peter himself who has decided to quit his column and not renew his year-long contract, which has entirely coincidentally come to an end in the same week he launched a tirade against his colleagues on the newspaper. He may still contribute pieces to the paper apparently…

UPDATE: Peter surfaces:

Spinning Politicians: Trade Body Condemns Davidson Hire, Condones Lord Myners

The hiring of Ruth Davidson by Tulchan Communications has been condemned by Francis Ingham, Director General, of the trade body PRCA

“It is simply wrong for lobbying agencies to employ legislators. The possible conflict of interest in doing so is clear, and damages the reputation of both our industry, and of the political process.

[…] Read the rest


Peter Oborne Attacks Amol Rajan on His Show

Yesterday Peter Oborne continued his onslaught on the Lobby’s tendency to relay anonymous “Downing Street sources” and how it shapes their commentary. His campaign is working as hacks are noticeably straining to avoid using the “Downing Street source” phrase in their reports.[…] Read the rest


Top ERG Strategist Christopher Montgomery Leaves Group to Co-Edit New Magazine Full Time

ERG spartan strategist supremo Christopher Montgomery is leaving the group after three years to co-edit a new monthly print magazine called The Critic, which launches next week. Montgomery, who was previously Chief of Staff to the DUP, will be co-editing the new magazine pitched at the thinking right with Michael Mosbacher, who was until recently acting editor of Standpoint magazine.[…] Read the rest


When Guido Met Steve Bray…

Telly Guido tried to have a friendly chat with shouty Steve Bray, the ‘Stop Brexit’ man who interrupts every interview known to man. The story was going to be that the man is such an irritating staple outside Westminster he now has his own Uber pick up location.[…] Read the rest


Marr ‘Accepts He Was Wrong’ over Priti Laugh Lie

The BBC have finally apologised to Priti Patel for falsely accusing her of laughing at warnings over a No Deal Brexit. In a statement responding to 222 written complaints, the corporation said that Marr “accepts this was in fact [Priti’s] natural expression”.[…] Read the rest


Downing Street Sources Temporarily Silenced

Yesterday, Peter Oborne published a characteristic scream of pain at the over-use of “Downing Street sources” by Lobby hacks. Oborne argued that the quoting of unnamed sources facilitates lying and makes hacks the hands free delivery mechanism for fake news. It is noticeable that, of late, tweeting Lobby hacks repeat anonymous threats from Downing Street sources which habitually do not eventually materialise.[…] Read the rest


Who is on Question Time Tonight?

BBC could have tried for something a bit more exciting on such a momentous day…[…] Read the rest


Media News List