You bet she will if previous form is anything to go by…
A new understanding was broached. Mr Brown was keen to end the air of hostility. The Telegraph political side was full of Tories and the odd Blairite. Brownites were thin on the ground, if there were any at all. The Prime Minister proposed a fresh start that would lead to the paper being within a loop from which its unsympathetic attitude had previously excluded it. This means, we may assume, that it would be given stories.
We would be very rash to link this or any other exchanges with the subsequent appointment of Mr Porter, a political journalist on The Sun, as the Telegraph’s political editor in place of George Jones. It is very possible that Mr Porter had already been identified and hired. Mr Jones was certainly due to retire. We should note again, though, that Mr Porter is well known to Damian McBride, as he is to Ed Balls, Mr Brown’s right-hand man. And we cannot overlook the fact, as I mentioned last week, that the Telegraph’s political coverage has recently been friendlier to Mr Brown than it used to be, though it is by no means ecstatic.
Here is another extraordinary fact. The Daily Telegraph was organising a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference, on whether there should be a referendum on the new European Treaty. The meeting had been publicised. Speakers, including the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who is in favour of a referendum, had been lined up. Then, at the last moment, the event was cancelled by Mr Lewis.
Again, we would be unwise to jump to conclusions. It is nonetheless a plausible theory – I will put it no stronger – that Mr Lewis was persuaded by the Brown camp (the Prime Minister being adamantly opposed to a referendum) that any debate on the issue at a Labour Party conference would be unhelpful, and at odds with the understanding Mr Brown had arrived at with Mr Lewis. What other explanation could there be?
It is The Sun at its finest, politics with humour, accessible and witty. Kelvin Mackenzie would be proud…
Incidentally, Guido will be getting his chance to vote “No” – in Ireland.
MPs are :- % Aware of % Use Conservative Home 49 27 Guido Fawkes 45 14 Iain Dale 43 13 The House Magazine 41 8 Recess Monkey 22 3
UPDATE :Somebody from Dods has been on to Guido whining that he hasn’t emphasised that it is the online offering being surveyed. Consider it now emphasised. In Guido’s experience most MPs throw the boring old magazine straight into the bin with the rest of the junk mail.
Keith Vaz, a former minister for Europe, is calling for a referendum on the European constitution that Jim Murphy, the current minister for Europe says isn’t a constitution, just a bit of administrative tidying up. The FCO traditionally lies for its country, Murphy is lying for a foreign superstate. Blunkett says a referendum was promised and Miliband says Labour is not split. Super…
Gummer is getting a kicking from John Redwood saying basically that the mad burger-eater will damage the economy with his Green taxes and plans for increasing airport congestion. Cameroonie sources are briefing that they won’t pay much attention to the loopier ideas from Zac and Gummer. Fantastic…
So we have splits, splitters and lots of easy copy ahead of the party conferences. Cynics among you might wonder if the splits haven’t just been teased out by the media to manufacture a storyline, the Sun (Vaz article) and GMTV (Redwood interview) can take the credit for getting it going. The show must go on…
Iain mutters darkly about legal action – presumably lying on her CV and at the interview – which is a form of attempted fraud. Don’t hold your breath on that going anywhere. Who hasn’t?
Anyway isn’t this what investigative journalists are supposed to do?
Elsewhere at the Telegraph the experienced George Jones has apparently been given the push in such a cack-handed way that he’s suing and expected to get a six-figure pay-off. His job is being given to the silent-but-deadly Andrew Porter, of the Sun, formerly on the Sunday Times who is an old chum of Telegraph editor Will Lewis. Key qualities: won’t tell Lewis not to be such a silly boy; won’t be a member of Telegraph ancien regime.
Porter’s place on the Sun (keep up) is being taken by Graeme Wilson of the Telegraph. Wilson’s place on the Telegraph is being taken by James Kirkup from the Scotsman. Toby Helm is rumoured to have wanted to get out of the Lobby – if you’d been passed over for the top job you might conclude there was little point in hanging around to see if you got it next time. One of the things the imported Mailograph newsdesk didn’t realise about him – his sister is married to Jonathan Powell, although that is not such an asset nowadays. The new Mailograph is obsessed with getting scoops, a-la Andrew Pierce. But a lot of Pierce’s scoops stay exclusive, and with good reason.
(Yes, it is a slow news day).
Now this is what Guido calls a cavalier attitude to the facts:
Thursday July 26, 2007
Corrections and clarificationsA chart showing David Cameron’s personal rating in a Guardian/ICM poll (front page, yesterday) contained several mistakes. It did not include those voters who said they liked both David Cameron and the Conservative party, and muddled some other figures. The correct figures are: likes Cameron, but not the party, 18%; likes Cameron and the party, 25%; doesn’t like Cameron, but does like the party, 26%; don’t know, 26%. Five per cent refused to answer. Voters were not asked if they did not like both Cameron and the party. We did not make clear that the chart showed figures for all voters, not just Conservative voters.
So Guido wonders how he will feel about this comment about a time in October 1997 when New Labour faced a little PR difficulty; “The words went to Webster, the spin was applied, and away we went,” writes Alastair. Kind of gives the game away…
As this is to be my last regular column for The Times, I am in a different position today from other commentators. I don’t have to worry about whether the new regime at No 10 will return my calls, at least until the autumn. I don’t have to curry favour with anyone or worry about giving offence. Instead I can give you an unvarnished prediction of what the next few years of a Gordon Brown premiership will be like.
She has, it is rumoured, taken up the offer of a redundancy payout in the latest round of News International job cuts. Last time Guido indulged in a bit of Times-bashing they got very upset. Peter Riddell even called up an associate to tell him to stop associating with Guido, there was talk of them getting Guido back with an “exposé”. But here you have it from someone who knows; Peter Riddell, Phil Webster et al suck up to Brown and Balls out of fear. It must be true, it is printed in The Times…
Phone calls and emails go unanswered. Guido strongly recommends that he pays up this week.
Guido even managed to beat blogging Benedict Brogan, which is becoming increasingly difficult to do nowadays. Do keep up the rest of you…
François had four children with Ségolène Royal (pictured left), the losing French Socialist Presidential candidate. He is having an affair with TV8’s political reporter, Valerie Trierweiler (pictured right). When announcing their split the elegant Ségolène said that now “he was free to enjoy his romantic life alone”.
France has strict privacy laws of the kind that some of our politicians would love to have over here. Blogs now make those laws almost impossible to enforce. Technological progress.
Hat-tip : EuroSoc