Don’t Be Fooled By Branson’s Lobbying

Though many of you thought Guido’s story about the BBC seeking to switch its revenue extraction from the television licence to a tax on broadband was an unbelieveable prank, it was not. Our story Branson Offers Necker Island as Security for Virgin Bailout was our bit of April Foolery yesterday. It took in most of you, probably because it was too close to reality. Branson is after a bailout, however as far as Guido is aware he hasn’t offered his island home as security. He’s no fool…

Virgin Atlantic has two shareholders, Delta Airlines (49%), and Virgin Group (51%) – until December it was due to be majority foreign owned until the deal with Air France – KLM fell through. Because of this, Virgin’s lobbying of Transport Minister Grant Shapps (and Chancellor Sunak) has focused on the damage the collapse of the airline would do to British manufacturing, Airbus and Rolls Royce have been persuaded to write to the ministers warning them of the knock on economic effects. Ironic, when Virgin’s fleet, according to their last annual report, is mostly manufactured by Boeing. Guido is all for a competitive airline market offering choice, however any asssistance to Virgin should come first from investors, should be in the form of repayable loans and should be international in line with the ownership. Anything less will be taking the taxpayers for fools…

UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that KLM-Air France owned 31% of the firm, that deal was not finalised.

mdi-timer 2 April 2020 @ 08:07 2 Apr 2020 @ 08:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
AI Powered Comment Moderation from Vuukle Works Well

The active vocal minority of readers who post in the comments will have noticed that we have changed commenting systems, we have dumped Disqus after 8 years and switched to Vuukle. The primary reason was the million plus comments a year meant moderation was a huge burden in terms of man-hours wasted. A human would have to skim read the comments to filter out the knuckle-dragging undesirables who seek to bore our large audience. Vuukle convinced us that their Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology could deal with British slang and colloquialisms. To the editor’s relief the AI does.

The AI pre-moderates for toxicity in realtime as the user types, this alone has improved the comments. As usual a small minority complained and said it would ruin the site, they emailed to tell us how rubbish the system was and that we were committing commercial suicide. Now those same outraged correspondents are making hundreds of comments a month.

The comments are now cleaned up automatically, best of all it is no longer a task to skim read thousands of comments a day, many of which seem to be from people with manifest mental health issues. Former Guido staff still shudder years later at the memory of having to moderate comments, now the AI takes care of 99% of them and once a day we have a look at the rejected comments to see what has been put in the holding bay. Some advice to those still trying to gam3 th3 syztem, if you behav3 1di0tikaly the AI gets suspicious and blocks you. So why not just stick on topic and write in plain English?

We have of course had some teething problems with the software. If you have cookies disabled or adblocking enabled, you will have problems and that is always going to be the case, so enable cookies and disable adblocking. Vuukle have been debugging issues on iPads and some browsers. There are still issues to be ironed out, “reply to” via email still doesn’t seem to work on all browser / operating systems combinations. See the documention if you are having problems:

If that information doesn’t solve it for you, Technical Support might be able to help if you send them a screenshot showing your problem / browser / operating system / device. Email support@vuukle.com

mdi-timer 28 March 2020 @ 13:13 28 Mar 2020 @ 13:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Time to Work from Home

The Guido team have been working from our homes today and using video conferencing to keep in touch with each other. We closed the Guy Newsroom yesterday until further notice. Stay home, stay safe co-conspirators…

mdi-timer 20 March 2020 @ 19:14 20 Mar 2020 @ 19:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Guido Does #DollyPartonChallenge

New year, new Guido. As part of the website revamp, Guido’s also taken this opportunity to get his social media game in order, adding Linkedin to the list of social media platforms on which you can keep up with us. So all you suits can follow Guido at work without your bosses realising…

Stay informed and don’t miss a thing via your platform of choice:

Guido remains undecided about joining TikTok…

mdi-timer 30 January 2020 @ 15:15 30 Jan 2020 @ 15:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
December: Merry Brexmas

The finale of British Politics 2019 – indeed arguably of Brexit – did not disappoint; with Brexit secured and – at least in the eyes of the electorate if not the Labour Party – Corbynism dead and buried, the British public are entering the new decade with an abundance of optimismHere’s to a stonking new decade…

The last days of the election were filled with all the twists and turns one would expect, not least Guido’s front page-leading exclusive of Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth admitting during a phone conversation that Corbyn would be a threat to national security and their dear leader was going to cost Labour the election.

The Abbotts also provided some extraordinary content, with Diane Abbott peaking on Election Day itself by wearing two left shoes at once (which, contrary to Corbynista claims, was entirely un-photoshopped), and earlier in the campaign with Guido’s exclusive that her son had been charged for biting a police officer.

Of course, Guido battled a sizeable hangover and lack of sleep to bring you post-election analysis, including our pundit of the night, Emma Dent Coad, the Corbynista breakdown, and one enjoyable observation that every single one of the defector MPs lost their seatsAlthough not quite as satisfying as watching Nish Kumar booed off stage

mdi-timer 1 January 2020 @ 18:42 1 Jan 2020 @ 18:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
November: Eye Test for Corbyn

With the election ramping up, Guido started becoming very concerned with the state of Corbyn. Not just his politics, doubts about his health started circulating. Guido was the first one to overtly ask what other publications had been hinting at for months: all the signs were there to point to Corbyn having had a stroke.

Not only was one eye becoming increasingly wonky, in spite of new anti-stroke glasses Corbyn was still struggling to read; holding a press conference and brandishing un-redacted leaked trade negotiation minutes, Corbyn claimed he had emphatic proof of Boris’s covert plans to sell the NHS off to Trump. As Guido was the only one to have copies of these supposed minutes, readers rushed to the site to realise Corbyn’s claims bore no reality to the contents of the documents. Guido was happy to provide a comparative analysis

Guido was also keen to pick up any other lies being floated during the election, not least when Corbyn finally admitted the less well off would pay more tax under his plans and – a particular favourite – when a Lib Dem candidate completely made up that she had won a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Just before Parliament dissolved for the election, we also finally got to say good riddance to John Bercow, who – after constantly moaning the Government was stifling Parliament’s ability to debate Brexit – filled up the order paper with hours of saccharine farewell eulogies. The Parliamentary circle jerk was more than mitigated by Lindsay Hoyle promising he will rip up Bercow’s remainer reforms however…

mdi-timer 1 January 2020 @ 17:02 1 Jan 2020 @ 17:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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