Silence of the Spinners

politics

“He doesn’t want to speak to you” Guido has been told many times. We’ve never had a problem being put in the “sin bin” by politicians, we don’t seek to do interviews, so if a politician refuses to speak to us, it doesn’t matter too much, we can still talk about them. In fact we will probably shout about them even more. (Some free advice to any MP in our crosshairs, we don’t go away if you ignore us, we redouble our efforts.) These days however it is usually a party press officer – a professional spinner – who refuses to do his job and comment.

After a string of negative stories the LibDem press office earlier this year decided not to engage with us, did it help their cause? No. Stories on the blog went unchallenged and into print the next day in the national press. To be fair to the LibDem press team, our guess is they usually haven’t been told anything by the Deputy PM’s office in Downing Street, so it is not as if they can say anything of consequence. Amusingly after the Guido Fawkes Tenth Anniversary party they called, hurt, to inquire why press officers from the Tories, Labour and UKIP were all there eating caviar and drinking champagne whilst none from LibDem HQ were invited. “We put you in our sin bin” we told them…

Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times this morning analyses Labour’s attitude to the press

They blame the “rightwing press”, particularly the chunk of it owned by Rupert Murdoch, not only for the leadership tremors but for Mr Miliband’s low reputation in the country. If voters disdain Mr Miliband, the party seems to believe, it is because they are brainwashed. The best that can be said for this theory is that it has ideological pedigree; the one morsel of Marxist doctrine still evidently cherished by the British left is false consciousness.

Labour’s view of the press has soured to the point of self-harm. The Sun is read by more than 5 million Britons every day, many of whom vote Labour or entertain the prospect of doing so. Yet the party talks of the Murdoch-owned tabloid as a remote Other. It is just about conceivable that Labour can win power while ignoring anyone who disagrees with it. How it expects to govern a plural nation with such a sectarian cast of mind is harder to understand.

Unhinged by indignation, Labour MPs even joined a hashtag campaign on Twitter to insist that “We back Ed”, like Brezhnev-era Kremlin officials denying rumours of a coup. To repeat: a major political party decided that having to affirm support for its own leader six months before a general election would somehow leave him an enhanced figure.

The idea that being put in the “sin bin” will hurt Guido is bizarre. We’re going to light up those pixels and fill up those column inches regardless whether or not you engage. The pixels on the #1 political website in the country, the inches in the political column in the biggest selling newspaper in Britain…

We want to get the facts right when we run a story, press officers and party apparatchiks may not like the tone or the thrust of an article coming down the line, nevertheless running away won’t help. Look at Sadiq Khan‘s recent 48 hours of bad publicity. Sadiq thought he could tough it out with “no comment”, that didn’t work with us because – unlike the Leveson leery dead tree press – we ran the pictures without a response anyway. In the end ignoring this blog meant the broadcast and print media eventually joined in the mêlée. As Tom Watson once said, if you can’t take a kicking from Guido, then you don’t deserve to be in politics…

What Do You Think of Guido’s Facelift?

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After ten years, things need a little freshening up. Changes are coming. Things will look different round here soon…

Scrapbook Losing Friends Fast Over Cam Kid Hate

Britain’s leading left-wing blog has come under fire for the second time in two weeks for attacking David Cameron over his disabled son Ivan, who passed away in 2009. Earlier this month union-funded Political Scrapbook was universally panned for this story criticising the PM for an emotional section of his conference speech. The response was unanimous:

Today they’re at it again, claiming: “In a corner, Cameron can’t help invoking the memory of his disabled son”. The less than tasteful line of attack is seeing Scrapbook lose friends on the liberal left fast:

You stay classy…

This Is Embarrassing, Help! Guido Refresh: Avatar Rebrand Design Brief

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Back in June we put out a call for tenders for the Guido Refresh: Avatar Rebrand Design Brief and asked graphic designers to tender ideas. The detailed brief can be found here.

Sure enough we had some high quality ideas put forward to us and one of them was almost exactly what we had in mind – we told the designer we would shortlist them. Then it seems that instead of being saved the email was deleted…

So if you were that designer, please get in touch urgently: Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com. We want to do business…

ConHome Calls for Bercow's Head

John Bercow is facing growing calls to resign, with Conservative Home calling for his head in a blistering criticism of his failings his afternoon. The party’s in house journal argues “the Speaker ought to resign, for the good of the Commons”, that today’s “imitation of a u-turn… isn’t sufficient to save him”, and that following his statement today “Bercow’s position has become untenable”.

“His authority over the House as a whole has evaporated. In his statement this afternoon he was openly heckled by various MPs. His declaration that “a number of colleagues have expressed disquiet” about Ms Mills, when in reality at least 84 MPs are in open revolt on the matter, elicited a loud “Ha!” from Michael Fabricant. His proposal of a “modest pause” has been met by rebel demands for a full debate on his conduct of the affair. It’s no use suggesting this is a group of usual suspects who dislike him personally – the objectors have visibly multiplied in proportion to his misbehaviour. This is an unsustainable state of affairs, and his failure (or refusal) to satisfy his critics now threatens to disrupt the running of parliament.”

The damning piece concludes:

“He ought to go of his own accord or be made to go by MPs. We need a new Speaker who can live up to the job and restore the role to its former standing.”

If this were to snowball…

Guido Commended by Royal Statistical Society

Guido is honoured to have been commended by the Royal Statistical Society at the Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards today. Commenting on this blog’s data journalism over the last year, specifically our exposé on gender inequality at the patriarchal CLASS think tank and how the Guardian uses the word “scrounger” more than any other paper, the Royal Statistical Society praised our:

“commitment to using statistics to question, analyse and investigate the issues that affect society at large”

Guido looks forward to providing his readers with a similarly high standard of data journalism in the year ahead…

IPPR Roll Call of Labour Cronies

Political Scrapbook tried their hardest to give the Policy Exchange think tank a slap earlier, finding only a pitiful number of connected people in comparison to Labour wonkshop IPPR. Safe to say the list of Labour-linked acolytes over there is considerably longer:

IPPR Trustees

Lord Andrew Adonis – Labour Peer; Shadow Infrastructure Minister

David Clayton – Economic Advisor to David Miliband, FCO , 2008 – 2010

Caroline Daniel – Worked as researcher to Gordon Brown for 18 months

John Eatwell – Labour Peer; Economic advisor to Neil Kinnock, 1985 – 1992

David Pitt-Watson – Management and Business Policy Adviser to Labour

Jane Roberts – Ex-Labour Councillor; Leader of Camden Council 2000 – 2005

 

IPPR Staff

Nick Pearce (Director) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Lisa Perrin (Events Manager) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Anthony Vigor (Former Fellow) – Former Special Adviser to Gordon Brown

Richard Darlington (Head of News) – Former Special Adviser in DfID

Graeme Cooke (Research Director) – Adviser to James Purnell 2008 – 2009

Ed Cox (Northern Director) – Policy Adviser to Hazel Blears

Tony Dolphin (Associate Director –  Economic Adviser in HM Treasury

Rick Muir (Associate Director ) –  Labour Councillor in the Hackney

Will Straw (Associate Director)  Labour PPC for Rossendale and Darwen.

Sarah Mulley (Associate Director ) – Senior Policy Analyst at HMT

Graeme Henderson (Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North) – Labour member

Kayte Lawton (Senior Research Fellow) – Labour supporter

Bill Davies (Research Fellow, IPPR North) – Labour Councillor

Mark Rowney (Research Fellow) – Labour member

Luke Raikes (Researcher, IPPR North) – Labour Councillo

 

Policy Advisory Council

Lord Kumar Bhattacharya: Labour Peer

Neil Kinnock: Leader of the Labour Party 1983-1992

Charles Leadbetter: Former Advisor to Tony Blair in No. 10 Policy Unit

 

Associate IPPR Fellows

Will Cook – Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, June 2005 – March 2009

Joe Farrington-Harris – Health Policy Adviser, Labour Party, 2011

Andy Hull – Labour Borough Councillor, Islington Borough Council;

Michael Jacobs – Special Adviser to Gordon Brown at Number 10

Sophie Moullin – , Prime Minister’s Strategy

Will Paxton –  spent two years in Number 10

Nigel Warner – Former Special Adviser to Tessa Jowell at DCMS

Marc Stears – Chief Speechwriter for Ed Miliband

Rob Allen – Executive Committee Member of ‘Labour in the City’,

Gabriel Scally – Aide to Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham

Guido awaits the Charity Commission’s decision on whether IPPR has breached their strict rules on political impartiality with great interest. As will the Centre for Social Justice and the PM’s favourite think tank…

Guido Refresh: Avatar Rebrand Design Brief

The Guido Fawkes Blog avatar is widely recognised and seen by readers millions of times every month, he is a cheeky chappy with a big mischievous smile. After 10 years use by the blog it is time he was updated. Confusingly he is based on Errol Flynn’s portrayal of Robin Hood – or at least the poster version of him:

errol-flynn-guido-montage

The new avatars will be seen millions of times every month, the cheeky chappy grin, humour and friendliness of the image is a part of the success of the blog. We want a clean, cool modernisation that is an evolutionary change rather than a jarring revolution. We have high expectations and we will pay a commercial rate for the work.

More information on the brief and contact details can be found here.

Liberty Online: Live Stream of Guido at #Liberty2014

A post-three bottle lunch Guido has strolled down to the CPS conference. Tune in at 18:30:

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Hic, hic, hic!

Telegraph Brain Drain: Damian Thompson Out

The Telegraph’s combative blogs editor Damian Thompson has announced he is leaving Buckingham Palace Road “in an entirely amicable parting of the ways”. Where next for the proven talent spotter of young male writers? MediaGuido feels he would be a perfect fit for the new kids on the ranty-scene. Will Thompson join his former superstar blogger James Delingpole and beef up the stretched operation at Breitbart London? “Watch this space,” he says…

UPDATE:

Continuity Clegg: Winning Here Graph

The Clegg fans over LibDemVoice have launched a delayed rebuttal operation, releasing a poll showing 54% of 992 members want him to stay and 39% want him to stand down. Always one for statistical excellence, Guido brings you the findings in a format LibDem HQ would be proud of:

Nothing to worry about…

UPDATE: Vince has broken cover slam Oakeshott for commissioning the ICM poll. He calls it inexcusable.

Guido's Guide to Leaking

The drip, drip, drip of leaks from parliament, Whitehall and rival newsrooms are what makes this blog happen. Guido relies on you for information and makes every technological effort to make it easy and safe to blow the whistle on politicians:

  • If you call the voicemail number (0709 284 0531) you are asked to give a name, genuine or not, you will then either be connected or your message will be digitally recorded and automatically converted to text. Your voice is then erased.
  • If you want to send an untraceable encrypted email, Guido recommends using Hushmail.
  • If you want to forward an email, DO NOT send it from your parliament, government or party account. COPY and PASTE the text into a personal email and send it from there.
  • DO NOT forward attachments as your bosses may use tracking software to determine where it has gone. Download the file first, then upload it to your personal account.
  • An easy way to leak digital information without getting caught is to take a screenshot on your phone camera, documents can be photographed by most smartphone cameras. No way for your bosses to track it back to you if it’s your personal phone.

Voicemail : 0709 284 0531
Fax : 0709 201 2337
Email : Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com

Sources are anonymous (unless you want credit). Who is on the fiddle? Who is lying? If you know “the line” is a lie, ask yourself why you got into politics; was it to cover up the truth or to tell it?

Real Life Anti-Sex League Oppose #CheckEmTuesday

Predictable po-faced Twitter bores Political Scrapbook and Stella Creasy are ramping the faux outrage meter, whingeing about the Sun admirably using Page 3 to encourage women to check themselves for signs of breast cancer. As the Sun’s Fabulous magazine team is demonstrating above they are backing CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga, who has been diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. Even No More Page 3 are mostly backing the Sun, so it isn’t very sensible for the less popular politically correct elements of the Twittersphere to behave like a real-life 1984 Anti-Sex League, accusing the paper of hijacking her campaign. How many women have ever decided to check themselves for cancer because they read Political Scrapbook?

The Sun’s editor David Dinsmore and Page 3 girls (pictured above) are fully behind this public health initiative. You can read more about the Sun’s campaign here, and check out the CoppaFeel website here.

Saturday Seven-Up

In the last 7 days 68,743 visitors visited 174,969 times viewing 282,820 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

If you want to see a round-up of the stats for 2013 with fireworks, take a look here.

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Top Ten Stories of 2013

2013

WATCH: Sun’s Footage of Terrorist Attack Aftermath 245,343
Rolf Harris Arrested By Operation Yewtree Police 206,236
Sunday Sleaze Special 122,034
Exclusive: Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops 61,394
WATCH: Serbian PM’s Full Frontal No Knickers Flash Interview 46,115
Leveson Effect: Can You See What It Is Yet? 45,766
Claire Perry’s Website Hacked By Porn Prankers 45,448
Jim Davidson Arrested by Operation Yewtree 43,803
Gloria De Piero Topless Photos 40,572
On the Dole Because He Didn’t Want to Get Up For 8:00 a.m. 38,263
Attorney General Warns Press Over Rebekah & Andy 34,827

These are the top ten traffic stories on the blog this year which helped generate some 30 million page views. The shocking footage of the Woolwich jihadis was seen by more people here than elsewhere because of paywalls andf the ITV website crashing under the strain. We were first with the news of the Rolf Harris arrest and we were first with the news of his house being searched as well. Due to the Leveson Effect we were also first with the news of Jim Davidson’s arrest. We hinted at the Brooks – Coulson Affair, despite the Attorney General’s warning. Sex sells; Serbia’s answer to Kirsty Wark has a different technique when it comes to interviewing Prime Ministers, Claire Perry’s porn issues and Gloria De Piero’s boobs are what our readers really want to know about. Paul the unashamed shirker from Clerkenwell amazed readers more than once this year…

Sunny Hundal’s Greatest Hits Proof the IDS Welfare-to-Work Reforms Working

So farewell then, Sunny Hundal. Liberal Conspiracy is soon to be no more. Sunny is closing it down because “there is just too much opinion out there”, he is off to lecture at Brian Cathcart’s world-renowned Kingston University. Proof that IDS’ policies are working. Welfare-to-work has succeeded in reducing Hounslow’s unemployment rate…

We’re going to miss him. So many precious memories:

There was the time he took to Twitter from his mum’s spare bedroom to stick up for Chris Huhne, at the time Guido was pushing the story:

There was the time he “exclusively leaked” the Coalition agreement, when it had already been published by the BBC and was officially available to download. When he celebrated the hospitalisation of someone he disagrees with. The time he dismissed the student protest violence at CCHQ, calling the Tories and police wusses. And when he got to the bottom of what losing the Bradford West by-election really meant for Labour:

Who can forget the the time he voted Green. The time he voted LibDem. The time he said vote Tory. All despite being Miliband’s biggest cheerleader.

Not to mention when he was ridiculed by the entire internet for trying to argue that all right-wingers are evil. When he set up a petition to debate in parliament something he didn’t want to be debated in parliament. And when Jim Naughtie told him to shut up. Finally, when he was named the 16th worst person on Twitter:

“He perfectly encapsulates the uselessness of political discussion in Britain. He isn’t even effective at the minor, inconsequential tasks he sets for himself.”

“We want to be the hub” of left-wing online collaborative politics, Sunny said grandly back in 2007. Turns out it’s just a one-man show. ‘Innit…

N.B. Feel free to add any other favourites from the Sunny back catalogue in the comments.

Saturday Seven Up

This week 108,444 visitors visited 312,727 times viewing 494,906 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Saturday Seven-Up

This week a mere 97,212 visitors visited 295,677 times viewing 498,781 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

LabourList Brings Blairite Benjamin Wegg-Prosser Onboard

Who you gonna call when you need some cash? None better than Mandy, who gets out the begging bowl in an email to LabourList subscribers this afternoon. “Dear Comrade, oops, colleague…”, begins the latest in a raft of requests for donations from the Labour blog. Could it be they are trying to wean themselves off their reliance on union gold?

LabourList are “proudly sponsored” by the GMB, CWU, Unite and Unison, though in April they added one Benjamin Wegg-Prosser to their ranks as a Managing Partner. Wegg-Prosser is a Mandelson protégé who went on to become Tony Blair’s Director of Strategic Communications, famously drafting theleaving the stage with the crowd wanting more memo. He is currently also the managing partner of Global Counsel, Mandy’s lobbying firm. If there is a coming battle for the heart and soul of the Labour Party, controlling the most popular Labour-affiliated website is a smart move… 

Order of the OTT: LabourList’s Tiny Violin

Mark Ferguson of LabourList well and truly earned his union keep with his response to today’s Spending Round. Choking back the tears as he whined about Osborne’s “nasty, vicious, small politics”, Ferguson launched into a tour de force of hyperbolic, hand-wringing rhetoric well worthy of the Order of the OTT:

“But it’s fine, because we can all marvel at hilarious jokes about how fatty Eric Pickles is an example of lean government, as people starve and are driven to charity by this heartless, vindictive and mean little man.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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