12 Things Buzzfeed Need to Know About the British Blogosphere

Guido would like to welcome BuzzFeed to the UK online scene. They’ve had a highly prolific first day and are pressing the right buttons with their booze up tonight. Guido thought he would share with them some top tips for surviving the British blogosphere:

  • Iain Dale invented the online list format in Britain before you.
  • Don’t worry about HuffPo over here, they couldn’t break a window.
  • Waking up before lunch is not a necessity, see Political Scrapbook.
  • The rate you should charge for #SkyPapers is £300.
  • It’s very important to Paul Waugh that he gets credited for any story, pun or hashtag.
  • SideBoob stories are an admission of creative failure.
  • Take the phrase evidence based blogging with a pinch of salt.
  • If the New Statesman’s Alex Hern sends you another job application, just send him back this:

  • “Dr” Eoin Clarke writes about healthcare a lot but ignore him because he is not a doctor and he is always wrong.
  • We recommend a flame war with Derek Draper.
  • Meet Larry and Freya. You’ll like these two.

And finally…

The number one rule:

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

Lords Vote on Amendments As Press Charter Unravelling

Blog OffHow bad is it for the Hacked Off drafted Royal Charter’s prospects?

  • Lebedev, the owner of The Indy, the only paper with an editor keen on the press control Royal Charter, has said it is a bad idea.
  • Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is suggesting delaying it all for a year.
  • The Economist has joined the Speccie, Staggers and Private Eye in shunning the new system.
  • Most of the big newspaper groups are looking less and less likely to go along with things as they stand.
  • Editors of local papers are livid that they will be brought into this regulatory quango when they are already under financial pressure.
  • The former campaign manager for Hacked Off has disowned the campaign –  “I wanted reform that understood the press, but some of them wanted reform that punished the press. They became more militant, more politically aggressive and I felt uncomfortable with it.”
  • Lawyers say the exemplary damages provision is in breach of Article 10 of the ECHR.
  • Bloggers from across the spectrum have united against the ill thought provisions.
  • Hacked Off now say that blog regulation was never their intention.*
  • Over the weekend there were tri-party talks to try and figure out how to exempt blogs – which Leveson never intended to regulate.

Still the political class may still ram it through the Lords this afternoon…

Lord Lucas has a sensible amendment to exempt blogs and small publishing enterprises:

LORD LUCAS

131C  At end insert— “Other publishers

9) A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.”

131D  At end insert—  10) A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.”

131E At end insert—  11 ) A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium- sized enterprise as defined in sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006.”

Just because the amendments are sensible and widely supported doesn’t mean they will pass…

*Evan Harris told the Open Rights Group that he wanted to see Guido regulated. Can’t imagine why…

Lord Lucas Amendments in Full

Here are Lord Lucas’ three amendments to the Crime and Courts bill:

blogoff“A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.

A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.

A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”

Here we go…

Via @jimwaterson

Breaking: + + + Amendment to Protect Bloggers Put Down + + +

blogoffWith only a few hours to go before the 3 pm deadline Guido is hearing that Lord Lucas is putting down an amendment to exclude small independent bloggers from the regulatory burden of the Royal Charter. The amendment is based on the wording proposed by BigBrotherWatch (see here).

The aim is to insert a new Schedule into the Crime and Courts Bill:

‘Exclusions from definition of “relevant publisher”

“A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”

This effectively takes out all small independent bloggers and re-calibrates the legislation to only cover what Tom Watson rightly calls “Big Media”. Hopefully this will command cross-party support…

Media Bitch Fight: Scrapbook v HuffPo

With the future of the blogosphere at stake today, Guido takes absolutely no pleasure in seeing two old friends turn on each other:

Roll on 3pm

Tom Watson Backs Blog Off

There is now cross-party unity condemning the Hacked Off drafted attempt to regulate the blogosphere, as Tom Watson backs the Blog Off campaign against control of the internet:

“It is clear to all but the very stupid that the new system should only apply to big media -with print operations that might also have a digital presence. Maria Miller should urgently clarify how this will be achieved.”

As one of the guilty men leading the charge against the free press, it’s better late than never.

Good to have a “propa blogger” on board…

Hacked Off Faces Backlash from Thousands of BloggersEffort to Exclude Small Enterprises from “Relevant Publisher”

blogoffLast night’s hasty launch of the Blog Off campaign for a free and unregulated blogosphere has seen over 2,400 people sign the petition telling Hugh Grant and Evan Harris where to put their regulations. Hacked Off are revising their hitherto arrogant stance and furiously back peddling this afternoon as the legislation they advocated has backfired after UK bloggers realised they would be pushed into costly and cumbersome regulatory organisations. Hugh Grant has just tweeted a link to a post on the Hacked Off website claiming that the proposals have not been endorsed by them:

“They have not been endorsed in any way by Hacked Off. On the contrary, at the weekend we urged the three parties not to approve them finally there and then, but to leave time for them to be improved. The parties agreed to this. For what it is worth, we believe the potential impact on bloggers and small publishers was unforeseen – an accident in the drafting – and we know of no reason why politicians might resist efforts to put things right.”

Frankly this is nonsense. If it were not for Hacked Off’s meddling there would be no danger of bloggers facing this vain attempt at regulation. Counter lobby Blog Off, backed by BigBrotherWatch, are urgently looking for a Peer willing to table an amendment by 3 p.m. tomorrow to protect independent bloggers. If you can help, email here.

Blog Off are looking to table an amendment that inserts into the Crime and Courts Bill a clause excluding from the definition of “revelant publisher” any enterprise that meets the definition of a small or medium sized enterprise as defined in Sections 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.

There is, to coin a phrase, less than 24 hours to save the independent blogosphere…

Guido's Warning to Liberal & Progressive Bloggers:Royal Charter Aims for Tabloids and Guido, It'll Get You Too

One thing that surprises Guido is that his comrades in the liberal, progressive blogosphere have seemingly not noticed that the proposed Royal Charter aims to control and regulate them as well as the tabloids.

Schedule 4, Point 1 of both the government and the opposition’s versions of the Royal Charter will bring blogs under the regulator’s control:

“relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom: a. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or b. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)”

Now the What about Guido?” question has been answered by Maria Miller to Harriet Harman’s satisfaction, Guido’s rival bloggers should pause before rejoicing. You will all be regulated as well. British bloggers will, if politicians get their way, no longer have unregulated free speech on the internet.

big-sister-maria-miller

So to all those in the progressive blogosphere who support regulating the freedom of the press, Guido poses this simple question: will you defy the new regulator or submit to that system of state control you support? If it goes through the fun will start when fractious bloggers start complaining about their rival’s falsehoods and demanding they print due prominence corrections. The chaos of every petty flame war on the internet spilling over into the new statutory-backed regulator’s complaint procedure system will paralyse it. Have Maria Miller and Harriet Harman thought this through?

To all those bloggers who support this press control Charter because they hate Murdoch and Dacre, Guido offers this cautionary counsel, remember that the new regulator will cover you as well. You will have all the expense and bureaucracy of compliance as Murdoch and Dacre face, without the means. Unless like Guido and the Spectator you plan to become media outlaws too…

Two Left Feet Hires Blunder Blogger

A big welcome to Left Foot Forward’s new associate editor James Bloodworth. Rather awkwardly for the new boy at the bankrupt blogging slave workhouse, just a few days in, he’s already had a nightmare. Here is what Bloodworth wrote earlier:

Just the two problems. Gordon abolished it. And Ed didn’t promise to scrap it, he said he would bring it back. It’s been updated since. Pretty basic stuff, you would have thought, for Britain’s self-proclaimed leading wonk website…

H/T @IainChapman

UPDATE: Talking of left wing people saying ridiculous things. Here is Laurie Penny on the “Nato” invasion of Iraq. And here is Tim Stanley beautifully skewering her piece.

Sunny Huhne-dal's Sagacity

sunny-hundalSince resolving in 2010 to not waste pixels on the unpopular parts of the blogosphere, we have kept to our word for three years. Today is just too good to let it pass.

Not many supported Chris Huhne on Twitter, here is what that well known progressive tweeter Sunny Hundal had to say, from his mum’s spare bedroom in Hillingdon, during the period that we pushed the Huhne story before the police investigation bore fruit:

Despite Sunny’s support he’s down now.

The story that Huhne-dal thought wasn’t “going anywhere”, is everywhere…

Political Workhouse: Lazy Socialists Miss Half the Story

Poor old Political Scrapbook. The union-sponsored socialists are not having a very good run of things this year. Firstly Guido exposed their worse-than-the-workhouse “volunteer” system – where you volunteer to do all the work on the site for free, and then you don’t even get any gruel. Moooore, you say?

Today Mr Bumble and his starving slave “interns” finally realised that the festive season was over and made it back to the workhouse; producing their first blogpost since way before Christmas; which consisted of a picture lifted from somewhere else. Sadly for the lazy socialists, the story was shot down within minutes by Kebab Time blogger @OnTablets:

It seems they are mocking Scrapbook’s progressive idols too.

Was it worth the waiting for? Well no…

Shame on Scrapbook and Left Foot Forward

With the New Statesman’s intern shame exposed over Christmas, former Staggers man Martin Bright asked if 2013 would see the end of unpaid internships. The answer, courtesy of lefty blogs Political Scrapbook and Left Foot Forward, is a resounding “No”.

payinterns

There are just five days left to apply for “volunteer editorial assistant” roles at Scrapbook and LFF, where the successful candidate will be required to write stories, edit material and liaise with sources and contributors. In other words running the site. They might have the feeble excuse of not making any money but they are dicing with employment law, they aren’t even offering lunch let alone the minimum wage. Just because Scrapbook’s editor can’t be bothered to wake up before midday it doesn’t mean an unpaid slave intern should be doing his job for him.  At least they can bathe in the reflected glory of “closing News of the World”…

Campaigners Intern Aware tell Guido: “It’s hypocritical that these left-wing organisations aren’t living up to their rhetoric about social justice when it comes to interns. Just as wrong is the way that right-wingers at Reform and The Henry Jackson Society don’t think ‘aspiration’ extends to hard-working young people who can’t afford to work for free”.

The New Statesman, Left Foot Forward and Political Scrapbook. Three moralising, money-haemorrhaging left-wing vanity projects steeped in hypocrisy. Shame on them…

Saturday Seven Up

This week traffic halved as people enjoyed the holidays and a mere 53,289 visitors visited 142,122 times viewing 215,522 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

Burnham’s PPS Repeated Loony Dr Eoin’s Fibs in Commons

debbie

Last night saw the fourth grovelling mea culpa from ‘Dr’ Eoin Clarke, and it was perhaps his best yet. Guido’s favourite Irish feminism historian was once again forced to “apologise wholly and unreservedly” this time to “Virgin Care, its employees, subsidiaries and service users, as well as my readers, for writing over 46 blog entries that contained false, inaccurate and defamatory statements”. Ouch…

Surely no Labour MP would be stupid enough to read something on the good doctor’s blog and quote it, almost verbatim, in the House of Commons? Step forward Debbie Abrahams, Andy Burnham’s PPS. At PMQs on 24th October, Abrahams asked David Cameron:

“Can the Prime Minister explain the relationship between Virgin Care donations to the Tory party, the number of Virgin Care shareholders on clinical commissioning group boards and the number of NHS contracts that have been awarded to Virgin Care?”

Where could she possibly have got the inspiration for her question? Last night Clarke had to admit that “Virgin Care has NOT made donations to a political party” and “Virgin Care does NOT have hundreds of “sleeper cells” in Clinical Commissioning Groups”. As we went to pixel Abrahams’ offices were not answering their phones, and her re-tweet of Clarke praising her question was mysteriously deleted this morning:

debbie2

Will she also be issuing an apology and retraction?

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Saturday 7-Up

This week 125,395 visitors visited 348,144 times viewing 586,147 pages. The top 7 stories in order of popularity were:

https://i1.wp.com/order-order.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/7-up.gif?resize=150%2C161

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

Saturday Seven Up

This week 112,907 visitors visited 351,315 times viewing 596,884 pages. The top 7 stories in order of popularity were:

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

HuffPo Cynically Uses Pictures of Under-Age Girls in Bikinis

According to the most read article on the Huffington Post this morning “If you type the key words ‘children’ and ‘bikini’ into an Internet search engine, you’ll find tens of thousands of results for child bikini contests.” In that sentence is the explanation for why the search engine optimised website is running a story – with a picture* – of an under-age girl in a bikini.

The editorially left-wing website campaigns against The Sun’s page 3 photos yet hypocritically boasts “Side Boob” – paparazzi pictures of celebs revealing more boob than they might wish – is the most popular part of the website. This is an attempt to have their cake and eat it, Carla Buzazi, the editor of HuffPo oversees a site with content bordering on soft porn that professes to be right-on when actually it is commercially cynical.   It poses as a left-wing operation – going as far as hiring left-wing firebrand political commentator Mehdi Hasan – whilst simultaneously pretending to be a Luxembourg-controlled corporation to avoid UK taxes. In 2011 after AOL paid $315 million for HuffPo the unpaid blog writers filed a class action demanding a share of the payout. AOL fought the claim and paid the striking writers not a cent. Is Mehdi proud of his employer?

Former political editor Chris Wimpress has quit the site, he’d had enough and directly blamed Mehdi’s appointment, other staff are keen to escape and applying for jobs elsewhere. 5 staff have resigned in recent months, 3 without jobs to go to. Jimmy Maymann, AOL’s senior vice-president responsible for HuffPo told the Monaco Media Forum last week that AOL are unwinding the integration with HuffPo, “we’ve taken a step back — Huffington Post, within AOL, is a standalone business. Only with that way can you unlock the full potential…We are giving a two-year period to break even…”  Claiming “right now AOL is a good owner for Huffington Post and we’ll keep it.” A signal the site could be sold by AOL in the not too distant future…

*We have blurred the image. HuffPo’s editor Carla Buzazi told Leveson that the site had joined the Press Complaints Commission and abides by the PCC Code of Practice, that picture almost certainly breaches the code.

The Many Apologies of “Dr” Eoin Clarke

He’s sorry, he’s sorry, he’s so, so sorry… Eoin Clarke has been busy apologising again this afternoon. Clarke came to prominence with his seminal PhD study of the history of Irish feminism entitled ‘Feck arf, get me dinner’ and has now risen to the very top of his new field: conspiratorial online left-wing smearing. Last month he was forced to grovel to Ashcroft for smearing him with false allegations, then it was Health Minister Anna Soubry, and now the left-wing loony has had to apologise to Circle Health:

“In several posts on my blog “The Green Benches” in 2012, I made a number of defamatory statements about Circle Health. I now acknowledge that there was no truth to those statements … I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Circle Health for any inconvenience and damage which the untrue statements in my blog have caused. I have removed the offending posts from the blog and undertaken not to repeat the allegations which I made.”

You have to wonder what Eoin’s only reader – Ed Miliband – has to say about it all.

Fifteen-Love, Actually

They’re having a bit of a nightmare over at Political Scrapbook towers this afternoon. Borrowing a quote from the Racing Post, the lefty blog ran a story that David Cameron had snubbed a phone call with Barack Obama because he was playing tennis with Rebekah Brooks’ husband, Charlie.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

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