FT Endorses Tories

Quite a few FT readers will be horrified to see their paper backing Brexit and endorsing the Tories:

“This publication stands for a liberal agenda: a small state, free trade, free markets and social justice. Neither Mrs May nor Mr Corbyn stands four-square behind these principles. Neither has offered tax and spending plans that are credible, given the short-term risks facing the economy…

The alternative to Mrs May is worse. Mr Corbyn is a fringe figure who has spent his entire political career in opposition — to his own Labour leadership. Despite his recent media makeover, he is a pacifist relic of the 1970s, in hock to the trade unions, with no grip on economic issues. It is no accident that the arrival of Mr Corbyn and his hard-left supporters in mainstream politics has coincided with a revival of anti-Semitism and misogyny. Labour’s team are unfit for government, let alone the delicate Brexit talks. The Liberal Democrats have failed to make an impact with their pledge of a second EU referendum…

Faced with such uncertainty at home and abroad, Mrs May is the safer bet.”

Read the full, less than ringing endorsement here for the withering takedown of the Tory campaign and May’s opposition to free markets. Bet there are some newsroom Remoaners who are less than pleased too…

Portillo: FT the “Daily Remainer”

FT editor Lionel Barber unimpressed with these truth bullets from Michael Portillo on This Week…

FT’s David Allen Green Triggered By Article 50

Spare a thought for the FT’s columnists – they are really having a tough time of it at the moment. Take David Allen Green, the paper’s legal commentator who has been imparting his Article 50 wisdom to readers of the pink ‘un. In a column headlined “The three steps that mean Brexit may never happen”, DAG voiced his belief that Article 50 may never be triggered:

“Unless Leave create another moment of opportunity – another wrong-footing of the established order – so as to force through the required Article 50 notification, then it may not happen at all.”

Then there was his column titled “Brexit: the facts”, in which he again argued Article 50 might never be triggered:

“There are a number of reasons why a notification may never be sent. During the referendum campaign, the prime minister sought to give the impression that the notification would be sent “straight away”. But when he resigned he said it would be a matter for his successor. It may well be that if the notification was not sent on the day of the referendum result, it may never be sent.”

He couldn’t have been clearer in this tweet:

David’s latest update is that the triggering of Article 50 is now “more likely than unlikely”. He has given up on making predictions:

“My only prediction now is that those who doubted that the Article 50 notification would ever be seen will get a good-natured ribbing by those who never had such doubts.”

8 days to go…

FT Carney Exclusive Stays Exclusive

ft

Contrary to the front page of this morning’s FT, Mark Carney will not serve a full 8 year term at the Bank of England, he will step down two years short of that in June 2019. Oops…

Post-Brexit Growth “Much Better Than Expected”, Economy “Holding Up Since Brexit Vote”

Before the referendum the Treasury told us growth would be between -0.1% and -1% in 2016 Q3.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-09-44-58

Today the results are in: the UK economy grew by 0.5%. The FT grudgingly admits:

the UK economy has held up far better than many were expecting following the Brexit referendum on June 23 and economists who had predicted a lurch into recession have since revised their forecasts”

Final nail in the Project Fear coffin. So much for the experts…

No, Commons Vote on EU Trade Deal Does Not Threaten Brexit

ft

A strange FT splash this morning claims that MPs getting a vote on the government’s eventual EU trade deal means a real Brexit is less likely. This is just wrong. MPs will be given a choice between the government’s deal or no deal which would mean trading with the EU under WTO rules. Either way, it will be a ‘hard Brexit’ by the FT/Remoaner definition, which is Brexit. As for the pound rising on the back of this? Almost as if traders don’t have any particular political insight, the rises and falls in the pound are just them trying to make money off the back of newsflow rather than fundamentals…

Mark Wallace on Only Connect

ConservativeHome’s Mark Wallace, a secret quiz buff, and his team are through to the next round on the BBC show Only Connect after a comfortable victory last night. Plaudits must also go to FT brainbox Josh Spero.

Le FT: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

pmi-frontpagesThe financial pages seem full of good news for Brexit Britain, City AM splashes with Bounceback“, the Wall Street Journal contemplates a Brexit boom for manufacturers and the pound recovering. Over at the FT they have managed to acknowledge the possibilty that things might not be quite as terrible as they predicted with a sceptical bottom of the front page headline “busy factories fuel pro-Brexit MPs claims of Treasury scaremongering”. This is countered by a claim, based on a self-selecting voodoo poll, that “graduate recruitment has slumped”Lionel’s Légion d’Honneur for services to European unity remains untarnished…

Missing From the FT Letters Page…

Upon hearing the news that Lionel Barber had been awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one reader wrote to the FT’s letters page to congratulate the editor on his gong. For some reason the letter hasn’t appeared in the pages of the Pink ‘Un, so Guido reproduces it here:

Sir,

May I, without fear or favour, be the first to congratulate you through the pages of your newspaper on your nomination for Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur. But why has this happy news not been reported elsewhere in your paper? False modesty is not your strongest suit.

This accolade is, of course, richly deserved for your unswerving devotion to the European Union and France’s role therein. Assuming you choose to accept, may I suggest that the rather ordinary surroundings presented by the French Embassy in London are not befitting of the occasion. A far more suitable venue would be the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, scene of so many other diplomatic initiatives. The ceremony would not be complete without a very full attendance from your senior staff and I would be happy to volunteer to help a skeleton crew back in London get the paper out while you are away.

I’m sure we will manage to keep the party line going on your big day.

Modesty must have prevented publication…

FT Editor Awarded Légion d’Honneur For Pro-EU PR

An outstanding private message fail from FT editor Lionel Barber, who is embarrassed to admit he has been awarded the Légion d’Honneur for his pro-EU PR. Barber meant to send this photo of his gong to a friend but accidentally tweeted it publicly. He tried to do it “confidentially because bad publicity in UK right now”. Ooooops!

FT Goes Free Today

FREE-FT

The recently sold FT is free to online readers today, an odd marketing gambit. Christian May, editor of London’s rival financial paper City AM quips, “They should try going free 7 days a week. Works for us…” Zing…

Jingoism from Guardianistas Over FT Sale

BN-JN369_NIKKEI_G_20150723113951

There’s been an outbreak of jingoistic fervour among media luvvies following yesterday’s announcement that Japan’s Nikkei bought the FT for £844 million.

First there was a glorious moment on Newsnight last night when Kirsty Wark felt the need to assure Will Hutton “I’m not suggesting you’re a racist at all” as she questioned his line that foreign owners of British media might not have the correct “purpose“.

Wark: What you seem to be suggesting is, that there should be some kind of imperial protectionism here

Hutton: I’m not suggesting that at all, what I’m saying is…

Wark: I’m not suggesting you’re a racist at all

This morning we have the odd declaration on the Guardian‘s front page that it is “British based” and “British owned“. Complete with a Union Jack Flag..

guardian front page

Odd when you consider that the Guardian wins its prized Pulitzers in the US and keeps its assets untaxed in the Cayman Islands…

Japan’s Nikkei Buys FT For £844 Million

Despite fevered speculation, it’s nein from Axel Springer. Market Watch has the scoop:

Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei said Thursday that it is buying Financial Times from U.K. publishing group Pearson PLC for 160 billion yen, or $1.29 billion.

Who are Nikkei? Publisher of Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading financial newspaper, and various TV channels and English language publications. Pearson keep the Economist…

The FT will be looking for a new newsroom…

Beth Rigby Swaps FT for the Times

MediaGuido understands the FT’s deputy political editor Beth Rigby is joining the Times as their media editor.

Can also reveal the Sun’s Kate McCann is joining the Telegraph as their Senior Political Correspondent.

On a busy day of media moves:

  • Ann Treneman quits as Times sketchwriter to be chief theatre critic
  • Patrick Kidd replaces her
  • Jane Merrick leaving Sindy pol ed

Summer transfer window well and truly open…

UPDATE: And Buzzfeed continue their hiring policy of giving a job to every tedious lefty from Twitter, taking on the Guardian’s James Ball.

Desmond’s Bill

Remember Desmond’s PFL with the FT? Well:

Given Desmond’s company banned kettles from the newsroom, it’s unlikely his own papers would nod this through. 

UPDATE: Uh oh…

Cameron’s Uber Pals Square Up Against Boris

uber rachel

Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that he would like to reduce the number of private hire vehicles on London’s roads have paved the way for new Uber hire Rachel Whetstone to mark her territory. Boris’ thinly-veiled attack on private car hire app Uber has sent the company’s increasingly effective communications department into overdrive. A letter challenging Boris to a debate from Jo Bertram, the head of Uber’s business in the UK, was conveniently leaked to the FT this morning.

Whetstone, the wife of former Cameron Guru Steve Hilton was brought in by Uber as their communications chief to deal with these sort of situations and will be orchestrating Uber UK’s fight back against Boris. Let the lobbying commence…

Blue ‘un: FT Endorses Tory-Led Coalition

As predicted by Guido two weeks ago, the FT backs the Tories over Miliband:

“Mr Miliband is preoccupied with inequality. His prescription is an increase in taxes such as restoring the 50p level for high earners and imposing an ill-conceived mansion tax.

Mr Miliband has too often found himself on the wrong side of the argument. He promised to freeze energy prices shortly before world prices collapsed. An already heavily regulated banking sector and private landlords are now in his sights. He has stepped too far away from the New Labour position that markets can be harnessed to progressive outcomes. At times, he appears to be fighting his campaign in the style of France’s François Hollande in 2012. True, Mr Hollande secured victory but at the price of a weak economy and an exodus of talent, often to London.

At this delicate moment, the best outcome would be a continuation of the 2010 coalition between the Conservatives and Lib Dems… The country would benefit from the countervailing force of Lib Dem moderation at Westminster. In seats where the Lib Dems are the incumbent or the main challenger, we would vote tactically for them.

Ultimately, however, there is only one leader and one party that can head the government. There are risks in re-electing Mr Cameron’s party, especially on Europe. But there are greater risks in not doing so. Its instincts on the economy, business and reform of public services are broadly right. Mr Miliband has not offered a credible economic prospectus and would apply a brake on enterprise. In the circumstances, the FT would like to see a Conservative-led administration.”

You read it here first

Blue ‘Un: FT Likely to Endorse Cameron

blue-un

A few weeks ago Ed Miliband went into the FT to meet the senior editorial team and put his case. The FT is the most Europhile paper in Britain, with a surprisingly large number of left-of-centre journalists for a business paper. The paper prides itself on operating more like an Oxford college than a go-getting scoop-hungry newsroom, far too grand to indulge in partisan campaigning. In short Miliband had a good chance of winning the pink ‘uns endorsement by emphasising his Europhile credentials, reminding them of Cameron’s supposed Euroscepticism and by signalling that he sounds more anti-business than he would be in office. All to play for…

Ed is not famously sympathetic to business – he has never worked in the private sector – one head of a FTSE 100 company recently given facetime with Miliband was reportedly stunned into silence when Ed asked him “Why exactly do you need to pay your shareholders dividends?” It went just as badly at the FT. Miliband misjudged the room, incorrectly assuming that the FT’s donnish commentators were intrinsically hostile.  His answers to questions were embarrassingly shallow and by the end of the Q&A Lionel Barber, the FT editor not famed for suffering fools gladly, was verging on contempt. Only Phil Stevens could muster any enthusiasm for the Labour leader. The FT is a swing paper for opinion formers, backing Labour in 2005, it backed Cameron in 2010. Insiders say it is now out of the question that the FT will endorse Miliband and his anti-business agenda.

Tory fears that the paper would back Labour because of Miliband’s opposition to an EU referendum are turning to hope that the FT will endorse the coalition’s continuance. Safe in the knowledge that Clegg will thwart any chance of Brexit…

The FT’s Half Truths About Climate Change

China_gas_demand_620x262There’s a good news article in today’s Financial Times, reporting that carbon dioxide emissions remained steady in 2014. And the reason for this slowdown?

“China has cut its use of coal, one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions, and installed more hydroelectricity, wind and solar power.”

Yes China is investing is some renewables, it also has a 20% year on year increase in gas consumption.

Yet still the hippies want to ban fracking…

No Sun, No Comment

ni-tax-x480

Well done to the FT’s Chris Giles, George Parker and Vincent Boland for the front page confirmation today of Guido’s story from back in October about the Tory offer to the Northern Irish unionists on corporation tax. As Guido’s readers in The Sun and here already know, the Tories have promised a deal on business taxes to allow Northern Ireland to compete with the Republic’s lower taxes.[…] Read the rest

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