Waterson New Guardian Media Editor

Buzzfeed’s political editor Jim Waterson has joined the Guardian as their new media editor. Looks like the competition just went up a notch. Will the last person to leave Buzzfeed please turn off the fridge full of free beer?

Corbyn Interview Removed From Guardian Website “Pending Investigation”

Following Guido’s story this morning, Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with a Corbynista YouTube star who sent N-word, “Jew” and Hitler tweets has been removed from the Guardian website “pending investigation“. Down the memory hole…

Epic Guardian Unpaid Internship Hypocrisy

Today’s Guardian splash backs the government’s crackdown on unpaid internships, exclusively revealing that “HM Revenue & Customs is expected to target sectors such as media” and criticising Vogue and its publisher Conde Nast for offering placements without pay. It is a pretty bold front page given that just last week the paper was embarrassed by a young journalist on Twitter who revealed he had just been on an unpaid internship at… the Guardian. Of course this is the same Guardian which last year offered an internship scheme to ethnic minority candidates, telling them “the scheme is unpaid”. And the same Guardian which offers “editorial work” internships – real work – again telling applicants “these placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”. If the government’s unpaid internship crackdown is targeting the media, they should start with the paper to which they briefed the story… 

Guardian Writer Working For Dent Coad

Barmy MP Emma Dent Coad has hired Guardian writer Liam Young to work in her parliamentary office, not that they mention that anywhere on his columns. Leftie scribe Young is also a columnist for the newspaper – so he has plenty of work on his plate. Would be more than a bit weird for the Mail, Sun or Telegraph to hire a paid-up Tory researcher as a columnist and not disclose their job to readers.

Also worth pointing out that Dent Coad’s daughter is still on the latest register of member’s staff (meaning she has a parliamentary pass). Despite the MP telling Guido the pass had been given up in November…

Guardian Unpaid Internship Request Backfires

What could go wrong with the Guardian asking for readers’ experiences with unpaid internships?

Oh.

That would be the same Guardian which runs articles about how “unpaid internships and a culture of privilege are ruining journalism”…

Rusbridger’s Daughter Complains Toff Too Privileged to Have Newspaper Column

An epic whinge from Vice’s Bella Mackie after reading that I’m a Celeb’s Toff has landed a column with Sunday Times Style. Bella reckons Toff is too privileged to deserve her new platform:

That would be Bella Mackie, who made it in journalism after getting a job at the Guardian, where her father Alan Rusbridger was the editor. In terms of privilege and media careers not sure Bella has a leg to stand on. Toff has probably had to work harder to get a column than Bella did to get a job at the Guardian…

‘Michael White Smacked My Bottom’

The #MeToo movement claims another… former doyen of the Lobby and top Guardianista Sir Michael White has been accused of smacking a young female journalist on the bottom. Angella Johnson, a feature writer at the Mail on Sunday, tweets:

Mike does not deny the charge, claims he too is a victim and says Angella should have taken it as a compliment:

Remember Mike thinks it is actually female journalists who are the predators. “Much younger”? He’s only been married a few decades…

Guardian and BBC Fail to Mention Kerslake is Labour Adviser

The Guardian published a resignation letter from crossbencher Lord Bob Kerslake who has stepped down as Chair of King’s College Hospital Trust in protest at “dire NHS funding problems”. The paper described him as follows:

“Bob Kerslake was chairman of King’s College hospital, London. He is a member of the House of Lords, president of the Local Government Association and former head of the civil service and permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government.”

Yeah, sort of. What the Guardian – and subsequently BBC Breakfast and other outlets – have omitted to mention is that Kerslake has been undertaking work for John McDonnell’s Shadow Treasury Team for more than two years. At conference McDonnell boasted about commissioning Kerslake to write a series of “implementation manuals” for the Labour manifesto, meaning Kerslake is effectively drafting the details of Labour’s proposed legislative programme. McDonnell said:

“We’re taking each policy and we’re developing an implementation manual… We’re looking at what legislation is needed, so we will have draft legislation ready to go, we’re bringing civil servants like Lord Bob Kerslake to train our teams on how you implement these policies and we’re taking advice from past ministers as well.”

Labour has also held Shadow Cabinet training days with Kerslake. McDonnell said in June:

“We’re trying to do a training exercise where we’re bringing in people like Bob Kerslake, the head of the civil service, to work with them on things like what it would be like to be a minister, what their first day will be like, what their first 100 days will be like. So they feel confident about that as well.”

It doesn’t stop there. Kerslake led an independent review into the Treasury for McDonnell, announced in September 2015. McDonnell said at the time:

“Labour asked Sir Bob Kerslake to head up a review into the Treasury because we needed to have a serious and thorough examination of one of the most important pillars of government, and the cornerstone of economic policy making in our country…  I would also like thank Sir Bob Kerslake for his time, energy and expertise in producing this report for Labour.”

McDonnell’s spokesman insisted Kerslake is “independent”:

You can decide for yourself…

UPDATE: Sky News reports that Kerslake was asked to consider his position by NHS Improvement Chairwoman Baroness Harding on Friday.

Order of the OTT: Guardian Says “We’ll All Starve” Due to Brexit

On the front page of the Guardian website last night, apparently “we’ll all starve” due to a labour shortage caused by Brexit. Clearly the Kent winemaker quoted in the story wasn’t being entirely serious. Not that you’d know that from the write up.

McDonnell and Guardian’s Offshore Investments

John McDonnell is going on the attack over the Paradise Papers, insisting: “Where the Tories refuse to act, Labour will end the era of government turning a blind eye to the scandal of tax avoidance by clamping down on tax havens and ending the loopholes”. The main revelation from the leak so far is that the Queen’s private estate has money invested offshore. Not entirely unlike John McDonnell’s pension investments being managed in Guernsey… 

The Guardian’s story this morning targets those that have assets in 19 tax havens including the Cayman Islands. Which reminded Guido of Guardian Media Group’s GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, registered in the Caymans.

The Huffington Post splash this morning also leads on the Paradise Papers – no mention that HuffPo’s profits are blatantly transferred to Luxembourg. The owners of the Mail, News UK and The Telegraph also have various offshore tax-efficient structures. Facebook, Google and Guido are not UK-owned though they have at least never piously and hypocritically claimed to be in favour of clamping down on tax havens. Guido’s point is that the likes of the Guardian should practice what they preach…

Michael White: Female Lobby Hacks Are “Predators”

Guido’s immediate thought was “uh oh” when the former doyen of the Lobby Michael White made this not very Guardianista comment on the Media Show:

“The power doesn’t all lie on one side; clever, attractive young women looking for stories. They can play the power game to poor old, ugly backbenchers with bad breath… they are predators.”

Female hacks are the real predators?

The ladies of the Lobby are understandably unimpressed:

Everyday sexism from old Mike…

Polly on Banning Rich Foreign Homebuyers

Says the Guardian columnist with a multi-million pound property portfolio (and – until recently – a villa in Italy)…

£52 To Learn How to Write Columns Like Owen Jones

Got a spare £52 left after conference season? You could always splurge it on a column writing lesson taught by Owen Jones, who is hosting a private masterclass for the few not the many. The ad for the three-hour session to be held at the Guardians offices next month promises:

“Whatever your point of view, award-winning Guardian columnist Owen Jones can help you to turn your knowledge and passion into a persuasive argument.”

Well, Owen has been known to change his tune…

This will include:

“A look at different narrative approaches, from the contrarian to the activist-columnist and the voice-of-reason”

The voice-of-reason indeed…

Owen Jones on Brexit: Then and Now

Back in July 2015 Owen Jones wrote an article for the Guardian headlined: “The left must now campaign to leave the EU”. He argued the left must “reclaim the Eurosceptic cause” and “run its own separate campaign and try and win ownership of the issue”, writing: “Such a populist campaign could help the left reconnect with working-class communities it lost touch with long ago… The case for Lexit grows ever stronger, and – at the very least – more of us need to start dipping our toes in the water”. Like Corbyn and McDonnell before him, Owen positioned himself as a left-wing “Lexiteer” who saw the EU as a bosses’ union…

These days Owen is a strident opponent of Brexit, telling his Twitter followers “I don’t like Brexit” and “I think Brexit is bad”. Today he was on Sky decrying the outcome he promoted just two years ago as a “mess” caused by the Tories:

Owen has form for slippery, career-friendly u-turns, he also pretends to his Corbynista followers that he never betrayed JezHe has more front than Ian Dunt

It’s Official! Guardian is a Charity Case

Yesterday the Guardian announced that it has set up theguardian.org, a non-profit charitable organisation to funnel money from “private foundations, corporations, government entities and private donors that share our goal to support independent journalism and promote freedom of the press.”

The biggest donors to date have been:

  • Skoll Foundation funding for a solutions-oriented series on climate change in America;
  • Support from Humanity United to allow the Guardian to continue its in-depth look at modern day slavery; and
  • A grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support compelling journalism on the subject of early childhood development.

Joining existing donors:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding for the Global Development site;
  • Ford Foundation support for reporting on women’s rights and inequality;
  • Rockefeller Foundation support for the Guardian’s Cities site, which focuses on building resilient cities.

They say they have strict “conflict of interest guidelines”; no doubt they do. Journalists, however, would only be human if they thought it might not be career enhancing to slag off the sources of millions in funding for their salaries. It is fair to say that the policies of some of these foundations have not been without controversy over the years. This is not a left-right issue. The tension inherent between newspaper commercial advertising and editorial departments is nothing compared to journalists being given funding and guidance on what subjects to write about by sponsors…

Guardian Brexit Coverage Bewildering Remainers

Guido has spoken to several Remainers recently who have expressed bewilderment at the Guardian’s Brexit coverage. Their view is that among the Remain media, the Times, FT and online publications are streets ahead because the Guardian keeps getting basic facts wrong. Look at these examples from the last few days…

Today they have the headline: “Boris concedes UK will have to pay for Brexit”. Eh? Every sensible Leaver including Boris accepted from the outset that Britain needs to meet its financial obligations. When Boris said “go whistle” he was talking about the €100 billion figure being bandied about by the EU. You can reads his quotes – “go whistle” referred to “the sums that I have seen that they propose to demand from this country seem to me to be extortionate”. He never said we wouldn’t pay anything. This is basic stuff, the Guardian is misleading its readers to wrongly make it look like Boris is u-turning.

Earlier this week the Guardian reported the government’s proposal for a system of civil judicial cooperation is a “climbdown from its promise of judicial independence”. As pro-Remain experts pointed out, this was wrong. The Guardian had misinterpreted the position paper – it was about child custody, divorce and small business disputes, a separate issue from judicial independence and the ECJ. This is either embarrassing incompetence or deliberate spinning just to blindly attack the government. Not sure which is worse.

Then there was the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent Jennifer Rankin, who snarked in response to Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to reform posted worker rules: “Imagine if David Cameron had tried to change EU free movement rules with other EU countries instead of alone”. As pro-Remain journalists pointed out to Rankin, freedom of movement and posted worker rules are not the same thing. And say what you like about Cameron’s renegotiation, the idea he didn’t try to win support from other EU countries is just factually incorrect.

Best of the lot is Martin Kettle’s analysis in today’s paper. He reckons the government’s position papers make the case for staying in the single market and customs union and u-turn on the ECJ. Then Martin hilariously writes: “None of them quite say this, of course.” Correct, in real life the position papers make clear we are leaving the single market, customs union and ECJ. This is just wishful thinking from Kettle, it isn’t based in reality. Not sure how it got past the editing process.

Guido has noticed pro-Remain journalists falling into two camps recently. Some are becoming more practical, more pragmatic, sensibly and accurately reporting the Brexit process having accepted we are leaving. Others, the Guardian and Open Britain crowd, are in denial. They are embarrassing other Remainers and doing a disservice to their readers…

UPDATE: Craig Oliver on the renegotiation point:

Remain Media Coverage Criticised By Experts

Some pro-Remain pundits and publications are single-minded in their desire to blindly attack the government, even if it means getting the story wrong. Take today’s Guardian article claiming HMG’s proposal for a system of civil judicial cooperation is a “climbdown from its promise of judicial independence”. This is rubbish – child custody, divorce and small business disputes are a separate issue to the ECJ and judicial independence. It’s pretty basic stuff, the Guardian is misleading its readers because of its desperation to create something out of nothing and criticise the government. Here are Matt Holehouse from MLex and Allie Renison from the IoD, who actually know what they are talking about:

Then there is the FT’s David Allen Green, who this morning praised Michel Barnier and dismissed the UK’s positioning papers as “noisiness“, “bluster and the spin“. Get a grip. As the Sunday Times EU correspondent Bojan Pancevski says in response:

“‘Bluster & spin’ is UK attempting to extract a best possible deal, also for taxpayer. It’s a negotiation. Disagreeing with Brexit is one thing, but believing that the EU is “right” in the talks and spin, bluster free is bizarre. Should HMG simply accept terms as they are given? DD already accepted the “Brexit bill,” transition period, some role for ECJ & paying into EU budget post divorce. So this is far from the alleged intransigence that gets reported… If you think you can reverse Brexit, find a political way to do it, don’t bash own government, civil service for doing what they have to.”

Of course some pundits would rather Britain had voted to Remain. We get it. But there comes a point where they are just supporting the other side, getting it factually wrong and acting against the interests of their own readers. Embarrassing stuff…

Baroness Scotland Refuses to Let Guardian Take Pics Inside Mayfair Home

The Guardian sinks to new depths of sycophancy today with its hilariously soft-ball interview glorifying the shamed Baroness Scotland. Little more than an adulatory puff-piece, the article comes in the wake of a watershed series of IPSO rulings that entirely vindicated journalistic investigations into Baroness Brazen’s eye-watering expenses. The paper devotes no fewer than three pages to shilling for the Baroness, giving an unchallenged airing to her side of the story. Even though the piece claims to investigate the details of the refurbishment of her home – carried out at vast public expense – neither the print nor the online version are accompanied by any pictures of the interior. This is particularly amusing as the latter version is headlined: “inside Lady Scotland’s refurbished home”. An explanation is given for this glaring oversight:

“A request to publish pictures taken inside the house was refused.”

We paid for it, so why aren’t we allowed to see?

Throughout, the author entirely misses the point:

“To my surprise, there is no sign of anything that could reasonably be described as an extravagant upgrade.”

That’s because press scrutiny halted the egregious renovation works from taking place at all…

No mention is made of other criticisms of Scotland, not least the Baroness’s work for the Kazakhstan and Maldives governments. Did those questions go unasked?

Moreover, the Guardian clearly struggled to find defenders of the Baroness who would put their name to quotes. All that can be mustered are simpering lines from Scotland fan Lord Mandelson and Evan Harris, director of Hacked Off, who has a vested interest in damning IPSO on any account. Even The Guardian seems to admit no serious argument can be made in Scotland’s defence…

Private School Quota Would Cull Guardian’s Columnists

Ellie Mae O’Hagan goes full authoritarian in The Guardian‘s ‘Utopian Thinking’ column today, proposing a “restriction on the number of privately educated people in Britain’s elite”:

 “In journalism, things are going backwards, with more journalists now coming from private schools than in 1987… let’s introduce quotas. If 7% of the population goes to private school, then it seems only fair that 7% of Britain’s elite jobs should go to privately educated individuals. This would include chief executives, barristers, journalists, judges, medical professionals and MPs.

Putting aside the moral and practical objections, let’s indulge for a moment in the breathtaking hypocrisy of Ellie’s ‘utopia’. If she had her way, the vast majority of her own newsroom would either be sacked or never have been employed. Privately educated senior Guardianistas, answer the register after your name is called…

  • George Monbiot, Stowe School
  • Polly Toynbee, Badminton School
  • Andrew Rawnsley, Rugby School
  • Jonathan Freedland, University College School
  • Zoe Williams, Godolphin and Latymer Girls School
  • Tanya Gold, Kingston Grammar School (Independent)
  • Marina Hyde, Downe House for Girls
  • Bidisha Bandyopadhyay, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls
  • Peter Bradshaw, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
  • David Mitchell, Abingdon School
  • Timothy Garton-Ash, Sherborne School
  • John Hooper, St Benedict’s School
  • Sam Leith, Eton College
  • Peter Preston, Loughborough Grammar School (Independent)
  • Simon Jenkins, Mill Hill School
  • Richard Norton-Taylor, Kings School, Canterbury
  • Clare Armitstead, Bedales
  • Ben Goldacre, Magdalen College School
  • Martin Wainwright, Shrewsbury School
  • Victoria Coren, various independent schools
  • Hadley Freeman, “boarding school in Cambridge” 
  • Matthew d’Ancona,  St Dunstan’s College
  • Former Editor Alan Rusbridger and occasional contributor, Cranleigh School

Perhaps for her next piece Ellie Mae can tell us which of her colleagues she thinks deserves the chop on the basis of their background…

There are undoubtedly plenty more privileged Guardianistas (let Guido know via the comments). O’Hagan’s own privately educated VICE columnist boyfriend* Sam Kriss (University College School) would also surely be out of a job. Actually, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all…

N.B. Presumably 93% of Ellie’s other boyfriends were state educated. Incidentally, 0% of the Guido Fawkes newsroom were privately educated.

Abi Now Doesn’t Want 100% Inheritance Tax – for Herself

Abi Wilkinson’s plan for a 100% inheritance tax in The Guardian was met with derision and some scepticism. She has now revised her plans and would actually quite like to inherit thousands from her parents. A tax loophole for her own little personal tax haven.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris Johnson was shown a trophy monkey head as he toured a room of illegally-poached animals seized by Scotland Yard. He said:

“What’s this poor chap here? Faint air of a … Labour backbencher.”

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