Guardian’s U-Turn on 16 Year Olds’ Rights

Yesterday the Guardian published an editorial entitled “16-year-old soldiers: armies are for adults”, arguing against children aged 16 and 17 being allowed to join the Army.

However it doesn’t take a great memory to remember the Guardian are also keen advocates of lowering the voting age to 16 because they should be treated like adults…


Hilariously, the Guardian’s piece on lowering the voting age to 16 had to be amended because they implied 16-year-olds could go to war… which they can’t until 18. Directly undermining the premise of their new absurd policy position.

Guardian’s Chicken Shop ‘Racism’ Hypocrisy

Lefties led by Twitter rent-a-gob David Lammy are have all gone clucking mad at the news the Home Office are using takeaway chicken shop boxes to advertise anti-knife crime messages. The insinuation is that the Department is somehow making a offensive connection between knife crime, black people and the racist trope of liking fried chicken. Of course a brief look at the actual hard facts behind the move completes undermines the hysteria…

Inevitably both the Guardian and Independent have jumped on the bandwagon, which is funny because just three days ago both publications covered a report uncovering how children are being “lured into crime by ‘chicken shop gangs’ offering free food“. Funny how Lammy didn’t accuse them of being racist then.

Either the Guardian and Indy editors have very short memories, or they’re just cynically stirring up outrage…

Guardian Lost £7 Million Last Year

The Guardian has published their accounts and reported on them in the paper as well. The report’s headline claims they broke even. If you read the actual accounts you will discover they did not.

The bottom line says they lost £16,600,000 after exceptionals, before exceptionals they lost a mere £7.4 million, just under £1,000 an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The billion pound Guardian endowment made £42.9 million profit on “investments held at fair value”. Add the investment income from the endowment’s shareholdings to the losses and abracadabra the Guardian breaks even.

Claiming the Guardian broke even last year is “fake news”. The fact is GMG plc holding company made an overall profit thanks to investment income entirely unrelated to the company that produces the newspaper. Before you go, Guardian Media Group’s chief executive, David Pemsel has a small favour to ask, can you contribute to his total pay package of £706,000 a year?

Guardian Smacks of Spin

The hot topic in Welsh politics at the moment is a new Bill from the Welsh Government seeking to ban parents from smacking their children. On Friday the Guardian carried a report on how Welsh society is supposedly falling into line under the headline “Police and teachers back Welsh anti-smacking bill”, while going into extensive detail over how “frontline professionals” are in favour of the legislation. They even discussed the need to inform “English tourists” that smacking children would not be acceptable in Wales. For a bit of balance they got a quote from a “church in Wrexham”…

ONS smacking bill
Funny how the Guardian forgot to mention the fact that we don’t need to rely on hearsay as the Welsh Government actually commissioned the ONS to conduct a quantitative consultation on the Bill. The ONS survey in fact found that 67.8% of the 562 individuals polled, and 60% when including professionals and organisations, do not support the Bill. Fewer than 30% of people actually supported the Bill, not that you’d be aware of those highly pertinent facts from the Guardian’s gushing writeup…

Isabel Oakeshott Suing The Guardian For Defamation

Isabel Oakeshott is suing the The Guardian after it suggested that the way in which she got her agenda setting diplomatic cables scoop over the weekend was by sleeping with either Nigel Farage or Arron Banks. She has hired hardball lawyer Donal Blaney to secure the removal of the comments and an apology…

In the print version of an article by The Guardian’s John Crace, the paper published the line “Not least because the only way Isabel Oakeshott, the journalist who got the leaked emails, ever gets a scoop is if Nigel or Arron Banks slips it to her.” In the online version this read “Not least because the only way Isabel Oakeshott, the journalist who got the leaked emails, ever gets a scoop is if he or Arron Banks leave it conveniently tucked under her pillow.” Guido is sure he wasn’t talking about a tooth fairy situation…

It has now been changed a third time to “… the only way Isabel Oakeshott, the journalist who got the leaked emails, ever gets a scoop is if he or Arron Banks leave it conveniently to one side for her.” Not sure that is any better than slips it under the pillow. Now it sounds like a tip being left for a hooker.

Oakeshott is demanding the following;

  1. The Guardian must pay £3,000 towards Ms Oakeshott’s legal costs.
  2. The Article must be taken down, and no similar comments to those complained of in this letter must ever be published again by The Guardian and/or Mr Crace.
  3. An apology must be published, in terms to be agreed with Ms Oakeshott, through us, online, on social media and in the print edition of The Guardian in as prominent a place as the Article appeared.
  4. The Guardian must pay a sum to be agreed in damages to Ms Oakeshott to compensate her for the damage and distress that she has suffered as a result of the Article and the comments complained of.

They have until 4pm on Friday to comply, otherwise legal proceedings will be commenced…

Guardian Creates Inflamed Gash “Brexit Artwork”

The Guardian has commissioned an artwork in response to Brexit. Artist Anish Kapoor has been beavering away to depict a huge gash down the middle of the nation. Describing it as a “gory rip”, the Guardian’s critic clearly moans and whinges about the UK pulling out of the EU, but does say of the interesting artwork that “like a black hole of melancholy, something about this bottomless pit is alluring.” Kapoor’s work is not a labia of love…

The artist has given the piece the title “A Brexit, A Broxit, We All Fall Down.” Guido can think of quite a few other names for it that might be more apt…

Guardian Out By 5,100%

The Guardian quietly issued a sheepish correction last week, admitting they got their benefit cap figures out by a mere 5,100%. The original article alleged that low income families would lose out by £210 every single week from the government’s freezing of working-age benefits in cash terms until 2020. In reality the number is £210-a-year, not the inflated £10,920-a-year that they initially calculated. Slow clap.

Guardian “No Platforms” Canary Editor

After the hard left’s #BoycottTheGuardian Twitter frenzy last week, the Guardian’s NUJ chapel has now rescinded its belated approval for The Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anna Mendoza to come and speak at the Guardian’s offices later this month.

According to Mark DiStefano, Guardian journalists were emailed yesterday by Philip Inman who revealed that Mendoza’s lecture had been cancelled altogether by the NUJ over The Canary’s shameful complicitness in the deportation of Guardian freelance journalist Carl David Goette-Luciak from Nicaragua:

“The NUJ has today withdrawn the request to stage the event in Kings Place after it condemned the detention, intimidation and deportation of Guardian freelance journalist Carl David Goette-Luciak. “It is clear that the main source of intimidation was The Canary news website, which named Goette-Luciak as an opposition stooge – an accusation that quickly led to his arrest and deportation…”

The hard left were unapologetic over the incident – Mendoza put out a statement saying that Goette-Luciak’s arrest and deportation “reinforced rather than undermined” The Canary’s actions and has published further articles suggesting Goette-Luciak is a “foreign agent”, while Corbyn cheerleader Chris Williamson piled in again after supporting the #BoycottTheGuardian hashtag last week:

Charming bunch…

Guardian Hacks Vote in Favour of Canary’s Mendoza

As Guido reported earlier, journalists at the Guardian have been getting into a bit of a tizzy about the prospect of The Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza coming to speak at a lecture next month, leading to the amusing hard left #BoycottTheGuardian Twitterstorm last night. Will she still be boycotting them on 11th October?

The Guardian‘s NUJ Chapel convened an emergency meeting at 2pm today, where Guido understands that those present voted 35-8 in favour of allowing Mendoza to speak. Controversially, former Guardian writer Marc Wadsworth – expelled from the Labour Party for abusing Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth – was one of those who spoke in support of Mendoza at the meeting.

The Chapel also voted in favour of spending £500 of NUJ subs on drinks, leaving some Guardian hacks less than impressed. Marina Hyde reportedly asked “why don’t we roll out the red carpet too?” What better way to show solidarity than with champagne and canapés?

Corbynistas Launch Boycott of “Deplorable” Guardian

The rest of the political world looked on in absolute bafflement last night as the hard left took aim at that notorious bastion of incorrigible right wing thoughtcrime… the Guardian.

It truly was the Judean People’s Front vs the People’s Front of Judea as The Canary organised a #BoycottTheGuardian Twitter pile-on, ostensibly “to hold the Guardian to account for its coverage of Jeremy Corbyn”. Seriously…

The specific charges were that the Guardian had been “dedicated” to spreading “spurious charges of antisemitism” against Corbyn:

Top Corbynista Chris Williamson also backed the boycott, despite having written for the “deplorable” paper himself little over a year ago:

In fact the likely real trigger for The Canary choosing the Guardian for the hard left’s latest Two Minutes of Hate was the negative reaction from Guardian journalists to Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza being invited to the Guardian offices to give the NUJ’s Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture. Guido has a lot of sympathy with Kerry-Anne in her fight against the establishment media. Really can’t understand why Guardian hacks want to “no platform” her. If they think she is wrong they should take the opportunity to challenge her. Play nicely, comrades…

UPDATE: Guardian journalists will be having an emergency NUJ chapel meeting at 2pm today to talk about Mendoza’s invite…

Clause for Owen Jones Moment

Guardian journalists have today been emailed by the editor, Kath Viner, a detailed set of company “social media guidelines.” “This document explains how we expect Guardian News & Media (GNM) employees and contributors to behave on social media”. Guido – an occasional contributor to the Guardian – the word rate means it is not worth abiding by the rules at the cost of lost banter. Buried inside the document there is specific clause that was apparently included as a result of complaints about Guardian journalists baiting Owen Jones on Twitter in an uncomradely way.

The ‘Owen Jones Clause’ appears under the subheading of “Tone”.

“Do not use social media to air internal disputes with colleagues or contributors, or with the Guardian”

Traditionally a drunken punch up outside the Coach & Horses in Clerkenwell was the accepted way to resolve internal disputes between Guardian hacks. Bloody tweeting snowflakes…

Hat-tip Mark Di Stefano

Subtweet of the Day

Which Kings Place colleague could Guardian columnist Rafael Behr possibly be thinking of?

BBC & Guardian Also Mocked Burka as “Letterbox”

You don’t hear the outraged of Twitter going on about the BBC and the Guardian mocking the burka. Stephen Fry made the same joke as Boris on Have I Got News For You, before Ian Hislop and Paul Merton joined in:

Stephen Fry: “I just posted something in that.”

Ian Hislop: “We must stop meeting like this, Camilla.”

Paul Merton: “Prince Charles is surprised when a pint of Guinness looks at him in a funny way.”

This was Polly Toynbee in the Guardian:

Something horrible flits across the background in scenes from Afghanistan, scuttling out of sight. There it is, a brief blue or black flash, a grotesque Scream 1, 2 and 3 personified – a woman. The top-to-toe burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too untouchably disgusting to be seen. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness: what rampant desire and desirability lurks and leers beneath its dark mysteries? In its objectifying of women, it turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation. Forget cultural sensibilities

Steerpike has found this Guardian piece offering an alternate use of the Burka, as a ‘relaunched postbox’.

So when lefties joke about the burka it’s funny, when Tories do it it’s a five day news story…

Guardian Condemns Watson and Miliband’s Anti-Free Press Amendments

Tonight the Commons votes on Tom Watson and Ed Miliband’s amendments declaring war on press freedom. The amendments are a Trump-style assault on the media, outrageously attempting to force publishers to pay both sides’ legal costs even if they win a dispute – a reform that will potentially bankrupt media companies. Watson and Miliband, backed by former fascist Max Mosley and Hacked Off’s press-hating millionaire celebrities and oligarchs, last night lost the support of the Guardian. In an excoriating statement condemning Watson and Miliband, Guardian News and Media warn the amendments “would further erode press freedom and have a severe chilling effect for the news environment in the UK”. They are particularly damning of Watson:

“The inclusion of Condition A has been widely interpreted as ensuring that news organisations structured along the lines of the Guardian and the Observer should be excluded from the scope of the broader clause. This clause was not discussed with Guardian News & Media and we disagree with attempts to impose a selective sanction on the media.”

These amendments are driven by Watson and Miliband’s personal loathing of the free press, rather than any concern for victims of intrusion. Miliband has semi-retired from his £77,000-a-year job as MP for Doncaster North – he seems to spend most of his time making podcasts and he couldn’t be bothered to turn up for the Syria debate last month. Even the Guardian is horrified by this blatant attempt by Watson and Miliband to undermine the free press in Britain. Any MP who votes for their amendments tonight is an enemy of press freedom…

If the Government Had Cut Spending as Much as The Guardian

Year Guardian (£m) Gov (£bn)
2009-10 415.3 694.9
2016-17 268.8 772.5
Difference -146.5 +77.6
% -35.3% +11.2%

If the government had cut spending by as much as The Guardian has since 2010, public spending in 2016-17 would have been £450 billion. In reality it was £772 billion, a difference of £322 billion. It has come to something when The Guardian has introduced more austerity measures than Tory chancellors. Saving £322 billion would allow the government to abolish income tax, VAT, Fuel Duty*…

*Calculations by Alex Wild, who is the soon to be departing research director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Owen’s Descent Continues

The descent of Owen Jones this year has been watched through the fingers of journalists and Labour politicians and aides alike. It seems that almost every day Owen is falling out with people who should be his allies, getting involved in nasty Twitter spats with Labour moderates, making uncharacteristically foolish mistakes, starting embarrassing fights and acting like a pro-Corbyn Andrew Adonis. As he seeks to overcompensate for his betrayal of Corbyn before the election, Owen has alienated his Guardian colleagues, probably the majority of Labour MPs, and today he has put a bomb under what was left of his reputation among journalists with the type of ill-thought out moan that has sadly become all too common:

Cue some harsh but fair takedowns:

This last point seems to be the trigger for Owen’s behaviour. Corbynistas who Guido speaks to freely admit that Jezza’s inner circle will never let him back in after what he did to them last year. He does not seem to be taking that well, to put it mildly. The sad demise of someone who was once the rising star of the left…

Owen Jones Tries to Get Andrew Neil Sacked From BBC

Owen Jones has written a long whinge about Andrew Neil calling for him to be “freed” from the BBC. The last person to demand Brillo’s sacking was Andrew Adonis, which tells you everything you need to know about the state of Owen at the moment. His article has also been endorsed by Kremlin useful idiot Chris Williamson, who was never really one for press freedom. 

Brillo is objectively Britain’s best political interviewer – and he dishes it out equally to Brexiters, Remainers, Tories and Labour spokesmen. The only people with a reason to want him out are those seeking to swerve accountability, something which caught up with Owen in the video above. Naturally we have never heard any complaints from Owen about the likes of James O’Brien presenting the Beeb’s political programmes. A taste of Corbyn’s Britain, where his commissars choose which journalists get to interview Labour politicians on the BBC. Chilling…

UPDATE: It seems like only yesterday that Momentum were lionising Brillo…

590 Million Facebook Profiles Potentially Harvested By Guardian App

The Observer’s main revelation over the last couple of weeks has been their claim that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook accounts. They found that CA’s Aleksander Kogan collected data from 270,000 accounts and was able to access data from all their friends – on average 185 users per account – making up a total of 50 million. This does seem to add up, the most recent figures suggest the median number of Facebook friends per account is just under 200. 

The Guardian app’s privacy policy reveals they also collect data from your Facebook account, and the accounts of all your friends. This data includes “your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings, as well as the user details of your Facebook friends”. You have to give permission to have your data, and that of your friends, collected if you want to use the app. This has been happening for years…

The Guardian say their app has 3.2 million active users. If those users have on average 185 Facebook friends each, that means the Guardian has potentially accessed the personal Facebook data of something like 592 million accounts. That is more than ten times the number Cambridge Analytica reportedly got hold of. This is a conservative estimate as it only includes “active” users of the Guardian app – it will have been downloaded by many more down the years. Will Damian Collins be hauling the head of data and CEO of the Guardian in front of his select committee?

Guardian App Harvests Your and Your Friends’ Facebook Data

The Guardian app harvests your personal data from your Facebook page and also the data of all of your friends – the exact same central allegation the Observer has been making against Cambridge Analytica. The privacy policy of the Guardian Facebook app makes clear if you don’t grant permission to have your and your friends’ social media data harvested you cannot use the app:

When you first access the App, for example by clicking on a link to a Guardian article from your Facebook newsfeed, you will be presented with a Facebook permissions page, which will advise you about the Facebook information you will be sharing with the App and other Facebook users. You can then decide whether or not to share your Facebook information by using the App. If you decide not to grant permission you will not be able to use the App. 

By granting permission you will be agreeing to share your Facebook user details (including your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings) as well as the user details of your Facebook friends, and information about your use of the App, for example, the articles you are reading.”

The Guardian’s general privacy policy also reveals they sell your “behavioural data” to third parties:

“We may also share anonymised behavioural data with advertising partners, including commercial organisations that fund content labelled ‘Supported by’, ‘Paid content/Paid for by’ or ‘Advertiser content/from our advertisers’. This may mean that when you are on other websites, you will be shown advertising based on your behaviour on theguardian.com. We may also show you advertising on our site based on your behaviour on other sites.

They also reveal the Guardian uses data from third-party surveys – this is exactly how Aleksandr Kogan got his data for Cambridge Analytica:

“To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared.”

Did the Guardian sell your behavioural data to Cambridge Analytica? Are they the missing piece of the jigsaw that blows this whole conspiracy wide open? Over to you, Carole…

Guardian U-Turns to Take Seumas’ Line

Curious about-turn at the Guardian over the last 24 hours. Thursday’s paper ran this strong leader criticising Corbyn and backing Theresa May’s conclusion on Russian responsibility:

“Mr Corbyn’s reluctance to share Mrs May’s basic analysis of the Salisbury incident made him look eager to exonerate a hostile power… Britain has been targeted with a chemical weapon and it is almost certain that there is only one plausible culprit with the means and the motive.

[…] Read the rest

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Boris responds to Tusk…

“I don’t want a No Deal Brexit but I say to our EU friends if they don’t want No Deal they have got to get rid of the backstop from treaty. If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down in history as Mr No Deal Brexit then I hope this point will be borne in mind by him too.”

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