Geordie Greig Conveniently Forgets Boris Obsession

Three weeks ago, Geordie Greig took over as editor of The Independent. During his three years at the helm of the Daily Mail, Greig turned the traditionally Tory-backing paper into an anti-Boris headline generator, driven by personal grudges between the two dating back to their time at Eton; from Paterson to Wallpapergate, he hounded the then-PM. Now at The Indy, nothing has changed. In three weeks readers have been bombarded with frontpage splashes about Boris. A counterintuitively obsessive move that only serves to keep him in the minds of voters and therefore better positioned for a comeback…

On the 14th, the paper led with “Loose cannon’ Boris told: Stay out of Ukraine”. 

On the 15th we got “‘Johnson for PM’ plot splits warring Tories”. 

On the 16th it was “Boris embroiled in new financial row”.

On the 18ththe splash was “Ex-Brexit secretary David Davis warns: Back off, Boris… or you’ll consign Tories to 10 years in the wilderness”

The 21stwas “Voters tell Boris: We don’t want you back in No 10″

Boris ignored Greig’s warning of the 14th and turned up in Ukraine yesterday for a triumphant reunion with Zelenskyy.

The Telegraph, Express, Times, Mail, Metro and Guardian all splashed with the photos of his visit today. Oddly for the Boris-obsessed Independent, there’s no mention of the visit.

Geordie Greig may not have wanted Boris to go to Ukraine – judging from these vox pops at the weekend however, it’s clear Ukrainians did…

mdi-timer 23 January 2023 @ 11:05 23 Jan 2023 @ 11:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Geordie Greig Appointed Editor in Chief of The Independent

Overnight, news broke that Geordie Greig, the previously-ousted editor of the Daily Mail, is now the Editor in Chief of The Independent. Greig is a known quantity for Independent owner Lord Lebedev, for whom he has been acting as an adviser and previously worked at the Evening Standard. The move comes as the paper looks to expand its “global reach”. Speaking on his appointment, Greig said:

“I am delighted to become Editor in Chief of The Independent, the only title that has successfully made the transition from national newspaper to global news platform, whilst maintaining editorial integrity and remaining profitable throughout. The Independent is the UK’s leading quality digital title… I look forward to leading the brilliant editorial team that is successfully making journalism a force for good.”

The claim that The Independent is the UK’s “leading quality digital title” relies on the convenient exclusion of Mail Online from audience figures. Could Geordie be holding a grudge

mdi-timer 4 January 2023 @ 08:47 4 Jan 2023 @ 08:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rupa Huq’s Commons Truthfulness Hypocrisy

On July 7, Labour MP Rupa Huq confidently told the Commons, “The Independent reports that the PM and Tory Ministers resigning are entitled to £420,000 of severance pay… Can he confirm now from that dispatch box that they will be forfeiting their right to this? Because we do not reward failure.” Unfortunately for Huq, FullFact has just investigated this figure and concluded it was widely off the mark, by up to 100%. In other words, Huq misled the House…

Huq’s false figure, ironically, had come from the LibDems, who then fed it to The Independent, and was then quoted by Rupa in the Commons. How did the LibDems – who have now accepted to FullFact that the estimate was not correct – get it so wrong?

Primarily, they included PPSs, who are unpaid, and therefore entitled to a grand total of zero severance pay. Some ministers were also calculated under the wrong pay band, with Neil O’Brien and Jo Churchill being listed as Ministers of State rather than Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State – the former being entitled to a thousand or so more sterling upon leaving office. The LibDems’ new figure, which Full Fact broadly agrees with, is half that Rupa Huq proclaimed to the Commons: £245,487…

This all poses some awkwardness for Huq, who has spent years accusing Boris of lying to the Commons. In October 2020 she tweeted the PM had “blatantly barefaced lied to the House of Commons” over TfL. In April 2022 she tweeted Boris had “lied and lied to Parliament”. In January she said “He’s lied to Parliament”. Unfortunately for Rupa, Labour’s stitch-up Privileges Committee has now confirmed that intent is broadly irrelevant to the issue of whether one misleads the House. Guido hopes for a correction of the record as soon as possible…

mdi-timer 22 July 2022 @ 10:25 22 Jul 2022 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Question of Trusts

Why has the Independent not published evidence to support its claim that Rishi Sunak is the beneficiary of an offshore trust? It is being reported that the Treasury denies any knowledge of the trusts cited by Anna Isaac in her scoop. That is a direct contradiction.

The specific allegation is that:

“Trusts in the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, created to help manage the tax and business affairs of his wife Akshata Murty’s family interests, note Mr Sunak as a beneficiary in 2020, according to people familiar with Ms Murty’s financial affairs and evidence reviewed by this publication. Mr Sunak became chancellor in February that year, and had previously been chief secretary to the Treasury since 2019.”

The only way the two claims could be compatible is if Rishi didn’t know he had been made a beneficiary of a family trust or if it was voided before he took office. However the “father-in-law did it without telling me” defence is preempted by this Daily Mail source quote “A Treasury source said that neither Mr Sunak, his wife nor her family were aware of any trusts naming him as a beneficiary.” If the Independent has evidence to the contrary, that is of public interest and will be very damaging for the Chancellor. Something doesn’t add up…

Incidentally, there is nothing illegal or morally wrong about using offshore trusts. It is just politically impossible to be a tax hiking Chancellor when you minimise your own taxes.

mdi-timer 11 April 2022 @ 14:00 11 Apr 2022 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Independent’s Race Correspondent Refuses to Retract Prince William Racism Allegations

The Independent’s race correspondent Nadine White is refusing to apologise or retract claims she made about Prince William last night, despite video footage appearing to disprove the allegations… and the story’s original reporter even apologising for mishearing William’s quote in the first place.

Following William and Kate’s visit to the Ukrainian Culture Centre yesterday, White tweetedPrince William said it’s rather normal to see war and bloodshed in Africa and Asia but not Europe”. The tweet was shared over 25,000 times. The only problem is video footage later revealed this was a complete misquote…

Here’s what William actually said:

“Everyone is horrified by what they are seeing. It’s really horrifying. The news every day, it’s just, it’s almost unfathomable. For our generation, it’s very alien to see this in Europe. We’re all right behind you. We’re thinking about you. We feel so useless.”

At no point in the video does William claim it was “rather normal to see war and bloodshed in Africa and Asia“. Making the obvious and benign claim that no one below the age of around 70 has experienced full-scale war in Europe is not the same thing as saying it’s “normal” in Africa. Despite this, White insists she’s “standing by everything tweeted previously [and] Nothing inaccurate was posted.” So far, she’s yet to provide any evidence to support this and the video evidence totally contradicts her second hand report. Even as the Express’s Richard Palmer, the reporter of the original story, says:

The Duke of Cambridge […] doesn’t appear to have compared it to conflicts in Africa and Asia. In the chaos, a remark he made was misheard, starting a social media storm. Apologies for reporting that online.

The Daily Mail and PA also later corrected the record and admitted the original claims were “inaccurate“. Still, nice to collect a few retweets…

UPDATE: Nadine White has posted an update thread claiming “the source of any misunderstanding lies with the correspondent and PA – and no one else.” She adds that “those of us who took the original PA report in good faith and who commented should not now be subject to any criticism, as this saga was not of our doing.” She nonetheless tweeted “nothing inaccurate was posted” an hour after Palmer admitted his mistake, and after the video was released…

mdi-timer 10 March 2022 @ 16:38 10 Mar 2022 @ 16:38 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Independent’s Fake Storm Sexism Science

The Independent has somehow managed to conjure up a sexism row around Storm Eunice by claiming Brits aren’t as scared of the winds as they should be because the storm has a feminine name:

“there’s a bank of fascinating psychological research to back up the fact that overall, female-titled storms and hurricanes are in fact far more deadly.

Why? Because people don’t take them as seriously; so don’t take as many precautions to protect themselves, and there are consequently more deaths. That’s right: storms are sexist.”

The author, Victoria Richards, goes on to claim that Storm Eunice gives us “an opportunity: both to look at ourselves, to do some rigorous self-analysis – and, most importantly, to stay indoors.” There’s just one problem with Victoria’s culture war-stoking claim: it’s nonsense…

Richards cites a 2014 paper, “Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes”which has since been debunked. In 2015 a review of the paper – “Hurricane names: A bunch of hot air?” – fact-checked the claims of sexism, concluding that the “reported relationship is not robust in that it is not confirmed by a straightforward analysis of more inclusive data or different data.”:

“The assertion that female-named storms are deadlier than male-named storms is not robust, evidently because it relied on the questionable statistical analysis of a narrowly defined set of data.”

Another reminder that it’s the liberal left who claim right-wingers are the ones stoking a culture war…

mdi-timer 18 February 2022 @ 15:19 18 Feb 2022 @ 15:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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