BBC Uses ECHR to Block Release of Spin Bill

Last month the BBC produced a cinematic advert to “celebrate the unique role that the BBC plays in all of our lives”. Taking advantage of their massive media monopoly to beam Auntie’s spin into the nation’s front rooms, ahead of the coming battle for its future…

Ever the optimist, Guido fired off a Freedom of Information request to the notoriously opaque Beeb, asking how much licence fee payers stumped up for the very expensive looking advert. To our complete lack of surprise, the BBC are refusing to reveal the cost:

“The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion.”

Obviously the advert was not for the “purposes of journalism, art or literature”, so how can they get away with giving such a patently shoddy response? Their email explains:

“The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights.”

So the BBC are hiding behind laws made in Strasbourg to prevent the licence fee payer from knowing how much it spent on what is essentially a piece of propaganda. Guido is all for legislation protecting the rights of journalists, this is a clear abuse of that legislation. They just don’t get it…

No, Corbynmania is Not “Sweeping the Nation”

“A movement is born,” claimed Jezza’s unofficial PR man Owen Jones last week: “across the nation, in every village and town and city you can see this movement emerging”. The hyperbole is even more generous in Owen’s interview with the man himself today: “in the last few weeks Corybnmania has swept across the country”. Well, has it?

The latest figures show there are around 270,000 Labour members.

In addition, around 70,000 have joined as affiliated supporters.

50,000 are so-called ‘registered supporters’.

A total of 390,000 people.

The voting age population of the UK is 50,780,423.

If we (generously) assume that around half of all those affiliated with the Labour Party support Corbyn – 195,000 people – then what proportion of the voting population is a Corbynista? Just 0.38%. 

Hardly sweeping the country…

Teething Problems For HuffPo Arabic

“Control is absolutely key to our coverage,” Arianna Huffington said last month as she launched Huffington Post Arabic, based in London and Istanbul. Well, judging by its initial output, it seems Arianna is struggling to control the Middle Eastern message.

One HuffPo Arabic author writes of the evils of selfies:

“[Selfies are] the diseases and the viruses of the Western world. I consider my article as an open letter to all the Islamic Ummah’s youth. It is a call to stop adopting such sick behaviors that come to destroy our traditions and the basics of human cultural identity.”

In another piece, the Egyptian government is critisised for allowing “a press conference for gays in the heart of Cairo”And there was Guido thinking HuffPo were a bunch of wishy-washy liberals…

Alas not. HuffPo Arabic is being run by Wadah Khanfar, a former Al Jazeera journalist accused of “Islamist leanings“, and Anas Fouda, who has admitted he “became closer to the Muslim Brotherhood” when at university. Come back, Mehdi, all is forgiven!

H/T Buzzfeed US

UPDATE: Oh dear.

Guardian Grovel Over “Insidious” Hit Piece

The Guardian’s readers’ editor has censured the editor of its opinion desk for writing a hatchet job on anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz. Chris Elliott blasts David Shariatmadari’s interview as “insidious” and “wrong“:

“The editorial guidelines state clearly that if a journalist thinks there is a case to be made for using pejorative anonymous quotations the matter should be discussed with a senior editor. In this case these were discussed and the editor approved the use of the quotations… the use of anonymous quotes is an insidious way to take a swipe at public figures, and the Guardian was wrong to have used three in this way”

Intriguingly, Elliott also investigated whether the Guardianset him up“, revealing a gushing email sent by commissioning editor Nosheen Iqbal to Nawaz prior to the piece being written. This is how Iqbal got Nawaz to take part:

“Given Maajid’s consistently dedicated work to combat extremism and the increased public awareness around Quilliam Foundation following the PM’s speech yesterday, would be great to build on that momentum and flag up the crucial work being done behind the scenes.”

You wouldn’t have guessed it would be a hit job, would you?

Judging by this tweet critcising Nawaz the day before she sent that email, Iqbal wasn’t being entirely truthful about her motives for commissioning the piece:

Given the Guardian regularly gives a platform to terrorists and Islamic extremists, it’s ironic to see how they treat someone who campaigns against extremism…

Mirror Apologise to “Sick Nazi Salute” Kipper

Back in 2013 the Mirror splashed on UKIP’s Alex Wood “giving a sick Nazi salute”.  Many others saw a bloke reaching to grab the camera-phone with his left-hand – which was exactly what he claimed. The story drove the lefty Twitterati wild with glee, confirming their prejudices about UKIP being a bunch of racists. Today the Mirror say in a statement:

“In print and online articles in April and May 2013 we said that Alex Wood, who was standing for UKIP in the May 2013 local elections in Somerset, had been photographed making a ‘Nazi salute’. We also said that he had made racist comments on Facebook.

We now accept that these allegations were wrong and there is no reason to believe that Mr Wood is a racist or a Nazi. The photograph, one of a series of photographs appearing on his Facebook page, was taken out of context. Mr Wood was reaching out to stop a friend taking a photo on a mobile phone. The comments on Facebook purportedly made by Mr Wood were not made by him and the police have confirmed that they were not made by Mr Wood.

We apologise to Mr Wood for the allegations made and any hurt and distress caused as a result. We hope this apology will go some way to repairing Mr Wood’s reputation.”

Despite UKIP vehemently denying the claim at the time, it only took ’em two years to say sorry…

All those who were quick to pile in at the time will be following the Mirror and Mehdi’s mea culpa, right? 

Yentob Demands “Congratulations” as Lurid Rumours Swirl

On Wednesday the BBC’s spin arm briefed Media Guardian that its creative director Alan Yentob had not tried to influence Newsnight’s investigation into scandal-hit Kids Company, of which he is chairman. Yet on Channel 4 News last night, Yentob admitted he did phone Newsnight staff before the programme aired. He still insists “I don’t think I’ve abused my position in any way”.

In a bizarre interview, a heated Yentob said of sexual abuse allegations at Kids Company: “I don’t believe them for one minute”. He then weirdly demanded Matt Frei congratulate him for his role in running a charity which has now collapsed in disgrace:

“Why don’t you say to me, congratulations Alan?”

Judging by this tweet from the Mail’s media editor…

… it must have been a very long day…

Burnham Train Derailed: Renationalisation Spin Unravels

Andy Burnham got the headlines he wanted this morning: the Mirror dutifully report he “promises to renationalise the railways if he takes power” on their front page. Rival Labour camps are quick to point out that Burnham’s plan has been lifted “word for word” from Ed Miliband’s manifesto, which pledged:

“Labour will legislate so a public sector operator can take on lines and challenge private train operating companies on a level playing field… We will end the situation where the only public sector that cannot run our railways is our own.”

“It is hardly the big, bold new policy it was promised to be,” says a spokesperson from the Yvette campaign.

What’s more, Labour sources point out that 90% of rail franchises expire in the next 5 years and won’t be up again until 2030. Burnham has confirmed that his policy is not immediate compulsory renationalisation, merely letting the public sector bid when franchises expire:

So even if he was to become PM in 2020, the policy wouldn’t come into effect for some ten years of Burnham governments. Almost as if it’s just an empty headline grabber to take Corbyn votes…

Is Air Con Sexist?

Meanwhile, over at Sky News, good to see they are fully embracing the silly season spirit with a discussion on whether office air con is sexist:

“Often in offices, it is men who control temperatures…”

Guardianisation of Buzzfeed Continues

The Guardian’s head of news is the latest to twig that former colleagues who’ve jumped to Buzzfeed are getting paid more money for less work:

Millar joins Janine Gibson and James Ball as part of the ongoing exodus from Kings Place to their more productivity-relaxed internet alter ego.

(•◡•) / (•◡•) / (•◡•) /

Conflicted Yentob Slammed “Horrendous” BBC “Innuendo”

£330,000-a-year BBC bore Alan Yentob has been caught allegedly trying to block Beeb journalists from invesitgating Kids Company, the scandal-hit charity of which he is chairman. Yentob apparently “telephoned Newsnight staff hours before it aired” and tried to “influence the direction” of the story. A pretty massive conflict of interest, exposed in this denial Yentob issued about the original Kids Company allegations:

“Let me be clear. There was no financial mismanagement. Our books have been audited and we passed every audit with no concerns raised. What we have is a shortage of funds, which arises because children self-refer and our policy has been that no child should be turned away. You could say it’s an unsustainable policy, but it’s been sustainable for 18 years. There is no doubt in my mind that Camila has been unfairly vilified. The gossip and innuendo that she has had to deal with have been horrendous.”

On top of the alleged financial impropriety, police are investigating darker claims of sexual abuse by Kids Company staff members being covered up. Tory backbenchers are already calling for Yentob’s head…

Owen Jones: Then and Now

Owen Jones, 4 May 2015: “Russell Brand has endorsed Labour – and the Tories should be worried.”

Owen Jones, 4 August 2015: “The Right are mocking Jeremy Corbyn because they fear him.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday Column Online

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday column for free online, not behind a paywall, over on SunNation. Were Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott more than just good comrades? Who was the naked man Diane romped with in a Cotswold field? Don’t miss out on:

  • New LibDem Equalities spokesman thinks some are more equal than others

beer

  • Parliament is spending how much on a custom-brewed beer for MPs’ subsidised bars?

email

  • Labour HQ staff inundated with x-rated abuse from Corbynistas
  • More Bercow perks: 1,098 items of “Speaker’s Silver”… worth £2.5 million!
  • Labour MP’s cash-for-honours amnesia
  • Dave’s “dirty cash” difficulty
  • You might have thought the woman who defeated Ed Balls would be a favourite among Tory MPs, but apparently not

You can read it all today, for free, without a paywall, only on SunNation

Wintour is Coming… To Serve the Beverages

plane

It sounds like Guardian Pol Ed Patrick Wintour enjoyed flying with the PM back from Asia. The Speccie have the inside story from 35,000 feet:

“Wintour – who appeared to be enjoying the champagne on offer – decided the time had come for him to be a trolley dolly and assisted an air hostess by taking the other end of the trolley.

To the surprise of ministers on the plane, he made his way down the aisle putting ice and lemon in the cups, and getting drinks out of the drawers on his side of the trolley, repeatedly shouting ‘this is so easy’.”

Must have been the jet lag…

End of an Era…

End of an error, more like…

Owen Jones: Lie-RA

Fresh from telling the Sinn Fein summer school to “take inspiration” from the Easter Rising, in which 466 died and 2,217 civilians were wounded, Owen Jones, under criticism on Twitter, claimed to his critics: “I vehemently oppose all IRA violence and have never expressed any support for it”.

“Never”? Oh really?

Actually the truth is that Owen was an IRA supporter and once wrote

“I militarily support the IRA against the British State”

Owen, who supports votes for 16 year olds, now says:

Owen describes his former ramblings as “stupidity”.  At what age exactly did he stop supporting IRA/Sinn Fein? He was at their summer school last month…

UPDATE: Turns out Owen was sweet sixteen when he supported IRA/Sinn Fein

Headline of the Day

In the Times:

See what they did there…

Via @holbornlolz

I Can’t Believe He’s Not Tory!

Another BBC smear on the Marr show yesterday:

“Lord Coke, Tory peer’s drug binges with £200 prostitutes”

That would be Lord Sewel, independent peer since 2012, before which he was Labour…

Read Guido in the Sun on Sunday Online

CAR

Guido’s Sun on Sunday column is free to read, not behind a paywall, over on SunNation. A piece of UKIP election history could be yours for a bargain price of just £750…

  • The swelling Osborne “support group” of brown-nosing Tory careerists

PENNY

  • Penny’s Party Makes a Splash: Tory rising star’s suspiciously lavish summer soiree

  • Why did Theresa May have to lose the cops this week?

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.16.32

  • Is Nancy Dell’Olio Strictly Labour, or Tory?
  • Which Tory celeb bankrolled Tim Farron’s LibDem leadership campaign?
  • Who else would Labour MPs hire to help them improve their image but Ed Miliband’s former spin doctor…
  • Security questions as Jeremy Corbyn hosts Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in parliament

You can read it all today, for free, without a paywall, only on SunNation

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…

Robbie Gibb New Head of BBC Westminster

A restructuring of the BBC’s Millbank operation is underway following the departure of Sue Inglish. Media Guido understands James Harding has closed her post of Head of Political Programmes and is creating a new ‘Head of BBC Westminster’. Congratulations are in order to Robbie Gibb, who is stepping up to take on the role in addition to his current job in charge of Live Political Programmes.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

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