Mirror in McCluskey’s Pocket

Daily Mirror readers could be forgiven for knowing little of the bitter battle for control of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite. The paper once had a proud history of covering union politics, yet the contest between Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne barely makes it into the paper – much to the annoyance of leftie hacks and union tankies alike. Unite’s £400,000 contribution towards McCluskey’s swanky London pad was for some reason not deemed newsworthy…

Canary Wharf insiders believe the problem lies with the management’s desire to keep on receiving oodles of Unite cash signed off by Red Len. One Mirror source said:  

“Unite probably hand over between £50,000 and £100,000 a year in term of various types of sponsorship, helping with the wage bill, advertising etc. It is any wonder they don’t write a bad word about McCluskey or the battle to get rid of him?  It’s a travesty and a betrayal of the readers.”

Ros Wynne-Jones’ weekly “Real Britain” column contains numerous plugs for causes and events championed by Unite. At the bottom of her page each week there is a message to say her musings are “in association with Unite the Union”. Hacks at the paper believe the Unite cash could be enough to fund Wynne-Jones’ salary. The Mirror is one of the few papers left with an industrial correspondent. Along with transport and education, Mark Ellis is supposed to cover the unions, though he seems strangely reticent to write about McCluskey at all – despite his strong Unite links. McCluskey’s union was coincidentally on hand to help fund free booze at the Mirror’s Labour conference knees-up…

The few stories about the Unite leadership battle between McCluskey and Coyne that have made it into the Mirror have included the following gems:

  • On Monday March 6th Kevin Maguire column’s column revealed: “Unite supremo “Red Len” McCluskey is hot favourite to be re-elected leader of the country’s largest trade union after winning huge support
  • On Thursday March 2nd Mirror readers were told: “Len has 82% Unite backing
  • On Tuesday March 7th the paper quoted McCluskey saying he would “work night and day” to fight for Vauxhall staff whose jobs were in danger

Mirror readers and the union members the paper claims to champion will have to look elsewhere if they want more than the odd pro-Len puff piece…

Team Corbyn Tweeting About Fake News Trump Style

Late last night this Mirror story triggered Seumas or someone else on the Labour leader’s media team. For the full Trump effect they really need to capitalise FAKE NEWS from the FAILING MIRROR. Guido gives ’em 5/10 for this effort…

“Tory Cuts Killed 30,000” Report Author is Big Corbynista

Today’s Mirror splashes on the OTT claim that “Tory cuts killed 30,000“, casually accusing the government of mass murder. The story is based on a report co-authored by Oxford geography professor Danny Dorling. What the Mirror doesn’t mention is that Dorling a big Corbyn cheerleader with ties to Jez. In a blog post last May, Dorling fawned over Corbyn, showering the Labour leader with a litany of praise:

“Corbyn appears prepared to listen to everyone’s point of view, however much he disagrees with much of what they do or say…

“(Corbyn) appears prepared to listen to a wide range of experts and opinion rather than giving the air that he was born to rule, is all-knowing himself, and will tell us what is best for us…

“If voters look him up on Wikipedia they will learn that “Corbyn was revealed to have submitted the smallest amount in expenses of any British MP. In 2010 he claimed the lowest sum of all 650 MPs.” He also over pays his taxes…

“Famously Jeremy Corbyn had to be persuaded to stand in the leadership election. His election may have ushered in a new era in British politics where parties no longer look so keenly on the candidates who so obviously want the job and who initially appear most electable…

“Jeremy Corbyn does not appear motived (sic) by money…

“Corbyn has shown that he can be critical of his own party and its past record, even of himself, when, in retrospect, his party or he himself was clearly misguided…

“Jeremy Corbyn can take on the zealots and bigots who use migration to stir up fear and hatred…

“What Corbyn really represents is a set of beliefs whose time has finally come.

Corbyn himself has even rewarded Dorling’s obvious affection with a supportive tweets:

John McDonnell meanwhile has said he spent the last summer reading Dorling’s book. Sure Dorling is a wholly impartial observer – you might think the Mirror would have mentioned all this in their report…

Maguire Demands £230,000 Salary From Mirror

The Mirror’s associate editor Kevin Maguire has backed Corbyn’s salary cap, writing: “the maximum wage is an idea whose time has come… I’ve advocated a maximum for years and personally favour a 10-to-1 limit within companies”. Well, last year Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox earned £2.3 million, so if the company was to implement the Maguire Doctrine it means the Mirror’s minimum wage would be £230,000. Kerching!

Now Mirror Joins Calls for Vaz to Go

vaz-drugs-probe

The Labour supporting Mirror is echoing Guido nowadays when it comes to Keith Vaz:

“While a police probe into his behaviour is ongoing, shamed Labour MP Keith Vaz should not be allowed to take his place on the Commons’ Justice Committee. Officers have confirmed they are investigating allegations he discussed the buying of cocaine with two prostitutes he hired. Parliament would be brought into disrepute and public contempt if Vaz sits on this important committee while the cloud of suspicion is hanging over him.”

Guido argued as far back as September that Vaz Broke “Intent to Supply” Law. How can an MP sit on the Justice Select Committee which has oversight of the Criminal Judicial system when he is under investigation by the police? This is simply not credible…

Another petty expense fiddle has also come to light this weekend, he claimed for UK travel expenses when he was overseas, just a run of the mill week for Keith Vaz. Guido understands there will be further moves to remove the crook from the Justice Select Committee next week. Law makers can not be law breakers…

Bankers Bonus for Kevin Maguire

Kevin Maguire is a banker-basher extraordinaire – scroll through his tweets and he’s never leaving those “nasty bankers” alone, his Mirror column forever bangs on about the Tories being “banker’s friends” who are “out of touch with the public”. Well this morning our Kev’ and the Mail’s Andrew Pierce are entertaining clients at a BNP Paribas “Capitalise International Investment Special” event in the City. His hosts and new friends are the bank’s global CEO Thierry Laroue-Pont and UK CEO John Slade, and the discussion is being chaired by UK Executive Director James Max. Better canapés than at Labour conference?

Dave Gets His Daily Dose

Another happy reader – Dave shares with the House the news, as revealed by Guido, that the BBC, Mirror Group, and Guardian have all been using offshore investment funds. Sign up to the Guidogram here to get your daily dose too… 

Look in the Mirror: Millions Held Offshore

“David Cameron has behaved like a chancer over offshore funds,” blasted the Mirror’s leader on Friday: “Voice of the Mirror says hard to believe the PM will end the use of offshore financial hideaways by the filthy rich when he is cut from the same cloth”. What the Mirror didn’t tell its readers is that their paper is also “cut from the same cloth”…

When Trinity Mirror tried to raise funds by issuing new shares to investors, it set up TM Finance (Jersey) Ltd, a “special purpose vehicle” to collect the proceeds offshore. Trinity Mirror’s annual report discloses the existence of “The Trinity Mirror Employee Benefit Trust”, a pension scheme whose beneficiaries could well include Mirror employees like chief offshore critic Kevin Maguire. Is it really Mirror Associate Editor our Kev’s trust? Appleby Global (Jersey) Ltd administer the Mirror’s offshore millions boasting: “Our fiduciary operation in Jersey has provided a broad range of offshore fiduciary and administration services… Our clients include high net worth private individuals and families along with an enviable array of global and UK businesses, such as… Trinity Mirror”. Please, tell us more about those “offshore financial hideaways”…

Then there is the Trinity International Restricted Share Plan, administered by Barclays Wealth Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd, another offshore trustee. Mirror, Mirror against the wall, who is the most hypocritical of them all?

UPDATE: Our Kev says “not me guv”.

Mirror Spikes Unite’s Zero Hours Contracts Story

mirror image oopsThe Mirror has long railed against zero hours contracts. No surprise then, that when Britain’s biggest union was being sued by a former employee after they kicked off over their own alleged zero hours contract, The Mirror was on the scene:

Google picked it up:

Unite_being_sued_for_£200,000_after_hiring_activist_on_zero_hours_contract_-_Google_Search_-_2016-01-27_12.12.07

Shortly after the story went to pixel, it mysteriously vanished. Surely that was nothing to do with Unite sponsoring a weekly column in the paper? Did Len McCluskey monster The Mirror, or are they just staying Unite-d?

UPDATE:

Alas SunNation, We Knew It Well

sunnation

Farewell SunNation, the Sun’s outside-the-paywall experiment with a blog format has now gone with the raison d’être of the paywall. This again brings into focus the future of tabloids now it has been established that in the age of social media paywalls for popular papers are counter-productive. As far as Guido knows no mass market tabloid in the world has successfully made the transition to a digital model.

Digital first sceptics point out that for all the traffic success of Mail Online and The Guardian, they don’t really make much profit. In the case of the digital Guardian they make no profit. That is because undifferentiated general traffic does not command a high premium from advertisers. Also free online versions inevitably cannibalise the print readers…

Digital first optimists argue that there is no choice other than to deliver content where people increasingly want it, to their phones and tablets. And deliver it fast and first if you want to succeed. 

How will we make any money ask the digital sceptics? If paid subscriptions don’t work for tabloids in the digital era will it be Buzzfeed style advertorial? Video ads? Product placement? The digital first optimists point out that tabloid print sales are collapsing and soon they won’t make money either…

TABLOIDS

The Mirror is contemplating a cut-price, slimmed down version of the paper along the lines of the i, The Independent’s successful cut-down version. The more successful print innovator is actually the London Evening Standard, London’s now free high-quality evening paper is brimming with advertising. Could a tabloid thrive on advertising revenue alone? Metro and City AM show that advertising-only supported papers can be viable. It is possible that a national could go free, double or triple circulation, and suck up more than enough advertising to make up for the lost cover-price revenue. Guido noticed that last weekend the Sun on Sunday was distributed free in some places in Ireland…

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? 

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…

Top Mirror Hack Nicked in Canary Wharf Raid

The Mirror’s pugnacious ‘Head of Agenda’, Lee Harpin, who was heading up the paper’s election coverage, is lifted in a police raid on their Canary Wharf offices:

The tenth Trinity Mirror journalist to be arrested. He’ll be harpin’ on about this one…

UPDATE:

harpin

Who’s ya friend Ed?

Mirror Slashes Costs As Hacking Cases Loom

Mirror[1]

Trinity Mirror are doubling their planned cuts to £20m in an effort to remain in the black as print revenues fall and hacking payouts loom large. Expect to see more dead wood such as the recently axed digital projects Ampp3d and UsVsTh3m cut from the sinking ship…

By Guido’s calculations, £20 million is enough to pay off 133 hacking victims. The Mirror hacked at least 400 phones…

Investors Dumping Mirror Shares

tm

After the higher than they hoped damages awarded to Mirror phone hacking victims last week the struggling newspaper group admitted that “costs of settling claims is likely to be higher than previously anticipated we are increasing our provision to deal with matters arising from phone hacking by £16 million. This is in addition to the £12 million provided in 2014.” So the Mirror group has gone from denying that there was any hacking at all, to putting aside £12 million and now more than doubling the provision to £28 million…  

City investors are still worried that this is nowhere near enough and that the final figure will be nearer £100 million, the shares have been trading down since the ruling with £30 million knocked off the capitalisation this week. There is some question as to if the company will be able to pay a dividend…

Mirror Faces Massive Hacking Payouts

Mirror[1]

Mirror Group Newspapers have been ordered to pay out £1.2 million to eight phone hacking victims following a three week hearing at London’s High Court. The payout, averaging £150,000 per victim is worrying news for the Mirror who had one single reporter hack around 400 phones. If just 400 more people sue and that level of payout continues, the Mirror could be looking at paying out around £60m. Significantly more than the £12 million they have put aside… 

Trinity Mirror only made £102.3 million in pre-tax profit last year…

UsVsB3lam: Former Journos Locked Out of Mirror Twitter

Last week when the Mirror canned their internetz projects all the online hacks claimed they weren’t being fired, rather things were just ‘under review’. Well it looks as if that review has now concluded:

They finally have the answer to who’s us and who’s them…

Mirror Shutters Ampp3d, UsVsTh3m and RowZed

Mirror sources say staff working for their ill-fated online ventures, Ampp3d, UsVsTh3m and RowZed, are being made redundant. The operations will be closed immediately and staff have been told that the paper will try to find new roles for them. Apparently upstairs thought they were shi*e…

Martin Belam the founder of the titles boasted in a statement:

I’ve had the most amazing fun over the last couple of years. Watching millions of people play things like “Are you hated by the Daily Mail?” or read articles like “7 toilets that we’d rather have as justice secretary than Michael Gove” from a national newspaper group has been brilliant.

Wonder why they failed?

UPDATE: Here is an Ampp3d style statistical analysis of today’s news:

UPDATE II: Martin Belam appears to have enjoyed our report

See: National Papers Can’t Do the Internet

Media Standards Trust Research Finds Mirror Most Partisan Newspaper

mirror-biased

The Guardian supported Media Standards Trust has released research which is remarkable. The twitterati left have been making an issue of the treatment of Ed Miliband, the reporting of his nose picking and inability to eat a bacon sandwich or exit a TV stage without tripping up particularly vexes lefties who want reporting to be about boring issues rather than character. They have been particularly bilious about The Sun’s partisanship… 

The Mirror’s partisanship has gone unremarked in the broadsheets, the way it caricatures Tories as wicked toffs intent on closing down the NHS and grinding the poor into the workhouses is reportage from a surreal alternative reality. For the left the Sun’s journalism is partisan rubbish whereas the Mirror’s journalism is “campaigning”.

The above graphic is based on 7,000 articles analysed by the Media Standards Trust’s Election Unspun project. It found that the most partisan paper was The Mirror, which was more positive about Labour than The Sun was about the Tories and conversely The Mirror was more negative about the Tories than The Sun was about the Labour party. In short, The Mirror was the most partisan paper of all… 

Piers Morgan Questioned By Hacking Police Today

Piers says in a statement to the Guardian:

“Some time ago I was asked to attend an interview with officers from Operation Golding when I was next in the UK. 

This was further to a previous voluntary interview I provided in December 2013.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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