Scruton Blasts the Tories for Throwing Him Under the Bus

Sir Roger Scruton has now issued his own press statement after the New Statesman finally issued an apology to him yesterday over George Eaton’s hatchet job. However, while Scruton appears to have largely buried the hatchet with the New Statesman, he instead launches a searing broadside at the Conservative Party for the way they threw him under the bus. They didn’t even bother asking for his side of the story before hanging him out to dry…

Scruton say he was “astonished” by the comments issued by 10 Downing Street and “particularly distressed by the behaviour of the Minister who sacked me on the strength of the NS article, without asking me whether it accurately represented anything that I had said” – the minister being James Brokenshire. Scruton even says he is “grateful” to the New Statesman for awakening him to the “true moral crisis of the Party to which, despite everything, I still belong.” Ouch.

Read Scruton’s statement in full:

“I am pleased to have resolved my complaint against the New Statesman. They have apologised for how they misrepresented my interview on Twitter and accepted that their article in some fundamental ways did not accurately reflect what I had said. I am pleased that the words I actually spoke are now available. This experience was very unpleasant, not least on account of the rush to judgment by others in the media and in politics.

“I was particularly distressed by the behaviour of the Minister who sacked me on the strength of the NS article, without asking me whether it accurately represented anything that I had said. I was also astonished by the comments issued from Number Ten Downing Street, and by the fact that the Conservative Party made no collective effort to defend me. I am grateful to the New Statesman at least for this, that these distressing events have awoken me to the true moral crisis of the Party to which, despite everything, I still belong.”

New Statesman Apologise for Roger Scruton Hatchet Job

The New Statesman has finally issued an apology to Roger Scruton after George Eaton’s hatchet-job interview which got Scruton fired after wilfully taking a number of his quotes out of context. They admit that his comments about China and Hungary were taken out of context and “acknowledge that the views of Professor Scruton were not accurately represented” in the series of tweets that Eaton subsequently fired out. They say “we apologise for this, and regret any distress that this has caused Sir Roger.”

Of course the “distress” caused to Scruton was losing his job, meanwhile Eaton is back at work, albeit after a demotion to ‘Assistant Editor’. Probably won’t be getting any high profile interviews for some time…

George Eaton Demoted at New Statesman

Readers of the New Statesman have found themselves mysteriously short-changed of ‘bombshell interview’ content in the six weeks since George Eaton’s blaze of champagne-fuelled glory over Roger Scruton. Since his article on 12 April defending his interview, Eaton has not had a single byline attached to his name at the magazine. It was reported a month ago that Eaton was taking a “temporary break” to let “stuff die down”. Long time for a “temporary break”…

Eaton was made joint Deputy Editor of the magazine in December last year to make way for Stephen Bush’s promotion to Political Editor. His Twitter bio and New Statesman profile now both display only the lowlier title of Assistant Editor. At least he didn’t lose his job altogether, unlike his interviewee…

Sir Roger Responds to the Scruton Tapes

The BBC has got its hands on the Scruton Tapes, a recording of the interview that ended his brief Government career. It has become clear that Scruton’s words were massively misrepresented by The New Statesman‘s George Eaton in his search for a scalp. Sections of Scruton’s unedited comments morning were played this morning on the Today Programme with the caveat that “we don’t know whether that recording was stolen or not.” Cut straight to the juicy bits with Guido…

Sir Roger’s China comments and his response to them:

Sir Roger’s Orban comments and his response to them:

Scruton went on in the interview to say that

“I am a conservative thinker, well known as such. Outspoken, but reasonable in my view. There has been throughout this country. and throughout Europe really, an attempt to silence the conservative voice. We get identified, caricatured, demonised, and made to look as though we are some kind of sinister fascist racist kind of people.

And as soon as the Conservative Party sees one of us being demonised in this way they rush to disassociate themselves from us.”

Listen to the full interview as broadcast here

UPDATE: The Evening Standard is reporting that Eaton is taking a “temporary break” from the New Statesman. “To let stuff die down”…

Roger Scruton Calls for New Statesman to Release Tapes of Interview That Got Him Fired

A week after George Eaton celebrated with champagne the sacking of Sir Roger Scruton, the philosopher has called on the New Statesman to release the tapes of the interview that got him fired:

If there is evidence to incriminate me then obviously the New Statesman must make the tapes of the conversation public: how else will any of us know what we are allowed and not allowed to say, when working for this government?

Scruton and Eaton have both been engaged in claim and counter-claim over what was and wasn’t really said in the interview and whether it was deliberately taken out of context. There’s an easy way for the New Statesman to settle the matter once and for all, release the tapes…

Facebook Algo Change Hits Online Political Traffic

Guido predicted at the beginning of last year that the change to Facebook’s algorithms would impact online traffic dramtically for those websites that specialised in making content go viral to drive traffic. Taking a look at some of our rivals; one site that bucked the trend was ConservativeHome, the turmoil in the party has been good for their trade, with pageviews up by 13% on the year, although the number of unique users has fallen slightly, likely as a result of there being no general election in 2018. Guido is relieved to only be down 1.89% year-on-year, not so bad in an off election year. On the left it would seem that The Canary, which used to be neck and neck in traffic terms with Guido, finished the year much weaker. Is that because of Facebook or outrage fatigue?

The other sites impacted badly by the Facebook algo change were the newspapers’ websites. According to ABC figures Mail Online was down 16% year-on-year and Sun Online was down 12%. Guido understands that because of the New Statesman’s new semi-permeable paywall it too has seen an even more dramatic collapse in online traffic… 

Stephen Bush Becomes New Statesman Pol Ed

The New Statesman’s editor Jason Cowley has made George Eaton joint deputy editor with Tom Gatti. Congratulations to Stephen Bush who is promoted to political editor. Cowley says: “These appointments are to prepare for a planned expansion of the New Statesman in 2019. We have had another successful year…” Losses last year were £477,271.

New Statesman’s Rude Ruth Page Break

An accidentally naughty page break in this week’s New Statesman, as an interview with Ruth Davidson reads:

“On education, she wants to encourage innovation by giving head…”

“…teachers autonomy over budgets…” obviously…

H/T @jondharvey

Now Abi Slurs Cancer-Stricken John McCain

Shock hackette Abi Wilkinson has got the attention-seeking bug. Fresh from calling for a 100% inheritance tax earlier this week, she has now written a really quite unpleasant piece for the New Statesman about John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Headlined “This is no time for civility towards Republicans – even John McCain”, Abi writes:

“Increasingly, I’m coming round to the idea that incivility isn’t merely justifiable, but actively necessary… It’s unpleasant to wish that John McCain was dead—but is it illegitimate to note that, had he been unable to vote, legislation that will kill tens of thousands of others might have been blocked?”

Charming, and also doubly stupid. McCain last night torpedoed the Obamacare repeal bill.

She trolls on, quoting Engels and John McDonnell on “social murder”, comparing McCain and other Republican politicians to killers:

“In normal murder cases, few people would even begin to argue that killers deserve to be treated with respect. Most us would avoid lecturing victims’ on politeness and calm, rational debate, and would recognise any anger and hate they feel towards the perpetrator as legitimate emotion.”

This article is obviously complete drivel. It is designed to shock, to seek attention, to outrage, to get clicks. Abi is the left-wing equivalent of Raheem, Milo or Katie Hopkins, she doesn’t really have anything clever or interesting to say and probably doesn’t believe her own BS, but knows there’s a short-lived career in writing nasty, clickbait comment pieces. Sad…

Corbynistas Demand 30 Pages in New Statesman

Staggers pol-ed George Eaton appears to be stuggling to keep a straight face. What happened to “we are his media”?

Momentum Demo Outside New Statesman

In a move straight out of the Chavista playbook Momentum supporters are organising a demo tonight to complain about the New Statesman’s anti-Corbyn coverage. The Facebook event says 80 people are planning to go. Guido understands that staff have been emailed and told to go home early…

Intimidating publications and journalists with demonstrations is a hallmark of Latin American leftists propping up failing regimes e.g. Venezuela. This type of Red Fascism will be the future of the Labour Party as the civil war kicks off properly…

New Statesman Cooks the Books With Free Copies

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley has been boasting to anyone who’ll listen about how his magazine’s print circulation is at a four decade high. Last week Cowley crowed to the BBC’s Amol Rajan:

“In an era of fake news, people are realising that good journalism is worth spending money on. While much of the liberal media has been struggling to survive in a declining market dominated by powerful media groups, the New Statesman has not merely held its position but expanded dramatically”

Delve into the Statesman’s ABC certificate, however, and it becomes clear they are cooking the books…

Only 68.6% of the Statesman’s circulation is “actively purchased” – this is remarkably low and well below its competitors. Put another way, the Statesman gives away 31.4% of its copies for free. They might have their highest circulation for 40 years, but they are giving one in three copies away for no charge…

Compared to their rivals, the Statesman is significantly fiddling its figures. The Spectator gives away just 11.9% of its circulation for free – fewer than 1 in 8 copies. 15% of the Economist’s circulation is given away for free. The Week gives a quarter of its copies away for free. 0.1% of Private Eye’s circulation are freebies. The Statesman’s addiction to giveaways stands out – and helps them massively manipulate their headline circulation figure.

Cowley’s boast last week claimed “In an era of fake news, people are realising that good journalism is worth spending money on”. This itself is fake – a third of the Statesman’s print readers don’t spend any money – not counting that it is also free online, whereas rivals like The Economist and The Spectator have online paywalls. “In an era of fake news”, surely the Statesman should be more honest…

Order of the OTT: Laurie Penny Hams It Up

Guido has not awarded an Order of the OTT for a while. This entry however, up on the New Statesman website this morning, was just too good to pass up:

Readers can have one guess who the author is…

Laurie Penny’s steaming hot take goes on to suggest that an intoxicated David Cameron’s alleged porcine molestation is somehow symbolic of the class struggle power dynamic, her psycho-analysis concluding that the future Prime Minister’s penetrated pig is a metaphor for the country he would go on to run:

“Power and money are accessed through the back door, or, as it may be, the pig’s mouth, and as with any kink, the eroticism isn’t about the act, but about what the act symbolises. It’s about humiliation, about control, about power play. What might the young swain have been thinking as he unzipped? What went through his head? If you ask me, I’ll bet he was thinking: Soon. Someday soon, I will do this to the whole bloody country.”

Talk about hamming it up…

Climate Change Crowd Board Refugee Bandwagon

climate chnage isis

The Guardian and New Statesman have uncovered the true cause of the migrant crisis. Nope, forget war, ISIS and Assad, it’s… climate change!

A piece in this week’s Staggers – which has received a robust response from critics – evokes the image of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi to crudely warn that failure to reach an agreement at the upcoming Paris climate summit will lead to “many more bodies being washed up on our beaches”:

“That image, which few of us will ever completely erase from our mind, will no doubt prompt David Cameron to make a renewed gesture… In Paris this December the world will try to reach agreement on combating the dangerous climate change that Syria and North Africa are already experiencing. Without agreement there, we in the rich world will have to get used to our trains being disrupted, our borders controls being breached and many more bodies being washed up on our beaches.”

Today the Guardian join in, publishing an editorial by Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett, also using the picture to claim things will get worse if we fail to tackle climate change:

“We’re all human, and so it’s perhaps not surprising that it takes a single photograph and an individual’s story to shake a society, all too belatedly, into glimpsing at one horrific aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis and demanding action…. People from across the political spectrum have come together in the last week to demand a much stronger response from David Cameron to the refugee crisis, and rightly so. But if the government continues to move backwards on climate change, then we should get ready for a much bigger refugee crisis before very long.”

Stay classy…

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…

New Statesman NFI’d to Labour Leadership Hustings

Labour have announced which news organisations have been invited to chair each of their regional leadership hustings, which are taking place in addition to the ones on TV and radio:

Anushka Asthana, Sky News

David Clegg, Daily Record

Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian

Isabel Hardman, The Spectator

Gaby Hinsliff, Political Editor, Grazia

Chris Lloyd, Northern Echo

Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times

Jim Waterson, Buzzfeed UK

Paul Waugh, HuffingtonPost UK

The Speccie and the Telegraph get one each, even Buzzfeed are on the list. Yet the New Statesman, Labour’s in house magazine, are nowhere to be seen. Was it something they said?

Top Staggers Labour Leadership Insight

Great insight there from ‘Miliband’s favourite journalist’.

Liz Kendall remains a Shadow Health Minister while she runs against Burnham…

Staggers Endorses Miliband With Savage Take Down

“His five years as opposition leader have revealed severe limitations and strategic weaknesses. He has never succeeded in inspiring the electorate and has struggled to define himself. His narrow rhetorical and ideological focus on political economy has left him unable to reach the aspirational voters required to build a broad electoral coalition (see Jason Cowley’s report on Harlow in this week’s issue). Finally, even after the SNP’s victory in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, which we predicted, he remained complacent over Labour’s decline in Scotland, where he is even less popular than David Cameron. It is the surge in support for the SNP, which has positioned itself to the left of Labour, that has definitively ended Mr Miliband’s hopes of winning an absolute majority. Should he become prime minister, he will now almost certainly be reliant on the support of a large nationalist bloc to govern.”

Ouch!

This from the magazine that sacked Dan Hodges for being too anti-Ed…

Staggers Website in Turkish Hookers Hack

staggers hack

For the second time in a week the New Statesman website has been hacked and is redirecting to a Turkish escort site.

They must have annoyed somebody…

Salmond Orders Pink, Causes Stink

The former First Minister sat down to be interviewed by the Staggers‘ Jason Cowley and ordered a bottle of pink champagne, which reminded Guido of this picture. Meanwhile, Salmond also appears to have shot down any hope the Tories had on relying on SNP numbers post May 7:

“The Tories would have to go straight effectively for a vote of confidence, usually the Queen’s Speech, although it could be otherwise, of course, and we’d be voting against.

[…] Read the rest

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