Muddled Mehdi

mehdiMehdi Hasan is the New Statesman’s ‘Senior Politics Editor’. He gets a lot of flack from the Islamophobic Jihadis-Under-the-Bed crowd for being soft on Islamo-Fascism.  They variously accuse him of wanting to sublimate the West to a new Caliphate and kill all non-believers or suchlike.  Frankly Guido has lost track of the detail and suspects they might be slightly misrepresenting Mehdi’s actual beliefs.

Nevertheless Mehdi does hold some strange beliefs which he reveals to us in the Statesman, for example he claims the BBC has an institutionally right-wing biasHave you noticed?

ns_logoToday he writes of the Farage v Bercow election challenge that it isa shame they can’t both lose.” It should hardly fall to Guido to educate the ‘Senior Politics Editor’ of Britain’s leading left-wing political publication.  Nevertheless it is Guido’s understanding of the current system of British parliamentary democracy that there is in fact a way they could indeed “both lose”If another candidate stands and gets “more votes” they would “both lose”.  Hope that helps Mehdi…

Staggering Sillyness from Macintyre

The New Statesman is running an implausible story that relations between Dave and Boris are ‘at breaking point’. Predictably, it’s written by James Macintyre.  Silly season must have started before recess for him.

How can we take seriously anything that comes from James Macintyre? He was already under suspicion of being a willing conduit for Labour spin inventions after he reported – unsourced – a claim that Obama thought Cameron was a “lightweight” – a story that Guido knows to be an invention.  Ask yourself – does young Macintyre really have Whitehouse contacts that would provide him with that kind of insight – if it were genuine?  His journalistic credibity vanished altogether when his email exchanges with Derek Draper were made public in Private Eye. They revealed Macintyre’s desperate disappointment at not becoming a Labour SpAd for Ed Miliband. Wily Draper played his former intimate, young James, like a sucker and “borrowed” several thousand quid from him to boot. Gullible Macintyre remains owed the money.

Macintyre has no Tory contacts at a senior level around Boris or Dave, this will within ten months prove something of a career crippling problem for the political editor of a serious political weekly. In view of Macintyre’s latest spin invention, we can safely assume he’s back on the hunt for a government job.

UPDATE : Boris has publicly called the story piffle. A source not a million miles from Cameron’s office was (via email) scathing about Macintyre after this story went up. Boy Macintyre himself has been in touch to complain that he didn’t claim his source for his “Obama thinks Cameron is a lightweight” story was Whitehouse, it was apparently a “diplomatic source”. It was transparent spin is what it was.

+++ New Statesman Paid Circulation Less than 15,000 +++

Guess that is what happens when you make Derek Draper’s “lunch partner”, James Macintyre, political correspondent.  That source has now dried up…

+++ Danson Takes 100% Control of New Statesman +++

Guido thought the deal was that he would buy out Geoffrey Robinson’s 50% when Gordon left office. Oh, hang on…

Guido Confesses

The New Statesman’s James Macintyre, a regular lunching companion of Derek Draper, has just rung up to ask some stupid questions.  One line of questioning was jaw-droppingly bizarre:

JM : Do you deny having links to the intelligence services?
GF : Errrm [bemused pause]. Do you know the name of the Israeli secret intelligence service?
JM : Mossad?
GF :  They are supposed to be the best in the world.
JM : Yes.
GF : Do you know the name of the Irish secret intelligence service?
JM : No.
GF : So why do you think Mossad are better?
JM : Right, but do you deny having links to intelligence services?
GF : You got me, I am agent 003 1/2 of the Irish intelligence service.  You are a total hoon* Macintyre.

It ended up in a shouting match.

UPDATE : Had Macintyre on the phone again. He says this is not accurate.  This bit of the conversation was only a small part of the conversation.  He, to be fair, actually tried 50 ways of asking the same stupid question for the most part.  He says that it was just being juvenile (really).  He also wants to make it clear that it was Guido who called him a hoon* and that could I stop mentioning he is a lunching partner of Derek Draper.  This clarification is to stop his whining.

*Euphemism employed.

Bright Moves Up from Statesman to Spectator

Paul Johnson did it. Melanie Philips did it. They of course had God by their side when they shifted. Bright hasn’t found God as far as Guido knows and he still sees himself, perhaps needs to see himself, as a man of the left. Bright, until recently political editor of the New Statesman, is now blogging for the Speccie.“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Can it be long before Nick Cohen follows?

No News from the New Statesman

The Staggers remains rudderless and loss making. Geoffrey Robinson has gone on holiday for a fortnight, so don’t expect any news until he gets back. Meanwhile over at the loss making Indy, Roger Alton is taking over as editor. They don’t call it the Dead-Tree-Press for nothing…

Steve Richards Offered Editorship of New Statesman

Sam Coates says the Indy’s Steve Richards is to be the next editor of the New Statesman. Maybe. Guido understands he was offered the job and has been “thinking about it”. He has not however as yet formally accepted the worst job in political journalism – working for Geoffrey Robinson…

Guido Writes for New Statesman

Bet you thought you’d never see that. Don’t worry it “was for charidee”. Amnesty actually. The article is about the Chinese online campaigner and now political prisoner, Shi Tao, and an email that got him a ten year prison sentence.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Mirror’s Maguire Brown-Nosing Into Downing Street

Kevin Maguire fantasises that he will be the Alastair Campbell of the Brown regime. He has Campbell’s old job as political editor at the Mirror and certainly sucks up to Gordon enough to make himself a candidate to follow his predecessor’s footsteps.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Is the New Statesman Compromised?

The old New Statesman historically was the discussion journal of the Labour party. Issues and personalities of the left were analysed within its pages and it still has serious journalists holed up at its offices. Yet compare the vitality of the Spectator to that of the Statesman, all shades of conservative and other strands of thought appear in the Speccie.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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