Tag Archives: guido fawkes

On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in The Times of “very aggressive male bloggers”

sarah wollastonBlogging is back in the headlines again today. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the feistily independent Conservative MP for Totnes, has hit back at those online critics who denounced her role in the trial of her fellow Tory, Nigel Evans, acquitted this week on all charges of sexual assault and one of rape.

In an interview with The Times, Dr Wollaston was keen to stress that she was in no way challenging the verdict in the case, adding that she empathised with Mr Evans and his ordeal. She confessed, however, that the

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Bloggers unite to oppose “botched late-night drafting” that proposes new press/web regulation

I’m one of 17 signatories (on behalf of LibDemVoice) to a letter published in Saturday’s Guardian, reproduced below, which opposes the “fundamental threat” of the draft legislation approved this week by MPs of all parties which would regulate blogs and other small independent news websites.

It’s not often you’ll see us, ConservativeHome, LabourList, Guido Fawkes, Liberal Conspiracy and Political Scrapbook agree on something. But what we term the “botched late-night drafting process and complete lack of consultation” has, for once, brought us together. And, as the letter notes, perhaps even more remarkably got Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch agreeing, too.

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Has it all gone Jenny Tonge for David Ward?

Gentle reader, I appear to have received some flak for writing this – quite possibly merited. So, I’ve tried to edit it for clarity…

David WardA press release from the office of David Ward MP reached Liberal Democrat Voice yesterday;

“Bradford East MP, David Ward, has criticised Israel on the day he has signed a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who died during the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides.

Sunday January 27th will mark the 68th anniversary of the

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The Liberal Democrat challenges for 2012: Communicative ministers

To mark the start of 2012, we’re running a series of posts over consecutive days on the main challenges for the Liberal Democrats in 2012. I’ve already written about the four priorities for the party’s new Chief Executive, Tim Gordon, but as the Liberal Democrats are more than just the one man whilst he has four, this series sets out six for the party.

Quite simply, too many Liberal Democrat ministers have too low a profile. If low profiles came despite working hard to get coverage and to communicate, that might be excusable. After all, that was the fate of some very hard working shadow ministers before 2010.

That excuse does not apply – for those with low profiles not only do not secure media coverage, they do not make use of the channels of communication open to them, such as emails to party members of guest posts on Lib Dem Voice. If you are not getting much coverage and not even taking the easiest steps, there is no-one to blame but yourself.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Overplaying the power of the “people’s petitions”

The e-petition mechanism to allow a new public petition service has gone live and media coverage about its merit and importance has gone mad. Let’s not over-emphasise the significance of this move and let’s not downplay the power of solid, rational argument.

I disagree with Sir George Young: this won’t give the public a megaphone as such and to say that it will is an exaggeration. What it may do is potentially provoke debate on contentious topics for which Parliament at present has neither the political will, nor the time, to dedicate to matters such as capital punishment, abortion, civil liberties …

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Opinion: Don’t make Guido’s day

What an enjoyable holiday Guido Fawkes must be having. While he is sunning himself in France he is also managing to create a ludicrous fuss in the UK with his campaign to use the new e-petition website to ask for a vote in the Commons on Capital Punishment.

For some reason this seems to have got Lib Dems in particular into a tizzy – blogging, tweeting and generally upsetting themselves about this, to no purpose at all.

Here‘s the thing: there is no chance whatsoever of a vote in the Commons supporting the return of the death penalty. None. …

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Martin Shapland writes: A petition to retain the ban on capital punishment

You can tell it’s silly season. The top story today is that a petition on the Death Penalty is at the top of the government’s new e-petition site. You might not have noticed that the petition with the most signatures says – ‘Retain the ban on Capital Punishment.’

Yes I launched the petition; no this isn’t a vanity project. Paul Staines (AKA Guido Fawkes) and the Daily Mail, which have both launched campaigns to restore the death penalty, need to be opposed. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and most Members of Parliament happen to be on holiday.

It might …

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Tidy up the loose ends about *that* cycle route meeting

(Warning: this post contains facts and documentation. If you are of a nervous disposition and are easily confused by evidence you may wish to skip the post before posting the obligatory comment saying ‘It’s all spin!’)

There are a couple of loose ends to tidy-up from the non-emergency, non-Liberal Democrat meeting featuring a cycle lane that Harry Cole and Guido Fawkes got so wrong during the week.

Getting a story wrong is, in itself, something many bloggers (including myself) have experienced. But even after having the errors in the story pointed out to him, Harry Cole has continued to try to …

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Electoral Commission rejects expenses complaint against Chris Huhne

The Electoral Commission earlier today rejected one of the complaints made over Chris Huhne’s election expenses. It was the complaint made by two former Liberal Democrat councillors who claimed the party had spent more than the legal limit.

However, as I pointed out at the time:

For somewhere such as Eastleigh with local elections on the same day as the general election last year, campaign activities could have had to count against the constituency expense limit (Chris Huhne’s), the council ward expense limits, the general election national expense limit and even – in a few cases – the law says that

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Better news for Chris Huhne; more bad news for Guido

Here’s what Guido eagerly reported yesterday:

Hot on the revelation that Vicky Pryce has signed an affidavit confessing to have taken Chris Huhne’s points…

But today comes a complete volte-face:

Guido understands that both the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday have evidence that is not in the form of a “sworn affidavit” as was claimed yesterday by rivals the Telegraph.

I think that’s the closest Guido ever comes to saying, “I was wrong”.

Meanwhile, there appears to be some better news for Chris Huhne in today’s Telegraph, who are reporting that his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, is now refusing to confirm to the police …

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What Guido Fawkes didn’t tell you about the Eastleigh meeting last night

Yesterday Guido Fawkes excitedly blogged that “Eastleigh LibDems Holding Emergency Meeting … Guido has just heard they are holding an unscheduled meeting” and went on to claim in a subsequent post that Chris Huhne’s election expenses were “top of the agenda”.

Alas, Guido’s source is not exactly up to top-notch standards on this one.

Let’s take it one by one.

Was it an emergency meeting? No, it was a previously scheduled one.

Was it a Liberal Democrat meeting? No, it was a meeting of the Eastleigh and the Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Local Area Committees to which council officers and non-Liberal …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 38 Comments

Chris Huhne’s election expenses: once again, nothing to see here, move along

(UPDATE: This complaint was indeed rejected by the Electoral Commission. See also my more recent post about how Guido Fawkes’s source confused an election expense return with a cycle path.)

After all the excitable tweets over the weekend and the dramatic rhetoric about having been researching the topic for a year, you might have thought that when Guido Fawkes blogged today about Chris Huhne’s election expenses there’d be some solid evidence and a plausible complaint.

But no.

In fact, the complaint is so riddled with obvious errors that one’s tempted to say a hacker has snuck into Fawkes Towers and …

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Dealing with the political weather: three lessons to learn

Chatting recently to a Liberal Democrat colleague, I fear we sounded like a second-rate version of the Monty Python four Yorkshireman sketch. That there were not four of us, none of us are from Yorkshire and I’m no John Cleese probably didn’t help the imitation as we exchanged tales of past poll ratings (10%? I remember when we used to dream of 10%) and the travails of leading figures (Speeding? You were lucky – what about missing Parliamentary debates due to drink? Pah, that was luxury. What about conspiracy to murder?).

Exchanging stories of past problems can be fun – especially …

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Hmmm, Guido – forgotten to declare your interest?

It’s rare for Paul Staines, the founder of the Guido Fawkes blog, to express warm and positive views — yet today’s an exception, with the launch of the No2AV campaign’s website winning his plaudits:

Promising stuff from the No2AV campaign as their website goes live today, plenty more to come too apparently.

Indeed, so excited was Paul that he completely omitted to declare his own interest in No2AV’s website. Instead we have to turn to The Guardian to find out that it was designed by MessageSpace, whose majority shareholder — the company’s website tells us — is “Global and …

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Do Tweets win seats? – Micro-blogging and politics

Politicos use Twitter to communicate with voters, activists and the media. It’s sociable and fashionable. It’s useful but it has its limits.

And if this was Twitter I’d stop there, for the paragraph above is a 140-character summary of the popular micro-blogging service and its emerging role in politics. Having the luxury of a whole chapter, rather than a couple of lines, I can expound a bit. But sometimes I relish Twitter’s brevity and the way it gives me both the discipline and the excuse not to write at length.

Twitter was to the 2010 General Election what blogging had been to the previous one: novel, topical, conversational, personal. Blogging, in long and short form, is good for quickly spreading campaign messages, news and rumours and it’s freely accessible for anyone with an internet connection.

When I first subscribed to the service a couple of years ago, few news outlets or political candidates were tweeting, although the three main parties were already using it to link to party information and election results.

Over the past year, Twitter has been increasingly taken up by MPs and councillors, bloggers and journalists, even government departments, but crucially by thousands of people who are none of the above, but want to converse with them on an equal footing.

The parties continue to tweet, but now candidates, MPs and party leaders themselves are using the medium, with varying degrees of skill.

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Naughty, naughty, Guido – let’s check that poll again, shall we

Paul Staines, who blogs as Guido Fawkes, seems very keen indeed to persuade his readers that the public’s right behind him on his pursuit of William Hague over the allegation of improper activities with his former special advisor.

Keen enough, it appears, to take a rather inventive approach when it comes to interpreting the opinion polls.

When you ask a question in a poll and the result comes back as 46% yes, 12% no, most of us would take that as an indication that the public’s in the “yes” camp.

Not Staines.  He’s taken all the “don’t knows” – many of whom may …

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Paul Staines, William Hague and questions for bloggers

Allegations have recently been posted on Paul Staines’ blog Order Order (where he blogs under the pseudonym Guido Fawkes) about a relationship between William Hague and one of his special advisors, Christopher Myers.

These allegations have led to Myers resigning from his post and to the Hague’s releasing a full and frank statement which include revalations they would, I’m sure, have rather remained private about the problems they’ve had in their attempts to start a family.  The allegations have been categorically denied by William Hague.

We at Lib Dem Voice wish both the Hagues and Christopher Myers well.

Claims are often made for …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 36 Comments

Mad, mad, you’ve all gone mad

Look, I can understand a good TV performance boosting the Lib Dems in the polls.

I can just about understand having several young kids running up to me in the street, looking admiringly at the stakeboard poster and one saying, “Are you voting for that Nick Clegg? I like him!”

At a stretch I can even understand The Sun running a positive story about the Liberal Democrats.

But Guido producing a wholly positive film about Nick Clegg? That volcanic ash must be hallucogenic.

Posted in General Election | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Sour grapes, Guido?

Alas, poor Guido Fawkes. Blogger Paul Staines has posted so often, and with such utter certainty, claiming that there’s something dodgy about Sarah Teather’s expense claims that he seems just a mite reluctant to admit, “I was wrong”.

Which is why you won’t find him reporting today that Sarah Teather has been cleared by the Electoral Commission, instead insinuating that Sarah got off on a technicality.

For the benefit, therefore, of Paul and his readers, here’s what the Electoral Commission said following their review of the case:

… following the inquiries made during this stage, we have satisfied that

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Cameron TV meltdown hits YouTube

Yes, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: David Cameron’s bewildered, stumbling, confused, squirming, befuddled, painful TV interview with broadcaster Martin Popplewell is now available to view on YouTube – over 17,000 people have watched it to date.

LDV highlighted the footage late Tuesday. To give them their due, ConservativeHome didn’t shy away from it either.

The Tory blogger Iain Dale loyally attempted to gloss over Mr Cameron’s dire performance, desperately claiming “I think the inherent problem with the interview was that Cameron didn’t know if he was giving a print interview or a film interview”. Sure thing, Iain – I can see exactly how the confusion arose. After all which senior politician hasn’t wondered, when being interviewed two metres away from a three-person camera crew, “Is this being filmed?”

And Paul Staines’ right-wing Guido Fawkes blog decided to ignore it altogether. Quite right, Paul: much better to devote yourself to your forlorn campaign to persuade people Vince Cable doesn’t understand economics. Good luck with that one – I think your crusade has a way to go.

For those who haven’t yet seen it, then, here is the footage of David Cameron going into meltdown in front of the TV cameras:

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Daily View 2×2: 17 February 2010

It’s Wednesday 17th February and for me, like so many other Lib Dem activists, another day of delivering leaflets and knocking on doors (plus a Council meeting in the evening).

On this day in 1933 prohibition ended in the United States, and in 2003 London got a new congestion charge. There, wasn’t that interesting.

2 Lib Dem-related Stories

Lib Dem voters are the kinkiest

Thanks to Sara Scarlett for spotting this report in the Telegraph. There’s lots there on the sex lives of supporters of the three main parties, including:

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

LibLink … Mark Pack on Labour’s SnowStorm Plot

LDV’s co-editor Mark Pack was one of three bloggers asked by Channel 4 News for their take on today’s extraordinary bid by two former cabinet ministers to unseat the Prime Minister. You can watch Mark’s minute-long clip here. Here’s a quick excerpt as a taster:

Today’s events have all the makings of a fantastic political farce because if you were to launch a coup against the prime minister now is just about the worst time to do it.

“I guess it’s just desperation because Labour know that under Gordon Brown they are facing a very heavy election defeat and they

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Daily View 2×2: 21 December 2009

Morning, all, and welcome to the 355th day of the year, a date which marks the 21st anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, and the 47th anniversary of the British decision to buy nuclear missiles from the US. Today is also, you may like to know, the birthday of Thomas Becket, Jane Fonda and Tina Brown.

2 Must-Read Blog-Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:


And a very Merry Christmas to you too Eurostar & BA … (Lisa Harding)

So, to the people that run and work

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What does the future hold for British political blogging?

Predictions that the next general election will be the one in which the internet will make a huge impact have regularly come and gone. Post-Obama ready yourself for another such clutch of predictions, but underneath this punditry froth the internet has got on with quietly shifting the way politics works. It’s been more at the unglamorous organisational end (imagine trying to organise a campaign without email) than at the eye-catching systems-shattering dramatic end beloved of pundits, but it’s been a major change nonetheless.

Following in the footsteps of email, blogging has also established a firm place in the logistics of politics, even if its impact on the overall style and conduct of politics is less clear and less dramatic. Blogs have become a key news medium for people involved in or significantly interested in politics, they have become a key part of the flow of news to and from journalists and for some MPs and candidates they reach local audiences large enough to be a significant factor in their election efforts.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Paul Staines: not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy

A week ago, Damian McBride was still the Prime Minister’s chief media advisor, and LabourList’s Derek Draper was attempting to laugh off as blokeish banter the emails which implicated Number 10 in smears against senior Tories. But, then, we know what they say about a week in politics.

Paul Staines, sole author of the Guido Fawkes’ blog, has had a good week, given ample, respectable print space to repeat a central point he’s been making for years: that those political journalists who are part of the ‘lobby’ system have failed democracy:

Though the fourth estate may not have a formal

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Nick unveils his Plan for Reform on MPs’ expenses

Earlier today LDV reported on The Times’s splash that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg would be proposing that MPs should be forced to sell their second homes and return most of the profits to the taxpayer. In fact, his plans for reform of MPs’ expenses is far more far-reaching than that, and are published in full over at nickclegg.com, and covered here on the BBC.

Here’s Nick’s reasoning behind his Plan for Reform:

MPs’ Expenses, My Plan for Reform – Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

The ongoing controversy over the expenses system is having a hugely damaging

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Missing: one marked register

News via the Press Association:

The SNP demanded an inquiry after it emerged that a record of everyone who voted in last year’s Glenrothes by-election has gone missing.

The party had asked to see the marked registers from November’s crucial by-election – which resulted in a shock victory for Labour.

I’m not hugely surprised by this, as after the 2005 general election there were numerous complaints from people who tried to access the marked register for their constituency about the records being in a poor shape, delayed for long periods on in part missing. The rules then were that marked registers were …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Home Secretary to be cloned?

Guido Fawkes writes today that Jacqui Smith’s fingerprints have been taken away for analysis and potential copying:

Jacqui Smith gave a speech today at midday on ID cards to an audience invited by the Social Market Foundation, at the end of the event the glass she was drinking from during the Q & A was whisked away by a NO2ID sympathiser. This picture was taken this lunchtime – the glass is now undergoing a technical process at an undisclosed location. This will not only identify Big Jacqui’s fingerprints, it will allow them to create a plastic foil stamp that will

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Blears on blogging: bad timing and bad analysis?

Hazel Blears’ speech to the Hansard Society is attracting a fair amount of attention in the blogosphere today, perhaps not surprisingly given the inclusion of this paragraph:

This brings me to the role of political bloggers. Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a Samizdat style. The most popular blogs are rightwing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes. Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour government. Perhaps if there was a Tory government, all the

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

The curious case of Nadine Dorries’s website traffic

Reports of Nadine Dorries’s website traffic levels appear to greatly exaggerate the truth, but the Conservative MP has not been willing to put the record straight.

Earlier this month Bedford Today quoted Nadine Dorries as saying:

Having so many people visiting the site can be quite scary – according to Google I had 800,000 readers in July.

Google Analytics doesn’t provide a “readers” figure, and it’s therefore not clear exactly what her figure refers to (plus it is always possible either she made a slip of the tongue or the reporter got the phrase slightly wrong).

But let’s see how this figure might …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 14 Comments



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