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 General Nominees, advised by Paul Staines”.

Forgetting to declare your own interest in a product that you’re praising — sounds like just the sort of thing the Guido Fawkes website should investigate.

** To help the Yes! to Fairer Votes campaign click here. **

PS: here’s our declaration of interest — Lib Dem Voice carries advertising sold by MessageSpace.

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25 Comments

  • Seems like Guido needs to give his little helper a slap, oh and a haircut while he’s at it too.

  • Andrew Suffield 12th Jan '11 - 9:09pm

    In the Interest of all things being equal,

    Protip: this site does not take an “equal” position on “yes” and “no” to AV.

  • The tired lies on the NO2AV website make me feel so frustrated. I suppose I’d better get used to that quickly.

  • Why not link to no2Av? Because we don’t want to help the No campaign out in any way thanks very much. LDV is pretty well index linked so a link to a site will help its search rankings.

  • Matthew Huntbach 13th Jan '11 - 10:41am

    I’ve read the No2AV site. It can be summarised as follows:


    Der, my brain hurts. I don’t understand all this complicated sums stuff. I’m thick me, and proud of it. And I hate the LibDems.

  • Matthew Huntbach 13th Jan '11 - 10:43am

    Admittedly, “Der, my brain hurts. I don’t understand all this complicated sums stuff. I’m thick me, and proud of it. And I hate the Liberals. And I love guns” serves the Republican Party pretty well in the US.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 13th Jan '11 - 1:01pm

    Guido not declaring his interests – you have to be joking! They are and always have been making money for himself, debauchery and everything that is politically incorrect, and I see little evidence of him having ben other than honest as to his interests.

  • I suppose that Harry Cole should have said “The no2AV website is designed by MessageSpace. My boss has an interest in them”.

    But that is pretty boring and not in the style of the Guido website. Still … I suppose it would have been good form.

  • The No2AV website is a poor piece of work, although I suspect it will convince many people and will obviously be welcomed by those who think the present system is just fine. It’s claim that under FPTP “everyone’s vote is equal” is laughable and easily refuted.

    But not everyone who dislikes AV is opposed to genuine reform. Examples are the av2011.co.uk and Fairvote Canada websites. The 1998 Jenkins Commission report was certainly pro-reform and (with one dissenting member) suggested something called AV Plus which would have combined AV with top-up lists to add proportionality – yet even they were very negative about AV “on its own” as now proposed.

  • Matthew Huntbach 14th Jan '11 - 12:15pm


    But not everyone who dislikes AV is opposed to genuine reform

    A rather obvious message. Most people who want electoral reform dislike AV because it is only a fairly minor reform, correcting one anomaly in FPTP but not solving many other problems. But AV is all that’s on offer in the referendum, and votes against it are bound to be seen as votes against any reform of FPTP rather than votes against AV because it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    Isn’t there anyone capable of countering the ludicrous claims in the NO2AV site? For example, the one about LibDem voters getting their votes counted twice when their candidate is eliminated and Labour and Tory votes only getting counted once. I mean, der, NO, all votes are counted again in the numbers, it’s just that the Labour and Tory votes don’t change so you don’t have to go through the ballot papers again. Are there really people in public life so innumerate, that they would sign up to a site like NO2AV which publicly shows them up as such?

    As for the NO2AV claim about FPTP being so good because it gives us clear one-party government, well it didn’t in 2010, but let us recall what it really means. It means that those who sign up to NO2AV are saying the main thing wrong with the current government is that it is NOT TORY ENOUGH. Any Labour person who signs up to NO2AV is signing up to support Cameron being PM with the main thing to worry about being his right-wing pushing him further that way. That’s what NO2AV want for us – extreme right-wing government even if most of the people don’t want it because they think an unrepresentative extremist government is better than a coalition.

    Are these arguments really so hard to make as to justify them not being made yet, because I haven’t see them being made anywhere? Or will it be like Clegg in the 2010 general election – you kept thinking “Ah, he’s saving the best lines till last, he’ll give us the knockout punch in the last debate” and then “Oh, what happened – ah, he must be saving it to a barn-storming eve-of-poll speech” and then “oh, was that it?” as the voters who thought we looked promising at the start trickled away when it came to the actual votes in the ballot box because we missed so many good vote-winning lines.

  • @Ma\tthew Huntbach
    It isn’t that AV is only a minor improvement on FPTP. It’s that AV replaces one anomoly with another.

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