Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

This morning, in front of everyone, the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Tom Watson MP engaged in a bit of pushy-shovey (albeit virtually).

That conversation in full:

arusbridger: Daily Mail obssessed with idea of Guardian “putsch” (in collusion with BBC?). A question of media ethics, apparently. http://tiny.cc/7Wp3M

tom_watson: @arusbridger The Daily Mail are not the only people concerned. Many colleagues think you should report the news not make it.

arusbridger: @tom_watson er, so newspapers should stop writing editorials? Hmmm

tom_watson: @arusbridger Of course not but you have a unique status on the centre left. Why irritate your loyalists without allowing all sides a say?

arusbridger: @tom_watson so you didnt read Freedland or Milne or Bunting or McDonnell or Blunkett – all saying (in the Guardian) Brown should stay?

tom_watson: @arusbridger The only thing you haven’t done is publish his obituary. Be under no illusion that Labour readers think you have gone OTT.

arusbridger: @tom_watson love the thought of “labour readers” – as if they all think the same!

tom_watson: @arusbridger I know all of them in West Bromwich and they agree with me 😉 Love what you’ve done to paper but last week was too much.

arusbridger: @tom_watson Come into Guardian conference and debate it! 🙂

tom_watson: @arusbridger *gulps* Head into lion’s mouth. I gladly accept. Thank you.

After Watson accepted the invitation to the Guardian morning conference, which is a meeting of Guardian editors and journalists to discuss news  for the day, there has been increasing call for a live feed from the meeting. This has not yet been confirmed by the Guardian, but, thinking of the publicity, I can’t see that they won’t at least tweet it.


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So Michael Martin is the first speaker of the House of Commons to be forced out of office in 300 years. Should the Queen be worried about her ability to wear hats (well we beheaded the last one just after we got rid of the Speaker…)? Or now that he has stepped down will the focus be brought back to the MPs who shamelessly embezzled public money for their own ends?

But in the meantime we need a speaker and most people are wondering who will replace him. Now it is a truth universally acknowledged that we the public can only be interested in panel shows that involve raw emotion, unlikable, cartoonish characters and public humiliation. Followed by a public vote. Why, it’s the very essence of democracy, Solon, Cleisthenes and all those other toga wearers would be proud.

So I have created Britain’s Next Speaker, to be aired on BBC Four (because it’s classy). It’s Britain’s hunt to find the next HoC Speaker.

But who to be on the judging panel? You need just the right blend of smarm, familiar face, scathing put down, the one who no one is sure what their relevance is (even to reality itself, let alone reality TV), and  one who’s likely to cry at everything… It’s very tricky.

So I put it to Twitter, and below in a poll; find me judges and tell me who you want (after all as I just mentioned democracy is at the very heart of this exercise). And the results are in:

  • Phil Collins (Former speech writer to Tony Blair)          21%
  • Simon Cowell          13%
  • Armando Iannucci          13%
  • Thatcher          4%
  • Alistair Campbell          4%
  • Alan Duncan          4%

But the most popular category was:

  • Other         45% 

Including nominations for:

  • Alexandra Pullin (thanks)
  • Lily Allen
  • Clarkson
  • Rick Parfitt
  • David Mitchell
  • Kent Ertugrul
  • Daniel Hannan MEP
  • Tina Fey
  • Rick Astley
  • Noel Edmonds

So thanks for all your votes, I’ll let you know when BBC Four comes calling.

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