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July 31 2011


Members of Parliament spend 1,000 hours a year on Twitter, are either "lurkers" or "obsessives"

Telegraph :: They send messages about cats, squidgy cake and Take That. And sometimes about politics. MPs are spending almost 1,000 hours a year on Twitter, the social networking site, according to research. The number of MPs tweeting has more than doubled from 111 in January last year to 275 today, and is expected to go on rising as more politicians sign up. Keen tweeters include Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. But David Cameron, the Prime Minister is famously anti-Twitter.

Continue to read David Harrison, www.telegraph.co.uk

July 24 2011


Not only NOTW - Hacking was endemic at the 'Mirror', says former reporter James Hipwell

Independent :: The phone-hacking story took a new and dramatic turn yesterday as James Hipwell, 45, and  former journalist on the Daily Mirror told The Independent that hacking at the Mirror was widespread and "seen as a bit of a wheeze". He said he would give evidence to a public inquiry into hacking ordered by David Cameron and headed by Lord Justice Brian Leveson.

Continue to read James Moore | Ian Burrell, www.independent.co.uk

July 20 2011


UK - David Cameron widens inquiry on media regulation to include the BBC and social media

Guardian :: Prime Minister David Cameron wants takeover rulings taken out of politicians' hands and Ofcom given power to act at earlier stage. Furthermore he has broadened the terms of the inquiry into the conduct of the media to include social media. PM Cameron was setting out the formal terms of reference of the inquiry to be led by Lord Justice Leveson, an appeal court judge. The inquiry has become something of a behemoth, leading Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat media spokesman, to assert he could not see how it could be completed within its timetable of a year.

Continue to read Patrick Wintour, www.guardian.co.uk

July 19 2011


Will David Cameron have to quite over phone-hacking scandal?

Political Betting :: There’s increased speculation from Iain Dale and The Telegraph that David Cameron may end up quitting over the fallout from his relations to Coulson, Brooks and Murdoch. Political Betting writes: "it’s worth considering who might takeover as leader of the Conservatives. The specific nature of this crisis hasn’t been reflected in the betting markets yet. I believe there is one candidate representing outstanding value. ... ."

At this point no one really knows how the crisis will further evolve and it is also hard to predict:

Guardian :: Speculation that the (phone-hacking) affair could eventually bring down David Cameron seems utterly fanciful - although anyone who claimed to be able to predict with confidence exactly where this will end would be a fool.

Continue to read www1.politicalbetting.com

Continue to read www.guardian.co.uk

July 18 2011


The Wrap: has Rupert Murdoch missed his exit point?

The Wrap :: In Europe, scandal-tainted British Prime Minister David Cameron seems to have become a cautionary tale for politicians who once would have courted Murdoch's favor and coveted his endorsement in seeking high office. In the U.S., it was U.S. Rep. Peter King, an arch-conservative, who called the FBI down on News Corp. last week to investigate widening allegations of phone-hacking aimed at the families of 9-11 victims. In the past two weeks, it appears that the 80-year-old Rupert Murdoch "lost the plot" missing his exit.

Continue to read Johnnie L. Roberts, www.thewrap.com

July 09 2011


James Murdoch 'could face prosecution' over his role in phone hacking scandal

Telegraph :: James Murdoch, the chairman of News International, could be prosecuted over the telephone hacking scandal, a former home secretary said. David Cameron also piled the pressure on James Murdoch by suggesting that he had “lots of questions that need to be answered”. Alan Johnson MP, the Labour home secretary from June 2009 to May 2010, suggested that Mr Murdoch could be charged under anti-snooping legislation. This was because Mr Murdoch had admitted in a statement on Thursday that he had approved out of court settlements to hacking victims.

Continue to read Christopher Hope | Katherine Rushton, www.telegraph.co.uk

July 08 2011


Who Is Ultimately Responsible for the U.K. Phone-Hacking Scandal?

The revelations coming out by the hour in the U.K. phone-hacking scandal are breathtaking. What began as supposedly a rogue operation by a gossip reporter and a private investigator have now allegedly widened to include many more editors, reporters, investigators, bribes to police and the shutdown of the best-selling newspaper in the English language -- the News of the World. (You can get more details from our MediaShift report as well as on today's podcast.)

The question is: Who is ultimately responsible for this scandal? The people who did the hacking, which was illegal, or their bosses who had knowledge of their actions? Should top executives at News International be axed? And what about the police and Parliamentary inquiries that may have ignored evidence of wrongdoing? Just how far does this escalate? Share your thoughts in the comments below and vote in our poll.

Who is ultimately responsible for the U.K. phone-hacking scandal?online survey

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

May 11 2010




Watch here or read here the first public speech of David Cameron as PM.

Remembering with other words Kennedy’s mantra: “Don’t ask what…”

A brilliant piece…  and with no teleprompter.

Very impressive.

And another great PA picture inside 10 Downing Street with perhaps “The Candidate” final words:

“And now what?”


April 30 2010


April 16 2010


Will the leader’s election debates engage first time voters?

Elizabeth Davies is a freelance journalist and recent graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She reviews the first of the Leaders’ Debates and asks: can the format engage young, first time voters? This post is also featured on her blog.

The BBC grandiosely declared Thursday 15 May to be “the day the skies went quiet”. It was not, unfortunately, because the entire population was glued to ITV’s broadcast of the first of the Leaders’ Debates. It was because a great plume of plane-endangering volcanic ash was infiltrating our airspace, just at a time when news organisations were doing their best to provide audiences with nothing but wall-to-wall debate ‘preview’ pieces.

I was not glued to my television, but only because I don’t have one. Like a significant fraction of the population – a fraction dominated by young first-time voters like myself – I chose to watch the debate online. Unfortunately the quality of ITV’s live stream made it difficult to remain captivated for long. It’s one thing to engage with social media to encourage meaningful online discussion, but quite another to slap so many cursory widgets on the page that no-one is able to load anything.

I’m not a great case study for a first-time voter, merely because I am such a political geek that I watched all of the US presidential primary debates live online back in those days before anyone had heard of Sarah Palin. That does, however, make me something of an expert in pre-election debates.

Last month, following BBC Three’s First Time Voters’ Question Time, I suggested that the Leaders’ Debates were the kind of media spectacle needed to engage young voters in the political process. On that front, ITV failed spectacularly.

Alastair Stewart was a poor choice of moderator, too little known among the country’s young voters to really fire them up. The studio, along with David Cameron, looked like it would drag us back to the 1980s, and the directing suggested one of the cameramen was frequently having a kind of spasm.

Those visual things matter, superficial as they are, because they make the difference in the split second that someone decides to check out what’s happening rather than flicking over to a Friends re-run. That difference is particularly pronounced when you’re trying to engage those who’ve never had the opportunity to vote before; those who are registered in record low numbers and who might proudly attest to not being interested in politics because it’s boring.

Aside from the lack of glamour, the format was a failure. The questions selected for the debate were insipid, formulaic and, frankly, boring. David Cameron told ITN that he worried the debates would be “slow and sluggish”. Never one to fail to deliver on a promise, Cameron himself ensured the debate was both slow and sluggish by displaying almost no personality whatsoever. Gordon Brown performed much better than I expected, but Ipsos Mori’s ‘worm’ showed dial groups just don’t warm to what he’s saying.

It was Nick Clegg’s debate, and the snap polls seem to back that up. He came across largely as a normal human being – impassioned, but not in a fake politician-type way, and as someone whose own frustrations with the current political situation reflected those of the electorate. It is plausible that a significant number of voters who claimed previously to be “undecided” will now be telling the pollsters they’re climbing into the Lib Dem camp. But if the remaining debates are similar to the first, how many of those will be 18 to 25 year olds?

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April 15 2010


November 06 2009


David Cameron to give Hugo Young lecture

Conservative leader David Cameron is to give the sixth annual Hugo Young memorial lecture on Tuesday 10 November, the Scott Trust has announced.

The lecture remembers the late Hugo Young, the Guardian’s senior political commentator and former chairman of the Scott Trust, who died in 2003. Last year Young’s papers were published in a book, extracts of which appeared on the Guardian. ‘His columns were like icebergs. Readers saw a sunlit tip of crystal argument. They may have guessed, but they never truly knew or saw, what lay beneath,’ wrote the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, in its foreword.

Last year’s lecture was given by Peter Mandelson and previous speakers include Gordon Brown and Jose Manuel Barroso.

“Hugo was one of the most brilliant and cherished journalists of his generation. We are delighted that the memorial lecture continues to be successful and to remind us of his enduring legacy,” said Liz Forgan, chair of the Scott Trust, in a release.

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