Is the Guardian worse than it used to be?

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My feeling is: Yes, somewhat. But Regular Readers will recall that I am a curmudgeon who doesn't like New Things. So do they really want to agree with me here? Plus, we do have (somewhere round here) a house Guardian expert whose opinion would be interesting.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Some readers might, conceivably, like to know that the Guardian (formerly Manchester Guardian) is a UK daily newspaper which has for several decades been the main print source / gathering-point, as it were, for those on 'The Liberal Left'. Many UK ILE posters, I imagine, know it very well and have done for many years, so I thought there might be some opinions around.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I like the Guardian now more than I have for years. Perhaps the restyle of the mag helped, but generally the Burchill thing works for me and I haven't noticed a drop in quality elsewhere. The Guide has always been shite (and I say that working for PA Listings) but the rest seems cool. Can you specify what's gone wrong for you?

chris, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I hate the Guardian - particularly the G2 section, with it's crappy 'think' pieces, terrible arts reviews and smug phillistinism - and have bought it every weekday and Saturdays for at least the last fifteen years. Because, being a bleeding heart liberal and a news junkie, I couldn't bring myself to read any of the other rags (morning papers are somehow part of my going to work coping ritual.) I flirted with the Independent for a while - and the IOS still has the great film critic David Thomson writing for 'em - but I found it to be even more boring than the Guardian. I suspect that I am far from alone in all this, and that the Guardian survives on the unearned good will of the liberal middle classes.

Funnily enough, I quite like the Guide, partly because Joe Queenan and Byron Coley sometimes write for it, partly because it means I no longer have to buy that useless piece of toss Time Out anymore.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I've never actually bought a copy of the Guardian, if I did buy a newspaper I'd get the Telegraph, it has a good weather section, obituaries, world news briefs and I like the sports section.

james e l, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I suppose the short answer is 'Trivialization'. One has to be a tad careful using a word like that, because, for instance,

1. The simplification of the accusation may just echo what it asserts about the target (just as 'Dumbing Down' is a dumb, dull phrase);

2. If I don't like Triviality, why don't I read nothing but 10-page reports from the former Yugoslavia? It would be hypocritical of me to say that I simply wanted them to be SERIOUS and SOLEMN and RESPONSIBLE all the time. No, that's not it.

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. Today's Lara Croft piece was just the latest of a million examples. It feels (the terms are problematic here, I know) JOURNALISTIC in a bad way - trite, unconsidered, full of crowd- pleasing Received Ideas - rather than JOURNALISTIC in a good way (that is: dogged, resourceful, brave, mentally agile, snappy and what have you).

It's the world of second-hand Lifestyle phrases that bugs me. The way that adults can still write a phrase like "*that* dress" and not hang their heads in shame.

A rider to all my bile, though, is that my previous, more impressed impressions of the Guardian may just reflect youthful impressionability. (Sentence!) Maybe the same kind of crap used to impress me that now feels rubbishy, faux-zeitgeisty and embarrassing? Maybe, but I suspect it's a bit of both.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Andrew L: I know what you mean - the Labour party factor of Nowhere Else To Go? (And brand loyalty, or whatever you want to call it.) There's actually a Verso book out (yet?) which makes a massive attack on the Guardian as home of neo-conservative (ie New Labour) ideas. I find this rather unconvincing and overstated. Even offensive, come to think of it.

I agree about Queenan too. But most of all, I agree about Thomson. There's almost no point having a thread about Thomson, because people who know what they think about him already know it all and would just send in superlatives.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Andrew L, and indeed everyone: cut em loose and let em drown in their own smug laziness!! I stopped buying it a YEAR ago FOREVER and now buy NO NEWSPAPER and am FREE. (Actually I too buy saturday for the guide — and for the food page in the mag, but the mag redesign is utter shit, and the recipes are in fact on long recycle: eg I have seen Lady Llandower's Duck three times now, always copied (of course) from Elizabeth David Salt, Spices and Aromatics...) The age of the newspaper is dead.

mark s, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Something has clearly gone wrong with G2: the other week they ran a page-long feature on the phenomenon of "Jumping the shark" (referring to that moment when a long-running tv fave finally loses the plot completely, apparently derived from a late episode of Happy Days where Fonzie, yes, jumped a shark). This was all well and good (except it was inane and ripped off from a website [this is a whole other can of worms]), but they ran an almost IDENTICAL story in the Guide not two weeks previously. Do they not read their own paper, or did they simply think the readers wouldn't notice?

What the paper still has going for it: George Monbiot's column, the Diary, Steve Bell, giving review space to Ians Sansom and Penman, and the tv columns of Nancy Banks-Smith. (When N B-S finally pops her clogs I will have to think very hard about buying the paper.)

What is leading the paper ever closer to the abyss: consistently terrible pop coverage (honorable exceptions: Maddy Costa, Betty Clarke); the fatuous new Saturday mag (Zoe Ball on dressing? match the celebrity with the pet? that awful woman talking about words that should be banned??); Charlotte bloody Raven.

stevie t, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. (Pinefox)

I agree with you there. They sucker you in with the G2 front cover (and the masthead of the main paper), but when you get to read the cover story it often appears cobbled together and lightweight. I imagine it must be difficult to fill that space with high quality stories day in day out though.

David, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Stevie: agree about Steve Bell, of course. I mean, if only for the sake of 1981 and all that. But actually, he draws and paints better now.

I actually like Peter Preston's awkward, staccato opinion pieces, come to think of it. But not the pompous ones of Hugo Young. Freedland is sometimes good at summing political issues up, but usually he 'sums up' too much - there's too much glibness in the way he marshals it all. (I admit again, though, that it's easy - even glib - to call someone glib.)

Penman strikes me as a red herring. I can see that he doesn't do that to you, cos you have some kind of investment in his career. I agree about Sansom (great left-back, mean penalty, blah blah) - in fact I think that the whole Saturday book reviews section is quite possibly the best feature of the paper. EXCEPT of course the footy. Heroes? How could I forget David Lacey?

BUT I think that you are wrong about N B-S. It doesn't surprise me that older folk make that judgement about her; it does rather surprise me coming from you. She has skills, I guess, but she's terribly repetitive; uses the same lines on the same topics year in year out. It's all too - yes - glib and easy, while dressed up to look aged and thus wise.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I agree with much of what's been said. After Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy went, it didn't seem as essential anymore. The Observer's the same - just dear old Phil Hogan that still makes me go down the shops Sunday morning

jamesmichaelward, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My parents used to get a subscription to the Guardian shipped to them for the first few years they were in the States, because they couldn't trust the US Media. The Guardian just isn't the same when it's not printed on that semi-transluscent airmail paper.

I only read it for the Guide and the job listings. Not that either has been particularly helpful lately... ;-)

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Steve Bell is a GOD but apart from that I read it largely out of having nowhere else to go and a worry that I'll become totally detached from the world if I don't read any newspapers at all. I think it might have marginally improved with the loss of Messrs. Hardy and Steel though. Everything they wrote was just as predictable and smug as any of the other writers mentioned above, only with a more left wing stance.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't read anything except the Spectator. Hey Chris, if you work for PA Listings then that means you're in the same building as me.

tarden, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

The Guide last week (or was it the week before) had that BRILLIANT article slamming not just the Strokes, but the entire music hype industry... VERY funny because it was so clearly written by an insider who had been participating in the music hype game for so long.

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'd love to comment, but those Observer commissions are keeping me out of the poor house. Anything appearing in the Guardian or the Obs by my deepest and dearest friends is obviously genius...

Mark Morris, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

As bad as the Guardian may have become, it's still better than the so-called "best" American newspapers. Or, if you think it couldn't get worse, it could end up becoming The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Reynard's right about the amount of trivial toss that gets in there. Mark's also right about the decline of the newspaper in general. Reynard's spot on re. New Labour - the Guardian's frequent criticism of some Blairite attitudes is one of the great things about it.

There's a lot of irritating stuff, yes. My favourite columnist is George Monbiot, by a mile. Something I like about the Independent when I do get it is that its liberalism is less metropolitan and more about the common good. Needless to say, though, the Guardian's series of articles on public service under that very title were awesome.

The Hemulen Who Loved Silence, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

OK, agree with the Hemulen re. The Common Good.

Today's G2 seems designed to add fuel to my (f)ire: one page of 'Style' after another, including a column on Why We're So Disappointed That Madonna Employs A Stylist.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Although Toynbee's piece on Labour post-election is admirable.

blue veils and golden sands, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Broadly I agree with her, yes. It feels a wee bit ironic given her immediately-pre-election pieces telling everyone how urgent it was to overcome apathy and vote for the people she's now criticizing. (But actually I think she was right both times.)

Also good in Guardian: John Patterson re. cinema.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

six years pass...

oh god, ask hadley today is just... tooth-grinding.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (fourteen years ago) link


Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (fourteen years ago) link

"At what age is a man too old to wear band T-shirts?"

Martin McCall, by email

"About 15 - that young enough for you, Martin? And to follow one rhetorical question with several more, what in God's name is the point of band T-shirts anyway? To show your allegiance to a band? Do you think anyone else cares? To impress onlookers with your esoteric musical knowledge? See previous reply. To make people stare at your bony chest? Again, I refer you to the first answer. To show that you once attended a live gig? Wow, like, a pair of golden headsets to the guy in the Nirvana '91 T-shirt. In case you happen to bump into the lead singer on the street, he sees that the two of you are kindred souls and therefore invites you to join his band and you then go on the road and have all the manly bonding sessions followed by groupies that your heart could desire? OK, I'll give you that one, although this does suggest that you still harbour the fantasy that you might bump into Joey Ramone in Waterstone's.

"As for ladies in band T-shirts, give me a fricking break. First, gals, a badly cut, poorly made, oversized T-shirt is good for nothing other than wearing to bed and the gym. Second, too often women who wear band T-shirts appear to be going for what we shall call Groupie Chic. It is a style amply modelled by Kate Moss in recent years, and can pretty much be summed up as skinny faded black jeans, ankle boots, a ripped band T-shirt and a cropped fur jacket. In other words, a girlified version of Marc Bolan's or Keith Richards' wardrobe, as though the woman has been so busy, um, sleeping on the band bus she hasn't had time to clean her clothes, so she's now wearing ones belonging to her musical companion. This column has no time for such nonsense."

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, because women have *no* interest in music whatsoever except for sleeping with musicians. What CENTURY is this cretin from?

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I think I stopped wearing band T-shirts by the time I was 23. It wasn't necessarily a conscious move tho. I doubt I will ever wear one again tho - I guess it seems lame unless it's an old obscure or overlooked thus hip act (even this I dunno about). I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them. Does Matt DC still have that Save Ferris T?

I only want to sleep with musicians if they are hot as they are (their musical ability is pretty irrelevant in fact).

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:29 (fourteen years ago) link

dear teh grauniad - a long time ago/we used to be friends...

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

It went downhill after I left.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:33 (fourteen years ago) link

or were you PUSHED?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:35 (fourteen years ago) link

heh. (sorry alex, no harm intended)

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:36 (fourteen years ago) link

i was being harsh really. i don't care what's on other people's t-shirts that much. just trying to work out why i stopped wearing/wouldn't wear band t-shirts myself.

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Any t-shirt which isn't plain white clearly sucks that's why.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:38 (fourteen years ago) link

i couldn't agree less

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (fourteen years ago) link

I still wear band t-shirts if I like the band. Why not? I don't *define* myself or my personality by my music tastes any more, I haven't done that since I was about 18. But that's not the same thing as wearing a band t-shirt.

I suppose the fashion journalist in discussion cannot fathom the idea that clothes are just something you put on, rather than a definition of or statement about your personality.

This is definitely something that happens as you age - or rather, has happened to me as I aged. There's a subtle difference between Statement Clothes and just things you put on.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:41 (fourteen years ago) link

why else would you buy a band t-shirt if not as a statement or definition of personality?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I didn't know it was a band t-shirt okay?

Matt DC, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (fourteen years ago) link

because you're cold xp

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (fourteen years ago) link

In the past I've usually just bought them as a keepsake of a gig I've enjoyed. The piece tracer quotes is idiotic fluff, obv. I'd be embarrased to admit I'd written that.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Because you like the design? Because you like the music? Because it was given to you (this is where most of mine come from)? Because it was a souvenier?


Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (fourteen years ago) link

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

given to you = not you buying

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:48 (fourteen years ago) link

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

No, plus I've only ever bought them @ gigs.

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

Probably yeah, but w/smaller bands there's also the knowledge that in buying it, yr helping to supposrt the tour.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:50 (fourteen years ago) link

i actually bought a comets on fire t-shirt solely because the design was so awesome. (it was at a gig, but they hadn't come on stage yet.) then i heard the music and i liked that too. i suppose if i hadn't liked their music, or thought it was boring, it would have posed a problem.

a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless so that alex in nyc doesn't stalk and kill him, bought a huge iron maiden patch when he was 14 and sewed it across the shoulders of his denim jacket. he had never heard a note of iron maiden, but he wound up becoming the biggest iron maiden fan i know, and even sung in a band later, where his vocal style was almost inseparable from bruce dickinson's.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (fourteen years ago) link

my take on this: do not read hadley freeman.

this resolution made some time ago, stands as strong today as it ever did.

it's a crass and deliberately invidious piece of writing. such an attitude, if sincerely held, could be turned around on pretty much ANY choice of clothing. so forgeddaboudit

Alan, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (fourteen years ago) link

the last band t-shirt i bought - robyn!

alan i can't help myself, i know i'm sick and need help.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

is there a thread for best band t-shirts? must see

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Taste is something that I have. It does not define me. Clothes are something I wear. The statement I am making is "I don't really care about clothes any more."

If I'm going to make a statement about clothes, I'll wear a bright green paisley jacket to a dronerock festival where everyone else is in leather.

I suppose my Hawkwind t-shirt is a statement, it says "ha ha, I'm wearing a Hawkwind t-shirt, I care nothing for fashion, I am wearing the shirt of a band so deeply uncool you can suck my left one because I love them!" But it's certainly not a statement saying that I want to f*ck any of Hawkwind or that I have a musician boyfriend whose Hawkwind t-shirt I'm borrowing, which is the assumption of that article.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (fourteen years ago) link

> I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them.


> you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

EAR t-shirt with the putney on the front = great. EAR live = terrible. (EAR on CD = ok, plus pram and stereolab were supporting)

koogs, Monday, 3 September 2007 15:03 (fourteen years ago) link


Tracer Hand, Monday, 11 April 2022 16:31 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

This is grim.

Former Labour press chief Alastair Campbell has written an open letter in this week's The New European asking why politicians can’t be more like Jurgen Klopp.

👉 Campbell also says he can see the Reds boss is 'much more than just a football man.'

— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) April 27, 2022

the pinefox, Thursday, 28 April 2022 10:38 (one month ago) link

Why have they done Klopp as the donkey from shrek? Mind this is the same art department that did Starmer as Bond.

calzino, Thursday, 28 April 2022 10:47 (one month ago) link

Take it to the Ronaldinho Bottle Opener thread

Long enough attention span for a Stephen Bissette blu-ray extra (aldo), Thursday, 28 April 2022 15:04 (one month ago) link

it seems a bit at odds to be paired with an article where Campbell is suggesting that Klopp possesses the competent managerialism🤢 skillz to be a top sensible, but also it's correct because they are all donkeys!

calzino, Thursday, 28 April 2022 15:27 (one month ago) link

Dining Across The Divide strikes polarisation gold yet again!

— Elvis Buñuelo (@Mr_Considerate) May 5, 2022

it's a very interesting match up here, one of the white middle-class graun-reader blokes doesn't wear spectacles, the other does.

calzino, Thursday, 5 May 2022 13:00 (one month ago) link

'throw one out there for the Greens'

if he actually used those words, this is a very bad start.

the pinefox, Thursday, 5 May 2022 14:29 (one month ago) link

I don't like the sound of his voting booth etiquette, he should be arrested!

calzino, Thursday, 5 May 2022 14:47 (one month ago) link

Tug one out 4 Winston McKenzie

very interesting piece by (Bananaman Begins), Thursday, 5 May 2022 15:16 (one month ago) link

Charles Booker, a Black former state lawmaker who emerged as a powerful voice against racial justice in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020, won the Democratic Senate primary in the state.

Give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was meant to be “against racial injustice” but still might want to nip that one in the bud.

recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Wednesday, 18 May 2022 12:03 (one month ago) link

Want to see where Britain’s political future will be decided? Head to Milton Keynes
John Harris

the pinefox, Monday, 30 May 2022 08:01 (three weeks ago) link

Can't be bothered to drive more than an hour up the A1 is it now? Looking forward to his pieces on Watford next year.

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 30 May 2022 09:34 (three weeks ago) link

guardian branching out into hourly updates of what Johnny Depp happens to be doing at that particular moment

soref, Friday, 3 June 2022 10:29 (three weeks ago) link

tbf it was news to me when i found out this ludicrous cunt and domestic abuser is "on tour"

hello duckness my old friend (Noodle Vague), Friday, 3 June 2022 11:09 (three weeks ago) link

Must be Sunday! Leaving the ludicrous message aside, wtf is this indigestible word salad?

In order to succeed in the rapidly changing world, moving to a net zero and digital future, we need an audacious plan to take the lead in the industries of the future so we can sell goods and services that deliver the carbon-neutral world everyone needs and provide good jobs in every part of the country. Labour’s bold climate investment pledge is just that.

Never, ever let the politicians draft the articles themselves!

the classic emerson lake & palmer line-up (Matt #2), Sunday, 5 June 2022 00:31 (two weeks ago) link

"Labour’s bold climate investment pledge"

just a lonely women talking bout things that don't exist

calzino, Sunday, 5 June 2022 00:55 (two weeks ago) link

I'm sort of looking forward to finding out how ravaged the environment can get while these people cling to the idea of a green capitalism

hello duckness my old friend (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 5 June 2022 07:16 (two weeks ago) link

"Our country has always led the way as a measured and decent example to the world", although there was that time we colluded with France and Israel to bomb Egypt and attack Port Said in order to regain control of the Suez Canal. That was a while back, though. And there's something queasy about name-dropping "my good friend Jo Cox" but I'm sure she means well.

"If 10 years ago we had invested in our own capacity for 5G technology, say, we would not find ourselves at the mercy of Huawei and the Chinese Communist party today" - are we at the mercy of Huawei? Isn't 5G technically a private sector thing? The government assigns the spectrum but the actual exploitation of the technology is up to the private sector, which can still remember the massive overbidding on 3G. Would higher-speed internet really make us independent from China?

I mean, technically this is party communication broadcast by The Guardian, as a contractual obligation, so it's not really The Guardian's voice. Wasn't there a chap a while back who was raising his dogs with a vegan diet? Not necessarily a bad idea, but it inevitably led to a flood of comments about how he was monster because he owned a pet. The constant tension between the environmental columnists and the people in the Comments section who want to reduce the human population with forced sterilisation is hilarious.

Didn't one of the columnists turn out to be working for Harvey Weinstein? The one who looked like Joe Strummer.

Ashley Pomeroy, Sunday, 5 June 2022 20:36 (two weeks ago) link

Labour comms seems to be fixated on presenting the party as being more reactionary, more conservative, more authoritarian, more committed to hardcore fiscal austerity than the Conservatives. Powell is probably one of the worst people in the shadow cabinet in terms of trying to spin this as something that might appeal to the electorate, because she can only do platitudes in series and is a complete fuckwit. It's so fucking empty and bleak it makes Cameron's feigning of being a One Nation Tory 10 years ago actually look more hopeful and progressive.

calzino, Sunday, 5 June 2022 20:58 (two weeks ago) link

I may be wrong but I think Boris Johnson is done for. I can’t see his Tory cult surviving
Polly Toynbee

What is the point of a columnist offering such an opinion with the qualification 'I may be wrong' ??

My column tomorrow: 'I may be wrong but I think Polly Toynbee is wrong, though she could be right - we'll have to wait and see!'

the pinefox, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:42 (two weeks ago) link

Polly Toynbee being right would be like Charlie Brown hoofing the football into orbit

hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits), Monday, 6 June 2022 10:44 (two weeks ago) link

When will Top Gear get back to its best? No time soon

Ward Fowler, Monday, 6 June 2022 10:59 (two weeks ago) link

Is there a Guardian style guide that says all melty opinion pieces must mention how unpopular Corbyn was? I hate-read these things tensing for the inevitable.

the classic emerson lake & palmer line-up (Matt #2), Monday, 6 June 2022 12:16 (two weeks ago) link

They have found a Tory staffer who reads like a Guardian columnist, and is therefore a good Tory.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 6 June 2022 14:31 (two weeks ago) link

A lot of them don’t have especially good non-political careers to fall back on, so being an MP is all they have.

secret Tory staffer describes a lot of the 17-19 intake as "low quality" because they aren't highly paid second job MPs!

calzino, Monday, 6 June 2022 14:57 (two weeks ago) link

it's a good time to make a stand for one's principles

Asked about the conduct described in the Sue Gray report, Boris Johnson told MPs: "I'd do it again."

— Patrick Maguire (@patrickkmaguire) June 6, 2022

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Monday, 6 June 2022 16:16 (two weeks ago) link

secret Tory staffer describes a lot of the 17-19 intake as "low quality" because they aren't highly paid second job MPs!

A lot of awful northerners who can't speak properly, is what he meant to say.

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Monday, 6 June 2022 17:12 (two weeks ago) link

it also sounds like they are saying that if they were more corrupt and greedy and less satisfied with the lot of the humble constituency MP then they'd be more likely to hold the government to account, rather than keeping a low profile.

calzino, Monday, 6 June 2022 17:33 (two weeks ago) link

I will be joining this boycott. and I would advise all trans, non-binary, LGBTQ+ people and allies to join this. The @Guardian should not be publishing fact-free mendacity about trans people in the way it does. I was beginning to think the paper was...

— Protect Trans Kids 🏳️‍⚧️ (@natachakennedy) June 9, 2022

xyzzzz__, Friday, 10 June 2022 10:40 (two weeks ago) link


Starmer’s allies say people should not underestimate the challenges he has faced since become leader: mending shattered party morale, fixing the antisemitism problem, and struggling to get Labour’s message across during the pandemic.

“I think he doesn’t get enough credit for segueing out of Corbynism without being pulled into a betrayal narrative,” said one senior party figure. “The membership know what he’s trying to do. He’s taken them on a journey and they’re now his members and they’re his people.”

the pinefox, Saturday, 11 June 2022 09:25 (two weeks ago) link

i stand in solidarity with the trans journalists who have expressed disgust over recent editorial decisions by the guardian.

i have pulled my upcoming pride article with them, as a cis ally it’s my responsibility to work towards enacting change. sending love x

— buy my book, link in bio 🔪 (@sharandhaliwal_) June 10, 2022

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 11 June 2022 09:57 (two weeks ago) link

Kieth is such a smooth operator that apart from the 100000+ members that cancelled their debit/cut their cards or got purged, they are on a journey and barely even noticed his pivot towards a depressingly vacuous brand of politics that is even more negative and unappealing than 2nd term to late blairite Labour (austerity, racism, authoritarianism, ...etc). lol there was a type out there that was enthusiastically "his people" but now they've had their head turned by another bland PLP centre-right machine politician cos he's taller than him or more *talented* or something like that

calzino, Saturday, 11 June 2022 10:11 (two weeks ago) link

“I think he doesn’t get enough credit for segueing out of Corbynism without being pulled into a betrayal narrative,”

this is maybe the stupidest thing i've ever read

Armenian Idol (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 11 June 2022 12:09 (two weeks ago) link


the pinefox, Saturday, 11 June 2022 12:14 (two weeks ago) link

From the same article:

In the meantime, as one shadow minister put it, “I think we’re all a bit puzzled, really. Everyone wants to help and wants to make it succeed, but how do we do that?”

The puzzlement of people who stand for nothing and believe in nothing, wondering why potential Labour voters don't display the same levels of Blairite vacuousness in their own worldviews.

the classic emerson lake & palmer line-up (Matt #2), Saturday, 11 June 2022 12:28 (two weeks ago) link


the Graun will uncritically quote anything from seasoned old bullshit merchants in the PLP, no matter how implausible and stupid it is. Most of their more senior writers built their careers on doing a lot of this. But also it says they don't really think that the 10k per week members Labour were haemorrhaging at various points of his leadership is part of any narrative, because they simply don't count as people.

calzino, Saturday, 11 June 2022 13:15 (two weeks ago) link

I’m fed up with discussions positing that various cohorts of voters are more ‘real’ than others.

put a VONC on it (suzy), Saturday, 11 June 2022 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

the realness vibe is the essence of Nu Lab's patronising, social worker/missionary excuse system

Armenian Idol (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 11 June 2022 15:53 (two weeks ago) link

when i started at SureStart i piped up in an early team meeting that we weren't fucking missionaries and the point was to support people not rescue them

it didn't really play, sadly

Armenian Idol (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 11 June 2022 15:54 (two weeks ago) link

"Experts say that no matter how righteous, extremist protests are risky: they may turn people against the cause"

i can't think of a better epitaph for the guardian

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 11 June 2022 23:40 (two weeks ago) link

tbh, I don’t think this is a great outcome if we’re looking at journalism having baseline standards.

Cadwalladr accepts that the meaning of her words was defamatory. She accepts that the defamatory claim was untrue. If she repeated it again today, she’d be guilty of libelling Banks.

Her defence is that there was a public interest justification for what she intended to say, rather than what she said.

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Monday, 13 June 2022 09:57 (one week ago) link

My reaction is more to do with that vile creature than Carole. She's not exactly a model to follow.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 13 June 2022 10:14 (one week ago) link

What seems to have happened here is that Banks overplayed his hand. He could not demonstrate significant distress or damage, and by pursuing the case beyond Cadwalladr's apology and retraction, he strengthened the 'public interest' defence.

— Elvis Buñuelo (@Mr_Considerate) June 13, 2022

xyzzzz__, Monday, 13 June 2022 10:37 (one week ago) link

Looks like Banks will appeal.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 13 June 2022 10:38 (one week ago) link

not to me he won't

Armenian Idol (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 June 2022 16:49 (one week ago) link

It amazes me that in the face of such a fascistically evil policy that self-important posh graun liberals are affecting the view that it's all about them. Well no it doesn't really surprise me that much, but it amazes me the way they seem not very good at masking what awful fucking people they are when UK govt is almost literally doing a version of the Madagascar Plan and rather than talk about the human cost of this, this is ALL ABOUT THEM!

calzino, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 22:54 (one week ago) link

lol they changed the title

— Mimi "means ear in Japanese" McGann (@MimiMcGann) June 15, 2022

calzino, Thursday, 16 June 2022 00:53 (one week ago) link


“I have absolutely no illusions in the Guardian, none whatsoever. My mum brought me up to read the Guardian. She said, ‘It’s a good paper you can trust’. You can’t. After their treatment of me, I do not trust the Guardian.”

— Media Lens (@medialens) June 22, 2022

Apparently the Guardian is worse than it used to be.

the pinefox, Thursday, 23 June 2022 09:12 (two days ago) link

On the subject of it being "all about them" I'm reminded of this piece from many years ago:

"*I just came back from my annual yoga retreat high up a forested Italian hill. All there is to hear in this delightful spot is the onomatopoeic call of the hoopoe and the oddly strangulated cry of whatever raptor it is that likes to swoop over the valley. ... It was into this idyll that I crashed - I and my mobile phone and my urgent hackish need to redraft a very long article on the state of the BBC, a redraft necessitated by George Osborne’s decision in the 8 July budget to land the corporation with the cost of licence fees for the over-75s, previously footed by the government.*"

There is in fact a "yoga holidays" section:

Flicking through the writer's content I'm surprised to see that they didn't write about their annual yoga holiday every again. I'm also reminded that these people - these people - have to write two pieces a month, one of which can be some guff about the correct orientation of toilet roll. It's just a vehicle to move money from the Guardian's fund into the pockets of the editor's friends, isn't it? As a reward for fighting the good fight. The opinion section at least.

The resulting piece was presumably this, which to be fair is a long, complex, sourced, well-researched thought piece of a type that would utterly defeat me:

Ashley Pomeroy, Thursday, 23 June 2022 20:00 (two days ago) link

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