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  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
30 March 2007

Not Guido judgement…

Guido Fawkes comes unstuck, the portable nature of a Home Office divided and what Mr Miliband plans

By Owen Walker

For those who missed it, a battle of wits ensued on Newsnight on Wednesday night where representatives from the three main mediums of political debate locked horns. Referee Jeremy Paxman, chaired a debate on the strengths of political bloggers. On his left was The Guardian’s associate editor, Michael White, while on the screen opposite, shrouded in darkness, sat the blogosphere’s representative, Guido Fawkes.

Guido, whose rise from anonymous agitator to mainstream dissident has been rapid, had made a video on blogging where he interviewed the likes of Adam Boulton and Nick Robinson. Both of whom bring their broadcast professionalism to the web – an exception to the general blogospherical rule. Robinson’s retort to Guido’s film was simple: “Grow up.”

YouTube links for the interesting interview and entertaining discussion can be found over at Chicken Soup, who comments: “He makes some good points and asks worthy questions. It’s just a shame it was Guido asking them. It’s like Prince Harry lecturing someone about their drinking.”

The live discussion should act as a warning to any blogger looking to leave the comfort of the keyboard and sit in front of a television camera and trade blows with television and newspapers’ finest. Bill Jones believes Guido’s first mistake was being blacked out and appearing like an IRA terrorist. While Paul Walter thought Guido was made to look like a “clot”: “The moment any bloggers become pretentious and think they are serious ‘professionals’ is the moment they deserve being publicly humiliated by Michael White, as Guido was.”

Minutes after the show ended, Guido
admitted regrets: “Well the live interview was definitely a mistake and against my better judgement, as was the in-the-shadows idea of the Newsnight editor, but nice to have Sir Michael White go to full-frontal-abuse.”

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The debate continues at the BBC.

John Reid’s plans to split the Home Office have been slowly picked up by a few bloggers. Despite agreeing with the changes, Andrew McCann angrily states: “This episode once again shows the contempt Labour has for the concept of Executive accountability. This is not some third-rate office we’re talking about. It should have been opened up to full scrutiny and a vote then taken.”

While Benedict
Brogan
offers some inside info: “However happy Mr Reid is today, the structures he announces are all eminently portable. And I’m told that the Chancellor, who has talked at length about his belief that national security is a matter for the Prime Minister alone, will happily pick them up and take them with him to Number 10 and the Cabinet Office when he takes over.”

Despite being initially coy about challenging Gordon Brown for the leadership contest, David Miliband has this week penned a couple of articles (for the Daily Telegraph and New
Statesman) that are seen as adjusting this stance. What this space…

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