The guardian

Why do MPs send nude pictures of themselves?

Adam Dyster has gone to work for the shadow Defra secretary Steve Reed. I admit this is not an appointment which would normally trouble the political scorers, but it is a straw in the wind. Mr Dyster was, until recently, the adviser to both the chairman and the director-general of the National Trust. As Zewditu Gebreyohanes points out in her new pamphlet, ‘National Distrust: the end of democracy in the National Trust’, it was against the interest of the Trust that Mr Dyster advised both, since it blurred the necessary governance difference between the trustees and the management. Mr Dyster was previously, in the Jeremy Corbyn era, the national organiser

Freddy Gray, Kate Andrews & Lloyd Evans

20 min listen

This week Freddy Gray takes a trip to Planet Biden and imagines what would happen if little green men invaded earth and found a big orange one back in the White House (01:15), Kate Andrews finds herself appalled by the so-called ‘advice’ routinely handed out to women that can be at best, judgemental, and at its worst, slightly bullying (12:51), and Lloyd Evans spills the beans on searching for love on his recent blind date, courtesy of the Guardian (07:13). Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran

Could I find a girlfriend on a Guardian Blind Date?

Free grub, free booze and the chance to fall in love. That’s the deal offered by Blind Date, a matchmaking strand in the Guardian that brings together lonely hearts and asks them to spill the beans. When I applied for this enticing freebie I had no expectation of being chosen, but my email was answered within hours. Amazing. Randy singletons are in short supply among Guardian readers. I was asked to describe my ‘interests’, which are rather limited. I tend to avoid travel, sport, art, museums, cars, planes, movies, pubs, music, parties, dancing, eating out or holidays. I’m never invited to dinner by anyone or ‘for the weekend’, thank God.

Chris Mullin’s eye for the absurd remains as keen as ever

Journalists seldom get to the top in politics. They find it hard to trot out the dreary virtue-signalling that political communication often requires. Chris Mullin, I suspect, finds it almost impossible. He was a Bennite, but the Bennites quickly discovered he was unreliable. The Blairites might have welcomed him had they not suspected, rightly, that he would get the line wrong sooner rather than later.  There’s an endearing vanity in the way Mullin reports every kind remark made about his previous published diaries The only journalist to have made the top job in politics is Boris Johnson, and he crashed and burned. My friend Denis MacShane, who has ability and

The Guardian’s shameful double standards

The Guardian thinks of itself as Britain’s fearless liberal conscience, trigger-sensitive to racist ‘dog whistles’ in the language and editorial judgements of everyone except itself. It takes a special interest in cartoons published by right-of-centre newspapers which are accused of bigotry.  When the Murdoch-owned Herald Sun ran a cartoon depicting Serena Williams throwing a tantrum, the Guardian reported that News Corp had ‘come under global condemnation for publishing a racist, sexist cartoon’, supplementing multiple news stories with several condemnatory op-eds. Other newspapers who have found their cartoons scrutinised for racial undertones by the Guardian include the Times, the New York Post, the Australian, the Boston Herald, and Charlie Hebdo.  So how exactly did Martin Rowson’s latest cartoon manage to slip past editors? Ostensibly a comment

Guardian editor gets £150k pay bump

It’s a tough time for struggling families across the country. Inflation, price increases, a cost-of-living crisis and taxes going up. But one place where belts are remaining decidedly un-tightened is the editor’s office at the Guardian, where champagne corks have been popping at the latest company accounts. For Katharine Viner– the editor-in-chief of the progressive periodical – has seen her pay rise by 42 per cent (or £150,000) to a whopping £509,000 in the year to April. It came after the newspaper’s parent company, Guardian Media Group (GMG), hailed its best results since 2008. Good news all round then surely? Most in the media would accept that if the Guardian had

The Guardian goes for J.K. Rowling

It seems that taking gratuitous swipes at J.K. Rowling has become something of a competition for liberal broadsheets on both sides of the pond. First, the New York Times took a potshot at the Harry Potter creator for its new marketing campaign trumpeting ‘independent journalism.’ And now the Guardian – keen to prove that, it too, is achingly right on – has published a piece which implies that Rowling’s views on same-sex spaces are somehow more controversial than domestic abuse. Grim. The latest jibe at Britain’s greatest living writer came in a piece detailing the controversies around the production of the Fantastic Beasts film. Film critic Ryan Gilbey noted that ‘one of its stars, Johnny Depp’ left

The ten most-read Steerpikes of 2021

Farewell then 2021 – what a year it’s been. Twelve months of Covid craziness brought with it ample opportunities to lampoon the great and the not-so-good in British public life, from narcissistic royals to inept Europhiles.  Below is a round-up of Steerpike’s most read articles from 2021, covering some of the year’s biggest moments such as the vaccine procurement wars and the death of Prince Philip to lighter episodes like Prince Harry’s thoughts on freedom of speech.  But while the dilettante Duke and Duchess of Sussex took both bronze and silver medals, gold could only go to the Guardian for its attempted self-immolation over how to cover transgender issues. Mr S

Foreign opportunists are turning Britain into a corporate car-boot sale

The snatching of a 12 per cent stake in BT by French entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, last seen here when he bagged Sotheby’s for $3.7 billion two years ago, could be a good thing if it injects dynamism into the telecoms giant’s late-running plans to install high-speed broadband across the UK. But it’s also part of a wave of fast–moving foreign money hunting undervalued UK assets — which is positive if it fuels capital investment for growth, negative if it makes nothing but fast bucks for private investors. The logic is simple. The private equity fraternity is laden with cash and global in outlook; what it sees in London is an

There is no justification for supporting the IRA

Roy Greenslade held a number of prominent positions in Fleet Street over the course of a long career. But he spent the largest part of it at the Guardian, where he berated other journalists for their writings. A similar stance was adopted by him from his position as professor of journalism at City, University of London, from where he lectured students on media ethics and gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. At the same time he became slightly notorious outside of Islington for his support of the IRA. Whenever Gerry Adams had something self-pitying or self–exculpating to say, Roy was there as his loyal mouthpiece. In 2000 this magazine ran

Suzanne Moore’s departure is a sad day for the Guardian

Who runs a newspaper – and especially a great liberal newspaper – in a digital age when liberalism often seems to be in retreat, menaced by its enemies internal and external? In the not-too-recent past, the question would be easily answered: the editor, supported by his (for in the past it was usually ‘his’) senior journalists ran the paper. Things are more complicated now. At least they appear more complicated at the Guardian and at the New York Times. At both papers, each the proud inheritors of certain liberal traditions, one may no longer say with confidence that editorial control of the paper resides with the editorial staff. This evening,

Cartoonists have a right to free speech

I’m no fan of Steve Bell, the Guardian cartoonist. I can’t say I’ve ever laughed at one of his squibs, which are witless and crude. Some would call him ‘fearless’, but he just seems cruel and over the top to me. When the Guardian finally puts him out to grass, which surely won’t be long, he will disappear into the inkwell of history. But having said all that, I would defend to the death his right to produce his tasteless cartoons, as well as the right of his newspaper to publish them. Last week, the Guardian printed a Steve Bell caricature of Priti Patel sitting next to Boris in the

Suzanne Moore

Suzanne Moore: I was hurt that so many of my ‘colleagues’ denounced me

I have been trying to write about a great unpleasantness for some time: the trans debate that we don’t really have. Men go to Woman’s Place meetings. So do trans women, it’s not a separatist organisation. But for some godforsaken reason the Labour leadership hopefuls thought they might endear themselves to their lost ‘red wall’ voters by signing pledges calling Woman’s Place and LGB Alliance ‘trans-exclusionist hate groups’. I was appalled to see that the signatories included Lisa Nandy, who is bright, and Rebecca Long-Bailey, who isn’t. Anyway, having been asked not to write about this subject for months (I still have the police reports from the threats I received last