Stephen Pollard's blog



Channel 4's new chief executive David Abraham

By Stephen Pollard, January 22, 2010

I thought I’d share my encounter with David Abraham, C4's new chief executive, with you.

A few years ago, when I was working on the Express, we held an awayday for execs. We’d just appointed Mr Abraham’s then company, the ever-so-trendy St Luke’s, as our ad agency. (I’ll leave for another time the unspeakably bad, beyond mere embarrassing ads they came up with for us).

So the editor thought it would be useful to ask them along to the awayday.

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Thursday counts a must

By Stephen Pollard, January 19, 2010

The first useful thing John Bercow has done as Speaker. Responding to a Point of Order yesterday by Julian Lewis on the apparent drift towards Friday ballot counts at the forthcoming general election, Mr Speaker has made clear that this is simply unacceptable:

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Doing us a favour

By Stephen Pollard, January 19, 2010

The JC website received its highest ever number of hits the day after we were hacked.

Thanks, chaps.

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No one made Haiti poor

By Stephen Pollard, January 18, 2010

Tim Worstall has an aposite comment on some of the trite comments which have been doing the rounds about Haiti:

Folks, no one “made Haiti poor”.

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The MCB's unconfirmed confirmed guests

By Stephen Pollard, January 18, 2010

The MCB, newly readmitted to Whitehall,  has been emailng flyers for
its first Muslim Leadership Dinner
.

It advertises the following:

Confirmed Guests

• Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
and Secretary of State for Justice

• The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal
Democrats

• Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Home Secretary (tbc)

Chris Grayling - a 'confirmed guest' who is, er, 'to be
confirmed'.

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Virgin Trains' theft of my money

By Stephen Pollard, January 18, 2010

Virgin Trains, eh?

I was supposed to be travelling to Manchester on 10th January. For obvious reasons - the snow and winds - Virgin cancelled all trains. No complaints there.

But here's the thing. It cost me over £100 for my ticket. And despite repeated attempts since then to contact Virgin by phone, email and letter. no one has responded to my request to find out how to claim a refund for a service that was not provided. The Virgin website has nothing. The customer services department is permanently engaged. And my emails and letter have been unanswered. 

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AP can't even get the basics right

By Stephen Pollard, January 18, 2010

We were hacked yesterday afternoon. For a few hours, there was a crazed message about Jews, vampires, Israel and usury. After trying to check the source of the hack, we took the decision to close the site until we had worked out who the culprits were and how they got in. We've now done that, and I'm pleased to say we are back up, with no lasting damage.

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The politcal gravy train

By Stephen Pollard, January 12, 2010

Forget the lurid details of Iris Robinson's affairs. The single most shocking thing to emerge from the scandal is surely the amount of taxpayers' money handed over to Peter and Iris Robinson. Martin Fletcher reports in today's Times that:

In 2007-08 the pair received a total of £571,939

In one year!

Here's how:

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Nick Clegg, baby whisperer

By Stephen Pollard, January 11, 2010

Daniel Finkelstein's take on the big issue of the day: Clegg v Ford:

I didn't enjoy waking up in the middle of the night and not knowing
what to do. And it seemed mildly preferable to consult a manual than to
be totally clueless. Perhaps I could have rung the Cleggs and relied on
Nick's intuition.

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Ross Kemp's masterly documentary

By Stephen Pollard, January 11, 2010

Fraser Nelson gets it bang on, writing about last night's Ross Kemp documentary on Israel:

Sky has again given the BBC a lesson in how to produce documentaries. Ross Kemp in Israel last night was superb: not just grippingly produced, but actually balanced. 

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Chingford man blogs...

By Stephen Pollard, January 11, 2010

I have to say, this is an addition to the blogosphere I did not expect to see. But I think it has to be a must-read

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Prisoner of his own cabinet (Mail on Sunday)

By Stephen Pollard, January 10, 2010

I have a piece in today's Mail on Sunday about the Hewitt-Hoon plot, in which I argue that it might not have removed Brown, but it has made him a prisoner of his own Cabinet. It's here.

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Useless idiots call on hapless clown to resign

By Stephen Pollard, January 7, 2010

There's a mass of analysis of the failed coup against Brown. But I think this - posted at 3pm yesterday - best sums it up. (Warning - there's a lot of bad language.)

As does his headline, which I've nicked!

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Ex-Spurs boss Ramos touted for Israel job.

By Stephen Pollard, January 6, 2010

From our site.

Well, he's already managed one Jewish club.

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Pollarding

By Stephen Pollard, January 6, 2010

Daniel Finkelstein is banging the nominative determinism drum again.

All I'll say is that I have never pruned a tree in my life.

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Democracy - Brown's Achilles Heel

By Stephen Pollard, January 6, 2010

My colleague Martin Bright makes this interesting point on his Spectator blog:

This really is a clever little wheeze from Geoff Hoon and Patricia
Hewitt. Why did no one think of a secret ballot before? People have
been fixated on Cabinet delegations and rebels instead of calling
Gordon Brown's bluff on this most serious of issues - democracy.

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Where's Mandy?

By Stephen Pollard, January 6, 2010

Paul Waugh has a delicious inside scoop on the Tessa Jowell rumour. And Ben Brogan asks the key question: where's Mandelson?

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The weather...

By Stephen Pollard, January 6, 2010

I'm an adult. Clearly.

Bloody snow.

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US policy and democracy

By Stephen Pollard, January 4, 2010

There's a superb editorial in today's Washington Post, prompted by the pretty awful response by the US Ambassador to Egypt to a question put by students on the US position on democracy in Egypt:

In my time in Egypt, I have noticed that many Egyptians are very free to speak out. The press debates so many things.

As the Post comments:

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Most idiotic story of the year so far

By Stephen Pollard, January 4, 2010

OK, it's only 4th January, so it's not much of an accolade, but this is clearly the most idiotic story of the year so far:

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