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  • marcridley 10:34 on 15/05/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anders Breivik, Boris Johnson, Brian Coleman, James Murdoch, Michael Gove, Political Scrapbook, , rawkus records, Rupert Murdoch   

    My Latest Posts for Political Scrapbook 

    I’ve taken a quick break from writing for Political Scrapbook during the exam season, but here’s a summary of my latest posts. You can read more breaking political gossip every day at the full site.

    • City Hall emails reveal panic over Boris campaign Twitter hijack – Emails between Boris Johnson’s senior staff at City Hall revealed to Scrapbook show panic over criticism that Boris broke election rules after changing the Mayor of London’s official Twitter account to a personal campaign account – taking its 250,000 followers with it. More.
    • Is Brian Coleman losing it? Tory councillor “goes mad” at shopkeepers – Just a few days before the local elections earlier this month, Tory councillor Brian Coleman was seen shouting at shopkeepers and “intimidating” them into removing posters which campaigned against him. More.
    • Rupert Murdoch’s plans to launch school with Michael Gove – After raking through Rupert Murdoch’s written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Scrapbook found that Murdoch’s News International planned to launch a free school in East London. Critics were concerned that students would become guinea pigs for the products of NewsCorp’s education technology firm Wireless Generation. More.
    • James Murdoch used to hide a gun under his desk – Tom Watson’s new book with journalist Martin Hickman reveals that James Murdoch used to keep a gun under his desk whilst working for hip-hop label Rawkus Records. More.
    • Breivik emailed BNP candidates days before he slaughtered 77 people – Mass-murderer Anders Breivik got in touch with BNP candidates just days before he committed Norway’s worst ever peacetime atrocity. EDL leader Tommy Robinson has also been caught defending Breivik. More.

    So there you go.

  • marcridley 21:25 on 10/04/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FOX News, Mitt Romney, Murdoch, , Sean Hannity, USA, USA Election 2012   

    Gawker’s Leaks from Fox News Mole 

    The controversial Fox News article which prompted Gawker's mole to leak

    Left-wing US gossip website Gawker has a new columnist: a mole from the Fox News Channel.

    The anonymous leak has begun a series of revelatory columns which aim to dish the dirt on Fox News’ questionable journalistic practices and editorial policies. After years of gritting his teeth in the service of the right-wing Murdoch news agency, the mole is looking to find a way out – but they refuse to leave quietly.

    The first revelation from the mole is an off-air video of Republican presidential candidate hopeful Mitt Romney speaking to Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. The video includes one or two potential embarrassments for Romney, including:

    • Romney snootily discussing horseback riding, complete with references to “Austrian Warmbloods” and dressage. In the eyes of the mole, the horsey banter “sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.”
    • Halfway through the interview, Romney changes ties to make it look like the interview was filmed on two separate occasions. When offered a pink tie, Romney refuses, saying: “I’m not going all Donald Trump today.” On the day of the interview, American businessman Trump had just announced his support for Romney.
    • Romney is further conscious of not appearing vain or feminine about his looks. Discussing the famous embarrassing video of presidential candidate John Edwards preening himself, Romney tries to avoid a repeat saying: “It’s one thing to do it for a second. It’s another thing to do it for an hour.”

    With a bit of luck, more embarrassing leaks are to come. Read the whole leak and watch the Romney video on Gawker here.

  • marcridley 19:25 on 10/04/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: David Guetta, Jessie J, , video   

    VIDEO: Jessie J – Laserlight ft. David Guetta – Released Today 

    Jessie J’s collaboration with David Guetta can be seen in two ways. It either means that Jessie J has finally hit the big time and has now scored the chance to work with a superstar DJ; or Jessie is just another in a long line of female vocalists-for-hire which Guetta needs to ship in just to make his latest creation listenable (think Kelly Rowland, Sia…). Or perhaps Jessie J is being shrewd here, too; after all, the new track exists solely to encourage people to download the special edition of her album, and having David Guetta on board might get a few new people interested. 

    The video, released today, shows Jessie J in some ridiculous earrings the size of dinner plates and a series of bizarre costumes, each uglier than the next. According to people who aren’t in any way paid by record labels to write complete rubbish in order to sell pop music, the track featured in the video is “a huge electro-house-ballad full of Guetta’s signature thumping beats and Jessie’s powerhouse vocal.” See for yourself below.

    Laserlight is released on May 13th (although obviously available on iTunes now), and here’s the video, released today.

  • marcridley 18:47 on 10/04/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adam Werritty, Budget, George Osborne, Liam Fox, Simon Hughes, Tories   

    My Latest Posts for Political Scrapbook 

    I’m currently an intern at Political Scrapbook, an influential Westminster website which aims to make life difficult for the political right. I currently spend two days a week working in their London offices where I write breaking news stories and research longer-term investigations. If you think that sounds dull, wait ’til you read my latest posts…

    • Boris Johnson campaign director worked for Fox and Werritty donor – Last year Defence Secretary Liam Fox resigned after being investigated over his working relationship with his best man Adam Werritty. Today we revealed that Michael Hintze – who funded much of Fox and Werritty’s controversial work – has also funded Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign director. More.
    • Simon Hughes’ desperate bid to airbrush his support for Health Bill – Today we published the details of an email from senior Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes, who has shown hilarious hypocrisy over his support – or otherwise – of the Health and Social Care Bill. More.
    • Is Osborne using tax avoidance as an excuse to target charities? – Chancellor George Osborne intends to clamp down on individuals who use sham charity donations to avoid paying income tax – but there is little evidence for any such tax evasion. Here, the Charities Aid Foundation and the HMRC try to explain. More.

    NB: I don’t really think it’s dull – it’s ace. I just didn’t want to sound ridiculous.

  • marcridley 20:16 on 08/04/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: James Cameron, Titanic, Titanic 3D   

    Titanic 3D – Why I’m still interested 

    When James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ was first released, I was five years old. Too young to go to the cinema, my only first-hand experience of the cultural impact the film made was a boy in my class tying his coat around his waist to make a dress, standing with his arms spread wide, crucifixion-style, and belting out ‘My Heart Will Go On’ whilst pretending to be Rose. His friend played the part of Jack, and didn’t look too happy about it; I’ve no idea what became of them and I think that’s probably for the best.

    Now I’m able to put aside distant memories of playground gender confusion and decide on the film’s merits, or otherwise, for myself. Fifteen years might have past but there’s something about the film which still fascinates me.

    Obviously, Cameron had the benefit of having some pretty special material to work with. The story of Titanic’s maiden voyage is gripping for hundreds of reasons that have nothing to do with his filmmaking genius: the nostalgia for a more glamourous era; the angst of a painfully unfair class system; the incredible engineering of Britain at its best and the fact that there were hundreds of Jacks and hundreds of Roses on that ship, each with their own knife-to-the-heart story.

    But a real-life tale, however incredible, doesn’t guarantee a brilliant film. The responsibility for that lies firmly with Cameron, who had the balls to blow millions of dollars of other people’s money, knowing full well that every single penny of it could be lost. In fact, that’s exactly what the studios feared; Cameron had to promise to forfeit his own royalties to minimise the financial damage.

    Thankfully, that was one of only very few compromises. Cameron stretched the story out to over three hours, despite knowing that the average viewer wouldn’t last that long. He spent hundreds of millions of dollars making every last detail perfect. And do you know what? It shows.

    I’ll admit to being soft when it comes to films. They never make me cry, but I’m perfectly willing to let them take my emotions and have their wicked way with them; I’m not one for being cynical. And with Titanic, the clichéd-but-all-the-better-for-it love story, eye-blistering visuals and ‘Crikey, this actually happened’ perspective makes me want to watch it – all three-and-a-quarter hours of it – again and again.

    And I can’t think of many other films which provide a real-life story with such brain-bursting enormity. Sure, intimate little flicks about real people with tragic tales are ten a penny, but few manage to make your jaw drop, your eyes well up and your heart race all at the same time. It’s the combination that works; when that bloke falls from the stern and slams into a propeller you feel every jolt of his every bone – not because it looks impressive, but because you care.

    Obviously, I couldn’t care less how many dimensions its in; 3D isn’t great (although the nude scene could be interesting…) and the whole reissue project just means more money for some already well lined pockets (I can be cynical about some things). But in the end, a second chance to take that terrifying journey on that incredible ship with those beautiful people is vastly more precious than the tenner it’ll cost.

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