Another year has brought another opportunity for the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog to actually produce an exclusive worthy of the name, and his followers for a brief moment thought that he had scored a winner, as he proclaimed that French rock musician Jean-Michel Jarre was to flee the Hollande regime for the UK and its supposedly more benign tax code.
Yeah, it's a world exclusive piss-up, shit, no, karaoke, oh sod it no, er, story about drinking songs, oh bollocks no, electronic drinking songs. Oh crap
And this was no mere exclusive, but a “World Exclusive”, as The Great Guido told that “Jean Michel Jarre Says Au Revoir Socialism”, and “Rock Star’s Secret Downing Street Talks About London Move”. Jarre had visited Downing Street. But he hadn’t seen Young Dave, and before long, it became clear that he wasn’t about to up sticks and move: Jarre will continue to live in Paris.
Moreover, the sources that Staines links to, Le Figaro and Le Monde, are indeed about Jarre, but a little translation of the former reveals he “denies any proposed tax exile in Britain”, with the latter adding “the singer denies any attempt [to become a] tax exile”. And the meeting that Staines has reported on took place as far back as last September – more than three months ago.
The reason for Jarre’s presence at Number 10 was his interest in East London’s new Tech City development, where he is proposing to establish an “academy for electronic music”. This development offers tax breaks to investors – but not to individuals wanting to up sticks from France to dodge the taxman. And Jarre has now issued a statement confirming this.
So has The Great Guido withdrawn his assertions? Well, as is usual, no he hasn’t, but instead has begun to spin the story to claim that he was right all along. Because Tech City offers tax incentives, this makes the Fawkes claim valid, despite Jarre stressing that he will continue to live – and pay his taxes – in France. But no reputable news source is now giving him the time of day.
The result of Staines posting what turned out to be a clumsy hoax will lead one way, and that is towards him losing yet more of his diminishing credibility. Already, the Fawkes blog enjoys a miserable 4% trust rating, worse that the least trusted red-top (the Murdoch Sun, at 10%, holds that honour), and worse even than posts on Twitter and Facebook. Yet he is not for apologising.
Far from being “Numéro 1”, as he claims, The Great Guido will, if he keeps on posting cod exclusives, be the very last place that other media outlets visit en route to investigating the news. And the damage will have been entirely self inflicted, with nobody else being to blame bar himself and his entourage. For Paul Staines, the “13” in 2013 is indeed proving unlucky for some.
For the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, it’s another fine mess, once again.