Channel 4 News is searching for a new economics editor, following the appointment of current incumbent Faisal Islam as Adam Boulton’s replacement as political editor of Sky News (“first for breaking wind”). To show their readers that they have the inside track on such matters, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have attempted to predict the result.
Yeah, I heard the names when I was on my third pint, sod it, no, story of the day, about brewing beer, bollocks no, coffee. To clear last night's hangover. Oh crap
However, and in this case there is a significantly-sized however, anyone wanting to place their bets on the contest should pause for reflection before heading to the bookies, if only to see how accurate the Fawkes prediction was when the Sky News job was advertised. Because the sad fact was that Staines and his pals did not pitch the name of the successful candidate until the interviews started.
“The race is on for one of the best jobs in SW1, so as ever Guido gives you the runners and riders to replace Adam Boulton” declared the Fawkes rabble on January 28. The names? Seven of them: Nick Watt, Nick Robinson, Laura Kuenssberg, Cathy Newman, George Parker, Joey Jones and Tom Newton Dunn, and seven names that did not include the winner.
I know lots of names, cos I'm on telly!
Never mind though, they had another go two days later, telling “Speculation over the Sky News political editor job has reached fever pitch. Screw the immigration bill, it’s all anyone in the Westminster village wants to talk about”. So did those talking to The Great Guido have any more interesting names to pitch? Yes they did: there were five new ones to add to the list.
Jon Craig, Gary Gibbon, Andy Bell, Chris Ship and James Landale were added to the field, with Bell “heavily tipped”. Laura Kuenssberg was “said to be out”, which, translated into plain English, means she wasn’t in in the first place, having only just arrived back at the BBC. Cathy Newman had been “approached”. Yeah, right: that’s just cover for an evidence-free suggestion.
Then when the interviews started, three more names that the Fawkes folks had missed first – and second – time round appeared, Allegra Stratton, Anne McElvoy, and Benedict Brogan. Fifteen guesses, and all wrong. But they did, at long last, mention Faisal Islam, though by this time they could have just watched the interview location – which they knew – to see who fetched up.
And with their first guess for the Channel 4 News job being Allister Heath of City AM, well-known as being a stooge for the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, Staines and his pals do not appear to have improved their forecasting ability. Moreover, given their abysmal form, anyone in the Westminster village wanting to take the piss will be eager to pitch more names for them to get wrong.
The Great Guido couldn’t forecast a fart in a lift. Another fine mess, once again.