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Saturday 7 November 2015

Guido Fawked - EU Agri-Whopper Busted

One need not look too far before realising where the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog stand on the upcoming EU membership referendum: their forthright hostility to the EU is clear. To this end, the Fawkes blog has been running a number of posts making variously creative claims about those whose views do not accord with theirs. Sadly, fact checking and accuracy have suffered in the retelling.
Shameless EU Sockpuppet’s Spin Unravels On Radio 4” proclaimed a Fawkes headline yesterday, the post going on to tellAgra Europe’s editorial director Chris Horseman went out to bat over his ‘independent’ think tank’s EU funding on Radio 4 earlier. As Guido has previously revealed, Agra is in the pay of Brussels”. Well, Guido previously revealed wrongly then, because that claim is not true. But do go on.

To recap, Agra won a €36,000 contract from the European Commission, and their consultancy sister arm won another €200,000 contract from the EU’s agriculture programme just last year”. And that’s not quite true either, is it, Fawkes folks? For starters, that €36,000 “contract” is not a contract. It is a subscription. And it is to an organisation separate from the one that won the €209,000 (note correct sum) contract.

Let’s take this nice and slowly, so the Fawkes rabble have a chance of understanding. Agra Europe, which provides a specialist agribusiness information service, is owned by a company called Informa. The EU is only one of many subscribers to that service. One can hardly claim that someone who subscribes to a service you sell therefore has you “in their pay”, well, unless you’re the Fawkes blog, anyway.

The consultancy Agra CEAS, which secured the €209,000 EU contract, cannot be called Agra Europe’s “consultancy sister arm”, as Informa’s stake in it is just 18.2%, and it is not a controlling one. It gets worse for The Great Guido: going over Agra CEAS’ accounts for the last four years, a Zelo Street source has confirmed that the €209,000 contract accounts for just 7.6% of the consultancy’s revenue.

And I have a cautionary note to sound for Staines and his rabble: securing a contract from a third party organisation does not make you that third party’s “sockpuppet”, and nor can it be used to even infer any kind of friendship. As an example, I would refer the Fawkes folks to the case of Andy Miller and his legal action against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, for libel, which Miller won. And the Mail didn’t.

Miller, who knew former Met commissioner Ian Blair, sued over a Mail article titled “Met Boss in new ‘Cash for friend’ storm”. The paper claimed Miller had won an IT contract unfairly because of his friendship with Blair. It was estimated last year that the paper’s characteristically stubborn defence of its claims ended up costing it as much as £3 million in legal fees. Paul Staines, who knows all about losing in court, might think on that.

Then he can find himself a fire extinguisher. Because his pants are on fire once again.


Anonymous said...

Since, according to neocon Fawkes loonies, a subscription has the subscriber "in the pay" of the receiving company.......what do said crackpots make of subscribers to Murdoch Nazi TV and "news"papers?

Fuck all, no doubt, since it's inconvenient.

What's really funny about far right "Euroscepticism" is just how two-faced stupid it is. The people who witter on about "bureaucracy" are nowhere to be seen when the subject of PRIVATE CORPORATE BUREAUCRACY is broached - such as the banks and transnational companies, both of which make public bureaucrats look like saints of transparency. ALL bureaucracy should be the subject of transparency, especially the kind that runs the EU and inflicts deliberate economic horror for its own profits and power. In other words, a far right EU.

On top of that, neocon Fawkies types oppose any EU humanist social legislation which reduces power and profits of their paymasters: Human rights and Employment laws, for instance.

If anyone's a sock puppet it's Guido Fawkes. And HOW.

James said...

pedant mode=ON
Your EU logo is two years out of date. There are now 28 member states, not 27.

Unknown said...

Is it true that Guido and The Fawkes deny evolution, want automatic weapons issued to all and believe a man on a cloud created the earth 6,000 years ago? Or was I misinformed?

Anonymous said...

this would be from the very staines that happily used the EU rules to move to Dublin?

although quite what his new neighbours would make of today's tweet suggesting that after a Corbyn Victory the British Army should take a more active part in Uk politics

ho hum