Guido Fawkes: You Ask The Questions
The political blogger answers your questions, such as 'Do you believe in a right to privacy?' and 'How sleazy is the Government?'
Monday 04 May 2009
Are you as disturbed as I am at the extent of your influence on the news agenda? LUKE GREEN, Cardiff
No, I am satisfied that the shift towards a more sceptical stance towards politicians has come about. They have been getting away with taking home a package worth £120,000 a year with no scrutiny whatsoever. When people realise what they have been getting up to when they eventually see the expense receipts it will really hit home. MPs have become millionaires on the quiet. That isn't public service, that is personal enrichment at the public expense.
Has your life changed since you broke the Damian McBride story? How? NIGEL FRANCIS, Nottingham
No. Young children are an excellent grounding. My two-year-old likes to see Daddy on the telly but she still wants her porridge just the same, she also knows where the off-button is on the laptop. Maybe it has made some rival journalists give me a (grudging) respect. I have never really cared that much what they thought.
Isn't the tittle-tattle that McBride and Derek Draper were discussing exactly the sort of thing you deal in yourself? CAROL LAWS, Kettering
No. They knew they were lies.
Do you not see anything tasteless in writing 'mission accomplished' when someone has lost their job, even someone who did wrong like Damian McBride? GARY SKELTON, Neath
No, that was the exact objective I set out to achieve. He should never have deliberately spilt my pint in the Westminster Arms.
McBride's nickname is McPoison. What do you think yours should be, other than Guido? ANGELA MCKINNON, Southampton
Baron Guido of Wexford has a nice ring to it. Kevin Maguire [the Mirror journalist] calls me "Guided Fawkes" as if there was someone pulling my strings. Ironic really – I think he is Downing Street's tamest lap dog.
When you compare this government to the Tories before they lost in 1997, which do you think is sleazier? HENRY MURPHY, Luton
I think we are obviously talking about relative sleaze. However we now have industrial sleaze production on a scale which is truly astounding. It is all party and extends into the highest reaches of the cabinet. The contemporary brazen shameless "well everyone is at it" attitude beats the past.
Will the Conservatives end up mired in scandal if they win the election? Is it the inevitable consequence of power? And will you cover it as assiduously if so? WILLIAM FAKHRI, Exeter
Probably. It seems to start after the first term. It is up to us to stop them: I do my best whatever colour their rosette.
Why are left-wing bloggers less influential than right-wing ones? JOHN PELLY, Ipswich
I think there are a number of factors: they are too serious, hampered by political correctness, too much "on message", generally the left is demoralised. I'm not sure that the "it will be different when Labour is in opposition" argument holds water. I think the Guido position under the next government will be held by Guido. That is certainly my aim.
Have you spoken to Derek Draper or Damian McBride lately? If not, what would you say to them if you did? PAULA DEAN, Birmingham
No I haven't spoken to them. I sent McBride a "you started it, I finished it" text message, and he didn't reply. I have nothing but contempt for what they tried to do.
My feeling is that McBride will probably have a [American political consultant] Dick Morris-style future ahead of him – I would suggest he knocks out a quick book for big money and becomes a political pundit. And I think Draper needs to grow up, stop trying to take short cuts in life and work harder for his family. Politics is a no-go area for him now.
Could you do your job without the mainstream media? JENNIFER SMITH, Oxford
Could I do it without the competition? Yes. I am not spoon-fed stories by spin doctors. I get my own stories.
Do you think you are fair game for the sort of investigation and revelation you subject others to? CLIFFORD HARPER, Edinburgh
Have you read my press? I got all my dirty linen out in the open before I got married. My wife is often embarrassed by my antics, no doubt my kids will be too. It is hard to produce revelations about myself which I have not already blogged.
How much do you make a year from your blog, and how? EVE PEMBERTON, Milford Haven
Advertising works. My blog is more profitable than The Independent or The Guardian!
Was your time promoting acid house parties a good preparation for being a political blogger? JEREMY KEATING
Bury, Not really. It was great fun though.
Would you still defend the right to rave? Do you still take drugs? HANNAH ROBERTS, Canterbury
Yes I support the freedom to party. Very occasionally I do mind-altering substances. When you have young kids the opportunities are few and far between. Occasionally with old friends after a barbie I'll sneak a spliff with a glass of red. My wife does not approve and I would not like the kids to see me doing it. In fact because of the kids it is like being a teenager again, having a smoke in the garage out of sight.
How did you get into blogging? It can't have seemed like a viable career option at the time. MARY KEATON, Great Milton
I fell into it. It's a long story. I blogged and did other things at the same time – traded in the financial markets for a while. Now blogging is almost full-time.
Do you believe in the right to privacy? ANNIE WATTS, Sunderland
Not for public figures.
Would you still like to put acid in the punch at a Young Conservatives' ball? PETE GRAHAME, London
Definitely – though think I wouldn't get away with it nowadays. Technically it is poisoning.
How many hours a day are you online? What do you do when you aren't blogging? BEATRICE SOUTHEY, Newmarket
I am "always on" in the sense that I always have the Blackberry within reach. Too much is the honest answer. When you have young children sleep is the main objective; other than that, I have been known to have a drink.
Do you think the Guido Fawkes facial hair is a good look? BEN GREEN, York
I don't sport it. I grow it now and then to confuse people.
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