back to article Graun Aid: Don't They Know It's Christmas 2.0?

Earlier this week we reported Guardian veteran David Leigh's big idea to save his job the British newspaper industry. The Seventies throwback proposed that every broadband subscriber in the country should pay ten per cent more for their internet, around £2 a month, with money going to dead tree media based on their web …


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  1. NomNomNom

    i hate songs.

    1. OrsonX

      i hate having to log-in seperately to El Reg and Reg Hardware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "i hate songs"

      Not surprised. You're a miserable bugger:

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    The Stranglers want their say too.

    If the Graun does go titsup and their hacks get chucked on the scrapheap, they just need to remember:

    "There's always the Sun".

  3. loopy lou

    Charge the commentards

    They should charge people for writing drivel in the comments threads. Kind of like vanity publsihing, which seems to be thriving. Maybe the readers' votes could even change how much a comment costs, so the good ones could be free and downvoting someone would hit the moron in the wallet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charge the commentards

      Are you including El Reg's moron 'commentards'?

      (At the momnet you have 4 downvotes)

    2. Fibbles

      Re: Charge the commentards

      You're saying only the rich should have a voice?

      1. loopy lou

        Re: Charge the commentards

        Only the moron commentards of the soapbox variety that, er, get lots of downvotes, er... um.

      2. JOKM

        Re: Charge the commentards

        I think that is the current case,

        Currently only the rich can, get bank accounts with a decent level of interest, get a bank manager, park in the city centre and afford the parking meters/tickets, goto the cinema/theatre/opera/restaurant, get on a train, eat and stay warm, buy property, get equal to or above interest rate pay rises, get a bonus.

        If the poor had a voice anyone actually tried to listen too and act on, then perhaps that wouldn't be the case.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Without the Gruniad

    They'd be reading the "Independant" or "Mail on Sunday"

    which is the lesser of the three evils?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Without the Gruniad

      this is the kind of logical fallacy beloved of your favourite paper - well done, they'd be proud of you.

      where's the strawman icon?

  5. 2Fat2Bald
    Thumb Down

    Do WHAT?

    Yeah. everyone should pay a subscription to a newspaper they don't want, to keep it in circulation. Because there is something special about it. Frankly. If this is the best their editor can come up with, then i'm not surprised they're going down. Make money either by selling advertising space, or selling access to the site, or both. That's what everyone else does.

    Don't ask me to pay extra for my broadband, just because your paper sucks too badly to survive.

  6. James Pickett

    "George Monbi-oh-woah"


  7. Miami Mike

    Survival of the fittest

    I read the Guardian's site from time to time when I see an interesting headline on Google News. The recurring impression I get is that these troglodytes really need to be dragged kicking and screaming up into the 19th century. The tidbit that they have only 180K readers of the print edition is pretty telling - they're fighting a rearguard action, and losing as the list of available Edwardian codgers decreases due to old age and fossilization.

    They're anti-everything, and seem convinced that converting street lights from gas to electricity was a bad idea. So now they want a legally enforced subsidy from the internet? No problem, as soon as the International and Benevolent Association of Buggy-Whip Manufacturers gets their legally enforced subsidy from Boeing and Airbus, they're next in line.

  8. StooMonster

    Feed The Scott Trust

    Surely the rhyme for "Toynbee" in this case is "subsidy"?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see a problem...

    "Guardian website, they'll even let you have your say"

    This isn't the case. If the columnist doesn't like what you say, they delete it, and if you're REALLY naughty, they ban you completely.

  10. PyLETS
    IT Angle

    At least with the BBC

    We know who pays the piper. Does the Reg really bite whichever hands pay Andrew ? It would be nice to know. Not that I want dead-tree media subsidised by taxes, but my younger self always appreciated Mad Magazine for refusing to take advertising and the freedom which that gave them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gnat's organ

    "Leigh's kite was ridiculed on the internet, too, where the irony of the public bailing out "The One Per Cent" was not missed".

    So did you miss the £850 billion of our money that our glorious leaders already handed to the banks a few years back?

    As Brian Cox pointed out, that meant that 'the UK has spent more on saving banks in a year than it had on science "since Jesus"'. (By several orders of magnitude, I would imagine).

    If you think about it for a minute or two, I think you will recognize that all your cash are belong to the 1%.

  12. Luther Blissett

    Belgorod Oblast

    Am I missing something here?

  13. Emmett Jenner

    Yeah, but...

    Not that I support this but the warped view on this sort of thing is that if it is for the 'greater good' and somebody with superior moral judgement (like a guardian hack) decides this is for the 'greater good' then it is perfectly reasonable to have a tax for it. Like supporting government efforts to provide shelters for homless people. Your not homeless but it's for the 'greater good' so pay up. It's no wonder the Guardian hate the free market. It does not treat them well. It's fair though, the free market hates the Guardian too.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Belgorod Oblast

      I think it may be a reference to Russia's communist past, where everything was nationalised except for one thing, the only part of Russia's economy that was actually productive; privately farmed allotments, which made up for the thumping great losses and inefficiencies of the collective farms. This used to be standard fare on any university course that taught philosophy, politics and/or economics.

      It would seem that Mike Leigh has forgotten the mistakes that were committed in the past (such failures of memory are typical also of la Toynbee, who will without prompting bang her head against the interventionism wall as a party trick on BBC news programmes). More recently that would be the Labour party's postwar tendency to nationalise everything that failed, and thereby preserve in resin the death throes of each nationalised industry, whilst (as it did in the 1970s) calling in the IMF to bail the country out because of the Labour party's fiscal and economic improprieties (spend, spend, spend). Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    2. Gaius

      Re: Gnat's organ

      Nothing was handed to anyone. That mind-boggling sum was the loan guarantees, which were never called upon and have now expired. The actual cash cost of the bank bailout was around £60Bn, the cost of acquiring the majority of RBS. To put that into perspective, it's around the same amount England spends on bailing out Scotland every year anyway. And if Millipede can keep his trap shut for a few minutes, that will eventually be sold at a profit to the taxpayer.

      I can tell you've come straight from "Comment Is Free"...

  14. James 100


    It's riddled with problems of course. Would The Reg qualify for a cut? What about the NY Times and CNN, which have UK readers? Is it based on "readers" - impossible to measure accurately at the best of times, as well as trivial to cheat? Who will log viewers, and how, given the incentives to cheat - government monitoring of all web traffic, or trying to use, trust and audit each individual publisher's web server logs? (So much for privacy!) What about public wifi, universities, shared Internet connections...? Does one person with two ADSL links bonded pay twice, while two households sharing one with WiFi only pay one fee? What about my £7.50/month mobile broadband - slap an extra £2 on that too? My pay-as-you-go phone, which has data facilities but no monthly fee now?

    How about turning the tables: slap VAT on newspapers like his, use the extra revenue to boost broadband rollouts. Anyone like to try getting his comments on that idea?

  15. gerryg

    MC P Eye


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I already gladly pay...

    ...for the online newspaper (I live outside the UK and the print media is unavailable). Whether I read it or not, the subscription is worthwhile to support the newspaper which caused the humbling of that poisonous worm Murdoch.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sense of humour bypass?

    Come on, they were obviously having a laff

    and anyway Mr Orlowski, in the interests of full disclosure, shouldn't you be disclosing your contributions to El Grauniad? and what's with the love hate relationship anyway?

    Blatant misuse of Google:

  18. M7S


    Just look up "GMG Tax Avoidance".

    As the corporation avoid contributing their fair share to the UK economy, yet castigate others for so doing, I rather feel that they're not entitled to any help from us.

  19. OrsonX

    And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time

    always makes me smile.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    The real problem with the Guardian is ...

    I don't mind paying my TV licence fee as the BBC produces enough shows to satisfy me (current drooling over Nigella "cooking").

    However, I've had a love/hate relationship with the Guardian for decades. At the last election it went LibDem and seems to have stuck with them every since. So that's 90% of the potential audience lost (going by the LibDems current poll rating).

    The quality of the journalism had slipped alarmingly. I remember Hugo Young in the 80's and 90's writing great political pieces but the current breed are very shallow in their political analysis.

    Then there's the increasing amount of show-busy, gossipy nonsense - appealing to 30 years old who think they are still "yoof" ??

    And the tech and science reporting?? Shadow of its former self.

    Did I say "problem"? <insert Spanish Inquisition sketch here>

    Problems, problems which won't be fixed by a newspaper tax.

    1. airbrush

      Re: The real problem with the Guardian is ...

      Pity they didn't hang onto Ben Goldacre although he did write a fantastic article about the drug industry recently, not sure you'd find journalism like thata any where else. Nearly all newspapers lose money, mostare run by oligarchical meglamaniacs that can afford to trade a few million for political influence. Quite scary really.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real problem with the Guardian is ...

      The Guardian has gone downhill. Some of its better writers have also moved to the Independent. Which seems aware, unlike the G, that a substantial part of the population votes Labour, more than vote Lib Dem anyway.

      But for me the main factor in what is happening, looking at the adverts, is that I'm simply not rich enough, or London enough, to read the Guardian. £50 a head restaurants, £1500 dresses, iPhones on £45/month, and the "property" section never has wrecks under £300 k. It's more like the FT's old "Spending it" section. If your entire newspaper is aimed at the top 2% of the country, a falling circulation seems guaranteed.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many industries have become replaced with others. There would have been lots of industries around horses, coaches, shoeing etc when we used them for transport. These died out almost completely when the car took hold.

    Times change and anyone not investing in providing papers to kindle or other ebook readers is treading water.

    Of course, the newsagent is also going to struggle if nobody is coming in for cigs and now nobody coming in for papers.

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