It’s time for the Conservatives to take bullying seriously


The Conservative Party is a deeply tribal organisation, which might in part explain why outsiders are targeted with bullying so often, and why the party apparatus at a local and national level works so effectively to protect those doing the bullying. However, it is now clear that the problem is so pronounced that bullying happens within party ranks, and to such an extent that tragedies unfold before anything meaningful is done.

I work in a youth organisation where it is seen as vitally important that those in a position of responsibility recognise bullying when it is happening and take immediate measures to address the problem quickly, sensitively, and intelligently. In fact, bullying is taken so seriously that the relevant training is a requirement for all adults caring for young people, and I will stress here that we are not trained to wait for a complaint before we act (for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has experienced bullying as a child or adult).

In political campaigning, passions run high and many young people seek to get involved, but I will bet you dollars to donuts that no such training is set as a requirement for candidates, campaign leaders, and/or fundraising executives. In fact, I am painfully aware of situations where bullying from Conservative members/activists has become rampant, but the Conservative Party have refused to conduct an internal inquiry or consider any corrective action because (a) an email was sent reporting the behaviour but they demanded a complaint ‘in writing’, (b) the target of the alleged bullying had not submitted a complaint themselves, (c) police had decided not to take action about a single incident reported to them in the course of the wider bullying, and – my very favourite – (d) an election was in progress at the time, and there were concerns that acting on the complaint might harm the chances of the party and its candidates (two of whom were directly involved in the alleged bullying).

It is sometimes the case where bullying is so out of control that MPs engage in bullying behaviour to intimidate their own constituents. I know of one incident where a constituent sought to report such behaviour to the Chairman, and they responded by simply forwarding the entire email to the relevant MP.

There has even been a recent event where a serving Chairman has been directly involved in bullying of their own constituent.

It is long past time for the Conservative Party to take bullying seriously. There should be an independent inquiry into how bullying complaints have been handled under Cameron’s leadership, and the public should be consulted as part of the process because there are likely to be many incidents that went unrecorded. This is the only way to determine the scale of the problem and the shortfalls of the system in place before recommendations are made for improvements that are long overdue.

I urge you to sign this petition in support of this proposed action, and share it with your friends.

Political leaders generally need to be more aware of what can go wrong when passions run high. The Conservative Party leader specifically needs to take responsibility for repeated failures to address the resulting problems under their leadership.

Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | Leave a comment

And now, the national anthem…

I’d like to set out my stall by first pointing out that the Queen is the head of state (for roughly a dozen countries, IIRC), and not a bludgeoning device to be used for party-political games. It also needs to be noted that a few weeks before The Sun bravely condemned Jeremy Corbyn for ‘disrespecting the Queen’, they bravely condemned the Queen for allegedly making a Nazi salute when she was a child. As the follow-up talking points from a range of Tories revealed, this is merely an excuse to once again push the line that Corbyn is an far-left extremist who wants to overthrow the monarchy, piss on the flag, and eat your babies. If he had sung along, they would instead have called him a hypocrite. Anything to draw attention away from an uncomfortable PMQs for Cameron and the tax credit debate that’s unfolding.

I don’t know about you, but as an agnostic, when I am in church and the hymns begin, I remain silent, but stand respectfully. I’m not causing a fuss. I’m not contradicting or condemning anyone. I am merely exercising my right to not sing along to lyrics that have a deep and religious meaning and purpose that I do not agree with.

A similar convention exists with the national anthem in many countries, including this one. You can, do and should have the freedom to remain seated if you wanted to, but it’s polite to stand, and it’s perfectly OK to not sing along… particularly if you’re Scottish and the assembly is going all the way to the 4th verse.

If the false patriots of The Sun are going to bleat about British values and British traditions, they should acknowledge that Britain is becoming an increasingly enlightened and secular country over time, and everybody should have the right to express their views in any case.

It is perfectly acceptable to hope that Britain can move forward one day without a head of state who was born to the role according to the perceived will of the alleged god of Abraham. It is equally acceptable to decline to sing lyrics that actively pray to that alleged god for an indefinite extension of the status quo.

All of that said, if you wanted to fully exercise your right to free speech, I humbly submit to you three alternative versions of the national anthem for you to sing at appropriate gatherings or in the privacy of your own home:

1. The Inclusive Anthem

I wrote this a few years ago for the benefit of people of alternative faiths who also wished to voice their support for our Queen:

For spontaneity, ask every deity;
‘God(s) save the Queen’.
Brahma & Ek Onkar,
Odin & Zeus & Ra,
Yahweh, Baal, Arinna;
God(s) Save the Queen!

2. ‘God Bless My Underwear’

This is a variation on a classic that I wrote for a campfire songbook. It takes a minor liberty with the structure of the verses, but that is the least of its sins:

God hear my sacred prayer, please bless my underwear
Make them pristine
This is my only pair
Save me from wear and tear
Don’t let my bum go bare
God, keep them clean.
(da-da da-da da-da)
God hear my under-prayer,
Because you’re everywhere,
While you are down in there,
God, keep them clean.

3. The Air Guitar Anthem

And, finally, for those narcissists who see no reason to worship or praise anyone but themselves, I present to you the ultimate in anthemic self-indulgence. It is important that at the key moment* you reveal your air guitar and invisible pick with a flourish, assume the position (legs apart, hips forward), then begin pseudo-shredding while making electric guitar noises to the tune of ‘God Save the Queen’. With gusto.

I am a big rock star
This is my air guitar*
Wang-wang wahhhh-wang-wang
Wah wah-wah wah-wah wahhhh wah-wang

Thank you, Cleveland, and goodnight.


Posted in Christ..., Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories! | Comments Off

The return of ‘JPEG Baby’

Way back in 2003, on the same weekend that Jemini were bottoming out in the Eurovision Song Contest, I released my very first animation. It was a music video for JPEG Baby, a song written by me and composed, performed and produced by Koit.

I am proud to announce that this interwebs classic has a brand new video and is now available to buy on iTunes. The song and the video are both mildly NSFW, but not graphic in nature. Just a wee bit naughty.

I trust that those to you who are new to the song will appreciate its subtle cautionary overtones.

Buy this song now on iTunes!

JPEG Baby cover art

Posted in Consume!, Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Teh Interwebs | Comments Off

[post updated]

UPDATE (20 September) – It’s not often that I will simply withdraw an article, but there have been two major developments, one of which being that Twitter have finally taken the matter seriously and suspended the multiple sock-puppet accounts involved.

I will spell out the other development in good time, but for now it is sufficient to say that from this point on – by describing a risk that is no longer pronounced – this article risked doing some else’s dirty work for them. So it has been withdrawn, because I’m not an idiot.

An article specifically about the extraordinary behaviour that necessitated this article will most likely be published at some stage in the future. As you might imagine, I was quite assiduous about keeping a record of the relevant accounts and what their output revealed about the author (and those who made the mistake of associating with them).

Cheers all.

Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | 3 Comments

‘The British People’ vs. Tim Ireland

Late last year, an anonymous Twitter account appeared that was dedicated to publishing, popularising and/or attaching my name to some rather inflammatory allegations. I was very much the central focus of this account, but it also targeted several people close to me.

In the run-up to the general election, I announced my intention to stand as an independent Parliamentary candidate in Mid Bedfordshire, and the anonymous author literally begged me to do so, goading me with the promise of ‘exposure’.

By April I was formally approved as a candidate and campaigning in earnest, but shortly after the Shefford Hustings event, the author became increasingly upset that I had dared to run at all, and appeared quite concerned that I might petition the results. In fact, the author alleged that this had been my intention all along, and sought to use this premise to portray my campaign as an illegitimate or even criminal conspiracy to undermine British democracy.

A fortnight ago, the author began a 10 day countdown as the vilification on their anonymous Twitter account increased in intensity. On May 4th, the countdown culminated in the publication of a letter to me that they had written ‘on behalf of the British people’. It begins by accusing me of “(abusing my) privileges as a foreigner living as a resident here in Great Britain” before descending into a series of dark threats. The author simultaneously announced that they were going into ‘standby’ mode, ready to begin their Twitter assault anew should this be necessary in their view.

I have declined to so much as hint at the likely identity of the author, and I choose to allow them to carry the weight of specific allegations they make in order to justify their position, which is why they are not repeated here.

Other than the removal of two blocks of text containing those allegations, the following text is entirely unedited.

What I present first is the clear indication of what they are most upset about….

Your methods have often been sly & underhand. You’re running for parliament, for example, is a slight against our great democracy. You dared wrap yourself in our flag but all you wanted was to rile one candidate during the election campaign and, drawing on old electoral laws, have them removed with an “election petition” after the election. Well, that’s just not the British way.

… and then the main body of the letter, including the threats made by the author if I do not ‘take this chance at peace’ and back off:

Your lies have got you in a terrible pickle. At this time your plans are in tatters and your reputation has been incinerated beyond repair.

Note also that here in Britain every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. We are a very fair-minded lot, you see. And so in this sympathetic vein …


Since you are now neutralized, you may now write your blog and tweet as much as you like henceforth.

But do so in a civilised manner which shows empathy for the people you are pursuing. Think of their real-world families, friends and colleagues before posting or tweeting. Do not smear. Triple check your facts before causing people pain.

And for God’s sake, stop optimising abuse about them on Google. That is just cowardly with a capital C.


Just as has been the case over the last four or five years, the resistance movement against you will crush you into the ground. And, let’s face it, you have suffered. It was your terrible decision to put yourself on a pedestal and look where it got you. You’ve lost almost everything, Mr Ireland.

Of course, cowards who are exposed (as you have been) will crack (as you have).

For every abusive tweet there will be a hundred resistance tweets returned. For every twisted post there will be widespread coverage across various media of your past misdemeanours. For every link you add to a negative post about one of your victims we shall link-build a hundred links to one of the many negative (but accurate) posts which exist about you.

We are more patient than you, more powerful than you, better-financed and far brighter than you.

We will continue to watch your behaviour 24/7. We will never break the law but we assure you we will continue to affect your ability to live contentedly amongst us. We will not let your lies stand.

This Twitter account, which has so successfully held you to account for the past months, is one of many which from today will lie quiet but which can be used again in a heartbeat; meanwhile, we hope, providing an effective, powerful deterrent to your tendency for vile behaviour.

The civil courts are another weapon we can use against you and your associates if you do not start behaving yourselves. Your many victims are ready to face you down.

Note that this offer is meant for you AND those weak others who have been manipulated by you. As their ringleader we consider that, within reason, you are responsible for the people and areas they decide to blog and tweet about.

Please note that as a group we will change laws to ensure the kind of anti-social behaviour you and your friends have exhibited over the last decade will become illegal. Harassment laws WILL catch up with technology, they will become more retrospective and we’ll bust a gut to see the necessary changes through.

Now YOU must change.

You call yourself a “caped crusader” against injustice in Britain but you have failed to grasp the reality. You are a particularly ordinary man, Mr Ireland, and you have caused a great many Britons a very great deal of pain trying to prove to the world otherwise. Time to burst the shriveled balloon of your delusion, Mr Ireland.

So, wake up.


Look in the mirror.

& Change.

Or we will come at you and your associates one thousand times harder than you can possibly imagine. We also know the law back-to-front and we will never once breach it. We will take you on once again so you are left shaking & pathetic; begging for mercy yet again in one of your pitiful YouTube videos.

Life is give and take, Mr Ireland. Continue to abuse us Brits and you will be drowned out. Give back good behaviour to the land that you have taken so much from and maybe we Britons will start to appreciate you a bit more.

So now grow up, Mr Ireland.

Stop & think.

You are politely advised to take this last chance. We offer peace. Take it.

For the record, I deny lying about anyone, I have not harassed anyone, and I do not recall begging for anything on YouTube or anywhere else. I did totally wrap myself in the flag, though:

Further, I would dare to ask the rest of the British public what they make of this letter, which is why I have published the bulk of the it here for all to see.

I would be interested in any comments on-site or off, but I request that you refrain from guessing at the identity of the author and/or their associates. Please also be aware that the anonymous author has in their own special way repeatedly sought to goad me into making a public announcement regarding my position on the events at the Shefford hustings, but I have no intention of saying anything at this time other than to confirm that the matter is under police investigation.

Cheers all.

[MINI-UPDATE] – I will be at the count for the next few hours, so comment approval will likely be on the slow side until dawn.

UPDATE (1 June) – The police investigation into events at Shefford Hustings has concluded without action, but there will be further developments; despite the anonymous threats detailed in this post, an election petition has been filed.

UPDATE (10 June) – Independent – Nadine Dorries faces challenge after general election smear campaign allegations: Nadine Dorries is facing an extraordinary challenge to her parliamentary future after a rival candidate lodged an election petition claiming she had accused him of being a stalker and a “dangerous criminal”. The Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire could lose her seat if the smear allegations contained in the election petition, which has been lodged at the High Court by the unsuccessful independent candidate Tim Ireland, are accepted by judges.

UPDATE (30 July) – Independent – High Court rejects attempt to unseat Nadine Dorries after legal documents sent to wrong address: An attempt to unseat the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has been thrown out by the High Court after two judges ruled that legal documents informing her of the action were sent to the wrong address. Lawyers acting for Ms Dorries, who was re-elected as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire at the general election, successfully argued at a hearing in London that the election petition sent to her constituency’s Conservative Association last month was invalid and should be struck out… Ms Dorries described the Conservative Association office in Shefford as a “small office staffed by volunteers” which was only open on Monday mornings, the court heard. She was in London when the legal documents arrived and consequently did not receive them until several days later, after they were forwarded by her personal assistant. Mr Ireland, who is now facing a significant bill for legal costs, said in a series of Tweets following the ruling: “The High Court did not reject the body of my allegations against Nadine Dorries. They nullified a petition raising them on a technicality. What Nadine Dorries did today was successfully prevent my allegations against her being heard and her allegations against me being tested.”


Posted in UK General Election 2015 | 11 Comments

#votetim | New Campaign Video | Using Your Vote To Fight Corruption

I’ve made two versions of this video. The long version is embedded below, but there is also a short version for people who want the meat without the sandwich.

If you’re wondering about the missing detail about Nadine Dorries, what I can share with you immediately is this account of what happened at Shefford Hustings and further news that the events described in it are now the subject of a police investigation. Cheers all.

UPDATE (31 May) – The police investigation into events at the hustings has concluded without action, and I look forward to publishing further detail.

Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories!, UK General Election 2015 | Comments Off

EXCLUSIVE: Grant Shapps claims he met the alleged ‘1234’ hacker

The recent controversy about a Guardian story apparently linking Grant Shapps to a series of Wikipedia edits led me to review my email correspondence with Mr Shapps back in 2012, when I was seeking a statement or denial over the Wikipedia edits referenced in this article and his wider adventures as ‘Michael Green’ (latest). This began as a private conversation, and agreements were made about data of a personal/sensitive nature but (a) I made it utterly clear to Grant (twice!) at the end of the conversation that if he left it at the point that he did and the matter was not pursued through official channels, then I would be left with no choice but to lobby publicly for an investigation/inquiry, and (b) happily, I can do so without revealing any of the more sensitive data in our correspondence.

That was over two years ago. I apologise to the public for being so preoccupied in the months and years that followed (long story), but I’m here now and ready to lobby for justice.

During this 2012 email conversation Grant Shapps and I spoke about the incident at the 2007 Ealing Southall by-election, when his official YouTube account was involved in an alleged sock-puppeting incident. Grant publicly claimed at the time that his YouTube account was hacked, and he in part blamed his use of “a very easily guessable password”… ‘1234’ (source). Here is what Grant later claimed happened after that event, at the count for that same by-election:

“That 1234 thing was over 5 years ago, at the count a man came up to me and explained about using brute force to unlock the page. Apparently this is software that runs through combinations. He was proud of the fact that the password was quick and easy to crack and mentioned it hadn’t taken long. Although we discussed legal action at the time, after the campaign was over we never pursued it on the basis of time and cost.” – Grant Shapps

I am hesitant to cast doubt on Grant’s story because of the pressing need to call this unknown person to account (should they exist), but the simple fact is that Mr Shapps has “overly firmly denied” once too often, he is the subject of widespread mockery as a result, and if I do not raise these obvious points/questions in an objective manner here, then my own credibility will suffer, and that will harm any attempt to bring this unknown person to justice (should they exist). Police do not take kindly to people who cannot determine the difference between speculation and fact.

1. You can’t just wander into a count for an election. If you are not an official helping to conduct the count, then you need to be either (a) a candidate, (b) their agent, or (c) formally appointed by a candidate or a candidate’s agent as a counting agent. Somewhere, there is paperwork with this man’s name on it, or this unknown person (should they exist) has committed a criminal offence by giving false information.

2. The Returning Officer, the first person you would be expected to report such behaviour to, would have been present at the count, throughout the count. It would have been a very simple matter to bring this matter to the RO’s attention and make the key allegation against this unknown person (should they exist). I am left wondering why this did not happen, and if it did, what Mr Shapps can tell us about the reasons why it was not followed up by the authorities, because…

3. ‘Time and cost’ are factors Mr Shapps might consider in a civil case, but in a matter that involves criminal law, a crime is a crime, and it should be reported, especially if you are not the only victim. This unknown person (should they exist) strikes me as an extremely reckless individual who has sought to betray the wider electorate, and it is on this note that I leave you with the guts of my reply back in 2012 (I ask you to excuse my cynicism, as it was expressed privately at the time):

“re: ‘1234’… This is an unsubstantiated anecdote that is far too close to ‘a big boy did it and ran away’ to be taken seriously. Twinned with this is the fact that you are denying pretending to be more than one person in one instance while defending your pretending to be more than one person in another. There is also the not-insignificant matter of the account you describe involving at least one unmistakably criminal act. This is something that should have been reported regardless of any intentions about civil action. If you are going to sincerely put it to me that this happened as you describe, then I am compelled to lobby for an investigation or inquiry into the unknown man who sought to influence the outcome of an election with criminal act(s) and confront you personally to brag about it. Such a person, if they exist, has so little regard for the law that the matter would be pressing still even if it weren’t for the recent interest in computer hacking (see: Murdoch)” – Tim Ireland

So, there you have it. A mystery to be unravelled. I am uncertain what the statute of limitations is on any relevant offences under the Representation of the People Act (answers on a postcard, please), but the hacking allegation alone deserves a full and proper investigation, and it is long overdue.

Did an unnamed man make edits to a YouTube account under false pretences purely to make Grant Shapps look guilty? That certainly appears to be what he is implying in this recent statement about the ‘Contribsx’ Wikipedia edits. We could be looking at a pattern of behaviour here:


Posted in Consume!, Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 2 Comments, I am in you

As many of you will recall, Grant Shapps (aka ‘Michael Green’) and/or his wife Belinda Shapps (aka ‘Sebastian Fox’) used to own a site called ‘TrafficPaymaster’, which was one of a series of ‘get rich quick’ schemes that Shapps used to peddle online both before and after he became an MP. The good people at had a curious philosophy about this product that was designed to cheat Google and its users: they figured that cheating didn’t count if you didn’t get caught.

“Shoplifting is victimless crime. Like punching someone in the dark.” – Nelson Muntz (The Simpsons)

Because Shapps was in such a hurry to do away with some of his sleazier sites, he carelessly threw the domain name away. It became available at auction recently… and I bought it.

So today I have brought the site back to life with a new purpose: to expose Grant Shapps as a liar and a bully.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… the chocolate-sandwich room:

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Cheers all.

Posted in Consume!, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 1 Comment

#votetim – I’m running for Parliament, me

Good morning, everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that, yes, I do intend to stand as an independent Parliamentary candidate in Mid Bedfordshire. You can read my campaign profile here, but I would also appreciate you taking the time to register to vote (if you haven’t already), donate some money (if you have some) and/or host a poster (if you live in the area).

Have a great day. I’ll be in and out for most of it. Busy, busy, busy…

UPDATE (April 2015) – It’s official folks. I’m now a candidate, and this is my campaign video:

Posted in UK General Election 2015 | 3 Comments

Grant Shapps is a lying liar who tells lies

I want to start today by making it ab-so-lute-ly clear that what Grant Shapps sold and promoted under the pseudonym Michael Green was a series of low-rent scams dressed up as self-help and marketing products (example). Further, the manner in which they were promoted was demonstrably fraudulent (example). More journalists should be looking into that detail. It is the root of Mr Shapps’ embarrassment, and what led him to engage in the following further wrongdoing…

What Mr Shapps did recently that was so wrong was to use money and libel law to bully critics into silence, when he had no legitimate grounds to do so. It was an audacious abuse of power, and something that would normally trigger resignation(s) from any position of authority. I am here today to show you that Shapps engaged in a deliberate and calculated deceit in order to cover up an earlier deliberate and calculated deceit.

Let’s take a close look at the text that Shapps forced Dean Charles Archer to publish when that constituent dared to suggest that he had misled the public (more):

“I recently made a post suggesting that Grant Shapps MP had lied over the use of a pen name. I now accept that such an assertion was entirely false and that Mr Shapps MP has at no time misled over the use of a pen name. Indeed, I now understand that he openly published his full name alongside business publications making it clear that he used a pen name merely to separate business and politics, prior to his entering parliament. Since I was not in full possession of the facts I was clearly wrong to make that post. I wish to apologise (unreservedly) to Mr Shapps MP for any harm or embarrassment caused.”

More recently, Shapps has issued statements suggesting that there was some form of minor/inadvertent overlap between his career as a ‘marketing guru’ and his job as an MP, and that denying it was merely an error, because so much time had passed that the overlap slipped his mind. Focusing on a recent radio interview rather than this event where he bullied a constituent into capitulating with threats of legal action, the following statement was issued on his behalf by the Conservative Party:

“Like many authors and journalists, Grant wrote with a pen name. This was completely transparent: his full name and biographical details were permanently published on the company’s main website. Given that this was a decade ago, and was mentioned during the cut and thrust of an interview, he referenced that his writing career had ended when he became an MP: in fact it ended shortly afterwards.”

[MINI UPDATE – The assertion that Grant Shapps was “studious in publishing his full name and biography alongside” the ‘business books’ he released and promoted under the name Michael Green also appears in this letter from lawyers acting on his behalf dated 12 November 2014.]

So, let’s break this down:

Was ‘Michael Green’ merely a ‘pen name’?

In a word: no.

If you look here, here and here, you will see three different profiles of Michael Green from external websites (i.e. websites Shapps has not been able to delete or censor). All of them use the same stock photo of a man who (a) is not Grant Shapps, (b) is younger and more handsome than Grant Shapps, and (c) has considerably more hair than Grant Shapps.

(Please also note the text bragging about his status as an MP who “actually flies his very own personal plane and also lives in a fabulous mansion”. More on this later.)

Grant Shapps is a handsome liar

There is also the small matter of ‘Michael Green’ not merely billing himself as an author, but as ‘President (of) How To Corp’ (a “limited liability company registered in the United Kingdom”). This screen capture is from one of Shapps’ own websites:

Grant Shapps is the President of Liars

But if the ‘HowToCorp’ website itself made it entirely clear who Shapps was, then no harm done, right? Well…

Were Grant Shapps’ full name and biographical details “permanently published on the company’s main website”?

In a word: no.

When all of this blew up in late 2012, Grant Shapps was careful to remove the many, many sites he used to sell his spivvery, including the main site ‘’. He also took the added precaution of excluding a list of relevant domains from the Web Archive. Normally, this would make it impossible for anyone to go back and check his assertions about what used to appear on this website or that, but there’s more than one archive available, and Mr Clever Clogs here used them to check up on a few things.

I can confidently state as a fact, that yes, at one time, when you visited the main page of, if you scrolled down to the bottom, you would be able to see a link to ‘Michael Green Biography’. Further, the page it linked to did assert that ‘Michael Green’ was a ‘pen name’.


1. This link/page was removed after Grant Shapps was elected to be an MP

2. The page itself (when it existed) made NO mention of Grant Shapps by name. And here’s the relevant evidence that Mr Shapps tried to hide from us:

Grant Shapps is professional liar with no formal computer training

(Psst! I won’t be showing him where I found it just yet. Last time I did that, he was in a terrible hurry to hide the evidence I was linking to, and I’m not done browsing through it yet.)

Did the name ‘Grant Shapps’ appear “alongside business publications” published in the name of Michael Green?

In a word: no.

The following are all domains owned/operated/promoted by ‘How To Corp’, and I have checked archives/copies of the relevant websites/products in detail, and I can confidently state that none of the following web sites/pages made any mention of Grant Shapps by name alongside any of his so-called “business publications”. You know that old saying ‘three strikes and you’re out’? Here’s thirty:

Here are two versions that are still accessible in the main Web Archive. Check them out for yourself:
How To Add Audio To Your Website and Dramatically Increase Your Sales Conversion Ratio
How To Create Popups – Easy Popup Generator

The best that could be said on the ‘transparency’ front was that these sites all included a prominent and visible link back to the website ‘’, which at one time did assert on a single page that ‘Michael Green’ was a pen name, but made zero mention of the name ‘Grant Shapps’, even when it did exist.

(Interesting fact: The fee for a one-hour telephone consultation with ‘Michael Green’ of was a mere US$297 . Also, this was one of many sites where ‘Michael Green’ billed himself as “the owner of the World’s Largest Internet Marketing Forum”.)

When Grant Shapps became an MP, did his work as ‘Michael Green’ end “shortly afterwards”?

In a word: no.

Grant Shapps has at one time made a vague claim about his wife continuing to operate the business in his absence and perhaps even being Michael Green herself from time to time sometime after May 2005, but the audio I linked to in this article clearly dates to August 2007 (more than two years after he became an MP), and there’s no question about it being Shapps himself posing as Michael Green in interview.

Speaking of interviews, here’s ‘Michael Green’ bragging about how easy it was to balance his two workloads in a ‘product’ titled ‘Diary Profits’ (also featuring ‘Peter Twist’):

PETER: Now I think what I always like to point out about yourself is that before
people start saying things like, ‘Oh, I’m so busy. I’m on holiday’ and everything
— I’ve got to explain that you were involved very heavily in public life so this
kind of a — possibly quiet time for you where you don’t have to be in parliament
and such so.

MICHAEL: Well, there is that, but I mean basically this is a hobby for me. This
is — when I want to — it probably sounds like a strange hobby for some people
— but when I want to get away and I want to relax from the daily hustle and
bustle of politics and what have you — then for me — for my weekend or
whatever when I am not doing that stuff — this is relaxation for me. This is how
I relax. I do internet marketing to relax. How about that?

Was this Belinda Shapps writing as ‘Michael Green’? Obviously not, because Belinda is not a Member of Parliament, and the document is based on this audio file featuring Grant’s voice (via).

There’s also little question about Grant Shapps himself being the author of the ‘product’ titled ‘How To Bounce Back From Recession’. I secured an original copy of this document from before Shapps managed to throw most of his shady past down a memory hole, and the properties of the PDF file give a creation date of late 2009. By now we’re more than 4 years past the date when Shapps became an MP; almost a full term.

As for any contention that any overlap was inadvertent and easy to forget, it is quite evident that Shapps was as ‘Michael Green’ cashing in on his status as an MP rather than accidentally allowing the two roles to overlap. Plus…

Did Grant Shapps merely make a ‘mistake’ in the ‘cut and thrust’ of an interview almost a decade after the original event(s)?

In a word: no.

Firstly, this defence ignores the legal bullying, which was careful, calculated, and quite deliberate.

Secondly, I have in my archives a copy of a forum post made by Grant Shapps, which is still live if you would care to look into the detail for yourself. The following are some clear denials by Grant Shapps that date back to June 2005 (highlights are mine):

Anyone who has struggled and fought as a self-employed person building up their own business would take some offence from being lumped in wiith those who get elected and as a result of their position, accept paid consultancies. I hope you’ll accept that what I’ve done is entirely different. Just for additional clarity, my print biz now operates without my direct input, so I am a full time MP and completely focused on Welwyn Hatfield.

Interesting debate. The point I was trying to make is that I’m a full time MP. That’s what I do. Those who take the train in the morning will sometimes see me going to London, though my schedule is different everyday due to the unusual business hours at parliament. Before I get on the train I’m working in the constituency on day to day case work, either from home, the constituency office or out and about visiting people and places in Welwyn Hatfield.

In terms of outside interests, I don’t have anything that takes up any significant time. In the past three or four months I have visited my print business just once for a meeting which lasted around one hour. That’s it! I’ve worked hard for 15 years to specifically get the business running without my input.

Naturally when it comes to declaring for the register of interests I will mention my print biz (which as founder, I am still a Director of) and my online marketing company that I run alongside. Salaries are not actually declared in the Register, which is not intended to be a wealth index, but out of interest, I draw very little salary indeed and will be remunerated by dividends at the end of the year if my print business makes money (not a given as anyone in print will tell you). Nothing that I do outside being the MP takes up any more time than say running this forum as a hobby for example and probably far less time than that, as I’ve described.

Shapps was denying being anything other than a full-time MP all the way back in 2005, while at the same time posing as ‘Michael Green’ and busily creating new scams targeting dumb and greedy Americans. If you read the exchange, you can even see the throwaway comment about his “online marketing company”, then someone bringing ‘Michael Green’ up about 6 months later; Shapps responds to this query by changing the subject and defining such queries as ‘personal’. He does not return to the topic.

Thought that dealing with the serious problems of the break-ins in Brookmans Park were more important to post on than a discussion about my personal business, which I’ve properly declared in the members interests – without which we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

So there you have it; Shapps was actively avoiding the issue while engaging in a pretence of transparency all the way back in 2005. It’s not a mistake he made in recent days a decade after the fact, it is an ongoing deceit that he has maintained for a decade.

If it were otherwise, he would not have gone to such extraordinary (but ultimately futile) lengths to hide his tracks.

There is nothing in the recent statement in defence of Shapps that stands up to any scrutiny. A man of any honour would resign. A party of any integrity would force the issue. But the sad fact is that Shapps is a greedy and dishonest liar, and a valuable member of a deeply tribal group that rewards such behaviour.

On this note I will close by declaring an interest. Recently I passed a confidential letter to Grant Shapps for the attention of the Prime Minister. My letter was about a rather personal and sensitive issue: Conservative fundraising executives who had used false identities to make anonymous allegations of child rape for political gain. Shapps not only refused to take any action himself, he went on to share this confidential letter with people who had no business reading it. He has since refused to answer any questions about that, so I won’t pretend for a second that I’m not enjoying any of this.

UPDATE – More on this subject is available in a full video report hosted at a domain name that used to belong to Grant Shapps, and now belongs to me:


Posted in Consume!, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 9 Comments