You’re my hero, Anthony Gilberthorpe

My name is John Chefetz. Or maybe Jay Chafetz. Or maybe neither of those things. Names aren’t important these days, even when you’re making allegations of statewide election fraud, so I fail to see why they should matter here.

Seriously, my name really is John. In fact, my full name is John Honesty Johnson, just for the record, and yes, ‘Honesty’ is literally my middle name. I got a really hard time about that at school, believe you me! (Thanks, Mum!!)

In light of recent events, I feel that I must now publish what I personally witnessed in full with my own eyes on a flight in mid October of 1980 … exactly 36 years ago today, as it happens.

I was in Europe that September to attend the Braemar Gathering along with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. No lie! Obviously, we didn’t travel or sit together, as I was only a humble lad from Australia, but I was quite near the Royal Box and within a stone’s throw of her at the time. I even kept the stone.

I will be frank with you and admit that I was on some pretty strong psychoactive medication that year, but the course ended long before my visit to America that same October, when I was flying in to a small town called Riverdale to observe the US Presidential contest between Carter and Reagan.

I’ll even be so honest with you as to point out that I was only 10 years old at the time, but that day did feature my first barrel roll in a commercial airliner, so my memory of the surrounding events is particularly strong.

I remember vividly being guided from my seat through blue velvet curtains into first class. I was on my way to visit the pilots in the cockpit! This was before 9/11, and in the 80s, when they let kids do all kinds of crazy stuff with the controls.

(You can guarantee that pretty much every time you felt ‘turbulence’ before the turn of the century, it was some cheeky kid jiggling the handle. I once hit the air-brakes so hard that everybody spilled their drink and the airline had to give everybody a free round!)

Anyway, this was my first time in the front of a real plane, and I was so excited that I barely noticed the rich American man sitting with a young woman and an even younger man who I could immediately tell was British, but I do recall that there were three of them sitting there playing with their orange-foldaway armrests before I went into the cockpit and amazed the pilots with my ‘accidental’ barrel roll.

However, when I was being escorted from the cockpit by a very cross co-pilot and a very pretty stewardess (who was so amused that she later gave me a free ice cream), only two of them were sitting there. I remember thinking at the time; ‘Perhaps the lady is composing herself in the bathroom after my amazing barrel roll.’

Then I saw it.

The rich and handsome American was giving the younger British man a set of cuff-links. I could tell the subtle way the light shone off them that they were pure gold.

Then I heard it.

The rich and handsome man said something as he closed the young British man’s fist around the gleaming cuff-links, and for as long as I live I will never forget the earnest look on the younger man’s face as he heard these words: “You were never here.”

And that is my incredible story.

You may choose to submit something under the comments about how brave I am to risk all by revealing this (barrel rolls in commercial jets were illegal, even in the 80s) but I am a humble man, so I’d prefer to only publish a small percentage of these and accept the rest of your good wishes privately. I hope you will understand.

And now, some music:

The Conspiracy Song

-








Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off

‘Christian Times’ publishes falsified evidence of alleged electoral fraud plot

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9

For a long time now, Donald Trump and his supporters have been making a series of excuses about stolen elections and broken microphones for reasons that are easy to guess at. Trump himself is championing an ‘election observers’ recruitment drive that I personally suspect is going to result in a similar vibe one gets from ‘vigils’ outside abortion clinics.

Recently the Christian Times published a story claiming that someone had found solid evidence of a Democrat plot to ‘steal the election’ in Ohio:

BREAKING: “Tens of thousands” of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse (September 30, 2016) – Election officials in Franklin County, Ohio are reportedly stumped over what one maintenance worker found in a dilapidated downtown Columbus warehouse earlier this week. According to sources, Randall Prince, a Columbus-area electrical worker, was doing a routine check of his companies wiring and electrical systems when he stumbled across approximately one dozen black, sealed ballot boxes filled with thousands of Franklin County votes for Hillary Clinton and other Democrat candidates.

The author is very clear on what this alleged evidence indicates:

…it now appears that Clinton and the Democrat Party planned on stealing the state on Election Day.

The story has already been promoted widely by Trump supporters, including this one who runs a major ‘fan’ account called @RealDJTrumpTeam (“The Original DJ Trump Fan Twitter Page!!! Let’s Make America Safe and Great Again!!!”).

A variation of the classic ‘you couldn’t make it up’ line is there, and in my experience, you can usually find this wherever someone is making stuff up (see also: ‘Nothing up my sleeves!’) and this is no exception.

Here’s the main photo from the article, including its caption:

Not a prince

I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that this isn’t an image of Randall Prince from Franklin County Ohio, but instead a photo of an unnamed member of electoral services staff in Sheldon Heath, Birmingham (UK).

Oh, and those boxes he’s carrying? They’re empty.

How can I be so sure of all of this? Because the good people at the Christian Times have rather foolishly used a stock image and claimed it is a genuine photograph of the alleged discovery alongside the primary witness in their story (link to original):

Genuine Image 1 of 2

For the doubters, here’s another image from the same series (link to original):

Genuine image 2 of 2

See that blue door and the adjacent building? You can inspect those for yourself by making a quick streetview visit to the Sheldon Heath Community Centre…

If the publishers of the Christian Times plan on claiming this was an editorial accident that does not impact on the central allegation, they need to explain why the image was reversed in a clumsy attempt to foil an image-based search.

(NOTE – This is why the ‘ballot box’ text looks so poorly photoshopped in the Christian Times version of this image: someone had to transplant and reverse the text, and clearly struggled to do so on all of the boxes.)

What I have published here will no doubt be enjoyed with considerable relish by those who oppose Trump and what he stands for, but today I choose to reach out to those who support Trump and what he says he stands for:

Seriously, you are being had. All politicians lie, but there are many things that you take to be a certainty that are not only lies, but some of the boldest lies I have seen in politics for many years: this is a measure of the level of contempt that Trump and his backers have for you.

I realise that this is a difficult thing to accept. You’ve made a strong emotional investment in fictions to a degree that most of us would be embarrassed to admit to. But, hey, you’re human… and I encourage you to cling to a belief of yours that is more reliable than most: there are people in the media who seek to influence this election through subterfuge.

You’ve got to forge ahead past that flushed feeling of shame and find your anger, because the individual who invented this lie should be called to account, and that won’t happen if the people who published it think their audience won’t care or notice.

The Christian Times needs to take immediate and firm action by retracting this story (i.e. by admitting the fault and publicising this admission as widely as they did the original article) and suspending all parties involved until a full and proper investigation is held, with a full report published. Further, Donald Trump and his campaign team should respond by recognising and denouncing this attempt to influence voters with a lie (not least because they have called upon others to do the same) and suspending all relations with the Christian Times until the matter is resolved.

If you ask for anything less, you are willing to accept lies from one side and not the other, and it is time to admit that to yourself.

If you get anything less, you should have serious doubts about the integrity of both the Christian Times and/or Donald Trump, and I genuinely trust that this is something you will recognise and respond to with healthy scepticism.

(PRO TIP: Watch out for claims/implications that this whole thing was an innocent mistake and/or somehow the work of Clinton campaigners trying to make Trump look bad.)

My closing statement is another quote from a book that’s popular among Christians. If you are a true believer, I wish you well and ask you to ponder on it:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew 7:15

A gentlemanly tip of the hat to original spotter Michael Ward, who first brought the badly-photoshopped Christian Times image to my attention.

UPDATE – I have attempted to contact the Christian Times for comment, but there is no obvious email address that I can find. I did, however, discover some added detail as part of that search. The author of this article (published under ‘admin1′) is John Chefetz, ‘owner and founder of Christian Times Newspaper’.

UPDATE – As noted in the comments, the website calling itself ‘Christian Times’ is not associated with the Christian Times Newspaper, neither is it associated with the Christian Media Corporation Company. The bio details I quote above (and other text on their website, and the domain of the site itself: christiantimesnewspaper.com) may give a false impression about this, so I have taken pains to avoid/remove any mention of the word ‘newspaper’ adjacent to the name ‘Christian Times’ in my article, but also wish to add this statement for clarity in light of what the quoted bio claims and what the associated domain name implies.

MAJOR UPDATE (13 October) – I was in touch with the owner and admin of this site about the above story (not an easy thing to do, as the site carries no contact information). They claimed to be on an overseas trip and pledged to follow the matter up with staff as soon as they got back to their hotel room.

Then, instead of issuing any correction or retraction, they simply removed some text for a few days, and then, later, the entire page. They then uploaded an entirely different story that also used evidently fabricated evidence to support a further allegation of election fraud, this time taking BBC footage of election fraud in Russia and pretending it was a discovery of election fraud in the US. The relevant video ‘evidence’ has even been clipped to remove an obvious Russian flag in the foreground!

This comment under one of the copies of this video on YouTube tells you everything you need to know about the state of mind of many people who are taken in by these audacious lies and clumsy forgeries. Being told outright that the claim is false – even by people in authority – does not faze them at all.

screen capture of comment

It is often hard to determine intent in cases such as this, but here it could not be more obvious. The following is a series of screen captures of christiantimesnewspaper.com (no connection to the actual Christian Times Newspaper) ranging from February 2016 to October 2016. Note how the site has gradually shed any mention of satire over time in order to present itself as a credible news site as the election approaches. Despite claiming that they make it ‘abundantly aware’ (sic) that the site contains fiction, this has always been presented as fine print, even when the site carried such text, and it clearly stopped doing that a long time ago. In fact, the current version of this fine print promises “accurate news and information”.

screen captures of so-called Christian Times

Further, it should be immediately apparent to anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in inbound links to the relevant site/articles that the allegations made about election fraud are being widely accepted/presented as both genuine and credible by some very emotional people who are by now utterly convinced that any defeat of Trump in November will be the result of election fraud. This is the kind of thing that not only undermines democracy, but can and often does lead to violence.

Here I will highlight the rather hopeful arse-covering statement in the aforementioned fine print stating that the site author “does not take responsibility for any of our readers’ actions that may result from reading our stories”.

Also, every page at the so-called ‘Christian Times’ loads the following pop-up declaring a previous fraud to be a certainty (“We already know that Hillary stole the primary. We can’t let her steal the presidency.”), and inviting unwitting readers to be alerted to further ‘evidence’ of alleged election fraud.

screen capture of Stop the Steal

(That link to a ‘Privacy Policy’, by the way, goes nowhere. I checked. There is none.)

The owner states their name as ‘John Chevetz’ on the site but in private emails they give their name as ‘Jay Chafetz’. Either one name is an alias, or they both are, but the author has clearly been publishing their stories and the entire site under an alias (PRO TIP: this is not the same as using a ‘pen name’).

Finally, while the site owner (‘John’ or ‘Jay’ or whatever) refuses to give any details about a physical address for their so-called news organisation, there are forensic indications that ‘John’/’Jay’ is based in Delaware… even when he claims to be busy overseas.

Ah, the grandiose lies of habitual liars; how I have missed them*.

(*I wish to make it ‘abundantly aware’ that this sentence may contain sarcasm.)

-








Posted in Donald Trump | 2 Comments

Theresa May, the ‘nasty party’, and a path to kinder, gentler politics

“You know what some people call us: the nasty party.”
– Theresa May, speech to the Conservative Conference, 2002

For more than a decade I’ve been publishing warnings about the dark places social media will take us when politicians do not take threatening behaviour seriously, deliberately turn a blind eye to it from their own supporters when it suits them, and/or even engage in it themselves. On that last point, I’m aware of several incidents where a serving MP has sought to answer, damage or even intimidate critics through use of anonymous comments/accounts. In doing so, they seek to avoid accountability and undermine a key component of our democracy.

This is something we should be taking very seriously. It has also grown much worse in recent years because (a) the village has been getting bigger and there are more idiots to go around, (b) social media gives these idiots opportunities that did not exist 10 years ago without at least the tacit approval of a publisher with an audience but without a conscience, and (c) people watch and take note when others get away with it, resulting in everything from immediate mob formation to later mimicry.

Worse, the problem peaks during emotional highs such as elections, referendums and leadership campaigns, which is when we need our democracy the most.

Currently, Jeremy Corbyn is being called upon to answer for the poor behaviour of just about everybody who ever leaned to the left. Similarly, Theresa May’s supporters recently felt the need to call upon fellow Conservatives to sign a “clean campaign pledge” during the Tory leadership contest, but May’s own Chief Whip continues to protect one of her former executive fundraisers (a man who continues to target me and others), purely because she fears the political cost of admitting to a mistake involving a very dirty campaign where an innocent man was branded as a paedophile.

This is only one example of that party’s neglect over decades of abuse and harassment from its members. I say this not to engage in political whataboutery but to highlight the fact that this is not a party or political problem, but a widespread, long-standing and worsening problem that will only get better when people in authority finally grasp the nettle and take responsibility rather than see bullying as something to be played down when it happens in your own ranks, and capitalised on when it appears to originate from the opposition.

This bias/opportunism and the bullying itself are very human responses. We’re not divine beings; we’re selfish animals with social concerns. We are wired to behave this way when we think we can get away with it. Therefore, the only credible and effective response is a measure that not only acknowledges the bullying from all sides, but addresses the human element including the problem of inherent bias.

If I may beg your patience for a few moments, I’d like to focus on this single example from direct experience just long enough to give you a sense of perspective and purpose…. then I would like to get on with the important business of proposing what I think is a workable solution. (It’s in bold below if you have a short attention span and no care for detail.)

You may find the following hard going if you are a Conservative, but I will try to remain objective if you can promise to do the same, and (as usual) I will stick to what I can demonstrate with evidence if Anne Milton or David Cameron anyone else wishes to challenge it:

In 2006, two fundraising executives in Guildford were working under campaign head Jonathan Lord (now MP for Woking) for the recently-elected MP for Guildford: Anne Milton.

These two fundraising executives, Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul, also put themselves forward as Conservative candidates in a local council election. They both deny authorship of an anonymous website that accused their opponent and a critic of Anne Milton of paedophilia, but it can be demonstrated that an email address administered by Mike Chambers was used in an attempt to anonymously publicise the site, and that Dennis Paul linked to it from his own site early in the campaign and referenced the allegations on the eve of the relevant election. For now, let’s afford them the benefit of the doubt to the extent that we allow for the potential involvement of an unidentified third party who created an anonymous website making false allegations of child rape in order to damage a candidate in an election (which is a crime, by the way). At one stage, the anonymous site author revealed some shocking prejudice that most reasonable people would describe as a hate incident if not a hate crime: the candidate outed themselves as gay, and the site author quite clearly asserted this as confirmation that they were a paedophile as alleged.

At the time of my original complaint about this behaviour, Cameron’s office responded by saying that he was ‘confident that the issue was being investigated a local level’, but on that same day he formally endorsed both Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul as Conservative candidates and had his picture taken with them as part of that process.

Chambers and Paul were not suspended pending an investigation because there was no investigation. Later, Cameron had no response to Jonathan Lord’s own admission that he had decided against an investigation purely because an election was in progress and he didn’t want the candidates or the party to be damaged by what he described as a threat that the facts would somehow be ‘distorted’ and used against them unfairly (more/detail).

Police were involved at the time, but declined to investigate some key authorship issues based on the false assertion by an unnamed Tory party member that a key witness did not exist and had been invented as part of a plot to fabricate evidence against Mike Chambers. Dennis Paul also made quite specific allegations about my hacking his computer and illicitly making changes to his website(s). This apparent conspiracy to pervert the course of justice alone is a matter that warrants investigation.

At the tail end of my article I have included a further letter that I sent to David Cameron in 2015. The blasé response to this letter – that I should refer my concerns to police – completely ignored the statute of limitations on relevant offences and implied that the Conservatives would tolerate any behaviour from their members and candidates that was technically legal… but my main issue was the leaking of this private and sensitive correspondence.

I have found this to be a common problem with a series of Chairpersons during David Cameron’s time as Conservative Leader. It is part of a Gentleman’s Club mindset where formal investigation is rejected in favour of a quiet word off the record. Too often the full body of the complaint is shared illicitly as part of this process, putting the alleged victim at the mercy of their alleged bully. I am aware of multiple victims of this pattern of behaviour within the Conservative Party, and you will no doubt be aware of Elliott Johnson, who took his own life in the wake of similar behaviour, but even now the Conservatives refuse to acknowledge or investigate this widespread and long-standing issue.

Immediately after my initial complaint in 2006 I was the target of relentless attacks on anonymous websites and through the use of anonymous comments on the then up-and-coming websites of a range of Conservatives, some of whom sought to take advantage of the situation. It wasn’t until 2009 that I discovered that a further fundraising executive working for Anne Milton was also involved to the extent of smearing me as a paedophile. And an extremist. And a cyber terrorist. And a stalker.

In 2012 I complained to the President/Chairman of the relevant fundraising committee. Within 24 hours of that email being read, I was again anonymously smeared as a paedophile.

That now-former* fundraising executive’s name is Dominic Wightman, and his behaviour has grown well out of control over years of bullying because nobody in the party took the matter seriously. In fact, the behaviour has continued unabated for close to if not more than a decade by now. There has been no admission of fault or error by Anne Milton, Jonathan Lord or David Cameron, and it is in this climate of neglect that behaviour like this escalates. In fact, Wightman is so confident that he can say what he likes and do what he pleases that he goes around telling people all sorts of rubbish. The following is an extract from a recent email from Glen Jenvey, a man that Dominic Wightman (aka ‘Dominic Whiteman’) has repeatedly convinced to publish false allegations on his behalf:

“To be quite truthful whiteman is linked directly to Cameron that’s why the police never act against him.” – Glen Jenvey

Obviously this is bullshit, but in the absence of any real threat of contradiction or accountability, it is very effective bullshit. Wightman fed Jenvey and other people similar fictions about links to Lord Ashcroft, and it took that peer nearly four years to merely contradict Wightman’s claims about knowing him.

The absence of any real threat of contradiction or accountability also led to escalation of other aberrant behaviour, up to and including Wightman’s years-old obsession with ‘downing’ me on behalf of Milton and other members of the party. I have spoken to witnesses who describe Wightman not merely voicing the allegation of paedophilia as a passing comment, but relating long and detailed fantasies about my imagined crimes. Take a moment to consider this. It is not something said in the heat of the moment; it is cold and calculated behaviour that involves the creation of complex, perverse fictions. It is far from healthy, and we are at this insane stage mainly if not only because a range of Conservatives repeatedly put party-political concerns ahead of principle.

It is on this note that I arrive at my proposed solution, and I challenge Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and any other party leaders to respond to it:

1. A wholly independent investigation into the handling of bullying complaints by all parties going back at least 10 years. A public consultation with victims of alleged bullying/harassment should be central to this process, as there will be cases where no internal record of their complaint exists/survives.

2. A report detailing what measures might be taken to improve current protocols for all parties and how they are followed.

3. A specific option that should be considered is the creation of an independent body to cover all parties and handle all initial complaints of harassment, bullying, abuse and similar behaviour. Obviously their powers, protocols and funding are issues to be informed by the initial independent investigation and debated in Parliament, but in my view, the body should at the very least have an investigative arm and the capacity to make fast and credible recommendations about what actions relevant parties or authorities should take in response to any given complaint.

What I am working towards is something that allows aberrant behaviour to be initially assessed/addressed by people who do not feel an overwhelming need to protect any particular person or party from political damage. I cannot take credit for the core idea, as it was something proposed by Ray Johnson following his son’s death.

I close in reference to my 2015 letter to David Cameron that was leaked to some of the parties involved while my concerns were ignored (below).

In the subsequent election, I was not only targeted by a series of anonymous Twitter and WordPress accounts making false allegations of criminal behaviour, but the neglect at a party level was so bad that one MP (Nadine Dorries) saw fit to endorse and publicise these anonymous accounts, and another MP (Grant Shapps) saw fit to repeat some of these allegations in his official capacity as co-Chairman of the party. In other words, the man who handled my complaint to the party’s leader went on to engage in the same bullying campaign I was complaining about and involve the party directly in the process.

(Psst! If you wish to take a good guess at his motive, take a look at this site I published shortly before his outburst.)

Throughout this affair, people have been targeted with fabricated evidence causing them needless concerns for their safety. One of these people is Nadine Dorries, and I take this behaviour against her as seriously as anything else, but it is too late for police to act on it, and I fear that only belated intervention by her party is likely to alleviate the ongoing problem for her, myself and others.

This is a rare, near-to-perfect** and long-overdue opportunity for Theresa May to detoxify her party and politics generally. If she doesn’t take it, and if she sees fit to pretend there is no issue to address, then she cannot say or do anything about the current level of bullying in politics with any credibility. Further, she will have to admit that the Conservatives’ reputation as the ‘nasty party’ is well earned due to widespread behaviour at every level that she has personally refused to address.

(*One hopes.)

(**Cameron has exited humming a carefree little tune, but Jonathan Lord must answer for his failure to investigate two candidates/fundraisers and Anne Milton must answer for her failure to address serious concerns about another of her fundraising executives.)

16 February 2015

Dear Prime Minister,

Please excuse the impertinence of my writing directly to someone as important as your good self. In my defence, the last time I wrote to a standing Prime Minister, it was to warn Gordon Brown about some chap named Derek Draper, and I do not think my concerns were misplaced.

Back in 2006, I wrote to you as leader of the Conservative Party with concerns about two executives on a fundraising committee and campaign team for the Conservative Member for Guildford Anne Milton. I presented initial evidence and offered further supporting evidence to support my allegation that they had involved themselves in an months-long campaign to smear a critic of that MP as a paedophile and child rapist. While both parties sought to use false identities to avoid accountability for their behaviour, one party knowingly published and retained links to the offending site on their personal/political blog, and another sought to publicise the same site on a local student forum after originally signing up for that site using an email address containing a domain registered in their name, and at their home address. These individuals then involved themselves in a series of false allegations against me when I dared to confront them about their conduct.

At the time, I presented you with the evidence linking them to this behaviour and offered further supporting evidence. You declined to act yourself and instead referred the matter back to Jonathan Lord, who was then Anne Milton’s campaign manager (he later became Conservative MP for Woking). You were so satisfied by his response that two days later you posed for photos with these two individuals and personally endorsed their candidacy for local council.

However, Jonathan Lord’s only answer to the allegations in 2006 was (a) that the victim of the smears had not complained to him about it, and (b) that I had not put my own complaint in writing (i.e. I had ‘only’ emailed him about it). Lord reiterated this response in 2009.

In 2011, I recorded Jonathan Lord admitting that no formal investigation took place because the parties involved had already been selected as candidates for a campaign in progress. His exact words:

“I said (to the parties involved): ‘It’s lucky you guys have already been selected, otherwise, you know, we’re in the middle of a campaign now’…”

“This is all off the record, OK? In the middle of an election, you know, you don’t obviously want to give succour to your opponents…”

“If we hadn’t already been in the middle of an election campaign… then it might have been a slightly different story.”

Crucially, whatever Lord said to these individuals back in 2006 was said informally and privately, and there was no public-facing acknowledgement that anything untoward had happened. The entirely predictable result was that a further fundraising executive for Anne Milton repeated the exact same stunt (in 2009), this time with me as the target. I have since secured emails where the individual concerned sought to justify their actions to a then-associate by saying quite specifically that Milton and her supporters wanted me ‘downed’.

I originally suspected the person involved in this second event was a donor and confronted Milton about their behaviour with questions about their donor status; she denied that they were a donor and refused to take any further action… while knowing that they were an executive member on one of her fundraising committees.

Once again, I contacted you and key members of your party for action, but once again everyone in a position of authority was diving for cover with cheap excuses. Anne Milton claimed she couldn’t act or even comment because the person involved was a constituent. Jeremy Hunt claimed he couldn’t act or even comment because the person involved *wasn’t* a constituent. Jonathan Lord was still of the view that none of it was anyone’s concern because as far as he was aware, technically, no crime had been committed.

It is at this stage that I will remind you that what Derek Draper and Damien McBride planned wasn’t ‘technically’ illegal… it was ‘merely’ morally reprehensible. Nevertheless, your entire party was up in arms about their plot and demanding accountability. At the same time, I was actively and relentlessly being smeared as a dangerous criminal while you and your members sought to avoid responsibility.

The relevant behaviour continues to this day, almost 10 years after the original event. Further, we have a rather important general election on the way, emotions are bound to run high, and my concerns extend beyond my own experiences.

I have watched this cancer grow within your party, I am concerned about the conduct of your candidates, their campaigners and their fundraisers, and today I ask only three things of you, all desired to send a clear message to your members about such behaviour:

1) A formal acknowledgement from Anne Milton, Jonathan Lord and Jeremy Hunt that they did not deal with this behaviour as stringently or as thoroughly as they should have during either event. (I’d be grateful for any apologies that might accompany this, but appreciate that your influence is limited in this respect.)

2) A formal acknowledgement from you and your party Chairman that there have been some regrettable failures in leadership and oversight throughout this matter.

3) Your personal assurance that any further evidence of such behaviour will be investigated and dealt with quickly, firmly, and in good faith.

I’m sure that even with our vastly differing opinions about social justice, we can agree that using false allegations of criminal behaviour as a political weapon is entirely unacceptable.

I am equally certain that we can agree that false allegations of child rape are especially unhelpful given the recent allegations of paedophile rings inside Westminster.

I look forward to a prompt and considered response to my concerns. Should you require further evidence to support any of the above, I am at your disposal.

Regards,

Tim Ireland

UPDATE (27 July) _ Some added detail and context from Richard Bartholomew: Online Harassment by Conservative Party Activists: A Decade of Mishandled Complaints








Posted in Anne Milton, Teh Interwebs, Tories! Tories! Tories!, UK General Election 2015 | Comments Off

The Conspiracy Song: lyrics and background

Today, I release the sixth and final music video from The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes).

Today’s lesson: Not everything you read on the internets is true. Don’t expect everyone to be reasonable about this.

The Conspiracy Song

I have made the artistic decision to refrain from any comment on the alleged merit of any of the conspiracy theories referenced in this song. Similarly, I have no comment to make on the alleged significance of any images used in this or any other music video. I make this statement of my own free will, and under no duress.

THE CONSPIRACY SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland


The Pope is a lizard
And so is/was the Queen
Who murdered Diana
And got away clean

Obama’s a Kenyan
And Reagan caused AIDS
George Bush had abortions
(or so people say)

They knocked Norma Jean off
They killed JFK
Who got shot and poisoned
By the CIA

They faked the moon landings
But Roswell was real
There’s drugs in the water
And worms in our meals

They can’t hide the chemtrails
We can’t trust vaccines
We all know that jet fuel
Can’t melt through steel beams

And the New World Order
Will brainwash your kids
And use MKUltra
To hide what they d…

[Singer(s) to suffer a sudden and shadowy but ultimately unexplained death/disappearance by an unknown hand. Examples include: sudden and lethal mushroom poisoning event, forced abduction by hooded men, a laser from the woods appearing on a chest moments before a shot rings out.]
-








Posted in Campfire Songs | Comments Off

The Password Song: lyrics and background

Today, I release the fifth music video from The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes).

Today’s lesson: Keep your password safe, and logout when you’re done.

The Password Song

Actually, I should say passwords, plural, as in more than one; a recent poll suggested that 55% of adults use the same password for most if not all websites (source). This means that if someone discovers your password for Facebook, then they also have potential access to your banking details… but I figured that young’uns especially would care more about damage to their social life than their bank balance, thus the focus on the leaking of nude selfies in the saga of Peter and his passwords.

Oh, and in case it’s not obvious, I will mention here that part of keeping your passwords safe is making sure that they are not easy to guess. On that note I will mention that the 5 most popular passwords of 2014 were:

1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345
4. 12345678
5. qwerty

You can see the full list here, and an earlier list from the same source here. The first thing you will notice: the only improvement in near to 5 years is that ‘password’ no longer tops the list, and is currently in second place.

It also bears mentioning that if you are ever going to be away from your computer or device, lock the damn screen, in the same way that you’d lock your car or your front door.

THE PASSWORD SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland


Peter went on Facebook and he chatted with his Mum
He didn’t lock his screen or
logout of accounts when done
Peter went on Facebook
and he chatted with his Mum
But he ain’t gonna chat no more

CHORUS
Keeeeep your password safe, and logout when you’re done
Or your so-called friends will get online, and have a little fun
Keeeeep your password safe, and logout when you’re done
Or you ain’t gonna chat no more

His friends accessed his Facebook page and posted all his nudes
They were racy they were sexy and let’s face it they were rude
His friends accessed his Facebook page and posted all his nudes
And he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

They got into his Twitter feed and messaged with his ex
Then chatted with her followers and pleaded for some sex
They got into his Twitter feed and messaged with his ex
And he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

They clicked through to his Myspace page but no-one else was there
They posted all his nudes again but no-one really cared
They clicked through to his Myspace page but no-one else was there
But he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

A short vid of him shagging went to YouTube and to Vine
It ended up on porn sites where they thought it was divine
A short vid of him [bleep]ing went to YouTube and to Vine
And he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

The images on imgur went viral naturally
They tumbled out on tumblr just as easy as can be
There were front page links on reddit for the redditors to see
And he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

The story soon went global, it was clickbait news for sure
The people came to point and laugh and search his name for more
The story soon went global, it was clickbait news for sure
And he ain’t gonna chat no more

[CHORUS]

It all could be avoided if he’d only taken care
But now the world had seen him in his dirty underwear
It all could be avoided if he’d only taken care
And he ain’t gonna chat no more
-








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The 404 Song: lyrics and background

Here’s the fourth music video from The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes). This one teaches the listener/viewer the steps one should take if they encounter a 404 error, and want to find a copy of the missing page or item.

The 404 Song

How did this song come about? Well, I was bouncing some new song ideas around in my head, found myself wondering what could possibly redeem the widely-despised ‘Kumbaya’, quickly arrived at the answer of ‘nothing’… and here we are.

The video goes into detail about the measures you should take if you go to download a web page or similar file and discover that it is missing, but the song alone should be enough to get most people started, even if they’re reduced to asking Google what a ‘Wayback’ is.

My favourite thing about this song is its calming lamentational quality: it prepares you emotionally for your feelings of loss while offering a glimmer of hope about what might yet be found by following a series of logical investigative steps.

THE 404 SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland


Page is missing, Lord
404
Page is missing, Lord
404
Page is missing, Lord
404
Oh Lord, 404

Use the site-search, Lord
404
Use the site-search, Lord
404
Use the site-search, Lord
404
Oh Lord, 404

Check the Google cache
404
Check the Google cache
404
Check the Google cache
404
Oh Lord, 404

Check on Wayback, Lord
404
Check on Wayback, Lord
404
Check on Wayback, Lord
404
Oh Lord, 404

Was it mirrored, Lord?
404
Was it mirrored, Lord?
404
Was it mirrored, Lord?
404
Oh Lord, 404

Did someone save it, Lord?
404
Did someone save it, Lord?
404
Did someone save it, Lord?
404
Oh Lord, 404

Gone forever, Lord
404
Gone forever, Lord
404
Gone forever, Lord
404
Oh Lord, 404
-








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The Virus Song: lyrics and background

Today I launch the third music video from The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes). This is the first of the longer songs to be released, and it is about the widely under-appreciated risk of computer viruses and similar malware.

The Virus Song

Instead if simply displaying the lyrics, this video presents a series of data-rich slides showing the scale of previous virus events and the nature of present malware threats, which are more dangerous and criminal in nature than ever before.

Why? Well, malware technology is no longer solely in the hands of computer geeks; there are now a variety of products for sale that allow criminals to create their own malicious programs and delivery packages.

The latest generation of threats includes ‘ransomware’, which encrypts your beloved data with a special key that is specific to you. If you do not pay the blackmail fee to the relevant criminals in time, they will delete that key and you will never be able to access your data again. Yes, this applies even if the police have the wit, authority and will to identify and arrest your blackmailer.

That means that everything you saved between now and your last back-up will be gone forever. That is why the only truly effective defence these days is regular back-ups on an isolated hard drive, and I’m betting that before too long someone will come up with an effective time-delay package that deliberately targets such back-ups.

Have a nice day.

THE VIRUS SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland


She will bypass anti-virus when she comes
She will bypass anti-virus when she comes
She will bypass anti-virus and that’s how she’ll get inside us
She will bypass anti-virus when she comes

She will sneak under your radar when she comes
She will sneak under your radar when she comes
She will sneak under your radar like secretive invader
She will sneak under your radar when she comes

She will key-log all your passwords while she’s there
She will key-log all your passwords while she’s there
She will key-log all your passwords and then pass on what that log heard
She will key-log all your passwords while she’s there

She will forward banking details while she’s there
She will forward banking details while she’s there
She will forward banking details to some crooks inside some emails
She will forward banking details while she’s there

She will corrupt all your data when she’s done
She will corrupt all your data when she’s done
She will corrupt all your data so you can’t retrieve it later
She will corrupt all your data when she’s done

She’ll attack the unprotected when she’s done
She’ll attack the unprotected when she’s done
She will attack the unprotected so your friends all get infected
She’ll attack the unprotected when she’s done

You’d be lost without a back-up, do it now
You’d be lost without a back-up, do it now
You’d be lost with a back-up, you’d be bummed out and you’d crack up
You’d be lost without a back-up, do it now








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The Troll Song: lyrics and background

As promised, here is the music video for the second short song from The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes). The songs get a bit longer after this one, and from here on in you can expect to see a new music video each week for a total of 4 weeks.

This one is designed not only as a valuable lesson, but as a cautionary/preventative tool to be used in a multitude of digital social situations. Next time you see a troll on the loose and gaining traction, feel free to use this link as an important reminder about the most prudent course of action.

Full lyrics appear below the embedded video. Have fun with it.

The Troll Song

THE TROLL SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland

Ohhhhhh…
Nobody likes them
Everybody hates them
Please ignore the trolls
You might think
To kick up a stink
But attention is their goal
They lack the normal social skills
And seek to waste your time
Ignoring them takes zero time
And stops you wasting mine.
Cheers!

NOTE – Let’s be clear here: by ‘trolls’ I mean people who say provocative, upsetting or even hurtful things purely to get a rise out of you and/or to disrupt conversations and communities. This advice about trolls covers a range of anti-social behaviour from childish mischief to downright malice. Obviously, so-called trolls who go further than the law allows should not be totally ignored, but reported to police, quietly and without fuss… but for the avoidance of doubt, “quietly and without fuss” means that you should not then go online and brag that you’ve reported a troll to police. There are certain trolls who get a proper kick out of that, because they know how hopeless and/or helpless most police are when dealing with this kind of anti-social behaviour. If you make this mistake, it’s possible that the only outcome will be letting the little scrote know that they’ve gotten a rise out of you.








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The Money Song: lyrics and background

As many regulars will already know, I’ve been volunteering with young people for quite some time now. I mainly teach civic responsibility and how to make fire (preferably in that order), but at times I actually teach these and other important lessons around a fire, and I often use music to do it.

Today I am launching the first in a series of six music videos to promote The Cautionary Campfire Songbook (Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)), and the associated album produced in conjunction with Koit: Cautionary Campfire Songs (Amazon | Google Play | iTunes)

First cab off the rank is a short but important lesson about money and assorted conmen. Full lyrics appear below the embedded video. An equally short music video will appear very shortly, and after that you can expect to see a new music video every week for 4 weeks. Cheers all.

The Money Song

THE MONEY SONG
Lyrics by Tim Ireland

Oh, don’t send your cash to strangers on the internet,
Princes that you haven’t met,
Sods who say they’ll clear your debt.
Don’t take free bets playing internet roulette,
Or you might lose it all (and more!)

-








Posted in Campfire Songs | 4 Comments

On @MatthewDoyle31 and feelings of prejudice in the wake of extreme acts

“‎The greatest danger of a terrorist’s bomb is in the explosion of stupidity that it provokes.” – Octave Mirbeau

Prejudice: an unjustified or incorrect attitude (usually negative) towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group. [source]

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 01

Matthew P Doyle tweeted the above comment in the wake of the recent bombings in Brussels. There was an immediate outbreak of mockery and criticism that all users of Twitter will be familiar with.

In the face of this, the tweet was deleted, and Matthew P Doyle proceeded to pass the comment off as a “wind up”, heavily implying through various tweets and retweets that he was satirising prejudice, not displaying/furthering it. Here is one such example:

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But despite backing off from his generalisation, Mr Doyle’s earlier comments clearly display the feelings of prejudice he is struggling with:

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Here is an excellent example. It would be more accurate to say that there is an extremism threat in this country. That would prevent any potential confusion between Mr Doyle’s feelings of concern and attempts by certain other parties to portray all Muslims as a threat to our safety and way of life:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 04

I would humbly suggest that it would be more constructive for us to back off with the pitchforks and allow Mr Doyle some room to accept and acknowledge that he struggled with prejudice in the wake of an extreme act. It is a response that extremists count on to further their aims, and if we are to counter their efforts with kindness and humanity, we could do worse than start with Mr Doyle.

(Over to you, Matthew. The most constructive thing you can do is recognise the problem, rather than deny it. I know the latter seems like the easier option in the face of the attention your are receiving, but it is precisely because of the attention you are receiving that you are so well-placed to set a better example. Good luck!)

UPDATE – *sigh*. This might be an uphill battle. Matthew tweeted the following while I was finalising and publishing this article:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 05

UPDATE – Yep. Definitely uphill.

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I dare to hope that some or all of this is not heavily ingrained, but mainly in response to the support Mr Doyle is being shown by those certain parties I mentioned, who are more than happy to reinforce his prejudice. I further dare to hope that even this can in time be reversed with genuine, selfless kindness… but probably not while Mr Doyle continues to revel in the attention while hedging his bets and passing it all off as a humorous PR exercise.

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 07

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 08

If Mr Doyle is sincere in his faith, he will be wary of following crowds in pursuit of an injustice.

UPDATE (24 March) – *sigh*… Mr Doyle had a very busy day yesterday, and his attention-seeking behaviour included tweeting links to a Daily Mail article about him to various news outlets, and people like Donald Trump and Barack Obama:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 09

After this, his behaviour became increasingly eccentric, including claims that he would be doing the newspaper review on SKY that night and referring media enquiries to his favourite news reporter, Kimberley Leonard.

And then this happened…

Independent – Croydon man arrested after confronting Muslim woman and telling her to ‘explain Brussels’: A man from Croydon has been arrested after comments about confronting a Muslim woman in the street to explain the Brussels attacks were posted on Twitter… A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We have arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media.”

Judging by that statement, it was probably not a real or imagined confrontation in the street that got Mr Doyle into trouble, but more likely the bravado that he showed in the face of criticism, and even some messages preceding his ‘confrontation’ claim. Taking a look back at earlier tweets, in the immediate wake of the Brussels event, he was tweeting all-caps messages like “WE ARE A CHRISTIAN CONTINENT” and “NO MORE MUSLIM MIGRATION” and blaming atrocities in whole or in part on Syrian refugees:

MatthewDoyle31 screen capture 10

So, to reiterate my initial comment on today’s update… *sigh*.

-








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