This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 at 1:30 pm and is filed under The Political Weblog Movement.


Well, that’s it… he’s finally blown it.

Iain Dale has just banned me from leaving comments on his website and shown the blogging community that he just can’t hack it as a blogger.

The central principle behind blogs and their popularity is as follows; they are interactive networking devices (i.e. they enable conversation as opposed to broadcast).

Iain has become rather frustrated with me of late because of my refusal to allow him to avoid honest debate by:

a) avoiding questions by hiding behind his resident team of sock-puppets
b) claiming that I am a sock-puppet
c) delivering evasive and/or insulting answers to my questions
d) declaring my comments to be ‘insulting’
e) calling me a ‘link spammer’ for providing proof to back any given claim I make
f) declaring the content of my comments to be off-topic
g) referring to any pursuit of a reasonable response as ‘thread hijacking’
h) all of the above

Iain has been making up his moderation policy as he goes along, but he never sticks to his clearly stated ‘rules’ after introducing them. In fact, he will allow other contributors to break the rules when it suits him, and he will often break those same rules himself.

One of the most notable examples of all this at work can be seen in this thread, where Iain Dale makes a claim and then refuses to back it up with proof… again and again and again.

In this thread, the recent introductions or proper timestamps for comments is discussed. It is equally illuminating, and it shows him to be a self-confessed blogging amateur.

Today, Iain kicked off a new thread with this:

Iain Dale – Lessons in LibDem Telephone Canvassing: Is it really appopriate [sic] for parliamentary email addresses to be used for overt party political electioneering? I think not.

He then goes on to say he can’t very excited about that… so why blog it? Especially when there are so many parallels between the case he makes here and the case I made about Nick Boles.

Here you can see a perfect of example of Iain making good use of sock-puppets and trolls to avoid answering difficult questions regarding the Nick Boles matter. Not long after, this happened.

He knows he’s been called out as a biased hypocrite by many bloggers recently… why take this hardly-worth-it shot at the Lib Dems when it relates so closely to a matter that he himself was associated with – a matter that he went to great pains to keep from his readers? Was it because he simply can’t resist taking a shot at the Lib-Dems?

I brought that matter up under comments. I was on-topic and polite.

How did Iain respond? With a rude dismissal and yet another baseless claim of sock-puppetry on my part.

I’ll repeat the guts of the exchange here – unrelated content has been removed and my notes are outside of blockquotes and [in brackets]:

Tim said…

Iain, was it really appropriate for Nick Boles to use his Policy Exchange email address for overt party political electioneering?

April 04, 2007 10:01 AM

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Iain Dale said…

Since when did the taxpayer pay for Policy Exchange’s email system?

And if you missed it I said “I can’t get very excited” about it.

Do keep up. Do try harder.

April 04, 2007 10:04 AM

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Tim said…

Iain, it’s the same issue, regardless of the source of the funds. In both cases there are rules about using certain facilities for party-political campaigning.

Yes, you declared the Nick Boles matter to be a non-story, but here you are today running with this.

Can’t you smell the hypocrisy?

April 04, 2007 10:38 AM

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dynamite said…

Also worth noting that the Tories (and Labour) ran their telephone campaigns at the last General Election completely centrally, and using push-polling techniques on TPS registered households, which the Information Commissioner ruled illegal.

April 04, 2007 10:55 AM

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Tim said…

“…push-polling techniques on TPS registered households, which the Information Commissioner ruled illegal”

I was a TPS-registered individual who received such a call pushing Anne Milton. I started asking questions about who exactly was calling and the caller became evasive, then downright rude. I complained to Anne Milton about it; she feigned ignorance and promised to investigate the matter when she knew damn well what was going on from the start. It was this incident that prompted me to start the Anne Milton weblog.

There’s a lesson in there for Iain… perhaps he can dig it out.

April 04, 2007 11:10 AM

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Iain Dale said…

Are you threatening me?

April 04, 2007 11:26 AM

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Tim said…

Are you threatening me?

Ahahahahahahaha!

I guess that depends on how you *perceive* it.

Now would you mind responding properly to the point I raised about parallels between this and the PE matter? Don’t you think it reveals just a smidgen of hypocrisy on your part?

April 04, 2007 11:30 AM

[This is a reference to a recent technique Iain Dale has been using to undermine me; he will claim that overt insults, threats and smears levelled at me by his gang of anonymous cowards are 'perceived' insults, threats and smears... i.e. he would have his readers believe that I'm being over-sensitive, and he certainly hasn't been publishing any content in contravention of his own damn moderation policy.]

Iain Dale said…

By the way, your use of asterisks around words is a dead give away. You really should stop using them when you use your many aliases on other peoples’ sites and this one. You have been rumbled.

Now, for the umpteenth time, go away. You’re not going to be allowed to hijack this thread like you have tried to do with so many others.

April 04, 2007 11:39 AM

[Iain immediately turned on comment moderation after making this totally baseless claim. I posted the following in response. Iain did not publish it.]

Tim said…

There you go again, suggesting that it is me who is guilty of using and abusing sock-puppets, when the main problem I have been discussing is the way that you and ‘Guido’ use and abuse them. I have produced proof to back my claims (you often describe this as ‘link spamming’, BTW) and what have you got? Nothing.

For a few months I posted under ‘Guido 2.0′, using my usual nickname of ‘Manic’ and speaking in third-person much in the same way that ‘Guido Fawkes’ does… my true identity was readily available throughout the exercise via this profile. (source)

I am now posting under my old profile for reasons that have been clearly outlined on the Guido 2.0 weblog (which – from day one – also made very clear my true identity).

Now, getting back to the point (that you took us away from) it is *extremely* dishonest of you to describe this as a hijack. I asked a polite and on-topic question, responded politely to your rude and evasive response, and also responded to a related subject that was brought up by another contributor.

We both know that I am unlikely to go away until you provide me with a reasonable response to my comment. Why?

a) A reasonable response is warranted
b) Even if a reasonable response never arrives, the techniques you use to avoid any given point are of general educational value.

April 04, 2007 11:55 AM

[Instead, Iain chose to announce his ban.]

Iain Dale said…

Oh, did I forgot to mention? You’re banned from this blog now. We’re tired of your moronic meanderings. Nobody’s interested in you. Deal with it.

April 04, 2007 12:02 PM

So not only is he refusing to correspond with me by email, but now I’m banned from leaving comments on his weblog. He’ll ban me from linking to him next.

Iain Dale does not believe in any of the core principles of blogging, and – by his own admission – he even struggles with the technical side.

Yet he ponces about town posing as an expert on blogging!

Myself and a few others have been ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ about a new microsite to document Iain Dale’s shenanigans, but it’s going ahead as of now. Unlike the Guido 2.0 microsite, which evolved into a meta-blog, this will be a meta-blog from the off.

This new microsite will focus on the often dumbfounding hypocrisy of this spamming dimwit driven by personal and political ambition, and will regularly address the questions he fails to answer and the claims he fails to back with proof.

No doubt Iain will do his best to portray it as an unprovoked/party-political attack… and I wish him luck with that. In fact, he will enjoy a right-of-reply on that weblog on each and every occasion he has the guts to post under his real name and meet with any given issue head-on.