The first incarnation of the Sun-Watch project is coming along nicely and will rumble into action shortly. Right now, I’m quietly going from invite to invite and making sure that each of our editors is happy in their work.
While you wait, here are a few items that a certain gang of right-wing thugs really hope will pass without too much scrutiny:
Guido Fawkes Paul Staines – New Statesman Owner Buys LabourHome: Guido has been hearing rumours that LabourHome was “in play” and that two bidders were after the site….
Gosh, I wonder where he heard that rumour… from his mate Alex Hilton or Jag Singh, the guy he shares an office with. Way to hype the sale, Paul.
[Note: I’d love to describe Jag Singh as Paul Staines’ business partner, but Staines likes to issue spurious legal threats based on barely-related technicalities, and we have been reminded that – on the books at least – the (hopefully former) bankrupt Paul Staines “is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been.” Apparently he only takes and makes calls for them out of the goodness of his heart and all of his money seems to magically appear out of an unrelated magical portal labelled ‘advertising’. More on this later in the post.]
Adding to this hype is another member of their little gang, Iain Dale, who proves that he doesn’t always play down the left by… erm… playing down the left:
Iain Dale – LabourHome Gets Cash Boost: Contrary to what some left of centre bloggers have been saying (HERE and HERE), I actually welcome this as I think it is healthy for each political viewpoint to have a powerful online presence. Most sensible people on the left recognise that their blogging efforts have not received the same attention as those of us on the right. The advent of blogs like Liberal Conspiracy have liften the profile of the left of centre blogosphere, and despite their unbalanced antipathy towards me personally, I think that can only be a good thing for blogging in general.
[Note: Recent criticism of Iain’s habit of not linking to what he is talking about has obviously stung; this time there are VERY GRACIOUS and NOT AT ALL GRATUITOUS links to the content he is misrepresenting.]
Being happy for your mates receiving an unknown amount of cash for their leftish portal is not the same as welcoming input from the left. Especially when this hype for mates is framed by “the left are weak, the left are unpopular, any criticism of my is unfounded leftist whining and the product of a sick mind…” (pardon my paraphrasing).
What Iain Dale also glosses over here is that there are people who will not be taking part in his blog ranking scam because they know he is a liar and a cheat who’s not above fiddling the numbers in order to make himself look good.
[Note – The latest spin from Dale’s camp is that those who are unwilling to legitimise a rigged popularity contest are afraid of losing… in a rigged popularity contest.]
On the subject of outlandish claims based on meaningless/misrepresented figures, let’s have a word or two from Nadine Dorries, close friend to Iain Dale and regular recipient of helpful plugs, spin and positive angles from Dale’s hype machine:
Nadine Dorries – Heartbeats: It’s time to pack in blogging for the summer. At a recent meeting with my staff, I put forward the idea that maybe, now that we were receiving 700,000 hits per month, that just maybe I should carry on. They all, in unison, shouted NO! They are of course absolutely right, for reasons detailed below. I apologise to those who may have read the following blog which I wrote whilst on holiday last year; but as we were only getting 100,000 hits a month at the time, there are a lot of readers who haven’t read it…. When the hot sun has gone to bed and the underwater lights in the aquamarine pool twinkle and beckon; the jug of Sangria on the table next to me screams, “More ice”; the heady scent of Bougainvillaea fills the air; and Jose Gonzales plays seductively in the background, wooing me, egging me on. There is a beautiful Batik print on the balcony wall of the Madonna and child, it’s looking down on me; the warm sea breeze is causing the candles on the table to flicker, playing tricks with my eyes. Every time I look up, the Madonna tut tut’s at me and shakes her head in mild reproval. Unfortunately, I don’t think even the Holy Mother can help me once I have blogged on. It’s between me, the circling shoal of out to get me Piranhas; a loaded gun; an Exocet missile; a suicide wish; the Chief Whip; and the save button. I wonder why more MPs don’t blog?
[Note – Please don’t rush to send copies to Private Eye for Pseuds Corner; Beau Bo D’Or has already done so and earmarked the spotter’s fee for charity.]
Even if ‘hits’ weren’t a meaningless figure, Nadine assumes here (and not for the first time) that every download is a vote in her favour. Bless.
I love how she sees herself as a freedom fighter and champion of democracy when she is in fact, a lying scoundrel, a willing pawn of religious fundamentalists and, like Iain Dale, not above a little fiddling of the numbers.
Paul Staines has gently teased Dorries from time to time, but he certainly didn’t take the time to reveal that – via Dorries – an attempt was made to have legislation written by religious fundamentalists passed into law.
Guido Fawkes said…
The Centre for Open Politics is in “beta”, pre-launch.
When they launch properly they will reveal who is backing them to the last penny.
For now, just so there is no doubt, suffice to say Guido has given them seed money funding to get them started. For the last four years this blog has been digging into political sleaze and campaigning against corruption. There is no existing vehicle for doing it – in particular to take legal action to enforce the existing laws.
The various quangos are passive and not aggressive enough in pursuing wrong doing. The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics aims to shine a light on the dodgy goings on in a way that an individual blogger – even with a large audience can not.
July 24, 2008 3:23 PM
Ah, so it’s a natural extension of his heroic and impartial mission to clean up politics. Glad we cleared that up.
Note how the statement is issued almost casually, near to a full week after the matter came up. A textbook tactic beloved of spin doctors. Never mind that the character he uses to sell his bullshit is supposed to be an enemy of spin.
More on this as soon as is possible. Staines isn’t the only one who’s stalling and my membership to Sunlight Centre for Open Politics is (still) “pending approval from the administrators”.
And now we finally get back Paul Staines and the money that magically appears in his pockets.
The other day I was barred from Staines’ website (again), this time for being the recipient of abuse. (What?!)
Then skip forward to about 1:03:30 on this video to hear Paul Staines admit that – in response to traffic patterns – he knowingly peddles the more crude/salacious material (and targets hate figures) on his blog in order to boost his audience.
What follows this revealing exchange is his answer to an audience member wanting to know the source of the profits he as been bragging about. I’ll leave you to chew on it:
“Advertising. Purely advertising. [pause] And selling stories to the… er… papers.”