Iain Dale’s refusal to combat homophobic harassment
Those of you who contribute regularly under comments will be aware of Scotch.
Scotch lives in my constituency. We first encountered each other when Scotch was looking for more information on Anne Milton. We became friends, and one of the reasons we became friends is that we share similar values.
For example, if we ever discuss a comment thread privately, Scotch will feel that he is unable to contribute to the thread from that point on unless he can reveal the relevant details of our private conversation.
Unlike members* of Iain Dale’s Flying Monkey Squadron, Scotch is not a man to be coerced, instructed, nudge-winked or otherwise manipulated into speaking on my behalf. Ever.
[*A quick ‘hello’ to Flight Lieutenant Phil Hendren, who Iain accidentally CCed on one of our private conversations when he meant to issue a BCC instead. Sometimes, when it suits him – Phil insists that it is irrelevant where information comes from if it is pertinent.]
And that’s just one reason why I found Iain’s response to a fair question from Scotch yesterday afternoon to be nothing short of appalling.
The problem with Iain’s position is best summed up in this extract from a comment of mine that The Spectator refused to publish under this entry: “Iain Dale is a hypocrite who has in the past turned a blind eye to some appalling harassment by Tory supporters, candidates and activists (some of it on his own website).”
Scotch was equally unimpressed, and decided to bring up the most jarring example of Iain turning a blind eye when it suits him:
Iain, hi. Where is your disapproval of a homophobic hate site against a local government candidate, of which you are well aware? I can’t seem to find it.
August 06, 2008 1:10 PM
What Scotch is referring to is the incident in Guildford where Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul, two Conservative activists/candidates and close associates of Conservative MP Anne Milton, took it upon themselves to create, build upon and promote an anonymous website that claimed one of their political opponents was a paedophile (summary)… and put alongside this claim the man’s name, a photo and details of his whereabouts.
At this stage, the entire affair could and would have been nipped in the bud had a few Tory bloggers stood up and said that this was unacceptable behaviour, but Iain Dale and Paul Staines shut the gate on that one.
Even at that early stage Dennis Paul was bragging that he was a contributor to Paul Staines’ site, and since then at least one anonymous commenter keeps popping up every time Iain Dale thinks I deserve a kicking to say how mean and awful I was to poor Anne Milton. Iain Dale has recently taken to repeating this line himself. Repeatedly.
I mention all of this to point out the hole that Iain has dug for himself; he now cannot afford to condemn the actions taken by Anne Milton’s activists without blowing a dirty great hole in his claims that I stalk and harass Tories for no good reason.
Now onto Iain’s response to this tricky question…
Iain Dale said…
Scotch, or should I more correctly address you in your usual capacity as Tim Ireland’s bitch?
I condemn homophobic attacks on anyone, whereever they occur. Funny that, isn’t it?
What I don’t do, unlike you, is jump to the tune of Tim Ireland.
August 06, 2008 3:02 PM
Appalling, isn’t it?
Also, note Iain’s claims to condemn homophobic attacks “on anyone, whereever [sic] they occur”.
This is a lie… and Iain actually goes on to provide his justification for NOT doing so over the Guildford incident.
And even the justification is a lie. If Iain truly condemns homophobic attacks “on anyone, whereever [sic] they occur”, then it’s not my tune he was asked to jump to over the Guildford matter, but his own.
Is Iain seriously telling us that he will abandon his stance against homophobia if I ask him to stand by it?
As for the insulting way that Iain dismissed Scotch’s input, this runs counter to Iain’s own rules. Will Iain be banning** himself from his own website now?
[**Which leads to yet another lie. Anyone reading this prominent page might somehow get the impression that I was banned from Iain’s website for being sweary and abusive. I was not. Iain himself says here that I was banned for insisting that he “obey [my] rules and dikats”… but even this is a lie. I actually requested and suggested that he follow his own damn rules, not mine.]
[Psst! For those who missed it; video evidence of Mike Chambers’ homophobia.]
UPDATE (3pm) – Iain is being less-than-honest about this issue. Again.
“Am I supposed to blog about every single thing in British politics? …. I condemn ALL hompohobic [sic] attacks. The word ALL is important here.” – Iain Dale (source)
[Psst! If you feel so strongly about it, Iain... learn how to spell it.]
More than once the ‘Jonesy’ blog created by Tory activists/candidates in Guildford equated homosexuality with paedophilia… e.g. “Mr X admits to being gay, therefore (the claim that he is a paedophile) must be true!”
Now I ask you to cast your mind back to a different incident involving different players…
Most bloggers who were around at the time recall Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines (and to a slightly lesser extent Alex Hilton) equating homosexuality with paedophilia when claiming to have outed Mark Oaten ahead of the tabloids. It caused quite a stir at the time.
And here are some bloggers from across the political spectrum, united in their position that one cannot equate homosexuality with paedophilia. I’ll stick with bloggers who are still with us, just to keep it neat:
Iain Dale did NOT condemn it.
Well, if he did, he was very, very quiet about it. He certainly didn’t mention it and blog the controversy around it on his website.
And yet he found the time to blog about Mark Oaten quite a lot during that month, and even had time for a positive link to the podcast a few days after it had been so widely criticised.
Now, why do you think that is?
And now, apropos of nothing, here’s a photo of Iain Dale and Paul Staines enjoying a friendly drink the week before the Oaten incident.
“I condemn ALL hompohobic [sic] attacks. The word ALL is important here.” – Iain Dale