OK, so what are my options?

Posted by Tim Ireland at 2 September 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
at
11:40 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Iain Dale has ignored my specific request not to be involved in his inherently biased weblog poll, and has just deleted this comment of mine from under this post on his ‘weblog’:

I don’t believe you, Dale.

I blogged about this, and I even emailed you about it weeks ago.

I did not want to be part of this charade, and I said so very clearly and quite specifically.

I regard it to be damaging to my reputation to have anyone in this field think that I would endorse your poll or participate in your poll in any way. That includes allowing myself to be included in it and ranked by it…. even if you do pass it off as a bit of fun when it suits you.

We even went over this A YEAR AGO when you got in touch and were forced to drop me from your Who’s Who for this same reason.

And yet you’ve gone ahead and done it anyway.

WTF?

Have you seriously gone to print including my name and weblog in your charts when I have refused to take part in the past and have clearly expressed my wish to NOT take part this year?

I seriously do not want to appear in his book of charts, and I told him so. Apparently, it’s already gone to print and today I find out that – despite my wishes – Iain has me listed as a participant in the poll.

What are my options?

UPDATE (03 Sep) – May I begin by pointing out that Iain Dale is a big, fat liar?

“Yes, you emailed me privately. And I do what I always do with all of the hundreds of other emails which you hassle me with. I put it straight in the Junk box. And then I did the same with the next one. And the next.” – Iain Dale (Aug 29)

I keep all the emails I get from Ireland. You never know when they might come in useful. I can find no email from him saying he didn’t wish to be included in the poll. Normally when he goes off on one he barrages me with copies of various emails has sent. Some of his emails go straight into my Spam folder anway, so it’s perfectly possible that this one did.” – Iain Dale (Sep 02)

(Note – He wasn’t talking about the ‘poll’ email specifically on Aug 29, but one of the hundreds dozens I’ve sent him earlier this year. These number in the dozens only because Iain keeps ignoring them or pretending not to have seen them. It is also possible that Iain will inisist that there is no lie or contradiction here because he used the word ‘junk’ and not ‘delete’.)

Not that his not seeing the email matters, as Iain himself described my actions as a ‘boycott’, and unless he’s going to claim that he doesn’t know what the word means, my post alone should have been enough for him.

But it’s nice of him to acknowledge – in his own special way – that he would have acted differently had he seen my email.

Then again…

“But either way, I don’t really care if he wished to be included in the poll or not.” – Iain Dale (02 Sep)

Ah. My bad. So what Iain is saying here is that – even if he had known for sure that I didn’t want to be involved in or associated with this poll in any way – he would have included me anyway.

The following point has already been raised (and ignored), but it’s similar to the point I raised with Total Politics yesterday (gosh, I hope they get my email) and it applies now more than ever:

Instead of honouring this request, Iain Dale went ahead and included me anyway, the upshot being that the poll is now – through no fault of mine, because I DID NOT WISH TO BE INCLUDED – actually specifically biased against my weblog because I was included in the poll (against my wishes) as I urged my readers not to vote.

Dale knows this. He’s not a complete idiot, and he must know how voting works because he lost an election once.

UPDATE (04 Sep) – Well, there you have it. I sent several emails seeking a reasonable and peaceful solution to this yesterday, and Iain ignored them all.

Iain Dale, who goes on and on and on about how he gets picked on for no reason, has decided to go ahead and be difficult about it by including me in this chart and peppering this post, which includes the following highlights:

“Liberal Conspiracy encouraged a boycott of the whole exercise…”

No. They didn’t. Sunny Hundal did. Iain knows this and was reminded of it several times. But it’s in his interest to make something more of it than there is, so he just lies about it. Speaking of which…

“Absolute Unique Visitors (is now) the yardstick by which blogs are judged…”

Pfft! As if Iain doesn’t recall why this is the case for him especially. And he’s lecturing newspapers for their misleading use of meaningless use of metrics?

Well, he’s clearly taking the piss.

Remember this any time Iain tries to get anyone to take this poll of his seriously (trust me, he will) or asks you to trust him with any position of power; he diddled this result just to have one over on me.

He’s a vagina.








16 Comments

  1. Piers says

    Would suggest contacting your lawyer (I'm thinking by now you have at least one…) about this.

  2. Manic says

    Yes, but you know my views on people compelling someone to use a lawyer when all that's required is a reasonable level of courtesy and cooperation. I may go there if I have no choice, but…FFS, what did Iain think he was playing at when he included me in this poll after I made it very clear to him that I did not want to be included?He goes on and on and on claiming that I give him a hard time for no good reason, and then he does something like this.Oh, and makes comments link this:"(I publish my stats every month because) it annoys the **** out of Tim Ireland" – Iain Dalehttp://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/09/august-statp…He appears to be forgetting that he is a magazine publisher now, and that this poll of his is now published under his magazine's banner.

  3. Mr Eugenides says

    I wouldn't wish to hand out advice, except to say that in my opinion going to a lawyer would not only be disproportionate but also, in view of past incidents, somewhat hypocritical.(For the avoidance of doubt, since you've clearly stated that you don't intend to "lawyer up" in this case, that shouldn't be taken as a suggestion that you *are* being hypocritical; merely that issuing legal threats, as anything other than an absolute last resort, would be.)I would just say this; inclusion in a poll of bloggers and blog readers (whoever they may be…) surely does *not* imply that you endorse the poll or the way it was carried out, and I don't think any reasonable person would imagine that it did.Put it another way; no-one would think that including Bloggerheads in a poll on his site implies that Iain Dale approves of your blog. Mere inclusion in a web poll does not, surely, imply approval or endorsement.I understand that you did not want to be on this list but, since I can't see that your inclusion actually harms you or your reputation, I can't see any upside in pursuing it.My tuppence worth.

  4. Piers says

    Mr E: Unfortunately (and I'm assuming this is the case) I think Tim is more worried about the people that think, because he is fairly high profile, that he isn't unbiased etc etc and so take his word as (for want of a better word) gospel.Tim: Yes I'm aware of your views, but there is a time when the other party isn't being cooperative. As you say… if you have no choice. Also, there's a difference between consulting a lawyer and seeking a lawyer on someone.

  5. Manic says

    Mr E: You don't see the harm, but I do. And I expressed my view on it and made my wishes known long before Iain finalised voting and went to print.I wish to make this absolutely clear:Iain did this knowing that I did not want to be included.And look at this bullshit:"I didn't include them in the poll. People who voted for them did." – Iain Dalehttp://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/09/top-100-left…It was within Iain's power to remove any weblog from consideration merely by removing it from the TP directory if he didn't want to go through the difficulty of dicounting invalid votes. He didn't do either of these things, and now he actually appears to be taunting me about it while pretending to ignore me.Engaging a lawyer because Iain leaves me no choice is not hypocrisy. My problem with lawyery games has always been that it is not on to bypass the author/publisher/issue. In this case, the author/publisher is not only refusing to cooperate, but actually appears to be enjoying the discomfort this is causing me.But that's not an indication of malice or anything, I'm sure.(rolls eyes)

  6. Troushers says

    I think you would have to prove some sort of damage to you from Dale's actions, so you don't really have any options. To be honest, it's enough to have posted this entry making it clear you don't approve of being included, any other actions you take 1) won't really do anything and 2) will only give Dale etc. further satisfaction. Let his behaviour speak for itself.

  7. Manic says

    Hello, 'Troushers', and welcome to Bloggerheads.So there'll be a copy of this post in every copy of the Total Politics Guide To Online Blogging? The fact that I was included against my wishes will be mentioned every time a chart including me is mentioned?Is that what you're saying here?

  8. Mr Eugenides says

    The last vestiges of the confused law student I used to be, popped up in that last comment of mine.I really meant "harm" in the "damages" sense that Troushers implies; I'm not sure what the legal position is here, but absent any actual damage – to your blog, your business, whatever – I can't see what you *could* do, even if you thought it desirable to "do" something.I mean, if I posted a list of my ten favourite blogs on my site and you were one of them, would you have the right to have your name struck from that list? Of course not; it's my blog, I publish what I like.If I ask my readers to name their top ten blogs, and then, having added up all the votes, I publish your name on my site, do you have a complaint then? Again, I'd say, no: it's my blog, I can publish what I like.Iain's exercise is not fundamentally any different; nor does the fact that the list is being published in book form really alter anything. Your objections to his exercise notwithstanding, I don't see how you can argue that he doesn't have the right to do so.Simply listing your blog may be against your wishes, and you can certainly argue that he shouldn't have done it since you asked him not to, but you would struggle to demonstrate that publishing your blog site in a list of top blogs is "harming" or "damaging" you in a legal sense.The best you can say is that it's contrary to your wishes and that you dissociate yourself from the whole thing. But I don't see what legal recourse you could have.

  9. Manic says

    :: "Iain's exercise is not fundamentally any different"I beg to differ, because he does not indicate any bias in the sample/method* and has even frustrated reasonable efforts to determine the possible level of bias.(*Voting conducted at Iain's website results in more votes for sites like Iain's shock!):: "The best you can say is that it's contrary to your wishes"We'll see. For now…1) Thanks for your input, Mr E.2) I ask readers of this blog to consider that Iain often plays the victim and says time and again that he wishes that I would just leave him alone.Then he goes and does this!All he had to do to avoid a big fuss was honour my wish to be excluded. He honoured my wish not to be listed in the Who's Who last year, but I regretted not being absolutely clear about not wanting to be associated with the poll at all, and so this year I spelled it out for him. Very clearly.It is looking increasingly like he did this with the intention of hurting me.

  10. Surreptitious Evil says

    :: "It is looking increasingly like he did this with the intention of hurting me."Intent? Difficult to tell malice from carelessness at this point but you do square off regularly so he probably bears the burden of proof that this was (if it, indeed, was) accidental.Hurt? Despite the recent research…http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howabo…… I find it difficult to believe that this was intended to hurt or, in the legal sense, harm. It has clearly irritated you, however. Maybe that was the point?[mod: link fixed]

  11. Manic says

    Well I certainly don't think much of his polls if he's going to include material designed purely to irritate people. If that is the case here.:: "Difficult to tell malice from carelessness at this point"That it is, but Iain's not doing himself any favours with some of the comments he's publishing today.

  12. Sim-O says

    In my unlearn'd opinion, I don't think there is anything you can do, mate. Apart from what you've done already.Dale hasn't libelled or defamed you. Or stolen any of your work (pictures etc). You're putting yourself out there to be talked to and about, and if Dale isn't going to do what you reasonably requested, then there's not a lot that can be done.His claim of rigging the voting to exclude you, Justin et al who didn't want to be included is bollox. It is no different to not counting a vote for a blog not listed on TP.I reckon you should just settle for being (a major) part of his untimely (online) demise.

  13. Manic says

    Now Iain is claiming not to have received my email, so at least he has – in his own special way – admitted that my asking to be removed from consideration is an issue.PS – Jesus, Dizzy's a bit keen to rewrite history over that whole publishing-my-unlisted-number thing, isn't he?:http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/07/phil…He graduates from heavy Spin to Outright Lie when he says "I posted two strings of numbers, neither of which was a phone number" but he does this kind of thing often when he's safely behind Uncle Dale's moderation wall. The coward.

  14. Manic says

    Sorry to be so tiresome, gang… but Dizzy's gone off on one again and denies lying.http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/09/top-100-left…'Dizzy' published my number in two parts; area code and phone number. One part was most definitely a phone number and the area code made it recognisable as one for anyone living anywhere near me.He's a liar, he's banned from this weblog for that stunt and at least half a dozen nuisance calls to my home, and he repeatedly decides to make accusations he knows won't bear scrutiny when he is hiding behind Uncle Iain's moderation wall, which stops me or anyone else from saying anything that proves him wrong.

  15. Troushers says

    Hi Manic,In answer to your questions – no, and no. I think it's rude what Dale did, but, however much you have my sympathy, I don't see any recourse that is effective, or will do anything other than amuse Dale et al. and so be counter-productive. It feels like a piece of devilment of Dales part.

  16. Manic says

    Again, his poll isn't up to much if he's going to play games like this with it.Sorry to be so terse with on the other point, but Iain all too readily presents some things as innocuous when he knows other people will not hold the same view. It's very similar to his position on his 'expertise' in blogging ("I do not portray myself as an expert on blogging. If others think I know a lot about it and invite me to speak to them, it's hardly a crime is it.") and the fraudulent aspect irks me.

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