This entry was posted on
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at
10:38 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.
All of the anger generated over Alex Hiltons claims that he was confronted with secret threats rests on the dual assumption (a) that Derek Draper made the call, and (b) that Hilton is being 100% honest with us/himself about what was said and how it was put.
Whoever is talking to Hilton has a point (stay with me…) up to the point where Hilton’s association with Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) might damage his relationship with other Labour members, or the members of any semi-responsible political group, come to think of it.
If they’re saying what Hilton is claiming and making secret threats about deliberately tagging Hilton with Staines’ popular brand of casual racism (1, 2), then that’s not on, but I’ve come to expect misrepresentation from Hilton’s quarter.
Hilton could have been issued with a warning that such association would happen naturally and without interference or effort; that’s a warning that could easily be passed off as a threat.
That, and Hilton often starts calling people ‘comrade’ when he’s laying it on thick.
I’m not saying that this is the way it’s happened, but it’s a bloody likely possibility from where I’m standing.
A lot depends on who made the call. Draper, I’d expect such threats from, especially after his over-reaching attach-a-word attacks on Dale and Staines and his finger-jabbing attack on Hencke.
But if almost anyone else made the phone call, I’d have serious doubts about Hilton’s claim. That I’m not able to hear the context of what was said forces me to make that judgement call, and Hilton is one of the people in this world that I trust the least.
Why? Well, one reason is the secret and none-too-subtle ‘I/we will ruin you’ threats sent my way from… MessageSpace.
Once, after I blogged about MessageSpace, a threat of legal action was issued from their office building by Paul Staines, who MessageSpace later claimed; “is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been.”
All of these threats were marked PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL and I was advised that revealing any details and not caving immediately could cost me big time. I was also ordered (yes, ordered) to apologise, hire a lawyer or provide an address (more).
Meanwhile, I was receiving all sorts of nicey-nice reassurances from Jag Singh. On the condition that these remain secret, too.
Alex was dismissive and disingenuous about it, the only saving grace being that he was publicly dismissive and disingenuous about it:
“This article is the first time I have heard of Guido suing Tim. What for? I don’t know and can’t really be bothered to look into it. “
Meanwhile, I was being threatened by a man based in their office over an article I wrote about their company. I hate to be ungracious about it all, but fuck them, and fuck MessageSpace.
And you know what? It strikes me that the best way for Alex to get everyone onside is to have everyone think that poster-boy-for-tosspots Derek Draper is somehow connected to this call he bases his claims on.
To close, let me be ab-so-lute-ly clear on my central point:
I don’t entirely trust Alex Hilton’s claims about this. I don’t entirely trust Jag Singh’s claims about this.
That position is only likely to change if someone I trust less turns out to be behind these calls…. and there are very few people I trust less than the men behind MessageSpace.
That goes especially for the coward, liar and bully who “is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been”.
For more, click here.
UPDATE (18 Feb) – It’s just past midday. The two posts that Alex started about this on LabourHome (and subsequently every comment underneath those posts) have been deleted/withdrawn without explanation. This is what we bloggers call ‘retro-moderation’. Why does Alex want to hide this all of a sudden? He seemed awfully keen to wave it about until a few minutes ago. Are the secret ‘threats’ now so secret that even Alex won’t talk about them?
URLs of deleted threads: