Boycott the Total Politics poll of weblogs

Posted by Tim Ireland at 6 July 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Monday, July 6th, 2009
at
4:23 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Iain Dale has been running a self-serving ‘poll’ of weblogs since 2006. When faced with any charge that his polls are heavily biased on a personal or political basis, Dale will typically claim that the poll is ‘just a bit of fun’ (with a major sponsor) and/or expect you to be pathetically grateful that it’s slightly less rigged each year.

Last year, the poll carried the ‘Total Politics’ name, suggesting that the poll was as balanced as TP’s political coverage claims to be, when the truth is voting was primarily conducted at/via a website where 70% of readers vote Tory. It even had to be pointed out to Iain at one stage last year that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to accept votes via anonymous comments (that he now admits he had no way of tracking).

After failing to honour or even acknowledge boycotts of his poll last year, this year Iain Dale offers a chance for blogs to ‘opt out’ while not admitting for one second that (a) this might amount to a boycott and/or (b) he might have been wrong not to honour/acknowledge boycotts previous to this:

If you are a blogger and do not wish your blog to be included in the polling, please email katy DOT scholes AT totalpolitics DOT com by the end of next week. All blogs will, however, be included in the directory at the back of the book. – Iain ‘liar’ Dale

(Note: Last year, Dale claimed to have acknowledged all boycotts of his poll online and in print, which was not true. This post makes no mention of any commitment to do better this year.)

Now, I realise that publicity is an issue for many bloggers, but it’s my position that this is publicity you can do without.

In fact, this year I am going to ask you to join me in boycotting this poll.

Why should you do this?

Well, let me put it this way:

1. Iain Dale is a lying, self-publicising blog-cheat who knowingly uses smears against his political enemies. Why should you reward him with the status this poll affords him?

2. The poll is (and always has been) sponsored by APCO Worldwide, a pro-tobacco PR company with a history of astro-turfing. Why should you lend credibility to a sponsor that engages in activities most bloggers regard to be abhorrent?

To boycott Iain Dale’s latest rigged poll of weblogs, please email katy DOT scholes AT totalpolitics DOT com by July 17, and make sure you request that your boycott be acknowledged (i.e. you do not wish to be included in the poll, but you do want to be listed/marked as a blogger who chose not to take part in the poll).

If Iain Dale has any integrity to speak of, he will honour your boycott and inform the readers of his magazine why certain weblogs may not appear in the charts.

Cheers all.

(Psst! In order to dodge questions from me about the likely bias of last year’s poll, Iain Dale launched a dishonest attack on my professional reputation that he later dismissed as ‘banter’. If you are going to be public about your boycott and explain your reasons why, you might want to be prepared for some backlash, most likely in the form of anonymous/personal attacks.)








4 Comments

  1. ian says

    And how will he verify that the sender of the request is the owner of the blog?

  2. Manic says

    And there's that. Boy, I'm glad that's not my problem.(Iain Dale once turned up in a comment thread on an external site and said something totally out of character. I asked Iain to verify his identity, and there's any number of ways he could have done that, but he went with; "This is me.")

  3. Carl says

    Dale said something out of character?Dale?Out of character?What, you mean he wasn't hysterical, screeching and insulting and actually made sense?

  4. Manic says

    No, I mean he made an irrelevant and uncalled-for personal attack under his own name (instead of allowing twelve anonymous comments do it for him). Normally he's much more careful than that.Oh, so we may as well add:3. Iain Dale allows widespread sock-puppeting on his site when it suits him, and does nothing to stop it. If anything he encourages it. Meanwhile, he will accuse opponents of sock-puppetry, even though he can't produce a lick of evidence to support his claims/implications.

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