Iain Dale is currently very busy putting himself about in the mainstream media taking a ‘principled’ stand against the way Paul Staines (‘Guido Fawkes’) has been running his site like an open sewer. To cover his arse, on TV/radio he speaks vaguely of his own regrets about what he has allowed/published on his own site in the past, but offers no specifics.
In 2006 both Paul Staines and Iain Dale refused to condemn two political activists who were using blogs/comments to ‘innocently’ air questions about a political opponent being a paedophile, despite evidence I had published clearly establishing their involvement.
(The same men were also comment contributors to either/both sites controlled by Iain Dale and Paul Staines. To give Staines some credit, he did see the sense in deleting one comment linking to the main smear, but he was most ungracious about it, as if I were worrying about nothing and somehow owed him a favour.)
What follows is a copy of the email where Iain Dale refused to cover the story and expose the two people involved:
From: Iain Dale
To: ‘Tim Ireland’
Cc: ‘Guy Fawkes’
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 3:34 PM
Subject: RE: Guildford Conservatives in ‘paedo’ smear
Think I’ll keep concentrating on Prescott if you don’t mind…!
Iain Dale never did get on with focusing on that Prescott ‘story’ as he claimed he was doing, which is kind of good thing because this ‘story’ appeared to be yet another example of Paul Staines recycling Westminster tittle-tattle and other unsubstantiated claims about where Prescott had put his penis.
So, to summarise, Iain Dale refused point-blank to publicly condemn two activists who were ‘innocently’ airing claims their political opponent was a paedophile, and used as his excuse his desire to focus on the Paul Staines ‘story’ that involved yet more gossip about yet another person’s sex life.
Perhaps this is one of the regrets he speaks of… and perhaps he plans to continue to pretend as if this never happened because the target of this smear was a Lib Dem and the MP closely associated with the smearing activists was a fellow Conservative and a friend of his… Anne Milton:
Iain Dale also refused to condemn Paul Staines when that ‘blogger’ heavily implied that a Lib Dem MP was a paedophile, equating homosexuality with paedophilia in the process.
More recently, Iain Dale refused to take a stand against a campaign of harassment against me where I was smeared as a paedophile*, to the extent of not only refusing to participate in the relevant criminal investigation, but going on to use my attempts to contact him about that to generate a false claim of ‘stalking**’ that he maintains privately to this day, despite the belated deletion of this claim (and others) about me from his blog.
The long and the short of it is that all of the targets of these smears were people that Iain Dale sniffily refers to as ‘lefties’.
William Hague, on the other hand, is a Conservative and a member of Cameron’s cabinet, and if Dale is going to come out against these smears targeting Hague while not specifically regretting or even acknowledging any of the above I am going to dare to suggest that he does so for reasons of politics, not principle.
[*The man who originated this smear also happens/happened to be a personal and political associate of Anne Milton, but that’s for another day.]
[**In fact, it needs to be noted that after I confronted Paul Staines about exactly this kind of thing years ago and revealed his shady political past involving strategic overtures to the BNP, Iain Dale responded by portraying my concerns as a personal attack and allowing his mostly-anonymous comment contributors to slag me off on his site (as ‘obsessive’, a stalker, and worse). Further, Iain Dale’s own smears about my stalking him and others began with anonymous claims made on his own site by ardent supporters of Anne Milton; most likely the very same people behind the 2006 paedo-smear. That Iain will now repeat these claims privately but not test them in court or even expose them to scrutiny should tell you all you need to know about what’s really going on here; Iain Dale’s actions amount to no more than a whisper campaign, and – like his mate Nadine Dorries – Dale engages in this activity knowing that his smears are being repeated in public, sometimes alongside my home address.]
UPDATE (12:30) – I dared to approach Iain Dale for comment on this one, as he appeared to have changed his tune, and I wanted to be sure. I asked him if he had any regrets about any of the above, and this was his response:
“Oh, fuck off!”
How nice. Still, at least it does tell me in a roundabout way that he’s a long way from regretting any of it.
UPDATE (07 Sep) – Iain Dale still doesn’t regret any of it, even though he knows my wife and kids are in the firing line now. What a deeply unpleasant individual.