Iain Dale, Shane Greer, Total Politics, political smears and harassment

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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
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Recently, I published a segment of a discussion held under the Chatham House rule. This rule was first violated by Iain Dale and Phil Hendren through their misrepresentation of its contents and the nature of the discussion. They continue to misrepresent its contents and the nature of the discussion, so here we are at another point where I have to reveal the actual contents so you might decide for yourselves what really went on. The close of the discussion makes the conditions under which I breach a pledge of confidence crystal clear.

To be equally clear on two major points:

– Iain Dale did not agree to take part in this discussion when he found out my children were being targeted; he agreed to take part in this discussion in reaction to the negative publicity that followed the revelation that my children were being targeted. Because that’s the kind of guy he is. Total bastard. Oh, and thanks to everybody on Twitter who helped with that. You’re all champs.

– Iain Dale ‘cooperated’ in much the same way that he ‘called Patrick Mercer’ (he didn’t) and ‘reported me to police for harassment’ (he didn’t), and the following conversation is being published to clear this up and address other aspects of his and Hendren’s continuing misrepresentations.

(Next time, Hendren/Dale, don’t be calling me a liar when you know you can’t back it up, and when you know how it complicates an ongoing campaign of harassment. The Chatham House rule is not enforceable by law, I don’t expect to ever engage with you or anyone like you under that banner ever again, and when the safety of my family is at stake, all bets are off.)

Dale’s ‘kind’ offer of ‘cooperation’ – and the wider conversation – collapsed into nothing soon after Dale’s employee at Total Politics (Shane Greer) turned up. It was soon after this that it became clear I was being railroaded (with a smile), despite the risks to my family. Worse, I was being berated for not sitting back and taking it. Surely if I cared about my family, I’d let Iain have his way…

From here, I’ll let the conversation speak for itself. As it culminates with a link that is crucial to context that heavily references Dominic Wightman (the person who is the main subject of the most recent police investigation), I’ve decided against avoiding mention of his name as I have in many recent posts, but I would remind Dale and Hendren (and Greer) that there is far more sensitive information in our conversation that could interfere with this ongoing police investigation and/or put my family at risk, and I urge them to use caution in their inevitable attempt to counter this with further publication(s) of carefully selected nuggets that ‘prove’ this or that.

I’m happy to stand by every statement of fact and back up every speculation with supporting evidence, but there is a lot they could release at this stage that would immediately undermine the efforts to address an ongoing campaign of harassment through the criminal justice system (i.e instead of merely pretending that to have filed a report with police and lying about police investigations that never took place).

This final segment of the group conversation is entirely unedited, with the exception of the email addresses (which have been removed) and some notes in [brackets].

From: Shane Greer
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale, Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

Hi Everyone,

Until now I haven’t involved myself in this email exchange as the issues involved don’t directly relate to or affect me. Moreover, I don’t have anything like the relationship history the rest of you do. However, I would still like to do what I can and, if nothing else, I thought I might at least be able to act as a voice of encouragement.

I must admit, when I saw Dizzy’s first email I thought nothing was ultimately going to be achieved. How wrong I was. The willingness shown on all sides to move things forward has been tremendous, and the fact that a relatively civilised exchange is taking place between Iain/Dizzy and Tim is an achievement in itself. Well done to Sunny for acting as the de facto mediator in all of this, and to Richard for providing additional context.

I don’t see that there’s anything I can really add to the proceedings, and with that in mind I’ll simply wish you all the best of luck.

Best,
Shane

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM
To: Shane Greer
Cc: Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

Shane,

Keeping in mind the matter of context and hyperbole, early in 2009, I sought to contact you to ask you about the posts you and another staff member of Total Politics (Gavin Whenman) made accusing me of being an “obviously unbalanced” bully; i.e. on what grounds you defended the claim today or if you were actually only trolling as you claimed at the time:
http://www.shanegreer.com/2008/01/30/feeding-the-trolls/

Yours was one of the few sites carrying anything like what Dale was claiming and Glen Jenvey was repeating at the time.

Iain saw (or sought to portray) this attempt to contact you as an attempt to harass him, so I did not get very far with it, but as you’re here now, I would ask; do you stand by your assertions or were you only trolling?

Further, given the fallout from your claim and others like it and how these were eventually used against me in the worst possible way, do you agree with Gavin Whenman’s judgement that I was an “obsessive bully… intent on blowing minor attacks against him out of all proportion”?
http://www.gavinwhenman.com/2008/02/06/tim-ireland-an-internet-bully/

Tim

From: Shane Greer
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 5:30 PM
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating
Hi Tim,

I understood the aim of this thread to find ways to help you and your family to avoid being harassed by Wightman Flowers et al. Others have urged you not to revisit issues from the past and concentrate on what can now be done in the future. I do not intend to do revisit this, apart from pointing out that Gavin Whenman’s blog – and indeed my own (now dormant) blog – are unrelated to Total Politics. Again, I wish you all the very best and good luck in resolving the issues you face.

Shane

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 6:09 PM
To: Shane Greer
Cc: Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

How is it unrelated? It clearly influenced Iain’s thinking when he accused me of stalking him; a position he continues to defend and I have the letter to prove it. It is one of the few instances of the type of accusation that Wightman relies on today in order to protect himself, and it’s certainly worth noting that you all think (or appear to think) the same way and work for the same organisation under the same publisher.

You also defended it at the time in a way suggesting that you didn’t really mean it, but only said it to stir the pot. Given that I am now facing accusations very similar to what you defended as troll-bait, I will dare to press you on the matter.

I do not regard it to be irrelevant at all. You could withdraw it now and it would still be relevant to the matter at hand.

Tim

From: Iain Dale
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 6:33 PM
To: Tim Ireland , Shane Greer
Cc: Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

This is now going round in circles. I have now asked at least four times for the details of the police in Guildford which I thought you wished me to contact. Sunny has also asked exactly what it is you want me to do to take this further, and yet all you seem to want to do is go off on tangents. Shane sent a perfectly proper and conciliatory email, expressing empathy and all you do is throw it back it in his face and try to reopen old wounds. That is not in the spirit of this conversation.

I am beginning to think we are now not getting as far as we thought we were if this is an indicator of what lies ahead.

If the threats you face were clear and present, and you felt the police was the only way of stopping them surely the first thing you would do is help put me in touch with whichever officer is dealing with it. And please don’t return to Nadine. She is irrelevant. I answered your nine point request for evidence in what I thought was a helpful and constructive way.

I fail to see what else now I can do.

Iain

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 6:46 PM
To: iain.dale@totalpolitics.com
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

To be clear: I do not regard this repeated offer of yours to be in any way reasonable, but I do agree we are talking in circles.

You base your repeated accusations of stalking on evidence you can’t produce or won’t discuss. You do recall citing my attempt to contact Shane Greer as evidence of my harassing you, yes?

Unless you’d care to admit that your accusation had no foundation, I am going to address the justifications you use to prop them up, and that includes what you said and did about Dorries, Mercer and Milton, because it is these accusations that Wightman is hiding behind.

If you still don’t understand that, I hope to explain myself better in a further email, and will explain carefully what I expect and need from you or others.

Please do not risk any repeat of the implication that this is not an urgent matter, and/or not being treated by me as an urgent matter; I am wary of wasting what may well be my final chance to address this through the criminal justice system, and there’s stuff going on that’s none of your business and eating up a lot of my time.

Tim

From: Shane Greer
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 6:56 PM
To: Tim Ireland , Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Iain Dale , Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating
Dear all,

My email earlier was intended to encourage you in what I felt at the time was a reasonably productive engagement between the individuals in this thread. For what it’s worth, I still wish you all the best of luck.

However, given Tim’s aggressive reaction to my email, I see no reason for my continued involvement.

I will not be reading any future emails in this thread.

Best,
Shane

From: Iain Dale
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 7:49 PM
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

Well that’s me told. I too have little time at the moment (for reasons which will soon become clear) and feel I have gone out of my way to be conciliatory. If you continually write in this aggressive way do you really expect anyone to cooperate? Perhaps your friends might impress on you the fact that if you continue in this confrontational manner you will get precisely nowhere.

From Thursday I am abroad for 5 days and won’t be responding to emails. Especially ones like the ones below.

From: Tim Ireland
Sent: 14 September 2010 18:47
To: Iain Dale
Cc: Shane Greer; Sunny Hundal; Dizzy Thinks; Iain Dale; Richard Bartholomew; Justin McKeating
Subject: Re: [evidence request for Iain and any related discussion]

To be clear: I do not regard this repeated offer of yours to be in any way reasonable, but I do agree we are talking in circles.

You base your repeated accusations of stalking on evidence you can’t produce or won’t discuss. You do recall citing my attempt to contact Shane Greer as evidence of my harassing you, yes?

Unless you’d care to admit that your accusation had no foundation, I am going to address the justifications you use to prop them up, and that includes what you said and did about Dorries, Mercer and Milton, because it is these accusations that Wightman is hiding behind.

If you still don;t understand that, I hope to explain myself better in a further email, and will explain carefully what I expect and need from you or others.

Please do not risk any repeat of the implication that this is not an urgent matter, and/or not being treated by me as an urgent matter; I am wary of wasting what may well be my final chance to address this through the criminal justice system, and there’s stuff going on that’s none of your business and eating up a lot of my time.

Tim

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:18 PM
To: Iain Dale
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

Iain, I do not think you are cooperating, and I tire of being berated for being aggressive etc. when it the repeated accusations published by some on this list that had contributed so much to this threat, especially when they have nothing to support it and no wish to talk about the circumstances that led to the opinion they know is being passed off as fact.

What I originally wanted from you was your contribution to a statement; you claim to be unaware of this and want to call police (or – at a stretch – have them call you) and wing it when you have already shown a complete refusal to back down in any way on your assertion that I stalked you and three MPs (Further, you expect me to trust you on this after what you did after agreeing to call Mercer?)

You also berate me for wasting time when it has taken you a year and a half to even explain yourself.

If you are not even willing to take a position on Milton, Mercer and Dorries, where does that leave us? YOU published the accusations yourself and/or contributed to their accusations.

Tim

From: Iain Dale
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:27 PM
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

I’m going to leave it to everyone else to decide who has been co-operating and who has been aggressive. What a pity the olive branch has been picked up and slapped in all our faces. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected anything else, but you know, I did.

If you really can write “Further, you expect me to trust you on this after what you did after agreeing to call Mercer?” after the lengths I have gone to to explain in great detail what happened on that in previous emails here, then I despair. I don’t think there is anything now I could ever say to you that you would either accept or believe. If that is the case, we might as well call it a day now and not waste any further time.

Everyone else on this thread has gone silent recently. It might be helpful to have some interventions from others, because clearly we are now at an impasse, wholly, I would suggest of Tim’s making.

I won’t be contributing any further at this stage.

Iain

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:34 PM
To: Iain Dale
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

Well, I was going to run the next part by the list but I fail to see the point now.

Rest assured that, although I am forced to go public again from this point, the Chatham House Rule will be respected…. all that [has] been shared in confidence will be kept in confidence.

But I will not tolerate any description of my demeanour outside this list that I cannot challenge because of any agreed need for private discussion; that itself would be a major violation of trust.

Tim

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 10:43 PM
To: Iain Dale
Cc: Shane Greer, Sunny Hundal, Dizzy Thinks [Phil Hendren], Richard Bartholomew, Justin McKeating

As I said, I was going to run much of the ‘state of play’ content in this account by the list, but there was little point:
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/09/house-of-cards/

Regrettable, but here we are.

I’m greatly disappointed that these measures are required, and that so much time and effort has been wasted, but perhaps some of you can take comfort that you’ve only wasted some of your week; Wightman and those who continue to provide him with cover have robbed me of well over a year.

Tim

Well, there you have it. Iain Dale and Shane Greer were confronted with material that Wightman was relying on in his attacks on me (i.e. material that is presently the subject of a police investigation), but they refused to discuss this material, never mind substantiate or retract it, despite their knowledge that my family were at risk. Then, and today, their highest priority was saving their reputations, and that of Dale’s junk mail magazine Total Politics.

As a final note, for those who are new to all of this, here is what Iain Dale describes as ‘calling Mercer’.

Iain Dale deliberately exposed me to danger, abuse and ridicule knowing he couldn’t back up any of what he had said, done or published, and he continues to do so today. The same applies to his dirtbag mates Shane Greer and Phil Hendren, and a small crowd of lesser Tory limpets.








About Tim Ireland

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