This entry was posted on
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at
5:14 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
In late 2009, Dominic Wightman was desperate for ammunition that would help him explain his shameful conduct and gain the support of right wing bloggers after I discovered what he thought to be his secret role in my being smeared as a paedophile (and an alcoholic with mental problems likely to have invented this same smear for sympathy).
Wightman found what he was looking for in a rare but prominent 2008 attack piece by Gavin Whenman where that former blogger describes me as an “internet bully” and makes quite specific allegations about my targeting Conservative bloggers such as Iain Dale for no good reason.
It is my understanding that Gavin Whenman was an employee of Iain Dale’s at the time, but yesterday Whenman refused to even confirm or deny if this was/is the case, claiming it to be an intrusion into his personal life.
We pause at this Dorries-esque outburst just long enough to consider the following information from Whenman’s public website…
Whenman is a journalist, writer, former law student, fan of alliteration and Liberal Democrat, although not necessarily in that order. He works for Total Politics, a monthly political magazine that puts the “fun” in “fundamental shift in the balance of power”. He recently completed an LLM in Public International Law at King’s College London. Until last year, he worked for 18 Doughty Street, a sadly now defunct political internet TV channel.
… before finding a more complete answer via his public profile on LinkedIn:
Script reader (freelance)
Production Assistant at Total Politics
Researcher / Producer at 18 Doughty Street
I should also point out that while Whenman could not find the energy to deny working for Total Politics, he did take the time to resent any implication that he is so corrupt and/or weak-minded as to be manipulated into attacking me on behalf of Iain Dale (a man who is as fond of having his associates do his dirty work for him as Wightman is).
Gavin Whenman also offered a private apology for maligning me (see relevant text below), but he refuses to update the relevant entry because – he claims – he finds the whole affair too “tedious”.
He further claims he is unwilling to help me reverse any of the damage he has done because he thinks my energies are better spent focusing on other matters, a position that completely ignores the capacity of smears and harassment to interfere with this or any other activity, regardless of my choice to attack what Whenman considers to be the right kind of target (presumably someone who isn’t/wasn’t a key source of income).
Gavin Whenman also offers in mitigation the irrelevant fact that his blog is no longer active, as if this makes his article any less visible and/or negates any of the fallout from it. In doing so he brings his position neatly into alignment with Shane Greer, who attacked me at the same time with a similar accusation, describing me as “obviously unbalanced” while grouping me with a convicted stalker (more). Shane Greer was then and is now an employee of Iain Dale’s through Total Politics, but he insists that both he and Whenman acted independently at the time. Much like Whenman, Greer has also refused to offer any retraction or even any defence of his outburst, despite being privy to the worse of the fallout from it.
Dominic Wightman’s use of the article is barely half of the matter; there is worse to come, and Whenman probably expected he would at least have some breathing space between now and sometime in the future when I might hope to reveal any of this.
If Whenman has any regrets about his attack as he claims, I would ask him again, this time publicly, to update the relevant post in line with thoughts he will only share privately because of some new-found desire to avoid being drawn into the matter.
I do this because what Gavin Whenman presents as an “opinion held without malice” is being passed of as fact by someone with a malignant intent that is made crystal clear in this communication with Adrian Morgan, in an email sent when Wightman was trying to convince that man to attack me on his behalf:
Tim Ireland lives 3 villages from me and my local supporters (including the MP) want Ireland downed. He has already admitted to me I am the sole reason he’s not written on hs blog for 2 months. He is a vicious bully and I will not sit back and get slaughtered by him without telling the world how to silence a big bully, how I did it, that I am not particularly proud of how I did it but that yes I did it. There MUST BE a mix here of eating humble pie and sabre-rattling or I will be walked over. I must also bring the right wing blog alliance on my side and to do this I need to show that I have been capable of bringing down the most famous left wing blogger, albeit temporarily, that ever existed in the UK.
At the time, Dominic Wightman also planned to ‘out’ me as a stalker while publishing what he claimed to be a psychiatrist’s report on my mental health; a further smear that I’m sure you will note is entirely in line with Shane Greer’s previous attempts to poison the well while claiming that it was my criticism of Iain Dale that amounted to an ad hominem attack.
I’m sure I risk being called a bully (again) for daring to object to this kind of thing, but I’m not left with a lot of choice at this stage, and I certainly don’t plan to intimidate Whenman by publishing his home address or distorted/fabricated revelations about his personal life and state of mind (i.e. like some of the people he chooses to align himself with).
I choose instead to defend myself by revealing publicly what Whenman will only admit privately.
When I’m at liberty to share any of the rest of this, I’ll be sure to update this post with the further information that Gavin Whenman is privy to, but refuses to act on, because he claims to be too bored to move either way:
“I appreciate you’ve sent this email in good faith and it must take
particularly vast testicular fortitude to send it to somebody who has
maligned you in public (and for which I apologise sincerely). However,
I’m going to decline answering any of your questions for one simple
reason: I don’t want to be drawn into whatever it is that is going on
here. This is partially because I don’t care…” – Gavin Whenman, via email
“I do not want to contribute any
more to whatever is going on here…” – Gavin Whenman, via email
“I do not wish to be
drawn any further into this matter and I honestly care so little about
whatever is going on I might just pass out*. As for the apology,
you’ve had it and maybe, if I ever get around to updating my blog
after almost two years dormant, I will update the relevant post, but I
don’t feel the imperative to do so today because … well, as I just
wrote, I don’t really care. Is this a passive or active decision on my
part? It could be argued either way and we’ll just have to disagree on
the matter…” – Gavin Whenman, via email
I’ve sat back and let Whenman’s perverse attack go for years because the conversation underneath it should make it obvious to the casual reader that he is either having his readers on or having himself on, but his comments being blown out of all proportion by others and/or presented minus any context changes things considerably. The headline alone is actionable, and far more likely to be taken at face value in the current climate.
And, as I have already said, you ain’t heard the half of it yet. There is worse to come. Whenman has been made aware of it, but refuses to act on it.
If there’s a shred of principle left in the man, he might feel a pang of shame that it took an outing like this to finally prompt action. If there isn’t, he will simply use this as an excuse to continue his inaction and in doing so maintain a public attack on me that he privately claims to regret.
UPDATE – It was the latter. In fact, Whenman went further than any of you might expect. Even further than that thug Hendren dared to. After claiming he was too bored with the matter to make a simple update to an old post, today he created an entirely new post, publishing material that he knows will put my family at risk. He now claims he was too bored to make himself aware of these risks, when they were spelled out to him in the same correspondence he published. Total bastard. No wonder he gets on with Dale so well.
UPDATE (20 April) – Just in case there was any doubt about his intentions, last night, Gavin Whenman tried to use the safety of my family as leverage in an attempt to get this post removed… while claiming that my being upset about that justified his original ‘bullying’ smear. Class act, all the way.