Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.

Homepage: http://www.bloggerheads.com/


Posts by Tim Ireland

The definition of relevance

The folks from Wordia asked me to choose a word and contribute to their project. I chose the word ‘relevance’, and this is the result:

If it’s seems I’m pressing one factor over the other, it’s because validity of the source is overlooked far too often (or all-too-selectively) in my opinion.

Redwire Design

[NOTE - UK-based web hosts are particularly easy to bully thanks to certain peculiarities in local libel laws, and people acting for (or on behalf of) Redwire Design have been taking advantage of that, by bullying my priovider rather than admitting their role in... well, more bullying. If Nick Catt or Alex Malloy or anyone else at Redwire Design want to deny the involvement of their staff/facilities in online harassment (including publication/promotion of my home address), then they can initiate actual civil proceedings or shut up. My account is honest and truthful, backed by evidence none of them dare challenge, and it stands. Relocated article reinstated 4 May 2010.]

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[This post as been relocated to this back-up blog after a complaint was made to my provider on 16/03/2010. The original article was posted to Bloggerheads.com 27/01/2010. Details here.]

This post is about some (or perhaps hopefully just one) of the wonderful people at Redwire Design, but first we need some background for those who came in late (and to cover some recent parts that have only just come to light). Please bear with me:

Early in 2009, a conman by the name of Dominic Wightman (aka Dominic Whiteman, aka Richard Walker) saw in the Glen Jenvey story an opportunity to screw over some former associates while at the same time screwing me (for reasons that have yet to be fully established). This scheme of his resulted in a false claim of paedophilia spread by Jenvey, who (with nothing to gain by lying) later claimed that he was fed this lie and my ex-directory home address by Wightman, along with the assurance that I “needed sorting out”.

Things didn’t quite work out the way Wightman planned, and eventually circumstances led to the uncovering of a blatant smear campaign created and conducted by Wightman, resulting in multiple visits from the police that Wightman hilariously portrays as being appointments of his own design.

Fearing what I might report (there is a LOT that has so far gone unreported), Wightman decided to get his retaliation in early (!) with an extraordinarily rambling, malicious and misleading attack on my good name. It was at this time that some associates of Wightman began to publish my home address alongside false accusations that I was in league with extremists, and a stalker of women.

The bulk of these associates hide behind pseudonyms, go by the collective name of the ‘Cheerleaders’, and are also involved in a band by the name of The Fighting Cocks. There are also some mates and hangers-on whose real names are more accessible, and that group of people includes ‘Jonny Yeah’ (aka Jon Chappell). More on him in a moment.

This campaign of harassment has included the repeated broadcast of my home address to the types of people that Wightman himself has described as having “a history of late-night visits to enemies”. Further, while the ‘Cheerleaders’ style themselves as anti-fascist activists, they had no qualms about repeatedly broadcasting my home address to members of the BNP while alerting them to my involvement in campaigns they would be none-too-pleased with. If the intention wasn’t to do me harm, it was to make me fearful for my safety and cause me distress. It certainly did the latter, especially when the campaign escalated to direct threats of violence, causing me and my family great concern.

‘Jonny Yeah’ (aka Jon Chappell) was CCed on the emails threatening me with violence. Further threats involving the continued misuse of my data were then issued on his behalf (and on the behalf of other relevant parties) after I dared to list on my site the names and/or email addresses of all those who were associated with the earlier therat of violence. ‘Jonny Yeah’ also appears to have been closely associated with an anonymous SPA (single-purpose account) on YouTube that was used in this ongoing campaign of harassment.

I can prove that this account was used to repeatedly broadcast my home address to people the author regarded to be potentially hostile to me, and that this was visibly and quite obviously the only purpose of the account. Further, I can prove that an account in the name of ‘JonnyYeah1′ was associated with this anonymous account and that an account in the name of Kooba Radio (‘KoobaTV’) was used to link to and promote the anonymous account in a way that cannot have escaped the attention of the main ‘KoobaTV’ account holder, even if they were to later claim that they had been hacked or set up or some such nonsense.

Kooba Radio was founded by… ‘Jonny Yeah’ (aka Jon Chappell), along with a man by the name of Alex Malloy (The Boy Malloy) and a mysterious woman by the name of Angela Collins (She Who Must Not Be Named).

After changing his story a few times, Johnny Yeah eventually denied involvement and claimed that Angela Collins had left Kooba Radio. He also appears to have changed the Kooba Radio email settings so they now reject any email from me as spam, but I have yet to confirm this. More on that in a moment.

Public versions of the ongoing online attacks from ‘Cheerleaders’ then started afresh, this time quite specifically on behalf of ‘Johnny Yeah’ and his Kooba Radio colleagues:

screen capture of some recently-deleted tweets from the Cheerleaders

Faced with the following error message, legally, I needed to be certain that I had been deliberately spam-blocked, not least because of the delightfully self-reinforcing accusation of stalking that is so easily exploited in situations where people start refusing contact by email:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 571 571 5.7.1 Message contains spam or virus : 16522:4131863472|125F (state 18).

The website and email accounts for Kooba Radio are hosted by a company by the name of RedWire Design.

The man who handles the bulk of enquiries for that company is…. Alex Malloy (Jon Chappell’s partner in Kooba Radio).

So, wanting to give Alex a chance to tell his side of the story (Chapell’s denials implied his involvement), and needing to go through Alex to find out if his ‘client’ had actively spamblocked me, I got in touch.

Having just been informed of pretty much everything I just explained to you, Alex was queried about the apparent spam block, but didn’t act at all surprised about any of it and – speaking as an official representative of RedWire Design – had this to say…

redwire design: we are good people

… before promptly hanging up.

Alex is listed on the Redwire site as a Director of the company (citing Search Engine Optimisation as his lead skill, and you better believe there’ll be more on that in moment).

The only person senior to Alex appears to be Managing Director, Nick Catt.

I should stress that there is no visible evidence of Nick Catt’s involvement in this ongoing campaign of harassment at this stage, but his profile states that he “runs a live music and club night with Alex” (and another man), so he probably knows those ‘Cheerleaders’ who are in The Fighting Cocks at least, and doing the right thing is likely to complicate his life in those circles, so I am wary of any further approach through direct channels, especially with the ever-present risk that someone might hide behind a cry of “Stalker!” at any moment

Instead, I’m here in public (again) having to explain all this crap (again) and finding myself quite surprised that I have to drag some people kicking and screaming into the light just to get them to do the decent thing (again).

In about an hour, this post should be a high search result for queries relating to ‘redwire design’. I am hoping that this will lead to a sudden upsurge of professionalism on their end, but I’m not holding my breath.

In fact, I’m half expecting some kind of misguided counter-attack by Alex Malloy or maybe even the company he does all them professional communications for.

Fine by me. I’d stake my SEO kung-fu against his any day… especially with the law, the truth and a shedload of evidence on my side.

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UPDATE – 48 minutes, this took. Nowhere near the record, but still worthy of mention:

screen grab

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UPDATE (28 Jan) – Hey, guess what, everyone? They’re going to be ratbags about it.

Alex Malloy cannot deny involvement in the KoobaTV account, and it is certainly reasonable in my view to ask who the primary account holder might be in the circumstances. He sees things differently.

Meanwhile the ‘Cheerleaders’ are hopping about angrily playing the side of law enforcement all of a sudden, outraged that I’d dare to ask anyone about their real names (when they claim it is not an issue); the abiding theme is that if I dare to object to being attacked, then they will continue to attack me… but it has already been established that they plan to continue to attack me anyway. It’s just another piss-poor justification to add to the collection.

PCC PETITION; PLEASE ACT IMMEDIATELY

Quite inexplicably, the good people from ipetitions.com refuse to hand over the data we collected via their site prior to the sudden disappearance of our petition. I take this as a pretty good sign that they have somehow (for unknown reasons) deleted this data and are afraid to admit it, but that’s a matter for later.

This week, and today especially, we need to focus our efforts on submitting the following five suggestions (and anything you would care to add) to the following email addresses. YOU WILL NEED TO DO THIS EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY VOICED YOUR SUPPORT VIA THE PETITION.

Vivien Hepworth, Chairman, (PCC) Independent Governance Review:
governancereview@pcc.org.uk

[Deadline: 25 January, i.e. today]
[deadline has passed for these submissions]

Ian Beales, Code Committee Secretary, Editor’s Code of Practive Committee:
ianbeales@mac.com

[Deadline: 31 January]
[deadline has passed for these submissions]

Please note that Independent Governance Review requires you to notify them if you do not wish your submission to be made public.

Here are the suggestions we are asking you to endorse (and add to, if you wish):

SUGGESTION ONE: Like-for-like placement of retractions, corrections and apologies in print and online (as standard).

Retractions, corrections, and apologies should normally be at least equally prominent to the original article, in both print and online editions. Any departure from this rule should only be in exceptional circumstances, and the onus on showing such circumstances should be on the publication.

SUGGESTION TWO: Original or redirected URLs for retractions, corrections & apologies online (as standard).

Retractions, corrections, and apologies in respect of online articles should always be displayed either at the original URL or at a URL to which the reader is redirected.

SUGGESTION THREE: The current Code contains no reference to headlines, and this loophole should be closed immediately.

Headlines should be covered by the same rules as the rest of a story. Further, headlines and titles for links should never be misleading in what they imply or offer and should always be substantiated by the article/contents.

SUGGESTION FOUR: Sources to be credited unless they do not wish to be credited or require anonymity/protection.

Sources should normally be credited. Any departure from this rule should only be when the source does not wish to be credited or if the source requires anonymity/protection.

SUGGESTION FIVE: A longer and more interactive consultation period for open discussion of more fundamental issues.

I submit all of the above without implying support for the PCC, the remainder of Code as it stands, or even the concept of self-regulation, and request that the 20th year of the PCC be marked with an open debate about its progress to date, and its future direction.

Sincere apologies for the inconvenience, and for the late notice. Good luck with your submission.

If you’d like to encourage/inspire others by going public with your submission immediately, a similar post will be going live at Liberal Conspiracy shortly (and making a quick/anonymous comment there is a LOT easier). Cheers all.

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UPDATE – Liberal Conspiracy post is here.

ipetitions.com

Just to let you know; ipetitions.com are really dragging their heels on fixing whatever glitch resulted in the removal of the PCC petition, and they have so far ignored my request for the data collected so far (i.e. so I might at least deliver this ahead of the first deadline, which is now only a few days away).

An interim measure will be with you shortly. Updates to follow.

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UPDATE – PCC PETITION; PLEASE ACT IMMEDIATELY

Kooba Radio

[NOTE - UK-based web hosts are particularly easy to bully thanks to certain peculiarities in local libel laws, and people acting for (or on behalf of) Redwire Design have been taking advantage of that, by bullying my priovider rather than admitting their role in... well, more bullying. If Nick Catt or Alex Malloy or anyone else at Redwire Design want to deny the involvement of their staff/facilities in online harassment (including publication/promotion of my home address), then they can initiate actual civil proceedings or shut up. My account is honest and truthful, backed by evidence none of them dare challenge, and it stands. Relocated article reinstated 4 May 2010.]

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Jonny Yeah and Charlie Flowers: they don't really know each otherKooba Radio bills itself as an “independent, non-profit, Internet-based radio station focused on alternative rock, playing unsigned bands from around the world” and was founded by Jon Chappell (Jonny Yeah), Alex Malloy (The Boy Malloy) and Angela Collins (She Who Must Not Be Named).

Kooba Radio is also a joke, and just a wee bit corrupt in places.

As most of you are aware, most of last year was marred by an ongoing campaign of harassment resulting from my encounter with the ‘amateur terror expert’ Dominic Wightman (a former associate of Glen Jenvey and Patrick Mercer). That campaign of harassment escalated to the repeated publication of my home address by a group calling themselves the ‘Cheerleaders’. These people claim to be anti-fascist, but they had no qualms about broadcasting my address to BNP members alongside mentions of my involvement in anti-BNP campaigns such as Billy Brit. The ‘Cheerleaders’ have made a number of unsubstantiated claims in a belated attempt to justify their actions, but what’s most likely is that they initially did this because Wightman told them to do it, and they painted themselves into a corner* from there.

Kooba Radio first came to my attention a couple of days before the email address of one of the founders (Jon Chappell, aka ‘Jonny Yeah’) turned up in the CC list of a group email from the ‘Cheerleaders’ threatening me with violence.

I wrote about that threat and included the relevant email addresses in the report. Months passed, then, over the New Year holiday period, when most people in the entertainment industry were busy with gigs (or at least sleeping it off), someone on that list wasted away their days and nights (again) making good on an earlier threat to share my personal data with Nigerian scammers if I refused to remove that list of names and email addresses.

When doing so, they posed as me, pretended that I was manager of a small local bank branch, and provided them with my main email address and (ex-directory) home address. Nice, huh?

I was recently assured in a further email from someone with a third-person fetish that “they’re going to keep coming until you remove the email addresses from your blog”.

This suggested to me that someone on that list didn’t want to be visibly associated with what the ‘Cheerleaders’ had been up to, so I contacted everyone on that list, and offered them the chance to disassociate themselves from the online attacks and threats of violence. If they wanted to be removed from this post, all they had to do was account for their conduct to date (i.e. why not object before now?), and distance themselves from this ongoing campaign of harassment.

Only ‘Jonny Yeah’ took me up on the offer and asked for his name/address to be removed. Initially, he pretended not to know anything about the campaign of harassment. When this pretence was fatally undermined by the evidence, ‘Jonny’ suddenly lost interest in the attempt to have his name/address removed, but how he did it will be of most interest to any fans of Kooba Radio:

First, while claiming to know nothing about any of it, ‘Jonny Yeah’ implied that his inclusion on the list was the result of some random activity by fans who lifted his email address from his website. Because he’s a superstar DJ, don’t you know.

His claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

‘Jonny Yeah’ responded by attempting to explain away his demonstrable association with the Cheerleaders (and connections with leader Charlie Flowers) by saying that their ‘very good’ band (The Fighting Cocks) had featured on his show, and that was the limit of his involvement. Because he’s a superstar DJ, don’t you know.

His revised claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

‘Jonny Yeah’ then went on to claim that he hadn’t been aware of any of this despite being CCed on the original threat and emailed specifically about it because Kooba Radio have strong spam filters to avoid all the ‘crap’ that results from his efforts to “enable young (and not so young) musicians to submit [material] to us”. He then urged me to tune into his show that evening. Because he’s a superstar DJ, don’t you know.

This revised claim was contradicted by the evidence, and I said so.

I also made it absolutely clear to him at this stage that I could prove his association with a YouTube account created mainly to publish my home address and gave him one last opportunity to deny it… or perhaps explain himself.

‘Jonny Yeah’ responded by asking me what I thought of his show that evening.

(!)

At no stage did he express any interest in or disapproval of the repeated use of my personal data to intimidate me… most recently, on his behalf.

It wasn’t until I made it clear that I intended to publish something about it that he made good with a vague denial of direct involvement, before quickly moving on to assure me that he wouldn’t ever be mentioning me on his show, as if that’s what I wanted.

Because he’s a superstar DJ, don’t you know.

Sadly for ‘Jonny’, this claim of star-status is also contradicted by the evidence:

1. The IP address used when sending almost all of his emails corresponds with IP data connected to many/most of the edits to this Wikipedia page about his radio ‘station’. Said page is a shameless (and lengthy) construct of laughable self-promotion, the highlight of which is an account of ‘Broadband Aid’, a “new arrangement of Band Aid, the famous Christmas Single”, in which the author goes on to specify (and link directly to) everybody who sang a line in this bold venture. There’s no way it’s going to survive in its current state once I’ve mentioned it here, so here’s a screen capture for the ages.

2. Encouraged by ‘Jonny Yeah’, I did visit their site and explore their glorious world of online radio stardom. For starters, according to Alexa, my main website (bloggerheads.com) attracts a larger audience than theirs (koobaradio.co.uk)… by a factor of around 10-1 by the looks of things. Alexa is really only reliable as a thumbnail sketch, but the Twitter stats support this; I presently have 1,542 followers, while Kooba Radio have 175 (and ‘Jonny Yeah’ has 95). The YouTube stats also support this; with Bloggerheads currently standing at 10,210 channel views and KoobaTV at 1,702. Their most popular video got 402 views. My least popular video got 843. I say all of this while recognising the modesty of my own efforts… it just amused me to be dismissed as a delusional fanboy by a guppy who thinks he’s a shark. The only thing that gives this tosser any power/edge over me is his willingness to participate in the kind of anonymous harassment that almost every web user recognises as being beyond the pale. It also needs to be noted that the audience of this radio ‘station’ listens via these channels; it is not a case of them having a smaller web audience than their actual audience, because the web audience is their audience. There’s more in #4, but if ‘Jonny Yeah’ is worried about going mainstream, he shouldn’t let those concerns keep him up nights; the nearest he’s likely to get to compromising his anti-establishment principles is accepting the ‘employee of the month’ award at Burger King.

screen grab of Twitter accounts

screen grab of Youtube accounts

On the subject of YouTube, I wasn’t able to mention this before now because Google only got around to suspending the relevant account yesterday, but someone at Kooba Radio used their YouTube channel to link to and promote another YouTube account created mainly (if not only) to publish and promote my ex-directory home address as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment. I’d make a bigger deal of my not knowing exactly who at Kooba Radio did this if it weren’t for the fact that the account JonnyYeah1 was also visibly associated with that same online attack. At the very least, it can be said with some certainty that when ‘Jonny Yeah’ claimed to be completely unaware of the campaign of harassment yesterday, he was lying. This, sadly, undermines the vague denials he made about direct involvement before signing off.

3. It also needs to be noted that ‘Jonny Yeah’ is a lot closer to some of the bands he promotes than he lets on. This is what the professionals in the show business call a ‘conflict if interest’… not that I would dare to imply that Jon Chappell (aka Jonny Yeah) is in any way professional.

4. Attention, unsigned bands (and bands signed with small labels): not only is Kooba Radio co-founder and ‘headline’ DJ Jon Chappell a pathetic lying scoundrel who knowingly participates in anonymous web bullying, but he’s most likely going to end up being a complete waste of your time even if he decides to help you rather than, say, put the safety of your family at risk for shits and giggles. I could help you to reach a much bigger audience without even trying, and even if the deal goes hopelessly sour, there’s no way I’m going to be as much of a twat about it as this guy.

(Not that I’ve any interest in being a superstar DJ at this stage of my life… or a twat. I’m just saying is all.)

Jonny Yeah

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[*At any stage, the 'Cheerleaders' can render themselves an irrelevance by rolling over on Dominic Wightman. I've said so privately will happily declare it publicly. I have no interest in vendettas, as my treatment of Jenvey after his confession should make clear; there are some who may beg to differ on that point, but like 'Jonny Yeah' they've been telling outright lies about the extent of their involvement in this affair. I'm not out to 'get at' any of the 'Cheerleaders', but if I have to, I will go through them in order to clearly establish the role played by Wightman. At least one of the 'Cheerleaders' should be warned that recent impersonations could lead to the closure of their email account regardless of what I have to say about it, and a window of opportunity is likely to close with it; they will not be able to present me with solid evidence of Wightman's role if the receiving account has been deactivated. The 'Cheerleaders' have made a number of vague claims about being deceived by Dominic Wightman, and if they want to prove it, then now is the time, and there is nothing holding them back if the evidence is there. After all, they can't possibly claim that they refuse to reveal relevant evidence on the grounds of a person's right to privacy.]

My heart skipped a beat for a moment there

Julie

(ahem)

Anyway, back to life and back to reality…

Morning all. Sorry about the sudden outage of the PCC petition. It appears to have disappeared late last night GMT, and it was after hometime (EST) for the ipetitions.com team when I contacted them. My account is still live, as is the test petition I created after signing up, but the PCC petition has mysteriously disappeared (and, before you ask, there is no ‘delete’ button for me to accidentally lean against).

In a few hours, it’ll be 9am EST and (hopefully) something can be done about the situation. Cheers.

Media Messiahs (we’re so disappointed in you)

NOTICE – The petition appears to have been removed because of some action/error by the US-based provider (and at the worst possible time; just after everybody went home yesterday). It’s 9am GMT on 20/01/2010 and it’s still going to be a few hours before I can hope to reach anyone at ipetitions.com. Please bear with us and come back to see what’s happening later today. Cheers all.

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Below are some graphics you may wish to use for talking points on your blog. They’re screen captures from the animation I’ve made to promote the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) Submission/Petition, which launches… well, now:

A letter to the PCC (space invaders edition)

The music is Media Messiahs by Eddie & the Hot Rods and, as usual, I encourage you to buy it if you enjoy it.

Cheers to longtime comment contributer Scotch for introducing me to this song, BTW; the first time I heard it I knew I wanted to use it to comment on the current state of media, either new or old. It’s a great song, and as relevant today as the year it was first released.

That year was 1979, which also happened to be the year that Space Invaders were turning up everywhere you looked. I doubt I’ll need to explain the concept further. Enjoy the video, and don’t forget to plug the petition when you do. Cheers all.

A letter to the PCC - screen capture 1

A letter to the PCC - screen capture 2

Rod Liddle: the measure of a man

First of all, I want to make it clear that I’m making no judgements here about what Rod Liddle said as ‘monkeymfc’, and would even point out that some (but not all) ‘monkeymfc’ comments have been taken out of context (especially in those neighbourhoods – *cough*DailyMail*cough* – where people do not link to evidence and have a track record of using material out of context, especially when it comes to identifying proof that they themselves are not the real racists/liars/etc).

Second, I think it needs to be said that there is no evidence that Rod Liddle was sock-puppeting as ‘monkeymfc’.

(For examples of sock-puppeting see Steve “leave my family out of it” Grover, Phil “I only did it that one time I got caught” Hendren, Andrew “my ‘partner’ did it” Gilligan, and Grant “someone guessed my password” Shapps.)

I’ve looked at the posts made by ‘monkeymfc’ on the relevant forum, and it is clear that Liddle’s identity is no big secret within that community… but, while counting in his favour on one front, this presents Liddle with his main problem on another…

Liddle has been making vague/one-off comments about his account being compromised. These accusations began as a claim that his account was ‘hacked’. I’ve checked with the site administrators and there’s no evidence of this, but to be fair we can put this down to the poor wording of a layman; later, Liddle made it clear that what he was claiming was that his account was accessed without his permission when someone guessed his password; this is not ‘hacking*’ but ‘password cracking’.

Sadly for Liddle, the administrators do not appear to recall any complaint/discussion about this, which casts doubt on his earlier claim that a site admin told him his account was accessed by “a different computer to his”.

In short, Liddle has been left looking like a liar on a crucial specific, and it looks no better when you step back for an overview:

Liddle claims that an unknown party with an agenda used his account to pose as him and make untoward comments in an effort to make him look bad.

We are expected to believe that a community broadly aware of Liddle’s identity did nothing to alert him about comments designed to compromise his credibility; comments that, by their very design, one would expect to be out of character.

We are expected to believe that Liddle didn’t notice these himself in the months that followed, and that he did nothing to delete/moderate them, even though he still had complete control over his account (regardless of any unauthorised access that may or may not have taken place).

We are expected to believe that Liddle complained to site administrators about this (even though they cannot recall any such conversation taking place) and that comments falsely made in his name were still left untouched after this.

All of these circumstances raise serious questions, but I want to show you where Liddle lost the benefit of the doubt from me.

Regular readers of Bloggerheads will find this comment depressingly familiar; here’s Liddle responding to much of the above under Roy Greenslade’s Guardian piece, and (tellingly, I think) refusing to use the opportunity to prove what he claims/implies is ‘provably so’ in a very dishonest fashion:

I’m glad you accept I’m not racist or any of those other things, Mr Greenslade. I did publicly refute one of the posts quoted in the Mail on Sunday, and which was certainly not me and provably so. But if you think I am going to waste my life tracking down every single thing you claim I’ve said, try to remember if I;ve said them, ask admin to check urls etc etc, just so you can pursue this odd little vendetta, you have to be kidding, mate. And why should I insist the site take down everything in my name, just to make you happy? Who do you think you are? And who the hell am I, for that matter? (link)

‘Vendetta’ is textbook, as are the false thresholds; no-one is asking Liddle to account for (or delete) everything he’s said. This looks like the last refuge of a lying scoundrel to me.

And it’s on that basis that I judge Rod Liddle and find him wanting; I expect more of anyone who edits any publication/programme that’s specifically designed to hold others to account.

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See also: Liberal Conspiracy – Exclusive: EDM against Rod Liddle; admits to nasty comments; more emerges

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*UPDATE (05 Sep 2010) – I will happily update this post with a note about my passing mention of hacking/cracking; as far as public perception goes, the majority of people will hear the word ‘hacking’ when used clearly in relation to a specific electronic account and will understand its intended meaning and I could have let this go, but in this instance Liddle was making very vague claims (for reasons that are easy to guess at). Specifics were required in this case because Rod Liddle’s vague accusations could be read as the site’s general security being compromised, not just his own account, and this was unfair on the webmasters. However, in this case a pointless semantic deceit is being used to muddy the waters in defence of Andy Coulson.

Join our group PCC submission

NOTICE – The petition appears to have been removed because of some action/error by the US-based provider (and at the worst possible time; just after everybody went home yesterday). It’s 9am GMT on 20/01/2010 and it’s still going to be a few hours before I can hope to reach anyone at ipetitions.com. Please bear with us and come back to see what’s happening later today. Cheers all.

[NOTE - It's probably something to do with the sudden popularity of our petition, but ipetitions.com have now started displaying a donation page (instead of a 'thank you' page) after you submit your details. I understand why ipetitions.com have done this - and Dog knows they deserve a donation or two for providing a superior petition service - but I'm less-than-impressed by the way they've gone about it. At this stage, I can only apologise for this unexpected feature and provide new people with advance warning; you do not have to make a donation for your signature to register.]

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I am about to spend the next couple of weeks calling the PCC to account and I invite you to join me.

This is the main URL to remember (and plug, plug, plug until you can plug no more):
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/
UPDATED LINK: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/01/pcc_petition.asp

Petition+

This is more than just a petition; it is a group submission to the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee for their annual review of the PCC’s Editors’ Code of Practice, and it allows anyone who endorses it to add a suggestion of their own (or more, if you wish):
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/
UPDATED LINK: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/01/pcc_petition.asp

[MINI-UPDATE - We will also be submitting our suggestions to the Independent Governance Review in time for the 25 Jan 2010 deadline. We have slightly longer for our submission to the Editors' Code of Practice Committee, which has a 31 January 2010 deadline.]

In other words, it is a petition that (a) is pretty much guaranteed a group response, and (b) warrants/enables individual responses, too.

Here are the suggestions I am asking you to endorse (and add to, if you wish):

SUGGESTION ONE: Like-for-like placement of retractions, corrections and apologies in print and online (as standard).

SUGGESTION TWO: Original or redirected URLs for retractions, corrections & apologies online (as standard).

SUGGESTION THREE: The current Code contains no reference to headlines, and this loophole should be closed immediately.

SUGGESTION FOUR: Sources to be credited unless they do not wish to be credited or require anonymity/protection.

SUGGESTION FIVE: A longer and more interactive consultation period for open discussion of more fundamental issues.

These suggestions were drafted in conjunction with Kevin Arscott, Adam Bienkov, Dave Cross, Sunny Hundal, Jack of Kent, Justin McKeating, MacGuffin, Mark Pack, septicisle, Sim-O, Jamie Sport, Clive Summerfield, Unity_ and Anton Vowl, who will all be promoting this submission/petition and contributing to the debate in their own ways in the coming days/weeks.

Personalisation

I chose ipetitions.com because it will allow us to download all names/nicknames, email addresses plus their corresponding comments and deliver them in a format (CSV) that allows these bodies to answer not only the group submission, but also any individual suggestions made under it.

So, please, if you decide to join us and sign the petition, consider carefully what you might like to add under ‘comments’ because a well-thought-out submission/suggestion warrants a response and ‘OMG! GFU PCC! LOL!’ does not:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/
UPDATED LINK: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/01/pcc_petition.asp

It doesn’t mean you have to add a suggestion of your own, of course; you may instead voice an opinion about the existing suggestion(s) or which you regard to be the highest priority. Or, you may simply leave a generic comment of support for others to read. The choice is yours:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/
UPDATED LINK: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/01/pcc_petition.asp

Privacy

And now, I have a little surprise for the people who normally shy away from petitions (that, typically, require full names and addresses if they’re of any merit)…

Because the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee invited submissions by email and we will be providing them with email addresses as the point of contact, you can support this petition and expect a general and/or individual response without having to reveal your name to the general public or surrender your address* to anyone!

:o)

You can use your real name and untick ‘Show my name in the online signature list’ (so only myself and the relevant committee bods will see this data), or even use your usual online name/nickname if you feel like it, and your submission will still warrant a response:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/

So long as your submission is sincere and your email address is genuine, these bodies will have no good reason to reject your submission, and you should expect a response, even if you use a nickname.

I imagine that nicknames will be a popular option (many bloggers are widely known by nicknames, and will want to be seen to endorse this/their submission), but I do encourage you to use your real name if you can, even if you mark it not-for-display.

Please also be aware that I’ll be grateful for the inch this gives us instead of running a mile or two with it; I will delete signatures/nicknames that involve pointless profanity, and I will be using the ipetitions.com controls to restrict any attempts at astro-turfing and/or sock-puppetry.

(*I have included an OPTIONAL ‘postcode’ field for those who wish to contribute this level of data, although at this stage I have no plans to use it for anything other than a rough indicator of campaign coverage.)

Promotion

I’ve made a little video to help kick things along (and it’ll be with you shortly), but I’d like you to do your part, too.

:: Twitter ::

Here’s the link to use: http://bit.ly/P-C-C http://bit.ly/53tjmb

Here’s the tag to use: #pcc

You can work out the rest. Go to it.

:: Blogs ::

A link would be greatly appreciated, but perhaps you could also write a post endorsing the main suggestions, or outlining the thinking behind your own suggestion(s). Maybe you could even take a look back at some of the fun we’ve had in the past year (or decade or more) and point out to your readers how the PCC might benefit from a firm kick up the arse.

:: Forums ::

I would greatly appreciate it if any active forum members saw fit to introduce the petition to their community and put it into context; better press standards will benefit us all. That URL again:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pcc/
UPDATED LINK: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/01/pcc_petition.asp

:: YouTube ::

I don’t know. Film a dog eating its own vomit or something. Then segue into Richard Desmond.

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Back soon with more. Cheers all.

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UPDATE – This post and the petition have both been updated to better reflect the independence of the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, which is a separate body that operates independently of the PCC.

I’m building an igloo, me! (OK, so the kids are helping.)

Inspired by this effort, I’ve started building an igloo in the backyard with the kids. What we’ve managed so far used only the snow in the yard, so with more heavy snow expected tonight, we should have our supply of brick-building material refreshed by morning. If not, we can raid a nearby property (with permission, of course):

Igloo in Progress, 7pm 06 Jan

As you can see, there is no doorway. Yet. We plan to cut that out later.

Also, once every circuit, I’ve gone along with a simple wood saw to ensure that the angle taking our walls inward is maintained.

We’re basically taking loose snow from the ground and packing it into a small plastic storage crate to make bricks that interlock quite nicely, thank you. We have this method perfected now; compressed at the bottom, tight in the middle, loose at the top. When you invert the tub and produce the brick, it comes with enough loose snow on what is now the bottom to act as mortar when you heft it into place.

We’re also wearing rubber gloves over our woolen gloves to keep our hands warm and dry. It’s not only practical, but the very latest in fashion; marigold is the new black, darling.

(IIRC, in Australia, “packing bricks” is slang for being very concerned about the outcome of something. It is not until any given event/panic itself that the person can be said to be “shitting bricks”. With ‘bricking it’ in mind, our thoughts go out to Gordon Brown at this difficult time, and if he needs a place to hide we should have the roof finished sometime tomorrow.)

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