Tories! Tories! Tories!
15th Nov 2011
“LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour,
and casts no slur on others… ” – Psalm 15:1-3
READ THIS FIRST! – > #Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part One)
All done? Then on we go.
Today we proceed from Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary sense of entitlement to… Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary sense of entitlement.
Dorries had been seeking to shape hustings events to her advantage well before the Flitwick hustings event in May 2010. It was reported to me that she had denounced supporters of her opponents and other critics as ‘plants’ and ‘spies’ and even had alleged/imagined enemies forcibly ejected from her own private meetings (titled ‘Nadine Unscripted’; picture a hustings with only one candidate and crowd control more attuned to Nadine’s own personal needs). Typically, it was only after the departure of alleged wrongdoers that she would address any doubts about her expenses claims for what was a rental property with extraordinarily misleading and yet technically factual statements such as “I don’t even have a mortgage”.
Dorries was at the time the subject of an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (and then/later the police), and yet she was presenting herself as the only MP with nothing to hide. The most frustrating aspect of this was that the evidence relating to these antics came down to hearsay. By the time the matter came to my attention, Dorries had already compelled organisers to move the final hustings to a date that was more ‘convenient’ for her (i.e. too late for the local papers to cover it before the election), plus arranged for a last-minute arrival and an early departure, the latter set mere minutes before the scheduled open Q&A (what a shame).
Concerned constituents wanted this final hustings event on record and made available to a wider audience, which is why they invited me to record and broadcast it.
Now, I do not deny that Dorries was properly frightened when she found out I was recording the meeting, but it had nothing to do with concerns about personal safety; Dorries was watching her political career flash before her eyes and would not be a politician if she did not immediately recognise the potential cost of my recording her response to any question(s) about her expenses two days before an election at a time when many suspected – and she knew – that she was under investigation for expenses fraud. Anyone asking even the simplest of questions about this rumoured investigation would put her in a position where she would have to admit the truth on camera, or lie on camera. This is surely why Dorries left the meeting even 15 minutes earlier than her previously-arranged escape window (then stood outside chain smoking for a while before dashing off); she could not afford to be inside that building anywhere near an open Q&A session while I was recording.
Thus the desperate lie that I had stalked three MPs and was under investigation for stalking Nadine Dorries at that very moment.
To this day, the only evidence Dorries has presented to support this accusation was my presence at the same event where she claimed a police investigation was already underway. She still cannot produce any evidence of her even having made a complaint prior to this event.
Also, more importantly, my presence at the Flitwick event is the sum total of her evidence of physical stalking. There have been other hysterical accusations aimed at other people (details of the main instance tomorrow), but these have been based on invention (if not extreme confusion), not ‘mere’ distortion. In this instance, I was actually in the presence of Nadine Dorries. Once.
All of her claims of being physically stalked boil down to this one distorted account of a single event… that took place after the period when she claimed she had been harassed and physically stalked to such an extent that police gave her advice on how to avoid her stalkers (i.e. by telling lies on her website about where she was staying most nights).
And on that note we turn to the 2nd instalment from Dorries’ July 2010 letter to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police to take another look at this classic work of fiction by the biggest liar in Parliament:
1. If it were a private meeting, Dorries may have had a point about ‘gatecrashing’, but (a) gatecrashing is not stalking, and (b) it was a public meeting. One cannot gatecrash a public meeting, because you do not need an invitation to attend a public meeting, you only need to be a member of the public.
2. And besides that, I was invited! Much as she would have liked it to be, this was not Nadine Dorries’ own personal meeting; it was a meeting for the benefit of constituents, and constituents invited me.
3. If I had lied to the Chair about being a resident, Dorries may have had the beginnings of a complaint, but I had secured authorisation ahead of time by email and explained clearly who I was (and that I was not a constituent) upon arrival.
4. Travelling by train from Guildford to Flitwick was a doddle, and comparable to a jaunt into London, which I do often. This detail is garnish, as is the “sophisticated camera equipment”, which was as follows; 1 laptop with dongle, 1 domestic digital video camera (plus tripod), 1 bog standard webcam (plus stand). Oh, and I almost forgot the cutting-edge technology used to transport electrickery to these devices; a 5m extension lead.
5. In the minutes before the event started, the broadcast camera was connected to the provider (Ustream) and recording to their server as it sat there in stand-by mode waiting for me to begin the broadcast. This is how I have a recording of me describing both the recording camera and the broadcast camera to the Chair before I sought her OK to begin the broadcast by clicking the enormous (almost playing-card-sized) button on the laptop screen that said ‘broadcast’. My agreement with the Chair was to provide the organisation that had arranged the hustings with exclusive rights to the full recording of the event captured with the high resolution camera, which would be recording alongside the broadcast. I happily offered this asset as a gesture of goodwill and a public service, and I thought it was this ‘only for us’ agreement I was (re)agreeing to when asked by the Chair if the recording was exclusively for their use.
6. Members of the audience were able to detect the broadcast because it was no bloody secret. It was widely advertised on Twitter as the Flitwick hustings event, and featured on this page listing all of the candidates. I would’ve happily announced the broadcast to the crowd, but I did not think it was my place, and I figured the Chair would mention it if she thought the crowd needed to know that they could watch a live feed of an event they were already looking at. Any idiot could find it, and it would take an even bigger idiot to think it was hidden in some way. Happily, there was just such a idiot at that meeting. I recently discovered that the woman who complained about the broadcast – who also taught me how to pronounce ‘Flitwick’ by shrieking it at the top of her voice – first complained to the policewoman present in the lobby. The policewoman did not think it warranted interrupting the meeting, so the woman stormed inside and immediately interrupted the meeting herself. Ustream documented that 234 people connected to the live stream and watched the broadcast before it was cut off in the wake of this woman’s outburst. Yes, many people used the #Dorries tag when referencing the broadcast in Twitter, including me. This happened often when she opened her mouth. It happened rather a lot after she stood up in a room full of people and accused the cameraman of stalking her. It still happens on Twitter today any time Dorries appears on radio or television.
7. Even if it is ‘slightly odd’ for a non-constituent to attend a hustings, that is the beginning and the end of Dorries’ complaint, and it doesn’t add up to anything worth a call to police, never mind a letter to the Chief Constable. I might also add that Jeremy Hunt didn’t throw a wobbly when non-constituents ‘gatecrashed’ the Godalming hustings days earlier, but I wish I’d thought to complain about the three or four other sods who turned up with better camera equipment than mine. I didn’t realise at the time I could have some of them ejected for daring to carry sophisticated equipment across county lines.
On the subject of “Christopher Lee of the House of Commons Police”; Nadine Dorries is invited to explain exactly what she reported and when she did this. If she won’t do this, then I will dig the relevant data out myself and reveal the details for her.
(Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve already filed the paperwork and got my receipt.)
On the subject of the mobile phone number, Dorries conflates Parliamentary security with the security of a phone number that she has added to the bottom of emails to damn near every MP in the House. It is nowhere near as secure as she makes out, but I expect she engages in this charade because I did not use her phone number inappropriately* and she needs to put some kind of spin on this that is more in keeping with her ‘stalker’ narrative. If you’re wondering about my use of this number, Dorries had been dodging valid questions about her accusations of stalking and sought to pretend that she had never been notified of the vigilante element she was stirring up with those same accusations. I sought to at least alert her directly about the latter in way she could not later deny. Having learned her mobile phone number, I called it once (and once only), identified myself and asked to speak to Nadine Dorries. The staff member who answered the phone on her behalf pretended it was a wrong number. Obviously it wasn’t. I wish I’d written it on a few toilet walls now**.
On the subject of the woman accused in this part of the letter; this passage is about humphreycushion. A single paragraph across two pages is the extent of Dorries’ complaint to police about her, and it amounts to precisely zero. In this letter, Dorries described humphreycushion’s comments online as “aggressive and written harassment”. Police didn’t see it that way. End of, right? Well, no. Dorries decided to instead engage in a little trial-by-new-media in a pathetic hatchet job involving Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines; she smeared the poor woman, portraying her as a welfare cheat faking disability and defrauding the state. Dorries also managed to alienate many disabled people in the process; her attack on humphreycushion was based on common everyday distortions and innuendo, but these rested upon the rather unpopular assumption that if you could type, you could work.
Pardon my temporary loss of composure, but it is this kind of conduct that helps me better understand why critics so often team the word ‘Tory’ with ‘scum’.
Tomorrow: Part Three of the letter. Dorries accuses a third blogger of stalking and makes an entirely false accusation about them hanging around outside her house. Plus, the identity of the mysterious fourth stalker.
[*Compare this to the conduct of a bloggers Dorries does support. One sod - a man who this MP has had over to her house for dinner - once published my home phone number on his website, he says merely to 'annoy' me. The calling me at home and shouting at me was, one can assume from this, a casual attempt to mildly irritate me. More recently, Bedfordshire Police kindly passed on a request from me to Nadine Dorries that she remove a link from her site to that of another blogger who had included directions to my front door in a post attacking me (i.e. so people might 'see the home of a stalker’... no, not kidding). Dorries refused to remove the link from her site. Try to imagine how Dorries would have reacted to my doing anything like this to her. You'd probably have to mop the ceiling afterwards.]
[** This is a joke. I do not suggest or condone this kind of behaviour. Besides, what kind of madman would call for a Dorries when they were already standing inside a toilet?]
14th Nov 2011
“Do not spread false rumours, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony.” – Exodus 23:1
For several years now, Nadine Dorries has been using invented and distorted accounts of her circumstances both publicly and privately to mask her corruption to and make false allegations of harassment/stalking to discredit and frustrate those who dared to investigate it.
To get the meatiest fuss out of the way first, two of the bigger secrets she tries to hide with these lies are as follows…
:: A series of increasingly desperate obfuscations about her expenses, primarily to do with claims made against her constituency property and payments made to a close friend & neighbour.
:: Repeated attempts over the years to mask the involvement of Christian fundamentalists* in her anti-abortion campaigns – that she now pretends are ‘pro choice’ campaigns – in an ongoing mission to help this religious group lobby secretly for changes to the law that suit their agenda.
When pressed for details at about this time last year, Nadine Dorries claimed to have reported four stalkers** to police and eventually named me as the ‘worst’ stalker, if not the ‘leader’ of a gang of stalkers (sometimes extending to all of Twitter).
Now, this is not an easy or pleasant accusation to endure in the best of circumstances, and I’ve experienced the added joy of having to deal with a vigilante element that Dorries was knowingly stirring up, but this situation has put me in a unique position that allows me to establish the truth, and clear everyone who has been accused of stalking this MP.
Onwards to that detail…
In October 2010 Nadine Dorries told the public that she lied on her blog about the amount of time she had spent in her constituency not in order to deceive her constituents/association about her level of commitment to the area (as she told the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards) but instead because – she claims – she was specifically advised by police to tell little white lies about her whereabouts in order to throw physical stalkers off the scent (more).
This was a complete lie. Nadine Dorries has no history of being physically or even electronically stalked, ever. Instead, it has been confirmed by Bedfordshire Police that Dorries uses the word ‘stalker’ to describe bloggers and other critics. And from here, I’m going to let Dorries herself repeatedly confirm that same point for me.
The following is an extract from what appears to be the first complaint by Dorries to local police about any stalking threat; a letter Nadine Dorries hand-addressed to the Chief Constable (!) of Bedfordshire Police in July 2010, a couple of months after the hustings meeting at Flitwick where she told the audience an investigation into her stalker(s) was already in progress.
I have obtained this letter and other documentation from Bedfordshire Police through a subject access request under the Data Protection Act. There is further data to come from the London Metropolitan Police. I made a similar request to the Parliamentary office of Nadine Dorries, but she has defied the ICO on the matter, and portrayed my data request as vexatious and a waste of time. She does this while claiming to hold “vile, abusive messages” from me that she won’t show anyone, not even me.
There are only a few documents of key relevance, but there’s a lot in them, so please excuse my addressing some if not all of these documents in parts.
(Tomorrow: Dorries’ take on the Flitwick event and her accusations against blogger humphreycushion.)
1. It is true that Dorries first earned my attention while expressing her opinion on abortion. I watched her make a false accusation against a critic right before she claimed a 21-week-old foetus had punched its way out of a womb and misled Parliament alongside her secretive associate Andrea Williams. I dared to blog about such events. Shocking, isn’t it?
2. I have ONE account in the name of ‘Nadine Dorries’, and Dorries knows this. She has also seen this confirmed by authors of the other accounts using her name for a range of satirical vehicles. She also knows my and their use of this account name (and her name) is entirely legitimate. Even today she pretends it’s something it isn’t so she can present it as something that is not legitimate, and perhaps illegal.
3. I will write about the other ‘Vitim’ at a later date, but Dorries is having herself on here.
4. Having been accused of stalking by Dorries at a public event, I blogged about it and tried to get to the bottom of her claims that I had stalked others, that I had sent her “vile, abusive messages”, and that a police investigation was in progress. Even then my blog was not ‘dedicated’ to her and I invite you to judge this for yourself; May 2010, June 2010, July 2010. Sadly, this letter is not an isolated example of Dorries misrepresenting a reaction to an accusation of stalking as evidence of stalking.
5. I reject any suggestion that what I write is “almost 100% lies” or lies in any way. Dorries is playing the same tired old game used by Iain Dale; accuse your opponent of lying/libel, and when asked for evidence, wave a hand in the general direction of their website. I work assiduously to be accurate, and even if you want to cast me as unfair or incorrect, at least you have the opportunity to inspect the evidence and subject it (and me) to scrutiny. Not so with Dorries. She rarely portrays evidence accurately on the odd occasions she relies on any, and she shuns scrutiny to such an extent that she’s left Twitter in a huff twice now, and disallowed comments on her ‘blog’ since 2008. The accusation of lying is especially insulting from someone who admits to using “70% fiction” on her ‘blog’ before changing her story and claiming she meant 30% fiction, and then changing her story again to say that she really meant no fiction at all, if one didn’t count the special lies she says the police advised her to publish to avoid the imaginary stalkers. FFS, even at this relatively early stage she was already telling lies to cover up the lies about the lies she told.
6. It is clear from this letter that Nadine Dorries defines my conduct towards her from March 2008 up until May 2010 as a criminal act she describes as “internet stalking”. I not only reject this, I can easily show that the police rejected it, and that Dorries doesn’t have a leg to stand on legally or morally. I can’t say more than ‘more to come’ right now without ruining any of the lovely surprises in store.
7. Let us assume for a brief moment that Dorries has a point about my not being a constituent; she has endorsed a harsher web campaign against a personal/political opponent based on little besides malice and run by an associate of hers who was not a constituent of the MP concerned. “He’s not a constituent” doesn’t hold water even if you accept the weak argument behind it.
8. Who does she think she’s kidding with this ‘not a constituent’ nonsense anyway? All MPs are answerable to the electorate as a whole, especially when it comes to issues of conduct, and definitely when they campaign on the national stage and lobby to change laws as Dorries does.
The accounts of physical stalking I will address in upcoming posts, but the short version should hold you for now; no stalking took place at any time, and Dorries is imagining things where she is not making stuff up.
Dorries isn’t being internet-stalked or huge-attacked or death-threated or anything like that. She is just an extraordinarily self-important liar who has been digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself.
More data tomorrow.
(*Not hyperbole, folks. Genuine fundamentalists. People who describe themselves as fundamentalists.)
(**The four stalkers are three bloggers… and one big surprise. It is not a journalist, as previously thought. Details in an upcoming post. You’re going to love it. The sense of entitlement is off the scale.)
21st Sep 2011
For those who are new here and/or otherwise left wondering what the hell is going on…
This latest outburst from Nadine Dorries is a textbook attempt by this MP to spoil a major revelation/disclosure that she knows is coming.
I now have evidence that Nadine Dorries lied about a police investigation that never took place, then abused her position to instigate a police investigation to cover her tracks, and then lied about the nature, details and outcome of that investigation. Among the documents I have secured; a redacted version of the complete Bedfordshire Police report in response to her complaint, and the complaint itself. It’s damning stuff. Absolute dynamite in places. (At one point in her letter of complaint, Dorries makes a series of entirely false claims that she cannot possibly substantiate… in the name of the law firm Carter Ruck!)
It is also worth mentioning that her self-penned no-names accusation in a recent edition of the Daily Mail makes it completely clear that she is trying to use clever wording on her not-a-blog in order to give people the false impression that I was issued with a caution as a result of her complaint (while associating me with recent threats she claims to have received, which is nice):
“One particularly obsessive man recently followed me round with a camera, whipped up online hysteria against me and eventually had to accept a police caution for harassment.” – Nadine Dorries (source)
This is complete lie that Dorries repeatedly publishes and broadcasts knowing exactly how it sets off an active vigilante element; primarily, people who have their own reasons to intimidate me into silence, but are visibly agitated by Dorries’ outbursts.
This leads me to the main reason why I have not yet published the damning evidence that I have mentioned.
A man who I will not name was so caught up in Dorries’ late-May ‘caution’ lies that he made his own complaint to police in the days that followed, called on others to do the same, and then made a threat of violence against me and another man on his own site, under his own name, on the same day he had an appointment with police to discuss his (false) allegations.
Police have not acted on any previous complaint from this man, and they did not act on this latest complaint. But they did take the threat of violence seriously, which is what has led to the scheduled court appearance* that makes it very difficult for me to expose Dorries as a liar without risk of prejudicing an upcoming trial.
(The man involved pleaded ‘not guilty’ because he did not wish to accept… yep, a genuine caution.)
However, as a sign of good faith to the lovely readers and followers who continue to stand by me, I am today publishing the worst thing that police report says about me.
Some of the report impacts on others, so it may not be published by me in its complete (albeit redacted) form, so I just wanted to be clear with folks that I am not hiding anything. That, and I’m curious to see the mountain Dorries will build out of this molehill while I wait to drop a shedload of bedrock on her.
(The redactions in red are mine, and a courtesy to the officer concerned until I have at least attempted to put their comments into context.)
I am currently in the process of researching the relevant officer’s account so I might better understand how they came to this conclusion, but if my memory serves me well, this negative impression most likely stems from my mentioning it was Dorries who was actually under investigation for expenses (which was true) when she claimed I was under investigation for stalking (which was not true). I am happy to discuss this in comments, but little else, for reasons I would hope are clear.
I will blog again as soon as I am able. In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter most weekdays. Do follow me, even if only to annoy the biggest liar Parliament.
*UPDATE (09 Nov) – I have been advised that the CPS have discontinued this case mere days ahead of the scheduled court date, so I’ll most likely be going live with the Dorries evidence within the next week.
15th Jul 2011
Some people in politics can be really funny about evidence… Westminster/media groupies especially so. It is not unknown for some ‘commentators’ to be so far into the role of propagandist that they will accuse personal/political enemies of criminality on nothing more than hearsay while refusing to even acknowledge solid evidence against those they support personally/politically.
(I’m sure I don’t need to name names, but I will say that, no, some apologies will never satisfy… but only while they remain half-hearted and self-serving because you’ve still got your head up your arse, you great big lumbering dipshit.)
That said, I would like to make it clear that the following is only an indicator of guilt, but it is a strong one that follows an emerging pattern; News of the World stories that claim/imply that ‘friends’ or ‘pals’ are the source of a story, when in fact the source of the story is intercepted/illicitly-accessed messages from mobile phones.
The item about Prince William that led to the conviction of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire was just such a story, and the mistake Goodman made was to print something that could only have come from illicit interception of phone messages.
Many other such stories had earlier escaped attention because of a lingering doubt about ‘friends’ and the widely-recognised need to protect sources. On this point, I refer to the words of Gordon Brown:
“… News International who took the freedom of the press as a licence for abuse, who cynically manipulated our support of that vital freedom as their justification, and who then callously used the defence of a free press as the banner under which they marched in step, as I say, with members of the criminal underworld.” – Gordon Brown, 12 July 2011
Basically, if the newspaper claimed or implied that the source was a friend/pal and there was potentially more than one source, all the newspaper had to do was refuse to name the source, and the target was left with nowhere to go. In other words; a blatant abuse of freedom of the press to disguise criminal activity conducted by newspaper staff.
The repeated success of this defensive rampart appears to have led to a situation in the News of the World newsroom especially where confidence was so high that ‘journalists’ would make overt reference to phone calls and text messages in articles resulting from illicitly-sourced leads. This article about Danielle Jones is a stark example, and this Liz Hurley item is typical of the celebrity articles I’ve seen that appear to follow this pattern.
(Psst! A WHOPPER of a celebrity example will follow later today. Think big. No, bigger. OK, now multiply that by three.)
So, with all of that in mind, I hope that this is the moment that some especially pigheaded Tories finally start to come around on this to the point of admitting that they didn’t just get it a little bit wrong because they weren’t aware of recent evidence, but that they got it very, very wrong because they wilfully turned a blind eye to available evidence and didn’t bother looking for further evidence:
That challenge may seem odd to the casual reader, but there are some people in this world who are so tribal that even when innocent victims are involved, they won’t come fully on board until one of their own is involved.
I mean, FFS, all of this stuff is just sitting in there in the British Newspaper Library, just waiting to be found, and even now there’s only me and maybe two or three newspapers showing an interest in the material. Where are all these Conservative bloggers who brag about leading the way every chance they get? Instead of asking where the evidence is, perhaps now some of these Tories might finally be convinced to start looking at it… or start looking for it.
[Note - As with other items recently published on Bloggerheads, this article does not appear in the database of NotW articles recently released by the Telegraph. This is the first time this article has seen the light of day since it was originally published by News of the World in November 2005. This story results from original research I conducted into the friendship between Andy Coulson and Andy Hayman and associated 'hacking' issues, and if you would like to fund more independent research into this story and others like it, please open your virtual wallet and click here.]
14th Jul 2011
Yesterday, the Telegraph published a database of News of the World articles relating to phone/text messages, including the Dowler article I blogged about yesterday morning. Like me, they’ve been doing some research at the British Newspaper Library in Colindale, and I applaud their efforts, but their collection is short one vital article, which enters the public domain this morning for the first time since it was originally published by News of the World on July 15, 2001.
Before you read this article (in the scan/graphic below), I ask that you consider the following:
1. Rebekah Wade/Brooks and Andy Coulson have repeatedly sought to shelter themselves behind a denial that they were not aware of what was going on in their own newsroom. As so many of the smoking guns have been relatively minor/diary pieces in the back pages, this tactic has been largely successful, if a little pyrrhic (i.e. leaving Wade/Brooks and Coulson in a position where they are merely incompetent as far as anybody knows, and not corrupt).
2. Scotland Yard confirm that Danielle Jones’ name and/or other details are included in relevant evidence held by police. This is just one published source:
The investigation into the death of Essex teenager Danielle Jones could be re-examined after the inquiry into the voicemail hacking scandal found that mobile phones linked to her may have been targeted by a private investigator working for the News of the World…. (Chris Bryant) told the Commons yesterday that evidence suggesting Danielle’s phone and others linked to her were targeted by Mulcaire had been discovered by Operation Weeting, the inquiry into phone hacking. Police sources confirmed details of the phones had been found and said the information was being assessed for potential impact on the original murder investigation. – Independent, 7 July 2011
Which leads us neatly to…
3. The prosecution of the killer of Danielle Jones relied a great deal on evidence involving falsified text messages sent from Danielle’s phone by the murderer (context). If staff from News of the World are found to have compromised or undermined this evidence in any way, it could conceivably lead to a challenge against the relevant conviction.
Now, take a look at the scan of the original article (below), which (a) dominated Page 11 of the newspaper, (b) is clearly based on text messages sent to Danielle Jones’ phone, (c) makes that same point ab-so-lute-ly clear in a headline that you would have to blind – or on holiday – to miss, and (d) appears to actually express disappointment that police would not allow the release of further/outgoing messages!
It is also hard to see what ‘public interest’ defence exists for the publication of these texts. It appears to me to be an entirely emotional element that served no other purpose beyond sensationalising an already traumatic event.
We are expected to believe that editors were not aware of any of this, before or after publication. This is a claim I reject, especially now that I have seen this evidence. It is also highly unlikely that Essex Police failed to raise the issue of the sensitivity of text messages with editors, because their concerns about the importance of text messages as evidence are right there in the article approved for publication.
Rebekah Wade/Brooks and/or Andy Coulson cannot have been unaware of this published article, or its origins, or of the dangerous implications. If they were given no specific warning about the use and potential consequences of ‘hacking’ by Essex Police, then serious questions need to be asked about their competence.
13th Jul 2011
Word reaches me of potentially “serious consequences” for Rupert Murdoch and his empire should anyone turn up evidence of ‘hacking’ aimed at American citizens.
Will Steve Bing do?
See the closing paragraphs on this story, and see if you can guess at the likely source:
Actually, I suspect almost this entire story is based on intercepted phone/text messages. What kind of friend would blab to a tabloid about a hospital visit and reward a stalker with this kind of attention?
Not this one, that’s for sure:
13th Jul 2011
Yesterday I featured some fresh evidence on Bloggerheads that suggested News of the World had accessed Robert Thompson’s mobile phone/records in violation of a court order.
Today will be a little bit different in that (a) it is not news that Milly Dowler’s phone was ‘hacked’, and (b) I’m going to be a little more conventional about this post for reasons that should be obvious.
I’m publishing the following – a full scan of the original/relevant article as it appeared in News of the World and some analysis – so you might judge for yourself how likely it is that then-editor (Rebekah Wade, now Rebekah Brooks) and then-deputy-editor (Andy Coulson) did not know about any of it.
Why am I doing this? Because someone should have been arrested or at least cautioned in April 2002, but police declined to act, and it is only public opinion that is driving this forward. Surrey Police, London Metropolitan Police, certain Members of Parliament and even the serving Prime Minister all have (or perhaps in some cases had) a vested interest in letting Rupert Murdoch and his underlings sweep much of this under the carpet. Rebekah Wade/Brooks especially needs to be compelled to face the authorities, but we are, incredibly, still left in a position where her guilt needs to be established in the court of public opinion to some extent before any serious preliminary/investigative action is taken against her by the criminal justice system.
(Whatabouters and Murdoch Apologists: Please keep in mind that this position is entirely distinct from that of Rebekah Wade/Brooks, who in 2002 openly defied police because paedophiles were not punished/”caged” sufficiently in her view, mostly after the criminal justice system had already dealt with them.)
And so, on to the specific article in News of the World that has caused the most outrage. As far as I know, this is the first time it has appeared in the public domain since its original publication:
While it has already been reported that staff from News of the World told Surrey Police about the illegal method(s) used to obtain the material that led to this article (link), it is not until you read a key revelation in that recent report and the article itself that you are likely to realise how much police contributed to the article, and judge how much this action might be interpreted as tacit approval of the methods of the tabloid staff who had broken the law in pursuit of this lead:
It was Surrey detectives who established that the call was not intended for Milly Dowler. – Guardian, 4 July 2011
Police believe the sick hoaxer called into a recruitment agency… It is thought the hoaxer even gave the agency Milly’s real phone number. Police believe she may have got it by gaining the trust of people who knew the schoolgirl… The twisted creature also contacted TV’s Crimewatch programme, claiming to be Milly. Police say the hoaxer has hampered the investigation and previous high-profile enquiries… A senior officer involved in the hunt said last night: “Our inquiries and those of other forces have been plagued by a professional hoaxer who has much experience of the practices of police and investigation methods. The chances are extremely high that the individual concerned is a rather disturbed lady who needs care. – News of the World, 14 April 2002
I’m sensing some past history here, and some frustration that more couldn’t be done to control this reckless fantasist (hey, I can relate). That might explain some of this content offered up by police. Then again, perhaps it was more a case of police deciding to address matters with a coded message to the editor of News of the World or (more likely, in my view) much of the lecture above was aimed at the unnamed hoaxer and Rebekah Wade, and only half of it made it to print in the form of an attack on the hoaxer. (This is what tabloid scum do; they selectively edit reality, attempting to shape it to their will, and act in monstrous ways while screaming; “Look out! Behind you! MONSTER!!!!”)
Whatever the reason(s) for this material being offered to the newspaper, News of the World were in no position to publish a lecture about anybody hampering this investigation or any other. This same newspaper openly defied police in the pursuit of dozens of alleged paedophiles, complicating all sorts of police procedures and potential prosecutions (more). Later, they also hired the man who deleted messages sent to Milly Dowler’s phone (in pursuit of more ‘scoops’, i.e. money), thereby leading us to the tipping point in this scandal; the public realisation that this gave the family false hope that the then-missing girl was alive (more).
Here I will draw your attention to the heart-breaking appeal under the article, featuring Milly Dowler’s mother desperately clinging to the hope that her daughter was still alive and had perhaps run away. News of the World went on to repeatedly exploit Milly Dowler’s family in a similar fashion for weeks on the back of false hope that they themselves had generated:
The Dowler family then granted an exclusive interview to the News of the World in which they talked about their hope, quite unaware that it had been falsely kindled by the newspaper’s own intervention. Sally Dowler told the paper: “If Milly walked through the door, I don’t think we’d be able to speak. We’d just weep tears of joy and give her a great big hug.” – Guardian, 4 July 2011
While this article and the appeal underneath it may have appeared all the way back on Page 30, it should not have escaped the attention of a worthy editor, because it is a big part of the editor’s job to protect the newspaper, staff and owners by ensuring that all claims (of criminality especially) are properly sourced. However, this is a Murdoch newspaper and I have learned from personal experience that Murdoch journalists and editors do not see a problem in a poorly-sourced claim if they don’t name the target.
(SIDEBAR: Take a bow, Camilla Long of the Sunday Times, who stated as fact that Conservative MP Nadine Dorries had a stalker and rather bravely backed this up with an assertion that police were involved… without actually checking any of the detail with police, who would have told her that Dorries does not have a stalker, or even a harasser. Camilla Long and her editor later defended themselves on the basis that no name was published alongside the accusation, and it appears that the thoroughly useless PCC are prepared to side with them.)
With libel law and press regulation being in the sorry state it’s in, it is entirely feasible that a lazy editor would look at a story like this and not care about the source, because the paper was effectively shielded against any complaint the subject/target could hope to make about it.
However, I do not think it reasonable to believe that police were made aware of this illegal act involving News of the World staff and did not at least alert/warn the editor about this activity, the illegality of same and the potential impact on the investigation into Milly Dowler’s disappearance. That’s why I asked Surrey Police if they had discussed this matter with editors of that newspaper. Here’s my question, and their response:
Did the investigating officers discuss this hacking matter with editors at News of the World in an effort to at least warn them on the potential consequences of this kind of behaviour? Are you able to name which editors were warned, if any?
The ‘answer’ from Surrey Police:
The Metropolitan Police are currently investigating allegations of phone hacking and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.
From this point on, the argument is entirely circular; police will not comment on evidence that might implicate Rebekah Wade/Brooks, but neither will they act against her with any conviction (pun intended) while the public remain in doubt about the extent of her awareness/involvement. It has taken a week of extraordinary outrage to bring us to the point where she might be willing to take part in a police interview, but only as a witness, and not a suspect. It is blindingly obvious to all concerned that she enjoys this privilege because she remains under the protection of Rupert Murdoch.
The only way to break the circle is go public with the available evidence in an effort to convince public servants to finally serve the public (i.e. rather than cower before a powerful foreign media owner).
Tomorrow, I will publish a further scan of an article obviously involving intercepted text messages that cannot have escaped the attention of the police, or the editor(s) of News of the World.
UPDATE (24 Jan 2012) – Phone hacking: News of the World journalists lied to Milly Dowler police
NEW POST (26 Jan 2012) – News of the World: 110% certainty, the remainder fact
12th Jul 2011
There’s a lot of coverage about and fresh revelations are emerging left, right and centre, so I wanted to make this article about Robert Thompson, News of the World, and Murdochian antics a bit different. That’s why I turned it into a comic strip starring some pretend scientists from Miami. Enjoy.
In other news, Nadine Dorries is making some wild claims in an effort to convince us that she’s part of the story, while Andy Hayman has been issuing some theatrical denials to convince us that he’s not.
Apropos of nothing, here are two articles from my vaults about Andy Coulson, the former tabloid editor who dreamed of greater power, and Andy Hayman, the former police officer who dreamed of one day being a journalist:
Oh, and if you’re looking for news that doesn’t even remotely involve the implosion of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, then I can recommend this post about Christopher McGrath and sock puppetry and/or this post about ‘David Rose’ and sock puppetry. Back soon(ish) with some more that I’ve found by browsing through News of the World archives at Colindale.
UPDATE (28 Aug, 2011) – Metro – James Bulger’s killer Robert Thompson ‘had phone hacked by NOTW’: Metropolitan Police officers working on Operation Weeting have contacted Thompson to let him know his details were found in documents they examined as part of the phone hacking investigation. Detectives believe Thompson and people close to him may have had their voicemail intercepted by an investigator working for the tabloid, reports the Sunday Times.
UPDATE (20 Feb, 2012) – Telegraph – Bulger killer could be in line for compensation from News of the World – Lawyers acting for Robert Thompson, 29, have informed Scotland Yard that they plan to take legal action that could see the killer paid tens of thousands of pounds in compensation. The action was started after the team from Operation Weeting informed Thomson that his voice mails had been targeted between 2002 and 2007… It is thought that Thompson was informed by the Operation Weeting team in August last year that they had uncovered evidence that his phone had been hacked on several occasions after 2002. References to him were found in notebooks seized from Glenn Mulcaire, 41, a private investigator working for the News of the World who was jailed in January 2007 for intercepting the phone calls of royal aides.
Outrage about compensation going to a convicted killer appears to be overshadowing the really important questions here (including ‘When will we see someone charged with contempt of court?’):
Hacked Off – If a Bulger killer was hacked, how did Mulcaire get his top secret number?: Robert Thompson was living under a secret and protected identity when Glenn Mulcaire acquired his mobile number, apparently in 2002. He had been released from detention only months earlier and, after many threats to his life, was one of the handful of people in the whole country most at risk from violent attack. How did the News of the World penetrate the official security around him? Very few people can have known both his phone number and his real identity, and all of them must have been in positions of trust. The Mirror and the Telegraph don’t seem to be interested in whether one of these people betrayed that trust, or indeed in whether money changed hands. And there are other questions, which may be more alarming still. If Mulcaire could get through that protective barrier, who else could, was anybody else hacked, and were people placed in danger?
20th Jun 2011
Someone was moaning about my blocking them on Twitter a short while ago. Jack Hart (@jachartuk on Twitter) took the opportunity to play a game he’s been getting bolder and bolder at; using a distorted account of a private email exchange in order to portray me as abusive, aggressive, and a potential danger to himself and others.
In doing so, Jack Hart is engaging in a lie that he should know is reckless to begin with, but it’s worse than that, because he’s been specifically warned that it is a lie that puts me in danger, and puts my family in danger.
Today is not the first time he has done this, or engaged in this kind of deception targeting me (in fact, the relevant correspondence contains a prime example).
He may be doing this for his own amusement, but at times it appears he does this for approval from others. Either way, today I call his bluff, because I do not need his lies building on top of those of Nadine Dorries.
The screen capture below is a composite showing his latest portrayal of our private email exchange (including some of the tweets he has replied to for context). Below that is the full text of our only email exchange, and it is entirely unedited. Keep a sharp eye out for anything that is ‘abusive’, aggressive’ or ‘offensive’:
The relevant email exchange (below) began after Jack Hart implied in Twitter that I was the type of person likely to stalk someone, to the extent of being likely to hang around outside their house in response to mere criticism. Even then, it was not the first time he had done something like this.
On this occasion, he was responding to entirely false implications from Iain Dale that I was likely to lurk around his house. More recently (as you can see from the screen capture), he has chosen to mimic Nadine Dorries’ entirely false claims and implications about abusive/aggressive email correspondence. Jack Hart will probably scream ‘conspiracy theorist’ if I dare to note the pattern, but it’s pretty stark, and noting it suggests nothing beyond him being a particularly unpleasant wannabe.
From: Tim Ireland
To: Jack Hart
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 6:39 PM
Subject: Your recent tweets
You have no grounds for publishing this or anything like this:
@apptme2theboard relationship with Tim Ireland… I better say no more otherwise he’ll be sitting outside my house waiting… #Odd
Please remove it, and don’t repeat your previous attempts to cast objections to your false accusations as evidence of stalking.
Iain Dale has been CCed, as you appear to be basing your accusations on his published claims and implications, and he deserves to be made aware of how you interpret and act on them.
From: Jack Hart
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 9:14 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
Your appear to be of the impression that I am unable to criticise you and your behavior without either taking direction from or allegedly copying Iain Dale.
Your delusions that people are either concerned or care about your baseless opinions are widely misjudged. Your apparent paranoia is clearly obvious in the fact that you felt not only to email me about a “tweet” you disagreed with but also felt the need to copy in Iain Dale who had nothing what so ever to do with the comment I made.
I find your behavior odd. There is no getting away from that. You may choose to disagree with me and I would be more than willing to publicly debate such a comment with you but this has been made impossible because you chose to block me on Twitter rather than conduct an open, frank and public discussion.
I personally cannot see what influence you feel you have over my choice of tweets nor the content that they contain. If I was to be being facetious I could ask you why you assumed the Tim Ireland in question was yourself, there is no evidence contained within that tweet to link you to it, you have chosen to make that link yourself out of a seemingly paranoid state of mind.
While I do not feel the need to talk of your feelings towards Iain Dale, I do wish to make one thing plainly obvious for you. I have in fact never seen any mention of your name or any allegation about yourself on Iain Dale’s website – the only place I have seen your name listed is on the rules page (and I now believe, from your paranoid behavior today, with very good reason). You may claim that references have been deleted but even if that is the case I am still unaware of any links or appearances.
I hope you have a wonderful evening and an even better weekend,
From: Tim Ireland
To: Jack Hart
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
The suggestion that I lurk outside people’s homes goes way beyond criticism, acceptable or otherwise. You have no grounds for making an allegation or even a suggestion of this nature, and it can only feed a genuine campaign of harassment against me.
Withdraw it, please.
From: Jack Hart
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
You have no grounds for accusing me of following the orders of Iain Dale, you have made an assumption that I have taken on board his views as my own at his wishing. Simply because I applied for a job with someone does not mean I have lost any ability to form my own opinions of your behavior which quite frankly I find rather disturbing.
If you feel that I am feeding a genuine campaign of harassment then that is regrettable but I am at a loss as to how you feel one post on a micro-blogging website is contributing much, if anything at all. The minimal number of your followers who also follow me is hardly going to amount to anything – this again appears to be paranoia and an inflated sense of self-importance on your part.
As previously stated I am more than willing to have an open debate with yourself over how I feel your views and constant badgering of others is unacceptable and unnecessary but you appear unwilling to conduct yourself in an open manner.
I am really at a loss as what else to say to you. I find your behavior odd. I find your inflated sense of self laughable and I find your blog to be nothing more than conspiracy theory combined with the ramblings of someone who appears that he aught to be doing something far more productive with his time.
From: Tim Ireland
To: Jack Hart
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
Counter-accusations get us nowhere, especially ones like this; I did not accuse you of following his orders. I didn’t even name you or vaguely allude to you in any event.
You have no evidence, cause or reason to support the quite damaging assertion that I lurk outside people’s homes, or even that I am likely to. Withdraw it, please.
From: Jack Hart
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
You claim that “I didn’t even name you or vaguely allude to you in any event”. I hate to present you with cold, hard facts (because as you must be aware, judging by your blogging, your not a fan of them) but you appear to, vaguly, allude to me with your tweet seen below.
@danielh_g One person repeating the smear right now applied for a job with a certain Tory blogger. Dog knows where he gets his ideas from.
about 3 hours ago via web in reply to danielh_g
You really do need to find something slightly more productive to do with your time. This email link could go backwards and forwards (in future I shall not CC Iain Dale because I feel it is unfair to clog his inbox with your odd-ball ramblings and paranoia) but shall not achieve me to change my views of you. In fact you are only serving to strengthen them.
As previously said, conduct this discussion openly and I am more than willing to participate.
From: Tim Ireland
To: Jack Hart
Cc: Iain Dale
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:24 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
1. My tweet does not identify you or even name Dale. I did not mention you in any surrounding tweets.
2. In any event, it does not include the accusation you refer to
It’s a pointless counter-accusation that serves only to divert us from the core points that you refuse to address.
I have pointed out that you have no grounds to suggest that I am likely to lurk outside your home or anyone else’s. You have repeatedly refused to address this point, and the only evidence you present of my potential for stalking is my response to the accusation itself. You further refuse to acknowledge that you maintain this groundless and damaging assertion in a climate where what you seek to defend as fairly held opinion is used against me as if it were fact.
And reasonable person would seek its withdrawal, and to know when they are dealing someone who is hostile beyond reason.
From: Jack Hart
To: Tim Ireland
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: Your recent tweets
FUCK OFF and go back to your pointless blogging.
There is nothing to be achieved conducting a solid debate with you because you have shown that your paranoid and inflated sense of self prohibits you from conducting yourself in a manner than appeases others.
You really need to find something better to do with your time other than chase people around over posts on micro-blogging websites. How’s about you try the real world sometime. You are an utterly pointless example of how blogging makes people think they’re journalists when in reality they’re crackpots sitting in their bedroom spouting off utter nonsense.
Enjoy your weekend,
It was at that point that I blocked @Jachartuk in Twitter, and I would hope most reasonable people can appreciate why.
Also, in case I’ve not made this point clear enough; Jack Hart tells dangerous lies. Or, to be more accurate, he mimics dangerous lies. His exact motives remain unknown, but at times it looks like he does it just to fit in with the small crowd at the far right of the Tory party that likes to shout ‘stalker’.
[Psst! Jack Hart tried to 'spoil' what was coming by claiming to have deleted the exchange himself and implying that I would edit it. I have not, and as you can see, Iain Dale was CCed on all but Hart's charming sign-off. Iain Dale has a vested interested in portraying me as dishonest, and he claims to retain every email from me. But he can't and won't come out and denounce this exchange as false, because it is not.]
UPDATE – Jack Hart has complained his email address was visible in these emails. I have removed them ASAP as a courtesy. Don’t know what he was expecting when I said I planned to publish ‘unedited emails’. Judging by his past efforts, he’ll now go on to claim that I edited the emails, just as he predicted I would.
16th Jun 2011
I’m working on a puppet version of Michael Gove for Conservative Change Channel. How’s it looking?