Tories! Tories! Tories!
Hi. New here? These are Parts 1, 2 and 3, if you’d like to read the rest of the letter and/or read more of the detail, but the way Part 4 is written you can tuck into these later if you feel like it:
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part One)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Two: Flitwick & humphreycushion)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Three: Chris Paul and a special surprise… or two)
Nadine Dorries is the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, and the short version of what’s been happening is that she has been claiming to be the victim of multiple stalkers as part of a rushed and reckless cover-up involving secret lobbying groups and some as-yet-unanswered questions regarding monetary fraud.
From 2009 to 2010, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards was conducting an inquiry into evidence that Dorries’ ‘second home’ was in fact her first/main residence (put simply; the place she spent most of her time, usually understood as the place where one sleeps most nights). This was an issue because of multiple expenses claims Dorries had made on the basis that her constituency property in Woburn qualified for an allowance that only applied to second homes.
This investigation was, in my view superficial at best, and only took as long as it did because Dorries was being Dorries about it. I also feel the Commissioner was far too trusting of an MP who literally throws the rule book out the window, taking her word on some matters most of us would be expected to support with paperwork. The Commissioner did ask questions about a couple of very recent entries on her site, but I saw no evidence of her public diary being properly investigated. This may have had something to do with Dorries’ site being withdrawn from service for a very long time during the inquiry, but there were before then and still are today dozens and dozens of blog entries going back years where Dorries writes repeatedly of and about Woburn and her time there as if it were her primary residence.
Dorries sought to explain what little she was challenged on with the claim that she had deliberately given a false account of her whereabouts for purely political reasons; specifically, in order to give constituents and her local association a false impression that she was spending the majority of her time in the constituency. The Commissioner bought her story, but Dorries did not expect to have to publicly defend much of what she had told him, and suddenly faced an unexpected backlash about her casual declaration that her blog was “70% fiction and 30% fact”.
So she quickly expanded on an existing lie she had already told to discourage people like Chris Paul from investigating her property, to avoid questions about the relevant expenses inquiry at a local hustings, and to make local critics too shit-scared to even tweet about her; she publicly claimed that she had only published little white lies about where she was and when on the specific advice of police in response to what they recognised as a credible stalking threat.
And on this note we turn to the final segment of the letter Nadine Dorries wrote to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire in July 2010, accusing myself, two other critics and a political opponent of stalking her:
Let’s skip right past Dorries trying to portray me as the source of violence aimed at her; it is too insulting given the care I have taken with my conduct toward others and the dangers she has knowingly exposed me to. I fear I may lose my temper and use the kind of rude words that will allow for further feigned hysteria.
Instead, I’d like us to focus on three simple items:
1. THE PUBLIC DISORDER THINGIE
Dorries claimed on 27 October 2010 that “the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police explored the option of triggering section 5 of the Public Disorder Act” against me. Yes, the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police explored the option of triggering section 5 of the Public Disorder Act because an MP who didn’t know her act from her elbow asked her to. There is no such thing as the Public Disorder Act.
By the way, this item gets even funnier later. (A new document starting next Monday, folks. You know where to find me.)
This is not the first I have heard of this alleged burglary that was never reported to police. When trying to convince me that poor Nadine was simply a single and misunderstood mother living alone and genuinely frightened by the attention of some awful people, a supporter of Dorries told me the following story. In confidence. I tell it to you now in the spirit of they can go **** themselves.
Nadine Dories claims that in early 2010, shortly before the election, she’d returned to her constituency home to discover that the front door had been removed from its hinges. She further claimed that nothing was actually missing from the house and the only thing the intruder(s) appeared to be interested in were her office filing cabinets, which had all been opened and rifled through.
Chris Paul blogged about Nadine Dorries. Dorries reported him to police as a stalker.
Ms Humphreycushion tweeted about Nadine Dorries. Dorries reported her to police as a stalker.
I blogged and tweeted about Nadine Dorries. I also attended a public meeting I was invited to. Dorries reported me to police as a stalker.
Linda Jack ran against Nadine Dorries in an election. Dorries reported her to police as a stalker.
But when Nadine Dorries comes home to find the front door off the hinges and her filing cabinets disturbed… she does not report this to police. Even if she only reports stalkers to the police, this sounds like just the sort of thing a real stalker might do.
I’m not buying it. You?
Dorries also claimed to have received multiple death threats, then said here that until August 2011 it was her policy NOT to seek to prosecution. But her critics get the ‘stalker’ treatment. Now, why is that, do you think?
More than two months before she wrote this letter, Dorries claimed that I had sent her and her staff “numerous offensive emails” and other “vile” and “abusive” and “explicit” messages, but she didn’t present any of these to police. For some reason. Even when I submitted a subject access request to her office legally compelling her to reveal what she claims are my emails, she refused to cooperate (!) in defiance of the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Data Protection Act. What possible reason could she have to behave like this?
(Psst! I also find myself wondering why Nadine Dorries keeps her filing cabinets inside her ‘second home’ when any busy person/MP would want them in their main home, but the big question surrounds the potential purpose of this very-neat-burglar story, if it is an invention. It would not be a lie told lightly; it would have a purpose.)
“I have spoken to lawyers at Carter Ruck and they tell me that Tim Ireland is well known and that Guildford Police have dealt with a number of complaints regarding similar behaviour to others. He is apparently a well known computer hacker.” – Nadine Dorries
I contacted Carter-Ruck about the extraordinary accusations Nadine Dorries made in their name. I was curious to know what evidence they could produce to back the assertion that I was a notorious computer hacker with multiple complaints against me, but I didn’t get very far. Here’s their response:
” I can confirm that Nadine Dorries is a client of this firm. It follows that, as I am sure you will appreciate, all communications between Ms Dorries and ourselves are confidential in nature.” – Cameron Doley, Managing Partner, Carter-Ruck
Carter-Ruck were asked about the mysterious circumstances in which I found myself accused of harassment without so much as a letter from their office, but they had no comment to make about that, either. I do not recall ever being warned by Carter-Ruck about the appropriateness of my behaviour toward any of their clients, and seemingly neither do they.
:: If Dorries is telling the truth about her source, where is Carter-Ruck getting this information from?
:: If Dorries is lying about the source, where is she getting this information from?
This one gets even funnier later, too. If you thought this week was something, wait until next week when I start unleashing material from a 4-page ‘report’ that Nadine Dorries sent to Bedfordshire Police in November 2010. Dorries was at the time under pressure to produce evidence of an investigation she claimed had been in progress since before her only known complaint. Behind the scenes, she was desperately trying to initiate one.
It is like they say; it’s the cover-up that costs you… and I’m just getting started, folks.
UPDATE – The full July 2010 letter from Nadine Dorries to Bedfordshire Police (including some notes about what gets released starting Monday).
For those who came in late, here are the posts including the first two parts of this July 2010 letter from the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police:
Tomorrow is Part 4, and it will blow your mind. Today, Part 3, which will merely make you sick to your stomach, but there is a funny surprise for you at the end so hang in there, soldier.
Let’s begin with an April 2010 Twitter conversation between Nadine Dorries and another Conservative candidate from the recent election who also happens to be a lawyer; Joanne Cash.
This is a composite taken from saved versions of these pages that I captured and took notes from at the time. I have configured it so you can read from the top down, and I have made Dorries’ tweets as black as her heart so the conversation is easier to follow.
The conversation is from 27/28 April 2010. True to form, Dorries made this accusation of stalking in the wake of a major revelation about her connection to religious fundamentalists. There is now a clear pattern of Dorries using the accusation of stalking to divert attention away from such discoveries, but it was very early days here, and I’m really glad I saved a copy now. (OCD?)
Have a proper read of this conversation and you can almost hear the cogs turning in her head; it is not unreasonable to suspect that Dorries began portraying me as a ‘pied piper’ of Twitter stalkers as a direct result of this conversation, after being told that the offence of harassment could include “publication of material which leads to others harassing you also”. In Dorries World, my publishing evidence that she tells dreadful fibs qualifies as this kind of harassment, and you can see elements of this at the bottom of this section of the letter.
A week after making these enquiries about how one might complain to the police about ‘obsessive’ people (if one were so inclined once they had hard evidence) Dorries claimed a police investigation was already in progress into my stalking her and two other MPs.
But here, the main accusation is against a blogger named Chris Paul, so let’s do focus on that; Chris is a forensic blogger with better knowledge of Parliamentary gubbins than many MPs, and Nadine Dorries hates him for his ability to continually show her up as a result of this knowledge, his skill as a researcher and his tenacity.
You may also note that in the tweets above, Dorries (a) bases her accusation on her version of something she claims some ‘journalist’ said that Chris Paul said (it’s not even reliable enough to be called hearsay, purple monkey dishwasher), (b) specifically admits she has NO hard evidence to support the accusation, (c) is presented with a clear denial, but (d) goes ahead and continues to make the accusation anyway.
She then goes on to make the same accusation to police two months later, adding the word ‘apparently’ to her accusation for cover, and then portraying her critic as a sex pest (based on something “some people suggest”) for garnish.
It’s an appalling way for an MP to behave, but after failing to make the accusation stick in public, Dorries went further and sought to repeat the claim in this letter to the local Chief Constable.
She’s got no evidence to support it, and she bent time and space so often in her variations of this accusation that she even managed to confuse herself at one stage, accusing Chris Paul of coming to Flitwick to film her and accusing me of hanging around outside her house!
A few supporters of Dorries such as Jack Hart then went on to repeat the latter mis-assigned accusation. This is how I found myself repeatedly accused of hanging around outside people’s houses recently; it has always come from Dorries supporters, it’s based on an untruth Nadine Dorries originally told about someone else, and the result has been others treating/repeating it as if it were fact, and expanding on it to describe me hanging around outside Iain Dale’s house (and as with the repeated paedophile smears he did nothing to discourage, Iain’s just letting all of that stand uncorrected, because it suits his agenda and he’s a ****). Perhaps someone can ask Joanne Cash if this counts as harassment in her expert view.
Anyway, I’ve held you up long enough with atangent about my own problems. On with the third part of this July 2010 letter from Nadine Dorries to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police and the ongoing autopsy of her accusations against critical blogger Chris Paul:
1. Fun Trivia: A few months before she wrote this letter to police claiming Chris Paul’s blog was 100% fiction, Dorries wrote what she wrongly assumed would be a private letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and claimed that her blog was “70% fiction and 30% fact” (more).
2. Everything Chris Paul says is a lie, says Nadine. Dorries. Oh, except for the stuff that she needs to be true for her bullshit accusation of stalking to stand. So it’s 100% lies, plus some other stuff.
3. Police once passed on a request from me that Nadine Dorries remove a link to a site that paraded my home address around. She refused to remove the link, even when told why I wanted the link removed. Her site still links approvingly to this same site. The same man who published those directions to my house also published accounts where he described what time my lights were on at night and what time our bedroom window curtains opened on a typical morning. After repeated warnings about the conduct of this man and his associates, Nadine Dorries continues to link to him approvingly, so she’s got nothing to complain about; she either approves of hassling people at their homes or she doesn’t, and she so clearly does approve when it suits her. However, I don’t bring this up merely to expose Dorries’ hypocrisy; I have complained about this conduct to the police and they say there is no legal constraint to stop this man walking down the street, even when it’s repeatedly past my house, and even when he lives much further away than he pretends. It is not against the law. To be clear, it is not something I approve of (or enjoy) when it is done to intimidate, and I do not intimate or suggest for a moment that Chris Paul has been anywhere near Dorries home(s), but there are many circumstances that would make the investigation of any property this MP was living in an entirely legitimate exercise both morally and legally; many people suspect Dorries had been (almost) caught pretending to live in one place while actually living in another and that the hysterical noises she made were not there to ensure privacy or security, but instead to hide a pattern of behaviour that might reveal expenses fraud (which is what she would be guilty of if she had been claiming ‘second home’ expenses on a home she lived in most of the time). The former Mayor of Bedford (the late Frank Branston) once showed a passing interest in where Dorries lived. She smeared him as a stalker. A newspaper journalist once photographed the tiny gatehouse she claimed was her main home. She smeared him as a stalker. Chris Paul got a photo of the local pub. She smeared him as a stalker. It’s something Dorries does a lot, and she can’t pretend it’s about violent pro-abortionists, because I list in this paragraph three people who did not involve themselves in the abortion debate; they merely wanted to know where Dorries claimed she was living most of the time. And before she started claiming all that lovely expenses money on a ‘second home’, Dorries was happy to show off her big expensive house and its unique name for everyone to see. Hell, after announcing to the world where the family lived, Dorries then announced where they planned to move to! Part of the Dorries charade about her seeking privacy/safety was that even the name of the village she lived in (Woburn) was and should be a secret, when it was in the public domain the whole time after she put it there (and not just in this article years ago, but recently and repeatedly on her blog… right up until the point when she had to pretend it was a big secret for security reasons).
You would think, if you had aspirations in that direction, that the day you were elected to parliament would be one of unbridled joy. Sadly for Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries, May 5, 2005, though undoubtedly thrilling, had the gloss knocked off it. On that very day she also had to part with a substantial sum of money for a garden that her electoral win, in Mid-Bedfordshire, had ensured she would never see bloom.The money in question was a cheque for £41,000, for a garden at her Chipping Campden home. This is no ordinary garden, and it is no ordinary home. Dorries, 48, a former businesswoman and advisor to the MP Oliver Letwin, is married to a “freak on the medieval period”, and since 1996 she and the freak in question, Paul, have been working on a restoration job so huge it still leaves her sounding dazed when she talks about it. Their home is Woolstaplers Hall, in the picture-postcard Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. The Grade I-listed Cotswold-stone hall, built in 1340 by Robert Calf, a wealthy wool merchant, nestles on the curved high street and is reputedly one of the UK’s oldest inhabited domestic properties…. It all sounds fabulous. Why are they moving? Well, MPs are supposed to live in their constituencies, and although Nadine has been renting in Mid-Bedfordshire, she is tired of a three-way commute on top of a 100-hour week. Now the end of the school year is in sight, the family is leaving Gloucestershire for Woburn. (Source: The Sunday Times)
(Bloody hell, that was a long paragraph, wasn’t it? Best take a breather. Relax for a bit. Short one coming next. Bit of a healthy chuckle too, if we’re lucky.)
4. Chris Paul is not obsessed with Nadine’s abortions campaigns, so obviously the attraction must be sexual. The End.
5. Where in the hell does Dorries or any woman get off using their gender in this way? There’s been some long-overdue talk about misogyny in online bullying lately, but this is the ugly flipside of that same coin; women pretending to be the focus of unwanted sexual attention in order to discredit and intimidate a critic. To understand how the latter works, I invite you to learn about two rambunctious little rugrats in my old neighbourhood who lived with a big, slobbering dog. Their favourite game was to grab a hold of your legs and yell and scream like you were attacking them, which made the dog leap over the garden fence and chase you. Dorries has more than one slobbering dog at her beck and call, and they just love to jump fences and chase people. Here, she’s trying this same trick on the police. ‘Roll over, officer. Now bite the nice man. Good boy!’ What a bitch.
6. I can’t for the life of me work out what Dorries is banging on about with “arranging to meet others”. I do know quite a few of us hashtaggers have become friends since our shared experience of this extraordinary person, and there’s been lots of talk about tweet-ups (people do this on Twitter), and quite a few jokes alongside genuine invites for me to travel up Bedford way. I have no idea where Dorries planned to be on the 20th of what I assume to be June 2010. I suspect some tweets have been taken out of context in a process involving unknown quantities of malice, confusion and paranoia, but I’m happy to answer any evidence Dorries may care to produce…. aaaand at the sound of scattered laughter we move swiftly on…
7. Skipping over our surprise paragraph, at the bottom of today’s segment is the secret formula of harassment according to Joanne Cash (as understood by Nadine Dorries); a person contacting her about what I have published is me harassing her. Perhaps this might apply if I had been publicising her home address or her home phone number as my critics (and her allies) have been doing to me, but this is not the case. Perhaps Dorries might have a point if I sought to mislead people about her, but (a) I do not, and (b) generally, that’s what libel laws are for, I’m told.
OK folks, you’ve been very patient through the most stomach-churning segment of this letter, and it’s time for that surprise I’ve been promising you; the identity of the mysterious ‘fourth stalker’.
According to Nadine Dorries, she reported four people to the police for stalking and four people are named in this letter, the only known complaint from Dorries to police, so the person referenced in this next paragraph is part of our ‘gang’, and the fourth stalker you’ve all been waiting to hear about.
Oh, man, you’re going to love this. If you thought Dorries’ sense of entitlement couldn’t get any more perverse, you are in for a BIG surprise. Nadine Dorries’ mysterious ‘fourth stalker’ that she reported to police is….
… her Liberal Democrat opponent at the General Election, Linda Jack!
Well, she’s a Lib Dem, as if that’s not enough on its own. Plus, I hear this Linda person did all sorts of stalkerish things like distributing pamphlets and knocking on doors and disagreeing with Nadine Dorries and stuff. Who knows, she may even have deluded herself into thinking that she could one day replace a woman chosen by God to be an MP. How DARE she etc. etc. etc.
So there you have it, folks. Four accusations of stalking, each one more ridiculous than the next… but we’re not done yet. The best of this letter is yet to come, and you get to see it all in the final chapter tomorrow.
Tomorrow: The fourth and final part of this letter. It contains imaginary tales of suspicious crimes and suspicious tales of imaginary crimes, and that’s all I’m saying.
BONUS EPILOGUE: As I was writing this post, I browsed through some old emails from June/July 2010 trying to work out what the hell Dorries was banging on about with her “arranging to meet others” nonsense. In there I found an old comment notification that reminded me of a conversation that took place on 9/10 July 2010 under this post by Chris Paul about Paul Dorries (a man that Nadine Dorries may or may not have been married to). Take a look at these two comments, submitted to Chris Paul’s site two days before the date on the letter from Dorries to her local Chief Constable:
Hope you are well insured. Mr Dorries is with the Police lodging a formal complaint against you right now. You have gone too far with your lies and smears.
10 July, 2010 13:51
Your blog and bloggerheads are both guilty under section 5. Your Twitter account and that of others you talk to are also guilty. Humphreycushion and others. I have no idea why Dorries hasn’t been to the police about the lot of you.
One thing for sure though, you will never see Peter Hands name anywhere, even though he was with Jacko today in Bedford firing her up. He will make sure nothing leads back to him when you are all payng your thousand pound fines.
10 July, 2010 23:44
At the time, both Chris Paul and I were left scratching our heads about who ‘Jacko’ was, but after reading the letter it is so obviously a reference to Linda Jack, and made by someone who is convinced there is some kind of dark conspiracy going on. Peter Hand is a former member of Dorries’ staff who reported his suspicions of expenses fraud. We are not colluding, though I’m beginning to think perhaps we should.
Note the first claim is about what Mr Dorries allegedly reported to police, but it is clear that the person who wrote these comments had inside knowledge of this letter and was not only privy to its content, but sold on its merits. ‘Section 5′ refers to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, and you will see specific mention of this in the final segment of the letter tomorrow.
Now, this anonymous person may be a friend or family member, or someone on Dorries’ staff, or it may even be a friend or family member on Dorries’ staff. It is also possible that it is a comment by Dorries herself, and long-time Dorries watchers (you bloody stalkers!) are invited to stroke their chins and ponder the significance of this additional anonymous comment left in the same thread, probably by the same person, in order to discredit those investigating the financial dealings of Paul Dorries:
Lol! This ‘detective agency’ has been taken on by Paul’s former girlfriend, Sheila Lockhart. His phone makes interesting reading with the ten a day text messages she sends him. He keeps them all because he knew she would do something crazy like this.Paul ended it when he realised she was seriously dependent on a Tarot card reader called Pete MacDonald, a former convict. She has her cards read every week and lives by what this guy tells her. Pete MacDonald has dozens of women who do the same and he makes a very lucrative living out of it. Paul and Nadine haven’t been together for years, due to his inability to remain faithful, but she is still the woman he would jump of a cliff for. It was the Pete MacDonald influence over Sheila that made him end it because he didnt want that to reflect on Nadine. Sheila put some money into a company Paul invested in because she wanted to be in with everything he did. She is mega rich and lavished clothes, holidays, watches,
a villa in Umbrio, reams of love letters, the lot, but he left her and she can’t get over it. If Paul had done something illegal or wrong, it would be the Police who were after him not a hick agency for rejected ex girlfriends.
You have got a lot of stuff wrong about Nadine on your blog too, stuff which is just factually incorrect.For instance, she sold Gorgeous to Coleen Rooney and made a bomb out of it. Nadine comes from a famous footballing family in Liverpool and it’s all a big family club.
10 July, 2010 15:42
As a final note, I’d like to point out that Nadine Dorries claims to have received specific instruction from police about handling her ‘stalkers’, but even if this is anything approaching the truth, someone appears to have missed a key lesson about not using friends/sock-puppets to poke your alleged stalkers anonymously with a stick. That, or the gleeful tone this person takes about “thousand pound fines” is just one example of an attitude that is less about any actual feelings of anxiety and harassment and more to do with using accusations of criminality to frustrate critics and political opponents.
“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?]
“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.)
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.
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.]
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.
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:
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
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?