You may have noticed some minor damage control going on this past week as the Conservatives took some limited measures to bring Nadine Dorries to heel while ignoring the wider problem of the smear campaign she has involved herself in.
The main problem with Nadine Dorries as far as Tories are concerned is that she is woefully indiscreet; a mean-spirited clot who is far too certain of her ability in the Machiavellian arts.
Last week, her primary indiscretion was her announcement that she had a one-to-one meeting with the PM, and the stunted Machiavellian component was her repeated assurance that it must have gone very well indeed, because it is widely-understood (she says) that the absence of coffee is bad news, and (she claims) coffee was present:
Days after this one-to-one and really-quite-good-because-it-had-coffee meeting with David Cameron, Dorries had closed her Twitter account without a word of explanation, and her best friend Lynn Elson had resigned from the very same highly-paid and vaguely-defined position that was recently examined on this blog:
However, it is as obvious as a wet turd on a windshield that the Tories are perfectly comfortable with the wider smear campaign and have no wish to bring that to an end, because Dorries was left free to excuse/explain the resignation (and to a lesser extent the closure of the Twitter account) by again resorting to the same damn ‘stalker’ smear that the Conservatives continue to pretend is none of their business.
It is on this note that we turn our attention to Bedfordshire on Sunday, a local newspaper distributed within Nadine’s constituency, and their take on these matters:
Chris Gill, editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, has for near to a month avoided printing any mention of the matter of Nadine Dorries’ expenses that has not only been investigated by police, but subsequently referred to the CPS. The referral was rumoured/reported by one national newspaper then confirmed by another, and even the fact that this was leaked at all is a potential story, but Gill dismisses the matter as ‘unsubstantiated’ and thereby avoids any mention of it (or any reason to look too closely at it, lest he accidentally confirm it to himself).
Meanwhile, he and his staff brag that they present the facts to their readers and allow them to decide…
… but that is not what is going on here at all. In reality, relevant, pertinent facts being kept from the readers of this newspaper, while other facts are being presented selectively and distorted willingly.
Meanwhile, they help to smear me as a stalker to draw attention away from what I have uncovered, instead of doing their damn job… which is to properly examine this same material and raise the obvious questions raised by an extraordinary level of expenditure on a poorly-defined role filled by a close, personal friend of an MP. What they assert to be intrusion is the bare minimum that their readers should expect from them!
Lynn Elson called Bedfordshire police to complain about my conduct (which amounts to analysis of facts and figures in the public domain… how very dare I), was rightly advised that she should instead take the matter up with her local police force, and subsequently called Gloucestershire police, to no discernable effect. Gill could barely confirm the initial call to Bedfordshire, and yet rested his newspaper’s assertion of “intrusion” on the mere fact that maybe a phone call had been made.
My calling police to accuse Chris Gill of rape does not make him a rapist. Chris Gill understands this, and any person in his position should understand the significance of Elson being referred by one force to another in these circumstances, but Gill somehow thought it appropriate to pretend that this was some form of ‘dual’ report (i.e. a matter so serious that it involves two police forces). The article he subsequently granted a quarter page to (above) also implied that the web-published material prompting Lynn Elson’s complaint/resignation was somehow personal in nature, and fabricated to boot.
Even though I am hilariously castigated in Gill’s paper for not attempting contact with a person who appears to be accusing me of stalking her (!), Chris Gill did not contact me prior to publication of this article. Even after publication, when challenged to identify the “fabricated” material or support his assertion of “intrusion”, Chris Gill has repeatedly refused to respond.
I suspect he will go on pretend that I should have informed him before publishing all of these points that I have already put to him, but even if he did have a valid complaint of this type (he doesn’t) his defence is no better than ‘tit for tat’, and in any case he is bound by PCC guidelines and I am not.
Currently, Chris Gill moans that I am being unfair to him personally, and uses further unsubstantiated accusations of ‘mud slinging’ to support his position (of making claims he cannot substantiate) before declining any further response:
from: Chris Gill
to: Tim Ireland
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM
Can I email you privately , not for publication
from: Tim Ireland
to: Chris Gill
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2001 at 10:03AM
You should know my answer to that. I don’t negotiate privately with the unprincipled any more.
By your recent actions, you mean to shield Dorries from scrutiny and smear me as a stalker. I’ll not stand for it, and I intend to not only challenge you on it, but to bring your poor conduct to the attention of the readers whose trust you betray so readily.
from: Chris Gill
to: Tim Ireland
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM
I wasn’t planning to negotiate, just wanted some info.
I notice you are good at mud slinging but first to cry when there is something you do not like.
Some of your assumptions are very, very wide of the mark and offensive.
I am not guilty of any ‘poor conduct’ in any walk of life and your assessment that I betray readers is a stain on my character. You do not know me, have not met me and you cast slurs which are unsubstantiated.
I should also point out one thing I ain’t mate, is soft in the head. Believe me
from: Tim Ireland
to: Chris Gill
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Oh, spare me.
Identify this ‘mud’ you speak of, and tell me how it justifies your publishing material that you know to be a gross distortion (at best).
While you’re at it, show me the fabricated evidence your article refers to and the deeply personal component you imply I published, and produce evidence of the intrusion your headline declares to be a certainty.
Chris Gill was unable to offer anything in his defence other than what one hopes is a pretence that he is offended. (He doesn’t have to answer any questions I raise about his apparent corruption because I have dared to raise questions about his apparent corruption! Brilliant!)
Speaking of pretence; having an open thread at all under an article of this type is unacceptable to begin with, but Gill took it a step further and pretended to be offline and unavailable when comments carrying damaging and entirely false allegations about me were published on his site using the free-for-all comments facility. Meanwhile, he and/or his staff busied themselves deleting comments that contradicted their position or dared to mention the matter of the CPS referral.
For those who are left wondering how Dorries has got away with being a corrupt liar for so long, this is part of the answer.
As Dorries’ attempts to involve the police in her lies have become more pathetic and transparent, the editor of this local newspaper has shared and indulged her indiscretions to a degree that is now undeniable, and easily demonstrable:
Chris Gill will not report the matter about the local MP and an expenses investigation being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, but he will target a lesser-known figure, a critic of that MP, using nothing but a half-confirmed claim that someone made some phone calls to police that may or may not have got past the switchboard.
Prior to this, Gill was so indiscreet about his treatment of Dorries’ belated ‘stalker’ complaint to police that he allowed Dorries to a ‘no comment’ on a story when it should have been clear to him or anyone else in his position that she was the only possible* source.
(*If we are to assume Gill is not implying that the police are the source of this leak. I’m sure he is not.)
It is now so obvious it is embarrassing; Chris Gill is the kind of person who will pretend that he serves the interests of the local people, when in fact he will willingly enter into collusion with the local MP and her supporters (including those on his staff) instead of holding her to account as he should.
That is a disgrace, and it is something that every reader of Bedfordshire on Sunday should care about.
And, should the point escape some of the more dogmatic supporters of Dorries; I say this because of adherence to a principle, not fixation on a person.
We each should have a right to hold those in power to account, and we should have the right to challenge such people when we suspect them of dishonesty.
This applies to politicians, and it applies to publishers, and it is especially important that this principle is adhered to when the latter only pretends to hold the former to account.
If Chris Gill is going to abuse power in this way, I make no apologies for my attempts to bring it to the attention of the people who grant him that power.
If he has any objection to that, it should begin with a clear explanation about his recent editorial choices.
(Psst! Gill’s staff have begun a bit of a PR push in Twitter, while pretending they do so in a purely personal capacity. In their rush to build a following, one of them has repeatedly linked to the account of a person who has previously published my homes address online in what they part-defend as a revenge attack on behalf of Nadine Dorries. This does not look good when Beds on Sunday staff are being painfully indiscreet in their cheery exchanges with other supporters of Dorries while accusing me of intrusion.)
Back soon with the next round of evidence about widespread collusion in Tory smear campaigns, folks. Have a nice weekend!
UPDATE (19 Feb) – There are moans from within the Dorries camp that Lynn Elson resigned on the 7th of February, i.e. before the coffee-means-good meeting. Assuming this claim to be true/well-informed, there is no published record of this anywhere (Bedfordshire on Sunday do not mention it), and the news came near to a full week after that date, so there was no way I could have known/expected this without communicating with Dorries or her staff, and it is clear from Dorries’ past conduct that attempting this was futile and likely to lead to a damaging and dangerous outburst. And it changes little, as pressure/expectations from the party are likely to have compelled Dorries to take action prior to her appointment with Cameron, and Elson herself contends that she resigned as a result of web articles about her, which is the core of what I dare to suggest here. Elson may claim she resigned due to “intrusion”, but the only visible articles about Lynn Elson immediately preceding her resignation concern themselves specifically with her professional conduct, not her personal life as she implies. If she seriously claims any of that material is fabricated, she has yet to specify it and her moaners have yet to bitch about it. And if we must play this game of Chinese whispers, perhaps one* of them can get back to me with the answer to a simple question: does Lynn Elson claim to have resigned before or after the ‘Go Compare’ article was published?
(*But send a different thug or maybe a cuddly carrier pigeon this time please, Dorries peeps. The person you keep using is everything Dorries accuses me of being, and he’s been warned very clearly and politely that I do not want to hear from him any further.)
Let’s begin with a brand new and very special episode from Conservative Change Channel:
I hope you enjoy a few laughs, but the guts of it is about as serious as it gets:
What the audio I have published in this episode reveals is that Jonathan Lord took NO discernable action against Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul when they involved themselves in a smear campaign where an innocent man was branded a paedophile, and he did so for entirely political reasons.
Jonathan Lord admits that he did no more than have informal conversations with these two Conservative candidates, in private and entirely off the record, because an election campaign was in progress.
(As if this is any way acceptable or his candidates didn’t smear an opponent because of that same damn election. The part-justification he gives for this decision is an insult to the intelligence; he claims he was worried about how I or others might distort it. Well, if he’s worried about my distorting any of this, he’s welcome to come out and debate the matter in public or instruct his lawyers.)
No wonder these two carried on as if they were untouchable. Dennis Paul even tried to breathe new life into the smear campaign through his personal website on the eve of the relevant election.
Because Lord even went so far as to turn a blind eye to the evidence presented to him by me and others, he allowed these two candidates to continue their pretence that they weren’t really involved in the relevant websites, which meant that damaging and dangerous accusations aimed at their opponent (and at me) remained in place for months/years afterwards.
Further, because Jonathan Lord swept this under the carpet, those who were involved (and those who turned a blind eye like Lord did; take a bow, Iain Dale) were able to excuse/disguise their disgraceful behaviour with entirely false implications if not specific allegations that I imagined or invented the whole thing as part of what they contend to be a harassment campaign against Anne Milton. Yet Lord (who recognises that I did not harass or even libel Milton) insisted that his position/decision remain off the record, even after it was explained to him how his continued silence contributed to the subsequent smear campaigns against me.
What. A. Bastard.
Now for the really important bit:
Anne Milton and David Cameron were both advised of the blogs and comments accusing an opponent of child rape at the time, and both referred the matter to Jonathan Lord for action. Today, I have published evidence that proves he took no discernable action, and that he made this decision to protect personal and party interests.
So, from the moment of this revelation, both Anne Milton and David Cameron have a single opportunity to come forward and express their disapproval at this decision, or they own an even bigger chunk of it than they already do, and risk sending the message that they are entirely comfortable with their/Conservative candidates smearing opponents as child rapists, computer criminals, etc. etc. etc. (so long as these operatives are canny enough to only do so within criminal law, during an election campaign, etc. etc. etc.).
Yet I fully expect that they and every other member of the Conservative party will continue to engage in their conspiracy of silence. After so many years, how can I have any less faith in them?
There’s even more to come. Also, since my decision to end these ‘off the record’ games, I’ve been passed correspondence that implicates another big name in the Conservative Party, and it’s not Jeremy Hunt or anyone else I have named so far. I plan to publish this as part of my new policy to shine the brightest of lights into every damn corner of this sordid affair.
Via @scotchtwit I discover there is a variety of potato (exhibitor grade) called the ‘Nadine’:
Exceptionally smooth skin with shallow eyes. Cream flesh has firm, moist waxy texture and does not discolour on cooking. Double eelworm resistance and high common scab tolerance.
Even the picture is uncannily accurate:
Can I get an ‘amen’?
[NOTE – Because I’m not a plagiarising prick like Paul Staines or Ian Hislop and I don’t take credit for other people’s work, I must begin with a BIG ‘thank you’ to Iain Marley for his excellent Excel work on the current expenses, and to Unity for digging out the Marketing Management (Midlands) Ltd data from archived expenses. Both of them are proper gents.]
You’ve got to hand it to Chris Gill, editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday; he made a pretty good show of holding Nadine Dorries to account with this little article, but it’s an underarm throw at best, and easily batted away.
This article also declares that Dorries was “cleared of any wrongdoing” but does not mention that this was after a Parliamentary investigation in which Dorries could only explain herself by saying that she had lied to her constituents about where she lived most of the time. The article also manages to completely avoid any mention of the subsequent police investigation or the fact that this matter has since been passed on to the CPS.
Do you know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of the Downing Street memos that revealed Murdoch’s flunkies and Blair’s flunkies had been coordinating objections from The Sun and the government response and the subsequent tabloid response ahead of time, so as to better maintain the illusion that this tabloid was acting in the interests of their readers, and not operating as The Downing Street Echo.
Yes, it is absurd to compare Dorries to the Prime Minister. So I’m going to do what Chris Gill didn’t do, and look a little closer at the data, then compare Dorries to every MP, just to show him how it’s done. (Assuming, of course, he wants this job done right at all.)
First of all, if you take the expenses for all MPs and apply a total to each MP, you are mere moments away from a league table of the most expensive MPs:
MPs with greatest total expenses claims (May 2010 – October 2010):
Simon Hart (Con.) – £35,256.26
Nadhim Zahawi (Con.) – £31,902
Nadine Dorries (Con.) – £31,673.17
Keith Simpson (Con.) – £29,916.44
Jane Ellison (Con.) – £28,752.82
[Psst! Please do note that the five most expensive MPs are all Conservatives. It is the Conservatives who are only in power because of a coalition agreement, but pretend to have a popular mandate as they impose their ideology on us under the guise of austerity measures. This is yet another indication - as if you need one - that the whole thing is a Tory con.]
Nadine Dorries isn’t just more expensive than the Prime Minister or a couple of local MPs, she’s more expensive than almost every MP in the House. Gosh, I wonder how Chris Gill and his staff at Bedfordshire on Sunday missed that one. I assume simple addition isn’t beyond them, but just in case numbers do cause confusion in his office, here is a graph comparing the recently-published expenses claims of all MPs, with Dorries highlighted:
Moving on to another matter that received no mention in Bedfordshire on Sunday; let’s look again at the very strong indications that Nadine Dorries has continued paying her close friend and neighbour Lynn Elson out of the public purse.
The following is a collation of all known payments since 2008* from Nadine Dorries to ‘Marketing Management’ (full name; Marketing Management Midlands Ltd), a company owned and operated by Nadine’s good friend, close neighbour and drinking buddy, Lynn Elson. Under that data, you will see the claims that I recently contended were very likely to have been made to Marketing Management Midlands Ltd (the amounts in bold):
Nadine Dorries – Confirmed Payments to Marketing Management (Midlands) Ltd
Pty Yr —- Date ———— Allowance Type ———- Expenditure Type —– Amount
08/09 ___ 30/09/08 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,290.00
08/09 ___ 30/09/08 _____ Comms Expenditure _ ____ General Costs _______ £6,554.75
08/09 ___ 01/11/08 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,525.00
08/09 ___ 01/12/08 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
08/09 ___ 06/02/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
08/09 ___ 04/03/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 06/11/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 11/06/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 21/07/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 06/10/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £4,025.00
09/10 ___ 06/10/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 16/12/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
09/10 ___ 21/12/09 _____ Staffing non-payroll ______ Agencies etc. _______ £3,450.00
Nadine Dorries – Suspected Payments to Marketing Management (Midlands) Ltd
Pty Yr —- Date ——- Expense Category —– Expense Type —– Amount
10/11 ___ 11/05/10 ___ Staffing __________ Professional Services (Staff) ___ £3,525.00
10/11 ___ 11/06/10 ___ Staffing __________ Professional Services (Staff) ___ £3,525.00
10/11 ___ 31/08/10 ___ Staffing __________ Professional Services (Staff) ___ £3,525.00
10/11 ___ 15/09/10 ___ Staffing __________ Professional Services (Staff) ___ £3,525.00
10/11 ___ 14/10/10 ___ Staffing __________ Professional Services (Staff) ___ £3,525.00
[NOTE – There was also a payment of £9987.50 (£8500 + VAT) in 2007 which prompted a complaint from a former researcher.]
1. Note the very similar amounts (one an exact match) with very similar classifications.
2. The pre-2010 payments to Marketing Management were labelled for ‘PR, media and research’, ‘public relations, media and research’, ‘media and research retainers fee’, ‘research and secretarial service’ and/or ‘media and research’. Two out of the five payments from 2010 onwards (in bold) were labelled ‘media and research’.
3. The remaining three of these five recent (identical) amounts (in bold) were simply labelled ‘MM‘ under their Short Description, presumably by the submitter of the claim (Dorries or her staff) if not the IPSA team. Dorries is the only MP with entries using this label as a part of any description. I suspect MM is short for ‘Marketing Management’.
4. Dorries has yet to deny these payments were made to Marketing Management (Midlands) Ltd, and her past conduct has shown that she or one of her little gang of thugs will issue a shrill if not overly hostile denial if there is even the smallest opportunity to highlight and capitalise on the slightest inaccuracy or discrepancy. However, the only objection raised so far (courtesy of Phil Hendren of ‘Dizzy Thinks’, another close friend and neighbour of Dorries’) has been this; “Why have you put a [Bloggerheads] imprint on an image that is a screenshot from Crown copyright content?”
Excuse me while I gloss over that crime of the century and carry on looking at these expense claims…
There is good reason to suspect that all of these recently-revealed payments were made to Marketing Management (Midlands) Ltd., which is owned and operated by Lynn Elson. Has Dorries simply continued paying her close friend out of the taxpayer’s pocket while quietly redefining/relabeling her role?
Lynn Elson has a background in media sales and marketing, NOT in research. Though she may have some undeclared expertise in marketing research, this is not the same as political research, not by a long shot. Political research is a role in which Lynn Elson has no little-to-no documented experience, never mind the kind of expertise that would justify monthly retainers of this scale.
If the money was spent with Lynn Elson and/or her company, what services were provided in exchange for this money? This question is especially pertinent when you consider that Lynn Elson’s proclaimed area of expertise is PR (Public Relations), as Dorries has suffered a series of public relations disasters since the election, and Lynn Elson has been instrumental in dealing with the fallout in ways that cannot be denied.
If we are to give Nadine Dorries the benefit of the doubt and assume that near to all of this money went on research along with whatever definition she applies to ‘media’, it still doesn’t look too clever.
Take a look at the five MPs who claimed the most for media-related expenses (e.g. ads in the local paper, websites, etc.) and research combined:
MPs with highest expenses claims relating to media and/or research (May 2010 – October 2010):
Nadine Dorries (Con.) £20,033.75
Nick de Bois (Con.) £9,332.98
Rory Stewart (Con.) £9,126.97
Keith Simpson (Con.) £8,488.10
Therese Coffey (Con.) £7,764.50
[Psst! All Tories at the top of the table. Again.]
Even this is being far too generous to Dorries, as most of the MPs who came within shouting distance of her under this comparison did so because of payment of an annual subscription to ‘PRU’ (the grandly-titled Parliamentary Resources Unit) that really should be halved if we’re to provide a fair comparison.
Take a look at that margin, even without this adjustment; Dorries is ahead by a remarkable amount, even when she is treated with great generosity in this selection/interpretation of the figures.
And it’s actually quite likely to be far, far worse than this looks; this comparison was made in this way because Dorries classified part if not all of these expenses as relating to ‘Research and media services’, but I doubt very much if any of this money was spent on research, and if it was, I sincerely doubt the taxpayer got value for money.
I would think the extraordinary level of expenditure alone warrants some added scrutiny by the media if not the authorities, even if the most likely recipient fails to set off alarm bells left, right and centre.
What was this money spent on? What does Dorries have to show for it? Even if it was spent more on research than media/marketing/PR, how does Dorries justify this extraordinary level of expense that is double that of any colleague coming anywhere near this level of expenditure? What was this ‘research’ for? Hopefully not something to do with her ongoing religious mission to reduce access to abortion.
Oh, and why isn’t the editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday asking these questions and/or reporting the matter of her previous expenses claims that has not only been forwarded to the police for investigation, but subsequently passed on to the CPS?
Chris Gill, the editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, is either soft in the head or soft on Dorries. Bedfordshire is being let down by their MP, and the man who is supposed to
keep her honest hold her to account.
Thank you for your kind attention, and for sitting quietly through all of this data. Here is your reward:
Below is a table of recent expenses claimed by Nadine Dorries for staffing classified as ‘Professional Services’. Previous to this, such claims have been reported as payments for “PR, research and media services” conducted by her close friend, Lynn Elson, operating under the company name Marketing Management Midlands Ltd (more), and seeing as Dorries is an often-hysterical liar likely to misinterpret if not deliberately distort any attempt to confirm/clarify this point, I’m simply going to take it was read that nothing has changed since the 2010 election.
1. Note the total; £17,625 over 6 months. This far exceeds any similar expenditure from any MP I’m aware of. The challenge is on; can anyone find any MP who spends as much on PR as Dorries apparently does?
2. Again on the total of £17,625 over 6 months; some people are lucky to earn this amount of money in a year, never mind 6 months. Does this company do any substantial marketing work for anybody else? Assuming that Lynn Elson is still the sole worker/director in this PR company and all this money is going though her two-bit operation, does she need to?
3. Judging by the abbreviated accounts for the years prior to these claims, Lynn Elson’s company Marketing Management Midlands Ltd (Companies House Number: 03827061) really doesn’t do much business at all. In fact, I would think it is fair to ask if the business could exist/survive at all without regular payments from Nadine Dorries:
4. Lynn Elson of Marketing Management Midlands Ltd certainly doesn’t feel the need to advertise her services with a website, which most providers of this type of service would regard to be a minimum requirement.
5. Marketing Management Midlands Ltd also appears to be run from a residential property. I would be more precise with the details, but I am currently hampered by Nadine’s propensity to fly off the handle about things like this. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue at all if Dorries was paying these large amounts of money to a professional firm with proper offices, instead of a close friend making calls from her kitchen.
6. The first of the 5 payments of £3,525.00 is dated 11/05/2010, but Dorries was not an MP during the election that took place that month (i.e. she was a candidate from 06/04/2010 to 06/05/2010). Is this payment for services before the election, during the election, or in the 5 days after the election? Yes, I realise incumbents often continue to serve their constituents as best they can while officially classified as candidates, but if this expense arose from marketing, promotion or even research during the election period, there are some serious questions to be asked about how appropriate this claim is.
7. Prior to a belated complaint to police about my attendance at a public meeting, Dorries does not appear to have made a formal report to police about my conduct, and instead has repeatedly attempted to portray me as a stalker and danger to others in an ongoing trial-by-media. This process has involved several carefully coordinated media leaks, releases and appearances. How much of Nadine’s marketing/PR expenditure relates to this ongoing smear campaign, and if there is any expenditure of this type, is it right that the taxpayer should foot the bill for this all-too-personal vendetta of hers?
8. A similar question arises about expenses claims themselves. In late 2010, Dorries was forced to go on a PR blitz when it was revealed that she had lied to her constituents about her living arrangements. How much of this expenses claim relates to her attempts to stave off public criticism following the Commissioner’s report into her previous expenses claims?
UPDATE (6:30pm) – I have now confirmed that this expense was claimed/classified as “Research and media services”. At present, because the receipts have not been published, it is not certain that Dorries is still making these payments to her close friend Lynn Elson, or to/through an alternative provider. Perhaps someone would care to ask her. If I do, she’ll just use that as an excuse to go off her nut again.
UPDATE (6:45pm) – Confirmed: the address Lynn Elson’s company is registered under is also her residential address. I certainly won’t publish/publicise it, though. Not only would Dorries have kittens, but I’m not a total cloaca like some of Dorries’ supporters who use sensitive data like this carelessly and/or as a method of intimidation (see: Iain Dale and Phil Hendren).
This is an excerpt of a conversation I had with Jonathan Lord (Conservative MP for Woking ) in December 2010, in a chance meeting at a fundraiser for the children’s charity I volunteer for:
There is one clearly-marked edit that involves claims by Dominic Wightman and his associates that I am not inclined to air, even though they are entirely untrue.
The relevant post about the single-bedroom flat that Anne Milton rented so she could put a Guildford address on the ballot paper is here. You may note in the audio that Jonathan Lord is extremely reluctant to talk about the property or even admit to visiting it, when the evidence I have seen suggests that it was used as a drop-in centre for members of his campaign team if it was used at all.
All the details I blogged about her family in this entry were a mocking reference to the stalking smears that had already begun at this stage, and I included them because all of these details were revealed in her own damn campaign literature.
Much like Dorries is now, Anne Milton was then feigning distress about a stalking campaign that didn’t exist when in fact she saw so little risk that she was waving her damn children around in public for political gain… and she was also claiming on the relevant nomination/ballot papers that she/they lived locally when in fact she had simply rented a single bedroom flat. But the idea that I was stalking her was just as absurd as the idea that she and her family lived in this poky little flat in a low-rent neighbourhood. This point may be lost of some people now that the relevant evidence has been deleted from the Conservatives.com website, but I have a copy of this document in my archives should anyone wish to challenge me on this point.
In the exchange you can hear in this audio clip, I clearly explain to Jonathan Lord how the accusation of stalking relates to the crime of harassment, and how it is perceived by the majority of people. I also relate to him the details of the single incident that – if distorted – might be (and has been) successfully presented as evidence of stalking/harassment, and yet he still agrees (off the record) that what I did did not amount to harassment.
I was blogging about Anne Milton’s campaign. Jonathan Lord was heading that campaign, and yet said nothing when Anne Milton declared as part of that campaign that I had “stalked her with a website”. He later repeatedly refused to even acknowledge that activists working under him had repeated this smear via a series of anonymous comments/websites.
To this day, he refuses to make a public statement making his position on this clear. Later in the conversation, he even reveals that Anne Milton could not at any stage (then or now) say that I had even libelled her on my site. His only complaint was that my blogging about her was ‘petty’ and ‘relentless’. It was not petty, because later in this conversation he admits there was a point to some of what I had published. I was relentless because these lying bastards would not even address the material on my website when they themselves acknowledged (privately, natch) that I had a point.
For example, I still contend that I had a point when I pointed out that Jonathan Lord should have identified himself as Anne Milton’s campaign manager when he appeared in her literature giving this shining endorsement. And, if you’ll excuse me, isn’t this deceit petty? Aren’t the extraordinary measures Milton, Lord and their activists took to disguise it petty?
The people accusing me of stalking Milton maintain that I had no point to make and was simply fixated on an innocent woman, and here we come to what’s going to be revealed in the next audio clip.
My major beef with Milton is that she and the Guildford Conservative Association (that Jonathan Lord was Chairman of at the time) turned a blind eye to evidence that local Conservative activists had smeared an innocent man as a paedophile.
The Conservative activist Iain Dale even has the audacity to imply that I imagined all of this as part of the mental illness he repeatedly projects onto me (as he often does with others).
Well, It was real, it happened, I still have the evidence to hand and my next move with Jonathan Lord is to reveal the real reason why he took no discernable action in response to the evidence I presented to him at the time.
(Psst! Also in this same conversation, Lord admits that no internal investigation like the one Mike Chambers described took place; it was more of an informal chat. Some “stern words” in private. Yeah, big deal.)
Meanwhile, now that Jonathan Lord cannot deny knowing how some people use the accusations made by Milton and her activists at the time, I will ask him again why he does not come forward and make his own views on this known.
It is not my fault that he cannot do this now without making it clear that he saw the evidence I presented to him about the smears of paedophilia and took no action, or that he did not actually bother to look at the evidence in the first place (I suspect it is the latter). So while I know it is going to hurt him, he had plenty of opportunities to address any or all of this with minimal fuss long before now and he chose not to.
In fact, he’s digging himself even deeper by remaining silent today, and if he waits any longer it is going to look even worse for him.
FFS, he was standing right there when I was working as a volunteer with local children and it didn’t even occur to him how accusations of stalking (and the more recent accusations of paedophilia aimed at me by other Conservative activists connected to Anne Milton) might undermine that. This poisons any claim he might make that he is and was involved in politics because he is driven by any concern for the community. His true priorities are revealed when he is confronted by this situation and still spends the whole time trying to cover his arse. What a bastard.
Jonathan Lord knows what’s going on and cannot deny it. Further, he knows how these smears put me and my family in danger. And yet I have to go to incredible lengths to have him admit publicly that they are untrue. Perhaps he will regard this concern to be petty. I certainly plan to be relentless about it. If he’s going to complain that I have revealed statements that he wanted to keep off the record, I have a single-word response to that; diddums.
UPDATE – Jonathan Lord turned a blind eye: Jonathan Lord took NO discernable action against Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul when they involved themselves in a smear campaign where an innocent man was branded a paedophile, and he did so for entirely political reasons. Jonathan Lord admits that he did no more than have informal conversations with these two Conservative candidates, in private and entirely off the record, because an election campaign was in progress.
Being a long-standing member of the Conservative communications team (and currently a key member of the communications team for Prime Minister David Cameron) I would expect you to be well aware of the Conservative response to the half-baked plan by Damian McBride and Derek Draper to publish false rumours about the private lives of senior members of the Conservative Party and their spouses, because you probably helped to write it.
At the time (i.e. back when Gordon Brown and Labour were in power), it was the position of your office that the Conservative party would not stand for this sort of thing, and the Prime Minister’s office should not stand for this sort of thing.
Today, I am here to confront you with details of a long-standing smear campaign that you personally have known about for months (if not years) and repeatedly failed to act against, and I am going to attempt to compel you, and your boss, to finally take action.
(Conservative MP for Guildford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health)
You may not be aware that this whole thing started with a phone call from one of your party activists to my home in the opening stages of the 2005 general election. This person claimed to work for an ‘independent survey company’ and, via an extraordinarily clumsy and obvious push-polling script, pressed several key points of the campaign to elect Conservative candidate Anne Milton. We had signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) long before this call arrived, but the person calling did not apologise and offer to remove us from their database when advised of this. Instead, they developed an evasive attitude when asked about the origins of the call, then hung up.
Happily, earlier in the call, they had given the name of what they claimed to be an independent corporation/charity (Geneva), so I shared this detail with Anne Milton when I contacted her to complain about their conduct and inquire about the source of the call. She claimed to be unaware of the organisation or the caller, and offered to look into it, though she would/should have been aware the whole time that Geneva was in fact a Conservative party call centre.
I discovered this myself at about the same time I heard from a chap who had a local Tory party representative turn up unannounced at his door, wanting to discuss a letter he had written to the local paper that dared to be critical of this same candidate’s campaign.
I then started to blog about Anne Milton and her campaign, and quickly discovered that many if not all of the people posing as average members of the public in her campaign literature were in fact average members of her campaign team. Anne Milton’s only public defence for this was absurd in the extreme (at one point she tried to blame it on the post office; I presume she meant they had mixed up party literature with generic campaign literature) and it was at this stage that she began to dismiss queries about my blog and its contents with mild implications and then quite specific claims that I was stalking her.
Anne Milton recently denied saying anything that may have even given people the impression that I had harassed or stalked her in any way, but I can prove this to be a lie.
Further, I can prove the involvement of two of her activists in the publication/promotion of a series of anonymous comments/weblogs that not only repeated this smear, but also smeared me as a bad father, a computer criminal, and an undesirable alien.
There was also an anonymous weblog published/promoted by these same activists that smeared one of their direct political opponents as a paedophile. I referred these matters to your party office (CCHQ) and to the Parliamentary office of David Cameron. My complaint was referred back to the local association for action. They took none. Both of the activists involved were subsequently endorsed by Anne Milton and the local association as Conservative candidates for local council.
(Conservative MP for Woking)
At the time, Jonathan Lord was Chairman of the Guildford Conservative Association. Initially, he sought to excuse his inaction by saying that the target of the ‘paedophile’ smear had not complained, and that the action of anonymously accusing him of paedophilia and publishing personal phone numbers and details of his whereabouts was not against the law as far as he could see.
Obviously, this is poppycock, even if we are to accept a highly selective interpretation of harassment law. What Draper and McBride did wasn’t a criminal act and the Conservative party came out hard against all of what they had planned, even though only one proposed target (Nadine Dorries) came out and complained about it.
Lord also claimed at the time that he took no action because I had not written to him about the matter. Again, this is purest poppycock. I had emailed him about this, and email is a perfectly valid form of written communication, and far more efficient when providing URLs of a series of live blogs/comments that should have been the focus of his concern. It was a stupid requirement that I put this on paper, and I interpreted the request that I do so as a form of subtle intimidation; Lord’s office had so far protected the people who had published details about my private life, and offered no explanation for the earlier unannounced visit to the home of a critic, and Lord should have been well aware that I would be hesitant to offer him or anyone else in his office my home address in these circumstances, even if he was so impossibly backward as to think my sending him a hyperlink on paper would be preferable to sending an email.
The further excuse that Lord currently offers for his inaction was given on an off-the-record basis during a chance meeting at a fundraiser for the children’s charity I volunteer for. I will return to this point later in this letter, but for now let’s just say that it doesn’t do him any favours, and an off-the-record admission about this matter is about as much use to me as a chocolate teapot when certain people are contending publicly and privately that I lied about some or all of it.
(Conservative Party activist. Failed as Conservative candidate for Norfolk North, rejected as Conservative candidate for Bracknell and Maidstone & The Weald.)
Iain Dale was advised of the smear campaign targeting an innocent young man as a paedophile, and yet flat-out refused to take a stand against it, despite positioning himself as a leading/principled blogger at the time. Dale later alternately implied and claimed that I had imagined if not invented the whole thing, and also began publishing anonymous comments from Conservative activists supporting Milton, repeating the claims that I had stalked her.
When confronted about these and other comments he allowed on his site (but only against his political enemies, natch), Dale began to repeat the smear himself, and soon cottoned on to how neatly self-reinforcing it was.
Please excuse me as I paraphrase to elucidate:
X: “Y is a stalker!”
Y: “How dare you! Where is your evidence?”
X: “Well, look who’s here; it’s the stalker!”
Dale also went on to claim that I had not only stalked Anne Milton, but that I had gone on to stalk another Conservative MP; Nadine Dorries. He could not then and cannot now support either allegation, but he refuses to retract or even defend what he has repeatedly published on his site and shared privately with fellow Conservatives.
He will, however, repeatedly cite phone calls made at a time when he was knowingly libelling Tom Watson as a smear merchant while exploiting a smear campaign that falsely named me as a convicted paedophile*, and via a significant lie of omission he uses this to support a claim that I stalked him, too.
As part of this effort, Iain Dale also repeatedly claimed to have reported me to police for harassment. Recently, he was forced to admit that he has never filed such a report, but he continues to maintain that I am guilty of harassment, and is often forced to cite my response to his allegation(s) as evidence that supports his initial accusation(s).
(*A popular theme among Conservatives, I’ve noticed. I’ve often wondered why.)
(Conservative MP for Newark)
Both the man who carried out the smear campaign falsely accusing me of child rape and the man who I believe initiated it were close associates of Patrick Mercer, and worked in close association with that MP as (please, feel free to laugh) amateur anti-terrorism operatives.
Mercer was at this time Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism. When I confronted him with evidence that his source(s) had been fabricating evidence of Islamic extremism, Mercer’s office repeatedly refused to comment or take action.
Following contact with Iain Dale (see: the paedo-smear campaign against me that Dale sought to exploit) Mercer himself then responded by answering questions from third parties by claiming that I was an “electronic stalker”.
Like Iain Dale, both of these men claim to have reported me to police for harassment, but cannot provide evidence of ever having done so; most likely the complaints they speak of amounted to nothing or they are making the whole thing up. The latter is almost certainly the case with one of these men, as he has gone on to make entirely false claims on behalf of local police about my involvement in a range of crimes (which not a crime itself, you may be surprised to learn).
Mercer currently wishes to distance himself from these men and their actions, but he refuses to retract his entirely false claim of harassment that he made in response to my concerns and the concerns of others about these men and their conduct.
(Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire)
By the time the 2010 general election came around, Nadine Dorries had begun privately repeating the smear initiated by Iain Dale; despite endorsing similar blogs targeting Labour MPs, Dorries maintained that my blogging about her amounted to stalking/harassment, and further claimed that I had, under my own name and via a series of false identities, sent her abusive messages. None of this was true, but this allowed her to answer any questions raised on my website about her conduct in much the same way as Milton, Mercer and Dale had previously.
However, (a) you would think she would know better after the Draper/McBride incident, and (b) by this time Dorries was aware that the claim that I had stalked her and others was being published alongside my home address on a series of anonymous websites by some self-styled cyber-vigilantes associated with Mercer’s amateur anti-terrorism operatives.
As with previous attacks from this quarter, an attempt was made to distribute my home address to people likely to be hostile to me, and/or in a way likely to make them hostile towards me. This began with the claim that I was a convicted paedophile, then carried on with a claim that I was a willing ally of religious extremists, but with the increasingly specific/public outbursts of Nadine Dorries, these people were able to make claims that appeared to be substantiated by a Member of Parliament.
One key entry included my home address alongside the claim that I had stalked women and sent death threats to MPs, and both of these claims relied heavily on the increasingly irrational if not disgracefully calculated outbursts of Nadine Dorries.
Knowing this to be the case, Dorries stood up in front of a hustings meeting in May 2010, claimed that I had stalked Patrick Mercer, claimed that I had harassed Anne Milton to the point that police became involved, and further claimed that I had stalked and harassed her to such an extent that a police investigation was currently in progress.
At the same time, Dorries was under investigation for expenses claims relating to a property that she officially classified as her second home, but had difficulty explaining why she had made repeated entries on her blog that gave the impression that it was her main home. It is on record and entirely clear from the subsequent report that Dorries told the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that she had deceived her constituents about the location of her main home for entirely political reasons (i.e. to give the impression that she lived primarily in the constituency). She thought this put her in the clear and was entirely unprepared for the backlash that followed this revelation. She responded by again claiming that I had stalked her, and further claiming that police had specifically advised her to give misleading accounts of her whereabouts for reasons of security.
I have no history of stalking Nadine Dorries in any physical sense, and she had no cause to believe this, even if she is so dim-witted as to have allowed herself to be convinced that I was stalking her electronically. Worse, Dorries used my attendance at a public meeting in May 2010 to defend her claim that I had physically stalked her in the many years/months previous to this, and used Conservative activists aligned to her to spread this claim on blogs and in the media though a series of entirely strategic claims and distortions that not only stretched the truth to breaking point, but challenged the very notion of time and space.
Months after her hustings outburst, after being challenged to provide evidence to support her claim that a police investigation was in progress, Dorries sought to initiate a police investigation after the fact, and succeeded to a small extent in that police are now investigating my presence at a public meeting that I was invited to. This alone, while it is a complete waste of police time, did not cause me alarm… but Dorries then went on the leak news of this to a supportive local newspaper, leading to an entirely biased article that has set off my attacker(s) all over again, and once again allowed them to base their ongoing revenge attack on the word of a Member of Parliament who is in turn endorsed by a mainstream party (i.e. your party).
(Former Political Secretary to former Conservative leader, Michael Howard, currently European Head of Communications for Google.)
The bulk of the anonymous attacks on me (i.e. those that police are extremely reluctant to investigate/prosecute because of the potentially needless expense involved) are/were enabled by services owned and controlled by Google, including Blogger.com, YouTube and Gmail, and their search engine’s response to the public side of this smear campaign. While I recognise that Google do not have complete control over my attackers’ choice of provider(s), I do take issue with Rachel’s attitude and conduct regarding this matter:
- Rachel refuses to acknowledge that UK police regard the repeated false claims of paedophilia as a crime (harassment) and subsequently refuses to remove them. She has since referred me to the generic help desk based in the US, and they currently advise me that I can have them removed ‘simply’ by proving a negative (i.e. that I am not a convicted paedophile) in a US court.
- Rachel also cannot or will not explain why, when Blogger.com staff claim to have a turnaround time of 48 hours for removal of sensitive data such as home addresses published in bad faith, why it took over 3 months to remove the data in my case, not just on Blogger.com, but on YouTube as well. Further, she cannot explain why their search database with continue to store and distribute this data long after it has (eventually) been removed from Blogger.com/YouTube pages under their control.
- After she repeatedly refused to even discuss the detail of either of these matters, I dared to ask Rachel if her position had anything to do with her politics. She immediately took the position that she refused to discuss any of it because I had dared to ask this question. (She’s wasted at Google; get this woman back into politics!)
Rachel also pretends to be entirely ignorant of (and above) much of the detail of this ongoing smear campaign, but Michael Howard’s wife Sandra Howard made a key diary entry on the Conservatives.com website that would have been cleared for publication by Rachel Whetstone (assuming she was doing her job properly). This diary entry carried the specific claim that my action of blogging about Anne Milton amounted to “stalking her with a website”, and it named Anne Milton as the source.
OK, so Rachel isn’t currently a Conservative activist or operative in any formal sense, and she stands the best chance of anybody in convincing people that she’s not corrupt, and is instead merely incompetent (a holding position much like that of your former colleague Andy Coulson, as it happens), but she is your wife so I would hope that you might be able to sway her opinion somehow, perhaps with a casual conversation over breakfast, not least because these ongoing smears threaten my safety, the safety of my family and my work with a well-known children’s charity. (Not very ‘Big Society’, now is it?)
If it is not about politics for Rachel and she claims that she is only doing her job, then perhaps you can convince her to get on with that job; she has yet to clarify Google’s position on what they do and do not regard to be legal with respect to their Terms & Conditions of use, and she has yet to explain why it took months in my case to remove content that they claim is normally removed in a couple of days. On the latter point, if it’s a universal problem and not specific to me, then she may need to do a little follow-up work to make sure Google doesn’t become the provider of choice for those engaging in harassment and other forms of bullying.
(10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3….)
As you did previously with ‘Smeargate’, I would expect that you still maintain the position that the Conservative party would not stand for this sort of thing, and the Prime Minister’s office should not stand for this sort of thing.
Further, because I can provide plenty of evidence to support everything I assert in this open letter, I invite you to challenge me on it, or insist that you (finally) take a stand against it.
That, or you can instead take the position that the Conservative party WILL stand for this sort of thing, and the Prime Minister’s office SHOULD stand for this sort of thing. If you do so, I’d appreciate a cogent argument explain why you’re above the conditions of civility you impose on others.
How silly of me; I almost forgot the ‘third way’. Obviously, you may also choose the path taken by so many other Tories before you and insist that you do not have to take a position either way because I am stalking you.
I am wary that you are likely to try this, which is why this public letter is going to be my only letter to you if you choose to be a cloaca about this; after I have made reasonable efforts to ensure that it has reached you, I am going to give you 48 hours to respond, and then we’re done; we will have nothing further to say to each other, because I will know exactly where you stand if you don’t even have the balls to challenge me to produce evidence.
If you fail to respond, then I will know that you intend to stand by the actions of your activists, your MPs, one of your boss’s cabinet members, and your wife, and I shall act accordingly.
Now, now… don’t be judging me by the standards of your fellow Conservatives; I have no intention of embarking on a new career in the dark arts. I will instead be bringing extended periods of light to the party.
This process will begin with the fundraising required to launch one civil action after another against people who cannot possibly hope to substantiate what they have claimed in court. I’ll need to generate publicity for this, which is why I’m so glad that I’ve held some of the chunkiest nuggets in reserve.
If I do not get a satisfactory response from you in 48 hours, I will start going public with everything I am legally entitled to reveal, starting with everything shared with me off the record by Jonathan Lord (oh, and also a damning conversation with Jeremy Hunt, who needs to be especially wary of digital recording equipment given his portfolio).
To be clear; every courtesy I’ve ever extended to Conservatives will go out the fucking window, including confidentiality. I will pause only long enough to side-step those rare Tories who have already taken a public stance against this and I will release every scrap of text, audio and video that I have captured or collected (often secretly) since it became clear to me that Tories would be standing by their own on this for as long as they could keep the details from the media.
With the safety of my family at stake, how can I do less? I’ve played nice for long enough. I even tried backing off once, and that’s when your dirtbag activists took it up a notch.
I cannot stress enough that this would only be the start of a mere fundraising process; not only would I need to make these revelations as entertaining and as engaging as possible in order to raise as much money as possible, but once I raise the funds required to do so, it is my intention to take civil action against one target after another in as public a fashion as possible. And I’ve got letters and email and audio and video that some of these people can’t even begin to guess at.
If I am to be forced to dedicate myself to this shit sandwich your fellow Tories have made for me, I am going to make sure that you and everyone associated with your party is forced to take a big, juicy bite. Nom nom nom nom.
Alternatively, you can simply maintain the position you and your boss David Cameron claim to have held all along; that politicians should invite scrutiny from bloggers like myself, and that there is no place for smears like this in politics.
I sincerely hope to hear from you well within 48 hours so we can settle this matter as cordially as possible soon after that. If this cannot be done, I hope you recognise why I will be pulling out all the stops and dedicating myself to the task of clearing my name while exposing the rot at the core of your party, and I wish you luck in the inevitable attempt to smear me in response, because you are going to need it with the paper trail I’ve got and the fair warning you’ve received.
[See also: Andy Coulson and Andy Hayman: Friends]
Lately, we have been treated to the ‘earnest’ opinion of one Tory cloaca after another reminding us that Andy Coulson is innocent until proven guilty… as if there is no cause for concern about the way London’s Metropolitan Police Service repeatedly turned a blind eye to available evidence and re-opened their investigation into phone-hacking only hours after Tom Watson demanded it be handed to another police force. You couldn’t shut these fuckers up about the stench of corruption they insisted they could smell everywhere before the Tories took over. In fact, one of Coulson’s loudest cheerleaders even repeatedly assured us of the guilt of Tom Watson during ‘smeargate’, based on evidence he knew to be false at the time. Iain Dale later part-justified this deliberate libel on his assumption that Tom Watson must have known something because he worked in the same office as Damian McBride of Satan*.
However, in this instance, Iain Dale tells us that “Coulson’s accusers can go to hell”, even though Coulson ran the relevant office, and it was and is standard protocol for him and every other editor in the land to check the source of every major story. For Dale to pretend not to know this when he big-notes himself as a responsible publisher goes beyond the absurd; it is an insult.
Dale, like other tabloid scum of his type, is entirely flexible on the matter of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, and his position appears to depend entirely on whose side the accused is on.
(*Psst! Iain’s still rewriting history on this one, too. His latest self-serving interview with Watson is enough to make you sick and, strangely, during this same interview, the subject of Coulson and Watson’s ongoing attempt to hold him to account never comes up. Yet Dale still claims his junk-mail magazine Total Politics couldn’t possibly be biased, when it couldn’t be otherwise with old tilt-head at the helm. Dale is a proven liar, and even his categorical denials about this have turned out to be outright lies. Strangely, even though he has all that Ashcroft money lining his pockets and claims Bloggerheads.com is chock to the brim with libel about him, he has yet to sue. In fact, the only time a claim of libel was ever raised formally, his lawyer quietly dropped the matter after he was challenged to identify a single instance of libel on this site. I guess that’s what you get for signing off on a client’s letter instead of doing your own homework.)
Oh, I do apologise. I’ve inadvertently strayed into an area where the stakes are merely a minor smear about my stalking people that’s been put about by Iain Dale and his dirtbag mates, and how that feeds the accusations/delusions of the man who’s been watching my house (see: irony), when what I really want to do today is show you how flexible Andy Coulson is on the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ when someone gets shot in the head.
Here we turn the clock back to the opening days of June 2005.
Following the rejection of a third inquest into the shooting of Harry Stanley by London Metropolitan Police, the two officers involved in the shooting had just been arrested and interviewed, following an investigation by Surrey Police involving new forensic evidence.
Andy Coulson was at this time the editor of News of the World, and he came out hard in defence of London police in several subsequent editions of this ‘news’ paper. After some research at the British Library Newspaper Reading Room in Colindale (soon to be closed, er, I mean ‘improved’) I have to hand some full-page scans from two of those editions, and I invite you to inspect them.
The first of these scans is dated June 12, 2005, and it presents to readers what the article describes as “dramatic new evidence that could clear two police firearms officers,” stating that “these amazing pictures, uncovered by News of the World, show the policeman could not know he wasn’t holding a gun”:
1. They show that, do they? Looks a tad contrived to me.
2. I’d rather police only killed someone when they were left with no choice because they were certain that person was carrying a gun. (Or maybe wearing a bomb vest. Or perhaps taking part in a peaceful protest.)
3. Gosh, I wonder how News of the World uncovered these amazing pictures.
Note also the
reader ‘jury’ survey, conducted on the back of an earlier opinion piece by Michael ‘Deathwish’ Winner, that clears police. Oh, and also take a look at the enormous picture caption under their ‘evidence’ that echoes a letters-page call to “end this witch hunt”.
Public pressure was a major factor in the subsequent investigation/inquiry process (Coulson’s paper even makes a big deal about the expenditure to date), and this clearly prejudiced stance by the News of the World was a major push to influence public thinking in favour of the police.
The next week, Coulson even had the audacity to run the dead man’s police record past readers as if this somehow excused the decision by officers to shoot him. Without a lick of shame, News of the World describe it as the ‘rap sheet from hell’ (i.e. this is where he must have ended up after police shot him) and even imply that Stanley may have intended suicide (i.e. he deliberately goaded police into shooting him):
See? The blood they shot him in wasn’t cold at all. Why, if you stir it fast and furious enough, the friction alone generates just enough heat to justify a bullet. (Or maybe two, just to be sure. There’s no margin for error in this job.) That, or it was Harry Stanley’s idea to get shot in the first place, perhaps even to make police look bad. Surely no dastardly act was beneath him; one need only look at his record.
Again, one can only guess at the possible source of this amazing scoop.
It should be obvious from his stance on this issue that Andy Coulson contended that the police were innocent until proven guilty (and so incredibly innocent that an external investigation into their conduct must stop), but the bloke they shot in the head must have earned it, because he totally looked guilty… judging by what
the police a unnamed source told him.
Less than a month after the latter article, Andy Coulson was busy making excuses for some other London police who shot another innocent man; Jean Charles De Menezes. The same man in charge of that botched operation was also in charge of the later lackadaisical investigation into the conduct of staff at News of the World.
I put it to you that the London Met may have deliberately held back on their investigation into News of the World and the conduct of Andy Coulson and his staff as a favour to a mate (and/or a source of auxilary income), if not a special allowance for a tabloid scumbag who knows where the bodies are buried. Literally.
Inquiries to date by the London Met should be subject to an external/independent inquiry, regardless of any new evidence they and their News of the World cronies claim to have found behind a cupboard. If it turns out that any hint of corruption is evident, the London Met should be taken off the case immediately.
Hell, I’ll go even further than that; what should happen here is exactly what Andy Coulson was trying to halt/prevent after Harry Stanley was shot by police; there should be a full investigation by Surrey Police that looks into any new evidence of alleged phone-hacking.
Anything less risks corruption if not loss/destruction of evidence and a dramatic downturn in public confidence in London’s Metropolitan Police Service and the criminal justice system generally; not something police need in the capital, especially when they are tasked with policing major demonstrations against the Conservative machete-without-a-mandate that Andy Coulson worked for at the highest level until just last week.
Recently, Nadine Dorries took part in an interview with Ed West which was published in the Catholic Herald. A modest individual who has appropriated the identity of the historical figure Archbishop Cranmer complains here that this interview does not gain the attention it deserves because it has been “largely ignored by most of the left-leaning, abortion-promoting MSM.”
Late last year, Dorries was in conversation with this same individual on Twitter when she said the following:
“And the Liberal Synod contains many cowards who focus on the ‘hip’ issue of the day and not what is relevant to congregations” – Nadine Dorries (source)
“the CoE has a shameful weak and cowardly history re abortion – no surprise with a Liberal apologetic Synod” Nadine Dorries (source)
“Most faiths support their own text, Synod envoys told me Psalms were mere ‘poetry’ and not to be used for guidance” – Nadine Dorries (source)
“‘I knew you in your mothers womb’ is not to be believed, It is apparently poetry.” – Nadine Dorries (source)
There was no question about Dorries having an opposing view to that of the Church of England and, despite an attempt by ‘Cranmer’ to enlighten her (1, 2) she appears to still hold this view so strongly as to again accuse the church of ‘cowardice’ for not supporting her position, which she sees as the natural/obvious one.
(Note how in this excerpt, with the aid of this ‘journalist’, she leads into the issue by portraying all objections to her conduct as hateful vitriol, and categorises all of her opponents as opponents in the abortion debate. The importance of this will become clearer as we proceed. Hang in there.)
Those unfamiliar with the world of blogs and social networking site Twitter will not fully appreciate how much hatred Dorries attracts over this issue, the majority of which seems to come from men, who devote an almost demented amount of time tapping at keyboards explaining why they hate this woman. “What have I done to justify this level of vitriol?” Dorries asks. “What’s it about? The only controversial issue I’ve ever taken up is abortion, and that’s the only hook to hang it on.”
Yet she is not even “against” abortion as such, in that she does not wish to re-criminalise it.
“I’m neither pro-choice nor pro-life,” she says. “I take the middle ground, and I find it hard to understand why anyone – especially feminists – could disagree with what I say if they are really concerned with women and their health issues.” Both sides of the argument, she says, are “ghettoised” on the issue.
One of the problems, I suggest, is that perhaps the pro-life movement is seen as exclusively religious, although there is no reason why it should be. In fact, she says, she doesn’t even get that much support from the churches.
“I need religious support,” she says. “It is our core support. I need the churches being more involved, and the churches have been pathetic, pathetic, during the abortion debate in their support for what I was trying to do.
“The Church of England was the worst and the only person in the Catholic Church who made any comment was Cardinal O’Brien. Everybody was silent because the churches were weak and cowardly in their position.
“I was even told by one envoy from the Church [of England] that Psalm 139 was ‘just poetry’. Weeks later they timidly came out and squeaked their words of support, which were no use to me at this point. The churches have really angered me during this debate.”
Now, it cannot be stressed enough here that Dorries is pushing for a literal (or more literal) interpretation of the book of Psalms.
There is a word for this kind of thing; fundamentalism.
Further, hers is a notion that the mainstream church rejects, which in turn causes Dorries to be openly hostile to them.
There are words for this kind of thing, too, but Dorries and people like her object to these words to being used to describe them, not least because they have been used to such good effect to damage a competing religion. In fact, if I were to use these words accurately, her gang of useful idiots would probably accuse me of casting Nadine Dorries as a suicide bomber because of the way these words have been used inaccurately by others. For now, ‘fundamentalism’ will do.
Dorries has previously denied being a religious fundamentalist (more/context), and even if she sticks to this denial on the basis that the pejorative version of this word does not apply to her as far as she can see, these repeated attacks on ‘cowardly’ churches betray her position and destroy any pretence that she holds anything like the middle ground of the abortion debate.
It is at this point that we turn to the relevant passages from the collection of sermons in Psalms that she speaks of and repeatedly attempt to see matters from the point of view of Nadine Dorries. (Seriously going somewhere with this. Hang. In. There.)
During this process, I will be turning from the matter of more general interest (Dorries’ clearly religious views and how they impact on her role in the abortion debate) and instead focusing on a more personal matter and how that relates to the public interest, because something quite worrying occurred to me when I had cause to look closely at Psalm 139 this morning.
(Note – I have included the text from the King James version of this religious text, but have also linked to a site that gives varying translations/interpretations of each line.)
Psalm 139 (excerpt)
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Personally, I interpret Psalm 139 as a flowery tribute to the perceived omnipresence of the author’s chosen deity; He is so all-powerful and so all-knowing that He knows us before we exist and after we die.
There are some who view these lines as an extended and purpose-specific reference to life developing in the uterus and their nominated deity’s role in that; some even go so far as to repeat the word ‘womb’ again in place of the ‘lowest parts of the earth’ in 139:15, and it is no doubt on the strength of this interpretation and others like it that Dorries sees this sermon as a repeated assurance that God has been hand-stitching each and every one of us in the womb, meaning that it is His word that life begins from the zygote onwards if not before (see: onanism) and He has a special plan for every cell cluster in every womb on the planet, regardless of its developmental progress.
You can see how taking this position might influence the thinking of someone who campaigns on the subject of abortion; taking this passage as guidance makes every abortion a murder (but I suspect Dorries fears taking a clear position on this because of what she has previously explained away as a prejudice against religion while exposing her own prejudice against another religion).
It is here that we proceed to the latter half of this same sermon, and turn our focus on the more personal matter that will, initially, mostly be of interest to readers of this blog:
Psalm 139 (excerpt)
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
The person who wrote this sermon groups all those who do not adopt his religion as his enemies, and wishes them to die while casting them as bloodthirsty. Some interpretations even describe all of these ‘wicked’ people as ‘murderers’. The author even calls them out as ‘haters’ in the same breath as expressing what amounts to an unreasoned and extreme hatred of them. (As you can see, this is a much older game than many people suspect.)
The first version of this I read today was in modern English here, on a site dedicated to Psalm 139, and it strikes me as being plainer and more in line with Dorries’ thinking on this:
139:19 – If only you would put the sinners to death, O God; go far from me, you men of blood.
139:20 – For they go against you with evil designs, and your haters make sport of your name.
139:21 – Are not your haters hated by me, O Lord? are not those who are lifted up against you a cause of grief to me?
139:22 – My hate for them is complete; my thoughts of them are as if they were making war on me.
I hate what she does and the way that she treats other people, but I resist hating Nadine Dorries herself where possible. I’m human, but I try. I certainly don’t claim to be better than others because I hate her, even in those moments when I do.
Further, I do not wish that Nadine Dorries would die. You may think differently.
I know Nadine Dorries thinks differently about me, because she relies on this passage for guidance and feels so strongly about it that she is willing to oppose the Church of England in its defence.
Reading this passage, it becomes clear that Nadine Dorries hates me. She hates me with every fibre of her being. She hates me as if we were at war. But, like the author of this sermon, she sees this as a blessed mission ordained by God, and casts me as the hater.
I do not think it is unreasonable to suspect that when Dorries is confronted with circumstances where she might lessen my suffering, she would choose to do nothing and let her chosen deity get on with it (or maybe even choose to help her chosen deity along from time to time) not because what is being done to me is in any way right, proper, appropriate or humane, but because Dorries believes it is God’s will that I suffer because sees me as an opponent of His will and therefore a force for evil.
I further suspect that, in the mind of Dorries, everything bad that’s happening to me and my family isn’t the work of a lone, bitter, corrupt Tory with a grudge stirring up anti-social elements at the fringes of society and his party, but is instead the work of God, who seeks to punish me for daring to oppose Him.
Not only do I suspect this to be the case, I suspect Dorries even makes indirect reference to this belief in the same interview:
She describes herself as being a “bit low” following the press treatment of her private life, the expenses scandal (which she describes as “unbearable”) and the story in that morning’s Mirror alleging that she is being investigated for her expenses.
“It’s a ridiculous story, and its been planned to put out on the day I’ll be on breakfast TV on abortion,” she says. “All it is is nasty, Left-wing politicking.
“I can’t believe that journalists by and large can be happy people because I don’t think its possible to write in such a vitriolic and hateful way and be happy, and for good things to happen to you.”
Bad things happen to bad people, you see. And they happen (or will happen) because of what Dorries assumes to be opposition to her position on abortion. Therefore, this is not the work of Dorries, but of God. In fact, it is God who guides her hand when she hyperlinks to the man who has been watching my house and publishing directions to my home for anyone else who might care to take an interest, and it is God who guides her mouth when she repeats/reinforces his smears to the extent of inventing police investigations that never took place.
If it is as I suspect (and I think I’ve produced some pretty strong supporting evidence to support my suspicions), then this should be of concern to any constituent of Dorries that she perceives as her enemy (i.e. an opponent of her religious mission); when confronted with your suffering, instead of doing her duty as an MP, Dorries is far more inclined to do what she perceives as a higher duty to God.
Unless, of course, Nadine Dorries would care to state that she only fervently believes in part of Psalm 139.
I expect to bring you some important updates today (Thursday 20 Jan), if not soon after that. I don’t want to say or even hint what the update concerns, as I do not wish to imply that the following is in any way connected:
AN URGENT APPEAL
PLEASE BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS, BUT ONLY* LINK TO THIS PAGE (i.e. on bloggerheads.com), BECAUSE IT IS WHERE RELEVANT UPDATES WILL BE POSTED:
(or http://j.mp/gvMjb5 if using Twitter)
(*Basically, because I do not want people dashing about gathering header data any longer than is necessary. I’m sure you understand.)
OK, ‘shouting’ over. All done. Are you all ready? Good. Housekeeping:
If you have received an email or have been made aware of any kind of electronic message from/about a person who claims to have knowledge of material retrieved from my rubbish bin, I would greatly appreciate (a) hearing about it, and (b) receiving the full headers of the relevant notifying email so I might collate a package of evidence for presentation to the police as soon as it possible.
- If you are using Outlook Express / Windows Mail:
Right-click on the message while viewing the Inbox/folder it sits in and you should be able to choose the option ‘send as an attachment’. Address it to me, and type ‘housekeeping’ in the subject field. You can also put a message in the text area saying ‘howdy’ etc. before sending, but there is no need if you are pressed for time; it’s the attachment I’m interested in. This will send me the whole email, headers and all, and I will (hopefully) be able to retrieve the relevant IP data from the sender. Please send to: bloggerheads DOT com AT gmail DOT com
- If you are using Gmail:
While viewing/reading the email itself, look to the top right hand corner of the email and you will see the word ‘Reply’. Do not click this. Click the downward-pointing arrow to its immediate right and choose ‘Show original’ from the pull-down menu. On the page full of code that opens in a new tab or window, hit ‘Ctrl+A’ (Select All) then Ctrl+C (Copy), then open an email to the address below, type ‘housekeeping’ in the subject field and finally, in the body of the email (where you normally type the text/message), hit Ctrl+V (Paste). This will send me the full headers of the email as text and I will (hopefully) be able to retrieve the relevant IP data from the sender. Please send to: bloggerheads DOT com AT gmail DOT com
ALSO, PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THE EMAIL IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A COPY
Police may (I stress may) wish to contact some recipients, and may require access to the original, or a statement from you verifying that you are the source of this data. The original is worth hanging on to. Please keep it somewhere safe.
If you have been contacted via a Twitter message, please advise me of the relevant username via email – bloggerheads DOT com AT gmail DOT com – and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
If people are shy about coming forward, I will point out that on its own it may not look like much to some people, but I have good reason to believe that recipients of the email I am concerned about are holding evidence of a criminal act. You may view things differently based on what little you can see (or maybe even have views about me or my politics that make you wonder why you should bother) but by withholding the information I speak of, you risk the appearance of complicity.
I do not exaggerate for the sake of generating any false impression or accusation here. This post contains no intimation of who this is about, so there is no point. I have no desire to conduct any trial by media, or release the relevant information to the public; the intention is to collate a package of evidence and send it on the police. ASAP.
If you are the type of person who would rather insist that you contact the police directly (or even insist that they contact you) then I am sorry, but you would really need to be an exceptional case before I would agree to handing out the relevant contact details of very busy people and/or asking police to fetch individual scraps of evidence the themselves, especially when time is of the essence and it is in everyone’s interests to nip this one in the bud. You could email me and ask if you like, but do not sit on this data. Sitting on this data would be a mistake.
So, to summarise, if you know what I am talking about because you have received an email/message like the one I describe, everything most people need to know to do something about it is above. If you have received it in email form and experience any difficulty in sending me a copy of the message complete with headers** then please contact me and I will endeavour to guide you through the process to the best of my abilities and with as little fuss as possible in the time available to me.
Cheers all. Back soon with that update I spoke of as soon as is possible.
(**I assume in this post that almost every owner of a Mac will know how to do this. Thus the seemingly Windows-centric view.)