Couldn’t have happened to a nicer party

I suppose I should expand on my previous entry…


The Tories came third in both seats (and there’s some lovely live-blogging of those results here if you’re interested).

If you hear any bulldust* about gains today, those figures are a 0.2% gain in Sedgefield and a 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall.

(*The above statement from Grant Shapps comes to us via Iain Dale, who’s just a wee bit late with a show of candour… and is clutching at straws himself with that ‘LibDem failure’ nonsense. Until yesterday, the Tories thought they had second place in the bag and a shot at the top in Ealing Southall. After all, the figures leaked or invented in this little affair had Labour and the Tories neck-and-neck at 33% of the vote each, with the Libs trailing at 26%)

For the sake of that 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall….

Iain Dale, their shining light of the blogging world, sacrificed a truckload of credibility, most notably when his readers saw the sudden shift in gear between this event and this one (in fact, it’s well worth your time to read the comments on the latter link).

Grant Shapps, their campaign master, pissed away any credibility he had with the online audience he is officially charged with reaching by claiming that he wasn’t reduced to personally sock-puppeting the opposition, but he had in fact been hacked by some miscreant who had guessed his password… 1234!

Jonathon Isaby, one of their most faithful journalists, was dumped right in it when a strategic leak caught him on the wrong side of electoral law.

Tony Lit, their glossy candidate, gave up a job (that he’ll probably get back) for a few weeks of hell… but should count himself lucky that Labour and the Liberal Democrats aren’t anywhere near as nasty that his Tory campaign team have been claiming.

The bottom line is that the Tories got the result they deserved. Screaming ‘dirty tricks’ while playing dirty tricks got them nowhere (sorry, not true; it earned them a gain… of 0.9%).

At the same time it was revealed leaked that no-one will be charged (or shot) over the cash-for-honours affair. (And at this point I should point out that – charges or not – something still stinks to high heaven about this. In fact, what’s so rotten about it is easily summed up by repeating the following: These people came offering donations, but were instead asked for loans. Were it not for this scandal, how many of them do you think would be prepared to simply write off the loan after a suitable period?)

The Tories banked heavily on cash-for-honours… it was a potentially lethal blow to Labour’s already-tarnished image, and it allowed them to attack the government’s credibility without mentioning a certain minor incident they played no small part in… and you really have to spare a thought for poor old Paul Staines, who spent months setting himself up as unofficial-investigator-in-chief, declared live on Newsnight that Lord Levy would stand trial and even wasted many, many man-hours on a book with the working title; “The Trial of Lord Levy”… the man should count himself lucky if he doesn’t get sued over this (more).

I could go on and on and on and on… but I won’t. This by-election nonsense culminating in yesterday’s sick ‘suicide rumour’ stunt already has me dancing dangerously close to a whole lot of crap I’d rather leave behind.

So… instead… now that yours truly (and almost everyone else) has had their share of schadenfreude, I’m going to declare the rest of today to be Hug a Tory Day

HUG A TORY DAY: 20 July 2007


– Find a Tory weblog
– Leave a *hug* under ‘comments’
– Leave
– Spread the love by repeating this message on your weblog… and include a link to your hug

I personally have chosen to hug Praguetory.

Have a nice day, folks.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Tories fail to make expected gains in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Continue reading

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 6 Comments


Ben Marshall – Bong! And here are my views: Doughty Street has a distinct liberal left bias…

You what?!

Justin and Bob are equally perplexed. I know it’s the day for cannabis-related confessions, but this is a hell of a way to come out….

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Let’s catch ourselves a rumour-monger

Iain and his Tory cheats chums can wait for a moment… I have a little project for any bloggers who wish to take part.

At what I estimate to be 7:40pm last night, a recent member of the forums (‘kizmat’, who joined on 10 July 07) posted to those forums a none-too-subtle just-wondering-out-loud rumour that an Independent candidate in Ealing Southall had committed suicide.

The OTT l33t-speak (voice of da yoof, innit) suggests a troll at work, but I’m waiting for my registration to go through before I poke into the origins any more.

For now, you need to know that someone is currently busying themselves going from blog to blog bouncing off the above and posting the following message anonymously:

Story emerging ( that someone called Mr Rai has committed suicide. If this is Dr Rai one of the candidates, do the rules allow the election to carry on in Ealing Southall.

So far, I’ve spotted this posted anonymously as a comment on several weblogs (1, 2, 3) and the same message has been submitted (I would guess fraudulently) under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ over at Ministry of Truth and Pickled Politics.

If one of these comments has been posted to your weblog and you have the capacity to single it out and produce the IP address used to post it, then please do get in touch.

It’s polling day, and we appear to have a trouble-maker on the loose.

UPDATE – Worth adding is this from Unity; “My view on this is that (Anil Sharma) is on the level but a bit gullible in swallowing that L33t post on SikhSangat”

Yes, this is entirely possible. It was the sheer effort that went into it that made me suspect deliberate propagation. I hope to have a clearer picture as the IP data rolls in.

UPDATE – The Yahoo address used by the person posting this and other information under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ bounces with the message that the account does not exist. The pattern of comments also suggests that our helpful contributor is targeting weblogs that have covered the Sikh politics angle during this campaign. I now have enough to go to the relevant ISP with an abuse report, and I’ll also be looking closer at the origins of the rumour.

UPDATE (11am) – The relevant post at has been removed.

UPDATE (1pm) – A report has been sent to the relevant ISP and the Electoral Commission. I’ll let you know how I get on. Still waiting for registration to go through…

UPDATE (20 July) – What happens from here is now a matter for the police. Thanks to everyone for their input.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Ealing Southall by-election not-in-any-way-a-scandal

The Tories appear to have been caught breaking electoral law in Ealing Southall.

That well-known Conservative propagandist political commentator Iain Dale is going to be out of action for most of the evening and perhaps even some of the morning for reasons that may amuse some people, so here’s a rare chance for Teh Little Bloggers to ‘scoop’ Dale by being the first to publish the official spin on their expert opinion on this affair.

Here’s my effort:

ULTRA-MULTI-EXCLUSIVE! Last minute stunt by Lib-Labs falls flat on its face

Tories allegedly breaching suggested electoral guidelines?

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the source and pressed Tory HQ for answers. I can now reveal in a statement that’s EXCLUSIVE to this weblog that Grant Shapps suspects that an unknown Labour or Liberal Democrat activist (most likely the partisan scumbag and pretend-blogger Tom Watson) has somehow posed as an unnamed Tory source thereby defrauding Telegraph reporter Jonathan Isaby…. which is AGAINST THE LAW!!!

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the source and pressed Jonathan Isaby for answers. I can now reveal in a statement that’s EXCLUSIVE to this weblog that Jonathan Isaby suspects that an unknown Labour or Liberal Democrat activist (most likely the partisan scumbag and pretend-blogger Tom Watson) has somehow hacked the Telegraph’s weblog via the ingenious method of guessing the username and password (‘jamesbond’ and ‘007’)…. which is AGAINST THE LAW!!!

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the pixies at the bottom of my garden and pressed them for answers…

Award-worthy… wouldn’t you say?

(You wouldn’t? Well, tough. I’m writing The Official One and Only Book Of Funniest People tomorrow and I’m only settling for 2nd place because I’m so damn modest.)

UPDATE – BBC – Police begin Southall vote probe: An investigation has been launched after a complaint from the Labour Party about alleged electoral offences in the Ealing Southall by-election. It relates to a Daily Telegraph website blog entry which claimed to show how many postal votes each candidate had won ahead of Thursday’s ballot. The Telegraph Media Group said this was removed as soon as it was pointed out that it could breach electoral law. The Metropolitan Police said the matter is being “thoroughly investigated”. The article on the Daily Telegraph website quoted “a source inside the Tory campaign”. However, a spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “Our agent in Ealing Southall hasn’t published any such information or spoken to the Daily Telegraph.”

Of course, only the churlish would treat that denial with contempt (by, say, scrutinising its rather specific nature)… so let’s allow it to scamper free and unfettered for a few hours.

UPDATE (19 July) – Ahahahahahaha! Again, I demand some form of prize. It turns out the BBC cut the above quote short;

Guardian – Police investigate alleged Ealing byelection leak: A Conservative spokesman said: “We haven’t seen this blog so it’s difficult to comment. The fact that the blog has now been removed speaks for itself. Our agent in Ealing Southall hasn’t published any such information or spoken to the Daily Telegraph. We suspect that this is mischief making by our opponents.”

There’s your ball… all that remains is for Dale to run with it.

Oh, and the specific nature of that denial? I’m assured by insiders that each party is allowed two representatives at the postal vote openings in a by-election, and this denial relates specifically to the party agent. It is also possible that the party agent or their fellow team member present at the openings related the data to a third party who then contacted the Telegraph. It is even possible that the data is entirely made-up (still against the law in this context). This denial means very little, and even less if it comes from Grant Shapps.

UPDATE (12pm) – Tut. Iain’s leaving town leaving no more than a sniffy comment behind. There goes my propaganda-disguised-as-comment trifecta.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments

‘Happy Families’ according to the Daily Mail

I don’t have time to write much today… so I guess it’s a good thing that this renders me speechless.

UPDATE – Some excellent analysis from the ever-reliable Septicisle.

Posted in Tolerance | 4 Comments

SOCPA: The Movie

Kinda busy today… but who would like to go to the movies with me on Sunday?

UPDATE (16 July) – SOCPA: The Movie (brand-new trailer here) is awesome. I knew rikki was dedicated, but I had no idea he was this talented. Congrats on an excellent, excellent movie.

PS – To that girl in tears during the Q&A; I hear you, babe…

Posted in The War on Stupid | 1 Comment

And now for something completely relevant

While we’re waiting, here’s a special treat for ‘N’ of Southall, who appears to want to take this to the wire

Our mystery webmaster should be reminded at this stage that they still maintain some level of control over their credibility and that – until midday – they still have several options open to them; the primary ones being to come clean or to cut and run… BUT he/she should be warned that if they choose the latter option, there is a very good chance that someone other than me will decide to go poking around anyway.

UPDATE (11:40am) – Our mystery webmaster has included the following in very small text on the ‘contact’ page of both websites; “This website is maintained by a Labour party member resident in the borough. The site is unofficial, and the Labour supporter is not a muppet of either the local or national party.”

I don’t think it’s prominent enough, myself:

a) I think it should at least be on every page
b) but at least it’s there somewhere
c) and his/her tone is really pissing me off, so…

What kind of mood will I be in at midday? Tune in and find out!

UPDATE (12:00pm) – Ding! Well, as noted above, there’s now a teeny-tiny message on one page of both websites… but I’m not sure that’s quite enough. There is also no indication on either site that the author just happens to be equally outraged with both opposition parties in her constituency. So I’m going to start poking around while I make up my mind about how much I’m going to reveal…

UPDATE (12:11pm) – Oh, this is far too easy! I’m almost wishing our mystery webmaster didn’t get in touch last night revealing her first name, now… it’s sucked most of the fun out of it! Tell you what, just to be sporting (and perhaps milk this a bit) I’ll stop and eat lunch first.

UPDATE (12:19pm) – Oh, did I mention that I already have her first name, last name, a photo and compelling evidence showing that these two websites are her work? (Just so she knows this, I’ve dropped her a line at her work* address. Time to eat.)

UPDATE (12:39pm) – Mmmmmm… Mediterranean style vegetable quiche….

UPDATE (12:55pm) [burp] – *This should be clarified; our mystery webmaster appears to have a job and a consultancy interest; I emailed her via the latter. I’ll let TISM finish this entry.

UPDATE (1:05pm) – Our mystery webmaster can be seen somewhere in this photo. The notes from this meeting suggest that she has an interest in getting young people to participate in politics, so I’m hoping that she’ll understand the importance of transparency and trust… at least enough to put her teeny-tiny declaration on every page of both sites.

UPDATE (1:48pm) – Tut. Either she doesn’t care about being outed, or she doesn’t think I hit girls with e-sticks. I can’t see it being the former, or she would have been a little more generous with her (eventual) transparency. Hey, maybe (prepare your ‘1234’ gullibility hat) all of her email and internets are down for the day or something…

UPDATE (2:30pm) – This is a tricky situation… slim as the possibility is, it *is* possible that she’s not able to communicate or update at the moment. (Of course, if I find out it’s because she’s been handing out Labour leaflets all day, I shall be very upset indeed.) Because an outing can’t be undone, and because her first name alone can lead even an amateur right to her, she earns a few hours of grace.

UPDATE (3:33pm) – Oh dear… a development. I’m ready to stand corrected, but I’m looking at something right now that suggests that our mystery webmaster hasn’t been entirely honest with Labour supporters, either.

(reaches for stick)

UPDATE (13 July) – Declaration is now on every page on both sites. I’m content. Matter closed.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 11 Comments

Sock-puppeting madness *already* waaaay out of control

Well, will you look at that? We’re already at a stage where it’s out of control:

Lib Dem councillor denies tactical vote slur: So, once again, someone has decided to impersonate a Lib Dem in an attempt to belittle the party’s chances in the Ealing by-election, and big-up the Tories’… However, this one is more serious, as it was not simply a question of impersonating an anonymous activist – this was an attempt to suggest a named Lib Dem councillor was openly backing a Tory opponent, with all the potential embarrassment that could cause Cllr Chohan.

Tch. Now it looks like the law has to get involved. Even those who approve of such shenanigans (or are wearily tolerant of them) should know that this is a step too far.

I look forward to many an outraged entry at a range of Tory weblogs, starting with Iain’s.


[Psst! There’s more to come… even if midday passes without an outing.]

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Within a week, the Sun sees sense.

(Psst! By sheer coincidence an email came in about 30 seconds after my previous post that has me hoping that this won’t be the last quick result today.)

Posted in Photoshopping | Comments Off