Who wants it?

If I had the time, I’d look into this today. I’d want to see this video, know where it came from and get an independent translation of its contents.

Any takers?

Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 5 Comments

The retaining wall

Independent – Two guilty of trying to leak details of Blair’s talks with Bush: Tony Blair’s ill-fated war with Iraq claimed two more victims yesterday when a civil servant and an MP’s researcher were convicted of disclosing details of a secret conversation between the Prime Minister and President George Bush. Last night, MPs, lawyers and civil rights groups described the prosecution as a “farce” and accused the Government of misusing the Official Secrets Act to cover up political embarrassment over the war.

Today there will be a business-as-usual-smooth-transition-nothing-to-get-worked-up-about announcement from Tony Blair.

What you will want to watch out for in what follows – within the Labour Party and without – is the gang that campaigns to maintain the retaining wall, behind which lies the beginning of the solution to the One Big Problem that’s been dogging this country and paralysing our government for years.

If these people take control of the leadership, then we’ll be left with the same problem and no way to solve it.

Though I’ll be watching Blair until his (or my) dying day, the obstacles to any kind of viable/satisfactory solution will be my main priority.

PS – The Zombie Cabinet? Sorry… been there, done that. I do have a final audio-visual follow-up for Blair in the works, and it’s about halfway done. (I hope you like it; we’ll be covering some past ground, but with added sass and razzmatazz.)

I’m out on a major project all day, but if anyone’s interested, I’ll be having a rehearsal pint in the Red Lion at 3-4pm today (10 May) and shedding at least one pair of old shoes while I’m in the neighbourhood.

Cheers all.

(Oh, has anybody realised that – whoever is PM by summer – he or she will be expected to stand on their heads and juggle ice cream within two months of their gaining office?)

Posted in Tony 'King Blair | 3 Comments

The ‘lone obsessive’ strikes again

Busy one today. You’ll have to ‘settle’ for three items of interest:

Obsolete – The blogging counter-revolution

Ministry of Truth – Freedom? What Freedom?

Not Saussure – An interim announcement

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now official…

Mike Chambers is a loser.

Chris Ward, the victim of the smears Chambers was spreading via an anonymous weblog, beat him by a hefty margin.

The Milky Bars are on me.

(Psst! For those who missed it, check out Mike’s ‘election broadcast’. Gotta love that casual setting… I always drink mineral water from a champagne glass as I type on my laptop… in a field.)

UPDATE (4:15pm) – And it’s a close-but-no-banana for Dennis Paul!

Listen… do you hear that? No, it’s not a teeny, tiny violin… it’s a lonely pint in the pub that’s calling my name.

UPDATE (4:25pm) – Oh, now this is the crowning touch… in the last few minutes Dennis Paul appears to have deleted his entire official weblog. (Don’t worry; I saved copies of all the good stuff.)

UPDATE (4:40pm) – I can now confirm that Dennis has indeed deleted his entire weblog… I know this because Blogger.com allowed me to snap up his old address. The Dennis Paul weblog is dead… long live the Dennis Paul weblog!

UPDATE (4:48pm) – Tch. Mike has taken his video offline. I’d do something about that, but that pint is calling…

UPDATE (14 May) – Mike’s official promotional website – formerly at the subdomain http://mike.ycge.com/ – was removed on 9 May. Mike’s greenbait site remains live. Meanwhile…

It doesn’t look like they want to play nice, does it?

Posted in Anne Milton | 16 Comments

The result you’ve all been waiting for…

I bet you’re dying to know how Busharat fared:

Lawrence Hill
Vacant Seats: 1
Electorate: 8791
Ballot Papers: 2729
Spoilt Papers: 27
Turnout: 31.04%

And the winner is…

Posted in Photoshopping | 5 Comments

Worthy of comment

Iain Dale has no shame.

UPDATE – Heh. I almost forgot that after the last time I linked to Comment Is Free and suggested that people (*gasp*) make a comment, the clever chap who sourced and sorted Iain Dale’s and Paul Staine’s redirect code saw fit to scream “Denial of service attack!”

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 9 Comments

What was I saying about last-minute smears?

Dennis Paul; subtle he is not.

Posted in Anne Milton | Comments Off

Goodbye, Tony

My Way (The Blair Version)

I really should be thinking about a farewell gift myself, but this will do for now.

Posted in Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Tony 'King Blair | 4 Comments

Best. Sock-puppeting. Ever.

In defence of Busharat…. check it out (more here). The logic cannot be argued with.

I’m busy watching this and a few other last-minute online publications as election day draws nearer.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

This is a first… ‘bloggers’ objecting to deeplinks

Over the past few months (see this category page if you’re new here) I’ve made a number of claims about ‘lead bloggers’ Iain Dale and Paul Staines here at Bloggerheads, at Guido 2.0 and, more recently, at Iain Dale’s Dairy.

I have repeatedly backed these claims with evidence, and quite often the evidence was easy enough to come by… it was hosted at either site and all I had to do was provide a hyperlink to it. (Meanwhile, if either of these ‘bloggers’ or the associated bullies saw fit to respond to any case made, they did so without affording their readers the simple courtesy of a hyperlink to that case.)

An example of how important hyperlinks are to a case can easily be seen in three recent posts (1, 2, 3) about their approach to John Hirst.

Now, Iain Dale and Paul Staines seek to undermine this normally straightforward process with the following JavaScript that is now installed on all pages of their respective websites (please note that their code shows that – despite what Iain and Paul would have others think – I’ve become a very high priority to them):

Basically, if you follow any permalink from anywhere at Bloggerheads.com (which includes Guido 2.0), or at Iain Dale’s Dairy (hosted at theuktoday.co.uk), you will be redirected to the front page of the related site… and away from any evidence that Iain Dale and Paul Staines would rather you didn’t take a closer look at.

(There are ways to work around this, but in the meantime, because Iain and Paul are such sensitive souls, you will need to right-click on any deep/permalinks to their website, copy them, and paste them directly into the address bar of a new browser tab or window.)

This really is rather childish behaviour… it’s also extremely antisocial and not at all in keeping with the core principles of blogging:

Plasticbag.org – On Permalinks and Paradigms: But why did it take off? What was so important about the permalink? It may seem like a trivial piece of functionality now, but it was effectively the device that turned weblogs from an ease-of-publishing phenomenon into a conversational mess of overlapping communities. For the first time it became relatively easy to gesture directly at a highly specific post on someone else’s site and talk about it. Discussion emerged. Chat emerged. And – as a result – friendships emerged or became more entrenched. The permalink was the first – and most successful – attempt to build bridges between weblogs. It existed way before Trackback and I think it’s been more fundamental to our development as a culture than comments… Not only that, it added history to weblogs as well – before you’d link to a site’s front page if you wanted to reference something they were talking about – that link would become worthless within days, but that didn’t matter because your own content was equally disposable. The creation of the permalink built-in memory – links that worked and remained consistent over time, conversations that could be archived and retraced later. The permalink stopped all weblog conversations being like that guy in Memento…

Normally it’s only ivory-tower corporate types who start refusing/fouling inbound links:
EFF – EFF Warns ABC to Back Off Blogger
The Register – Apple sues itself in the foot (again)

Now Britain’s self-proclaimed blogging champions are at it… and have configured their redirections to target the two sites that are regularly critical of them. If you become regularly critical of either or both sites, then you’re sure to join the list too.

This was, I suspect, a gift to Iain and Paul from Dizzy (one of their lead bullies), who was first to introduce this kiddy-fix and is the only member of their little gang who boasts any technical skills.

It may have seemed clever at the time, but it’s not very smart.

Can you imagine the fuss these so-called bloggers would make if code like this were introduced at the Downing Street website? I can almost hear the mocking laughter now. Dale and Staines would be the first to declare it to be proof that they had got under the government’s skin… and that they clearly had something to hide.

UPDATE – Dizzy confirms he was behind the introduction of this kiddy-tech and includes his most common trademark… a thinly-veiled threat: “Now, I must get back to reading up on Movable Type and how insecure it is.”

UPDATE – Unity offers some thoughts and a possible workaround. Of course, the simplest way forward for all concerned would be for Dale and Staines to admit that perhaps they shouldn’t have listened to Dizzy when he came up with this ‘clever’ ploy that so drastically undermined their credibility (with minimal effort).

UPDATE – See comments. In a further breach of the kind of trust that’s essential to blogging, Dizzy has now amended his code so any link to his site from this one or Iain Dale’s Dairy redirects to Page3.com… in other words, any new visitor who happens across a post about Dizzy on this site will be forcibly and unexpectedly redirected to a NSFW website. He’s excelling himself today… and appears to be so drunk on the technical side of what he’s achieved that he is blind to the cultural side.

UPDATE (6pm) – Paul Staines has done a ‘monkey do’ and configured his site to redirect all links from bloggerheads.com or theuktoday.co.uk to any page on his website (order-order.com) to Page3.com (as Tygerland puts it, with; “No warning. No heads-up about being ‘not safe for work’. Nothing.”) – despite my pointing out here that the NSFW thing is going to be a major issue for people even if the redirects in general are not. Gotta love that devil-may-care attitude.

UPDATE (2nd May) – A comment I made over at Unity’s site that’s worth repeating here:

I’m especially amused that:

a) Dale and Staines went for this in the first place (thereby proving a lot of what I’ve been saying).

b) Knowing that that were willing to do this, that they didn’t have the brains to think of this themselves.

c) Staines visibly followed Dizzy on the Page3.com stunt, thereby proving that he didn’t have the wit to think of that himself.

d) They didn’t opt for (c) sooner… as they may have got away with this on the basis that it was ‘funny’ and not a clumsy attempt to censor undesirable input. They pissed away a lot of potential for misdirection there.

UPDATE – Would you like to see what Iain Dale has to say for himself? You would? Oh, jolly good! Here you go… don’t expect much.

UPDATE (3rd May) – Many thanks for the offers and suggestions regarding workarounds, but I’m not going to use any for the following reasons:

a) The ability to hyperlink to individual entries and comments on other websites is a cornerstone of blogging, and it’s not something I wish to toy with as a matter of principle.

b) Regardless, most workarounds involve code and redirections that place an unfair burden on readers and/or service providers, and the introduction of any of these would certainly lead to their working around that workaround and my working around that workaround and so on and so forth. A futile escalation would result.

c) Dale and Staines have yet to realise how stupid and cowardly this makes them look.

There’s the NSFW issue to deal with, of course… so I’ve made the following banner that links to this post and appears on every relevant page likely to carry a link to Dale or Staines.

This allows me to alert readers to Paul Staines’ NSFW redirection and highlight a clear (and dual) example of Dale and Staines having no regard for the principles of weblogs and no respect for the web users who read them.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… thanks to the many wonders of honesty and transparency I can afford to say “Bring it on!” and they can’t.

The cant’s.

UPDATE – Paul Staines has finally grown up just enough to drop the redirection to Page3.com… he now redirects visitors to this Wikipedia entry.

UPDATE (14 May) – Paul Staines is now redirecting users to his t-shirt shop (the good one, not the evil one).

UPDATE (2 June) – Iain Dale has now removed the redirection code. Staines persists.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 27 Comments