Meanwhile…

Let’s not forget Nick Boles. We wouldn’t want to give him ‘a free ride’ while we ‘navel gaze’, now would we?

Also, this. Lots.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

Spin 2.0

Iain Dale has an exciting new delivery mechanism!I managed to squeeze half an apology out of Iain Dale last night… but he refuses to admit to knowingly describing me as a nihilist. His defence is that he “(asked a guest) a question without realising what the word meant”.

Given Iain’s education, his constant exposure to this word in his immediate political circle (and on his own damn website) *and* his track record of directing arguments, I find this very, very hard to believe.

Speaking of directing arguments, there are several layers of spin – some old and some new – that are taking on a life of their own today (prime example here), and I invite you to watch them in action (and how they are delivered with this exciting new mechanism):

– This is a politically-motivated vendetta (conducted by Brownites or New Labour types)
– This is a personal vendetta with no real meaning (conducted by a mentally deranged individual)
– This is a vendetta that threatens to damage the blogosphere
– This is a vendetta of little importance
– All of the above (delivered under multiple pseudonyms, so there is little chance of contradicting oneself)

That first layer of spin is actually a multiple layer, as it also contains the message that the left fears the ‘natural dominance’ of the right in the blogosphere. This ignores several years of blogging history and glosses over the fact that the current dominance of the right is merely the result of the dishonest approach to blogging that this so-called ‘war’ is meant to highlight.

You’ll also want to keep a sharp eye out for the ‘if you think this is bad, wait until the next election’ line, as I’ve made it perfectly clear from the very beginning that it’s important we arrest this recent decay of blogging ethics long before this happens.

An example:

If you run a weblog that contains a significant level of political discussion, you really should have some form of comment registration in place or be ready to moderate your arse off. If you don’t do either, you lay fertile ground for anonymous bullies who seek to limit free speech by undermining and intimidating those they don’t agree with (while simultaneously screaming about their right to free speech).

No matter where you stand politically, if you allow the above on your website and/or are irresponsible enough to actively use it to your advantage, the only thing you really prove every time you ‘win’ is that you are afraid to conduct an open and honest debate. This does not indicate a significant level of confidence in your political beliefs.

Also, let’s be honest… if you dismiss a valid charge as a ‘smear’ and then hide behind a barrage of vitriolic smears directed against the person who made that charge, you come off looking like a bit of a dickhead.

Finally, if you allow anonymous bullies to regularly have their way, you only encourage more of the same:

The bastards get bolder. The expand their operations. They move from victim to victim and sets their sights ever-higher each time. At the same time, those in the direct employ of the major parties take notice and make their plans to lay their own astro-turf on this same fertile ground.

This is what is going on right now, and at the centre of the storm are the websites of Iain Dale and Paul de Laire Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’).

Staines uses many of the above techniques, but – most importantly – he also does not allow a ‘right of reply’ on his website. (I say ‘website’ because the moment you forbid meaningful interaction with the content you publish, you no longer have the right to describe your set-up as a ‘weblog’.)

And speaking of Staines and the quaint notion of ‘right of reply’…

On Sunday, I linked to and highlighted a particular aspect of an event from his past.

What you’re hearing right now from the spinners is that it was withdrawn, so it must not be true. It’s a desperate gambit (possibly backed an funded by the leftist establishment) who fear Guido’s power to tear away the veil of yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

Not so.

Under the circumstances, I was perfectly happy to meet with Staines’ demand that I remove all reference to the article in question, as his demand showed him to be a total hypocriteagain.

As I said on that same day; “I personally found the reaction to the content to be far more illuminating than the content itself”.

That’s not to say that the article doesn’t contain relevant and revealing information. It does. In fact, my intention was to publish it myself on Monday afternoon and (again) highlight the most relevant aspect, but I’m waiting.

Why?

Because I want to watch the man behind ‘Guido Fawkes’ enjoy the luxury of being able to *lead* with his ‘right of reply’.

In the meantime, I’m happy to sit back and watch the acolytes of Dale and Staines continue to ride their banthas in single file… as the way they conduct themselves is equally illuminating.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

The ‘Guido’ thing

Stand by. This isn’t over.

UPDATE – Here you go… have a well-earned giggle at the expense of a Guido-loving moron.








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Iain Dale plays the victim… again

Oh, so it’s suddenly time to ‘play nice’ again, is it? I wonder what brought that on?

Iain Dale has posted a ‘last word’ on some of the many accusations I’ve levelled against him. The main thing I note is that he has not linked to any of the evidence or background material in his piece… all he provides his readers with is his version of events as he sees them (and the comments on his site again show a series of astro-turfers and ditto-heads eating it up).

Iain Dale’s Diary: Let the Blog Wars Cease

Over the last few weeks a huge amount of damage has been done to the British blogosphere. Blogwars have broken out between various parties which have made us all appear like obsessive schoolschildren [sic] who have nothing better to do with our time than flame each other. It’s developed into a pitch battle between left and right and emerged out of the investigations into the Smith Institute. It’s time to call a halt to this before it all gets out of hand and writs are issued. The latest spat over the weekend where a group of bloggers accused another one of wanting in the past to aide the BNP was a spat too far.

I have made it clear from the very beginning that my concern is that the combined antics and reputations of Paul de Laire Staines and Iain Dale have already done great damage and threaten to do more:

Bloggerheads: This is not what blogging is supposed to be about. It’s not even within shouting distance. Even Iain Dale knows this… or pretends to. In his laughable guide to political blogging in the UK, he pushes Guido forward as his poster-child and states that; “The power of blogging flows from directly connecting with the readers, key to that direct connection is honesty.”

Iain Dale’s only defence for the latter (so far) is that Staines wrote that piece himself and Dale didn’t want to ‘censor’ him… in a publication with Iain’s name and face on the front!

That it has turned into “a pitched battle between left and right” only reflects badly on the Conservative Party:

Political Penguin: The state of play is a bit uneven at the moment, with all honesty I agree with Unity that the Tories are ahead of the game on this, but lets just qualify that statement. The Tories are ahead not because they are technically better, nor more organised, nor more intelligent, they are simply more unprincipled and happy to break long held netiquette valued by those of us who have a sense of fair play and honour.

The Smith Institute mention is merely a veiled ‘Tim Ireland is a Brownite’ smear. The BNP matter I will deal with as soon as I am able… all I can say now that the reaction of the ‘blogger’ involved alone proved many of the points that I have raised about him.

I have been repeatedly accused of lying. I have not responded to these accusations because I have felt that if I do it will merely exacerbate the situation and prolong the torture. At times over the past fortnight I have felt what it is like to be the victim of stalking. Believe me, it is not pleasant. Some will say that by sticking my head above the parapet on certain issues I have only myself to blame. Maybe they’re right, but what a sad situation we have got ourselves into. Others say that being attacked by left wing blogs on an issue where they feel vulnerable is an accolade. I do not share that view.

Iain’s silence has been part of a deliberate attempt to keep relevant revelations from his readers. Now he seeks to address the matter with carefully woven spin, by playing the victim and smearing me in the same damn paragraph.

Iain Dale has, on a number of occasions, failed to give an immediate and direct answers to fair and pertinent questions (read this and this for examples of key techniques).

Pressing the matter does not make me a stalker (until, perhaps, I break into his house and tattoo my unanswered questions on the arse of his Jack Russell).

It is also dishonest to suggest that this is primarily about issues or political differences… it is about integrity, conduct, fair play and respect for your readers.

Speaking of which, Iain has also recently taken to deleting fair comments from his website without publishing them. Below is an example (screen capture here), which – had be published it – would have been the first comment appearing after he asked; “Are there working relations between UKIP and Ashley Mote or not?”

The comment that he aborted read; “Is there a working relationship between you and Nick Boles or not? Don’t lie to me now…”

The British blogosphere has always been a community where people with different views and agendas have a common interest. I happily link to people on the left and they happily link to me – not just in sidebars but on real stories. Over the last few weeks this has changed. We’re now in a situation where people who I have always regarded as sensible people, even friends, have decided that certain bloggers on the Right are their mortal enemies who must be destroyed. This must stop. If bloggers turn on each other we merely give fuel to the arguments put forward by Yasmin Alibhai Brown yesterday.

Tch…. if Iain means ‘uncle’, he should just say ‘uncle’. I doubt he has any genuine concerns for the integrity of the blogosphere, especially as he owes some of his success to a spamming campaign.

Guido has this morning ‘outed’ himself for the first time and confirmed the identity which anyone with a remote knowledge of how to use Google could have done for themselves months ago.

Here Iain glosses over a juicy fact that he would have printed himself had it been about one of this political opponents; the *full* name of ‘Guido Fawkes’, which has only recently come to light…. and has the potential to lead his readers to all sorts of interesting information about the man.

In the spirit of reaching out to those who seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with me I say this. I refuse to get dragged in to a war with you. You can keep sending over the missiles but I’m not firing back.

There he goes with the ‘obsessive stalker’ smear again… while claiming that he’s “not firing back”!

To Tim Ireland – and this is the first and last time I will be addressing him – I say this. You accuse me of calling you a ‘nihilist’. I emphatically did not. The tape shows that someone else called Guido Fawkes a ‘nihilist’ in a discussion about your spat with him and I asked the question ‘isn’t Tim Ireland one too’? Until I looked back at the tape I couldn’t even remember saying it. Now, I accept that you could draw the implication from that that I believed you to be one too but as I have said before, I actually had to look up what the word meant. If you really take offence at the question then I am happy to say sorry. But I am sure you have been called worse, as have I. I do not normally demand apologies or go to the lengths you have to get one.

Here, Iain Dale expects us to believe that he cut a guest off by throwing a word back in their face… when he did not know the meaning of that word. (Note also how he offers to apologise without actually doing so.)

Any blogger worth their salt would – at least – link to the relevant charge/exchange so people could judge for themselves what he did and did not do.

This is not the first time Iain has insulted me on his show, either. He once introduced an email from me in the following manner before chiding me for my ‘insulting’ tone; “This email is from Tim Ireland, who’s a very bitter young man…”

Why does he do this? Is it because we have ‘different views and agendas’… or is it because it is in his professional interest to continually undermine me? After all, we both claim to be experts in the field of political blogging.

(Something new for you… in this post, Caroline Hunt infers that I am a fascist and publishes the more overt comment ;”Tim Ireland is a fascist”. She also claims that she “got to rant at length about a certan [sic] blogspat” on Iain’s television show. I have made three requests for a copy of that exchange – which is not available online – and all three requests have been ignored.)

Tim Ireland has also accused me of lying about my Wikipedia entry. He says I have written that I was not aware of the page until last week and provide a screenshot of edits on the page. When I wrote “I was not aware of this page until today” I was referring to the DISCUSSION page, linked to from my entry on which I wrote those words. Of course I was aware of the main page. I am not demanding an apology from him. It’s an easy mistake to make. All I ask is that he accepts he was wrong. If he does indeed accept that, he will then presumably agree to remove the entry from his blog.

How very generous of Iain to allow me to retreat from my awful, awful mistake at my leisure. I will do so here without hesitation:

Of *course* Iain could have been referring to the discussion page (available via a link that’s right next to the link for ‘edit this page’):

But he also said that he was “new to editing Wikipedia”. This is not the case. Fine, he may not have used his login for 9 months, but the recent edit history of his article shows that Iain has also been making edits without using his login.

I have said all I have to say on this now. I won’t entering any dialogue about it.

How very convenient.

Either this is accepted at face value or it isn’t.

Anybody who takes anything Iain Dale says at face value is a fool.

If it is to be the latter. the feuding will continue to be very one sided, because I won’t be playing. The reaction of my accusers will go a long way to demonstrating whether the British blogosphere moves beyond its tendency to self-obsess or not. As Tim Ireland might put it. Iain has spoken. End communication!

Again with the faux-concern for the British blogosphere.

Let me make this absolutely clear and invite Iain Dale to enter into a dialogue on this basis (without hiding behind a series of anonymous trolls and smears):

I do not rate Iain Dale as an ‘expert’ in political blogging, as even the most cursory look at his set-up shows that he does not understand some of the basic fundamentals of publishing and empowerment. He also lacks the experience required to develop knowledge of long-term ramifications (and, I would argue, simple instinct).

I make no apologies for criticising his role as an ‘expert’, as he clearly doesn’t believe in many of the core values he insists bloggers should hold dear, and the way he and Paul de Laire Staines have been conducting themselves has given a false image of what blogging is (and should be), scared off many people seeking genuine engagement, and laid fertile ground for the ego-strokers and anonymous bullies of this world… a point I made very clear to him here.

Iain Dale still owes me an apology for the many smears and his outright lie about one of them.

Iain Dale will also want to honour my request for a copy of the rant Caroline Hunt refers to… pretty bloody sharpish.

And, finally, why did Iain leave comments open on this ‘final word’ post (when he makes clear that he not interesting in entering into any dialogue with the subject of that post)?

It is not fair to claim or complain that someone has been smearing/attacking you and then leave your comments open so others can smear/attack them on your behalf. Even from a purely practical perspective, it puts you in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ moderation predicament… especially if you have recently been accused of a less-than-honest approach to comment publication.

In this case, he should have disallowed comments on this single post. Surely an ‘expert’ would have known that?

Again, I’m left wondering if he knows or cares…








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 5 Comments

I will be out for most of Monday morning. Here is a distraction to keep you busy.

Those of you who were here at sparrow’s-fart on Sunday morning may have noticed that I asked a question of Paul Delaire/Delarie Staines regarding tax.

Despite his failure to answer that question today (following several requests that he do so), I dropped that question as a courtesy.

The period of courtesy is now over, because ‘Guido Fawkes’ should know by now that I do not react well to being lied to, threatened, ‘ignored’ and/or fobbed-off.

I have asked Paul Staines directly which version of his pre-hyphenation is correct – ‘Delaire’ or ‘Delarie’ – but have failed to obtain a straight answer.

So, I am forced to do what I always do in such situations; I look at the facts (and I really, really hate being made to jump through hoops like this):

FACT: The ‘Gruadian’ is known as such for a reason. Their version (‘Delarie’) could well be a typo. And who knows what other ‘facts’ they may have got wrong?! (Right, ‘Guido’?)

FACT: Money matters; if someone were to register details for monetary purposes, they would make damn sure that the spelling was correct. (Right, ‘Guido’?)

Here, I offer you this snippet of readily-available IP data:

211.17.152.64 – 211.17.152.71 (MGIFONDS) Staines,Paul Delaire; 3-4-2,Shibaura,Minato-ku,TOKYO 108-0023; JAPAN; JP

And this readily-available Yahoo Profile for Paul Staines of Mondial Global Investors (MGI):

Hobbies: Breathing, meditation, watching the sun set. (Interests: Economics)

Oh, and this snippet from Issue 37 of Free Life (A Journal of Classical Liberal and Libertarian Thought):

Paul Delaire Staines runs a hedge fund in Tokyo. His hobbies are watching the sun rise over Mount Fuji and chasing women.

Sun set… sun rise… there’s a moment of hesitation for me here, but I’m willing to bet that there’s a connection. I recognise that the universe is infinite, but I’m a reckless individual, so I choose to settle on the name Paul Delaire-Staines.

Now, let’s get back to the aforementioned question:

Dear Paul,

Are you a really a self-confessed tax-dodger as this book review (from Issue 26 of Free Life) seems to suggest?

“Offshore investing makes sense if you are rich, so the target market for this book may be limited to the rich and the professionals who serve them, however if New Labour taxes like Old Labour it might be attractive to more of us. Paranoid tax dodgers (like me) will appreciate the advice for the price of the book… What the book lacks, because it is published in conjunction with The Financial Times, is a review of the simple but illegal tax dodges. If as a Libertarian you take the view that the State enslaves and steals from you via taxes, you won’t have any qualms about protecting your property from tax-thieves. Silent Banking, a controlled circulation publication from Scope International used for the training of law enforcement agents to counter money laundering, gives useful tips on how to do it. Offshore credit cards are a good method, untraceable earnings are paid offshore into an account linked to a Visa card! This is simple enough for anyone who is self-employed, if someone is paying you in the black (free) economy by cheque, an offshore sterling account could be handy; spend it untaxed via your offshore Visa card, the back pages of Private Eye advertise this facility. “Silent Banking” is extremely difficult to obtain – sorry, you can’t borrow my copy.” – Paul D. Staines

An honest and straightforward answer would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Tim Ireland

SIDEBAR: Obviously, if there were a massive leftist conspiracy and/or I were a paid-up/hooked-up Brownite (as many contributors to Staines’ website claim that I am), I could have (potentially) been able to do a lot of damage with a private showing of the above quote alone. Mind you, I could have (potentially) been able to do just as much damage by publishing what was readily av…

Oh…

Sorry, Paul.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 5 Comments

“Back, and to the right…”

Just a quick note; I personally found the reaction to the content to be far more illuminating than the content itself.

Also, note who Guido chooses to target here (and how)… and also note who gets targeted in comments (and how) again and again and again. More on this – and other matters – later.

Tomorrow will be interesting. Meanwhile, this is for ‘Guido’.

UPDATE – Also worth noting is Iain’s only post today.

(Hello Iain! I watched you on the BBC this morning, you cheeky, cheeky boy…)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Guido Fawkes, the BNP, and ruthless pragmatism

[EDIT (10:05AM): THE BODY OF THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED. AN EXPLANATION FOLLOWS.]

Paul Delaire/Delarie Staines has requested that I publish one of his emails so his immediate response is available before what appeared above spreads from blog to blog to blog without it. I’ve included the correspondence that surrounded the single email he requested in order to provide the full and proper context.

I am happy to afford ‘Guido Fawkes’ this right of reply, and I’m sure that the multi-faceted irony will be appreciated by many readers of his weblog:

Paul Staines: Presumably you are unaware of the lengthy written retraction concerning that article by the journalist David Rose. Please take that down instantly.

Tim Ireland: Perhaps you would care to print it, then.

Paul Staines: I will have it to hand tomorrow Tim and provide it to you and all concerned with pleasure. Currently I am with my parents celebrating my birthday and the retraction is in my office. For your information the Observer most recently put the story to me recently, checked the retraction with David Rose and consequently did not run anything. Journalists usually check with the subject. I will be contacting LexisNexis to have the article removed as well. Presumably when the print archive was OCR’d the story was re-uploaded. We have our disagreements, but this is in a different league. You are making a mistake, presumably not maliciously, but it is still a mistake.

Tim Ireland: I have things to do today, too, Paul. I look forward to seeing the retraction and will happily react in a fair manner once I’ve done so. As I said on Bloggerheads, you have the right to explain yourself. At least, on my blog you do.

Paul Staines: Tim it is physically impossible for me to get that to you before tomorrow. When you see the retraction you will be embarrassed. I was fighting the BNP. The journalist concerned accepted that. Tim you are as aware of the laws as well as I am. It would be prudent to take it down pending sight of the retraction. You can then make an informed judgement. I am willing to accept it is a mistake now, if you don’t take it down after being put on notice it could be construed as a malicious libel particularly in the context of your campaign. Give it 24 hours Tim, you might save us both a lot of grief.

For the record, the department of the Guardian that could confirm the existence of the alleged retraction won’t be available until 11am tomorrow, so I’m giving Paul 25 hours.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments

The Liar Returns

“Sorry, I am new to editing Wikipedia and didn’t know of the existence of this page until tonight.” – Iain Dale

Iain Dale’s editing history on Wikipedia tells a different story. Iain (the liar) first created a login on 30 April 2006, and it’s pretty obvious that he was aware of his Wikipedia page before now… because he spent an entire afternoon perfecting it 9 months ago:

Also Noteworthy: Nssdfdsfds, the editor who went in to bat for Iain Dale yesterday (and today) first stopped by to correct Anne Milton’s entry by describing me as a ‘left-wing activist’ (and bodging the job) before swiftly moving on to this and many other edits relating to Iain’s entry.

Am I allowed to stroke my beard again?

PS – How interesting… a name appears before my eyes… familiar yet extended: Paul Delaire Staines. Have fun with it.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 7 Comments

Charlotte’s Web: The Movie

Just seen it. Can’t fault it.

Take the kids… and a box of tissues.

The rather top-heavy official site is here, but my advice is that you avoid it for now (i.e. I’m glad I went in not knowing too much about who did which voice… this can be very distracting).

UPDATE – Hahahahahahaha! Please, don’t click this until after you’ve seen it.








Posted in Consume! | 1 Comment

Guido’s anonymous bullies in action

This time, my navel is an innocent bystander… take a look at these antics.








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