Posted by Tim Ireland at 27 August 2010

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

Note – Andy Rayment is a former Conservative councillor and present Chairman of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association. Yes, I can prove that Nadine Dorries MP lied about a police investigation that never took place, and after months of research I found nothing on record to suggest that she even went so far as to make a formal complaint. Worse, it would appear that Dorries failed to report actual harassment targeting me, and went on to knowingly exacerbate that harassment with accusations she knew to be false.

Dear Andy,

I make no apologies for this being an open letter, as my past correspondence with your office has been grossly misrepresented by Nadine Dorries, and I feel some daylight is required to get this issue addressed at last.

I originally sent you an email on February 18 about the conduct of Dorries and followed this up with a further email on March 30. Neither email received a reply.

I called your office in June, and was told by a woman named ‘Pippa’ that you had been on holiday since February. I hope for your sake that this isn’t true. (I also hope that this person isn’t one of the two people named ‘Pippa’ known to Dorries who she pays with taxpayer’s money, because it would be unseemly for person in such a role to be playing a central/long-term role in your party-political office.)

I then called a week later on June 18, and was told that my letter had been forwarded to you, but the woman who said this was very rude and abrupt, and refused to give her name or say when my letter was forwarded.

Initially I wrote to you after I was harassed by a small group of unbalanced people involved in the repeated publication of my ex-directory home address alongside the damaging, dangerous and entirely false accusation that I stalk women and send death threats to MPs. This followed a campaign where I was smeared as a convicted paedophile that involved many of the same people including at least one associate of Nadine Dorries (Iain Dale).

While Dale may not have originated the ‘paedophile’ smear he certainly sought to take advantage of it, and he personally built on the ‘stalker’ smears that began as anonymous comments on his site. Prior to May 2010, Dorries herself had repeatedly implied* that I was stalking her and made out that a video link I had sent her (a clip from ‘The Omen’) constituted some form of threat from someone who was mentally ill and therefore dangerous.

Both parties continued this behaviour even after they were advised that their false accusations were being published alongside my home address.

One of the people doing this claimed to have been in contact with Dorries, declaring that they did this on her behalf.

When confronted about this, Dorries made a vague claim designed to give the impression that she had forwarded the relevant email to police, but I have serious doubts that anything like this happened, especially after what followed.

In late April, during the general election campaign, I received multiple reports that Dorries was misleading constituents at hustings events with unsubstantiated and sometimes contradictory claims. Rather than take these reports at face value, I sought to record an event to get some of her alleged claims on tape, which is why I attended the hustings at Flitwick and secured permission to record and broadcast it.

It was at this event that Dorries twice stood up to declare that I have been stalking her and other MPs. She claimed I lived in Croydon (why?**), described my website as “incredibly offensive and rude”, spoke of a “barrage” of “vile” and “abusive” email messages sent to herself and other MPs, and at one stage even said she couldn’t comment further because a police investigation was in progress.

None of this was true. Dorries lied about it all, and even invented a police investigation out of thin air.

Since then I’ve made a series of FOI/DPA requests and they suggest that Dorries hadn’t even made a formal complaint, even though she went on to claim that she had been given advice by police to close her weblog and Twitter account in order to address the ‘threat’ I posed.

If Dorries was given any advice like this, it was most likely generic advice police give to anyone who claims to have been harassed as a result of what they have published online. It was certainly nothing like she portrayed it when she contacted the local newspaper, associating my activities with the stabbing of Stephen Timms (an incident that took place a week after she closed her Twitter account).

Her assertion that I have a violent, criminal character was combined with repeated claims that I was undermining democracy, topped by this:

Nadine4mp: Tim Ireland @bloggerheads distorted a great British tradition tonight by lying to my constituents and deliberately disrupting a husting

[Tweeted by Nadine Dorries on 4 May 2010 21:35]

What she describes is the opposite of who I am and what I do, and it is not the first time she has attempted to portray me as an enemy of democracy. Doubting that anyone can be this confused, I firmly believe it to be a deliberate smear.

Further, these entirely false allegations were all made by an MP who knew that her smears were being repeated alongside my home address by someone who claimed to be acting on her behalf.

Concerned about what may have been passed to/though Dorries office by those harassing me, I submitted a combination FOI/DPA request to Dorries’ office. Yes, I am aware that MPs have the privilege to ignore an FOI request if they wish…. but they do not enjoy the same luxury with a DPA request.

Dorries’ office has ignored this request for 150 days now, for reasons that are pretty easy to guess at, despite the uncertainties left by her obfuscation; the DPA request compels Dorries to provide me with, among other things, a copy of all correspondence sent to her office in my name, and any sincere attempt to deliver that data would reveal that no “barrage” exists, or that I have been impersonated (possibly by the same people publishing my home address, who have impersonated me elsewhere).

In the same statement that portrayed me as a violent enemy of democracy, Dorries claimed that she is not answerable to me because I am not a constituent of hers. I beg to differ. In my view, Dorries became answerable to me and every other human being subject to our laws from the moment she embarked on a national anti-abortion campaign, and there is no question of her moral obligation to answer for the smears she has aimed at me (and others) in pursuit of her personal/political goals.

What is especially galling is that, while Dorries claims to be a victim of harassment, instead of pursuing credible civil or criminal action (which would be easy if anything she claimed were true), she knowingly and repeatedly relies on the actions of vigilantes, up to and including lies about police investigations that never took place.

The situation has now reached a point where Dorries’ actions are largely indiscernible from those of the unbalanced fantasists targeting me (who also make entirely false claims about police investigations). However, Dorries is not a bitter outcast operating on the fringes of society, but a serving Member of Parliament, and I find it incredible that is so difficult to call her to account.

I would like to know what your intentions are regarding this matter, and why it is taking you so long to address it.

Regards,

Tim Ireland

* Why I say ‘implied’ and not ‘claimed’; often Dorries would blur the line between myself and blogger Chris Paul, probably in the hopes that she would be able to smear us both without making an accusation specific enough to be actionable. Just in case this is the last we all hear of the matter for some time, I want to go on record and say that while I was being smeared by Dorries, I dared to save copies of some of what she was publishing, and I hold evidence that she made a very misleading tweet aimed at Chris Paul at the time. This example was a rare, direct shot (Dorries had her blood up)… and it was an entirely false allegation that she has has yet to withdraw. It is completely wrong to suggest that Chris Paul had journeyed from Manchester to confront Nadine Dorries in her constituency during this event or at any time during the election, or ever. As for “seriously disturbed,” that judgement call of hers is most likely based on events that only took place in her imagination (and pretty bloody rich coming from a woman who claims a 21-week-old foetus can punch its way out of the womb):

Nadine4mp: Labour activist @chrislol came from Manchester to my village – seriously disturbed.

[Tweeted by Nadine Dorries on 4 May 2010 21:25]

** Her certainty that I lived in Croydon is one of the aspects that makes me concerned about impersonation (that, and I have previously been impersonated by the people targeting me; something that Gmail still refuse to address, BTW). The IP address of a person involved in both the ‘paedophile’ smear and the later ‘stalker’ smears used an IP address that initially appeared to resolve to Croydon, and that person has a track record not only of using false names/indentities online, but also manipulating opposing, non-communicative parties. I suspect this same person to be involved in a sequence of communications that gave the impression that Iain Dale was in direct contact with Glen Jenvey while Jenvey was smearing me as a paedophile (when it was probably more a case of this person trawling the web for ‘dirt’ on me and happening across most of it in the comments on Dale’s site); this was a key matter that Dale was refusing to discuss when he claims I ‘stalked’ him, and Dorries is being equally unhelpful with her wall of silence in this case. If she claims to have hundreds of vile and abusive messages from me, then let’s see them. If she can’t produce them, then she’ll have to wear being called a liar who knowingly uses damaging and false accusations against her critics. After ‘Smeargate’ she may think she’s immune to such accusations, but those in the know should be appalled by her hypocrisy. What kind of politics is this? One minute we’re to be shocked that Nadine Dorries might lie about her expenses, the next we’re all supposed to chill out when she lies about a police investigation. How can Nadine Dorries possibly convince those around her that she told and continued to maintain this damaging lie (knowingly putting my family at risk in the process) with the best possible intentions?








Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 August 2010

Category: Inneresting

I was reading a copy of MAD Magazine from March 1979, and was impressed by how far we’ve come since then. (Part I)

source: Pg 16, MAD Magazine 203, March 1979

I was reading a copy of MAD Magazine from March 1979, and was impressed by how far we’ve come since then. (Part II)

source: Pg 6, MAD Magazine 203, March 1979








Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 August 2010

Category: The War on Stupid, Tony 'King Blair

Let me do you the courtesy of explaining why I think Patrick Mercer’s ‘Tory conference terror alert’ story is a crock of beans.

To begin with, Patrick Mercer claims his sources are retired police and Army intelligence officers:

Sources in Northern Ireland said that the October conference in central Birmingham had emerged as the prize target on a hit list drawn up by resurgent republican paramilitaries. Patrick Mercer, ex-chairman of the Commons subcommittee on counter-terrorism, said former senior police and army intelligence officers had informed him that dissident splinter groups had discussed targeting David Cameron’s first conference as prime minister. (source)

Elsewhere this is reported/repeated as “sources in Northern Ireland” or even “police/intelligence sources in Northern Ireland” but really this should carry the health warning “according to Conservative MP Patrick Mercer…” because as Mark Townsend and Toby Helm (authors of the original Observer article) noted at the time;

Sources for West Midlands police said they had no intelligence of a specific threat against the Tory party conference. (source)

So this is not from the official song sheet and we only have Mercer’s word to go on that anyone sang otherwise. As far as the police charged with policing the event are concerned, there is no evidence of a specific threat. (You may wish to add ‘that they wish to discuss at this time’, which changes little about what follows, even if true.)

This leaves us with the possibility that this is (a) a leak, (b) the opinion of one or two retired officers, or (c) wholly imagined bullshit

(a) Exploring the possibility that it is a leak from the active police/intelligence community, we encounter the minor problem of Patrick Mercer’s recent embarrassments. Anyone in the loop will be aware of criminal investigations into/involving (hopefully former) associates of Patrick Mercer who, crucially, turned out to be conspicuously if not spectacularly discredited as sources of terrorism ‘intelligence’. Any proper cop on the job should also be aware that Mercer very recently involved police in a childish and damaging tabloid claim about his former mistress. Similarly, no serving soldier can afford to be associated with Mercer’s HIV bomb fantasies/alarmism. Ultimately, Mercer offers as much integrity and discretion as a pair of crotchless panties. If there’s a genuine threat to the Tory party conference that needs to be leaked for some reason, there are far more credible channels at present (if not in general). I’d sooner believe the NHS were issuing leaks through Nadine Dorries.

(b) If this is the opinion of one or two retired officers, years of anti-corruption regulation and legislation are working against them in an effort to keep them out of the loop, so at best they are making a judgement based on material in the public domain… or passed on in a public house. If they are privy to anything beyond that, they are most likely breaking the law if not the terms they agreed to upon employment and then retirement. If so, then to what end? One has to ask what the purpose of such whistle-blowing might be if the threat is real and it is not the wish of the authorities that it be known (see ‘a’ above). If it is as Mercer implies and there’s a pattern of senior police and army intelligence officers privately expressing concern about a specific threat to the Tory party conference, why is this specific threat not being dealt with through the usual channels? Most probably because it doesn’t exist:

Laurence Robertson, a Conservative MP who chairs a British parliamentary committee on Northern Ireland, told Sky he had no information that dissident nationalists planned a mainland bombing campaign…” (source)

(c) This leaves us with the possibility that Patrick Mercer’s sources have succumbed to bullshit or fantasy, or (more likely, in my view) Patrick Mercer himself introduced/positioned mention of a specific threat (while simultaneously leaving himself some wiggle room for later);

[Mercer] said: “They want to kill by the end of August in order to get themselves poised for whatever operations they can mount in September leading up to the Tory party conference in early October. There are doubts over whether they have the capability, but the aspiration is certainly there and West Midlands police would be crazy not to take the threat seriously.” – (source)

“I have no doubt there is an aspiration, a hope, a desire to bomb the mainland (Britain) and probably the Tory (Conservative) or indeed any of the party political conferences,” Mercer told Sky News. – (source)

In short, I fail to see how this is any different to past media alerts by Mercer that threaten to do more harm than good, and I suspect the primary component of this alert is Mercer’s wish to gain some positive publicity and re-establish himself as a credible spokesperson on terrorism.

[Psst! If CCHQ plan to play up the perceived threat in order to pressure police into providing added security for their conference that the taxpayer will have to pay for (i.e. neatly keeping anti-Tory protestors at bay at no cost to them while simultaneously associating them with militant elements), then Cameron may as well start rolling tanks into Heathrow and be done with it.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 August 2010

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

To: Webmaster

From:
Jessica Freeman
jessica.freeman@totalpolitics.com

Message:
Dear Mr Ireland,

Each week Total Politics interviews a top political blogger. Would you
be available for a phone/email interview (it’s only about ten
minutes) sometime this week?

Kind Regards,

Jess Freeman

Sent from (ip address): 81.136.230.228
Date/Time: August 11, 2010 2:22 pm

Dear Jess,

I must politely decline on the grounds that your publisher, Iain Dale, knowingly allowed me to be smeared as a paedophile, and was refusing to cooperate with the relevant criminal investigation while simultaneously libelling Tom Watson (as a smear merchant, no less) when he further smeared me as a stalker in order to mask his embarrassment.

Had you read my blog in any detail, you would know that.

Had you merely scanned the front page, you would have noticed that I also recently described your executive editor Shane Greer as an “amateur propagandist and professional bullshit artist”.

But thanks for revealing how poorly researched these invitations are. Perhaps it will make other recipients think twice before pouncing on your sincere generous exclusive ordinary offer.

Tim Ireland

PS – Ask Iain Dale why he didn’t call Patrick Mercer as he agreed (and promised) to do. He tells some people he did and gives others an excuse for why he didn’t.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 17 August 2010

Category: Search Engine Optimisation, Updates

I’m doing my first ‘Pecha Kucha’ style presentation at an event in Guildford this evening but was in two minds about showing off the current status of one of my long-term search results. Being second to Tim Berners-Lee is one thing, but I wasn’t sure if I liked being slightly less popular than Mel Gibson:

Tim Ireland and some other Tims

Happily, by breakfast this morning, it had all sorted itself out:

Tim Ireland and some lesser Tims

BORING FINE PRINT – This is a brand new result (I can’t recall overtaking Berners-Lee before) and Google runs multiple servers offering slightly different results at times, so your mileage may vary, especially if you are signed in to Google and have set some search preferences. These searches are from a UK perspective, and will appear only for UK-based users of Google. Currently I’m 37th in Google’s .com database. Search positioning should not be used as the sole indicator of the quality of your Tim(s).








Posted by Tim Ireland at 30 July 2010

Category: Search Engine Optimisation, Updates

Hi folks.

Bit of an extraordinary post, this one. Apologies for bending your ear.

After a rotten 18+ months facing some quite extraordinary harassment from a range of Conservative-aligned dastards and assorted supporting fruit-loops, I face one of my greatest challenges in the coming months.

It is not a legal challenge or a sudden increase in bullying by anonymous cowards or anything like that; it is a deeply personal challenge, it is as serious as it gets, and it is going to eat a BIG chunk of my time as I work to care for those I love.

I wish I could tell you more, but I’m not at liberty to share the full details, and in the current circumstances I fear there are those who would take advantage of even scant details. (They’ve certainly stooped lower previous to this.)

So…

I will be offline for two weeks from tomorrow.

After that, I hope to continue blogging and working, but you may note that both my blog and my services have now been updated and streamlined.

I hope this will allow me to continue the mix of blogging and work that’s sustained me for the past decade (details of which are now finally available through a single, searchable database, BTW).

If you would like to help, there are two or three things you can do:

1. Check out my new series of articles on the subject of SEO (and the related seminar product) and bring on any link love as you see fit:

SEO Seminar: Understanding Google, Relevance and Optimisation

Relevance #1 – SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
Relevance #2 – Weblogs, Twitter & Social Media Marketing
Relevance #3 – Viral Marketing & Link Generation

2. Refer potentially interested parties to my new seminar/services through other means. Such as email, conversation or carrier pigeon.

3. Cut out the middle man and just send money (a ‘donate’ button has been added, top right, along with the rest of the gubbins).

I apologise for the poor timing, but there’s no getting around the way things are, and the way they will be.

Comments will remain open for today, and will then be suspended for two weeks.

Cheers all.

UPDATE – Comments may be on and off today, too. IntenseDebate is taking much longer than expected to process previous comments. Apologies if your comment is held over. You are in a very long queue behind a series of historical comments.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 20 July 2010

Category: Anne Milton, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Let’s begin with this segment of the interview between Jon Snow and Zac ‘Comedy’ Goldsmith:

Jon Snow: Why is a poster that has your face and your name on then paid for by local councillors who are fighting the council elections?

Zac Goldsmith: Before having the posters designed, which were centrally designed, we [i.e. the Conservative party] checked. We didn’t want to have to do two posters, local election and national elections, because people aren’t going to have two posters in their garden. We wanted one poster for both campaigns and we checked…

Jon Snow: But your poster doesn’t even refer to the council elections!

Zac Goldmsith: It’s says “Vote Conservative”, it was a local election campaign

Jon Snow: “Vote Zac Goldsmith!” Your name.

Zac Goldmsith: It says my name, my picture, and “Vote Conservative”. I am telling you that is absolutely standard across the country.

source/watch

During this exchange, Zac Goldsmith appeared sometimes to give the impression that this was standard in all parties across the country, but for now, let’s assume that Zac is only qualified to make specific claims about the advice given by his own party, and take him at his word that this was a ‘standard’ solution for Conservative candidates “across the country”.

Then, let’s take a look at an example of one of these posters, and divvy up the… er…

george osborne poster

Sorry about that. OK, let’s choose an alternative example using a less controversial candidate, and divvy up the… uh-oh…

robert syms poster

Very well, let’s choose another example of a poster using text only to… oh…

chris white poster

Right, on second thoughts let’s take a look at a generic mock-up of one of these posters and divvy up the real estate.

[Psst! But not before pausing to ask if candidates based their poster count on the actual number of posters deployed, or merely the number of sites… which would not take the figure for replacements into account.]

tory poster mock-up

The first thing you may have noticed is that these posters are pretty uniform in design (and while I have seen a poster saying ‘Re-elect (name)’, I have seen none that say ‘Vote Conservative’ as Zac Goldsmith has claimed*… although, even if he is mistaken, perhaps it’s a mark of the man’s modesty that he couldn’t bring himself to look at his own posters.)

The second thing that may have gained your attention is that the posters are clearly not split 50:50 between the ‘candidate’ part and the ‘Conservatives’ part, but are instead uniformly split 75:25 in favour of the candidate (i.e. the person running in the national election).

So your average voter who may have questions about the appropriateness of this claim to begin with might also start asking why the cost is split 50:50 when the standard design of these posters would suggest that a 75:25 split would be more appropriate…. if we are to deem this practice acceptable at all.

Meanwhile, we must also consider that while some Conservative candidates ran in constituencies that included/overlapped boroughs where local elections were conducted on the same day as the general election, these areas do not match or map over each other precisely. Putting posters throughout a constituency may only cover part of a borough, or part/all of two or more boroughs… and (crucially) some boroughs did not run local elections in 2010.

Were costs for posters in such cases always split 50:50? (Oh, and is this the part where we’re patronisingly assured that it’s all very complicated and this is why the sums work out so neatly?)

And what about those Conservative candidates who ran in the national election in areas where no local elections were taking place anywhere near them… but still split the cost of posters 50:50 anyway?

Take a bow, Anne Milton of Guildford:

document from Anne Milton's election expenses return

I’ve asked Anne Milton about this, but she has so far refused to comment… so excuse me while I try to make sense of it all on my lonesome:

I think in this case we’re expected to believe that the Guildford Conservatives are 100% confident that they will go on to ‘rent’ these posters out a second time in an upcoming election, and it is on this basis they have halved the amount of their candidate’s poster expenditure (on paper).

However, this level of creative accountancy not only assumes that Anne Milton will run again, but also assumes that the Conservatives will not change their logo, and that this MP will not change her appearance. OK, so perhaps it can be argued that logo changes are infrequent but the same cannot be said of changes to the appearance of certain MPs:

Anne Milton from 2003 to 2009

Amateur propagandist and professional bullshit artist Shane Greer claimed in a recent post on the Total Politics website; “when it comes to accounting for the expense of those posters every other campaign uses the same trick”… but even if we only look at two MPs (from one party), it is clear that there are at least two entirely different ‘tricks’, and neither of them pass the smell test.

Finally, even if we are to accept vague assurances from a range of Conservatives that this is practice is widespread (i.e. that all parties are at this) I do not regard this as acceptable, and neither should you, as it would be yet another example of one set of rules for us, and another set of rules guidelines for MPs.

Here’s a challenge for the shiny, new Conservative party and their claims to aspire to a new standard of transparency; this information is already in the public domain, and CCHQ could within hours produce a list of every candidate they fielded, how they split the costs of posters, and on what basis they justify this split. While they’re about it, they could also publish the relevant advice to these candidates that Zac Goldsmith heralds as ‘standard’.

Or (and I think this is far more likely) they could compel the ‘great ignored’ to fuss about and ferret out the details on a candidate-by-candidate basis in the hopes of masking any corruption in their ranks.

*UPDATE (5pm) – Finally found a picture of one of Zac Goldsmith’s posters in Flickr. It does indeed say ‘Vote Conservative’ on the bottom half quarter, so he does have that going for him.

UPDATE (23 Jul) – Channel 4 and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have discovered that Conservative MP Daniel Byles cut the £2,300 bill for his posters to less than £700 on his declaration on the basis that he plans to use them in two future elections. Move over, Paul the Psychic Precognitive Octopus.

Meanwhile, Anne Milton’s office insist that I refer any questions to the Guildford Conservative Association, but they in turn have told me that I cannot expect any answers for over a month, because the agent, Jackie Porter, is on holiday until the end of August.

And CCHQ? They clammed up a few days ago after making some vague claims suggesting that the ‘standard’ advice Zac Goldsmith spoke of came directly from the Electoral Commission.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 July 2010

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

Last Friday, on July 16, Zac Goldsmith appeared on Channel 4 news in a spectacular car-crash of an interview with Jon Snow. If you’ve not watched it yet, I highly recommend that you do, not least because watching this and then reading through some of the reactions from the right will help you to better understand what it means when certain Conservatives assure you that so-and-so ‘destroyed’ or ‘exposed’ an opponent, or that such-and-such a blogger/journalist is ‘vile’ and/or a ‘liar’:

Here’s the accusation Zac Goldsmith chose to lead with (and focus on in one way or another for damn near the whole interview);

“At the end of your report last night, you stood and faced the cameras and lamented the fact that I had spoken to SKY TV, not Channel 4, and you said of course we’d be delighted to have Channel 4, I mean have him appear on Channel 4, at any time. You then repeated, I think twice on Twitter last night to your followers, at 11 o’clock, and later, you said, I’m going to quote ‘He decided to go SKY instead. We’d been asking for a response for a number of days, but until today refused to comment.’ Now, you know that’s not true.”
– Zac Goldsmith to Jon Snow (source/watch)

1. Even if we are to accept Zac Goldsmith’s last minute offer to appear on July 15 as reasonable and sincere (it is my understanding that he would only appear live in a ‘head to head’ confrontation with a relatively junior reporter, and that he made this offer very late in the day), what Jon Snow tweeted was still absolutely true; Channel 4 had indeed asked Zac Goldsmith for a response about this for a number of days (up to a week, in fact) and until the 15th – the day of Jon Snow’s tweet – Goldsmith had refused to comment.

2. The way Zac Goldsmith phrases it makes it appear as if Jon Snow was deliberately and repeatedly taunting/maligning him (late at night, no less) purely for the benefit of his Twitter followers, and this is simply not the case. Jon Snow tweeted what he did in response to a question from Jemima Khan… Zac Goldsmith’s sister. Snow then repeated it the next day in response to a false accusation from one of Jemima Khan’s keener followers that he was dodging that question. The small percentage of people likely to have checked this out for themselves are unlikely to have noticed or fully appreciated what really happened, because Jemima Khan had by then… deleted the questions/accusations she put to Jon Snow!

3. The text from Jemima Khan’s since-deleted tweets to Jon Snow appears below. I’ve reversed the archive order so they read sequentially (i.e. from the top down) and included Jon Snow’s tweets and the tweet from one of Jemima Khan’s followers (Zahid0708) for the full and proper context. The date change (from Jul 15 to Jul 16) most likely results from Jemima responding past midnight… not that there’s anything wrong with that (eh, Zac?).

JemKhan: @jonsnowC4 Why didn’t Ch 4 allow Zac on tonight to respond live to your programme as he requested? Why only a written statement?
[~11PM Jul 15, 2010]

JonSnowC4: @JemKhan he decided to go to Sky instead..we had been asking him for a response for a number of days but until today refused comment
[11:17 PM Jul 15th]

Zahid0708: @jonsnowC4 I’m waiting for your reply to, @JemKhan. Not like a journalist to be lost for words.
[11:53 PM Jul 15th]

JemKhan: @jonsnowC4 Not true. At 5.30pm Zac asked Ch 4 to allow him to give a live response. They refused saying he could only give a written one
[Jul 16, 2010]

JemKhan: @jonsnowC4 So Zac wrote -“I offered at 5.30 to do a live interview addressing the issues raised but was told by Ch 4 that this was not poss”
[Jul 16, 2010]

JemKhan: @jonsnowC4 Unsurprisingly that written response was not read out.
[Jul 16, 2010]

JemKhan: @jonsnowC4 I’ve seen the email exchange with Antony Barnett who presented the programme in which he acknowledges that this is true
[Jul 16, 2010]

JonSnowC4: @Zahid0708 I did reply fifteen minutes after her posting. he refused our request for response over a number of days. chose Sky instead
[8:49 AM Jul 16th]

[You may note that Jon Snow did not respond to Jemima Khan’s further tweets… most likely because she deleted them before he had a chance to read them.]

4. Jemima Khan’s since-deleted tweets also reveal the true nature of Zac Goldsmith’s statement that he complains was not included in the 15 July broadcast. Apparently it did no more than dodge the issue of his election expenses and make the same accusations he was allowed to air repeatedly the very next night (July 16).

5. On July 16 Zac Goldsmith appeared on Channel 4, repeatedly and falsely accusing his hosts of misleading their viewers… when he was doing exactly this with his accusations, aided in no small part by his sister.

6. I confronted Jemima Khan about the deleted tweets on Twitter, and here is the resulting exchange:

Bloggerheads: @JemKhan To repeat: Why delete your Q. to @jonsnowC4 that he answers here? http://j.mp/99XM0S What are you hiding? #zacgoldsmith
[12:14 AM Jul 18]

JemKhan: @bloggerheads Because I delete all correspondence after a few days from timeline. Plus Zac clearly doesn’t need me to fight his battles.
[12:42 AM Jul 18]

Bloggerheads: @JemKhan Interesting policy, deleting correspondence as you go. So if Zac doesn’t need you fighting his battles for him why hound Jon Snow?
[12:53 AM Jul 18]

Bloggerheads: @JemKhan Fact is, Zac relied on the answer to YOUR question on C4. So he DID need you to fight this battle for him http://bit.ly/bNHUBh
[1:01 AM Jul 18]

7. Clearly, Zac Goldsmith does need his sister to fight his battles, as he could not have led his now-infamous C4 interview with those false accusations of his without her since-deleted tweets. However, rather than stand by her position or challenge mine, Jemima Khan chose to delete her answer within minutes of my reply…

8. … but not before signing off with an RT that’s fast becoming a textbook move for people who get caught playing silly buggers on Twitter; belittling the entire exercise of tweeting as inconsequential. Class.

Jemima Khan Twitter account grab








Posted by Tim Ireland at 16 July 2010

Category: Old Media, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Before early 2009, the Conservative MP Patrick Mercer enjoyed a partnership with Glen Jenvey (aka Richard Tims) and Dominic Wightman (aka Dominic Whiteman, aka Richard Walker) that appeared to make a positive contribution in the struggle against extremism/terrorism, and earned him/them considerable media coverage in the process.

Exactly when (or if) his relationship with these men ended is still unknown, but in 2009, Patrick Mercer made some extraordinary moves to shield (and continue to work with) Glen Jenvey, though he must have known or at least suspected at the time that Jenvey was fabricating the evidence of extremism that earned him tabloid coverage.

I also have evidence to hand that shows Mercer shielding conman Dominic Wightman in a similar fashion even earlier than this, and he continued to shield this man he knew to be a liar throughout the period Wightman was manipulating me into attacking one of his former VIGIL partners while manipulating Jenvey into accusing me of being a paedophile (and onward throughout the period when Wightman was manipulating others into publishing my home address alongside further false accusations ranging from involvement with extremists to stalking; Mercer even had the audacity to repeat the latter claim behind closed doors as a cover story that also helped him to avoid awkward questions).

At any stage during 2009, Patrick Mercer could have severely limited Wightman’s capacity to harass his former partners and/or perceived enemies, simply by speaking up. He chose not to.

Of course, standing up and admitting his past/present association with Jenvey and/or Wightman may well have cost him his position as Chair of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism, and it certainly would have destroyed his credibility in media circles, as by this late stage, he had shielded both men even after it became apparent they were not to be trusted; during their association/partnership with him, both men were involved in stunts designed to gain media coverage while stirring up religious hatred.

Now take a look at all the lovely money Patrick Mercer earned writing articles for the media (as revealed in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests);

MERCER, Patrick (Newark)

2. Remunerated employment, office, profession etc
Fees for articles in:
Independent on Sunday. Address: 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5HF. (Up to £5,000)
12 September 2009, received payment of £500. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
The Independent. Address: 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5HF.
12 September 2009, received payment of £160. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Sunday Telegraph (Up to £5,000)
Yorkshire Post (Up to £5,000)
Daily Mirror. Address: MGN Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP. (Up to £5,000)
3 September 2009, received payment of £500. Hours: 1.75 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
3 September 2009, received payment of £350. Hours: 1.25 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Mail on Sunday. Address: Associated Newspapers Limited, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT.
3 July 2009 received payment of £1,200 for article. Hours: 1.5hrs. (Registered 3 August 2009)
16 August 2009, received payment of £750. Hours: 2.5 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
18 August 2009, received payment of £1200. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
6 September 2009, received payment of £800. Hours: 1.25 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Received £1000 for a 1000 word article that took 2.5 hours to write. (Registered 11 January 2010)
The Times. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
13 July 2009 received payment of £500 for article. Hours: 1hr 45mins. (Registered 3 August 2009)
Sunday Times. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
7 September 2009, received payment of £750. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 28 October 2009)
News of the World. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
16 August 2009, received payment of £400. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
The Scotsman. Address: The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS.
26 August 2009, received £100. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT.
26 November 2009, £200 received for article. Hours: 45 mins. (Registered 30 November 2009)
Appearances on Newsnight. Address: BBC, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT.
4 September 2009, received payment of £70. Hours: 40 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
7 September 2009, received payment of £70. Hours: 40 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Security consultant to Olive Group (from April 2008). Address: 6 Eighth Floor, 6 New Street Square, New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 3AQ.
18 August 2009, received payment of £1500. Hours: 24 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Security consultant to Red Amber.
HarperCollins Publishers, 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB.
I received publishing advance for novel from Harper Collins in 2008/09. (Registered 17 June 2009)
I received publishing advance and continuing royalties for novel from Harper Collins in 2009/10 (Registered 17 June 2009)
£4300 received on 20 October 2009 for the synopsis of volume 3 of my novels. Hours: 18 hrs. (30 November 2009)
Received £3,585 for delivery of novel. Hours: 240 hrs. (Registered 11 January 2010)
Received £930 from AP Watt for talking book deal. Address: AP Watt Ltd, 20 John Street, London WC1N 2DR Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Received payment of €25 for completing a telephone interview/questionnaire for Ipsos Mori, 79-81 Borough Road, London, SE1 1FY. Hours: 7mins. Fee donated to charity. (Registered 3 August 2009)

That’s not to say that Patrick Mercer conducted himself in this disgraceful manner only for money; he may have done it for personal/political reasons that we can only guess at for as long as he refuses to discuss the matter.

UPDATE (9:30am) – I called Patrick Mercer to ask if money played a role in his decisions as outlined above. His response; ‘no comment’.

He also had no comment to make about when he ended his relationship with Dominic Wightman, if he is still claiming privately that I ‘stalk’ him (even though he has not filed a police complaint or taken any measures to proceed with civil action), or if he still maintains that my ex-directory home address never passed through his office.

Patrick Mercer did, however, ask a very revealing question during the call; “Are you broadcasting this?”

I answered very clearly/politely that I wasn’t, and asked why he would think I would do something like that. He responded by insisting that I move on to the next question.

I think it’s fair to say that Patrick Mercer is either in contact with Nadine Dorries or at least well aware of her treating his privately-shared accusations as if they were statements of fact.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 13 July 2010

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

In honour of Iain Dale’s repeated attempts to have his slightly-less-rigged blog-poll taken seriously (see also: Top 100 Worst Blogs Poll) I’ve decided to conduct a poll of my own based on my own interests… i.e. exposing liars and watching them squirm like cut snakes.

Instructions follow:

Top 10 Biggest Liars in British Blogging Poll

1. Email me [bloggerheads DOT com AT gmail DOT com] with a list of anywhere from 1 to 3 nominees for ‘biggest liar’ including their name/nickname and a link to their main blog

(Please rank them in order of their dishonesty, according to your own judgement, based on what you can prove.)

2. If a blogger dedicates the majority of their efforts to having an impact of British politics (and tells lies in the process), they qualify as a potential nominee. Yes, even if they’re an expat and/or have recent/past form for skipping the country when the heat’s on.

(People who engage in micro-blogging on Twitter also qualify, but I reserve the right to chart these liars separately. Ditto for journalists/columnists who pretend at blogging on newspaper websites, but couldn’t hold their own in a comments-based conversation if they tried.)

3. For each nominee you list, you must show an example of a clear intent to deceive and provide relevant link(s)/evidence to back it up.

(If there’s no single article that summarises/exposes the evidence, you may consider writing one. If you wish to base your claim that someone is lying on evidence that no-one is allowed to see, then please piss off and have a seat over here, next to Ian Hislop.)

4. Nominations close at midnight on 13 August, 2010

This last measure is designed to discourage/discredit certain people who are likely to dismiss your claim as a personal/political attack while running around making unsubstantiated claims about you or other people being liars in the process. I’ve learned from bitter experience that this comes as naturally to some liars as breathing.

Please note that while a single post/event involving multiple lies should (in theory) be acceptable, you are broadly restricted to one example/event for each nominee, so please make it a good/illustrative one. I’d include an example* or two to guide you on this point, but that might skew the results, and we can’t have that. If I have any doubts about your submission, I’ll ask.

(*I will take the time to clear up a common point of confusion: an error/mistake is not a lie, but it quickly becomes one when the author refuses to acknowledge they were wrong, despite the evidence.)

The final chart will be decided on a balance between how many times a person is nominated (i.e. whose proven lies had the most impact?), how highly they are placed in comparison to others (i.e. how serious do others regard their lies to be?) and the variety/strength of examples listed for each nominee (i.e. who tells the most lies?).

Above all, keep in mind that I will as a result be hosting a post that declares a number of potentially quite litigious people to be some of the biggest liars in British politics, so I will want to be very comfortable with the body of evidence. If you wish you vote/nomination(s) to count for something, the onus is on you to provide what liars hate the most; evidence.

Happy voting!

UPDATE (29 July, 2010) – I’m calling this one off on the basis that I have other priorities at the moment, and won’t have time to give all nominations due care and attention. (calling someone a ‘liar’ is serious business, and you need to be damn sure of your ground). If it’s any consolation, unchecked entries wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway; Iain Dale and Nadine Dorries were streets ahead, and no-one else came within shouting distance (not that this stopped Phil Hendren from shouting anyway).








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