Did Nokia let Jemma Lyon take the fall?

Telegraph – Nokia in plagiarism row after ‘short film award winner disqualified for cheating’Nokia, the mobile phone company, has been forced to disqualify the winner of a British film prize after an investigation found her entry was a direct copy of an earlier work. The technology giant had awarded its Critic’s Award prize in its MiniMo competition to Jemma Lyon for “Forrest Chump”… a lo-fi retelling of the 1994 blockbuster Hollywood film, starring Tom Hanks. It was shot in one take on a mobile phone. But after winning the award earlier this month, the Liverpool John Moores University student faced claims that she had plagiarised her entry from a film called “Forrest Gump in one minute, in one take”.

Hi gang. I’d like to begin, if I may, with a comment posted to the nokiaminimo.com blog on 19 June that Nokia published, but did not answer (source):

Nokia minimo comment #1

Further comments by Will Tribble (the creator of the original film) were also published, but left unanswered. Here’s one example (source):

Nokia minimo comment #2

When Nokia finally did answer in Twitter, they certainly didn’t give any indication that they intended to do anything about it (source #1, source #2):

Nokia minimo tweets

In fact, it wasn’t until after there was a sizeable public outcry that Nokia did anything at all, and for over 24 hours now they have been refusing to discuss the point already acknowledged by MOFILM; “this issue should have been dealt with as soon as it was flagged however it was not”

And I think I might know why.

Here is a further comment that Nokia have published on their blog, but not answered (source):

Nokia minimo comment #3

The circumstances ‘Tina’ describes do not strike me as odd or extraordinary for the following reasons:

– 1. With all due respect to the filmmakers involved, I do not think Nokia were getting the best out of the filmmaking talent that’s available in this country, and I invite you to browse the ‘leaderboard’ to judge this for yourself (if you have the patience).

– 2. Nokia themselves documented two instances in which they aided a filmmaker with props and extras.

– 3. Nokia also describe plans for multiple campus visits on their front page; “Watch out for MOFILM:Labs on your campus, our amazing mobile editing suites that could help turn you into the next Spike Jonze.”

Therefore, while it’s possible that this is an unjustified attempt to damage Nokia or favour an entrant in some way, it seems perfectly plausible to me that Nokia* would send a company/competition representative out on campus to help a production along, especially if the concept was stronger/superior to what they already had (and judging by the judge’s decision, it was). Also, Nokia have been evasive to the point of embarrassment about the matter of plagiarism, and I suspect they have something to hide besides incompetence.

So the question I would put to Nokia is this:

Is there any truth to what ‘Tina’ claims; that Jemma Lyon was encouraged if not directed by a representative of Nokia to copy an existing work and pass it off as her own?

If so, then serious questions have to be asked about the manipulation/exploitation of this young woman and the wider betrayal of trust.

Over to you, Nokia peeps. Any comment?

[*I recognise there may be confusion between Nokia reps/staff and people from MOFILM, but MOFILM have a lot more to lose in terms of artistic credibility, seemed genuinely surprised by the discovery of plagiarism, and were nowhere near as evasive as Nokia about it. Therefore, I am putting the question to Nokia in the first instance.]

[Psst! A message for Jemma Lyon: If there’s any truth to what ‘Tina’ says and you have the raw footage, it may establish the truth of the matter, especially if the coaching described took place during the shoot. You may also wish to contact witnesses, ask them about their intentions, and have them independently write down what they recall if they wish to come forward. Remember; the charge of plagiarism is likely to dog you throughout your career if you plan to continue with filmmaking or any creative endeavour. I encourage you to stand up for your rights if you feel you have been treated unfairly, and I guarantee that if it’s a case of Nokia putting you up to this and then letting you take the fall, then you will not have to fight alone.]

UPDATE 24 June – A statement from Nokia appeared last night:

Nokia MiniMo**

Having continued to investigate the original minimo Critics Choice Award, it appears that one of our student team assisted in the making of the video, including offering their Nokia handset to shoot the short film and suggesting that the film was okay to submit to the competition. We are obviously very disappointed to discover that this has happened. While we believe that the original winner did not intentionally break the terms and conditions of the competition, the submission remains disqualified.

I hate to be fussy, but I think “suggesting that the film was okay to submit to the competition” could be clearer. Did one of the ‘student team’ (an employee of Nokia) originally suggest the idea to copy the film? I look forward to further investigation and some clarification.

[**Looks to me like someone had difficulty thinking of a good headline.]

UPDATE (25 June) – I’ve spoken to the communications team at Nokia, and they have promised a further statement within a week. Their position is that they wish to be thorough and discuss this in detail with all parties involved before saying anything further, which seems reasonable. The ‘disconnect’ that caused myself and others concern (i.e. giving the impression that the issue was being ignored or played down from the 19th to the 22nd, leaving Jemma Lyons to be pilloried as the sole party responsible during this period) appears primarily to be the result of an agency being in charge of the campaign weblog, leaving Nokia once-removed from the action, delaying their awareness of specific comments, and greatly complicating if not ruling out any meaningful dialogue on the blog. Speaking from experience (while tutting at Nokia for not being directly involved as they are with their Twitter channel), this explanation for the disconnect seems reasonable to me, and I trust the issue of this communications shortfall and its consequences will be addressed in the upcoming statement.

Until then, I think the most constructive thing I can do is leave you with some reassurance:

The ‘Nokia rep’ involved was NOT a senior (or even full time) staff member, and while this individual may have actively participated in the plagiarism rather than discouraging it in any way, the original idea to use Will Tribble’s concept/script in full doesn’t appear to have been anything more than a mistake by a young student (amplified greatly by circumstance***); for me the primary concern was that people in a position of power appeared to be betraying their trust and ours, and after speaking to Nokia I’m a lot less concerned about that.

[*** There’s one word that applies to how this whole project was run, and that is ‘sloppy’. I trust that this too will be addressed in the upcoming statement.]

UPDATE (01 July) – Nokia have since issued a further statement in response to a comment/statement submitted to their site by Jemma Lyon (a version of which was submitted to this site, but held over while I attempted to confirm her identity). A mirror of these two statements appears below:

To Whom It May Concern,
I would like to make a statement regarding the alleged plagiarism accusations from the Nokia Minimo movie competition.
I was approached by a Nokia representative who asked me to remake any video in under two minutes for his Nokia assignment. I was unaware that this was a competition at the time and did not receive a brief. The representative also promised to give me a mobile phone in exchange for assisting him with his project. I never received the phone. The Nokia representative was present during the filming of my video and after being asked several times if the film was ok to submit he insisted it was and persisted to show the actors the original video to direct them where to stand and what to do. At no point did the representative inform any of the people involved that the film was breaching the terms and conditions and I was led to believe that the entry was valid. Further to this, Nokia became aware that my entry was based on another video three days prior to sending me on the trip to Cannes, but they still sent me on the trip and refused to act until the public outcry. My name has been tarnished by this event. I have been branded a cheater amongst many other things too awful to write and I have yet to be informed of how Nokia aim to rectify this. I aspire to pursue a career in the creative media industry and this libel is a great hindrance to my progress to achieving the career I want. My efforts to expose the truth have been greatly subdued by Nokia and the rule of law seems not to apply to large powerful corporations in certain instances. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that basing my video on Mr Tribble’s creative work was done in ignorance. I was not aware that I was breaking any rules and the Nokia representative never informed me that I was doing so. I previously had no interest in submitting an entry but I was misled into thinking that I was merely helping the Nokia representative, he has since personally apologised to me for the way I have been treated. Nokia has allowed my name to be dragged through the mud by shrouding the situation with half truths and even some out right lies in order to save their own reputation.

Comment by Jemma [Jemma Lyon] — June 25, 2010 @ 10:18 pm (source)

As per our last public statement, we believe that there was no bad intent from the original winner when entering the MiniMo competition. However, in directly copying an existing piece of content and not declaring that the content was not their original work, they broke the terms of entering the competition. This resulted in the entry being disqualified by MoFilm.

We are in touch directly with the disqualified winner as a statement by them contains a number of allegations about Nokia that don’t represent the information that has been provided to us; this is due to the differing accounts given by the winner and the Nokia student team member.

We apologise for the misleading guidance that the winner received from the Nokia student team member when completing the disqualified MiniMo submission. However, it was ultimately the entrants decision to select the content and submit the video and in doing so, accepting the responsibilities of entry.

We feel that we acted in the best interest of the competition and its participants with the information that has been presented to us.

Communication with our student team member shows that he did offer the entrant a Nokia X6 and we will ensure that the phone is delivered as soon as possible.

Comment by Nokia Minimo — June 29, 2010 @ 5:58 pm (source)

Today, Will Tribble (creator of the original Gump-in-a-minute film) offers us a further update that brings us no closer to a conclusion (currently it is the word of Jemma Lyon against that of a still-unnamed casual employee of Nokia) but does share some detail that Nokia will probably want to respond to.

Will Tribble – Nokia MiniMo competition

So, overall Jemma is claiming that this Nokia guy is almost entirely responsible for making the film all she did was film and and stick it into the competition under his directions, and Nokia didn’t send her back from Cannes, they just told MoFilm they had.

1st July:

I’ve just had a phone chat with a guy from Nokia’s PR team (Mark who runs their Twitter), and this was his stance:

– This Nokia rep was a part-time employee from their street team, who specialise in doing Nokia-related things in universities, etc.

– He was present at the filming and lent his phone. He knew that the film was a lot like our one, but said she should enter it anyway. However he had nothing to do with the planning, directing or editing of it.

– Jemma was sent back on the earliest flight it was safe to send her on, on Thursday morning (she was meant to leave on either Friday or Saturday, he couldn’t remember off the top of his head).

So all in all, I’m not sure what happens next and I have no idea who to believe. I don’t know whether Jemma was left to be the fall girl by Nokia or whether there’s been a load of misunderstandings.

My position is very similar to Will’s at present, but I’ll reserve further comment for now.








Posted in Consume! | Comments Off

Einy90: the adventures of Einy Shah, agent of WIN

The Tories almost lost one of their most effective undercover activists last night, in a criminal act of sabotage that many suspect to be an assassination attempt.

Einy Shah (codename Einy90) showed the pluck she is famous for by shrugging off the attack and immediately taking charge of the relevant investigation, resulting in two strong leads (three if we count ‘broken britain’ as a suspect):

Einy90 tweets live from the crime scene

[For security reasons, Einy90 cannot reveal who has ordered her to cease tweeting or blogging at this time, but we do know that she has cleverly bypassed this order by tweeting her thoughts and then later – sometimes immediately – deleting them (a technique pioneered and approved by the new Tory Minister for the Internets, Jeremy Hunt). Our thanks go to HumphreyCushion, who managed to screen-capture what the EinyBot missed.]

While Einy90’s detective skills are second to none, we would like to take this opportunity to launch a public appeal, and present this photo of Einy90’s bicycle before the attack (source) in the hope that it might trigger someone’s memory and/or provide some clue as to who might have attacked it, and why:

Einy90's bicycle, before the attack

Currently, forces that oppose a Conservative government (i.e. the criminal element) are suspected of what may be a random attack, but it is equally likely that Einy Shah has been specifically targeted in order to silence one of Boris Johnson’s top agents.

Her exact role when working in support of London’s mayor is an official secret, but FOI requests have revealed that she is – or perhaps was – paid £8.50 per hour on a casual basis as part of the Peer Outreach Team, leaving her well funded and free to act with autonomy.

Here, we should stress that this may be a clever cover story designed to throw off nosy leftists, bloggers, journalists and other agents of evil, but Einy90 can be heard in action in this recording of a 2009 radio broadcast (skip to 8:30), feeding a planted question to Boris Johnson with the ruthless efficiency she is famous for.

Obviously, with Boris Johnson approving of such techniques on the wireless, it follows that he would be just as willing to allow it to work in his favour on the interwebs, but one should not place too much weight on this assumption or succumb to any knee-jerk reactions elicited by pejorative terms such as ‘astroturfing’ and ‘sock puppeting’, because this is what secret agents do for a living (see: Andrew Gilligan), plus they do, after all, participate in these relatively minor deceptions while fighting for a the greater good of Conservative dominance:

Andrew Gilligan in OCTOPUPPET: a short film about sock-puppets from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Take, for example, the very real fact that Ken Livingstone is 65 years old. Should the Conservatives be penalised just because lefty spin means this is never mentioned by their activists? Obviously not. Therefore it is both logical and fair that someone like Einy Shah should fill this gap by posing as a disillusioned Labour/left activist who is concerned that poor old Ken is past it (a technique pioneered and approved by the Tory Campaigning Brain, Grant Shapps):

Einy90 in action as 'No2Ken'

Of course, the temptation is there to ask the Mayor’s office if No2Ken this is an official/approved or independent mission, but you’d be better off asking David Cameron for the Trident launch codes; some secrets are too big to share, and if they fell into the wrong hands…. why, even Boris Johnson’s bicycle wouldn’t be safe from the forces of leftism.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | Comments Off

Break the silence, buy radios for Burma

Inspired by Will, I’m going to hand over a little blog real estate to Amnesty International for this important message;

In Burma’s harsh media environment a number of courageous individuals work hard to break through the wall of censorship. Although millions tune into these broadcasts daily, not everybody in Burma has access to the crucial information they provide. With your help we can break the silence for millions more.

Our plan is to get 4,000 radios into the country by the middle of July. With such a tight deadline, we need your help to raise £50,000 by the end of this month. As well as radios people on the ground need other communication tools such as walkie talkies and satellite phones.

Each radio costs £12.50 and that includes batteries and getting the radios inside Burma. Beat the junta – buy a radio

Break the silence, buy radios for Burma from Amnesty International on Vimeo.

They say that knowledge is power, and in the lead up to Burma’s first elections in 20 years the humble radio can play a vital role in empowering the voting public. One radio could help a family or community learn about their rights and show them the international solidarity that Burma’s military regime works so hard to silence.

According to Amnesty International, about 12 people will use each radio, so they hope to offer some 50,000 people inside Burma access to independent news broadcasts. That may not sound like much, but your average bag of seeds ain’t much to look at either.

[Psst! Knowing that someone from AI will be reading this, I’ll take the opportunity to repeat/back requests that they add PayPal as a payment option.]








Posted in Humanity | 1 Comment

Nadine Dorries is unfit to Chair the Health Select Committee

MPs will vote in a secret ballot today on a series of committee positions. During this process, they will decide between the following Conservative MPs for Chair of the Health Select Committee; Sir Paul Beresford, Mr Peter Bone, Mr Stephen Dorrell… and Mrs Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries… as Chair… of the Health Select Committee.

If that sentence doesn’t send a chill down your spine, it should; it’d be bad news for breathers everywhere if it actually came to be.

There are many reasons why this MP is unsuited as Chair of any committee outside of a church fete, but I know you’re busy, so I’ve settled on one. Also, rather than dig up any ‘ancient history’ (such as her conduct while sitting on the Parliamentary Science and Tech Select Committee in 2007), I’m going to take a look at the immediate past.

From 7 October 2009 to 11 May 2010, Nadine Dorries was a member of the Commons Science and Technology Committee (and it is at this point that I would like to depart from the narrative just long enough to dedicate the rest of this post to PDF files everywhere*):

House of Commons : Science and Technology Committee : Formal Minutes : Session 2009-10 [.PDF]

Looking at the introduction to the above minutes, there is a name right under Dorries’ on the membership list that immediately catches my eye:

Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)

Moving on to the minutes themselves, you may note a subtle pattern in the notes on attendance:

The committee met on Wednesday 18 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting..

The committee met again on Wednesday 25 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting..

The committee met again on Monday 30 November 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 2 December 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 9 December 2009. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Mr Ian Cawsey, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 6 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 13 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 20 January 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 27 January 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 3 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 8 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Ian Cawsey, Ian Stewart, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 10 February 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 24 February 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 1 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 3 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 10 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Ian Cawsey, Dr Brian Iddon, and Graham Stringer.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 17 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Monday 22 March 2010 . Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Dr Doug Naysmith, Ian Stewart, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting.

The committee met again on Wednesday 24 March 2010. Members present were Mr Phil Willis (in the Chair), Mr Tim Boswell, Dr Brian Iddon, Graham Stringer, and Dr Evan Harris.

Nadine Dorries did not attend this meeting

During these meetings, the committee discussed a wide range of topics including drug misuse, Swine Flu, homeopathy, and bioengineering. One might expect some or all of these topics to be of passing interest to someone with “a natural leaning to towards all health related issues” (sic) (source) but Dorries did not attend a single meeting of this committee for its entire session (and there is no record of her resigning in the minutes that I can see).

So if Dorries seriously considers herself worthy and capable of holding the position of Chair on the Health Select Commitee, what reason can she give to explain her dismal attendance record in the far less demanding role of ‘member’ in this previous committee?

Well, here’s a clue for you; the jubilant election-night tweet by Nadine Dorries celebrating the defeat of fellow committee member Dr Evan Harris in Oxford West and Abingdon:

@Nadine4mp: Do my eyes and ears deceive me? Has Dr Death really lost his seat ? (screengrab)

(There was an outcry that followed. This tweet upset a great many people and struck even some fellow Tories as unjustified and undignified. Dorries then closed her Twitter feed claiming she only wanted to use it for the election. A week after that, Stephen Timms was stabbed and Dorries went on to use a magic time machine to claim this was the reason why she had closed her Twitter account and her blog, but that’s a whole other story.)

The nickname ‘Dr Death’ has been used against Dr Evan Harris by a small number of opponents, and their typical justification for it is best summarised in this Daily Mail headline from October 2007:

Daily Mail – Meet Dr Death, the Lib Dem MP Evan Harris who backs embryo experiments, euthanasia and freer abortion

There is also compelling evidence to suggest that Nadine Dorries herself may have been the person who initially fed this nickname to the media as an attack device (before later describing it as a nickname used by “most MPs and journalists”).

Collectively, this evidence is at risk of giving some people the impression that Dorries allowed a difference of opinion on some aspects of biological science to become deeply personal… possibly to the extent that she felt unable to function as a member of a committee – despite her commitment to Parliament and the people – purely because Dr Evan Harris was present at the relevant meetings (as he was at every meeting bar one).

Then again, it may be that Nadine Dorries was simply busy doing something else more important at the time… for every single meeting of the entire 09/10 session of this committee (e.g. On 24 February 2010, she did not have time to attend the Commons Science and Technology Committee meeting, but she did have time to speak at a conference about her ‘blog’. Before this, she was unable to attend the 9 December 2009 meeting because she was busy all that week filming a reality TV show (in which she sought to gain advantage by hiding cash in her bra and – it is alleged – drugs in her washbag).

Either way, she’s not looking like the best candidate for Chair of the Health Select Committee. Not by a long shot.

In fact, if you take a look at the wider evidence (some of which is referenced in this post) you may come to the conclusion that I reached a while ago; she’s unfit to hold office as an MP, and only retains the support of the Conservative party because of their reliance on the Christian right and associated fringe elements (i.e. the type of people who portray/describe pro-choice opponents as baby murderers).

But it will be enough today that you understand/appreciate the evidence and share it with your MP before they vote in the relevant ballot.

You might want to hurry, BTW. Commitee voting starts at 10am today.

Thanks for your time. Cheers all.

[*Private joke. Never mind.]

[Don’t get me started on how Nadine Dorries conducts herself at meetings.]

[Psst! While I’ve got your attention; Patrick Mercer is a disgrace, too.]

EPILOGUE (11 June) – (a) Stephen Dorrell was elected chair of the health committee. Not Dorries. Phew. (b) While I expected Nadine Dorries to do better in a secret ballot than she did in her recent whatever-that-was against the Speaker, these numbers (PDF/source) are far higher than I expected, and just a little bit scary. There are up to 143 MPs in this Parliament who either don’t know that Dorries is a delusional liar… or don’t care.








Posted in Christ..., Tories! Tories! Tories! | 3 Comments

Nadine Dorries: still a shameless liar

Nadine Dorries has decided to stand for Chair of the Health Select Committee.

No, really.

And she is now distributing begging letters to other MPs seeking votes/support.

I say letters, because I hear of a variation of this letter published by Tom Watson sent to female MPs that includes a repeated pitch about the need to get a woman in this position, and I suspect that newer MPs will receive yet another version (not unlike this letter [more]) that helpfully guides n00bs through the tricky process of making up their own minds.

Now, there’s a lot that’s wrong about the case that Dorries makes for herself, but if I start picking at every thread in this latest web of lies, deceits and delusions we could be here all day. Instead, allow me to point out the single, bold lie at the very beginning of her letter:

“I have never held any front bench ambition” – Nadine Dorries (source)

Not only do I know this to be a lie, but I can prove it… because Dorries was singing an altogether different tune in this interview (from happier times) in the Telegraph:

“If we were in government and David didn’t give me a front bench position, I would barricade myself inside his office until he did.” – Nadine Dorries (source)

Nadine Dorries is a liar. Fact.

UPDATE – Chris Paul does the honours with a fleet-footed fisking








Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | Comments Off

Burger King: the ultimate whopper

There are two types of tray liners that dominate the market; one goes in fast food trays and the other lines kitty-litter boxes. That crunchy nugget alone should tell you all you need to know, but today we’re going to dig all the way to the bottom for a special treat.

Below is a scan of the latest tray liner for Burger King. Upon closer inspection, your mind may initially refuse to accept what you’re seeing, but it’s exactly what it looks like:

burger king: bite me!

Yes, the cow is angry because you are eating chicken. It is jealous. The cow wants you to eat it instead.

And unlike the pig that wants to be eaten, the cow’s not even bothering to be polite about it.

Again, I should warn you that your mind may betray you at this point as it stubbornly clings to reason… but the cow’s wish that you eat it – and its willingness to stalk you to the bottom of every food tray – is part of a weird, sexual relationship that you’re a willing partner to (according to Burger King).

To remove any doubt about their intentions, here’s the 30 second TVC they released as part of this same Tendercrisp campaign:

Now, don’t get me wrong here; I do eat cow now and again and I do enjoy it. I’ve even dabbled in a little animal husbandry to the extent of having my entire forearm inside a cow’s bottom at one stage, but at no stage did I utter the words “Oh, you love it!” or go on to imagine a cow gaining pleasure from any beef-related mastication at the dinner table.

Putting aside what any given cow may or may not be capable of feeling about any assertion that they gain sexual pleasure and form deep emotional attachments as a result of being minced, grilled and munched; eating the high amounts of sugar, fat and salt in a typical burger triggers a fleeting pleasure response in your brain, and Burger King are clearly trying to associate that with sexual pleasure in order to sell more chicken or beef burgers (a win/win situation from their POV).

I don’t plan on having a cow about it; quite the opposite, actually.

I don’t spend money on companies that knowingly exploit the witless or insult my intelligence, and any money I spend on fast food in the next 3 months will not be spent on Burger King.

(They can count themselves lucky that it stops there; we all know what Tyler Durden would do.)

[In other news, look out for one of life’s biggest lies in response to this; the cry of ‘humourless lefty’ aimed at anyone who dares object to a joke that sells or reinforces a damaging lie… like equating homosexuality with paedophilia, for example, or singing about aid to Gaza as if it’s more than ample and used to arm children with missiles.]








Posted in Consume! | Comments Off

Private Eye magazine (and why I don’t read it anymore)

Excuse me, folks. I know you many of you are waiting for an update on the Nadine Dorries situation, but I want to be absolutely sure of the circumstances in which she made these false allegations before going any further, and this (open) letter is long overdue.

I will continue to update you on Twitter as and when. Cheers all.

To: Ian Hislop
CC: Adam Macqueen, Louis Barfe
From: Tim Ireland
Subject: Your baffling refusal to regret or retract a childish outburst

Ian Hislop

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Ian,

After yesterday’s discussion it’s clear that you are completely averse to a retraction of comments made under the umbrella of your organisation, despite your knowing how they have been used against me in the past and how they are being used against me to this day.

Still, knowing and understanding are two different things (which may be what G.I. Joe was banging on about in between explosions) so here’s what doesn’t fit into a two-minute conversation:

The first aspect you struggle to understand is that I am not being overly precious about my reputation, but instead merely trying to protect my family. I expose liars and get lied about often as a result, but people attacking me online are now armed with my home address thanks to a man called Dominic Wightman. This has resulted in the publication of my home address alongside claims that I’m a stalker of women who sends death threats to MPs. The same people also recruit unwitting newcomers, arming them with these false allegations and my home address (an act which has so far successfully slipped through the cracks between potential criminal and civil action).

Glen Jenvey claims to have been duped in a similar manner in the event that kicked off this major disruption in my life; he was armed (he claims by Wightman) with my home address and the false allegation that I was a convicted paedophile. The result; today, over a year after they were first posted, there are still some 50+ repeats of this dangerous smear live on websites hosted by Google, who refuse to remove them (and often take months to remove private data such as my home address when they claim to have a 48-hour response time).

The second aspect you struggle to understand is that the people most instrumental in these attacks are using Macqueen’s childish outburst and your ongoing silence to part-justify their allegations/actions.

Iain Dale actually tried to take political advantage of my being smeared as a paedophile while simulataneously libelling Tom Watson as a smear merchant. He went on to similarly exploit a man on the brink of suicide and the repeated publication of my home address. He did this primarily by lying about the context, the circumstances and the specifics of attempts to contact him about these matters, falsely giving the impression that he had made a valid complaint of harassment (which quickly evolved into an outright claim of ‘stalking’) and it was your man Adam Macqueen who popped up at the crucial moment on the website of another Private Eye writer, Louis Barfe, likening my correspondence with your magazine to the rantings of a “nutter on a bus”.

Macqueen then went on to lie about the context, the circumstances and the specifics of what he did/said, and I could prove that to you if you’d care to give the evidence some consideration, but I am fearful of how you or your staff would portray any attempt to contact you privately in the circumstances.

Adam Macqueen and Louis Barfe may know Iain Dale from way back when, but people change and nothing changes them faster than politics. Even some of Dale’s most ardent supporters have been forced to admit an even greater change in his behaviour since the Tories finally negotiated their way into government.

Recently, a young man submitted to Dale’s site a polite comment correcting him on one or two claims he made about the expanding protest in Parliament Square. Dale reacted by publicising the man’s home address and reporting him to his employer for shirking… over nothing more than a difference of opinion! He then went on to write and publish a series of comments alleging, theorising and contending all manner of sins without a scrap of evidence to back any of it.

Link:
http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/05/shouldnt-you-be-at-work-mike.html

Iain Dale is such a two-faced cockweasel that people don’t often see this side of him, but I saw it as early as 2006, when he knowingly allowed another ‘lefty’ to be smeared as a paedophile (yes, he has done this twice now), most likely because taking a public stand against it would have harmed his friend and political ally Anne Milton. At the time, political blogging was still in its infancy, but Dale had one of the most influential Tory blogs around and one or more of the people involved in the smear appear to have been regular comment contributors during and after this period.

The latter is hard to prove definitively because Iain Dale is second only to Paul Staines when it comes to running a political blog like an open sewer and allows his supporters to pose as several different people when it suits him, but what can be said for sure is that Dale went on to repeat anonymous comments submitted to his site claiming I had stalked Anne Milton as if this were a statement of fact.

Iain Dale went on to repeat this smear and variations of it, privately with other MPs, and at public events attended by MPs.

These repeated smears have also been used to good effect by his allies.

In fact, Nadine Dorries, a particularly close ally of Iain Dale’s, has followed the same dirty playbook. The only real differences arise from the lessons I have learned from Dale’s assault (don’t give them anything they can distort, and record, record, record).

Despite the urgency of some matters, I have only emailed Nadine Dorries 10 times in the space of two years, and each and every one of these emails related to her falsely accusing me of being mentally unstable and/or a stalker. She went on to misrepresent these emails anyway, portraying these attempts to address the smear of stalking as evidence of stalking (!) mainly by giving a false account of the emails’ contents and their frequency.

(Your man Macqueen pulled much the same stunt. He smeared me as a nutter, and portrayed my attempt to confront him – and you – about that as proof of what he claimed.)

Hearing of these and other lies Dorries was spreading in private and in public, during the recent election I went along to a public hustings event in Flitwick to film proceedings. Dorries reacted by declaring me to be a stalker in front of the entire gathering (twice) before storming out… and neatly avoiding having to answer her constituents on camera as a result.

When smearing me as a stalker, she described hundreds of abusive emails that were never sent and spoke of police investigations that never took place. Since this extraordinary outburst, she has even gone on to publicly liken her position to that of Stephen Timms, as if I am likely to stab the woman! This is no better than (and similar to) her ‘brink of suicide’ hysteria during the expenses scandal, but it carries the added bonus of casting me as a man with a violent, criminal character.

Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjOr9vYg9dQ
http://adamcroft.net/2010/05/nadine-dorries-tim-ireland-and-flitwick-what-really-happened/
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2010/05/to-nadine-dorries.asp

I have no criminal record. I haven’t harassed anyone in the legal sense, and I certainly haven’t ever stalked anyone. I’m also of sound mind; it’s the situation that’s crazy, and you knowingly continue to be a part of it.

For that reason, I cannot trust you or your magazine on any claim where you are the only source. Given Macqueen’s extraordinary distortions over this (that you stand by), I can’t even trust the context in which you present claims where you are not the only source.

This is why, after ten years of buying, reading, trusting, endorsing and publicising your magazine, I don’t read Private Eye any more, and even advise others against trusting you or anything your staff/magazine put forward.

(Have I Got News For You, I turn off because I can’t stand seeing your smug, slap-headed face eating up the applause like a prize felcher, but I won’t pretend it’s unrelated.)

If your writers are going to distort the truth and tell outright lies and you are going to stand by them, it undermines everything you attempt to achieve with your magazine and everything you claim to stand for.

If you were a man of probity and honour, your refusal to be answerable to the PCC would be a grand gesture indeed, but without the vital ingredient of integrity, you’re just another publisher who seeks to avoid accountability… who does so under a banner of holding others to account!

And do you know what? This is exactly my beef with Iain Dale, and it always has been. This is the tabloid mentality I campaigned against long before Dale arrived to declare himself the king of bloggers (in polls he conducted himself), and it is something I will continue to fight for as long as I am able.

I honestly thought I would be fighting that fight with Private Eye at my back, not stabbing it. The way things are shaping up, the newly sober David Yelland appears more principled than you. David Yelland!

I am shocked and saddened because I genuinely thought you were better than this…. or at least smart enough not to be taken in by the likes of Iain Dale and his dirtbag mates.

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com

PS – Regardless of the ill will I feel towards you, I know you have suffered broadly similar attacks in your lifetime (e.g. the closest parallel; Piers Morgan repeatedly smearing you and interfering with your personal life while playing the victim) and I sincerely hope that one day you come to better appreciate the enormity of an accusation of child rape without having to endure the smear yourself. I can also guarantee you that, unlike some ‘leading’ bloggers, if I am ever to confront you over this again, I will do so openly, honestly, and under my own name.

For those who are wondering, I ran into Ian Hislop in Westminster yesterday. He agreed with me about how unacceptable this situation was… right up until the point where I pointed out how his staff were involved and how much good a simple retraction would do. His response; “Conversation over. Not going to happen.”

Ian Hislop also stated quite clearly that he would not be covering any of Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary outbursts in his magazine.

UPDATE (28 May) – A greatly appreciated response from Louis Barfe. Incorrect/misinformed in places, but at least someone’s communicating.

That’s the most insidious thing about this ‘stalker’ smear; the people accusing me do not have to come out and have their allegations tested… because they claim to have been advised not to talk to stalkers. Iain Dale lied, Adam Macqueen lied and Nadine Dorries lied, but any attempt to address those lies is then presented as further evidence of stalking. Witness, for example, Dorries portraying somewhere between 2 and 10 polite emails into hundreds of vile and abusive messages. They are serial liars hiding behind a shared, self-reinforcing lie.

(Yes, I have tried backing off. It only made the people attacking me bolder. They are scum who put me and my family at risk, and their reasons for wanting to silence a left-leaning blogger are pretty easy to guess at.)








Posted in Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 7 Comments

To: Nadine Dorries

“I have lived with the worry that people would think there was no smoke without fire. It was vitally important for me to clear my name.” – Nadine Dorries

Hi folks. What follows is an open letter to Nadine Dorries in response to her latest public outburst, which made the pages of her local newspaper yesterday. What you glimpsed on Twitter and/or in Bedfordshire on Sunday yesterday is barely the half of it; wait until you see what she tried to pull in her full statement. I was literally speechless myself.

click to enlarge/read

Dear Nadine,

As you should be aware, this is my first email to you since 30 March, 2010.

I am reluctant to contact you by email at all given how you have portrayed/described my ten emails to you over the past two years (especially when each and every one of these emails was written in response to your repeated outbursts about me), but you give me little choice.

Today I write to you to demand that you immediately cease broadcasting any further suggestion or assertion that I have a violent, criminal character.

You have presented no evidence to justify it, the claim is extraordinarily damaging, and further (as has been repeatedly explained to you and your associates) it is a claim that puts me and my family at considerable risk because of special circumstances that you appear determined to exploit.

On Friday afternoon (21 April) I was contacted by Bedfordshire on Sunday. In a process you likened to “a form of torture” during the recent expenses scandal, they sought my response to a statement you had issued about the closure of your Twitter account and (I was surprised to hear) your ‘blog’. To their credit, they declined to include the reference to Stephen Timms in the resulting article, which I include in this open letter as clear evidence of your intentions in this matter:

“Tim Ireland lives in Guildford.

“He is not a Mid Bedfordshire resident and therefore I am not answerable or accountable to him in any way whatsoever.

“I have been in consultation regarding his behaviour with the Westminster division of the Metropolitan Police, and the House of Commons police, for more than a year.

“Their advice was to close down my blog and Twitter account and thereby remove the ‘oxygen’ upon which he fed.

“As an election was imminent, I ignored this advice.

“Following the Stephen Timms incident last week I have decided that I should pay attention to the police advice and have therefore closed down both Twitter and my blog for the time being.”

On the 1st sentence, I can only stress that until recently you were convinced that I was from Croydon (and that your fellow Conservative Anne Milton was the MP for Croydon). Some people might take this error as a warning that they should look closer at the evidence they are relying on, but not you apparently.

On the 2nd sentence, I must ask; if you really feel this way, why do you continue to praise and endorse the work of Iain Dale, Paul Staines, Harry Cole, Phil Hendren and other Tory bloggers who repeatedly blog about MPs from outside their constituency? (There’s a wider point about my rights and our democracy that you’re missing, but given your narrow outlook, this question is your best path to it. Good luck.)

The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th sentences are highly defamatory, not least because the innuendo is one of my having a violent, criminal character. You cannot possibly hope to justify this; I have no criminal record for violent crime or any other kind of crime (though I may have strayed over the speed limit when going past a speed camera once). In fact, outside of the activism that occasionally puts us at odds, I’ve not had even a hint of trouble with police; certainly nothing that could support the idea that I am capable of criminal acts and/or violence toward others.

Yet in the above release (as in your outburst at Flitwick hustings) you present as a statement of fact (NOT an expression of opinion) that I have repeatedly engaged in criminal acts and represent such a danger to you that my actions have prompted a police investigation and hampered your capacity to communicate with your constituents to the extent that a range of extraordinary security measures are now required to ensure your safety! Your wish to include specific reference to the stabbing of Stephen Timms makes your intentions absolutely clear in this respect.

This is an allegation so serious, the sting of it would not be removed by a right of reply, and it is an allegation you continue to make in public and in private, despite a total lack of evidence and some very clear dangers to me (i.e. beyond the damage one might normally expect from defamation such as this).

What follows are two emails I sent to your local Conservative association that you were CCed on (i.e. two of only three emails I have sent you this year). I repeat them now to reinforce their plea, and to show the public the “barrage” of messages you have been passing off as “vile” and “abusive”:

-

From: Tim Ireland
*Date: Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 2:19 PM
To: admin@midbedsconservatives.com
Cc: dorriesn@parliament.uk

Dear Andy,

I write to you today about the conduct of Nadine Dorries.

It is no secret that I am highly critical of Dorries’ and have repeatedly blogged about her, but:

1. She cannot classify this as harassment while supporting a campaign like #KerryOut (and/or continuing to endorse those behind it)

2. Dorries has published accusations about my mental state and my involvement in what she claims are attempts to prevent her free access to Twitter, but she cannot back any of this with evidence because none of it is true.

3. I’ve certainly gone out of my way to make Dorries more accountable (in much the same way that her friends pursue other MPs, often with far less justification), but nothing I have done warrants the repeated publication of my home address online, threats of violence, and other measures designed to intimidate me (if not put me at actual risk of harm).

While Dominic Wightman is the main ringleader, a man named Charlie Flowers is behind most of the attacks I have described in #3. He claimed in front of witnesses to have engaged in these online attacks on behalf of Nadine Dorries, and also claims to have emailed her and other pro-Tory bloggers (including Iain Dale and Paul Staines) to advise them of his actions/intentions.

– If Charlie Flowers is telling the truth about these emails:

Nadine Dorries chose not to alert me after receiving those emails. Why is that? Nadine Dorries has since published a vague claim about forwarding some unspecified emails to police, but she won’t provide me with any data that allows me to confirm her story and/or connect her report with my ongoing efforts to end this harassment. Why would she refuse to do this?

– If Charlie Flowers is lying about these emails;

Why would Nadine Dorries refuse the opportunity to immediately discredit him and perhaps even disown the campaign of harassment while she’s at it? Certainly it’s convenient for Nadine and many of her friends if I am so hampered by this harassment that I am unable to press her for answers about the £50 in her bra and the alleged drugs in her wash bag on Tower Block of Commons (just to give you two examples) but perhaps she – or you – can put forward some other likely reason.

– Regardless of the truth about the emails:

Nadine Dorries is well aware of what has been going on these past months and the harassment I have suffered after exposing the lies of two ‘amateur terror experts’ formerly associated with fellow Conservative MP Patrick Mercer. It cannot have escaped her attention that Mercer himself is using false accusations of stalking to avoid any questions about the matter.

Dorries may also be under the impression that I am mentally ill, or she may only be using the accusations/implications she has published about this for further cover/gain. Either way, the claims of mental instability put forward mostly by Dorries and her friends (Iain Dale, Phil Hendren and Harry Cole) rest on their dual assertion that (a) they have no case to answer, and (b) I hold to a grand, nonsensical conspiracy theory. Well, they do have a case to answer, not least because the conspiracy I described to them earlier was recently confirmed as genuine in front of witnesses; Dominic Wightman, Charlie Flowers and their associates have been repeating what these bloggers defend as ‘opinion’ and passing it off as fact. (Whether or not their continued/collective silence on the matter and their refusal to withdraw damaging/dangerous lies about me when they know how they are being used amounts to a wider conspiracy has yet to be established, but certainly can’t be ruled out.)

Dorries is also aware that accusations/’opinions’ published by her and close friend/ally Iain Dale form the bulk of the evidence behind the claims by Charlie Flowers and his associates (the ‘Cheerleaders’) that I am a stalker of women.

To put this into context, to avoid a repeat of earlier web account closures, Flowers and the ‘Cheerleaders’ are now recruiting other people to do their dirty work for them. When briefing new recruits, they tell them I am a stalker of women, and provide them with my home address. I fear for what may happen in those circumstances, especially in light of what happened after Glen Jenvey was convinced (by Dominic Wightman) that I was a convicted paedophile**.

Nadine Dorries could clear the matter up and significantly reduce the relevant dangers with a simple public statement, but she chooses not to.

I’m assuming she does not regard me to be an actual stalker, as she has yet to lodge any formal complaint about me, she hasn’t even threatened civil action, and mostly she is very careful about not identifying anyone when she publishes claims/implications about stalking.

Even if she does regard me to be a stalker, I would contend that relying on a vigilante response is an inappropriate way for an MP to behave.

I would further add that, in the course of investigating the many lies and deceptions of this MP, I have encountered and uncovered quite a lot of personal data. I have no interest in publishing or exploiting this data in any way, and I even take care to avoid reporting/publishing details that might lead people to this same data. (The most recent example of this being a report on [xx name snipped xx], whose personal details are entirely unprotected and all-too-accessible.) I have no interest in ‘harassing’ this MP, and if I did, there would be far easier ways to go about it other than publishing my criticism of her under my own name on a UK-hosted website. By contrast, the Tories who so often attack me on behalf of Nadine Dorries (Iain Dale, Phil Hendren, Harry Cole etc.) do so on US-based websites (making any potential civil action prohibitively expensive) or through a variety of false identities. At least one of Dorries known associates (Phil Hendren) has also sought to intimidate me through the publication of personal data in a related dispute. If you or anyone else seeks a ‘tit for tat’ justification for what Wightman, Flowers and the ‘Cheerleaders’ have been up to, you won’t find one in my corner.

In fact, twice now I have found myself in possession of data that would help Nadine Dorries track anonymous attacks against her, and twice I have offered that data to Dorries unconditionally, and in good faith. Both times I was ignored while Dorries allowed me to cop the blame for some aspect of these anonymous attacks. In the latter instance, she specifically accused me of being behind the attack, and maintained that accusation, even after I published the relevant evidence. This goes beyond poor manners. There’s no other word for it but ‘malice’, and I suspect that malice is what is keeping Nadine Dorries from acting responsibly in this instance.

Assuming the personal animosity Nadine Dorries and her supporters feel towards me hasn’t spilled over into the local Association, I’d like to ask that you take what action you can to resolve this matter. (I could pursue Dorries directly through a number of channels, but I fear any such attempt will be portrayed as ‘further’ harassment and used as an excuse to avoid the entire issue.)

The first matter I’d like to clear up is the claim by Nadine Dorries to have forwarded emails (we can only assume from Flowers and co.) to police somewhere in London. I’d like to know what she forwarded, when she did this, and which branch/officer she forwarded this data to as a matter of urgency.

I would appreciate a response by email today, please.

Tim Ireland

PS – It also bears mentioning that Nadine Dorries implied that the late Frank Branston was somehow stalking her. She refused to withdraw this politically-motivated smear, even after the poor chap passed away.

-

From: Tim Ireland
*Date: Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 8:50 AM
To: admin@midbedsconservatives.com, dorriesn@parliament.uk

Andy,

To repeat: The first matter I’d like to clear up is the claim by Nadine Dorries to have forwarded emails (we can only assume from Flowers and co.) to police somewhere in London. I’d like to know what she forwarded, when she did this, and which branch/officer she forwarded this data to as a matter of urgency.

It has been over a month now, and you’ve not even afforded me the courtesy of a reply. I fear your sense of urgency is lacking.

Meanwhile, the people orchestrating this campaign of harassment continue to benefit from Nadine Dorries’ silence and continue to put me and my family at risk with anonymous claims of stalking published alongside my home address. Regardless of what Dorries thinks of me personally, she cannot excuse giving tacit approval to vigilantes like Charlie Flowers. Further, if she is telling the truth about her report, she is withholding information that would help me draw together an effective case against the people attacking me in this way. [xx snip detail xx]

There is no legal obstacle I’m aware of that would prevent Nadine Dorries from informing me of the name of the officer (or at least the department/station) she reported this matter to. Unless he was lying about having reported it, obviously, in which case her best bet (and yours) would be to refuse to answer any questions about it and yell ‘stalker’ at me if I dare press the matter.

Please advise me today of your intentions regarding this matter.

Tim Ireland

-

I have not yet heard back from the Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Association, and similarly you have shared nothing useful with me, when you seem to be witholding evidence that might establish (and thereby halt/minimise) the harassment targeting me, and even appear at times to be taking active measures to exacerbate this ongoing problem (while claiming all the while that it is you who are the true victim of harassment)

If you’ll pardon the vernacular; just what in the bloody hell are you playing at?

You are quite aware of the danger you expose me to when you cry ‘stalker’, and rather than address/minimise the danger you appear to be going out of your way to maximise it (by the very act of accusing me of being a danger to you).

That you would defame me, especially in this way, is a disgrace. You have no credible case to put to the police (who would have contacted me long before now if matters were anywhere near as serious as you make out), and instead you seek to air wholly unsubtantiated statements about my being guilty of stalking you… and capable of worse!

Regardless of what you believe, there can be no excuse for your repeated airings of these statements when you know how certain vigilante elements are reacting to them.

In closing, I will repeat my demand that you cease any further suggestion or assertion that I have a violent, criminal character immediately.

If you cannot understand the relevant moral and legal imperatives – that apply regardless of which constituency I live in – then please have someone explain them to you (and by that, I mean someone other than Donal Blaney).

Also, if you seriously claim to have received hundreds of abusive emails sent by me or in my name, then please honour my FOI/DPA request and share this and other relevant data with me. I would happily help you to trace/identify the source of these hundreds of emails, regardless of potential outcome (all I know for sure is that they are not coming from me).

Please acknowledge receipt of this email immediately, and reply soonest.

Tim Ireland

PS – I just saw you turn your back on the Speaker. Class act. You’re a credit to democracy.

-

[*Note how more than a month passes between these urgent requests. I was very concerned about how Dorries might misrepresent multiple attempts to contact her. Surprise, surprise, she went ahead and misrepresented these few emails as a “barrage” anyway.]

[**The claim that Dominic Wightman convinced Glen Jenvey I was a convicted paedophile has been published previous to this, but I now have further evidence to support that assertion, which is why it is stronger in this (now public) letter. I repeat this and all other relevant/tangential assertions here, in public, with confidence. Dominic Wightman has published an account where he described giving drunken residents in my village a tour of my street to see the front door of “the biggest nutter, stalker on the web”, and he makes similar dubious claims to Dorries about ‘advice’ he has received from police. The ‘Cheerleaders’ also claim to have enjoyed positive exchanges with police, extending at one stage to the quite false assertion that I have “37 retraint orders” (sic) against me. For the record; I have no restraint orders against me. Acting mostly as a bankrupt and/or beyond the reach of affordable civil action, Wightman has published a series of false claims about me, some of which he is merely confused about, but most of which he knows to be outright lies. His willingness to knowingly lie should be balanced with his claim to have contacted Iain Dale and his claim to have received positive communication from a large number of unnamed Tory bloggers about this matter, but the overlap in tactics and the similarity of claims/inventions from the two camps cannot be denied; the two camps are clearly communicating to some degree, even if they are only responding to what the other says or does in public.]

UPDATE (28 May) – Chris Paul shows that Nadine Dorries deleted her Twitter account ONE WEEK BEFORE the Stephen Timms incident (and her ‘blog’ not long after that). She can’t even blame mild hysteria for referencing it, then. I struggle to see what options are left other than malice, delusion or time travel.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 2 Comments

Jeremy Hunt: a minister and his memory hole

My main issue with our new Minister for the Internets is the scant regard he has for the general web community. At times, it’s almost as if our ways are completely alien to him, and stuff that seems obvious or second nature to us completely escapes him. That, or he’s one of those two-faced bastards who really don’t give a tuppeny stuff.

[Psst! I suspect the latter given the way he’s repeatedly turned a blind eye to local Tory web activists smearing an opponent as a paedophile (and me as a computer criminal). You need to be a special brand of bastard to stand by and allow that kind of stuff to go on in your neighbourhood when it suits you.]

Recently, I revealed that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t maintain an archive on his ‘blog'; he just throws old entries away, comments and all, never to appear again. He doesn’t even understand (or care) how impolite this is to the people who trust him with those comments.

And now the election is over and he’s got what he wanted from his Twitter audience, Jeremy Hunt has just deleted almost every tweet he made during the election. Tellingly, he has had time to make dozens of manual deletions, but has not even bothered to update his profile, which still reads as follows:

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for South West Surrey and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Here’s a screen capture of the only tweets left on his Twitter account today:

Jeremy Hunt respects you THIS much

And here, for the record, are twenty of the tweets that Jeremy Hunt tried to erase from history.

Note how it begins with a pledge to his constituents; the link to this has been erased, and the pledge itself is also due for deletion soon (along with everything else that turns up on his ‘blog’). Does Jeremy Hunt not know or care what message this sends about his commitment to that pledge or any other?

– My pledge to South West Surrey: http://www.jeremyhunt.org/blog.aspx
12:41 PM May 3rd via web

– Good canvassing in Haslemere yesterday, visiting Frensham, Wrecclesham, Godalming & North Farnham today
9:06 AM May 1st via Twikini

– Nick Clegg contradicted LD policy on benefits, Steve Webb says JSA should be unconditional #leadersdebate
9:47 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Oh so Nick does support anmesty now….#leadersdebate
9:27 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– U turn on anmesty by Clegg after u turn on euro – what next? #leadersdebate
9:25 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Ahem Brown visited manufacturer today where worker told him company was flourishing DESPITE him #leadersdebate
9:15 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Clegg shameless u turn distancing himself from euro which he championed last year #leadersdebate
9:06 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– So Nick Clegg has never accepted donations from fund managers then? Mmmmm#leadersdebate
9:02 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Best explanation from DC ever on why Conservatives will rein in bankers #leadersdebate
8:59 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Who are the vice chancellors of parties Nick?#leadersdebate
8:46 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Keep grinning Gordon wins us millions of votes #leadersdebate
8:44 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Just arriving in Chippenham to help our brilliant candidate Wilfred EJ & greeted by a downpour. Need a Wiltshire cuppa
12:30 PM Apr 29th via Twikini

– Just been canvassing in Portsmouth with our candidate Flick Drummond & didn’t meet a single LibDem voter
11:05 AM Apr 29th via Twikini

Wilkinson_David: Off to BBC London Election Special in Stratford with @jowellt @jeremy_hunt @thomasbrake @georgegalloway Hope I can get a question in
4:48 PM Apr 27th via web
Retweeted by Jeremy_Hunt

#leadersdebate Gordon Brown just made biggest gaffe of campaign but denying responsibility for Labour leaflets
9:02 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

– Don’t think Miriam will be inviting DC for tea and cake #leadersdebate
8:54 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

– @leadersdebate best exposition ever from DC of Big Society
8:50 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

– @leadersdebate Clegg ‘u can’t keep a lid on sin’ does he want to be next pope?
8:39 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

– @leadersdebate Nick Clegg script: there’s always an easy answer even when there isn’t e.g nuclear
8:33 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

– @leadersdebate Brown hasn’t flown because he shut the flipping airspace
8:27 PM Apr 22nd via Twikini

[Twitter users may note that Hunt begins the Leaders’ Debate a little bit confused about the difference between a username and a hashtag. I’ve left these dead links in place, as they’re instructive. You may also note that there are no replies. Yes, this sample is typical. To Hunt, Twitter was very much a one-way channel.]

UPDATE (1pm) – Jeremy Hunt has responded by (finally) updating his profile… and deleting the three remaining tweets on his account!

I think by this stage it’s pretty safe to guess what the underlying message is from the new Minister for the Internets:

Correction: Jeremy Hunt respects you THIS much

UPDATE (8pm) – Almost forgot to update with a link to today’s Telegraph article, including a response from Mr Hunt’s office:

Telegraph – Jeremy Hunt deletes all tweets critical of Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats: Many of Mr Hunt’s tweets criticising the Lib Dems are potentially embarrassing given the Lib-Con coalition, but a spokeswoman for the minister denied there was any attempt to airbrush the past. All of the South West Surrey MP’s campaign tweets have now been deleted because his ministerial role represents “a new chapter and we are starting afresh”, she said. The spokeswoman added: “They were pre-government and we are now tweeting post-government. He is going to carry on tweeting, and his updates will appear on the DCMS website.” She confirmed that Mr Hunt updated his Twitter account personally, and would continue to do so. He has more than 3,000 followers.

Jeremy Hunt later attempted to reassure us in person with this tweet, in which he appears to imply that some concerns may not be genuine:

Correction: Jeremy Hunt respects you so VERY much

Problem is, no-one’s really buying it, and that he thinks this to be the issue shows once again that Hunt hasn’t even begun to get it.

[Psst! Jeremy! It is not just about what you do/don’t have to hide. It is about the way you pretend that things were never said. It is about the way you refuse to stand by what you publish and simply erase it instead. If those tweets were of no consequence, then why not leave them be? If you regretted them and didn’t wish to stand by them, why not issue a retraction and/or an apology to Nick Clegg (and others)? Oh, and perhaps have the courtesy to explain to us voters why your position has changed on any/all of it. Don’t pretend the latter concept is insignificant or alien to you; during the election and long before that, throughout your political career, you’ve challenged others to stand by or account for their past statements, and you damn well know it.]








Posted in Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 1 Comment

Nadine Dorries declares her main home to be in Mid Bedfordshire

As the Telegraph also make clear a week too late, Nadine Dorries was already under investigation over expenses before this post-election bombshell which the Sunday Times appear to have been sitting on for at least a fortnight; not for any £10,000 payments (and more!) paid to her close friend Lynn Elson for ‘consultation’ and pamphlets that look like this, but for expenses claims she made on the ‘second’ home that many people suspect to be her main home:

Mrs Dorries, who last week retained her Mid Bedfordshire seat, is already being investigated over claims for a “second home” where she is alleged to spend most of her time. (Telegraph)

Dorries claims her modest cottage in the Cotswolds, 55 miles from her constituency, is her main home. This means she can claim a second-home allowance for her constituency home. (Times)

A Conservative MP who claimed £60,000 in “second home” allowances tells the House of Commons that her “main home” is a tiny rented cottage in the Cotswolds, miles away from Parliament and her constituency. (Telegraph)

Last month I received numerous reports that Dorries was telling a series of lies and half-truths at her ‘unscripted’ events and local hustings. A typical half-truth, obviously designed to mislead people about the above, was that she had not taken out a mortgage at any stage (and therefore cannot have ‘flipped’ homes as most people understood/used the term). But Dorries did clearly at one stage tell her constituents that her main home was in Mid Bedfordshire while assuring the Commons Fees Office (and later the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) that her main home was “somewhere else” in the Cotswolds.

This alone could have cost Dorries her job, so you’d think she’d be careful not to make this same ‘error’ again, yes?

Erm, no. Here she is declaring an address in Mid Bedfordshire to be her main home on her nomination papers (which is also how her address would appear on the ballot paper on polling day):

(Extract from) Mid Beds Statement of Nominations (.PDF)

extract from Mid Beds nomination form for ge2010

So once again Nadine Dorries has been caught telling press and Parliamentary authorities one thing while telling her constituents another. No wonder she took such extraordinary measures to avoid a situation where she might be recorded on camera when faced with a question about expenses; she wanted to avoid telling the truth, but she couldn’t afford to be caught on camera telling a lie.

NOTE – All candidates used to have to provide their home address for display on the ballot paper. The rules were changed recently to allow candidates more privacy while still declaring where they lived. Nadine’s usual hysterical outburst about her right/need to keep her first/second/whatever home address a secret won’t do her any good here:

Home address form – Your home address form must state your home address in full. If you do not want your address to be made public and to appear on the ballot paper, you must state the constituency in which your home address is situated. (Electoral Commission guidance for nominees; August 2009)








Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | 3 Comments