Carol Thatcher: weblogs, frogs and golliwogs

The Times – Carol Thatcher’s golliwog remarks ‘made eyes roll in the green room’: Thatcher, who had been drinking, her spokeswoman admitted, is alleged to have referred to “the golliwog frog”, thought to be a reference to the French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who has a white French mother and a black Congolese father. As some rolled their eyes and others challenged Thatcher about her use of the word, she is said to have responded, “well, he’s half-golliwog”, prompting Brand to leave the room in disgust.

1. Carol Thatcher just ran out of wiggle-room. I don’t care what was on her damn jam jars while she was clearly failing to grow up, she needs to be pulled up on this to some extent (while stopping short, one would hope, of burning the poor dear at the stake).

2. Derek Draper’s dishonest attack on Iain Dale has blinded a few people to Dale’s bad habit of vouching for people on the basis of what he assumes/asserts took place at an event that he himself did not witness. Compare his certainty that Carol Thatcher did not use/mean the word ‘golliwog’ in a bad way to his certainty that police questioning Damian Green did use/mean the word ‘grooming’ word in a bad way. Dale is a Tory propagandist, and people should stop expecting objectivity from his corner.

Posted in Tolerance | 5 Comments

PCC ‘in league with terrorists’ outrage shock exclusive

Hi folks! Regulars at Bloggerheads will know by now that I’m simply fascinated by the craft of sock-puppetry, and I have a cracker of a sock-puppet to show you.

[Note – If this is of little to no interest to you, then I invite you to instead enjoy the exciting events currently unfolding over at the Bad Science weblog; copyright claims are being used to dodge scrutiny. Hat-tip to Thomas for the heads-up.]

So far, an unknown number of anonymous web users operating primarily via the Lionheart weblog have been attempting to muddy the waters on the Glen Jenvey affair by claiming that the website hosted at is a terrorist/fundamentalist/extremist hive, hostel, hotbed, and what have you, as Jenvey himself was busy claiming after posing as an extremist on that website and passing off his planted comments as genuine.

I encountered a fresh pro-Jenvey sock-puppet this morning when I saw it being used to remove the following text from the Wikipedia entry for Glen Jenvey:


Jenvey has been accused of falsifying evidence of Islamist threats. On 7 January 2009 the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun ran an exclusive front page story claiming that participants in a discussion on, a British Muslim internet forum, had made a “hate hit list” of British Jews to be targeted by extremists over the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Jenvey was quoted in the article as an anti-terror expert, stating, “Those listed [on the forum] should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.”

The UK magazine Private Eye discovered that Jenvey, posting to the forum under the pseudonym “Abuislam”, was the only forum member promoting a hate campaign, while other members promoted peaceful advocacy. The story has since been removed from The Sun’s website following complaints to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission.[5][6]

The name of the profile used for the removal of this text is PCCLIES, and as that name suggests, the person behind it seeks to clear Jenvey’s name not only by hurling accusations at his accusers, but also by hurling accusations at the industry body currently investigating their accusations.

Clear so far? Good.

I’ve saved a screen capture of three of the main edits of five used to make this latest accusation, and you can follow those edits yourself in this order – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – but I thought you might like to see what the final accusation would look like if it had been written in red crayon:

Tch. What is it about Jenvey’s many anonymous supporters than their uniform difficulty with spelling and apostrophes?

[Psst! I know the claim about Private Eye discovering the Jenvey/Abuislam link is highly questionable, but there’s not a lot I can do about it until Private Eye admits in print that perhaps the anonymous tipster they’ve claimed elsewhere as their source obtained their information by the novel means of reading my website. There’s also the small matter of one of Private Eye’s own people emailing me and seeking help with the story prior to their publication, a hitherto-unpublished fact that I’m far more inclined to go public with now that I’ve emailed them about this and not had so much as the courtesy of a reply. Anyway, the short version is this is the way Wikipedia works, and not a lot can be done about it until the peeps at Private Eye decide to be a little more reasonable. Please do not try to correct this anomaly via Wikipedia, no matter how unfair it may seem.]

Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement | 7 Comments

Boy Miliband boldly stands aside on torture

Telegraph – David Miliband says Britain right on ‘torture evidence’ refusal: He told MPs that the American authorities did not want documents discussing the Binyam Mohamed case to be made public, and that defying their wishes would not be in Britain’s national interest. He denied that the US had threatened to “break off” intelligence co-operation with the UK if the intelligence was revealed – apparently contradicting a ruling by two senior High Court judges who accused the Americans of putting pressure on the court.

Can anyone explain to me how matters and attitudes have improved since the previous administration?

UPDATE – Lib Dem Voice – David Miliband – two questions no-one asked him

Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, The War on Stupid | Comments Off

Emails to Downing Street delivered

Tom has kindly been keeping tabs on the Downing Street email situation, and he tells me that they’re a month away from a fix.

The emails I’ve gathered have been faxed to Downing Street, with the following message:

Hello, Downing Street Peeps.

The following are emails sent to to with the promise of hand-delivery to Downing Street.

I’ve just been informed that the email facility for the PM will (finally) be replaced within a month. This makes any kind of fuss over this surplus to requirements, so I’m faxing the data instead.

However, at some stage, if it’s not too much trouble, I would appreciate knowing just why it’s taken 6 months to fix or build a system that can process maybe 250 emails a day, especially when so many of them can be safely ignored, addressed with a ‘Gordon Brown thanks you for your letter’ reply, or passed on to the relevant authority.

Tim Ireland

PS – I don’t care if you’ve done away with the old system, you jokers still owe me £2000… or, in lieu of that, the simple courtesy of acknowledgement.

That “maybe 250 emails a day” figure is what I’ve calculated as the maximum everyday flow of emails based on the number of people searching for ways to email Gordon Brown, the PM, the Prime Minister, etc. (i.e. how many emails they would get if everybody looking for a way to do it actually wrote and sent something, which isn’t at all likely).

I didn’t collect anywhere near that many of course, but the small sample I did collect showed me that the types of email sent to the PM have not changed over the past few years. All that was missing from my checklist was some guy having a back-and-forth with his MP before dramatically CCing the PM on their conversation (“A-ha! You’re in for it now!”)

Initially, I wanted to use the opportunity to send an email myself (probing for a response about that lovely Mr Draper, who claims their blessing), but it can wait. For a bit. Maybe.

Draper’s way is widely recognised as manufactured and fraudulent, but the following PR parallels may be of interest;

1. Draper speaking of himself in third person in his comment-free updates column. Elements of Drudge and Staines.

2. People from his circle billing him as a ‘stalwart’ when he’s been online for two bloody weeks. Elements of Dale, Staines and Hilton.

These people bluffed their way through and bullshitted their way past pretty much everything that makes a blog a blog, and fast-tracked their way to influence by the simple measure of declaring themselves important.

The only difference between them and Draper is that they’ve had more time to perfect their technique.

Allowing Draper rope is a risk.

(Unless of course the plan is to match the current circle of self-promoting pseudo-bloggers like-for-like in pitched battles of rigged arguments and manufactured outrage, in which case development is well ahead of schedule and you should be celebrating with boat drinks before the year is out. We’ve already reached a stage where every conversation needs two threads, because neither party can trust the other to host it.)

Related Bloggage:
Turbulent Cleric – Thatcher was crass but Draper is the real villain!

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

Snow day!

A small selection of photos I took when out and about today.

In other news, Iain Dale is waving the ‘fascist’ tag about, and David Cameron throws like a girl.

Posted in Photos | 3 Comments

What could possibly go wrong?

Press Gazette – Revised Sun freelance rates ‘lowest on Fleet Street’: The Sun and The Times have cut the freelance rates paid for stories and pictures to levels condemned as “completely unacceptable” by the National Association of News and Picture Agencies. The move follows a review of operations which could also see widespread cuts to staff journalists across News International – especially among production staff, according to sources at Wapping… Sun deputy managing editor Richard Barun has informed news agencies of the cuts to rates in a letter in which he insists that The Sun remains the “the biggest overall payer in the business”. He said: “I’m please to say that The Sun will continue to pay more than any of our rivals for great exclusive words and pictures.”

The Sun, by their own admission, concentrate their spending on splash at the expense of substance, to a greater extent than any competitor… and they seem quite proud of it.

You know what this story needs for that added human touch? This story needs an extra quote or two… preferably from a member of the National Association of News and Picture Agencies.

Say… the South West News Service, if I were to choose a member agency at random.


Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 2 Comments

Jenvey: another long and boring post about sock puppets

Read Richard Bartholomew and this comment thread on the subject of Lionheart’s serial retro-moderation and other sudden changes of heart.

Richard Bartholomew reports that Lionheart is back, and defending Glen Jenvey.

All of the comments presently under that latest Lionheart post about Jenvey are, in my view, most probably from Jenvey.

Most if not all are unmistakably written by the same person.

And reading them may amuse you, the readers of this obscure blog.

Data below the fold.

[———– fold ————–]

Continue reading

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 14 Comments

So the Tories are pro-SOCPA now?

The Herald – Action urged on Parliament Square protest camp: The protest camp in Parliament Square is a “national embarrassment” that is “permanently disfiguring” London, senior Tories said today. Shadow Commons leader Alan Duncan and Sir Patrick Cormack urged the Government to ban the “grotty” and “squalid” row of tents from outside the Palace of Westminster.

Perhaps their good leader or the nearest underling could make their position on sections 132-138 of SOCPA clear. Just so there’s no confusion about what they want and when they want it.

Posted in The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 3 Comments

Before I forget (again)

This is one hell of a first post. It is at the very upper end of the scale. You should not feel bad about not being this good on your first time out.

Put aside where Jonathan might be agreeing with me about this or that, and look at the quality of the device. Admire the smooth, sharp edges.

Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Updates | Comments Off

BBC: I have to agree

My original point stands; if it comes to a choice between the BBC and Murdoch, I still choose the BBC and will continue to wear this button myself…

Click here to find out why.

…but it’s not a happy state of affairs if that’s about the only comparison that works out in the BBC’s favour:

Doctor Vee – A BBC scared of its own shadow isn’t worth it

The BBC’s primary problems date back, as we all know, to this same event. (Take another bow, Gilligan.) In their since-weakened state, they’ve capitulated needlessly – in varying degrees – to tabloid newspapers, pressure groups, and even clearly-confused nuisances.

The refusal to run the Gaza appeal, a move matched step-for-step by Murdoch-owned rival SKY, is a new low in this unmistakable pattern of decline. Their only defence of their position on the appeal is that they are afraid of how it will look, and as a result they damage their reputation further by being just a little too sensitive about it.

And I don’t expect the Conservatives to act as a positive, rejuvenating force, do you?

In as little as a year or two, we could be looking at the first real fruit of the liberal media myth; a fully-crippled BBC.

A pathetic beast brought down by a mob of monstrous moguls screaming ‘monster’.

(Of course, if this were a movie, we would all gang together, there’d be a musical montage*, and a tougher, more strident BBC would emerge, immediately ready to kick arse. But this isn’t a movie, and right now it looks like our starting point is a hospital room. Critical ward.)

[edit: Double-post fixed. Thanks to poons for the heads-up.]


Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off