It’s time to start cleaning up The Sun’s mess

I’ve just wasted well over a day chasing The Sun in an attempt to get them to explain exactly why their Glen Jenvey article was removed.

Ideally, I would have liked to have gone from this starting point to a suggestion that they clean up their own mess and chase the many repeats and echoes of their article, but with the relevant information or some form of statement alone, I could have done this myself.

Now I’m forced to do so without even the aid of specifics or a statement.

I suspected the exercise would be a massive waste of time, but I wanted to give The Sun the opportunity for a number of reasons, the primary one being my wish to show you how readily they will abandon a false claim and yet do little or nothing to correct or arrest the wider impact it might have.

(This follows my proving that The Sun’s website comments are there purely for show, and provide no opportunity for engagement and no channel for accountability.)

Simply withdrawing the article from their website protects no-one but themselves.

Also, the withdrawal of the article from the website does not amount to a retraction, and one is clearly due in this case, as they have smeared a small community and a wider one with their nonsense.

But before I chase that retraction, it is now time for us to clean up The Sun’s mess while everyone watches them hiding in a corner (desperately hoping that not too many people notice that they based a front-page article on the lies of a man who is either a fraud or a fantasist).

Septicisle has already made a great start with input from a Telegraph journalist, published here on the Sun Lies’ blog.

Would anyone else like to help?

The clean-up project may be coordinated here or at The Sun: Tabloid Lies blog, but let’s get started with a show of hands. Via email is fine if you’re shy.

[Note #1 – mikkimoose has already done LOTS, so if he insists on taking on a task, I’m going to insist that it’s a fun one.]

[Note #2 – I’m sure The Sun will make some attempt(s) to correct their error once the pressure is on; in fact, I suspect they’ll go for Glen Jenvey in much the same way that they went for Karen Matthews, in the dim hope that their presently shouting in one direction will drown out their past shouting in an entirely opposite direction. But until that happens, it’s up to me… and you.]








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 2 Comments

It’s time for you to go…

‘Goodbye George’ music videos have been appearing since late last year, and here’s one of them (the video borrows left, right and centre, but I do like the song):

UPDATE – MotherJones.com are running a video competition, but if that’s not your bag, try instead this great timeline… or this one.








Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off

South West Trains: still crap

I’d like you to meet Tom, who has started his own South West Trains diary. Good luck to you, Tom!

I should maybe restart with one of my own; on Monday I witnessed a train splitting and one half departing Guildford station without a shunter or platform guard present. I would’ve complained at the manager’s office, but it was empty.

The shunters were, according to a peeved driver, in the staff room playing Xbox or something; they certainly weren’t being held up on any of the other platforms or doing any work.

I called the SWT helpline… and they didn’t believe me!

Bunch. Of. Jobsworths.








Posted in Consume! | 2 Comments

Tony Blair finally gets his first reach-around

As reported by the BBC and in the Guardian, Times and Daily Mail, Tony Blair received his Medal of Freedom today, but did not receive his long-delayed* Congressional Gold Medal at the same ceremony.

(*Phew, I almost said ‘overdue’ then; like he was actually due anything other than a war crimes trial.)

He may yet receive the additional medal in a further charade in Washington, but until that second medal appears the results of this competition cannot be announced.

However… while we wait to discover what is actually on the medal, we do have what appears to be a pretty clear indication in a hopefully-accurate report from this previously-trusted newspaper:

Independent – Unveiled at last: Tony Blair, medallion man: The medal – unlike the standard Ruritanian presidential medal of freedom that Mr Blair will receive from his old buddy George Bush on Tuesday – allows the recipient “input” into its design. This may, in the case of Britain’s own pretty straight kinda guy, have been a mistake. The design features, on the reverse, a pair of clasped hands symbolising the closeness of two allies who shared even the same brand of toothpaste. On the obverse is a quotation from a speech Mr Blair made to Congress in July 2003. This circles a likeness of the former prime minister, which is approximately right, save for the shock of Bill Clintonesque hair. It was aspects of this medal’s design that ruffled the shirt front of the US Commission of Fine Arts, and prompted its secretary, one Thomas E Luebke, to write to the US Mint. In a letter dated 28 November 2008, he wrote: “The commission members expressed dissatisfaction with the design of the medal honouring Mr Blair and requested that it be revised and resubmitted, commenting that his likeness on the proposed obverse is awkward and does not convey his vitality. They emphasised that the direct adaptation of a photograph – the method used to generate this design – is not appropriate for developing numismatic sculpture… For the reverse, the commission questioned the inclusion of several elements of equal prominence, suggesting that the clasped hands be deleted.” The response of the Mint – which has the final say – is not known, but it is understood that the final look of the medal will be close to that illustrated here.

Those who are (theoretically) in the lead on the accuracy front are those with suggestions that Blair would put his own face on it, his own words, and/or some form of religious statement – with the last option depending a great deal on the context in which the “clasped hands” are presented, if indeed they appear at all.

(Psst! In other news, Little Johnnie Howard has ideas well above his previously-held station.)








Posted in Tony 'King Blair | Comments Off

The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known

Craig Murray has stuck two fingers up at Schillings and Tim Spicer and offered his latest book as a free download. He has even invited others to host the relevant file and repeat the offer, ensuring that by now the cat is out of the bag, over the horizon, and busy multiplying.

Details are here if you need them.

I am going to humbly submit that those who can afford to do so actually buy a copy from Craig, and you can do so here.








Posted in Consume! | Comments Off

Cllr Ben Grower cannot be trusted

Bournemouth Echo – Website praise for Bournemouth councillor comes from… councillor!: ‘Omegaman’ is registered with an address containing Cllr Grower’s name, which does not appear to other readers. When contacted, Cllr Grower initially suggested several people had access to his computer and said: “It could be anybody. It could be me, it could be Santa Claus.” But he later said: “I have done nothing against the law. And probably next time I will just use a different pseudonym.” Cllr Grower said responsibility lies with the Daily Echo because people can post under assumed names, and that the comments were only fun that no-one took seriously. When asked if his approach was appropriate given his public role, he claimed members of other parties did the same.

So first he tries to bullshit his way out of it, and then he issues a haughty “So what?”

For some reason I’m reminded of nuisance caller and sock-puppeting loser Phil “I meant to do that!” Hendren.

Labour Councillor Ben Grower, like councillor-wannabe and chick-magnet ‘Dizzy’ Hendren, will no doubt from this day forward be *outraged* if/when anyone even suspects that anonymous sock-puppets defending his corner or launching an attack from it are in fact his own creation(s), but I’m sure he can continue to offset this with repeated claims that everyone else is at it.

(Thank you Toby for the heads-up.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 7 Comments

Derek Draper, LabourList and… Schillings?!

Putting aside for the moment Derek Draper’s greatly misguided decision to learn at the feet of self-proclaimed masters of the medium Iain Dale and Paul Staines (while touching briefly on what he has clearly learned about comment moderation censorship from these two), there is this, and it’s pretty monumental as errors of judgement go:

LabourList – Contacting us, policies and statements

Legal policy

We remove comments in line with our moderation and comments policy but anyone who wants to report anything they deem to be offensive or a potential libel or copyright infringement should contact us immediately and the relevant comment or post will be reviewed for removal.

All content is viewed and used by you at your own risk and we do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any of the information. The views expressed are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of LabourList.

In extremis, problems can also be referred to our lawyer:

John Kelly
Schillings
41 Bedford Square
London
WC1B 3HX
legal@schillings.co.uk

Telephone 020 7034 9000
Fax 020 7034 9200

24 hour emergency number 07711 715345

DX Number 89265 (Soho Square 1)

(Heads-up via Rumbold and Sam Coates.)

Any blogger who knows anything about the UK political scene knows that Schillings have repeatedly and spectacularly disgraced themselves on the ‘fair and free speech’ front; they are in the habit of bullying people into silence while refusing to allow them their day in court.

Derek Draper cannot possibly be fully aware of that, otherwise he would know that this is like walking into a cockerel’s cocktail party with Colonel Sanders on your arm.

Here’s the comment regarding this that I submitted to LabourList under Mandelson’s posted assurances that they are all about open debate and not top-down control. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that it has been marked as ‘trash’ by those at the top and ignored.

Mr Mandelson,

It’s obvious why you specifically have been chosen to pitch this claim of openness, and it’s a cunning stunt, but the assurances are undermined somewhat by the choice of Schillings as legal representatives:

http://www.labourlist.org/policies

It is fair that those who say something actionable should be subject to action, but Schillings have been involved in cases where bloggers have been silenced by that firm’s tactics without fair/any recourse to law (most notorious example; their bullying of anyone carrying Craig Murray’s allegations while having no intention to take Murray to court over his allegations).

This decision also reflects poorly on Mr Draper, who strikes me as a man struggling to understand a community he wishes to infiltrate. Was he seriously not aware of Schillings’ reputation throughout the UK political blogging community?

Tim Ireland @ 3:25 pm, Mon 12th Jan 2009

I’ve emailed Draper and asked how the above comment qualifies as “grossly unintelligent or obtuse” or a troll, but so far I’ve heard nothing back.

UPDATE (12pm) – Derek Draper has finally responded… to ask if I was being serious! Yes, I would think I’m being serious about the complete removal of my website and nearly a dozen others (more) over allegations that Schillings and their client still refuse to challenge in court. FFS, he’s completely without a clue.

UPDATE (1pm) – Now Draper is insisting that he is not accountable to me. So he accepts comments, but refuses accountability – and here I will remind you again that he learned what little he knows by watching Dale and Staines in action. Nowhere is this influence more obvious than in his stated policy that those who are unhappy about this state of affairs should essentially ‘get their own blogs’ and make their case there. In other words, if you’re not happy that your question was refused or shouted down at a public meeting, you’re invited to go outside and hold your own meeting. Nice.

UPDATE (6pm) – He’s been dodging my question all day (i.e. how does my comment qualify as “grossly unintelligent or obtuse” or a troll?), but has finally resorted to insisting that my concerns are unimportant, because I’m of no significance to him. In his own words;

“i am building a site for 60 million people, not 60 bloggers.” – Derek Draper

Not full of himself, is he? Oh, and he’s only just realised that I’m a blogger, BTW. The penny dropped a few minutes ago.

So, the good news for your average weblog reader without a weblog is that Derek will suggest that you get your own blog if you don’t like the self-serving censorship on LabourList… but even if you don’t do this, he will treat you with the same level of contempt that any established blogger* would enjoy. Great, huh?

(*Except for Iain Dale and Paul Staines, who he is desperate to impress. The mimicry alone makes that clear.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 5 Comments

The Sun: no comment

1. The Sun’s article claiming that ‘top jews’ were being targeted by Muslims (that was in fact based on forum comments written by their quoted terrorism ‘expert’ posing as a Muslim) has been removed [404] from The Sun’s website without explanation.

2. Before their Jenvey-reliant article was withdrawn this morning, it carried 74 comments. The article carried 74 comments before it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’, and it carried 74 comments after it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’. In other words, no comments were published that would give any indication that something might be wrong with the story.

Below are the two comments I submitted, and the time/date of submission. These comments were not published.

The Sun were aware that something was wrong with the story, and they were specifically aware of the evidence proving exactly what was wrong with the story… and yet they refused to engage under comments, or even publish the questions/challenges that they still refuse to answer.

Comment submitted @ 15:13 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

Misrepresentation of content aside, what do you say to the allegations that the key comments you condemn in this story were actually submitted to the Ummah.com forums by (a) a freelance journalist (b) who isn’t really a Muslim?

I can offer clear evidence of the latter if you feel you need it. The forum authors will already have been in touch about the former, I’m sure.

Comment submitted @ 22:38 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

I now have evidence that the forum entries you express the most concern about here were actually written by Glen Jenvey. Do you have any response to that, or will you be discarding this comment also?

The Sun: no comment

Newspapers: Don’t purport to accept comments if you plan to refuse any meaningful criticism or scrutiny or, like pseudo-blogging losers ranging from David Miliband to Paul Staines, you will be cheating your readers by giving the impression that a channel for accountability exists where it is in fact refused outright.

Try an ‘applause’ button instead, and stop pretending to be something that you’re not.








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 4 Comments

I’ve earned a day off

UPDATE – Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Let’s go here instead:








Posted in Video | 2 Comments

The Orwell Prize 2009: Special Prize for Blogs

I almost didn’t enter or plug this competition because of the money they put in Staines’ pocket via a MessageSpace ad, but I figured it’d be a pretty poor competition without any real art… and I know of several people ’round our way who make good art with the words and like that.

So (a) I’ve entered, and (b) here is the plug, so you can consider entering yourself:

The Orwell Prize – SPECIAL PRIZE for blogs

Running alongside the Book Prize and Journalism Prize this year, submissions… close on 14th January 2009, for all work published for the first time in the calendar year 2008… The Orwell Prize rewards those who achieve George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Entries should therefore be of equal excellence in style and content.

So, fellow bloggers, you have until next Wednesday to browse through your archives and come up with 10 entries that best indicate how jolly talented and clever you are.

Don’t be shy, now.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off