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

Goodbye, Old Holborn

WARNING: There’s a gang of thugs on the loose that like to use personal data as a tool for bullying. It’s less a massive conspiracy, and more of a ‘bad neighbourhood'; the result of a poor moral/debating standard that’s common throughout most of the right-wing blogosphere in the UK. Standing conspicuously at the centre of it all is the website of Paul Staines and the comments he runs like an open sewer… where personal attacks and multiple personality shenanigans are widespread and openly tolerated until someone dares lay a blow on the author (or something/someone he supports).

Allow me to show you (for the umpteenth time) what this kind of thing leads to:

Tory activists associated with Conservative MP Anne Milton tried it on me. At least one of the people involved in that incident was a self-proclaimed fan of the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website, active in the comments, and both were fans of using sock-puppets to attack opponents.

‘Top’ Tory blogger Phil Hendren tried it on me. He also is a long-time comment contributor to the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website, and a fan of using sock-puppets to attack opponents.

Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines tried it on me himself once in his own special way (with Donal Blaney’s help); he’s even made creepy “back off and you won’t get hurt” type comments in the direction of people he thinks I am married to. Paul Staines is also highly adept in the use of sock-puppets to assault and silence critics (and has been caught red-handed in a personal sock-puppeting, defending himself while pretending to be somebody else, the sad bastard).

And now we have this:

Old Holborn – Blog closed and GONE

This is my last post

Today, a fellow Libertarian decided to post my name , address, email address, business address, photo of me and my children on the web. Because he was angry with me over my stand on Israel.

Tonight, my wife and family have read the consequent death threats and insults to them that have poured in and asked me to close this blog.

Many people now know where I live, where my children go to school, how I earn my crust and I will not put my family at any further risk.

So I am closing my blog.

It has been fun, I have thoroughly enjoyed it but now I must think of me and mine.

I thank all of you for your support.

I will be deleting this blog in 5 days time from now. They won. I knew they would.

The douche bag that published links to OH’s personal data was ‘Obnoxio The Clown’.

Both ‘Old Holborn’ and ‘Obnoxio The Clown’ are regular comment contributors to… the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website.

In fact (and some people are struggling to have sympathy with the chap because of this) it was on the ‘Guido Fawkes’ website as well as his own that ‘Old Holborn’ showed his willingness to name names and publish photos and other personal data relating to the Baby P case… in violation of a court order, no less. A difference in scale, one might argue, but not of principle.

(Paul Staines would love to pass this off as an ‘everyone stops at Waterloo station’ thing in order to duck responsibility and/or deflect negative attention away from the two-bit banner advertising network that benefits from the resulting page-load overloads, but the brutal truth of it is that Phil ‘Dizzy’ Hendren and ‘Obnoxio The Clown’ are key comment contributors on his site, and often the first in line willing to kick heads when Staines feels he can’t defend himself on his own damn ‘blog’. Staines also likes to claim that he’s been the victim of personal data bullying himself, but it is hard to tell how much of what he claims is truth when he is an almost-unrivalled bullshit artist to begin with, will scream ‘stalker’ at the drop of a hat, and leaves a mysterious money trail directly involving an unknown number of relatives for reasons that are still unclear.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 6 Comments

Glen Jenvey has some explaining to do

Let’s begin by going back to the Sun non-story that prompted this initial post:

The Sun – Islamic fanatics name Alan Sugar, Mark Ronson and Lord Levy in a hit list of Britain’s leading Jews: British anti-terror expert Glen Jenvey is convinced online forum Ummah is being used to prepare a deadly backlash against UK Jews. His warning came as Europe was hit by anti-Semitic attacks over Israel’s push into the Gaza Strip…. Mr Jenvey, 43, said: “The Ummah website has been used by extremists. “Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.”

It would now appear that this entire non-story actually began with Glen Jenvey feeding an unknown quantity of information to the Sun ‘news’ paper. Glen Jenvey bills himself in this bio as a ‘freelance terror investigator’, is described in this article as a ‘freelance intelligence agent’, and is described in his Wikipedia entry (that he regularly edits himself) as a former spy who now “uses the internet to infiltrate terrorist organisations.”

Search for his name in Google News and poke around ‘all years’, and you’ll see his name attached to quite a few terror-alert stories, with highlights including this one, which has a lovely Christmas theme throughout, and this ‘New Year’ warning in the Sun that is very recent indeed.

I would go into more detail (there is lots!) but for now, all you need is this and possibly the knowledge that some of Glen’s past exploits have – according to reports from his supporters – resulted in warnings and “threats of arrest” from the authorities.

Now, the Sun have in this article based their claim of militant Muslims targeting “Britain’s leading Jews” on comments made by ‘abuislam’, specifically in this passage:

“Abuislam” asks: “Have we got a list of top Jews we can target? Can someone post names and addresses?”

Though the Sun suggests otherwise, the only forum contributor pushing for anything other than a polite letter-writing campaign (details here) is posting under the name ‘abuislam’…. and I’m looking at evidence right now that strongly indicates that Glen Jenvey and ‘abislam’ are one and the same person.

In other words, he has created the very ‘militant’ content that the Sun has based their story on.

Further, in his quote he warns those listed to take the threat very seriously and to “expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs”… when he was the one who listed them, and was the only person talking about doing anything other than writing letters!

And, even if (BIG ‘if’) this was done in error somehow, Glen Jenvey hasn’t done anything I can see to correct it.

Here’s the detail:

A forum administrator at Ummah.com announced today that the ‘abuislam’ account was created by the same person who created an earlier account in the name of ‘Richard Tims’. They have documented proof of this in their back end.

The ‘Richard Tims’ account was used only to plug the website previously hosted at sellyourstory.org

sellyourstory.org: capture by linkmarket.netThe publication of this link appears to have been part of a July/August 2008 campaign by that site’s owner to improve the site’s performance in Google).

Two of the places used to generate inbound links just happen to be two sites that Glen Jenvey shares a bit of history with; Ummah.com (“Islamic stories wanted by the media world wide why not sell your story for cash http://www.sellyourstory.org”) and Lionheart (“Any hot news on islamic British based terrorist’s earn cash from http://www.sellyourstory.org”), but the clincher is this August 2008 link where he is listed as site owner (highlight mine):

ID: 2815
Title: Sell Your Story – http://www.sellyourstory.org
Pagerank: 0
Description: sell your story sellyourstory sell your story sell your photos sell your videos
Category: Business & Economy: News and Media
Link Owner: glen jenvey
Date Added: July 28, 2008 01:35:11 AM
Number Hits: 0

Similar listings with the same data can be seen here and here.

If Glen Jenvey really is a former spy, I would venture a guess that he was forced to retire because he wasn’t very good at it.

If his current job is sneaking around on Teh Internets, then I would even go so far as to suggest he’s not very good at that, either.

Judging by the way his websites keep getting excluded from Google and withdrawn from service, he should probably stay out of the SEO game, too.

Oh, and there’s also the small matter of the Sun basing a front page claim on – and quite possibly paying Glen Jenvey for – a warning about militant(ish) postings that he wrote himself.

Perhaps Mr Glen Jenvey would care to explain what’s going on here.








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement | 33 Comments

In search of ‘Richard Tims’ (aka ‘abuislam’)

WARNING: This is another ‘boring’ post about sock-puppets.

As has been reported by Septicisle, with a trimmed mirror at The Sun: Tabloid Lies, the good people at the Sun have based this entire front page story…

The Sun – Islamic fanatics name Alan Sugar, Mark Ronson and Lord Levy in a hit list of Britain’s leading Jews

… on a single external forum comment that may very well have been made by one of their own hacks:

I can confirm that the User “AbuIslam” who was posing as a Muslim on this forum is infact a freelance Journalist by the name of “Richard Tims” who registered on this forum to twist what the original Intent of this thread was for and to make Muslims look bad. Whether he works for the sun or not i dont know.

Abuislam Deliberated added comments on this thread which made is as if this thread was intended to cause harm to names that were mentioned

This has been confirmed from his IP address and Email addresses has he used on this forum and previous usernames

The above text is from an admin’s personal comment under this press release from Ummah.com. You may also be interested in this discussion of that press release and revelation on Ummah.com.

1) The Sun’s article is misrepresentation on a vast scale without the involvement of one of their own in a fishing expedition.

2) No-one in the Ummah.com forum got caught on the hook on that fishing expedition, so the article presents the *bait* as evidence of a catch. Extraordinary.

3) This single pathetic worm is the basis for a Front. Page. Story. which has since passed through the echo chamber resulting in widespread reporting of these online ‘threats’ as fact.

4) Uncovering the author’s true identity will take more digging than I have time for today (“Richard Tims” is almost certainly an alias if he or she has used that name in a previous profile in the same forum), but yelling “EXCLUSIVE!” really isn’t my bag, so here’s a breakdown of that author’s previous fishing expeditions to get your blood up. Happy hunting*!

[*And by that I mean you should hunt these people down and kill them in the name of Almighty God (a) tell others about this and (b) do what else you can to assist in the hunt for evidence of a connection between this ‘Richard Tims’ / ‘abuislam’ person and the Sun ‘news’ paper, John Coles and/or ‘Crime Editor’ Mike Sullivan.]

13-10-08, 03:37 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to this Sunday Mercury article and its contents.

Result: No-one at Ummah.com responds to the news of the release of “terror preacher” Abu Izzadeen, so he ‘bumps’ the thread by reposting the link. Still no takers.

15-10-08, 10:05 AM

‘Abuislam’ finds form with the following question and a claim that it was raised by a ‘brother’ (that’s what you say instead of ‘friend of a friend’ when you’re also attempting to pass yourself off as a member of a religious group, apparently):

Does Marital Rape Exist?

Salaam Alykum wrwb

A brother asked a very interesting question last night and i thought i would share.

‘If a woman refuses her husband his right can he force himself upon her?’

Result: a successful troll, as far as that goes (55 replies and 843 page views), but it only sparked an argument within the group because any attempts to treat this as a thought experiment were met with resounding condemnation.

I’ve chosen to archive the following response here, as it includes pursuit of the thought experiment *and* condemnation, but if you have the time, I do encourage you to read the entire thread while it’s available. The strong vibe about not hurting other people or forcing them to do what you want them to do is unmistakable, and apart from some specifics, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from any forum populated by your typical mix of human beings.

You can* rape your wife but you will be answerable to Allah SWT on the Day of Judgement. Also I imagine by raping her you will destroy your relationship making her fear you and not be able to trust you.

So to anyone who would ask such a question how could you even think that Islam could promote such things? (facepalm)

(*Note – later in the thread, the person who wrote this response is forced to point out the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may’. Like I said; typical forum stuff. There are even those in this thread who clearly suspect a troll at work and flag it.)

15-10-08, 04:39 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to this BBC article and its contents. The article mentions “two unidentified people who encouraged (a failed nail bomber) after contacting him via an extremist website” and ‘abuislam’ wonders out loud “which website he met radical muslims on.”

Result: No takers.

26-10-08, 10:51 AM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the Sun’s attempt to own a big slice of Help for Heroes goodwill via their role in the X Factor charity single by wannabe pop stars grouping under the same name.

Result: A moderator deletes the URL with the comment “are you for real?” and the only reader response is, in a nutshell, “we dont really discuss pop music here”.

Sadly for ‘abuislam’, no-one condemns the single in any way that might help the Sun promote it while hitting Muslims with a stick.

27-10-08, 12:19 AM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the this Sun non-story about Prince Harry (perhaps) qualifying for (maybe) training to (possibly) pilot a helicopter gunship.

Result: Let me show you the entire exchange at the time of posting. It clearly shows where ‘abuislam’ tries and fails to take the conversation:

abuislam: Prince Harry rides the dragon

‘asiya: 46 million pound for a helicopter that is not even easy to fly (rolls eyes) how ridiculous.

abuislam: what i should of posted brother is he’s going back to afghanistan soon.

Hey, do you remember when the local tabloids all kept quiet about Prince Harry being in Afghanistan for security purposes? Well, here he is being dangled as bait. Based on pure speculation obviously, but still…

And aside from where ‘abuislam’ failed to lead this conversation, there is the use of the word ‘brother’ in this context:

‘Asiya’ is a girl’s name; “considered to be one of four great, noble, and pious women in Islam” (and the user’s long-standing profile also makes their gender clear, even if the name is not instantly recognisable as a girl’s name in some quarters). By calling a woman ‘brother’ here, the author behind the ‘abuislam’ comments gives a pretty clear signal that they are not of the faith they claim to be.

Oh, stop acting so surprised. You’re not fooling anyone.

19-11-08, 04:50 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the notoriously-leaked BNP membership list and asks if anyone wants to; “Name and Shame any living near you?”

Result: Some interest in the data, and a welcome voice of reason saying; “I suggest you guys don’t. It goes against the Data protection Act and I think the forum would get in quite a bit of trouble for it.”

Trouble is pretty much what ‘abuislam’ was aiming for, it seems. But the Sun had similar issues with people dropping links to the data in their own forums, and no-one in this forum responded by saying or doing anything that could be interpreted as a threat. Apart from ‘abuislam’, of course.

02-01-09, 11:50 PM

Here’s where our sock-puppeting author either ran out of time and/or patience, or simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity presented by events in Gaza…

‘Abuislam’ arrives in a thread where the clearly stated aim from the outset is; “It would be beneficial to start compiling a list so that we can write polite letters reminding them of the injustices of israel and to stop supporting israel”

abuislam: Have we got list of top jews and supporters yet we can target? can someone start posting names and addresses. (permalink)

I don’t actually need to flag the lead on ‘jews’, do I? Good. The author later goes on to list some big names as ‘top jews’, including the one chosen for the front page of The Sun’s invented exposé …

abuislam: Sir Alan Sugar, Alan Howard, David Miliband (permalink)

When efforts are made by others to bring the thread back to the stated aim (writing polite letters), the author pulls up short of a prosecutable suggestion, but the intent to lead the conversation away from a moderate place is crystal clear:

abuislam: polite will not work. Target them with Demo’s out-side their Home’s and Business hit and run demo’s showing and exposing their war crimes in their support (thumbs up). (permalink)

Result: No takers… but the Sun runs an exposé anyway, by trying to pass off the bait as a catch.

And, yes, you should be bloody outraged about that. I know I am.

Once again; ‘Richard Tims’ is almost certainly an alias, and what is required is clear evidence of a connection between this ‘Richard Tims’ / ‘abuislam’ person and the Sun ‘news’ paper, John Coles and/or Mike Sullivan.

The more evidence there is, the more likely it is that someone at the Sun will be forced to take a big bite out of this particular shit-sandwich.

Good luck. I hope to join you on the hunt shortly.

On a final note; if you actually genuinely feared that a particular group of people had militant tendencies and that they were likely to hurt someone if provoked… why would you poke them with a stick?

UPDATE (6:30pm) – I let my own hopes, the bait-like nature of the ‘abuislam’ entries and the extraordinary level of wilful misrepresentation in the Sun to drive me a wee bit off course, there. At present, there is no evidence to link ‘abuislam’ directly to the Sun, and I should have made that clearer in this post and with this task.

However, I am hot on the same trail mikkkimoose found (see comments) and will have an exciting name to share with you shortly.

UPDATE (9pm) – The person behind ‘abuislam’ is revealed in this post. Oh, and under comments below by mikkimoose, who would be like clouds over the sun to evildoers if he had his own blog.

:o)








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 7 Comments

Five links

A bus campaign that has really kicked off:

Guardian – The atheist bus journey: Thanks to you we raised enough money to put ads on 800 buses across the UK, and the campaign has gone global.

A bus campaign that has not:

Number10.gov.uk – Petition to: make bendy buses make accordian noises as they go round corners: “This petition has been rejected because: It was outside the remit or powers of the Prime Minister and Government. (This is a devolved matter and should be directed to the Mayor and the Greater London Authority.)” (via)

An anti-terrorism effort that is encouraging in a way:

BBC – Obama ‘has selected spying chief’: Observers say Mr Obama had difficulty selecting people to head the intelligence apparatus, because he was keen to pick candidates who had experience of the intelligence agencies, but who had not been involved in decisions to allow CIA interrogators to use extreme interrogation methods – which many consider to be torture – on terrorist suspects.

An ‘anti-terrorism’ effort that is not encouraging in any way:

Times – Police set to step up hacking of home PCs: The Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant.

(“Oh, by all means, come in, do…. and please rummage through my filing cabinets. Oh, put your warrant away; you don’t need that!”)

And finally, something I’m dying to try myself:

Awesome photographs of bubbles freezing in the air.








Posted in Inneresting | 3 Comments

Straight to blogroll

Some of you will already know mushybees; we teamed up all the way back in 2005 for WMD Hunt.

Mushybees has just re-discovered the joys of using text with images, and the result is out-freakin-standing.

Enjoy tumescent with rage; I know I will.

[Note – A tidy-up of the blogroll is overdue, I know. Let me finish this bloody filing cabinet first.]








Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Tony ‘two medals’ Blair

Next week Tony Blair will return from holiday and rush to Gaza and actually do his job as special envoy to the Middle East rush to the White House to collect not one but two medals for his stellar work in the use of troops, torture and tits against terrorism… and a sovereign nation by the wayside that was just asking for it.

BBC – Blair to get US Medal of Freedom: In his last week in office, President Bush will award the medal to Mr Blair, former Australian PM John Howard and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. All three leaders had been “staunch allies*” of the US, particularly against terrorism, said the White House. (via)

The word ‘circle jerk‘ springs to mind, but let’s move on to that second medal…

Telegraph – Tony Blair chooses image on medal from George W Bush: Since he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by George W Bush more than five years ago for being a “staunch and steadfast ally” during the Iraq war, Tony Blair has failed to collect the gong. The former prime minister is, however, taking a keen interest in the medal’s design before it is specially made by the US Federal Mint. The spokesman declines to say which images Blair wants, but points out that it will be made to his specifications: “It is not a standard design. The Dalai Lama had his face on his medal.”

In my mind, the only way they could devalue the trinket any further with this charade would be to put Tony Blair’s face on it, go for the full circle jerk with the medal at the centre, and televise the money shot. The whole thing could be set to music.

- — — | — — -

COMPETITION: GUESS THE WORD(S)/IMAGE(S) TONY BLAIR HAS (FINALLY) CHOSEN FOR HIS CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL

As the BBC article notes; each Congressional Gold Medal is individually designed and minted and it took Tony Blair many years to decide on the words and images it would feature.

(Hm. Maybe he was stalling. Perhaps he was waiting for ‘history’ to kick in. Who knows?)

I am offering the choice of any available prize from the prize shelf to the person who comes closest in their guess of the word(s) and image(s) that actually appear on the medal.

A special prize will also be awarded to the most amusing guess/suggestion.

Entries will be accepted via comments (including b3ta), email, and/or links to bloggage.

Entries close on the 12th, or at the moment some spoilsport leaks substantial details.

Good luck to you.

- — — | — — -

[*Oi! Where’s Karimov’s medal?]

UPDATE (13 Jan) – That’s one medal down… but we’re minus the all-important money shot. Hang in there.








Posted in Humanity, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Tony 'King Blair | 4 Comments