Well, I managed to keep that secret for over two years, but the jig was up this morning after one of the lads started tweeting at me last night.
[No harm done, mate. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and I should have been clearer about the need for discretion.]
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, for many, many years in my youth I was active in the Scout movement in Australia, and for the past couple of years I have been volunteering as an Assistant Scout Leader here in the UK.
Pardon any of the boring bits in the following. There are some people who will seek to exploit this information for political reasons, as you are probably aware. And we begin on that note…
1. This is why smears by certain Conservatives have been such a cause for alarm. I’m sure I do not need to explain why. It is also a major reason why I am so disappointed in my two local MPs (Anne Milton and Jeremy Hunt) who do know about this and have had it in their power this whole time to reign in their activists (if not their fellow MPs), but have instead chosen to dole out generic and unhelpful advice like “call the police if you have a problem” (Hunt). I am beginning to doubt their commitment to this Big Society concept they’ve been pushing. Or maybe they’d rather I wasn’t part of it.
2. Yes, this is what all those secret fire ceremonies were about. Now you know.
3. It’s also where I disappear to for extended periods each summer. Hey, why lie on a beach when you can dig a latrine?
4. It’s not an ultra-secret. There are even some fellow leaders in my Twitter stream. I met one at a local hustings. (No, not that one.)
5. Can I please ask that we all try to be discreet about the name/location of the troop? Mainly for the sake of other peoples’ privacy. Thanks.
(Note: I’ve greyed-out my ‘gang colours’ in the above picture for this very reason.)
6. Like most people in my position, I will be referring to myself as a ‘scout leader’ most of the time. I ask you to take this for what it is; shorthand. In any troop there can only be one Leader (kind of like Highlander, but with smaller blades and a fold-out can opener) so my official title is ‘Assistant Scout Leader’, but to most people outside the movement this sounds like I’m wearing a pair of training wheels or something, which is probably why so many people use the ‘shorthand’ version. As I plan to. I know it may seem ridiculous to most, but I need this paragraph to head off any pathetic ‘exposé’ regarding my credentials.
7. Some of you will obviously have questions about my being an agnostic. I can think of at least one woman who will want to shout that question from the rooftops as if it is of critical importance. I would like to take the time to articulate my position on this later, but for now, all you need to know is that the Scout Association in the UK acknowledges the difference between an agnostic and an atheist, and they do (quietly) recognise that a skeptic has a valid role to play in the spiritual development of our youth (more). It is a matter I’m happy to discuss, but I wish to take care about what I publish so I can further the progress that’s already been made, without rushing the issue.
8. Our movement needs leaders. (This means YOU, John Q. Skeptic.) I have been hoarding documentation of some really fun projects I’ve been working on, so now the secret is out and there’s no going back, you can expect me to start blogging some of the detail very soon, and being very noisy on the recruitment front in the process.
9. But don’t expect to see any ‘human shield’ photos on this blog. I will be blogging detail about the activities I’m been putting together, not the scouts themselves.
Cheers all. ‘ Dyb dyb dyb’ and all that.
Dorries is all over the place in this heavily-redacted ‘report’ sent to Bedfordshire Police in November 2010, plus I am unexpectedly very busy this week, so you lucky blighters get the whole lot at once this time.
If you’re entirely new to this, your smartest path in is here, through Part 4 of the July 2010 letter than was sent before this ‘report’.
NOTE #1 – Some or all of the passages that have been redacted by police are about other people and/or may be the subject of an investigation still in progress, but I should stress that I have seen no sign of any such investigation beyond that into the Flitwick event, plus Bedfordshire Police are very clear about the fact that Nadine Dorries faces no genuine stalking threat.
NOTE #2 – This November 2010 ‘report’ from Dorries, alongside some unseen correspondence (possibly a phone call), immediately preceded the decision by Bedfordshire Police to investigate my presence at Flitwick some 5 months previous to this. Dorries continues to pretend that this investigation starting in November 2010 vindicates her when she was claiming police investigations were in progress as early as May 2010, but she cannot verify making any complaint prior to July 2010. Dorries also pretends that the investigation that did happen resulted in my receiving a caution and/or a warning that my conduct toward her was inappropriate. This, like most of the following ‘report’, is a lie, as the next round of data will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. Until then I invite you to delve once again into the delusional world of Nadine Dorries:
1. Nadine Dorries most certainly did claim that a baby had punched its way out of the womb. If she contends that’s not what she really meant when she described a 21-week-old foetus tearing human flesh as it knowingly thrust its arm out of the uterus, then I invite her to (finally) revisit her comments and put them into context.
2. According to Nadine Dorries, I am a fanatic. This judgement comes from the woman who berates the Church of England establishment as ‘cowardly’ for not interpreting her favoured Bible passages literally and says “I am not an MP for any reason other than because God wants me to be” (source). Dorries could not begin to understand or articulate my position on abortion (hint: the primary objective is honesty in the debate, as it always has been from me since back in the day), so instead she projects her own fanaticism outward. More psychological projection shortly, kids.
3. Nadine Dorries pretends here that she instigated ‘dialogue’. This is one-hundred-percent horse-hockey. Dorries was literally begged to engage in dialogue when one of the people using her accusations to harass me started having a go at my wife and kids on Twitter. That was in September 2010. Dorries still pretended a police investigation was in progress (there wasn’t) while refusing to discuss any detail (no prizes for guessing why) while her dirtbag mates tried to get me to admit that maybe I had harassed her just a little bit (no prizes etc.). Soon after this, I finally received word from Andy Rayment, Chairman of the Mid-Bedfordshire Conservative Association, after months of association staff refusing to confirm or deny if my email had even been seen by him (below). This is the Dorries version of ‘dialogue’. She is right that it made things worse, but not in the way that she pretends.
“I do not waste my time communicating with nutters so do not expect me to respond to any of your communications, electronic or otherwise.” – Andy Rayment (detail)
4. During the decidedly one-sided exchange of information that Dorries laughingly describes as ‘dialogue’, it was made crystal clear to her how a particular person was exploiting her accusations as part of an all-too-personal vendetta; the kind of thing she pretended to be a victim of. This man was publicising my home address alongside the accusations that I stalked women and sent death threats to MPs (two accusations based on the bullshit outburst of a single MP; guess which one). Dorries responded by linking approvingly to this same person from her website, and she did it on the same day that she wrote this ‘report’ to police; November 5, 2010. I suspect I was being deliberately provoked* in the hopes that I would lash out at her or otherwise lose my cool while police were browsing my website.
[*QUICK NOTE TO DORRIES: If this was the intention, Nads, I am sorry, but I learned my lesson after your charming friend Iain Dale used a similar ploy with the ‘paedophile’ smear originating from the same scumbag who later went on to have a go at my wife and kids at a time when we were extremely vulnerable. Dale still trades off the lie that he was harassed, and I am painfully aware that you attempted to make capital out of it in this ‘report’. The only problem is that none of this will stand up in court, should it ever reach one. Dale still refuses to account for his conduct on the relevant weekend, claiming it is ‘old news’ while bringing up his highly-edited story every chance he gets. He even lied about making a complaint to police and knowingly gave people the false impression that I had threatened him with violence. These and other actions he cannot explain indicate that Dale was doing everything he could to aid and abet a smear campaign that had by that stage already extended well into harassment; i.e. the same thing he claimed I was guilty of. This conduct continues to this very day. For as long as Dale refuses to clarify his remarks in a post that he has since deleted without notation or explanation, it remains a problem, and he knows this. So do you. The same sod you linked to on your website repeats Iain Dale’s already-false claims alongside yours, and is allowed to expand on them without fear of contradiction. Meanwhile, you and Dale pretend that his efforts are nothing to do with you. These denials of yours are mere words, and after all your lies, your word means nothing to me; instead, I judge you by your actions.]
5. In good faith, I sought to alert Dorries to the dangers resulting from the public accusations of stalking she had made even before Flitwick. Yes, I now realise this was a mistake. I thought that as an MP even Dorries would think twice before sticking by a lie about a police investigation and endangering my family in the process, but I was wrong. In response to my complaints, Dorries not only portrayed my attempts to contact her about her unsubstantiated accusations of stalking as evidence of my stalking her (!), she went on to knowingly make the kind of public accusations she knew would wind up the same vigilante element that I had been complaining about from the outset. Further, Bedfordshire Police were made aware of every scrap of relevant correspondence, and agreed that it did not amount to stalking, or even harassment. That may seem difficult to understand if you read what Dorries writes here and take any of it at face value, but Dorries has been using repeated lies and distortions about the frequency and content of attempts to communicate. None of it stands up to any scrutiny, but she’s hiding behind the lie that she’s been advised not to discuss the stalking threat because of that same stalking threat; it’s a teeny-tiny circle of pure weapons-grade wank.
6. Dorries really needs to learn the difference between a subject access request under the Data Protection Act, an information request under the Freedom of Information Act, and the act of sharing the task(s) of data entry and analysis of information already in the public domain. Oh, and for the record, the (sadly toothless) ICO has informed me that Dorries was advised of the following: even a convicted stalker would have the right to access their data with a subject access request under the Data Protection Act. Meanwhile, Dorries claims that I sent her and her staff “numerous offensive emails” and other “vile” and “abusive” and “explicit” messages, but she refuses to reveal them, even when legally compelled.
7. The content about ‘Forsaken’ can’t be anything but an outright lie. No calls were made to the Forsaken organisation at all, even Forsaken themselves were very clear about that, and the fact of the matter was made clear to Nadine Dorries on the morning this ‘report’ to police was written. This is important because unlike some tales that begin with a kernel of truth*, Dorries is basing this claim on evidence she cannot have seen and won’t have been told about. More detail on that little event here and here. (Psst! In this letter, Dorries speaks of a ‘newly formed’ charity, but in the House she gave the impression they had been active for at least 2 years.)
(**I actually did send her emails, for example; just nothing like what she describes, or with the frequency she claims. But no phone calls were made to Forsaken. Ever. This detail is entirely invented, and a demonstrable lie.)
8. The ‘Sky news blog’ article she speaks of was fact-checked. Dorries’ objection was that it wasn’t checked against things that she merely pretended were facts. The author stands by the piece and is very clear that he certainly didn’t apologise to Dorries about any of it. I suspect here that Dorries has blurred the line between this journalist and another Sky journalist, or possibly even a mate of hers who pretends to be a journalist and appears on Sky from time to time. Perhaps she would care to clear this up (don’t hold your breath); who does she claim apologised for this article? She doesn’t need to explain why she didn’t tell police that this ‘negative and untrue’ story was about her fabricating a “compelling story about stalkers”; that part is painfully obvious.
9. On 12 July 2010, Dorries wrote to the local Chief Constable to ask if “section 5 of the Public Order Act might apply” to dastardly acts like my calling her a liar (more). On 27 October 2010 Dorries pretended that “the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police explored the option of triggering section 5 of the Public Disorder Act” of her own volition, which is doubtful, because there is no such thing as the Public Disorder Act and is the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police is not an idiot. Dorries was corrected on this point-of-law-that-does-not-exist (and more) by a lawyer, but after reading the relevant post, all she came away with (eventually) was the correct name of an actual Act.
10. The closing sentence should be used to illustrate ‘chutzpa’ in the dictionary. After knowingly exploiting an anti-social and potentially unstable element against me, Dorries projected the same negative qualities onto my audience. That includes you, Mr/Mrs Unstable Element.
NEXT: I’ve got some more data on the way and a lot of work to do this week (and probably next), but sooner or later we are going to get to the actual police report and what it said about my conduct, and even then, I am only getting started. Nadine Dorries is not the only Conservative who has been conspiring to discredit and intimidate me with false reports to police and false claims about the outcome of those reports; she is merely the loudest. On that note, Carter-Ruck were in touch today. Strangely, they still have no comment to make about this extraordinary claim made in their name by Nadine Dorries:
“I have spoken to lawyers at Carter Ruck and they tell me that Tim Ireland is well known and that Guildford Police have dealt with a number of complaints regarding similar behaviour to others. He is apparently a well known computer hacker.” – Nadine Dorries (read more)
Hi. New here? These are Parts 1, 2 and 3, if you’d like to read the rest of the letter and/or read more of the detail, but the way Part 4 is written you can tuck into these later if you feel like it:
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part One)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Two: Flitwick & humphreycushion)
#Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part Three: Chris Paul and a special surprise… or two)
Nadine Dorries is the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, and the short version of what’s been happening is that she has been claiming to be the victim of multiple stalkers as part of a rushed and reckless cover-up involving secret lobbying groups and some as-yet-unanswered questions regarding monetary fraud.
From 2009 to 2010, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards was conducting an inquiry into evidence that Dorries’ ‘second home’ was in fact her first/main residence (put simply; the place she spent most of her time, usually understood as the place where one sleeps most nights). This was an issue because of multiple expenses claims Dorries had made on the basis that her constituency property in Woburn qualified for an allowance that only applied to second homes.
This investigation was, in my view superficial at best, and only took as long as it did because Dorries was being Dorries about it. I also feel the Commissioner was far too trusting of an MP who literally throws the rule book out the window, taking her word on some matters most of us would be expected to support with paperwork. The Commissioner did ask questions about a couple of very recent entries on her site, but I saw no evidence of her public diary being properly investigated. This may have had something to do with Dorries’ site being withdrawn from service for a very long time during the inquiry, but there were before then and still are today dozens and dozens of blog entries going back years where Dorries writes repeatedly of and about Woburn and her time there as if it were her primary residence.
Dorries sought to explain what little she was challenged on with the claim that she had deliberately given a false account of her whereabouts for purely political reasons; specifically, in order to give constituents and her local association a false impression that she was spending the majority of her time in the constituency. The Commissioner bought her story, but Dorries did not expect to have to publicly defend much of what she had told him, and suddenly faced an unexpected backlash about her casual declaration that her blog was “70% fiction and 30% fact”.
So she quickly expanded on an existing lie she had already told to discourage people like Chris Paul from investigating her property, to avoid questions about the relevant expenses inquiry at a local hustings, and to make local critics too shit-scared to even tweet about her; she publicly claimed that she had only published little white lies about where she was and when on the specific advice of police in response to what they recognised as a credible stalking threat.
And on this note we turn to the final segment of the letter Nadine Dorries wrote to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire in July 2010, accusing myself, two other critics and a political opponent of stalking her:
Let’s skip right past Dorries trying to portray me as the source of violence aimed at her; it is too insulting given the care I have taken with my conduct toward others and the dangers she has knowingly exposed me to. I fear I may lose my temper and use the kind of rude words that will allow for further feigned hysteria.
Instead, I’d like us to focus on three simple items:
1. THE PUBLIC DISORDER THINGIE
Dorries claimed on 27 October 2010 that “the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police explored the option of triggering section 5 of the Public Disorder Act” against me. Yes, the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police explored the option of triggering section 5 of the Public Disorder Act because an MP who didn’t know her act from her elbow asked her to. There is no such thing as the Public Disorder Act.
By the way, this item gets even funnier later. (A new document starting next Monday, folks. You know where to find me.)
This is not the first I have heard of this alleged burglary that was never reported to police. When trying to convince me that poor Nadine was simply a single and misunderstood mother living alone and genuinely frightened by the attention of some awful people, a supporter of Dorries told me the following story. In confidence. I tell it to you now in the spirit of they can go **** themselves.
Nadine Dories claims that in early 2010, shortly before the election, she’d returned to her constituency home to discover that the front door had been removed from its hinges. She further claimed that nothing was actually missing from the house and the only thing the intruder(s) appeared to be interested in were her office filing cabinets, which had all been opened and rifled through.
Chris Paul blogged about Nadine Dorries. Dorries reported him to police as a stalker.
Ms Humphreycushion tweeted about Nadine Dorries. Dorries reported her to police as a stalker.
I blogged and tweeted about Nadine Dorries. I also attended a public meeting I was invited to. Dorries reported me to police as a stalker.
Linda Jack ran against Nadine Dorries in an election. Dorries reported her to police as a stalker.
But when Nadine Dorries comes home to find the front door off the hinges and her filing cabinets disturbed… she does not report this to police. Even if she only reports stalkers to the police, this sounds like just the sort of thing a real stalker might do.
I’m not buying it. You?
Dorries also claimed to have received multiple death threats, then said here that until August 2011 it was her policy NOT to seek to prosecution. But her critics get the ‘stalker’ treatment. Now, why is that, do you think?
More than two months before she wrote this letter, Dorries claimed that I had sent her and her staff “numerous offensive emails” and other “vile” and “abusive” and “explicit” messages, but she didn’t present any of these to police. For some reason. Even when I submitted a subject access request to her office legally compelling her to reveal what she claims are my emails, she refused to cooperate (!) in defiance of the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Data Protection Act. What possible reason could she have to behave like this?
(Psst! I also find myself wondering why Nadine Dorries keeps her filing cabinets inside her ‘second home’ when any busy person/MP would want them in their main home, but the big question surrounds the potential purpose of this very-neat-burglar story, if it is an invention. It would not be a lie told lightly; it would have a purpose.)
“I have spoken to lawyers at Carter Ruck and they tell me that Tim Ireland is well known and that Guildford Police have dealt with a number of complaints regarding similar behaviour to others. He is apparently a well known computer hacker.” – Nadine Dorries
I contacted Carter-Ruck about the extraordinary accusations Nadine Dorries made in their name. I was curious to know what evidence they could produce to back the assertion that I was a notorious computer hacker with multiple complaints against me, but I didn’t get very far. Here’s their response:
” I can confirm that Nadine Dorries is a client of this firm. It follows that, as I am sure you will appreciate, all communications between Ms Dorries and ourselves are confidential in nature.” – Cameron Doley, Managing Partner, Carter-Ruck
Carter-Ruck were asked about the mysterious circumstances in which I found myself accused of harassment without so much as a letter from their office, but they had no comment to make about that, either. I do not recall ever being warned by Carter-Ruck about the appropriateness of my behaviour toward any of their clients, and seemingly neither do they.
:: If Dorries is telling the truth about her source, where is Carter-Ruck getting this information from?
:: If Dorries is lying about the source, where is she getting this information from?
This one gets even funnier later, too. If you thought this week was something, wait until next week when I start unleashing material from a 4-page ‘report’ that Nadine Dorries sent to Bedfordshire Police in November 2010. Dorries was at the time under pressure to produce evidence of an investigation she claimed had been in progress since before her only known complaint. Behind the scenes, she was desperately trying to initiate one.
It is like they say; it’s the cover-up that costs you… and I’m just getting started, folks.
UPDATE – The full July 2010 letter from Nadine Dorries to Bedfordshire Police (including some notes about what gets released starting Monday).
For those who came in late, here are the posts including the first two parts of this July 2010 letter from the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police:
Tomorrow is Part 4, and it will blow your mind. Today, Part 3, which will merely make you sick to your stomach, but there is a funny surprise for you at the end so hang in there, soldier.
Let’s begin with an April 2010 Twitter conversation between Nadine Dorries and another Conservative candidate from the recent election who also happens to be a lawyer; Joanne Cash.
This is a composite taken from saved versions of these pages that I captured and took notes from at the time. I have configured it so you can read from the top down, and I have made Dorries’ tweets as black as her heart so the conversation is easier to follow.
The conversation is from 27/28 April 2010. True to form, Dorries made this accusation of stalking in the wake of a major revelation about her connection to religious fundamentalists. There is now a clear pattern of Dorries using the accusation of stalking to divert attention away from such discoveries, but it was very early days here, and I’m really glad I saved a copy now. (OCD?)
Have a proper read of this conversation and you can almost hear the cogs turning in her head; it is not unreasonable to suspect that Dorries began portraying me as a ‘pied piper’ of Twitter stalkers as a direct result of this conversation, after being told that the offence of harassment could include “publication of material which leads to others harassing you also”. In Dorries World, my publishing evidence that she tells dreadful fibs qualifies as this kind of harassment, and you can see elements of this at the bottom of this section of the letter.
A week after making these enquiries about how one might complain to the police about ‘obsessive’ people (if one were so inclined once they had hard evidence) Dorries claimed a police investigation was already in progress into my stalking her and two other MPs.
But here, the main accusation is against a blogger named Chris Paul, so let’s do focus on that; Chris is a forensic blogger with better knowledge of Parliamentary gubbins than many MPs, and Nadine Dorries hates him for his ability to continually show her up as a result of this knowledge, his skill as a researcher and his tenacity.
You may also note that in the tweets above, Dorries (a) bases her accusation on her version of something she claims some ‘journalist’ said that Chris Paul said (it’s not even reliable enough to be called hearsay, purple monkey dishwasher), (b) specifically admits she has NO hard evidence to support the accusation, (c) is presented with a clear denial, but (d) goes ahead and continues to make the accusation anyway.
She then goes on to make the same accusation to police two months later, adding the word ‘apparently’ to her accusation for cover, and then portraying her critic as a sex pest (based on something “some people suggest”) for garnish.
It’s an appalling way for an MP to behave, but after failing to make the accusation stick in public, Dorries went further and sought to repeat the claim in this letter to the local Chief Constable.
She’s got no evidence to support it, and she bent time and space so often in her variations of this accusation that she even managed to confuse herself at one stage, accusing Chris Paul of coming to Flitwick to film her and accusing me of hanging around outside her house!
A few supporters of Dorries such as Jack Hart then went on to repeat the latter mis-assigned accusation. This is how I found myself repeatedly accused of hanging around outside people’s houses recently; it has always come from Dorries supporters, it’s based on an untruth Nadine Dorries originally told about someone else, and the result has been others treating/repeating it as if it were fact, and expanding on it to describe me hanging around outside Iain Dale’s house (and as with the repeated paedophile smears he did nothing to discourage, Iain’s just letting all of that stand uncorrected, because it suits his agenda and he’s a ****). Perhaps someone can ask Joanne Cash if this counts as harassment in her expert view.
Anyway, I’ve held you up long enough with atangent about my own problems. On with the third part of this July 2010 letter from Nadine Dorries to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police and the ongoing autopsy of her accusations against critical blogger Chris Paul:
1. Fun Trivia: A few months before she wrote this letter to police claiming Chris Paul’s blog was 100% fiction, Dorries wrote what she wrongly assumed would be a private letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and claimed that her blog was “70% fiction and 30% fact” (more).
2. Everything Chris Paul says is a lie, says Nadine. Dorries. Oh, except for the stuff that she needs to be true for her bullshit accusation of stalking to stand. So it’s 100% lies, plus some other stuff.
3. Police once passed on a request from me that Nadine Dorries remove a link to a site that paraded my home address around. She refused to remove the link, even when told why I wanted the link removed. Her site still links approvingly to this same site. The same man who published those directions to my house also published accounts where he described what time my lights were on at night and what time our bedroom window curtains opened on a typical morning. After repeated warnings about the conduct of this man and his associates, Nadine Dorries continues to link to him approvingly, so she’s got nothing to complain about; she either approves of hassling people at their homes or she doesn’t, and she so clearly does approve when it suits her. However, I don’t bring this up merely to expose Dorries’ hypocrisy; I have complained about this conduct to the police and they say there is no legal constraint to stop this man walking down the street, even when it’s repeatedly past my house, and even when he lives much further away than he pretends. It is not against the law. To be clear, it is not something I approve of (or enjoy) when it is done to intimidate, and I do not intimate or suggest for a moment that Chris Paul has been anywhere near Dorries home(s), but there are many circumstances that would make the investigation of any property this MP was living in an entirely legitimate exercise both morally and legally; many people suspect Dorries had been (almost) caught pretending to live in one place while actually living in another and that the hysterical noises she made were not there to ensure privacy or security, but instead to hide a pattern of behaviour that might reveal expenses fraud (which is what she would be guilty of if she had been claiming ‘second home’ expenses on a home she lived in most of the time). The former Mayor of Bedford (the late Frank Branston) once showed a passing interest in where Dorries lived. She smeared him as a stalker. A newspaper journalist once photographed the tiny gatehouse she claimed was her main home. She smeared him as a stalker. Chris Paul got a photo of the local pub. She smeared him as a stalker. It’s something Dorries does a lot, and she can’t pretend it’s about violent pro-abortionists, because I list in this paragraph three people who did not involve themselves in the abortion debate; they merely wanted to know where Dorries claimed she was living most of the time. And before she started claiming all that lovely expenses money on a ‘second home’, Dorries was happy to show off her big expensive house and its unique name for everyone to see. Hell, after announcing to the world where the family lived, Dorries then announced where they planned to move to! Part of the Dorries charade about her seeking privacy/safety was that even the name of the village she lived in (Woburn) was and should be a secret, when it was in the public domain the whole time after she put it there (and not just in this article years ago, but recently and repeatedly on her blog… right up until the point when she had to pretend it was a big secret for security reasons).
You would think, if you had aspirations in that direction, that the day you were elected to parliament would be one of unbridled joy. Sadly for Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries, May 5, 2005, though undoubtedly thrilling, had the gloss knocked off it. On that very day she also had to part with a substantial sum of money for a garden that her electoral win, in Mid-Bedfordshire, had ensured she would never see bloom.The money in question was a cheque for £41,000, for a garden at her Chipping Campden home. This is no ordinary garden, and it is no ordinary home. Dorries, 48, a former businesswoman and advisor to the MP Oliver Letwin, is married to a “freak on the medieval period”, and since 1996 she and the freak in question, Paul, have been working on a restoration job so huge it still leaves her sounding dazed when she talks about it. Their home is Woolstaplers Hall, in the picture-postcard Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. The Grade I-listed Cotswold-stone hall, built in 1340 by Robert Calf, a wealthy wool merchant, nestles on the curved high street and is reputedly one of the UK’s oldest inhabited domestic properties…. It all sounds fabulous. Why are they moving? Well, MPs are supposed to live in their constituencies, and although Nadine has been renting in Mid-Bedfordshire, she is tired of a three-way commute on top of a 100-hour week. Now the end of the school year is in sight, the family is leaving Gloucestershire for Woburn. (Source: The Sunday Times)
(Bloody hell, that was a long paragraph, wasn’t it? Best take a breather. Relax for a bit. Short one coming next. Bit of a healthy chuckle too, if we’re lucky.)
4. Chris Paul is not obsessed with Nadine’s abortions campaigns, so obviously the attraction must be sexual. The End.
5. Where in the hell does Dorries or any woman get off using their gender in this way? There’s been some long-overdue talk about misogyny in online bullying lately, but this is the ugly flipside of that same coin; women pretending to be the focus of unwanted sexual attention in order to discredit and intimidate a critic. To understand how the latter works, I invite you to learn about two rambunctious little rugrats in my old neighbourhood who lived with a big, slobbering dog. Their favourite game was to grab a hold of your legs and yell and scream like you were attacking them, which made the dog leap over the garden fence and chase you. Dorries has more than one slobbering dog at her beck and call, and they just love to jump fences and chase people. Here, she’s trying this same trick on the police. ‘Roll over, officer. Now bite the nice man. Good boy!’ What a bitch.
6. I can’t for the life of me work out what Dorries is banging on about with “arranging to meet others”. I do know quite a few of us hashtaggers have become friends since our shared experience of this extraordinary person, and there’s been lots of talk about tweet-ups (people do this on Twitter), and quite a few jokes alongside genuine invites for me to travel up Bedford way. I have no idea where Dorries planned to be on the 20th of what I assume to be June 2010. I suspect some tweets have been taken out of context in a process involving unknown quantities of malice, confusion and paranoia, but I’m happy to answer any evidence Dorries may care to produce…. aaaand at the sound of scattered laughter we move swiftly on…
7. Skipping over our surprise paragraph, at the bottom of today’s segment is the secret formula of harassment according to Joanne Cash (as understood by Nadine Dorries); a person contacting her about what I have published is me harassing her. Perhaps this might apply if I had been publicising her home address or her home phone number as my critics (and her allies) have been doing to me, but this is not the case. Perhaps Dorries might have a point if I sought to mislead people about her, but (a) I do not, and (b) generally, that’s what libel laws are for, I’m told.
OK folks, you’ve been very patient through the most stomach-churning segment of this letter, and it’s time for that surprise I’ve been promising you; the identity of the mysterious ‘fourth stalker’.
According to Nadine Dorries, she reported four people to the police for stalking and four people are named in this letter, the only known complaint from Dorries to police, so the person referenced in this next paragraph is part of our ‘gang’, and the fourth stalker you’ve all been waiting to hear about.
Oh, man, you’re going to love this. If you thought Dorries’ sense of entitlement couldn’t get any more perverse, you are in for a BIG surprise. Nadine Dorries’ mysterious ‘fourth stalker’ that she reported to police is….
… her Liberal Democrat opponent at the General Election, Linda Jack!
Well, she’s a Lib Dem, as if that’s not enough on its own. Plus, I hear this Linda person did all sorts of stalkerish things like distributing pamphlets and knocking on doors and disagreeing with Nadine Dorries and stuff. Who knows, she may even have deluded herself into thinking that she could one day replace a woman chosen by God to be an MP. How DARE she etc. etc. etc.
So there you have it, folks. Four accusations of stalking, each one more ridiculous than the next… but we’re not done yet. The best of this letter is yet to come, and you get to see it all in the final chapter tomorrow.
Tomorrow: The fourth and final part of this letter. It contains imaginary tales of suspicious crimes and suspicious tales of imaginary crimes, and that’s all I’m saying.
BONUS EPILOGUE: As I was writing this post, I browsed through some old emails from June/July 2010 trying to work out what the hell Dorries was banging on about with her “arranging to meet others” nonsense. In there I found an old comment notification that reminded me of a conversation that took place on 9/10 July 2010 under this post by Chris Paul about Paul Dorries (a man that Nadine Dorries may or may not have been married to). Take a look at these two comments, submitted to Chris Paul’s site two days before the date on the letter from Dorries to her local Chief Constable:
Hope you are well insured. Mr Dorries is with the Police lodging a formal complaint against you right now. You have gone too far with your lies and smears.
10 July, 2010 13:51
Your blog and bloggerheads are both guilty under section 5. Your Twitter account and that of others you talk to are also guilty. Humphreycushion and others. I have no idea why Dorries hasn’t been to the police about the lot of you.
One thing for sure though, you will never see Peter Hands name anywhere, even though he was with Jacko today in Bedford firing her up. He will make sure nothing leads back to him when you are all payng your thousand pound fines.
10 July, 2010 23:44
At the time, both Chris Paul and I were left scratching our heads about who ‘Jacko’ was, but after reading the letter it is so obviously a reference to Linda Jack, and made by someone who is convinced there is some kind of dark conspiracy going on. Peter Hand is a former member of Dorries’ staff who reported his suspicions of expenses fraud. We are not colluding, though I’m beginning to think perhaps we should.
Note the first claim is about what Mr Dorries allegedly reported to police, but it is clear that the person who wrote these comments had inside knowledge of this letter and was not only privy to its content, but sold on its merits. ‘Section 5′ refers to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, and you will see specific mention of this in the final segment of the letter tomorrow.
Now, this anonymous person may be a friend or family member, or someone on Dorries’ staff, or it may even be a friend or family member on Dorries’ staff. It is also possible that it is a comment by Dorries herself, and long-time Dorries watchers (you bloody stalkers!) are invited to stroke their chins and ponder the significance of this additional anonymous comment left in the same thread, probably by the same person, in order to discredit those investigating the financial dealings of Paul Dorries:
Lol! This ‘detective agency’ has been taken on by Paul’s former girlfriend, Sheila Lockhart. His phone makes interesting reading with the ten a day text messages she sends him. He keeps them all because he knew she would do something crazy like this.Paul ended it when he realised she was seriously dependent on a Tarot card reader called Pete MacDonald, a former convict. She has her cards read every week and lives by what this guy tells her. Pete MacDonald has dozens of women who do the same and he makes a very lucrative living out of it. Paul and Nadine haven’t been together for years, due to his inability to remain faithful, but she is still the woman he would jump of a cliff for. It was the Pete MacDonald influence over Sheila that made him end it because he didnt want that to reflect on Nadine. Sheila put some money into a company Paul invested in because she wanted to be in with everything he did. She is mega rich and lavished clothes, holidays, watches,
a villa in Umbrio, reams of love letters, the lot, but he left her and she can’t get over it. If Paul had done something illegal or wrong, it would be the Police who were after him not a hick agency for rejected ex girlfriends.
You have got a lot of stuff wrong about Nadine on your blog too, stuff which is just factually incorrect.For instance, she sold Gorgeous to Coleen Rooney and made a bomb out of it. Nadine comes from a famous footballing family in Liverpool and it’s all a big family club.
10 July, 2010 15:42
As a final note, I’d like to point out that Nadine Dorries claims to have received specific instruction from police about handling her ‘stalkers’, but even if this is anything approaching the truth, someone appears to have missed a key lesson about not using friends/sock-puppets to poke your alleged stalkers anonymously with a stick. That, or the gleeful tone this person takes about “thousand pound fines” is just one example of an attitude that is less about any actual feelings of anxiety and harassment and more to do with using accusations of criminality to frustrate critics and political opponents.
“LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour,
and casts no slur on others… ” – Psalm 15:1-3
READ THIS FIRST! – > #Dorries: The MP Who Cried Wolf (The Letter, Part One)
All done? Then on we go.
Today we proceed from Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary sense of entitlement to… Nadine Dorries’ extraordinary sense of entitlement.
Dorries had been seeking to shape hustings events to her advantage well before the Flitwick hustings event in May 2010. It was reported to me that she had denounced supporters of her opponents and other critics as ‘plants’ and ‘spies’ and even had alleged/imagined enemies forcibly ejected from her own private meetings (titled ‘Nadine Unscripted’; picture a hustings with only one candidate and crowd control more attuned to Nadine’s own personal needs). Typically, it was only after the departure of alleged wrongdoers that she would address any doubts about her expenses claims for what was a rental property with extraordinarily misleading and yet technically factual statements such as “I don’t even have a mortgage”.
Dorries was at the time the subject of an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (and then/later the police), and yet she was presenting herself as the only MP with nothing to hide. The most frustrating aspect of this was that the evidence relating to these antics came down to hearsay. By the time the matter came to my attention, Dorries had already compelled organisers to move the final hustings to a date that was more ‘convenient’ for her (i.e. too late for the local papers to cover it before the election), plus arranged for a last-minute arrival and an early departure, the latter set mere minutes before the scheduled open Q&A (what a shame).
Concerned constituents wanted this final hustings event on record and made available to a wider audience, which is why they invited me to record and broadcast it.
Now, I do not deny that Dorries was properly frightened when she found out I was recording the meeting, but it had nothing to do with concerns about personal safety; Dorries was watching her political career flash before her eyes and would not be a politician if she did not immediately recognise the potential cost of my recording her response to any question(s) about her expenses two days before an election at a time when many suspected – and she knew – that she was under investigation for expenses fraud. Anyone asking even the simplest of questions about this rumoured investigation would put her in a position where she would have to admit the truth on camera, or lie on camera. This is surely why Dorries left the meeting even 15 minutes earlier than her previously-arranged escape window (then stood outside chain smoking for a while before dashing off); she could not afford to be inside that building anywhere near an open Q&A session while I was recording.
Thus the desperate lie that I had stalked three MPs and was under investigation for stalking Nadine Dorries at that very moment.
To this day, the only evidence Dorries has presented to support this accusation was my presence at the same event where she claimed a police investigation was already underway. She still cannot produce any evidence of her even having made a complaint prior to this event.
Also, more importantly, my presence at the Flitwick event is the sum total of her evidence of physical stalking. There have been other hysterical accusations aimed at other people (details of the main instance tomorrow), but these have been based on invention (if not extreme confusion), not ‘mere’ distortion. In this instance, I was actually in the presence of Nadine Dorries. Once.
All of her claims of being physically stalked boil down to this one distorted account of a single event… that took place after the period when she claimed she had been harassed and physically stalked to such an extent that police gave her advice on how to avoid her stalkers (i.e. by telling lies on her website about where she was staying most nights).
And on that note we turn to the 2nd instalment from Dorries’ July 2010 letter to the Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police to take another look at this classic work of fiction by the biggest liar in Parliament:
1. If it were a private meeting, Dorries may have had a point about ‘gatecrashing’, but (a) gatecrashing is not stalking, and (b) it was a public meeting. One cannot gatecrash a public meeting, because you do not need an invitation to attend a public meeting, you only need to be a member of the public.
2. And besides that, I was invited! Much as she would have liked it to be, this was not Nadine Dorries’ own personal meeting; it was a meeting for the benefit of constituents, and constituents invited me.
3. If I had lied to the Chair about being a resident, Dorries may have had the beginnings of a complaint, but I had secured authorisation ahead of time by email and explained clearly who I was (and that I was not a constituent) upon arrival.
4. Travelling by train from Guildford to Flitwick was a doddle, and comparable to a jaunt into London, which I do often. This detail is garnish, as is the “sophisticated camera equipment”, which was as follows; 1 laptop with dongle, 1 domestic digital video camera (plus tripod), 1 bog standard webcam (plus stand). Oh, and I almost forgot the cutting-edge technology used to transport electrickery to these devices; a 5m extension lead.
5. In the minutes before the event started, the broadcast camera was connected to the provider (Ustream) and recording to their server as it sat there in stand-by mode waiting for me to begin the broadcast. This is how I have a recording of me describing both the recording camera and the broadcast camera to the Chair before I sought her OK to begin the broadcast by clicking the enormous (almost playing-card-sized) button on the laptop screen that said ‘broadcast’. My agreement with the Chair was to provide the organisation that had arranged the hustings with exclusive rights to the full recording of the event captured with the high resolution camera, which would be recording alongside the broadcast. I happily offered this asset as a gesture of goodwill and a public service, and I thought it was this ‘only for us’ agreement I was (re)agreeing to when asked by the Chair if the recording was exclusively for their use.
6. Members of the audience were able to detect the broadcast because it was no bloody secret. It was widely advertised on Twitter as the Flitwick hustings event, and featured on this page listing all of the candidates. I would’ve happily announced the broadcast to the crowd, but I did not think it was my place, and I figured the Chair would mention it if she thought the crowd needed to know that they could watch a live feed of an event they were already looking at. Any idiot could find it, and it would take an even bigger idiot to think it was hidden in some way. Happily, there was just such a idiot at that meeting. I recently discovered that the woman who complained about the broadcast – who also taught me how to pronounce ‘Flitwick’ by shrieking it at the top of her voice – first complained to the policewoman present in the lobby. The policewoman did not think it warranted interrupting the meeting, so the woman stormed inside and immediately interrupted the meeting herself. Ustream documented that 234 people connected to the live stream and watched the broadcast before it was cut off in the wake of this woman’s outburst. Yes, many people used the #Dorries tag when referencing the broadcast in Twitter, including me. This happened often when she opened her mouth. It happened rather a lot after she stood up in a room full of people and accused the cameraman of stalking her. It still happens on Twitter today any time Dorries appears on radio or television.
7. Even if it is ‘slightly odd’ for a non-constituent to attend a hustings, that is the beginning and the end of Dorries’ complaint, and it doesn’t add up to anything worth a call to police, never mind a letter to the Chief Constable. I might also add that Jeremy Hunt didn’t throw a wobbly when non-constituents ‘gatecrashed’ the Godalming hustings days earlier, but I wish I’d thought to complain about the three or four other sods who turned up with better camera equipment than mine. I didn’t realise at the time I could have some of them ejected for daring to carry sophisticated equipment across county lines.
On the subject of “Christopher Lee of the House of Commons Police”; Nadine Dorries is invited to explain exactly what she reported and when she did this. If she won’t do this, then I will dig the relevant data out myself and reveal the details for her.
(Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve already filed the paperwork and got my receipt.)
On the subject of the mobile phone number, Dorries conflates Parliamentary security with the security of a phone number that she has added to the bottom of emails to damn near every MP in the House. It is nowhere near as secure as she makes out, but I expect she engages in this charade because I did not use her phone number inappropriately* and she needs to put some kind of spin on this that is more in keeping with her ‘stalker’ narrative. If you’re wondering about my use of this number, Dorries had been dodging valid questions about her accusations of stalking and sought to pretend that she had never been notified of the vigilante element she was stirring up with those same accusations. I sought to at least alert her directly about the latter in way she could not later deny. Having learned her mobile phone number, I called it once (and once only), identified myself and asked to speak to Nadine Dorries. The staff member who answered the phone on her behalf pretended it was a wrong number. Obviously it wasn’t. I wish I’d written it on a few toilet walls now**.
On the subject of the woman accused in this part of the letter; this passage is about humphreycushion. A single paragraph across two pages is the extent of Dorries’ complaint to police about her, and it amounts to precisely zero. In this letter, Dorries described humphreycushion’s comments online as “aggressive and written harassment”. Police didn’t see it that way. End of, right? Well, no. Dorries decided to instead engage in a little trial-by-new-media in a pathetic hatchet job involving Paul ‘Guido Fawkes’ Staines; she smeared the poor woman, portraying her as a welfare cheat faking disability and defrauding the state. Dorries also managed to alienate many disabled people in the process; her attack on humphreycushion was based on common everyday distortions and innuendo, but these rested upon the rather unpopular assumption that if you could type, you could work.
Pardon my temporary loss of composure, but it is this kind of conduct that helps me better understand why critics so often team the word ‘Tory’ with ‘scum’.
Tomorrow: Part Three of the letter. Dorries accuses a third blogger of stalking and makes an entirely false accusation about them hanging around outside her house. Plus, the identity of the mysterious fourth stalker.
[*Compare this to the conduct of a bloggers Dorries does support. One sod - a man who this MP has had over to her house for dinner - once published my home phone number on his website, he says merely to 'annoy' me. The calling me at home and shouting at me was, one can assume from this, a casual attempt to mildly irritate me. More recently, Bedfordshire Police kindly passed on a request from me to Nadine Dorries that she remove a link from her site to that of another blogger who had included directions to my front door in a post attacking me (i.e. so people might 'see the home of a stalker’... no, not kidding). Dorries refused to remove the link from her site. Try to imagine how Dorries would have reacted to my doing anything like this to her. You'd probably have to mop the ceiling afterwards.]
[** This is a joke. I do not suggest or condone this kind of behaviour. Besides, what kind of madman would call for a Dorries when they were already standing inside a toilet?]
“Do not spread false rumours, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony.” – Exodus 23:1
For several years now, Nadine Dorries has been using invented and distorted accounts of her circumstances both publicly and privately to mask her corruption to and make false allegations of harassment/stalking to discredit and frustrate those who dared to investigate it.
To get the meatiest fuss out of the way first, two of the bigger secrets she tries to hide with these lies are as follows…
:: A series of increasingly desperate obfuscations about her expenses, primarily to do with claims made against her constituency property and payments made to a close friend & neighbour.
:: Repeated attempts over the years to mask the involvement of Christian fundamentalists* in her anti-abortion campaigns – that she now pretends are ‘pro choice’ campaigns – in an ongoing mission to help this religious group lobby secretly for changes to the law that suit their agenda.
When pressed for details at about this time last year, Nadine Dorries claimed to have reported four stalkers** to police and eventually named me as the ‘worst’ stalker, if not the ‘leader’ of a gang of stalkers (sometimes extending to all of Twitter).
Now, this is not an easy or pleasant accusation to endure in the best of circumstances, and I’ve experienced the added joy of having to deal with a vigilante element that Dorries was knowingly stirring up, but this situation has put me in a unique position that allows me to establish the truth, and clear everyone who has been accused of stalking this MP.
Onwards to that detail…
In October 2010 Nadine Dorries told the public that she lied on her blog about the amount of time she had spent in her constituency not in order to deceive her constituents/association about her level of commitment to the area (as she told the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards) but instead because – she claims – she was specifically advised by police to tell little white lies about her whereabouts in order to throw physical stalkers off the scent (more).
This was a complete lie. Nadine Dorries has no history of being physically or even electronically stalked, ever. Instead, it has been confirmed by Bedfordshire Police that Dorries uses the word ‘stalker’ to describe bloggers and other critics. And from here, I’m going to let Dorries herself repeatedly confirm that same point for me.
The following is an extract from what appears to be the first complaint by Dorries to local police about any stalking threat; a letter Nadine Dorries hand-addressed to the Chief Constable (!) of Bedfordshire Police in July 2010, a couple of months after the hustings meeting at Flitwick where she told the audience an investigation into her stalker(s) was already in progress.
I have obtained this letter and other documentation from Bedfordshire Police through a subject access request under the Data Protection Act. There is further data to come from the London Metropolitan Police. I made a similar request to the Parliamentary office of Nadine Dorries, but she has defied the ICO on the matter, and portrayed my data request as vexatious and a waste of time. She does this while claiming to hold “vile, abusive messages” from me that she won’t show anyone, not even me.
There are only a few documents of key relevance, but there’s a lot in them, so please excuse my addressing some if not all of these documents in parts.
(Tomorrow: Dorries’ take on the Flitwick event and her accusations against blogger humphreycushion.)
1. It is true that Dorries first earned my attention while expressing her opinion on abortion. I watched her make a false accusation against a critic right before she claimed a 21-week-old foetus had punched its way out of a womb and misled Parliament alongside her secretive associate Andrea Williams. I dared to blog about such events. Shocking, isn’t it?
2. I have ONE account in the name of ‘Nadine Dorries’, and Dorries knows this. She has also seen this confirmed by authors of the other accounts using her name for a range of satirical vehicles. She also knows my and their use of this account name (and her name) is entirely legitimate. Even today she pretends it’s something it isn’t so she can present it as something that is not legitimate, and perhaps illegal.
3. I will write about the other ‘Vitim’ at a later date, but Dorries is having herself on here.
4. Having been accused of stalking by Dorries at a public event, I blogged about it and tried to get to the bottom of her claims that I had stalked others, that I had sent her “vile, abusive messages”, and that a police investigation was in progress. Even then my blog was not ‘dedicated’ to her and I invite you to judge this for yourself; May 2010, June 2010, July 2010. Sadly, this letter is not an isolated example of Dorries misrepresenting a reaction to an accusation of stalking as evidence of stalking.
5. I reject any suggestion that what I write is “almost 100% lies” or lies in any way. Dorries is playing the same tired old game used by Iain Dale; accuse your opponent of lying/libel, and when asked for evidence, wave a hand in the general direction of their website. I work assiduously to be accurate, and even if you want to cast me as unfair or incorrect, at least you have the opportunity to inspect the evidence and subject it (and me) to scrutiny. Not so with Dorries. She rarely portrays evidence accurately on the odd occasions she relies on any, and she shuns scrutiny to such an extent that she’s left Twitter in a huff twice now, and disallowed comments on her ‘blog’ since 2008. The accusation of lying is especially insulting from someone who admits to using “70% fiction” on her ‘blog’ before changing her story and claiming she meant 30% fiction, and then changing her story again to say that she really meant no fiction at all, if one didn’t count the special lies she says the police advised her to publish to avoid the imaginary stalkers. FFS, even at this relatively early stage she was already telling lies to cover up the lies about the lies she told.
6. It is clear from this letter that Nadine Dorries defines my conduct towards her from March 2008 up until May 2010 as a criminal act she describes as “internet stalking”. I not only reject this, I can easily show that the police rejected it, and that Dorries doesn’t have a leg to stand on legally or morally. I can’t say more than ‘more to come’ right now without ruining any of the lovely surprises in store.
7. Let us assume for a brief moment that Dorries has a point about my not being a constituent; she has endorsed a harsher web campaign against a personal/political opponent based on little besides malice and run by an associate of hers who was not a constituent of the MP concerned. “He’s not a constituent” doesn’t hold water even if you accept the weak argument behind it.
8. Who does she think she’s kidding with this ‘not a constituent’ nonsense anyway? All MPs are answerable to the electorate as a whole, especially when it comes to issues of conduct, and definitely when they campaign on the national stage and lobby to change laws as Dorries does.
The accounts of physical stalking I will address in upcoming posts, but the short version should hold you for now; no stalking took place at any time, and Dorries is imagining things where she is not making stuff up.
Dorries isn’t being internet-stalked or huge-attacked or death-threated or anything like that. She is just an extraordinarily self-important liar who has been digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself.
More data tomorrow.
(*Not hyperbole, folks. Genuine fundamentalists. People who describe themselves as fundamentalists.)
(**The four stalkers are three bloggers… and one big surprise. It is not a journalist, as previously thought. Details in an upcoming post. You’re going to love it. The sense of entitlement is off the scale.)
Tonight, I am burning Robin Hood Airport in effigy.
There’s no need to call the police for reasons that should be obvious.
I applied a #TwitterJokeTrial hashtag mainly for the benefit of the many people down my way who have access to the internets, but may not be aware of Paul Chambers and the consequences of his joke Twitter message about Robin Hood Airport. I am not connected to the relevant campaign, but I will happily send them link love: Paul Chambers | Twitter Joke Fund | Donate! |
Cheers all. Have a safe Guy Fawkes night, and please try to avoid barbecuing any hedgehogs.
UPDATE (11pm) – Got some video for you, folks.
Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’:
Because it is not a slur against any handicapped group, or a reference to any handicapped person or condition, it merely means ‘div’ or ‘gimp’ (source), and…
Hang on, let’s start again…
Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’… while wanting to stay out of the relevant debate, obviously:
Hang on, let’s start again…
Let’s take Ricky Gervais at his word and assume he is being sincere when he says he is merely reclaiming the word ‘mong’:
You would think from his time on the 11 o’clock show that Ricky Gervais would have observed some reactions to Ali G and developed at least a vague awareness of the risks of satire being misread. Now, depending on the subject matter, the goal, the audience and the execution, sometimes these risks might be warranted, and sometimes they might be open to criticism*.
[*Does not equal a call for anyone to be banned. Is merely a component in what is often called a 'debate'; something Mr Gervais wishes to engage in while running away and calling his critics names.]
For example, if you were going to attempt to reclaim the word ‘mong’ you would want to at least spend a few seconds thinking about the potential targets of a word that is still used in a hateful sense, and you would probably want to have a goal beyond wanting to use the word yourself to mock a dim-witted mate or even yourself as part of your PR for a telly show.
A few seconds thought about those human beings might make you more wary of some fans who might miss the point (see: ‘street’ kids who took to mimicking Ali G as part of their shtick without a lick of irony or awareness). It might also stop you from defending your stance with an accusation that critics are merely offended (see: the dictionary, where ‘harm’ and ‘hurt’ are some distance away from ‘offence’, and not just because of that alphabetical nonsense). It could also prevent you from insulting those you have injured by positioning yourself as the victim.
Speaking of victims, here’s a poor dear who Ricky Gervais kindly retweeted because she complained about the ‘pounding’ she got when her comment against one of Ricky’s critics was RTed by that critic…
… and here is an earlier conversation from her timeline that suggests a possible reason for some of the hostility she is facing:
Now, perhaps these comments from one of Ricky’s fans aren’t malicious/ignorant and are instead so deeply steeped in irony that the post-modernism is impossible to detect, but isn’t there at least the teeniest tiniest risk that either way these comments might somehow reinforce or even encourage further thoughtless, careless, or even malicious use of a word that causes harm in a way the able-bodied and able-minded might have a little trouble comprehending?
Further, if your comprehension of this harm was lacking, would you think it your place to take this kind of risk on behalf of any vulnerable person or group… and wouldn’t a celebrity with nearly half a million followers on Twitter want to be at least a little bit cautious about ‘reclaiming’ a word in these circumstances? Is Ricky Gervais really that confident in the intelligence and literacy of his fans?
To close, for no reason other than balance (*cough*) here is a random selection of recent tweets from Ricky’s fans pointing out that he is a genius. This being the case, perhaps I just don’t understand what a tight grip he has on this situation:
UPDATE (7pm) – Francesca Martinez is comedian who has worked with Gervais. She also has cerebral palsy, which would provide her with vital insight into this issue even if she hadn’t been called a ‘mong’ in the pejorative sense recently (and she has). Martinez has tweeted in support of the vulnerable generally and fellow comedian Richard Herring specifically; Herring has been copping some horrendous abuse as a result of his early and well articulated stance.
Here is a sample of related tweets from Martinez, including three of her most recent:
And below, a response from a Gervais supporter this evening that rather supports my point. Observe how faithfully it follows the pattern of Gervais talking down the careers/achievements of his critics as if that’s relevant to the argument:
This is what you are encouraging, Gervais. This is how your fans are reacting to your poor conduct and your pisspoor defence of same. Take a bloody look in your wing mirrors once in a while and wake up to yourself.
Did anyone else notice anything funny about this picture of Adam Werritty’s business card, as featured in the Daily Mail? No? Just me then.
Was anyone else so blinded by irrational hatred for tabloid newspapers that they recognised it as backwards text and assumed this to be the result of their scanning it from another newspaper? No? Didn’t think so.
Was anyone else so jealous of the professional standard set by the Mail that they spent an entire 2.5 seconds reversing the image to confirm this, and then spent a further 6.8 seconds in Google so they might discover which newspaper the Daily Mail has been lifting material from without credit? No? Well, that’s to be expected.
Oh, and it was The Guardian, by the way; the Daily Mail scanned an image for one of their articles from The Guardian, and didn’t bother crediting them. But I’m sure this is one of those perfectly innocent oversights, and the Daily Mail had permission to use the image, which is why they used the high resolution version one can only get from scanning a two-day-old copy of a rival newspaper.
Morning, folks. I have decided to email Nick Pisa about his conduct last night, when through the Daily Mail he reported how a series of people reacted to an event that never happened.
from Tim Ireland
date Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM
subject Your talent for invention
Do you have any response to the evidence that you and relevant Daily Mail staff were prepared to go to print with [an] entirely invented accounts of events, reactions and statements that you could not possibly have witnessed?
This is what I have prepared in advance;
“Oh, do calm down; EVERYBODY does it,” said a clearly emotional Pisa before calling his critics names and running away.
If you would prefer me to report something you actually said, rather than what I expected you to say, then please do get in touch.
I’ve already received a genuine response while preparing this post, and I look forward to publishing it shortly.
UPDATE – Nick Pisa is now suggesting that I contact the Daily Mail for a response (on the basis that they published what he imagined) but for the record, this is a summary of what he had to say for himself about the above. These are key extracts from a wider email conversation, but if Nick is worried about being quoted out of context, I would be delighted to publish the entire exchange if he so requests.
Nick Pisa: “If you knew anything about reporting and not blogging then you would know two versions are written for court stories on deadline. Also as you are so web obsessed then you will have seen several news organisations made the same mistake.”
Tim Ireland: “I did see others making a similar mistakes re: the verdict, but this is entirely distinct from inventing reactions and statements made in ‘response’ to something that hadn’t happened. Are you saying that you’ve done this before and you regard it to be acceptable?”
Nick Pisa: “No. Now you are twisting my words. It is a version that is fine tuned before being sent for publication or online… To be honest I think it’s best you get a response from the Mail. They posted it. I have told you what happened. I do not recall name calling in fact the jeering was from your side as I recall ! I did not run away. I did not see the point in discussing it and I am as angry as you are.”
I’m especially delighted that Nick took offence at my imagined version of his reaction before not calling me names and not running away. :o)
UPDATE (8pm) – The Daily Mail have expanded on their earlier statement (amounting to a blatantly false and entirely irrelevant claim about the ‘guilty’ story being up for only 90 seconds; something they persist with at their peril, as it undermines their denial) and have added the following to their site:
Confusion over the judge’s announcement meant Sky News and several news websites, including Mail Online, briefly reported incorrectly that Knox had been found guilty.
This was corrected just over a minute later when it became apparent that he had said she was guilty of slander before going on to say both Knox and Sollecito were innocent of Meredith’s murder.
We apologise for the error and have launched an enquiry to examine our procedures.
It is common practice among newspapers to prepare two versions of an article ahead of a court verdict and these are known as ‘set and hold’ pieces.
We would like to make it clear that Nick Pisa had no involvement in the decision to publish his set and hold piece on MailOnline.
The quotes were obtained from various parties in the event of either a guilty or not guilty verdict.
So the reactions to a guilty verdict that never came… were they obtained ahead of time, too? Perhaps Pisa based these sections of his piece on reactions to the slander verdict…
Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction.
… but if this is the case, it makes no sense for these accounts of reactions to a verdict to be in a ‘set and hold’ piece, because the writer would at the time have been responding thinking he had a verdict.
UPDATE (06 Oct) – I urge you to read the unfolding comments, and when a clearer picture emerges I expect to update the body of this post with any crucial elements (i.e. instead of deleting it and pretending it never happened, as some tabloids are wont to do). At this time, it appears entirely possible that Nick Pisa at least acted in good faith, and with some rigour, though we may not see any relevant details until after the Daily Mail have conducted their internal investigation. Scare quotes from ‘journalist’ in my headline have subsequently been snipped to remove the likelihood of the man being judged by this alone.
(Many people only read headlines/link text. Many others will read a post only, and not the comments, which is why vital corrections belong in the body of a post if/when they emerge, and why headlines should be corrected in line with changes to content. IMO.)