Sun-watch v1.0

The Sun – Tabloid Lies is a new collaborative blog that starts here.

Regulars may appreciate that this first incarnation of an ongoing Sun-watch project has been built on the ashes of Rebekah Wade.

Don’t worry if I haven’t already been in touch with an invite; I won’t have time to get this done properly until later in the week.

If you’d like to get involved and/or have a preferred beat, now is the time to drop me a line via email.








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 1 Comment

Busy, busy, busy

I have one video on the loose and two more on the workbench. I have a pile of raw footage to look through today and a shedload of writing to do besides, but here’s a quick something for those who missed the memo about the final decision on this:

I’m going for The Scum. Or, rather, *we* are going for The Scum.

Check in on the QT if you’d like to be part of it. What I have in mind will require more than one writer/artist/blogger.

Oh, and don’t forget…

You will watch my new video. You will link to my new video. You will express your love and admiration for my new video. Once these tasks are complete, you will awake feeling alert and refreshed.

You will watch my new video. You will link to my new video. You will express your love and admiration for my new video. Once these tasks are complete, you will awake feeling alert and refreshed.

You will watch my new video. You will link to my new video. You will express your love and admiration for my new video. Once these tasks are complete, you will awake feeling alert and refreshed.

You will watch my new video. You will link to my new video. You will express your love and admiration for my new video. Once these tasks are complete, you will awake feeling alert and refreshed.








Posted in Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Updates | 7 Comments

Schillings and Spicer could be a lot nicer

Craig is being bullied by lawyers again, and could do with your support.

No doubt there’ll be plenty more over the weekend.

UPDATE – Meanwhile…

Unity – Source for the gander: Whatever you might personally think of the underlying issues, there is no doubt that David has, in blogging terms, handled the story correctly… And, on that basis alone, I personally feel that we all, as bloggers, should be supporting David and Harry’s Place, much as we’ve supported other bloggers when they’ve faced the threat of vexatious legal action. But – as you might expect from me – there’s a little more to be said…

UPDATE (12 Jul) – Back to Craig Murray and his recent hassle from paper-pushing bullies:

Unity – Murray faces more legal bullying: To appreciate the full scope of what Schillings are trying to do here, you need to read the letter that was sent to Craig and his publishers, which was marked ‘Not For Publication’ – Craig has it on his blog in PDF format, but to make life easier for everyone, here’s the full text of the letter…

Click, read and share.

It’s not the first time that Schillings have played this game. Their top-secret threats are so very special that they’re protected by copyright even. Bless ‘em. Bless ‘em dry.

My copy of the letter appears below the fold at the ‘Usmanov’ blog* (woo-hoo! chase me!) because I miss the love that Schillings used to send my way. Repeat it in a post of your own if you’re feeling frisky, but do be aware that there may be a legal risk, even from these clowns.

(Psst! Don’t expect a lot of noise about this from ‘bloggers’ who themselves have become fond of secret threats and intimidation.)

[*UPDATE – Location changed. I forgot that I’m sharing server space with innocent bystanders, and Schillings have a record of knocking off a few civilians to the left and right of their intended target(s). Of course, I’m not suggesting for a second that any of their clients could be accused of anything like that….]








Posted in UK Libel Law | 1 Comment

An open letter to Phil Hendren (aka ‘Dizzy’ of ‘Dizzy Thinks’)

Dear Mr Hendren,

You appear to require some specific instruction and detailed clarification on this matter, so please bear with me:

Introduction

I do not wish you to call me at home; this is why I have never provided you with my home phone number.

I do not wish random people who read my website to call me at home; this is why my home phone number is not on my website.

In fact, do not wish random people to call me at home full-stop; this is why my home phone number is unlisted.

Yet you seem to think, because you were apparently able to use your professional contacts to get a hold of my phone number for personal reasons, that none of the above applies. In fact, you’ve gone so far as to describe my home phone number as “publicly accessible” (source) and I think you are at the very least being a little bit dishonest with yourself about this. That you were able to access it by ferreting around for it does not in any way excuse your using and abusing it in the way you did.

You have also since offered me advice on measures I can take (and services I can pay for) in order to avoid such calls in the future, but here I should remind you that in 6+ years of blogging I have only had this problem with one person and one person only; you.

I am also only really likely to have problems with other people in the future because of one person and one person only; you.

(In case you have forgotten, you also published my unlisted number on your website on more than one occasion, but I’ll get onto that soon enough. I haven’t even begun to begin…)

I do not want to hear about your personal life, and I do not want to be part of your personal life, no matter how keen you may be to barge into mine.

I do not care to hear about your relationship problems as a mitigating factor in any disagreement between us and I certainly do not want to hear about how much sex you’re having with an old/new partner as a deciding factor in what you clearly regard to be a pissing contest.

I also have no interest in calling you, but your calling me back immediately after the sexy-time call and offering your home number to me (by suggesting that I dial 1471) in order to be ‘fair’ struck me as such an odd thing to do (it wasn’t until later I realised that you simply may not have been willing to admit that you made a mistake by not calling me from your mobile with its withheld number) that the only thing I could think to do at the time was ask you to read it out to me just in case you were playing some sort of game (i.e. calling from another number that you may not have known off by heart).

Recently, you’ve tried to pass off your recent pissing-for-distance as dead-cool sarcasm. Normally a claim like this might hold some water, even if it were suspiciously yellow, but I seek to remind you that you bragged about the amount of sex you were getting THREE TIMES in one single call.

OK, so the first repeat may have been my fault; I said “I beg your pardon?” because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but you went on to stress it a third time after this as the body of your conclusion, so it was clearly a/the major point you wanted to get across and I really need to ask you why you think I would care in the first place, if this really is your main measure of a man, and (as you clearly regard my interpretation of that exchange to be unfair ) what someone is supposed to make of an exchange where the caller repeatedly blurts out their plans for intercourse, calls back to offer their phone number and then calls back again to ask why there hasn’t been an adequate response to the first two calls.

Also, I wish to stress to you that when anybody calls my home after 9pm on any night of the week, I expect first to hear (a) an apology for calling so late and (b) a bloody good reason for calling so late.

You may find that other people (especially those with young children) have similar expectations, so it might be in your interests to show some consideration in future… when calling others*.

(*You’re certainly not welcome to call me and you never have been.)

Provocation and Retromoderation I

With regards to your apparent perception that you were in any way central to Operation Manticore, you really need to get over yourself and stop pretending to be so outraged.

Seriously, the project had been on the cards for nearly 5 years, and no matter what you might think about your current level of importance you will have to admit that you simply haven’t been in my face or even active as a ‘blogger’ for that long. Your post was chosen at the last minute (as part of one of many diversions) because you had blogged about a police presence at Heathrow and made a lot of noise about what could and could not be seen at the time. It was fitting and poetic, and that’s it. You also didn’t catch on to the little bit you did know because of any cleverness on your part; it was because someone TOLD you. So, again, please try to get over yourself.

When you latched onto it with both hands and threatened to tell the world about “the real Tim ‘black hat’ Ireland” if I ever crossed you or called you a stalker (and it’s obvious why you would be worried about the latter after using and abusing the label so many times and then repeatedly calling my home… again) I wasn’t at all worried about anything you could reveal in the long term because the intention was to reveal all at close of play.

The only thing that worried me at the time was that you might realise that Plan A was as much of a bluff as Plan B… which you didn’t, despite what currently appear to be suggesting. The fact that you considered the secrets you held to be a long-term bargaining chip (see: ‘blackmail’) proves that. Seriously, how could I possibly stand up afterwards and say; “the whole thing’s been a fake but what happened to ‘Dizzy’ was real”?

I will readily admit that it was a mistake to include you in Manticore any way, as it was supposed to be f-u-n. I should have known that you’d go off the deep end as you have in the past and ruin some of that fun, but I was very amused at the thought of you thinking that you had an ace up your sleeve, when it was in fact a wild card that became worthless the moment Bush left town.

Hilariously, you still tried to play this worthless card after the reveal by trying to give the impression that you had done so before the reveal (and/or that you intended to do so all along) with this subtle retrofit of your ‘holiday’ post.

But it would be silly to engage with you while you were on holiday because (a) I do not want to be drawn into your private life, as I’ve already made clear, and (b) only a fool or a cad would take advantage of a visible disadvantage like that, no matter how much they are dared or egged on to do so by an opponent.

Besides, I was also genuinely waiting for someone else to get back from their holiday. I promise I will get back to this after one very clear example of your attempts to rewrite history and retromoderate your way out the crass error of ‘taking it offline’ at least twice now…

Provocation and Retromoderation II

During your calls to my home in March of this year, when you were literally screaming down the phone at such a volume that my wife could hear you from the next room, we almost got to the guts of what I am trying to explain in this letter, but you were too angry to see it at the time. If you’ve forgotten the exchange since, I can’t blame you for trying to put the incident out of your mind, so I will happily remind you;

During that call you declared that I took the internet too seriously. You described what I was upset about and had blogged about as “only text on a web page”.

When I pointed out that my blogging about your mere text on a web page also amounted to mere text on a web page you did appear lost for words for a brief moment, but then continued to yell at me down the phone during your ill-advised stunt that was well beyond mere text on a web page.

In short, you had stepped way, way over the line. Not just by calling me at home when you were certainly not welcome to, but also by publishing my phone number on your website in a clear effort to intimidate me.

At the time, you showed no remorse over anything but the potential personal cost to yourself and actually mocked me for not spotting another ‘hidden’ version of my phone number that you claimed had been on your site for weeks. (Upon withdrawal of this number you offered as a mitigating factor the fact that the last digit was missing, as if anyone determined enough wouldn’t call 10 numbers in order to find the right one.)

Lately, you claim to have been ‘provoked’ into doing all of the above in this passage that you refuse to admit amounts to blackmail:

“The only thing that you need to do is agree that you will never target me again. Remember, I have the real evidence that you went after *me* with intent. You on the other hand have what? Six phone calls over the period of four months all in reaction to your provocation.” – Phil ‘Dizzy’ Hendren (source)

1. This. Is. Not. A. Pissing. Contest.

2. Despite your efforts to rewrite history after retromoderating the entire exchange out of existence, I can prove that you are 100% full of it:

When it came time to delete the comments including my personal details, you also deleted many surrounding comments in a way that would leave any newcomer to this post/thread totally oblivious to the fact that you accused Tom Watson of being a sock-puppet on your website and simply couldn’t face a solid challenge to this claim (like the fact that he was on live TV at the time one of ‘his’ comments appeared).

Normally that’s the kind of thing I’d expect from you and simply let go, but now you’re trying to pass off my contradicting you on this point and another as ‘provocation’ worthy of the intimidation and harrasment that you dished out, and that’s not on.

Compare your reaction to being proved wrong about a voiced suspicion to mine and you might also begin to understand why a wry smile crosses my face when it’s declared by your supporters that I didn’t take the latter too well.

Somehow, during the entire hammering (that Iain Dale so happily contributed to), I managed to resist the temptation to call you at home or publish your number (as you have done to me) or adopt another online identity so I might undermine your reputation without risking mine (as you have done to me). I also managed to restrain myself to the point of not letting loose with a stream of abuse (as you have done to me) or wishing that you would die of cancer or in a car crash (as you have done to me).

How did I resist this temptation? Because there’s a line, Mr Hendren. And it’s line that you need to learn about.

Especially as that line is the only thing stopping me from making a formal complaint to the ISP you work for.

Intimidation and Information

Here is where our mystery holiday-maker comes into play…

I’ve been in touch with your employer (an ISP that I do not name here as a courtesy that I hope you appreciate) in an effort to determine if my details lurked on any marketing or customer databases currently in their possession (i.e. within your reach).

This. Took. Months. To. Process.

In fact, I’ve been trying to determine this (without involving you or any complaint about you) since March.

I sent them an email pointing out that this was still a concern for me after your more recent calls, but they told me the person who was supposed to be looking after this was away at the time.

But they (finally) got back to me the other day and the good news for you is that I don’t appear on a single database that you might have access to at your place of work.

There’s plenty of ammunition for a formal complaint to your employer (again, I hope you appreciate the courtesy of me not going into detail) but when the possibility of you accessing my data via your employer is ruled out completely, then in my view, there simply isn’t any justification.

Because there’s a line.

I hope now you’re at least looking at it and perhaps even appreciating how wrong and reckless it is for anyone it to cross it without a bloody good reason.

Conclusion

Look, if you don’t want to be the first person suspected of sock-puppeting and flaming stunts designed to disrupt debate and undermine the reputation of others, then don’t be the first person who generally turns up with sock-puppeting and flaming stunts designed to disrupt debate and undermine the reputation of others.

Similarly, if you don’t want to be suspected of nuisance calls to my home, then don’t make a habit of making nuisance calls to my home.

Finally, if you seriously want to avoid suspicion over any future nuisance calls to my home, you might want to have a quiet word with anybody you may have shared my number with, and the person who shared it with you.

Sadly, you have no control over the people who saw it appear on your website, but I hope this will at least reinforce for you (and others) what an irretrievably foolish stunt this was.

Do yourself a favour and take the weekend to ponder on it.

And for God’s sake, don’t even THINK about responding with a phone call.

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 16 Comments

Commies

I’m writing today, but I do have a small distraction for you, as the initial research involved comic books and I’ve found a whopper that I can share with the class:

Treasure Chest – This Godless Communism

Regulars of Bloggerheads can heighten their enjoyment my reminding themselves of the extreme lengths certain rabid anti-communists went to during their college years to keep Teh Red Menace at bay… and wondering throughout the saga how much of this crap they believed then and might still believe today.

(Background to title here. More treasure here. Browsing by ‘title’ appears to be the best option.)








Posted in Inneresting | Comments Off

Expenses

Mail on Sunday – All The President’s Men: The unimaginable lengths needed to keep George Bush alive: For his recent trip to London, the work called on the expertise of 904 civilian staff from the Department of Defense, 600 from the Armed Services, 250 Secret Service officers, 205 White House staff, 103 US Information Agency staff, 44 Department of State staff, 30 more from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labour, Transportation and Treasury, 18 Senior Advance Office staff, 16 members of Congress (to tick legal boxes) and 12 sniffer dogs… The London leg of Bush’s visit was the weak spot, as far as the Secret Service was concerned. (via)

1. What, no mention of the fine work of our local boys? Tch. They’re not all undercover thugs, you know. Some of them would like a pat on the back for kicking a few heads in.

2. Now let’s all pretend that the dinner at Downing St was necessary, and that all of this time and effort was spent keeping Bush alive, and not making him look good as he limps to the end of the presidency he didn’t earn.








Posted in George W. Bush | 2 Comments

Victims

AP – Londoners mark July 7 bombings anniversary: Londoners on Monday marked the third anniversary of the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters during a rush-hour attack. Hundreds of commuters and survivors stood silently as Mayor Boris Johnson and others laid flowers outside King’s Cross train and subway station at 8:50 a.m. three years after the attacks in 2005.

But will there be a similar event or service (including the new Mayor of London) in memory of Jean Charles de Menezes?

Serious question.

(And no, this doesn’t count.)

[Psst! Here’s a quick ‘Meanwhile…’ for you. Prepare yourselves for the giddy thrill of hearing what Mr X said about Mr Y.]








Posted in The War on Stupid | Comments Off

Apologies

“I’m not a ‘victim of injustice’ as far as I’m concerned this is just a flame war.” – Phil Hendren

Hendren doesn’t need an apology, Hendren doesn’t deserve an apology, and the only reason Hendren wants an apology is so he can misuse it.

So he’s not going to get one.

In fact, I won’t be apologising for the same reason I think Bob Piper shouldn’t have apologised over Praguetory’s nonsense and Tom Watson shouldn’t have apologised in response to the faux-outrage that followed Sion Simon’s Webcameron adventure.

Mistakes and errors have been admitted to, comments are still open, no-one is being bullied under comments by single web users with multiple personalities and no effort has been made to retro-moderate this site or any other in an effort to rewrite history.

Please keep this in mind if anyone tries to pass off this refusal to apologise as anything near their level of bad-faith bullshit.

Hendren is only kicking up an artificial stink over this because he desperately needs an ‘out’ after publishing my home phone number on his website and then calling me at home a minimum of six times. It’s not the sort of thing you can do and then pass off as a joke (which is Hendren’s usual escape route), and even the dimmest of web users (not counting the most ardent of his followers) know that ‘taking it offline’ like this is unacceptable, and that doing it and then calling your victim a stalker in the same fetid breath is the height of audacity.

And on the subject of strategically yelling ‘stalker’, here’s your bonus link from a few years back. You may spot a few old tricks that are now used by the new boys from Torytown.

Final wrap-up on the calls to my house later this week.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 6 Comments

The rewriters of history

I’ve had my differences* with some of the peeps over at Harry’s Place, too (over bullying and bullshit under comments if you can believe that) but I’ll stand with them over this:

Ministry of Truth – Harry’s Place threatened with legal action: Now, as I see it and on the basis of the material in these articles, especially the screenshot in the original post, then as long as the allegation is not that Harry’s Place mistranslated the contention passage then the BMI has no cause for genuine complaint against anyone but Al Jazeera. Not only that, but any dispute over exactly what was said could be readily cleared up if Al Jazeera were simply to give an explanation for why the article was retrospectively altered. Either it made a mistake, that David responded to in good faith, in which case [it] should say so, allowing him to amend his remarks accordingly, or it got the original report right only then to cave in and make changes under some sort of pressure. In neither scenario is litigation justified or warranted against HP as any issue that BMI might have over the text published by Al Jazeera is with Al Jazeera itself – or it should be and would be were it not for our berzerker libel laws.

Please be warned that linking to the original article at Harry’s Place makes you a potential target of legal threats.

UPDATE – Here’s a useful round-up of events from Melanie Philips.

(*I’ve just had a quick read-through of the relevant article from 2005 – i.e. long before Dale, Staines etc. declared themselves to be the fathers and rulers of the blogosphere – and I’ve noticed some startling parallels, but now’s not the time. I’ll link it later.)








Posted in UK Libel Law | Comments Off

Mistakes

1. It was a mistake not to consider John Hirst as a suspect in the Ironed Sardine matter, especially when there’s an obvious reason why he may not have been aware of many of the things that were so wrong about it. Phil Hendren (aka ‘Dizzy’) is well within his rights to give me a hard time about that… to a limited extent. (More in a bit.) Similarly, Iain Dale is pretty much beside himself, but he can’t be blamed for taking this rare chance to cast doubt on clear and established facts (such as the clear and established fact that he was taking the figure for ‘visits’ and presenting it as the number of ‘unique visitors’). Staines can’t be too far behind with a similar game plan.

(Right here is where an apology would normally go, but ‘Dizzy’ can whistle for it. He has a track record of sock-puppeting and so only has himself to blame if eyebrows are raised over sock-puppets that appear when he’s on the warpath. And on that note…)

2. I have no choice but to take John Hirst off my blogroll. If you’re going to fight this corner it is a mistake to think that sock-puppeting and/or creating anonymous attack websites is in any way acceptable, even if one only takes it from a practical point of view. At the time, Dorries was playing the victim, even though she had no visible or credible evidence to back her claims. The Ironed Sardine site was evidence on a platter. Even if it was the type she was unable to promote, it was such a fundamentally stupid and flawed idea, I honestly didn’t consider for more than a moment that anyone on our side of that dispute could be behind it, because it just didn’t make any sense. It’s also worth looking at the way that Iain Dale and even ‘Dizzy’ (a proven sock-puppeteer) are using this to their advantage any time you might be tempted to counter their use and abuse of sock-puppeting with a little sock-puppeting of your own. If you want to be anonymous, generally that’s fine. If you want to pretend to be someone else (or five different people) or attack someone’s reputation anonymously, don’t expect me to be at all happy about it.

3. I’ve blogged about Phil Hendren publishing my unlisted number on his website and calling me at home this March. There’s more to come, but I’ve also blogged about him calling me at home in June of this year, and in that most recent post I also mentioned “calls in recent months involving some anonymous sod who hangs up when my wife answers”. Hendren’s response to this is below:

Fuck all to do with me mate. I don’t expect you to believe that of course, and clearly I cannot prove a negative, but I suggest having your telco provider bar withheld number at their switch for a start. You have my landline number so feel free to have the records checked. I have called you on two occassions with six calls where we have both hung up on the other. That was one day in March and then one day in June. That’s it. You are free to publish this email as well.

Phil Hendren also claims to have erased my number from his mobile/computer/memory/etc., but late yesterday afternoon my wife took a call from a man who did not want to leave his name and instead said he would call me on my mobile. No call came through on the mobile, but even with recent events in mind I’m still feeling reckless enough to assume that this might be because ‘Dizzy’ didn’t find out what my mobile number was when he hacked a database called a friend on the off chance they would have it called around people/companies in “a very small industry” posing as who-knows-what seeking it out happened across my unlisted home phone number, which he now describes as “publicly accessible”.

The thrust of the above is that Hendren has left a trail of changed stories on this front, which is a mistake if he wants or needs me or anyone else to believe his story when he finally decides on one. And, as with his track-record for sock-puppeting, he only has himself to blame if eyebrows are raised over mystery calls that happen when he’s on the warpath.

[Despite recent distractions, you still need to get your story straight, ‘Dizzy’. How did you get that number? Was it six calls to my home or more? What’s your plan for when one of my kids answers the phone? Oh, and if I want advice on how to deal with nuisance calls, I’d just as soon not take it from a nuisance caller, no matter how experienced he might be.]








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 21 Comments