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.]