Brown forced to eat Crewe and Nantwich

Well said, that man:

Justin McKeating: Any Tory who thinks they are winning rather than Labour losing needs to stop jumping around and take a bit of breather.

Even Iain Dale and Paul Staines appear to agree; it wasn’t the Tories or Timpson that won, but toff-talk that lost. (Though, in fairness, it may be a case of Dale and Staines simply wanting to put the boot into Maguire in exactly the same way that they didn’t when Nadine Dorries stuffed it for their side recently.)

Amusingly, the famously thirsty Staines described the result in Crewe and Nantwich as “a tipping pint” before admitting that he typed one thing, but meant quite a mother.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

Torygraph goes up to 11

Independent –’s web surge ignites row
Guardian – Publishers query Telegraph rise
Telegraph – We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!*

(*OK, so I’m paraphrasing.)

Eyebrows raised in the past by the Telegraph’s past traffic claims here and here.

The blogosphere’s version (just in case you missed it) here.

(Another day in London, today. Sorting backing and back-end for Operation Manticore. There will be a delay in the answering of comments and email. Again.)

Posted in Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

Busy day today

Must dash to London and organise bits and bobs for Operation Manticore. There will be a delay in the answering of comments and email.

But if you need someone to chat to I’m sure the Tories will send you a list of potential pen-pals if you ask nicely. (more)

Posted in Updates | 3 Comments

Chasing Bush II – Operation Manticore

Tools down, folks. Dubya is coming to town.

Press Association – George Bush to visit UK: US President George Bush is to visit Britain next month during a tour of European nations, the White House has announced. The trip, from June 9 to 16, is intended to mark the 60th anniversary of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the Second World War and the Berlin Airlift. Mr Bush will also visit Germany, Italy, the Vatican, and France, as well as attending the annual US-EU summit in Slovenia. The trip follows Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s visit to the United States last month.

He’s not going to be here for long, and he could turn up anywhere… but I’ve been planning this one for a long time.

Remember Chasing Bush? Far too conspicuous.

All sleeper agents prepare for Operation Manticore. I repeat; all sleeper agents prepare for Operation Manticore.

No details from previous briefings in emails, please. Just check in.

(Everyone else, please speak your mind here if you want to move the libel matter forward in the meantime.)

Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off

Nadine Dorries: unbelievable

Dawn Primarolo: “The hon. Lady has asserted many things to be facts that are not.”

Mrs. Dorries: “If the Minister feels that I have said anything tonight – cited any statistic or piece of information – that is not factual, I hope that she will challenge it.”

Ooh! Ooh! Me first, please!

One thing that caught my eye last night was the number of Tories using data from a poll conducted on behalf of the Christian Institute. I found the raw data this morning and I’d like to share something special with you.

ComRes conducted this poll “on behalf of the Christian Institute on the public’s views of abortion” from a sample of 1014 people. In my view, things like (a) the size of the sample (b) the wording of the questions and (c) the interpretation and presentation of the data are all worthy of comment, but let’s keep things tidy for now and watch what happens to the numbers after they leave the hands of ComRes…

ComRes – Abortion Survey : CATI Fieldwork : 2nd-4th May 2008

… and are then released by the Christian Institute with these two key claims:

– Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

– 72 per cent of women (and more than half of the general public) also want a lower abortion time limit in light of the survival rates of babies born before 24 weeks

… and are then used by a series of Conservative MPs in what Iain Dale hails(!) as a “set piece debate” in the House…

Edward Leigh uses the data, as does Mark Pritchard (who cleverly presents it as the specific will of his constituents) but the whopper belongs to Nadine Dorries, who stepped from the world of reality to a land of wishful thinking a long, long time ago…

Nadine Dorries:”The public have been informed by the images of how a foetus develops, the knowledge that foetuses feel pain in the uterus earlier, the knowledge of what happens in a late termination, the fact that doctors do not want to perform abortions and the fact that they are not performed in the NHS but in private clinics, and they have taken a view. Their view is that they do not want any further late terminations at 24 weeks. The public do not say that they want the limit to come down from 24 weeks; the public – including three quarters of women – say that they want 20 weeks. They specify what they want.

[emphasis mine]

Do they really?

Well, in a word… no.

First, you have to know where this comes from:

- Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

[emphasis mine]

The Christian Institute arrived at the above figure/claim by taking the options in the red area below that fit the criteria for “20 weeks or lower” (note that this includes an outright ban on abortion) and adding the corresponding figures (circled in red) to arrive at a total of 73% in support of 20 weeks… or lower.

poll grab

But Nadine claimed the support of three quarters of all women on 20 weeks specifically, and made quite a thing of their making that as an informed choice

But if Nadine is to rely on the poll data, the best she can say for sure is that only 15% (less than a quarter) of all women back the option of a reduction to 20 weeks specifically… and only when it is spoon fed to them.

I’m sorry, but the notion that the public has seen the light and embraced Nadine’s wisdom is a fantasy.

Unless she knowingly mislead the House in her speech, Nadine Dorries is a delusional nitwit prone to belief in her own hype and publicity.

She’s still out there right now telling the world that she lost because Parliament failed and is out of touch with the will of the people (and by that she means her people).

I think some time need to be spent looking closely at this poll and how it was used in an effort to fool the people, but for now spare a moment for Nadine Dorries and the tragic extent to which she is still fooling herself.

She needs to spend some time away from people who believe more than they think and ‘know’ more than they can prove.

Septicisle – It was Dorries wot lost it! (now also drawing comments at Liberal Conspiracy)
NHS Blog Doctor – Nadine Dorries loses the abortion debate
Ministry of Truth – Fallout Boy #1
Sunny Hundal – Fundamentally flawed
Liberal Conspiracy – How MPs voted on abortion, and other points
Vraie fiction – Fundamentalism as a cancer
Anorak – Christian Fundamentalists Aborted: Nadine Dorries Tagged
Ministry of Turth – Fallout Boy #2 – The Mad Nad Special (Unity fisks Nadine’s ‘contribution’ to the debate… grab a coffee and dig in)
Septicisle – The final words on Dorries (for now)
Vraie fiction – A letter to Mrs. Dorries (<------ You'll probably wish that you wrote this. I wish that Nadine would admit to receiving it and many emails like it.)

Posted in Christ... | 13 Comments

Abortion vote latest

Via Student Midwife, I learn of a live-blog over at the Guardian.

Any other games in town?

[There may be a little action here, but no guarantees.]

19:25 – Edward Leigh (Con) just read out Nadine’s ‘voice of the majority’ statistics (from a poll conducted commissioned* by the Christian Institute). So it’s on him if the poll turns out to have been conducted on the back of a hymn sheet in a church car park.

[*POST-MATCH MINI-UPDATE – Find out more about that poll here and here.]

19:50 – Mark Pritchard (Con) is the second MP to complain that we don’t show late-term abortions on television and ‘let the public decide’. Claims 2/3 of all people and 3/4 of women in his constituency support 20 weeks. It’s Nadine’s very favrit stats again! How many MPs are running off the same information pack?

19:55 – Pritchard Brings out a picture of 16 week old fetus even though he knows he’s not supposed to pull the stunt! FFS!

19:58 – Pritchard has lost it now. He’s wasting everybody’s time, and waffling on about the great sporting heroes we may be aborting.

20:10 – It’s been far too sensible and boring since Pritchard shut his mouth, so let me use this opportunity to ask where in the hell Pritchard gets off taking the CI’s (alleged) poll results and claiming them to be the view of his constituency?!

20:17 – Mike Penning (Con) has wished for a longer debate. Presumably because more Conservative MPs want to sing from the same information pack.

20:20 – Desmond Swayne (Con) interjects quite energetically and wants more emotive language and fewer “euphemisms”.

20:22 – Mike Penning (Con) brings common sense and dignity to the debate by revealing a personal anecdote – transmitted via Facebook no less – of a young woman having (*gasp*) multiple abortions.

20:30 – Mike Penning (Con), Shadow Front Bench Minister for Health; “Please vote for 20 weeks, that’s what I will be doing.”

20:32 – Dawn Primarolo (Lab) Minister of State for Public Health; (paraphrased lots) Medically, nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. Can we please look at the evidence?

20:34 – Ann Widdecombe uses the word EV-I-DENCE because (we assume) she has some that’s relevant

20:37 – More interjections. Dawn Primarolo (Lab) forced to make her point again for those who aren’t listening. Nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. She attempts to debunk some nonsense on the loose…

20:45 – Ann Widdecombe objects to this on the basis that it insults the source of the nonsense, who is not present to defend himself/herself. Time for a sensible cup of tea…


21:14 – Now Judy Mallaber (Lab) is telling a personal anecdite. Don’t care whose side she’s on, I’m going back to the kitchen.


21:20 – Gah! Almost missed Nadine. She’s pro-choice, she says. Nadine tells the bedpan story again.

21:32 – Go, Nadine, go! She choked and almost lost the floor, but got back on her feet after the second long call for calm from the Speaker. Now the bullshit is flowing thick and fast. I look forward to fisking most of this tomorrow. For now, please note that Nadine Dorries looks and sounds just like Ollie Plimsoles when talking about ‘ishooz’.

21:33 – Speaker has to call for calm again!

21:40 – Oh, FFS… here come the ‘abortion industry’ rubbish. More calls for televised late-term abortions. And she pushes the claim of overwhelming public support. In a further enhancement of the CI poll, she claims that the majority of women back a reduction from 24 weeks and – in her words – do so in an informed fashion because they are ‘specifying’ 20 weeks. Colour me incredulous.

(That poll is getting one hell of a workout today isn’t it?)

21:46 – Off for fresh tea, though I wish for something stronger after Dorries. (Even mouthwash would do. At least it would get this bad taste out of my mouth.)

21:56 – Just found out that rhetorically speaking is also live-blogging here. Lots of detail that I’ve missed or not typed. Go see.

22:02 – Richard Ottaway Missed his name, proposed that point of viability has come down from 24 weeks to 23 or 22 to cries of “What?” “No it hasn’t.” … anyone catch his name?

22:06 – Ann Widdecombe claiming that we are murdering children in the womb, let’s show the public, moral rah rah rah, fighting for the weak, blah blah blah.

22:10 – Division.

22:41 – Sorry for the delay. I needed to kick computer in guts *and* have the server kicked in guts. Neither could stomach Nadine. Expect to see this phrase a lot tomorrow… Dawn Primarolo on Nadine Dorries; “She has asserted many things as fact which are not this evening.”

10:50 – 12, 16, 18, 20 (sorry, Nadine)… now it’s crunch time.

23:05 – See Liberal Conspiracy for more live-blogging and a run-down of the proposed amendments.

23:12 – Nadine Dories starts by claiming to have the backing of 200 MPs, and after two weeks of solid campaigning has the support of…. 190 MPs.


23:16 – Ayes 233, noes 305 – ’22 weeks’ goes down! Cameron** only brought 43 MPs with him!

And me without so much as a beer in the house…

[**NOTE – Cameron has said long before all of this that he supported a 20-week limit, but yesterday he conspiciously let it be known that he would most certainly back a limit of 22 weeks. No matter which way Cameron voted himself, 22 weeks looked to be the rallying cry for the troops (“Come on fellas, over the top middle!”)… but not enough Tories followed him.]

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 23 Comments

Nadine Dorries and Andrea Williams

David Modell (the man who once captured the Hamiltons’ entire marriage in a single photograph) has well and truly got the goods on the Christian fundamentalist movement here in the UK, and I invite you to catch the entire documentary on YouTube (links below via) or watch it air again on More4 at 9pm on Wednesday:

Dispatches: In God’s Name (1/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (2/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (3/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (4/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (5/5)

(Or use/share this link that lets you watch all 5 parts in sequence.)

[MINI-UPDATE – Only Part 5 of this sequence is now available online. It is embedded below.]

Of particular interest to regulars of Bloggerheads is Part 5, where we see the cosy interaction between Nadine Dorries and Andrea Minichiello Williams.

Just the sight of Andrea Williams fills me with joy. She deserves more television time, she does. It’s a lot of fun watching her play the media expert as she herds shoutier supporters away from the camera.

She doesn’t want Christian fundamentalists to come across like a pack of wild-eyed fruit-loops, y’see.

And Andrea does it soooo much better…

Her most impressive weapon is that solid black border around her eyes, which doesn’t make her look at all wild-eyed.

[rolls eyes]

And, bless her little cotton socks, when pressed with a difficult question, she will totally take control of the situation… erm, by asking for the camera to be turned off with a pleading grimace or unplugging her microphone with a smug grimace.

More air-time for Andrea, please.


The Telegraph published Nadine’s (allegedly) militant “pro-abortionists” nonsense, and also this David Modell article about his doco on politically-active Christian fundamentalists… but they lose points for not drawing attention to the obvious connection between the two (more) days ago.

Similary, welcome as it is, those of us who worry about media manipulation would have enjoyed the participation of Modell, Aaronovitch and Cochrane much earlier than this.

Nadine said outright on camera (see from 3 min on here) that she gets her information from Andrea Williams, and in the past week or so we’ve seen many outrageous and unsourced claims from Dorries. Many of those claims were published verbatim by MSM, and too few questions were asked at the time.

Now it would appear that a lot of the bad science and questionable poll data came from the same woman who penned Dorries’ amendment… a woman who thinks that the world is around 4,000 years old.

It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that Nadine Dorries is either knowingly in league with fundamentalists or being used by them.

The response is unusually slippery for the dim-witted Dorries; she feigns outrage over an accusation that hasn’t been made and says that she personally isn’t a fundamentalist (which therefore makes everything OK):

Nadine Dorries: God help me!
Posted Tuesday, 20 May 2008 at 11:54

Apparently now I’m a religious fundamentalist! Of all the arrows I’ve had slung at me since I picked up abortion, that has to be the most ridiculous.

Am I a Christian? Yes I am. Do I go to Church? Occasionally. Do I pray? Sometimes. Do I believe in God? Yes. Does this make me a freak? Well, if it does, we’re a nation of freaks, that’s all I can say.

Almost everyone I know believes in a God. It may not be the same God as mine, they may not go to the same Church as me, but they do believe in something.

My position on abortion is motivated by my experience as a nurse, witnessing late botched abortions .

I will say this once again – I am not a religious fundamentalist !!!!

I will say this only once… I!!!! DON’T!!!! CARE!!!!

Nadine Dorries has allowed herself to be influenced by religious fundamentalists and she has worked to further their agenda while taking measures to mask or minimise their involvement.

And now she’s been caught, she thinks she can wiggle out by claiming that she herself isn’t one of the zealots she’s been taking instruction from.

She’s a bigger fool than I took her for… and that’s saying something.


rhetorically speaking – nadine dorries: late abortion is murder
Richard Bartholomew – Documentary Looks At UK Christian Right
Pickled Poltics – Christian fundamentalism in the UK
Indigo Joe Blogs – The ugly face of the British evangelical lobby
Family Lore – A Frightening Prospect
Media Watch Watch – A new Dispatches affair?
Sadie’s Tavern – Whipping, Nad Dorries, and other odd perversions (In which Sadie watches Iain Dale breaking eggs on his face. Tch, to think that he wasted all that time keeping a safe distance from Dorries.)
Independent – Dispatches: Making a giant leap of faith: (In which David Modell “reveals how he gets ‘extremist’ subjects like these Christian fundamentalists to open their hearts to him”)

UPDATE: Ministry of Truth – The (almost) Final Indignity: Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s vote, Dorries walks away with zero credibility and a reputation as a purveyor of long-debunked hoaxes, crap science and a woman who cannot even muster the most basic integrity necessary to be honesty about her motives. And then, to cap it all, along comes Channel 4’s Dispatches to verify that the links between Dorries and Williams that I exposed here, with the help of Tim Ireland, were right on the money.

Posted in Christ..., The Political Weblog Movement | 5 Comments

UK Libel Law, the Demon Almost-Precedent and the Bastard Duke of Brunswick

Libel tourism is the new hotness and our milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

UK libel law is also making life increasingly difficult for those of us who like to speak our minds via Teh Interwebs.

These are, to my mind, the two aspects of UK libel law that deserve the most immediate attention from the folks online, but if you think that there are others that are of a higher priority (or even more likely to bend with the wind), then now is the time to speak up on your own blog or under comments:

The Demon Almost-Precedent: the Legacy of Laurence Godfrey

The roots go a wee bit deeper and it’s not as set in stone as some people would have you think, but since Demon settled over the Laurence Godfrey libel case eight years ago, it has been generally accepted that ISPs and other providers of web hosting services can under UK law be sued for libel over material transmitted through a largely automated carrier service.

Things are different in the US; Section 230 protects the providers of carrier services and instead puts the legal onus on the true publishers; those who consciously present, arrange, edit, coordinate or create content for publication (e.g. the submitters of comments, the authors of blogs, the editors of portals, etc.)

But here in the UK, the people who own the transmitter are publishers from the moment of transmission.

From that moment, the only defence left to them is one of ‘innocent dissemination’… and this is why the ‘notice and takedown’ method works so well; a lawyer gives notice, the ISP panics, takedown follows.

You can still be held legally responsible for what you submit to websites (under your control or the control of others)… however, thanks to Godfrey v. Demon Internet Limited, you can be neatly bypassed at any time by someone who wants to remove what you’ve published but cannot or will not challenge it in court.

The Bastard Duke of Brunswick

Again, we come back to that moment of transmission, except this time it doesn’t stop there; each time a web page is reloaded in this country, that’s counted as a fresh transmission, and therefore a fresh publication.

This concept was first introduced to law over a 150 years ago by the Bastard Duke of Brunswick a man who once boasted that, if it weren’t for his great wealth, he would have been in an insane asylum

Instead, he decided to roam free and infect our legal system with his special brand of crazy.

(This, in my view, is what makes him a bit of a bastard… but please feel free to use the title ‘Batshit Duke of Brunswick’ if you prefer it. In fact, you can say almost anything you like about him now that he’s dead.)

In 1998, the law on limitation periods for civil claims in the UK was described as “needlessly complex, outdated and, in some respects, unfair”. A few years later, limits for claims of libel were rendered all but meaningless in a digital age after Brunswick’s bullshit was applied to websites in Loutchansky v. The Times Newspapers Limited.

As it stands, any UK newspaper or magazine wishing to make an archive of their articles available online must be prepared to prove all over again that what they published umpteen years ago was true. Even archive services such as LexisNexis are vulnerable (as one inventive and secretive ‘blogger’ has shown).

Also, someone could choose to initially ignore something you published about them on your website or weblog and then surprise you with a claim of libel in 5, 10 or 20 years time; that’s a long time to expect anyone to maintain evidence and/or contact with relevant witnesses.

There are already quite a few bloggers with content of this vintage. Very few of them will be aware how (and when) it might be used against them with an ambush claim.

Again, the folks in the US shame us with a superior level of common sense on this matter.

[WARNING: The legal status of web users as publishers and their subsequent individual/collective responsibilities is a matter that’s likely to come up and be widely misunderstood and disagreed upon… in a conversation involving an unknown number of people wishing to stay anonymous while pretending to be more than one person. Just so you know. Oh, and there’s a minor communication/motivation problem on the horizon; those who aren’t paying attention may wonder why we should fight to give ISPs immunity from liability when all they’ve done so far is punk out on us.]

Posted in UK Libel Law | 10 Comments

Paul Staines: The Plonk

By now most of you are aware that, yesterday, Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) was, after his second drink driving offence, hit with an 18-month supervision* order, a 3 month 9pm-6am curfew (enforced via electronic tag) and a 3 year driving ban… and that I was there to watch the proceedings.

I have a busy day today, so pardon me for serving this lot up late in the day and in bite-sized chunks. I have little time for elegance…

(*Yes, a supervision order. The kind of thing they normally reserve for juveniles who lack self-control and access to a responsible adult. I don’t think the judge placed a lot of faith in this 41 year old man’s ability to control himself.)

1. Why was I there? Reasons in full:

– I wanted to meet up with some other bloggers and have a bit of a jolly. (Sadly, this bit didn’t work out.)

– I wanted to see if the multi-talented Donal Blaney turned up as Staines’ lawyer. (He didn’t. Paul appeared alone and without representation.)

– I wanted to see if anybody noteworthy turned up in Paul’s list of character witnesses. (The judge made no mention of it, so I will assume that nobody noteworthy spoke up for Paul.)

– I wanted to ensure that reporting of this event wasn’t left to ‘old media’. (The Mirror has Paul driving without a licence here when what he was driving without at the time was insurance…. and brains. Pandora do better here, but they let the “4 bottles a week” figure slide.)

– And, finally, out of sheer curiosity – with a side order of carefully restrained glee – I wanted to see Paul Staines in a state of contrition. Simulated or not, I just wanted to see it. Just the once. (And it was lovely, thanks for asking. I wish some of his many victims could’ve been there to see it.)

2. Paul Staines doesn’t have a gracious bone in his body. All I had to do was pass a copy of this article to the prosecutor and his day would have ended quite differently:

Pandora – Blogger ‘Guido Fawkes’ is led off to the Tower: “I had been speaking at the Adam Smith Institute,” Guido explains. “They have made a lot of money so the booze is usually pretty good. I moved on with a few people to the Westminster Arms, where I bought drinks, and then to the Kennington Tandoori to show everyone the picture of Prezza on the wall. Then I was giving a few people a lift to Victoria station when the fuckers pulled me over.”

But does he thank me? Does he bunnies…

3. Not only is Paul Staines playing the ‘stalker’ card and publishing mostly anonymous comments pushing his one-card hand, but one of them comes with a ‘paedo’ tag:


Nobody should have to put up with paedo-smearing. It’s evil and dangerous and totally uncalled for as a political tactic. Regular readers might recall Nadine Dorries doing it to Alex Hilton and Paul Staines doing it to Mark Oaten (and showing not one ounce of care or regret, as usual). Long-time readers may remember that the main shitstorm over blogging standards started after Iain Dale and Paul Staines stood by and let Milton’s sock-puppeting activists get on with doing it to someone else BIG TIME in Guildford and I subsequently took an interest in the mostly anonymous thugs hanging around their websites and how these two actually manipulated that activity to gain advantage over any readers/bloggers who might disagree with them…. i.e. pretty much exactly the same thing Staines is doing here.

All the guy had the guts to say to my face on the day was “this must be a nice day out for you” and he had all morning to think it up.

And now he unleashes his ‘wit’ and the wrath of his sock-puppeting tosspots? Spare me.

(PS – Bloggage on the subject here would have been considerably lighter had Dale or Staines given me an honest answer to a fair question on their site(s) once in a while instead of throwing sock-puppets and abuse at me. They can both rack off with their ‘stalker’ crap. That goes for their current head-boy and hanger-on Dizzy, too.)

4. How many bottles of wine? “Four a week” said the judge after consulting a piece of paper. Surely this figure comes from Paul Staines’ own rather conservative estimate? Perhaps he would care to confirm or deny that when he’s finished yelling “Stalker!”

[Paul? Your sock-puppeting followers are making something of this and I want to know where the figure came from. How about an honest answer to a fair question? Go on… just this once.]

5. The judge had his eye on that VW Golf and had the power to seize it. In fact, he’d just seized a vehicle in a previous and very similar case.

Paul was asked about the car and IMO only it being registered in his wife’s name saved it from seizure.

That might ring a few bells with regulars.

6. So what’s going on here, then?

Judge Stone: “What do you do for a living?”

Paul Staines: “Advertising.”

Advertising? Beg pardon? With who?

During Spinal Stats we received the following assurance from the advertising firm MessageSpace:

“Paul Staines is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been.”

And Paul can’t be talking about making a living from the Commission Junction banners and what not on his own website. Even if he’s pulling in 100,000+ unique visitors a month (and he’s not) and there’s no overlap month to month (there is), the best he can hope for is baked beans with his four bottles of wine a week.


I think there’s something that Paul’s not telling us. That, or he’s telling wee porkies in court.

7. According to police, Paul Staines was driving “at speed in the Kennington area”, which caused a camera to flash. Police who witnessed this then ordered him to stop and it was noted that he “seemed to be have difficulty staying in a straight line.”

Admittedly, the swerving part could have been the result of Paul’s arms turning to jelly upon seeing the dreaded ECILOPs in his rear vision mirror, but police also reported that “(Paul Staines’) eyes were bloodshot, he strongly smelt of alcohol and his pupils appeared to be dilated” and gave him a (delayed) breath test, which he failed.

At the time Staines claimed to have been “drinking Cobra beer at an Indian.”

Presumably he thought it best not to mention the drinks consumed earlier at the Adam Smith Institute and the Westminster Arms.

8. This was Paul’s second drink driving offence, and fourth drink-related offence.

If drinking causes problems, then you have a drinking problem. If drinking causes serious problems, then you have a serious drinking problem.

A crucial part of the exchange involved Judge Stone’s concern over Paul Staines’ decision not to seek help for his obvious drinking problem. (Paul had instead decided to follow self-imposed “guidelines”.)

He’s rediscovered his bravado since, but the nearest Paul Staines came to saying ‘boo’ in the courtroom was during this exchange:

Judge Stone: “You can’t resist it, can you?”

Paul Staines: [my notes read; “inaudible sound that may have been a protest”]

Judge Stone: “What happened this time?”

Paul Staines: “I was out for a drink.”

That’s where the curfew came from. Right there.

9. Judge Stone also said that Paul Staines’ actions were wholly irresponsible and that Staines lacked the insight to realise when he was a danger to other people, but I already knew that.

In fact, it’s been a primary point of mine from the beginning.

It’s why Paul and his gang of pretend-blogging thugs engaged in a conspiracy of silence about this (and a number of other items).

They demand accountability from others, often in an extremely selective, unfair or dishonest fashion, when they have no intention of being held to account themselves.

Accountability to an audience is the price bloggers are supposed to pay for their power, but people like Staines, Dale and Dorries have no interest in it and will even play the victim if you call them on it… basically crying wolf with their stalker nonsense at the expense of genuine victims of stalking.

It’s selfish, dangerous and destructive behaviour and I really wish they’d stop it.

10. Back to “4 bottles a week” for this last one;

It doesn’t really matter how much you drink. If you can’t stop, then you are by definition an alcoholic. Staines would have received a lighter sentence had he sought treatment for the drinking that was clearly causing him problems, but he didn’t. So he’s either stupid, a glutton for punishment, or an alcoholic.

So, while I hope his electronic tag itches during the day and bothers him when he sleeps, like Clive, I’d like to show Paul that it’s not all ill will over on this side of the fence.

And, speaking for myself, I also want to make sure that I can actually stop anytime I want to.

So for the next 30 days I will be 100% dry… and safely home by 9pm each and every night.

You’re welcome to join me, or sit back and watch me twitch.

NEXT: UK Libel Law, the Demon Almost-Precedent and the Bastard Duke of Brunswick

UPDATE: If you’re at all concerned about your own intake, you might want to grit your teeth and take this test.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 20 Comments

Obsessive? No.

A tease? Yes.

Expect more tomorrow.

(Oh, you *love* it….)

UPDATE – Hell, yes:

The UK Today – Sympathy for the Devil: From what I know of Paul and others with similar issues, the next three months will be difficult. So, in a gesture of non-partisan solidarity and support, I’m going to forswear alcohol for the next month, and be safely tucked up at home by 9pm every night. Furthermore, any other bloggers who wish to show Paul that it can be done, that he can master alcohol instead of being ruled by it, you’re all welcome to join me.

Make that us.

No beer, booze or wine, at home by nine.

30 days.

(What can I say? I’m feeling frisky after the fags.)

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 13 Comments