Grab bag

Busy day today. I’m going to pass you over to some other bloggers/items for a bit:

1. Septicisle – Scum-watch: Harassing the evil Islamic terrorist Abdul Muneem Patel: As Sun journalists obviously don’t have anything better to do, they’ve taken to stalking one of the men released in January a whole 18 days early from his sentence for having in his possession a manual on explosives…

2. Dave Cole – The Counter-terrorism Bill and coroners: Clause 64 allows the Home Secretary to issue a certificate requiring an inquest to be held without a jury or discharging a jury mid-inquest. Clause 65 allows the Home Secretary to discharge a coroner and appoint a coroner of their own choosing. The two powers can be exercised simultaneously; that is to say, the Home Secretary would have the power, if they thought the an inquest would embarrass the government, to discharge the jury and the coroner and have the inquest started again without a jury and with a coroner of the Home Secretary’s choosing.

The possible implications of this were pointed out a month or so ago by Andrew Dismore. A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said in response that the clause was “likely to be used sparingly”.

Hey, do you remember something else the government was going to use ‘sparingly’… before Charles Clarke got a little bit carried away?

3. This bloody song has been in my head for days now. Your turn. (via)

(sings)

“Take him down to Quincy, he will cut him open…”

4. Professional bullshitter required to wind up what is most likely the Daily Mail. Apply here.

5. More from Unity…

Remember Nadine Dorries and the Hand of Hope? Well, watch for the projection here… it’s very subtle:

“I’m not saying that it is 100 per cent certain the photo is genuine, as doctors can always be wrong. But what I’ve put on my website is correct beyond reasonable doubt.” – Nadine Dorries

6. And now, more from Nadine…

Oi! Iain! Have you asked Laura Moffatt, Barbara Follett or Jacqui Smith what it’s like to be stalked by this idiot?

7. If you’ve been relying on the two ‘leading’ ‘bloggers’ for your political news, you may have missed the story about Eshaq Khan and the army of real-life sock-puppets that won him an election…. for a bit. Latest news here. BTW, he’s a Tory, in case you haven’t guessed.

8. The photo is this article *may* have been doctored. Can you spot the changes? (via)

9. Was Paul Staines actually fooled by a fool, or was merely propping up Dale’s pissweak joke that was 5 hours too late… 9 hours too late? Meanwhile, the man who constantly acts like he’s in a school playground now claims not to know what every schoolboy knows. Oh well. He is rubber and we are glue…

10. Iain Dale and Paul Staines – the two ‘leading’ ‘bloggers’ who rarely fail to post their stat porn on the first day of the month – both failed to wave their cocks around yesterday. You’re welcome.

11. Let’s take the dial up to ’11’ with a link-annotated version of Tom Watson’s power of information taskforce speech.

Cheers all.

12. Oh, go on then… one more for the road.








Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Updates | 1 Comment

April Fool’s has come and gone….

Who’s the fool that carried on?

PS – Congrats to the BBC for the concept, production, casting and timing on this. It’s wonderful. You may also have missed Justin’s morning wheeze, which he blogs about here.

UPDATE – You really had to watch your step if you didn’t want to get rick-rolled today (even YouTube rick-rolled their users). But I really enjoyed this one. The original footage will only help you to appreciate it more.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 10 Comments

March Statporn

Server logs show approx. 71,000 ‘unique’ visitors to the site. Google Analytics says 25,016 Absolute Unique Visitors involving the main weblog alone.

Server logs show approx. 400,000 page views site-wide, but only approx. 168,000 involved real people (the remainder being indexing robots, spambots etc.). Google Analytics says 46,452 page views involving the main weblog alone.

Site-wide, the logs give a total of just over 1.4 million hits this month.

Here are my top 20 linking sites (i.e. incoming ‘hits’ to my ‘blogsite’) for March, according to Google Analytics. The arrows denote whether a site has sent more, less or about the same traffic since February:

1. Lainey Gossip 2,775 NEW 2. B3ta 1,064 ^ 3. Justin McKeating 777 ^ 4. Guardian (News) 436 ^ 5. Guardian (Comment Is Free) 419 ^ 6. AdFreak 271 NEW 7. Paul Linford 223 = 8. Liberal Conspiracy 183 v 9. Garry Smith 180 v 10. Iain Dale 146 v 11. Tom Watson 140 v 12. Pickled Politics 122 = 13. Gawker 118 ^ 14. Septicisle 108 v 15. Bad Science 105 ^ 16. Ministry of Truth 100 v 17. Lay Science 84 ^ 18. Blood & Treasure 74 v 19. Bob Piper 69 v 20. Blair Watch 67 v

The most popular individual post of the month was Fred and Sharon’s movies (make your life go better) with 6,055 page views. In second place was the Staines/bankrupt post with 1,059 page views (from 768 unique user profiles). Third was The Iraq War (according to Page 3) with 611 page views.

UPDATE (12:30pm) – OK, it’s past midday, and you’re probably waiting for the punchline. Here it comes…

The numbers above are genuine. I had to extrapolate a bit on the server data, but these are fair estimates on numbers that have yet to be crunched (I’ve not bothered with log analysis since the Usmanov move, and the bean counter has only just been switched on in the past few days; only 9 days worth of data has been processed). I should have the full/actual data within a few days, for those who are interested or in any doubt

The figures from Google Analytics are far more conservative (no pun intended) because they only track traffic to the front page and individual blog entries in MT format (the code is not in place for any of the feature pages, videos, special projects etc.).

Iain Dale and Paul Staines claim to get almost 5 to 10 times as many ‘unique’ visitors as I do. They also never tire of telling their readers that I only bother them because I’m jealous of their success and/or desperate for more readers.

As unreliable and meaningless as Alexa data can be, I would expect its comparison engine to at least show an indication of a gap this massive. But take a look at what you see when these three sites are compared over the last three months:

It’s even more illuminating when you look at it over 6 years and include Backing Blair and the old URL for Staines’ blog.

I think they’re having themselves on a bit. Especially when they wave their numbers about (every bloody month) and wonder out loud why the left side of the blogsophere “never took off”. One also needs to remember that a lot of their traffic from 2006-2007 resulted from ‘old media’ interest resulting from their repeated claims to be the almighty rulers of the blogosphere.

So they each appear to have outperformed Bloggerheads and the like – just – by claiming to have outperformed my and other websites tenfold. Quite a confidence trick.

For more, we turn to an anonymous blogger who has, in the recent past, enjoyed prominent inbound links from Bloggerheads, Iain Dale, and Devil’s Kitchen:

Looking at my own numbers, a link [in the blog] from Dale is worth 220-250 hits, occasionally 280-290. Links from either Bloggerheads or Devil’s Kitchen bring in a steady 160-190 visits, which does suggest that most of Dale’s traffic is transient. Now I don’t know what Bloggerheads is pulling down but DK’s getting about 30k visits a month IIRC, around a tenth of Dale’s statporn numbers and yet a link from his blog is worth only 50-70 or so fewer visits than one from Dale.

‘Transient’ is a word. Not one I’d use. ‘Bullshit’ might be better. Dale and Staines appear to be including every visit by every robot as a genuine visit from a human being, or just plucking numbers out of their arse. In February, Dale gives a figure of 51,293 for ‘absolute uniques’ almost as a throw-away line, but it would appear that this is far closer to the truth than his (and Staines’) repeated claims of 200,000 to 350,000 unique visitors a month.

The performance of outbound links outlined above supports this. So do my own figures. Personally, the most traffic Iain Dale has ever sent my way (during the brief period when he was actually linking to me) was 500 visitors in a month over two blog items, and that figure should be much higher for the numbers he’s claiming.

Here, let me show you:

Devil’s Kitchen has public stats available via sitemeter. There are no figures for unique visitors, but he appears to be pulling in just under 50,000 visits a month.

For Bloggerheads, Google Analytics shows 46,452 visits in March.

[Psst! Have a peek at Alexa for a comparison including Devil’s Kitchen.]

Assuming the majority of click-throughs will happen on the day of bloggage (i.e. when that post is a lead item) we get an average of 175 click-throughs from approx. 1,700 visits – a click-through rate for both sites of roughly 10%

About 250 click-throughs will result from a link in bloggage from Iain Dale. Working our way backwards though the figures on a click-through rate of 10%, and Dale looks to be getting 2,500 visits per day or 75,000 visits a month.

A figure of 51,293 unique visitors a month looks perfectly logical next to that

A claim of 200,000 to 350,000 unique visitors a month does not.

The punchline? The figures published by Dale and Staines are often also used to promote the (alleged) reach of the MessageSpace advertising network:

The MessageSpace site claims that; “Publishers on the MessageSpace network show 4 million adverts a month, to more than 700,000 unique readers. We’ve got publishers from across the political spectrum…”

a) Yes, the bulk of that ‘700,000 unique readers’ figure is made up of the number of ‘unique visitors’ claimed by Dale and Staines.

b) And I’m not sure if a few token lefties warrants any claim of representation “across the political spectrum”, but that’s a point for another time.








Posted in Updates | 10 Comments

The relevance of Paul Staines’ bankruptcy

[MessageSpace: I still can’t comment on MS for fear of getting sued over some technicality, which I find very frustrating. Suffice it to say it will be a cold day in hell before MessageSpace ads appear on any site of mine. Still, I promised to move on from that quickly anyway, so let’s get cracking…]

I come not to bury Paul Staines, but to knock that silly looking crown off his head.

Not everybody sees the relevance of Paul Staines’ bankruptcy, so allow me to show you a few things that look different now we know that Paul Staines didn’t emerge from the City with armloads of cash:

1. Wikipedia looks a bit out of date

This passage in Paul Staines’ Wikipedia entry (first started here) needs to be corrected:

He then spent several years in finance, which, along with his stake in the MessageSpace blog advertising network, provides him with the means to dedicate time to his blog…

2. This clip is now much funnier

Little wonder that Paul Staines choked on this question from Michael White. In fact, I’m surprised he didn’t spit cornflakes.

[Full clip here. Transcript here.]

Poor Paul. On live television, too:

Michael White: Well, because you’re not worth suing, unlike Private Eye. You haven’t got any money, I take it?

‘Guido Fawkes': Er, that’s for you to know… me to know, and you to wonder.

Zing!

3. A question exists where previously there was no question

Of course, that’s not to say that Paul hasn’t got any money at all… but he was certainly short a few bob for a while there.

Have a look at the timeline…

After hitting the wall at 90 per, Paul ‘re-orients‘ his life, tries to set the world alight with Global Growth (1, 2, 3) but doesn’t get far with it.

What does eventually pay off is the ‘Guido Fawkes’ character that he creates in late 2004. Paul used to “smear Labour MPs and left-leaning lawyers and writers” for a living back in the day, so he’s got the skills; he hops aboard with Blogger.com’s free blogging service at 5thnovember.blogspot.com and hammers away.

But as great Blogger.com is (It’s free, you know), the service does not provide you with food, shelter, and copious quantities of alcohol.

MessageSpace was only an idea in mid-2006, which is about the same time that this pricey flat was sold.

Before then, for a good year at least, Paul appears to have operated with no visible means of support/income.

If everyone’s somehow under the impression that he came to the table with a few quid, the following question doesn’t even occur to most people:

“Where did the money come from?”

4. Paul looks a lot less scary to his victims

I grew considerably less impressed with Staines’ muscle when he finally brought a lawyer to the table and it turned out to be a bunch of empty threats from a right-wing mate.

I’m even less impressed now.

It would be wrong to simply assume that Paul Staines has the reserves to tackle a serious legal challenge.

Yes, the reserves remain an unknown quantity (some of it in the hands of other people also named ‘Staines’) but Paul didn’t go after me with a big-name lawyer and ‘the choke’ is worth remembering here, too:

Michael White: Well, because you’re not worth suing, unlike Private Eye. You haven’t got any money, I take it?

‘Guido Fawkes': Er, that’s for you to know… me to know, and you to wonder.

Way to go, Man of Mystery.

5. Having detective skills does not make you Batman

Wealthy layabout by day, champion for justice by night… that’s Bruce Wayne.

A carpet-bagger in pursuit of a buck… that’s Paul Staines.

See the difference?

Sure, he’s got his agendas, but money is the main priority if not the motivation.

And Paul’s background (see extract from Page 117 of Altered State) suggests that he’ll most likely give up on his ‘crusade’ when there’s no money in it.

Something to think about. I’m certainly not spending any time or effort lining his pockets, and I seriously doubt that the people he redirects to his CafePress store stick around to buy his t-shirts.

6. Guido’s a bit of a joke, it turns out

[I’m cheating a wee bit here. This aspect of Paul’s bullshit appears different after a series of responses to a number of different matters including the recent ‘reveal’ of the bankruptcy.]

What Paul Staines wants – and already enjoys to a modest extent – is power without accountability.

The best way to curb his power is to treat him as he treats others.

No, with not the abuse, the threats, the secret whispers and the outright bullshit of a small gang of right-wing bloggers and sock-puppets… but the stone wall of silence one normally enjoys from Staines himself when there are questions to be answered.

If ‘Guido Fawkes’ calls, there’s no need to think “Oh shit, it’s Guido!”, because – for starters – it’s not Guido! It’s some guy called Paul Staines, he’s a bit of a chancer, and you shouldn’t feel that you owe him any answers.

Give him nothing*. Not one word.

Well, maybe two. ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Paul’ should do nicely.

After all, he’s not nearly as important or as invulnerable as he makes himself out to be.

(*You shouldn’t feed him dirt on others, either… not least because you might end up getting outed/screwed yourself.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 16 Comments

Look what these bastards are trying to sneak past us… again

Spy Blog – Danger ! Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill Part 6 tries to remove even the limited constitutional safeguards of the “destroy Parliament” Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006: It looks as if we will have to again go through all the fuss and lobbying that we saw over the wretched Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, the previous attempt by this Labour Government to neuter Parliament by Order of a Minister.

Unity has more.








Posted in The War on Stupid | Comments Off

Hooray for me

Here’s the certificate they give you when you successfully make it through the last 2 weeks of this 6 week programme without a single cigarette:

1) Hell, I made it through all 6 weeks without falling over once. That’s a first for me. I really do think I’ve cracked it.

2) Group really helped… and yes, we managed to get through the entire 6 weeks without any hugging.

3) My next task is to wean myself off the nicotine (I’m already on a lighter patch) and send those bastard nicotine receptors into a dormant state.








Posted in Updates | 11 Comments

Yes, please.

Free our Bills! – The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21st Century Way, Please. Now.

[joins]








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

SOCPA – over and out!

What an lovely afternoon it’s turning out to be…

Via Justin:

Page 7 of this document reads:

Managing Protest around Parliament :The Government proposes the repeal of sections 132-138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. Repeal of these sections will remove the requirement to give notice of demonstrations in the designated area around Parliament. It will also remove the offence for such demonstrations to be held without the authorisation of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner

This same document goes on to say;

The Government received 512 responses to the consultation document including responses from Members of Parliament, Peers, campaign groups, the Metropolitan Police,but mostly from members of the public.

[emphasis mine]

And…

Given the strength of feeling in responses to the consultation document on potential restrictions on legitimate protest, and in the absence of greater evidence of a policing problem, the Government will not pursue harmonisation of the sorts of conditions that can be placed on marches and assemblies in the Public Order Act 1986.

We did it. Members of the public. That was us.

:o)

Feels good, doesn’t it?

UPDATE – Of course, this completely scuppers my plans to make a mint from selling ‘illegal’ t-shirts, but there is a bright side to that; D-Notice’s prize (when it eventually arrives) will be one-of-a-kind.








Posted in The War on Stupid | 6 Comments

Total Politics EDM

EDM 1245 – TOTAL POLITICS MAGAZINE: That this House notes the impending launch of a purportedly politically neutral magazine called Total Politics; notes that it is fronted by Iain Dale, a failed Conservative parliamentary candidate; further notes that it is being run from Lord Ashcroft’s address in Cowley Street and that it is fronted by Lord Ashcroft; and calls upon hon. and right hon. Members to reject the free copies which will be sent to them in the near future.

But Iain had plans for an opt-out list all along, yes?

(Iain? Care to make a statement? There is going to be an opt-out facility, isn’t there?)

UPDATE (14 April) – As usual, Iain needs to be compelled to do the right thing; Total Politics: The Opt Out List








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments

A question for Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’)

OK, folks… it’s time to play Follow The Money.

Feel free to join in at any stage, but please be aware that that this is an E ticket ride, and you must be <------ this ------> willing to put up with bullshit, spin, sock-puppeting and/or outright abuse before climbing aboard:

To: Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’)

From: Tim Ireland

Subject: Show me the monkey!

Paul,

Would you care to make a public statement on the subject of bankruptcy*?

(*Fiscal, not moral; we’ve already covered the latter.)

Cheers

Tim

PS – Please do keep in mind that your answer may raise some follow-up questions (i.e. the kind of thing that Iain Dale often describes as “changing the question”).

Bloggers who are asking a similar question:
Justin McKeating
Clive Summerfield

UPDATE (4pm) – David Boothroyd asks over at Justin’s; “At a guess, are we talking about page 12536 of the London Gazette of 9 October 2003 here?”

Why, yes… yes, we are:

The London Gazette – Thursday, 9 October 2003

Date: 9 October 2003
Issue Number: 57079
Page number: 12536
Publication Date: Thursday, 9 October 2003
Notice Code: 2503

STAINES,Paul Delaire, Paul Delaire of 154 Parliament View, 1 Albert, Embankment, London, SE1 7XQ unemployed. Court–HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE. Date of Filing Petition–2nd October 2003. No. of Matter–8239 of 2003. Date of Bankruptcy Order–2nd October 2003. Whether Debtor’s or Creditor’s Petition–Debtor’s. Official Receiver–21 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3SS.

(2001)

UPDATE – Just in case there’s any doubt; this is not a current address for Paul Staines. It’s authentic… just not current.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 52 Comments