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

John Ward

1. After publishing a post entitled “What you probably won’t read in the press”, Conservative councillor John Ward (blog) ends up with extended and unwanted press coverage (Daily Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, Kent Online)… you are permitted to be amused by that. The state allows it.

2. Yes, screaming ‘Nazi’ is surplus to requirements. But then so is bitching about that and immediately slapping Labour with a ‘eugenics’ tag. Oh, and screaming ‘Stalin’.

3. The example Lynne gives here is also surplus to requirements. In fact, it could even – with care – be classified as a misrepresentation; John Ward advocated compulsory sterilisation… but did not actually go into any detail regarding a proposed vetting procedure (he may well agree that such a worthy couple could be permitted to breed by the state).

4. Personal abuse, no matter how mild or appropriate it may seem, is also surplus to requirements.

5. No, what this debate really needs, now that John Ward has published his defence, is a copy of his original article. That would help John to better make his case that what he published was an incomplete passage (i.e something that, with care and added thought, could be improved upon) that is being actively misrepresented by people out to get him. But John Ward has decided that the “responsible” thing to do is delete that entry. For the good of the blogosphere in general, apparently.

6. What’s that? It’s still in Google’s cache, you say?

What You Probably Won’t Read in the Press
Published by John M Ward at 14:04 Saturday, 15 March 2008

One side of the Shannon Matthews story you are unlikely to read in the mainstream Press is what the police themselves know about this sorry tale. “Inspector Gadget” has it HERE. Note the “seven children” part in particular, and the implicit reasons for that…

This is just another example of “Breakdown Britain”. I think there is a case for compulsory sterilisation of all those who have had a second (or third, or whatever) child while living off State hand-outs. It would take a lot of pressures off all concerned, protect the youngsters themselves to some degree, and remove the incentive to “breed for greed” — i.e. for more public subsidy of their lifestyle (a now well-known dodge, worthever huge amounts to countless thousands of professional spongers).

With over-population being the root cause of so much that negatively impacts Planet Earth, and thus needs to concern human society, the very last thing the world needs is to encourage excessive breeding.

7. Tch. As I was writing this, John Ward deleted the more recent post outlining his defence. This is getting to be a bad habit.

8. If you publish it, be prepared to defend it or withdraw it.

9. Deleting is not the same as withdrawing, especially if you then go on to defend the substance of your deleted input (it’s part of an “uncomfortable truth”, we are told).

10. Asking someone to clarify, defend or withdraw their published opinion on an issue is not “avoiding the issue”, so… any time you’re ready John.

(waits)

UPDATE – While we’re waiting for John, take a peek at part of John Ward’s defence that has recently been removed from the Mail article. The missing text is in bold:

UPDATE – Cameron Newland – John Ward Is My Hero: Somehow, the political opposition (Labour) is trying to seize on Mr. Ward’s comments, and have gone as far as comparing his suggestions to those of Hitler. If he were legitimately trying to sterilize women on his own as some sort of vigilante, then Labour would be right to make the Hitler comparison.

Hitler was a vigilante?

UPDATE – A fresh post from John at a blog now titled ‘Former Councillor John Ward in Medway':

Weight off my Mind
Published by John M Ward at 14:36 Tuesday, 25 March 2008

I have today, after a lot of thought, resigned from the council.

I wasn’t going to do so originally, but in today’s Soviet-style Britain, with all the pressures coming down upon us from on high and with yet more to come (as I recently reported HERE), all the indicators are that recent events have, funnily enough, afforded me an opportunity to ‘get out from under’ before even more bureaucracy hits local Councillors.

Therefore this ‘blog (which was initially just an experiment anyway) will close very soon.

As for me: I look forward to the next adventure in my life, wherever that should turn out to be — just as I did when I moved here eleven years ago, not knowing what lay ahead of me then.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

Ian Hernon: some journalist

You may have missed Nadine Dorries’ bullshit sailing into print without question in the Liverpool Echo:

MPs face tough vote on lowering abortion limit

Mar 22 2008 by Ian Hernon, Liverpool Echo

FEW political issues raise such passion as abortion, and I am glad I am not forced to take sides.

That is a luxury that MPs from Merseyside and beyond will not have in coming weeks when parliament will vote on a controversial bid to lower the legal limit from 24 to 20 weeks.

But it is hard to ignore the fact that medical and scientific advances mean that premature babies now have a higher chance of survival outside the womb.

Leading the 20-week campaign is Nadine Dorries, a right-wing, working-class Conservative who was born in Liverpool and educated at the former Halewood Grange comprehensive school before becoming a nurse.

In her latest blog the Bedfordshire MP posted a picture of a surgeon operating on a spina bifida baby whilst still in the mother’s womb as he would not have survived otherwise.

“When the operation was over, baby Samuel, at 21 weeks gestation, put his hand through the incision in the uterus and grabbed hold of the surgeon’s finger, a gesture which was met with a huge amount of emotion in the operating theatre,” she wrote.

“The doctor said it was the most emotional moment of his life and that for a moment he was frozen, totally immobile.

“In the UK we are aborting babies just like this and older every day.”

I fully accept that there are also compelling arguments not to reduce the limit, not least to prevent a return to the cruel days of back-street abortionists.

But it is hard not to share the emotion felt by that surgeon and his team.

Is this the same Ian Hernon who; “has been a journalist since 1969 and a lobby correspondent since 1978 (with first-hand, inside information of what really goes on at Westminster)”?








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

MessageSpace: I think I may have been sold a lemon…

Recently, I somehow managed to get the impression that great swathes of people unconnected to Paul Staines (and his ongoing bullshit) would suffer greatly/unduly if I focused a microscope on Paul Staines (and his ongoing bullshit).

It would now seem that I was mistaken.

So, without further ado….

(pause)

Oh, come *on* people… I have to be allowed *some* ado!

Back in a bit with a whopper of a question for Paul Staines.

I hope to find out along the way how/if it relates to Paul’s actual/perceived role at MessageSpace, but I suspect that we’ll move on from that rather swiftly, as this question raises all sorts of other questions.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

Sections of SOCPA to be scrapped?

Guardian/Observer – Ban on protests at Parliament to be lifted: A controversial ban on protests outside the Houses of Parliament will be scrapped by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith this week in a symbolic victory for freedom of speech campaigners.

Really? With a simple wave of the hand? It can’t be this easy, can it?

UPDATE – Parliament Protest – The Observer: Ban on protests at Parliament to be lifted – wait for the details before celebrating: Gaby Hinsliff is the Political Editor of The Observer, and so has presumably been briefed by a suitably well placed spin doctor. Assuming that this anonymously briefed story is true, the Home Secretary does have the power to rescind or to amend the Statutory Instrument Order which sets out the extent of the Designated Area around Parliament Square under sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. Given how untrustworthy the current Government is, we will wait to see exactly what the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith really announces in detail, before celebrating any return to the status quo ante.








Posted in The War on Stupid | Comments Off

Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke

BBC – Obituary: Sir Arthur C Clarke

I once read a wonderful short story about Arthur C Clarke, and I wanted to share the guts of it with you, even though I can’t for the life of me recall the title or author…

It is the not-too-distant future. Arthur C Clarke is being presented with a lifetime achievement award atop one of his creations; a tower that is two (?) miles high.

His many inventions and achievements are listed and praised during the ceremony (I can’t recall them all, but just imagine every boy’s shopping list for the future minus the silver jumpsuits) but at the reception that follows, a guest notices Clarke gazing out of the window, in a bit of a funk and lost in thought.

The guest asks Clarke what he’s thinking. The response (to best of my recollection) is a deep sigh followed by this reply:

“You know, I’ve always wondered what my life would have been like if I had been a writer.”








Posted in Geekage | Comments Off

People of Mid Bedfordshire; your MP, Nadine Dorries, is a muppet

Some idiot spammed me on YouTube last night with this P.O.S. chain mail:

A few years ago, two parents went out for dinner. A few hours later, the babysitter was calling to ask if she could cover up the clown statue in the kids’ room, the father said, “Take the kids and get out of the house. We’ll call the police, we don’t have a clown statue.”; The “clown statue”; is really a killer that escaped from jail. If you don’t post this letter on to 10 videos tonight, the clown will be in your bed at 3:00 am with a chainsaw in his hand (SORRY BOUT SPAM THIS REALLY FREAKS ME)

Now, there are two things that the ordinary citizen requires when faced with data like this;

1. Some good old-fashioned common sense.

2. The ability to use Google.

Here you go; look how simple it is to ascertain the truth if you’re having any difficulty with #1:

Google

Now I should point out here that Nadine Dorries is no ordinary citizen; as MP for Mid Bedfordshire, she is the parliamentary representative for roughly 130,000 people… but for some reason she appears to spend the bulk of her time campaigning against abortion.

(Was this one of her campaign promises? Inquiring minds want to know.)

As part of this ongoing campaign, Nadine Dorries recently launched a totally unjustified attack against Dr Ben Goldacre that showed her complete ignorance of parliamentary procedure and – to avoid any feedback about that reaching her readers – she closed down the comments feature on her ‘blog’.

So Dr Goldacre is well within his rights to point and laugh now that Nadine has been caught peddling an urban myth as documented fact… again, as part of her ongoing efforts to convince us all that abortion is murder and a sin in the eyes of Almighty Lord God.

Nadine Dorries – The Hand Of Hope: This picture show a pregnant uterus laying on the exterior of the mother’s abdomen, having been lifted out of her abdominal cavity, via a c-section incision made in the abdominal wall. Dr Joseph Bruner performed this procedure in order to operate on the baby whilst still in utero before it was born. The baby had spina bifida and would not have survived if removed from his mother’s womb. When the operation was over, baby Samuel, at 21 weeks gestation, put his hand through the incision in the uterus and grabbed hold of the surgeon’s finger, a gesture which was apparently met with a huge amount of emotion in the operating theatre. Dr Bruner said that it was the most emotional moment of his life and that for a moment he was just frozen, totally immobile.

No, what Dr Joseph Bruner actually said was this…

“Depending on your political point of view, this is either Samuel Armas reaching out of the uterus and touching the finger of a fellow human, or it’s me pulling his hand out of the uterus … which is what I did.”

And this…

“It has become an urban legend… The baby did not reach out. The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on.”

Now, look how easy if is to find this out for yourself if what might be the truth when confronted with a claim that a 21-week-old foetus is capable of recognising its surroundings, thrusting its little hand out of an incision, and grabbing the hand of the operating surgeon…

See? Easy peasy:

Google

But Nadine Dorries did not do this small amount of research or provide her readers with the benefits of this small amount of research. Nor did she point out that the surgeon and the photographer have published vastly different accounts of this event.

Instead, she completely misrepresented the surgeon’s position on the matter.

Because she is a muppet.

Good people of Mid Bedfordshire, I urge you to recall this moment the next time Nadine Dorries asks for your vote as parliamentary representative. You might also want to have a word about how much time she wastes on her own personal crusades.

SPECIAL FEATURE: BLOGGERS ONLY

Take a look at how Iain Dale handles this on his pseudo-blog:

Iain Dale – The Daley Dozen: Wednesday: Nadine tells of the Hand of Hope, is then slammed by Bad Science, who says it’s a hoax, but he is then contradicted by the photographer, Michael Clancy, who took the picture. You pays your money…

1. Note how Iain gives the impression that the photographer has posted his account in response to Dr Ben Goldacre’s bloggage, when this clearly isn’t the case.

It’s a pity it’s semi-anonymous, but this comment just published on Iain’s site covers the matter nicely:

When you say Ben Goldacre “is then contradicted by the photographer” that’s extremely misleading. Ben Goldacre LINKED to the photographer’s (old) story in his blog entry, that was part of Goldacre’s story.

If you believe an emotive story from the man who took the photo, instead of the description of what happened from the very surgeon who did the operation, and does the operation for a living, then that’s your affair. But to suggest that Goldacre has been responded to and shown to be wrong is as misleading as the original Nadine Dorries story.

2. The photographer, Michael Clancy, dedicates his entire website to telling his side of the story (and selling copies of the photo) and says himself; “I have become obsessed with proving to the world that I did capture the earliest interaction ever recorded.” Iain Dale, who loves to claim that anyone who presses him more than once for a straight answer is ‘obsessed’ (or perhaps even a ‘stalker’) chooses not to dismiss a self-confessed obsessive in this way.

3. Iain doesn’t like anyone doing the same to him, but like many political bloggers/writers, Iain will often point out affiliations and associations that might suggest that someone’s version of events is less than objective. But Iain does not mention that this image and account, used widely by religious groups campaigning against abortion, comes to us from a devout and evangelical born-again Christian.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahaha! Please excuse me while I quickly address what passes for meat in Nadine’s rebuttal sandwich:

Nadine Dorries – Hand Of Truth: Two points from me: first is that if the experienced paediatrician operating on the 21 week old baby had anesthetised, then that fact endorses the Professor Anand position that a foetus can feel pain; otherwise why would this doctor, who operates on unborn babies all the time, bother? My second point is look at the tear in the uterus. See how jiggered it is just above the hand; and yet the rest of the surgically incised openings are controlled and neat.

1. By anaesthetising the mother you anaesthetise the foetus. The drug travels – via the mother’s bloodstream – through the placenta and into the foetus. Nadine’s not very good at this science thing, is she?

2. Is Nadine aware of the force required to tear even compromised human flesh this thick? Clearly, what we are dealing with here is some form of super-baby. The mother is lucky the little tyke didn’t try thrusting his arm out when a surgeon wasn’t on hand to wrestle him back into place.

I’m not even going to go near Nadine’s none-too-subtle suggestion that the surgeon changed his story because he feared he might be attacked by roaming gangs of ‘pro-abortionists’.








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

William Hague and Flying Lion Limited

Ministry of Truth – Hague’s Air Miles: The serious point is that due to the lack of clarity in regards to the correct method of putting an in-kind value on these flights, which, if strict rules on market value were applied could come it at anything from three to thirty two times the reported value depending on distance travelled, a conservative (no pun intended) estimate of the unreported value to the Conservative Party of having Ashcroft’s air taxi service on tap could easily be anything upwards of £1.5 million since 2002 and who can guess how much since Flying Lion first cropped up on the public radar in 1997 – and never mind the questions about the Conservative Parties ‘carbon footprint’ to go with this now that they’ve allegedly embraced a green agenda.








Posted in Inneresting | Comments Off

Look out! Stalker!

“Ken is Obsessed by Boris” say the man who (by his standards) is clearly ‘obsessed’ with Ken Livingstone.

(Been living in London long, Iain? Or do you just have a thing for Cuddly Ken?)

BTW, I went looking for 18 Tory Street’s video attack on Ken Livingstone and tripped over this gem, which I’ve not seen before:

Check out this video produced for Iain Dale’s 2005 North Norfolk campaign.

Look! Iain’s in the newspaper! Look! Iain’s on telly! Look! Iain’s… standing right next to Anne Milton?!

Iain Dale and Anne Milton

Well, that might partly explain why Iain was so hesitant to blog anything about her activists anonymously claiming a Lib Dem candidate was a paedophile. You would think that them publishing that poor bloke’s name, photo and whereabouts next to this claim would at least earn a ‘stalker’ label from Iain, but no.

(Is there anything that you’d like to declare, Iain? Do you only meet with Ms Milton during conference season, or is there more to it than that?)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 6 Comments