Is Paul Staines deleting evidence now?

When in contact with Paul Staines’ lawyer, I highlighted this entry on Staines’ own ‘Guido Fawkes’ website as proof of my claim that he’s an image thief (and that he publishes lies about me on his website):

Recently, Paul deleted that post from his website with no notice, no indication, and no explanation.

What a shame for Paul that it’s stored in the Web Archive, and he’ll have to block *all* archiving of his site to get rid of it.


UPDATE – Just as I post this, it magically appears again. Oh well.

UPDATE – I’ll happily and voluntarily withdraw the scrubbed content above.’s whole system was up-and-down and on-and-off a few days ago, and there’s no proof that Paul Staines’ finger so much as paused over the ‘delete’ button in this case. But he does steal images and bandwidth and publish vicious lies about me on his website without proof or apology.

And now, back to the music…

Australian Crawl – Reckless

[Psst! Sorry about the earlier database glitch. Now fixed.]

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An appeal for support (a deliberate ping)

If you are on the list below the fold, I would like to bring the following to your attention:

Recently, I wrote an article about Paul Staines (you know him better as ‘Guido Fawkes’) stealing images and bandwidth. Now I’m getting threatening emails from his lawyer, Donal Blaney (you can’t see those, but you can see my replies).

To put it bluntly, I suspect that I am being targeted not because of what I said, but because of who I am.

Blaney appears to be very closely aligned to Staines personally, professionally and politically. He also appears to be an odd choice of lawyer for a libel case (if indeed one is truly in the offing), as his specialty/background is tax law.

Via Donal Blaney, Paul Staines has been badgering me to reveal my home address or retain the services of a lawyer in an effort to bully me into silence without true recourse to law.

It’s The Alisher Usmanov Affair all over again…. and I’d appreciate your support. Again.

After all, if some jumped-up blogger with a lawyer for a mate came after you, I’d be in your corner and slugging it out without hesitation.

Thank you.

Tim Ireland

PS – I’ve been doing work in the background and have a statement to make on the current UK libel laws and where we stand against moneyed tosspots (i.e. pretty much alone). Please allow me to sort this timewasting dipstick first. Ta.

[———- fold ———-]

Continue reading

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You silly boy!

You might recall that, quite some time ago, Paul Staines introduced a silly bit of code to his HTML that ensured that all links to his site from Bloggerheads would redirect to his t-shirt shop (in most browsers).

At the time, I didn’t make any concerted attempt to bypass this, not least because it made him look stupid for as long as it was in effect (over 9 months now) and it would have led to a silly level of escalation. But TinyURL recently introduced a neat little gadget that allowed uses to choose a ‘preview’ version of their service.

Lately, because referring to specific areas of Staines’ website has been made necessary by his bullshit, I’ve been using this to direct my readers (and his lawyer) to evidence hosted on his pseudo-blog.

I didn’t think for a minute that Staines would go so far as to redirect any traffic from TinyURL, thereby rendering the many other links of this (very common) type to his website useless… but that’s what he’s just done:

And, you can clearly see by its placement in the head (of every single page on his website), that pissing me about and avoiding scrutiny is his top priority.

How very grown up and not at all desperate.

And now, some more music…

Tim Finn – Fraction Too Much Friction

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments


Donal Blaney: Got in touch last night after I put it to him that he had not yet commenced proceedings, and informed me that he was awaiting instructions from the client. Read my reply (1 Feb, 8:40am) here. Can he say that he intends to proceed or that proceedings have already begun? Clearly, at this stage, he can’t.

Paul Staines (‘Guido Fawkes’): Still hasn’t mentioned this on his ‘Guido Fawkes’ weblog, and he’s normally quite up-front and bold about such things. I’m sure he’d love to bully me into submission without looking like a total hypocrite, but he can’t.

Iain Dale: Has launched a new web design that includes a new set of rules for his weblog (please remember that I have been banned from his website for complaining that he did not follow his old set of rules). His new rules state that – rather than deleting any anonymous abuse outright – he instead “reserves the right” not to allow anonymous abuse as and when he sees fit. I’m sure he would love to conduct ‘debates’ on his site without the aid of a bunch of anonymous thugs, but he can’t.

Phil Hendren (‘Dizzy’): Got in touch at 6:30am to try and start a fight with me. No doubt as a ‘chip in’ effort to further waste my time (he has past form of doing this and admitting to it). I’m sure he’d love to deny that, but he can’t.

CCHQ: Haven’t got back to me in a timely manner with satisfactory answers to any of these questions. Because they can’t.

In short, what you are looking at here is a shower of can’ts.

UPDATE – How silly of me. I forgot to include music:

Mental As Anything – Brain Brain

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Tell Tom your tech-dreams

Tom Watson – Just a bit tired but can you help me?: I have some responsibility for technology projects and want to use the blog to ask for some advice and ideas… All ideas welcome and who knows, you might actually make a difference.

Not often a chance like this comes along.

Go. Do.

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Updates! Get your updates!

Right here.

(And now, yet another musical number.)

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Meet the Staines Massive

Richard Bartholomew comments on the BBC point I skipped over, and much more besides. You’ll love the closer.

Richard, this one’s for you:

Supergroove: You Gotta Know

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More sweet, sweet music

1. If you scroll down to a previous entry, you will note that it has been updated with the latest email sent to Donal Blaney.

2. I didn’t want to spark anything uncontrolled under that, but the subject of Donal Blaney has popped up in this alternative thread. This will be permitted, so long as everyone remains sensible.

3. Yes, I have noticed that – while his lawyer is passing top-secret threats in red crayon – Paul Staines is remaining awfully quiet about this on his ‘Guido Fawkes’ blog. He can’t let his readers know that someone has managed to dent his cool, Fonz-like exterior.

4. Another song* for Paul, it’s called “Greg! The Stop Sign!!”:

TISM: Greg! The Stop Sign!!

(*Sorry, but I couldn’t find a decent version of “You’re Not Singing Anymore!”)

Posted in Australian Music, The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Thinking of hiring Iain Dale as a speaker on blogging? Think again.

I am now permanently banned from leaving comments on Iain Dale’s website

Clearly thinking that Paul Staines had me over a barrel (wrong!), Iain Dale took a few liberties yesterday and allowed a stream of anonymous abuse directed at me to go live on his website.

(But, to his credit, nothing quite like yesterday’s multi-puppet attack had been allowed to appear on his site for quite some time.)

I should point out here for those who came in late that Iain Dale’s clearly stated and often repeated comment moderation policy is as follows; “anonymous abuse will be deleted”

And yet he didn’t follow his own rules yesterday. I emailed him to remind of that and promised that he would become a very high priority for me if he went back to his old ways, and this was his response:

Overnight Tim Ireland has sent two emails making non specific threats. Either I obey his rules and dikats or I should face the consequences. As a result he is now banned from making further comments on this blog if he persists in his campaign of vilification I shall be placing the matter of m’learned friend. Ask Anne Milton or Nadine Dorries what it is liked to be stalked by this idiot. I was so stupid to reverse the previous ban. It won’t be happening again. This time it’s permanent.

Another pack of lies from Iain Dale, ladies and gentlemen.

1. My threats were actually quite specific. (OK, so I didn’t give him the whole playbook, but what fun is life without a few surprises?)

2. I asked that he follow his own damn rules, not mine.

3. I demanded that he remove at least one comment that was in direct violation of his clearly stated comment moderation policy.

4. And now (again for the first time in a long time) he’s reverted to misrepresenting my position regarding other bloggers/MPs and calling me a stalker.

5. M’learned friend? Bring it on. Liar.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been raising quite simple and relevant questions on Iain’s weblog (highlights for the hardcore can be found here and here).

I don’t think the last straw was my pointing out his total hypocrisy yesterday (over criticising Gordon Brown for refusing to answer a simple question), but instead – after *he* brought it up – my asking pertinent questions about his speaking engagements.

I’m going to repeat the question he sought to avoid here:

1: I’ve been meaning to ask about this for a while now. If someone calls you up, assuming you’re an expert (remembering that you have often said that you never claimed to be [an] expert) and they invite you to speak or consult, do you charge them money for this service… even though you’re not an expert, and they only think you are?

2: I did not ask for your complete financial background. I asked if, in circumstances like the one you describe here

“I do not portray myself as an expert on blogging. If others think I know a lot about it and invite me to speak to them, it’s hardly a crime is it.”

… if you then charge money for your services as a speaker.

But Iain refused to answer this question, and instead sat back and allowed a bunch of sock-puppeting losers to fight his battles for him… in clear violation of his own damn comment policy.

He then banned me – ‘forever’ (What? Again?) – for daring to complain about it.

This is exactly the kind of abuse of trust that Iain has been guilty of in the past, and I fail to see how his return to a mind-boggling level of reader betrayal is in any way helpful.

So, to close, let’s get back to the headline:

If you are thinking of hiring Iain Dale as a speaker on the subject of blogging:

a) He has said himself many times that he is no expert and has never claimed to be one

b) He may not mention this to you when you call

c) He’s a shameless liar with no respect for the medium he claims to champion

[Psst! Iain Dale is banning me from his website for complaining about the repeated use of sock-puppets. But the ban is only effective because – unlike the majority of his supporters – I refuse to comment anonymously or under a variety of identities. Iain Dale has, in effect, handed power to users of sock-puppets instead of seeking to discourage the practice. Which is nice.]

[Psst! My wife rarely gets involved in such things, but after seeing Iain duck and hide behind a bunch of sock-puppets last night, she would like my readers (and his) to know that she thinks he is a big girl’s blouse.]

UPDATE – Have a nice time, Iain!

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To: Donal Blaney (Griffin Law)

Below is a copy of the letter I sent to Paul Staines’ lawyer. I haven’t heard a damn thing since sending it over 3 hours ago, so I’m publishing it here in full to kick things along:

To: Donal Blaney (Griffin Law)

From: Tim Ireland

Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:31 PM

Re: Your Letter of Claim: Paul Staines v Tim Ireland

Dear Sir,

1. Please immediately provide all original emails referred to in the supplied PDF. These can (and should) be forwarded as attachments. Currently all I have is a screen capture of an email from ‘Guy Fawkes’ to ‘Guy Fawkes’, and I do not regard this to be sufficient proof of verbatim correspondence between Paul Staines and Channel 4 News. But let’s address the contents regardless…

2. The letter and legal threat you sent refers only to a cartoon produced by the artist Matt Buck, but the correspondence you provide refers to an ‘informal arrangement’ referring quite specifically to the images produced by the artist Beau Bo D’Or. It does NOT contain any reference to any material produced by Matt Buck or even stray into a neighbourhood where such permission might be implied. Please reply with proof of correspondence (see: #1) that specifically grants permission for use of [any] cartoon(s) produced by Matt Buck.

3. In the correspondence provided (dated 14 Dec), Paul Staines promises to cease using the bandwidth of Beau Bo D’Or in the manner described in my article, but he clearly did not do so at the time. If he had ‘copied and uploaded’ a replacement as promised, Beau Bo D’Or would not have been able to enact the redirection code (on 28 Jan; over a month later) that prompted the relevant series of articles on my website:

4. In the correspondence provided, Paul Staines states that he does not understand Beau Bo D’Or’s bandwidth issues, bases his judgement of Beau Bo D’Or’s bandwidth issues on his relationship with an entirely different service provider, and even acknowledges the impact he has had on Beau Bo D’Or’s bandwidth, but seeks to dismiss it as inconsequential. With respect, ignorance is no defence, we are discussing server load and possible service/website suspension, not just bandwidth issues (as your client may or may not understand them) *AND* Paul Staines admits culpability in this exchange.

5. Channel 4 News has never advised Beau Bo D’Or that there is a transfer of copyright as part of their arrangement, therefore the copyright for any images (or animations) created by Beau Bo D’Or resides with that artist.

6. Regardless, as your client was advised yesterday by that artist, Beau Bo D’Or has an email from Channel 4 News stating emphatically that there is “no arrangement” regarding images/permission between Channel 4 News and Paul Staines.

7. Just as your client has been in direct contact with Beau Bo D’Or, so have I (since well before my 29 Jan article was published). Beau Bo D’Or assures me that he is willing to testify in court about any of the relevant evidence, and told your client so yesterday. Has your client informed you of this?

8. You do know that your client was on a “liquid lunch” yesterday, yes?

9. As things stand, I am well within my rights to describe the relevant images/animations as stolen, and refer to your client as a thief of images and of bandwidth. I am even well within my rights to describe your client as a serial offender. Below is a charming example involving an image stolen from Justin McKeating that also includes many false and vicious comments published by Paul Staines regarding my sexuality and state of mind. In short, your client is a thief and a scoundrel who publishes lies about me on his website, and I have archived and documented proof of multiple instances of such behaviour:

10. I will not be apologising to Paul Staines as you request and scoff at any ‘kind’ offer not to pursue damages if I roll over and do so immediately.

Tim Ireland

PS – I reserve the right to publish this correspondence in full, and even though I have every intention of doing so, a timely and satisfactory reply will be taken into account.

UPDATE (31 Jan, 12:15pm) – I eventually received a reply. As usual, it was marked PRIVATE/CONFIDENTIAL in big scary letters, but there’s nothing stopping me from showing you my correspondence. Below is my reply to Donal’s reply in full, sent at roughly 7:30 this morning:

To: Donal Blaney (Griffin Law)

From: Tim Ireland

Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:36 AM

Re: Your Letter of Claim: Paul Staines v Tim Ireland

Dear Sir,

Sorry that your previous email did not get through; my server-side spam filter is getting smarter by the day. I’m willing to bet that it is seeing the legal content, comparing it with the personal/home (i.e. not professional) email address it is arriving from, and assuming that it’s some form of Nigerian 419 scam. I did receive this latest late-night email, though (you work such late hours, you poor lamb), and here is my reply:

I will not be retaining the services of a lawyer until I need one, and I am unwilling to share my home address with anyone who has a close relationship with Staines unless I absolutely have to.

So I must reject your request that I provide an address for service or the name and address of my solicitors just yet, because so far your case appears to be a total waste of my time… in fact, some might say a deliberate waste of my time.

Especially as Beau Bo D’Or said it, Matt Buck published it, and yet Staines is harassing *me* about it.

I think it’s pretty bloody obvious what’s going on here.

However, I am perfectly happy to continue communicating via email as you attempt to rebuild your case (or perhaps kick off with a new one). If you have trouble reaching me via this address, there is a well-publicised alternative address –

Tim Ireland

PS – I reserve the right to publish this correspondence in full, and even though I have every intention of doing so, a timely and satisfactory reply will be taken into account. (Hint: Your last reply, had it come through, would not have been deemed satisfactory, and it has now been proved that even a machine knows that.)

UPDATE (31 Jan, 5:00pm) – Another outgoing email for you. I didn’t wait around to publish this one, as my time is precious and too much of it has been wasted on this.

To: Donal Blaney (Griffin Law)

From: Tim Ireland

Sent: 31 January 2008 17:00

Re: Your Letter of Claim: Paul Staines v Tim Ireland

Dear Sir,

I really wish that you would read emails (and articles) in full before acting on them.

I do not intend to evade service of proceedings as you claim.

What I said was;

“I am unwilling to share my home address with anyone who has a close relationship with Staines unless I absolutely have to.”

And, right now, I don’t have to.

Up until now, you have only spoken of various possible potential proceedings in the abstract.

You have not stated that you wish to commence proceedings; you have merely threatened to commence proceedings. Even when you speak of ‘evading service’, you speak of intentions, not actions.

So tell me this… if there are no proceedings (as yet), how the hell can I evade them?

If I give you my address and you don’t intend to start proceedings, then you will be guilty of ‘phishing’; mining data that’s none of your damn business.

If you DO intend to start proceedings, then you’d best get on with it and show me that this is something more than a nuisance complaint.

All you’ve shown me so far is threats and questionable evidence for a deeply flawed claim. You can go fly a kite until you bring me something more substantial than this.

Tim Ireland

PS – I’m publishing this one immediately.

UPDATE (1 Feb, 8:40am) – Here’s the latest. It’s pretty straightforward:

To: Donal Blaney (Griffin Law)

From: Tim Ireland

Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 8:38 AM

Re: Your Letter of Claim: Paul Staines v Tim Ireland

Dear Sir,

1. Thank you for advising me after my last email that you were, in response, awaiting your client’s instructions. This confirms for me that, at time of receipt, you had no standing instruction to start proceedings, despite your attempts to badger me into revealing my home address or retain the services of a lawyer. Clearly neither action was necessary or required by law.

2. Please CC all correspondence to – just in case my primary spam filter decides that anything else you send me is a complete waste of time.

Tim Ireland

PS – This reply is also being published immediately.

[Comments are closed on this post and trackback disabled for reasons that I think would be obvious.]

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