“It is Home Office policy to remove political dissidents to Uzbekistan”

Craig reports that Jahongir Sidikov’s deportation has been postponed so his case can be reviewed, but stresses quite rightly that it is the Home Office policy that needs to be reviewed.

Meanwhile, as the government continues in its mission to fast-track one person to their death and slow-track others facing death, the ‘big’ story across the bulk of what is supposed to be an alternative to mainstream media is diddled donations.

Translation: that blood you smell might just be on your hands.

UPDATE – David Miliband will be taking your questions on international affairs in a live webchat on 30 November from 13:45 GMT

I have no doubt that he’ll be avoiding some as well.








Posted in The War on Stupid | 2 Comments

Iraqi employees: trigger action

Dan Hardie – Letting them die: I’ve had emails from three people who claim to be – and who almost certainly are- Iraqi former employees of the British Government. All three say that they and their former colleagues are still at risk of death for their ‘collaboration’… You’ve heard this before, but it’s now more important than ever. The last lot of letters and emails got the Government to announce a change in policy: an inadequate change, badly implemented. The next lot of letters and emails will force the Government to announce another change in policy, one that will be properly implemented and will not be based on leaving people to die.

Read the post and email your MP. Offer them a personal briefing. The impact of certain information that can’t be broadcast/published for reasons of safety is considerable. It took me a couple of days just to convince myself that I’d come to terms with it… before I unexpectedly collapsed in a blubbering heap in the middle of cooking supper a few days later.








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Polling day in Australia

Independent – Howard rocked by smear scandal as defeat looms: John Howard, Australia’s Prime Minister, was fighting for his political life yesterday as details emerged of an attempt by senior members of his Liberal Party to smear the opposition Labour Party and whip up anti-Muslim feeling in a key marginal seat.

You’ll want to read that article in full. It describes what is more or less an offline sock-puppeting… and yes, someone (you’ll never guess from which side) plays the ‘stalker’ card.

:o)

Good luck today, Australia. Have a schooner for me when* that little cockroach Howard – who has been surviving and thriving on dirty politics for more than 20 years – finally gets Baygon-ed.

(*So I’m an optimist. Sue me. In fact, I’m even going to lay on a happy song, just for the hell of it. Be warned that this music video contains both pigs and humans.)

UPDATE (24 Nov) – BBC – Labor claims Australia poll win: The Labor Party has claimed victory in Australia’s election, after early vote counts suggested Prime Minister John Howard had lost his parliamentary seat.

Ooooh… I bet hope that stings. OK, time for a really, really, really happy song.








Posted in Australian Music, The War on Stupid | 3 Comments

Jahongir Sidikov: who cares?

Craig Murray – A Low Point: Jahongir Sidikov is still in detention at Heathrow, having offered passive resistance to the attempt to deport him today. Next time they will use staff authorised and equipped to use force. I am deeply depressed. All yesterday I was working on trying to save him from being returned to the horrors of the Karimov regime’s treatment of dissidents, and it was like living inside a nightmare… I am still in a genuine state of shock and disbelief that we should start shipping asylum seekers back to Uzbekistan, of all places. It is as though the government have gone into official denial of what kind of place Uzbekistan is. I am also astonished that I have been met with complete indifference from everybody – officials, MPs and journalists. I can’t get anybody to take an interest… Again, I restate my disbelief that we are doing this. How on Earth can we consider deporting dissidents back to Uzbekistan. Do Ministers not know what happens in that country, or do they just not care? And why can’t I get any politician, journalist or official even vaguely interested? Even on the internet, no prominent bloggers have shown any interest.

Ministers do know what happens in that country; people who dare to oppose Karimov’s regime end up dead or declared insane and pumped full of Thorazine.

Ministers don’t care what happens in that country; it takes a shower of bullets just to get them to cluck their tongues.

Blog it, push for press coverage and alert your MP. Please. Just on the off chance that we might make enough noise to get the heartless bastards who run this country to save a man’s life for the sake of appearances.

UPDATE – Question That has more (and a list of supporters), but I’m inclined to agree with Septicisle. If you’re forced to prioritise, pushing for press coverage is the way to go.








Posted in The War on Stupid | 1 Comment

Ellee is officially an ‘expert’

Ellee Seymour – My PR Diploma: I heard today that I passed my third paper for my CIPR Diploma in Public Relations. I distinguished myself with a Merit on my personal project which focused on MPs who write blogs, and how it relates to two-way communication and PR theory.

UPDATE – For those who came in late.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 9 Comments

Unity’s new home

Just a quick heads-up for those who don’t already know:

Until further notice, Unity’s blog will be located at http://www.ministryoftruth.me.uk/








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Ten silverish linings

discBBC – Ministers under fire over records: The government’s “basic competence” has been questioned by the Tories after the loss in the post of computer discs with 25m people’s personal details on them. The child benefit data on them includes names, ages, bank and address details. (timeline) (q & a)

1. If, like me, you enjoy the privilege of almost certainly being on Disc One or Disc Two; congratulations, you are officially part of a major catastrophe, and free to sell your story to a tabloid newspaper for big money. (Warning: you may have a little competition, so be aware that the non-exclusive status of your story may have an impact on price.)

2. None of the newspapers have come up with a snappy name for this disaster yet. Opportunity knocks. (No ‘gates’, please. We’re British.)

3. Well, that’s about it for the ID card and database scheme. (Or is it?)

4. Rather than being teased with a tip, you have already seen the bulk of the iceberg, and very little effort is required to see the rest.

5. It’s enormous fun watching people who refuse to be held accountable for their own actions calling for accountability.

6. Wasn’t it refreshing to see a government admitting to themselves that some things are just too big to spin? [see comments]

7. That said, yesterday was also a jolly good day to bury (other) bad news.

8. You could be a lowly junior revenue department official (or even a bicycle courier) and hold the lives of millions in your hands. Who says there’s no room for advancement in this workaday world?

9. Life being what it is, something amusing is bound to be discovered in the desperate search for the discs. For example, one of them might be found being used as a drinks coaster by a glazier in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

10. Chin up. What’s the worst that could happen?








Posted in The War on Stupid | 16 Comments

Let’s All Pick on Vulnerable Right-Wing Chicks Week: Part Five

[Please note that there has been a sudden change in schedule due to circumstances beyond my control. I had my eye on a pretty little redhead today, but instead I’m compelled to write on the further antics of Nadine Dorries… and others.]

Nadine Dorries’ difficulty with blogging began with a personal attack.

Nadine was not at all impressed with the outcome of the Science and Technology Committee’s report on abortion and so, with Bob Spink MP, released her own report.

That report contained a false claim about a Guardian journalist that Nadine refused to withdraw or even discuss… she quickly closed down the comments on her ‘weblog’.

Initially, she claimed that it was merely a time issue. Then a narrative developed where she was claiming that she was refusing all comments because of repeated comments, then abusive comments, then repeated abusive comments and “very weird posts late at night, which frankly scared me.”

It was only a matter of time before someone helpfully filled in the blanks and screamed ‘cyber-stalker’ for her.

(Note – It is not wise to cry ‘wolf’ at the expense of potential victims of genuine cyber-stalking.)

This narrative was further developed when Ellee Seymour sought to use it to her advantage, by suggesting that I was a cyber-stalker.

This narrative was quickly picked up and developed yet further by Dizzy a sock-puppet that just happened to be around while Dizzy was, and then Praguetory. An unknown party fighting this same corner actually went so far as to create an anonymous weblog containing some appalling and deeply personal attacks, basically bringing Nadine’s claims to life in order to ‘support’ her (reported here). [UPDATE – This helpful effort was in fact created by John Hirst as a ‘joke’.]

Now, at some stage during this narrative’s development (right after Ellee’s adventure, to be exact) Alex Hilton went live with a post featuring a screen capture of a mystery Facebook profile and within about half an hour, it was revealed under comments to be the Facebook profile of one of Nadine Dorries’ daughters (with the full name revealed within a day).

[Note – I myself did not see this item until Nadine blogged about it yesterday.]

In an attack on Dorries that would have been well out of order regardless of this, Alex Hilton played the race card by falsely attributing a quote to Dorries’ daughter.

And, even if one disregards the above (and/or wishes to debate the merit of publishing details about Dorries daughters when she’s been doing it herself this past week), let’s face it; if someone is already claiming victim status and you pass them this kind of ammo… you’re not helping.

*However*…

For pretty much the same reason why a woman should never yell ‘rape’ (and, yes, ‘stalker’) without good cause, a mother should never yell ‘paedophile’ without good cause. It has to do with resonance and responsibility.

Further, one would expect an MP to at least be cautious enough to not stray recklessly into this potentially life-destroying area.

But Nadine Dorries goes off the rails right after addressing the falsely attributed comment when she says this (the highlight is mine):

…the issue is now on it’s way to Simon Smith at Schillings , to ask his advise as to whether or not this matter is libel and actionable.
http://www.schillings.co.uk/Display.aspx?&MasterId=af8a38df-e12a-48da-953b-d4be1b79d6da&NavigationId=233

I suppose one wouldn’t expect anything else from the researcher of a Labour MP. It makes you wonder what kind of MP employs a person who spends his day going through Facebook accounts. Is this done on a Parliamentary computer I wonder? One paid for by the tax payer, in the time he should be working, again, paid by the tax payer?

It is not lost on me that he chose to highlight the Facebook account of my 22 year old daughter. However, has he been through the Facebook accounts of all of my girls? One of them is only 15 – and if he has – there’s a word for people like you Alex.

OK, so she’s justifiably upset.

That, for me, gets her off the hook for that totally unfair partisan generalisation and the assault on Hilton over his alleged/suggested use of taxpayer-funded resources for party political purposes (without a scrap of bloody evidence).

I’m even willing to let her threat to use the firm Schillings go by with nothing but a knowing smirk.

But to imply that someone is a paedophile?!

Even though, technically, that final passage is open to interpretation (the word might be ‘bully’ or ‘arsehole’, for example), the juxtaposition of ages that leads up to the closing statement gives it a pretty damn clear direction.

And even if this is *not* what was intended, I would expect an MP to be wary enough not to publish anything that might be misinterpreted in this way.

And even if that MP were so blind to the bleeding obvious that the above didn’t even occur to them, I would bloody well expect them to be wary of publishing personal outbursts if they were still stinging from a recent one.

And even if they were so blinkered that they’d miss all of *that*, I would *still* expect them to later correct their error by at *least* clarifying a statement like this one when it’s pretty bloody clear how it’s been interpreted.

Admittedly, the Age of Accountability appears to have passed us by, but MPs have been forced to resign over less.

Further class acts include…

Iain seeming less fussed by it and just letting his (mostly anonymous) readers get on with it under comments.

New corporate political gossip blog on the block Westmonster declaring Dale to be the ‘referee’, and basically chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Alex Hilton publishing and not deleting or challenging anonymous comments that air groundless suggestions about the sexual orientation of Dorries’ eldest daughter and this charming comment about her youngest; “I’m gonna wait till the younger daughter is 16…”

David Reeves drops by, followed by (ahem) an anonymous supporter of David Reeves carrying the ‘Mad Nad’ stick.

… which is all very helpful.

Now, did I or did I not make it absolutely clear to readers on numerous occasions (most recently here) that this whole game of comment diddling, sock-puppeting and engaging in personal attacks while claiming to be the victim of personal attacks and/or screaming ‘cyber-stalker’ will eventually lead to someone screaming ‘paedophile’…?

I want a subsection under Godwin’s Law named after me, I do.

And while someone is sorting that out…

Alex Hilton: You need to delete a few of the more insidious or insensitive items from your blog and apologise to Nadine Dorries.

Nadine Dorries: You need to either clarify what you meant by that closing statement in your latest post or withdraw it. Then you can bury any resulting apology to Alex Hilton under your long-overdue apology to Ben Goldacre.

[Note – Those wishing to comment on Nadine’s original article can do so here. Comment moderation has been enabled at the mirror blog for reasons that should be obvious.]

UPDATE (21 Nov) – Iain finally spoke up in his own comment thread late yesterday. Here’s the bulk of what he had to say (timestamps link to individual comments):

Iain Dale said…

Trixy, Sam Farage is an adult. He joined a rival political party. That was a legitimate thing to comment on.

Nadine’s 15 year old daughter is not an adult.

I don’t recall any attack on Leo Blair.

November 20, 2007 3:51 PM

Oluseun said…

Don’t lie…..

Phillipa Storm Dorries is 22 and an adult.

Insinuating that this Blogger is a paedophile……lame!

November 20, 2007 5:40 PM

Iain Dale said…

First of all, nadine did no such thing. Second of all, her youngest daughter is 15, not 22.

November 20, 2007 5:43 PM

Well, there you have it… straight from the horse’s ass.

Iain Dale appears to basing his case on what Nadine says could or might have happened, and not what actually did happen.

It would also appear (and this is *not* a threat or an incitement) that Iain will remain totally selectively blind to the threat of paedo-smears until it happens to him personally.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 6 Comments

Blimey!

You’ll want to read this.

Recess Monkey is an idiot for thinking that this was in any way relevant or helpful, but Nadine pretty much calls him a paedophile in her response.

A teeny bit nuclear, isn’t it?








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 12 Comments

Craig Murray (the big bully) picks on poor little Alisher Usmanov

Craig Murray – Usmanov Admits Relationship with Gafur Rakhimov: There is another profile of Alisher Usmanov in the Guardian today which gives him an easy ride. But the Guardian also publish on the web the full text of their email interview, which is much more revealing.








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