Dennis Paul quits blogging… and good riddance

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
12:01 pm and is filed
under Anne Milton.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a thorough fisking… but this one is going to be worth it. And then some.

Either very late last night or very early this morning, Dennis Paul announced that he was quitting his weblog:

Dennis Paul, Conservative Campaigner: Nighty Night

Well folks, this is the last blog for a while I’m afraid. As a facilitator I have come to the conclusion that blogs are a complete waste of time. Some time ago I saw them useful as a way of publicising initiatives, (promoting my credentials obviously) and stimulating genuine discussion and debate by opening up access to the community. To date, with perhaps the exception of ‘Paul’ and ‘Contratory’ most of the community involvement has involved a tiny band of opposition hacks trying to engage in distractive, petty political point scoring which serves little purpose other than to smear their opponents or put off genuine visitors from becoming involved in politics.

I will happily continue online at my site at where I will be reporting on local issues and initiatives. But before you go, ask yourself Why is blogging a waste of your time and mine (this is the last debate, so keep to the point, avoid petty point scoring, smears, negative links and your post should get through)? Discuss:

Dennis Paul’s version of ‘keeping to the point’ is never straying from his own personal version of reality, and countering a number of his quite ridiculous claims requires the use of a few facts that he would dismiss as ‘smears’… so I’m turning down his kind offer of a final ‘debate’ on his ‘blogsite’ and will instead will publish my response here.

What the following is going to prove is that we are well rid of Dennis Paul, because the bulk of his public and anonymous contributions to the blogging community have been “distractive, petty political point scoring which serves little purpose other than to smear their opponents or put off genuine visitors from becoming involved in politics.”

On we go with the fisking…

If you have a political interest, you could be reading more informative literature, even in the tabloids. If you want debate, you’ll find more people down the pub to argue with than online – and it’s more sociable

Untrue. Many weblogs (that may or may not publish articles of their own) give readers access to a wider variety of mainstream articles, but I’m not at all surprised to see that he thinks online debating arguing is a waste of time, because he has yet to discover the joys of Playing. By. The. Rules.

Apart from that, his final line about the pub only serves to explain why Dennis is so fond of posting/commenting after closing time.

(Oops. A snipe slipped through. Sorry about that.)

Blogs give those that post the buzz that the whole world is watching, when frankly only a few political hacks at most are online hanging on every word.

To be fair, this may be a true account of Dennis Paul’s experience. As for myself, between Bloggerheads and Backing Blair I reached well over a million unique visitors last year. The Anne Milton weblog is a little more modest in that it ticks over at around 40,000 unique visitors a year.

Also, rather than reaching “a few political hacks,” I’ve tracked regular visits from inside Parliament, Downing Street and the headquarters of every major political party in this country (including a recent visit from Conservative Central Office, which might explain this Conservative campaigner’s ‘independent decision’ to quit blogging… it won’t be the first time he’s been told to pull his head in after going OTT).

If you contribute by blogging genuinely on some sites, you may provide the host with your IP address when you blog which enables unscrupulous hackers to attack your computer. That is why they are so obsessed with the IP identity of those who blog. You may limit this risk by moving from a static IP address to a Dynamic IP address, but you are still vulnerable while you remain online without protection.

Dennis Paul has made a few big mistakes in the last few days, but this one is the biggest by far (still, at least now he appears to know what an IP address is). What he’s referring to is the fallout from this showdown (relevant details are at the base of that post and comments). It’s a subtle but rare public repeat of his claim that he was hacked this time last year and that I’m the most likely culprit.

Important Bit To Remember #1: Dennis Paul (who clearly does not know the difference between hacking and tracking) is the only person I know of who has made any accusation of hacking associated with myself or this website. Ever.

Important Bit To Remember #2: Dennis Paul (who clearly does not know the difference between blogging and commenting) has never commented under his own name on any of my websites. Ever. Basically, what he has done here is unwittingly admit that he has done so anonymously in the past.

Big, big, mistake. And there may be more on this in the mystery link (see below).

Anonymity for bloggers gives them the scope to create the illusion that their views are commonplace with more people contributing posts than there actually are.

So speaks the man who has made a regular habit of submitting anonymous/fake comments on his own website since well before he started blogging “to create the illusion that their views are commonplace with more people contributing posts than there actually are.”

All you have to do is browse around his weblog to see this in action (even with his new ‘no-time timestamps’ it’s painfully obvious), but if you want to go straight to the most entertaining part, click here to watch Dennis dismiss one of the few anonymous comments that he didn’t write himself. Because it was made anonymously, obviously.

The content of blog air is generally crap. Some of my opponents spend time writing reams of material every day with no comments or sign of engagement in any discussion whatsoever (except say a few chums). The idea that the content is ‘public’ drives them on, but actually no one is watching except people in political circles (including me I have to confess) checking to see if anything interesting or relevant crops up – which rarely happens

1. At the risk of repeating myself; Opponent? You what?

2. Oh really? I’d regard this revelation to be particularly interesting. Given that Anne Milton likes to big-note herself as Parliament’s Nurse, I’d regard her poor attendance record on the Health Select Committee to be particularly relevant.

3. As for comments, I’m a busy guy and don’t wish to waste my days pissing about with timewasters, so people who comment on my site are required to establish their identity via TypeKey. That means I get fewer comments than many sites that enjoy this level of traffic, but at least it keeps most of the shitheads away. Oh, and did I mention that Dennis Paul has never commented under his own name on any of my websites? Ever?

(Damn. Another snipe slipped through. I must be more careful.)

Blogging has little or no effect on public opinion. Why? Because no one is watching. More productive time can be spent knocking on doors or delivering leaflets that address local concerns than appealing to a narrow sect through internet media.

Ah, yes… and we all know what type of leaflets Dennis Paul likes to circulate. As for door-knocking, a report reaches me that – during a recent by-election – local Tory canvassers were instructed to ask to speak to the man of the house, show them a picture of the Conservative candidate (Kathy Lyons), and say; “Isn’t she a lovely piece of totty to have as your councillor?”

Sometimes this kind of thing is effective… and sometimes it is not.

Also, Dennis Paul himself has accused me of having local political connections, but of the associations that have been made, most of them were a direct result of my “appealing to a narrow sect through internet media.”

Quite a few members of the great unwashed have been in touch, too – including a couple of people from Dennis Paul’s past… and present. I think this counts as an example of the effectiveness of a robust and honest approach to blogging.

For a rough idea of how this works, Dennis is invited to search for his own name in Google. Or perhaps Anne Milton’s name. Or maybe even the words ‘health select committee’…

When you read posts on blogsites they could be anyone. Just register with a few duff details and you are in there, blogging as Michael Jackson or Jack Spratt. More often than not, they are a couple of opponents trying to create the illusion that there is a mass following out there that does not exist

And Dennis Paul would know. The illusion of a mass following has already been dealt with above, so what is going to be dealt with here is his quite correct assertion that anyone can “register with a few duff details” and start “blogging as Michael Jackson or Jack Spratt.”

Of course, if you don’t put your name to the venture and/or fail to provide evidence of any given claim, issues of trust are going to crop up from time to time, and you’ll find yourself struggling for traffic…. but the Big One here is that I wish to prove that Dennis Paul is 100% correct on one single point, and – for practical purposes – that proof needs to presented outside of this fisking. Watch the space below, where a link will (or perhaps *may*) appear shortly:

Yep… here you go… Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers are heavily implicated in an anonymous weblog smear campaign that will turn your stomach.

For those who think independent blogging is a productive use of their time, you can try to persuade us otherwise too! But spare us the crap about how you champion the public good etc by bringing important facts to light. We have the Surrey Advertiser for that, and they are fairly impartial!

Dennis Paul is totally wrong on this front… our local newspaper the Surrey Advertiser is not big on investigative journalism. More often than not they are totally reliant on someone coming forward with evidence and/or a point of view; the majority of stories that stray toward the investigative are headlined as follows:

(Insert Name Here) claims that (Insert Name Here) has/is (Insert Story Here)

All in all, I guess the proof of the pudding will be in whether the meat from the mystery-link above makes it to print and/or is acted upon once/if it is published and/or starts turning up in search engines. We’ll see. Maybe.

And I say ‘maybe’ because I’m going to give Dennis one more chance:

Dennis, you have two hours (from now) to delete any suggestion or allegation that I blog about Anne Milton at the behest of the local Liberal Democrats from your public sites, and to see to it that certain anonymous sites are removed in their entirety. You know what I’m talking about. Two hours. After that, I go public and get totally mediaeval on your ass. Have a serious think about it.

UPDATE (1:46pm) – I’m busy. Dennis gets a bonus hour. See you at 3pm.

UPDATE (4:20pm) – The mystery link just went live. Dennis Paul has had plenty of time to deal with this honourably. Now it’s time for him to chew on a burger with the works.

UPDATE (Aug 22) – Dennis Paul has now moved/renamed and updated the fisked post. The changes have been recorded here: Dennis Paul is busy covering his tracks

About Tim Ireland

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