Fisking Iain Dale

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
10:30 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Here, Garry raises a very good point:

Ah, the famous ban.

It’s not consistent though, is it? Tim Ireland wasn’t banned the other day. The conversation between the two of you was deleted only after you’d had second thoughts about leaving it in place for all to see.

It’s a good point, and based entirely on documented fact.

Now watch Iain Dale coast right past it:

Garry, Tim Ireland has been banned from leaving comments here for several weeks if not months.

And yet Iain Dale has never seen fit to explain why or spell out the terms of that ban. Even now he appears to be uncertain about its length.

Sometimes he leaves comments when I don’t have moderation on.

And often I leave comments when he does have moderation on. But Iain doesn’t mention that part. Possibly because he has difficulty understanding why I don’t simply give up or bypass his ban by pretending to be someone else. These difficulties do arise when you judge others by your own values.

[And before you start… Iain claims to hold the same values that I do regarding this particular practice.]

When I notice them I delete them.

This is a lie. A big, fat lie.

Look, here’s Iain not only noticing me, but replying to me… until he comes off second best and decides to retro-moderate the exchange as if it never happened.

The rest is below the fold for those with the patience to sift through Iain’s multiple layers of bullshit…

——————————————————————– fold ——————————————————————–

It’s my blog. It’s my prerogative.

Indeed it is… but he can’t do this and be taken seriously as a lead authority on blogging. Even if I am a royal pain in the arse with little-to-no point to make, surely he knows how to balance this kind of thing with the simple principles of accountability and consistency?I have also made it clear on a number of occasions that Iain’s conduct has an impact far beyond his weblog. In fact, I was forced to make that very point – again – just this afternoon.

I don;t need to rehearse the history of this.

Sadly, I do…. because Iain repeatedly tries to duck and dive around the central points and erase certain parts of history that don’t fit into his narrative.

Regular readers know it and it is incredibly tedious.

Some regular readers have certainly been duped into thinking it. Often, they then go on to throw it in my face (see the point made above about impact beyoi=nd his blog). Now *that* does get tedious.

You write: “There’s a serious issue here about the way you engage with your critics (or don’t as the case may be). In this case, I thought your readers deserved to be given the facts of the deleted conversation and be allowed to make up their own minds. In light of the deletion of the comments, it might have been foolish of me to imagine that you might share this view.”If people wish to go to Bloggerheads they’re very welcome, but I don’t see why I should provide a link (even in comments) to a site which persistently slags me off. And frankly, the subject matter had F all to do with Ireland.

Deary me.. it’s been a long time since Iain felt so cornered as to play the ‘off topic’ gambit. But what’s really interesting here is that Iain quotes from and addresses this section without quoting/acknowledging another excellent point by Garry; earlier in the thread, Iain quite clearly outlines an aspect of his constantly-changing moderation policy by saying; “Call me what you like, but at least have the guts to put your name to it.”But suddenly, this policy appears to have changed.Anyway, let’s get back to Iain in the recent past, as opposed to the slightly-less-recent past:

You wrote… “Anyway, just to clarify, is it a blanket ban on links to all posts which criticise any aspect of Iain Dale’s Diary or is it Bloggerheads specific?”If you are a regular reader of this blog you know full well that every day on every post I am subject to intense criticism. I have a very liberal approach to deleting comments, and if I said I deleted one per day that would prbably be an exaggeration. Sometimes criticism is valid, and sometimes it isn’t. Even when it isn’t I recognise that people have very different views to me and they have every right to express them. But if someone calls me a liar, says I am corrupt or worse, then don;t expect me to allow it on this site, or to allow a link to another site which accuses me of those things.

Translation: Call me what you like, but at least have the guts to put your name to it. That way, I can delete you for being anonymous, or ban you after you’ve put your name to it.[Oh and Iain? If you don’t want to be called a liar… Stop. Lying.]

Bloggerheads and Jailhouselawyer are sites which delight in doing that. I now ignore them because you cannot enter rational discussions with them. Believe me, I have learnt that lesson over the course of this year.

Sorry, but Iain hasn’t learned a damn thing. A nice nod to the ‘mental instability’ tag he seems so happy to publish on his site, though. More subtle and sophisticated than most efforts. But then, Iain has been forced to put his name to this one.

I have told Ireland directly that he can email me as much as he likes (and believe me, he likes),

Ah, good…. the ‘stalker’ tag. We almost had to proceed without it.

… and leave as many comments on this site as he likes, but he will never get a reply.

You’ve probably already spotted the first lie (Iain clearly does reply when he thinks he has the upper hand… or when he needs something), but Iain has also made it clear in the past that he frowns upon me saying what I like on my own site:Dale’s site administrator once threatened to compromise my website by falsely submitting my domain name to distributed blacklists. Iain did not object. Presumably he believed his (still serving) administrator when that person later said it was ‘a joke’. That same administrator helped Iain to foul inbound links from my website to his, in a further attempt to avoid scrutiny.

What I write on this site is to do with me, not anyone else.If people don’t like what i do they will not return. There is a free market in blogs. People visit the blogs they like and ignore the ones they don’t.

Iain isn’t much of a blog expert if he fails to recognise the role of networking and the fact that this generally involves one of those community thingies. He also fails to recognise that every time he publishes something he reaches out to other people. Perhaps if he did keep to himself, the world would be a nicer place.I know that sounds cruel, but you have to take my own personal experience into account:Iain was quite happy to publish a report about ‘paedophile’ smears when it didn’t compromise fellow Tories, but he point-blank refused to do so when Tories were involved in *exactly* the same type of smear campaign.Disgraceful behaviour from any human being, but positively dumbfounding from a gay man.[Note – For reasons of clarity, I am forced to point out that this is relevant because some people think – or would have you think – that being gay makes you a paedophile.]And do you know what? In all of his replies to me (they do exist, you know) he has never once addressed this point. Instead, he has dodged this and many other issues with the kind of techniques he should be ashamed of himself for popularising.

However, there are some people who do the opposite and spend their time visiting blogs they hate. What a waste of their time.

Damn it, he’s got me. Instead of spending all those years taking Blair on, I should instead have continued to link to items that made me happy. After all, Iain only links to things that make him happy when he blogs.

The fact is that I must be doing something right or the number of visitors to my blog would not be increasing. It would be declining. Even today we have had a number of people comment on the blog saying “it’s rubbish”, “not what it was” etc etc. Isn’t it funny though how traffic has increased by 30% this month compared to last month and also 35% year on year. I am sure you will find an argument to say that this must indicate a failure , or a tabloidisation, but the figures speak for themselves.

Oh, Iain’s waaaay ahead of me here. I can’t possibly point out now that The Sun is the best and most trustworthy newspaper in the UK because it’s the most popular. But I can point out that Iain himself recognises that not all of those people who visit his blog agree with his views… or his tactics.[Psst! – Not every visit is a vote for you, Iain.]

I think that’s enough!

Well, I know he’d *like* to think that, but who here really thinks this will end while Iain:a) claims that he’s not interested in the game while shouting abuse from the sidelinesb) continues to try to lie his way out of trouble-UPDATE – Ahahahahaha! I must apologise for banging on, but this is too, too perfect to be true:Here, Garry presses the point ever-so politely, but can’t resist making a clear reference to the insulting comments that Iain does tolerate (i.e. those often anonymous comments that Iain happily publishes suggesting that those who dare to press the point are obsessive or otherwise mentally unstable… an aspect of Iain’s technique already mentioned in this post):

…So I’ll ask again. Why did you write “he’ll never get a reply” when you had replied just a few short days ago? Unless there’s some part of the picture I’m missing, it wasn’t an entirely honest description of the situation.(Of course, attempts to conduct honest debate on a blog which claims to allow it is a clear indicator of obsessive behaviour and probably also a sign of serious mentally illness…)

Now – get this – Iain either takes or presents this is as a suggestion that he is mentally unstable, as uses that as justification to close the discussion:

Garry, so I am now mentally ill. You people never know when to stoop low enough do you. Debate over.

Let me spell it out for you; Iain does stoop so low as to suggest that his opponents are mentally unstable in many/subtle ways, and allows anonymous contributors to do it (to other people) in many/overt ways. Garry does not stoop to this level, and certainly hasn’t done so in this case. But Iain is so desperate for a way out of the hole that he’s dug for himself that he’s shown himself to be a complete hypocrite *and* got it all arse-backwards in the process.Further, he then goes on to lecture Garry about his poor understanding of the matter.There’s more (Iain’s hopeful revision of what he meant regarding ‘no reply in comments/email’, for instance – and his rather unique understanding of the word ‘vitriol’… the misuse of which is rather convenient for him in a discussion where he will not permit anyone to link to the alleged vitriol) but it’s far too late and I’m far too amused to continue right now.UPDATE (24 Oct) Garry has blogged aspects of this, and pressed Iain on his blog about his refusal to allow evidence to be presented in debates he’s conducting. Iain’s evasive response to *that* largely speaks for itself, but I have the feeling that I might need to point out what he, Paul Staines and Anne Milton have in common.No… wait… strike that. I’ve already done so.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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