Iain Dale: why his blog cannot be safely ignored

This entry was posted on
Friday, October 19th, 2007
11:48 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Yesterday, Iain Dale posted an image mocking the recent queue-jumping antics of MPs. The image had, originally, been posted by Kerron Cross. Iain gave no indication of this.

[Note – Recess Monkey also used the image without initially crediting Kerron Cross, but it looks like he only did this because he was under the impression that Dale was the primary source.]

Under comments, Chris Paul piped up with this:

Chris Paul said…

I’m looking for the hat tip to Kerron Cross Iain, the so small it’s not there print.

Come on man play the game.

October 18, 2007 10:20 AM

The ‘game’ Chris Paul refers to is the web publishing game. It involves certain points of etiquette that Iain Dale often ignores, and I’ll cover this key point of etiquette shortly. That the image had already spread to another blog with the link-hungry Iain Dale getting the credit should be enough for now.

Anyway, Iain Dale countered in a clearly sneering tone whilst berating Chris Paul for his allegedly sneering tone:

Iain Dale said…

Chris, if I had got this from Kerron Cross I would have given him a hattip. I was emailed it by someone. However, it is clearly the same picture, so I suppose it is possible that person lifted it from Kerron’s site.

As you know I ALWAYS give hattips if I use material from other sites so you can cut the sneering tone.

October 18, 2007 10:25 AM

That last bit is an outright lie. I called him on it with this:

Tim said…

As you know I ALWAYS give hattips if I use material from other sites

Not ALWAYS, Iain. You’re still hosting a bunch of my stuff without permission and no link credit.

October 18, 2007 10:49 AM

Please note that at this stage Iain is lying and I know that he’s lying… but I haven’t called him a liar yet, because I don’t want to give him an easy ‘out’. (“What?! How dare you call me a liar? Insulting comments like this will be deleted etc. etc. etc. hissy hissy blah blah…”)

Nevertheless, this comment was deleted. With no indication that it had been deleted.

Iain did, however, moderate his claim somewhat for this update within the post (the highlight is mine):

[Iain Dale] UPDATE: When I originally posted this I didn’t realise Kerron Cross had already done the story. The picture was sent to me from another source within Parliament. Apologies to Kerron, but it was an innocent mistake. Regular readers will know I always provide hattips where I know the source.

An ever-so-slightly mealy-mouthed statement, which pretty much amounts to Iain backing off from the outright lie and instead taking the rather shaky stance that – if an image gets sent in by a reader – he shouldn’t bother asking where it came from. One can only wonder why Iain’s readers are under the impression that they shouldn’t offer this information in the first place.

So, on I went with the exercise of calling Iain on his initial lie, addressing a key weakness in his moderated assertion, and pointing out that the old fraud makes a regular habit of censoring comments that show him to be an old fraud:

Tim said…

Iain, you said something that was incorrect, I corrected you, and you deleted my comment.

What’s up with that?

Am I still banned for reasons you have yet to make clear or do you just not like being shown to be wrong… or a liar? (Actually, I suspect that’s the very reason why I’m banned, but you’re not going to come out and say that, are you?)

You do not ALWAYS give hat tips if you use material from other sites and you’re STILL hosting a bunch of my stuff without permission and no link credit. You still haven’t addressed the latter matter, despite my bringing it to your attention months ago and making it absolutely clear that, due to your repeated use of my stuff without hat-tips, you no longer have permission to use any of my work.

BTW, the “someone sent it in by email” excuse just doesn’t cut it. If the reader who sent it in didn’t have the good manners to mention the source, YOU should have had the good manners to ASK.

You should also have the courtesy to address this comment openly and honestly in the thread where it was raised, instead of using repeated deletions and/or the sudden introduction of comment moderation, and THEN bitching about it when I’m forced to address it elsewhere.

[If you have problems with the tone of this message, blame certain webmasters with a bad habit of moderating their comments only so far as to protect their own interests/reputation.]

October 18, 2007 2:18 PM

Iain deleted this comment, too.

But he hasn’t deleted the many images of mine that he still carries in this little collection, despite my making it absolutely clear to him nearly 8 months ago that – because of his repeated image theft – he no longer had permission to use any of my images.

Not one of the images in his Flickr collection that are mine carry a link credit, and Iain knows – watermark or not – that this is an important aspect of web etiquette; and I know Iain knows about the importance of links, because he spends so much time begging for them (admittedly in a far more commanding way that he used to, but I digress…)

Kerron Cross, seeing a storm on the horizon, gracefully accepted Iain’s self-serving half-apology and called for calm:

Kerron said…

Oh yeah, apology accepted by the way. I guessed you hadn’t done it intentionally.

And you do usually credit other sources – which is why I was a bit surprised.

Just in case this threatens to blow up beyond all proportion! ;-)

October 18, 2007 4:01 PM

But it needed to be pointed out that these storms arise because Iain is so precious and so manipulative that he sees fit to censor his comments in a way that allows to get away with outright lies just like the one that started this exchange:

Tim said…

Well, Iain could just admit that he doesn’t always give hat-tips, even though he claims to, and that it might have been polite to ask the person who sent your image in where it came from.

There’s no need for it to go any further, but if I know Iain, he’ll exacerbate matters by refusing to admit that he’s wrong and then having a go at me for daring to suggest otherwise.

October 18, 2007 4:49 PM

This comment was also deleted.

Iain then went on to post an item that castigated Des Browne for misleading the house and suggested that his being caught out this way should be grounds for his removal from cabinet.


Dale can bitch about scale as much as he likes, but you either believe in the principles of honesty and accountability or you don’t. Iain clearly doesn’t, and it was time to say so in a perfectly on-topic manner:

Tim said…

Is this why you yourself are so reluctant to admit it and/or apologise when you get things wrong, get caught lying, or get things wrong and then get caught lying about it, Iain?

October 18, 2007 5:35 PM

This comment was also deleted.

I sent an email to Iain asking why he was forcing me to call him on this on my own blog. He ignored it. He did, however, take the time to make the following comment under a post about the Independent regurgitating an FCO release:

Iain Dale said…

I don’t know why you think I am in a rage. I am merely pointing out something that if I did it, it would get Tim Ireland foaming at the mouth again. Not difficult, I know.

The signing of this treaty with no referenmdum, as promised by Labour, is nothing short of a disgrace. It’s got nothing to do with being anti EU. Plenty of Europhiles feel exactly the same.

October 18, 2007 5:47 PM

But not before – as predicted – turning comment moderation on so he could dump any compromising responses to this in the trash without them seeing the light of day.

The man is all class, isn’t he?

1) That’s an outright insult involving a myriad of falsities that are easily countered with the facts… but where’s my right of reply?

2) This, from a man who screams “You insulted me!” if you ever catch him lying. If he doesn’t want to be called a liar, then he should stop lying.

3) But he does lie. He lies persistently and shamelessly, and uses techniques just like the ones outlined here to hide it from his readers. If I press the matter and/or speak up elsewhere, he will often pretend that the initial exchange(s) never took place and instead attempt to give the impression that I’ve had a go at him for no good reason. Often, these exchanges are peppered with suggestions from him or anonymous comments on his blog that suggest I’m not of sound mind, and any frustration you see is nothing to do with his infuriating pig-headedness, but rather the result of my failing to take prescribed medication. This is a disgusting tactic that in an insult not just to me, but to everybody with genuine mental health problems *and* the intelligence of his readers; Dale also appears to be blissfully unaware of the company he puts himself in when he plays these games and the potential consequences of crying ‘wolf’ with the related ‘stalker’ tag.

4) He has done this so often that he now feels confident that he can claim that this happens repeatedly for no good reason.

5) Iain appears to be suggesting that I’m a hypocrite for potentially calling him a hypocrite. For this claim to carry any weight, he would have to prove that I’ve regurgitated a political press release verbatim without revealing the source as he has done and/or attempted to defend the Independent over this matter in much the same way that he handled the Grant Shapps affair.

Normally, with people like this, it pays to simply walk away; politicians lie, and Iain is a known partisan hack and MP wannabe.


It is simply not on for Iain Dale to call for honesty, transparency, civility and/or accountability in others when he clearly doesn’t stand by these principles himself.

More importantly, Iain has a responsibility in his dishonestly-engineered role as the very bestest political blogger in all of Britain, and yet he abuses his position on a regular basis for personal or party-political gain…. often with an appalling disregard for the potential consequences.

We all lose if the politics of perception and deception is allowed to take hold in weblogs.

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