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

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 31, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Thursday, January 31st, 2008
10:15 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

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!


  1. Justin says

    Wife? Get lost. You made her up so we don't all think you're a weedy virgin with tech-fu where your personality should be.

  2. Manic says

    Heh. At this point, I wish to respond to your jest by planting the seed of doubt:You've not met her, have you?:o)(OK, so you've met some children claiming to be offspring, but child actors are a dime a dozen these days.)

  3. pro_tempore says

    In Iain Dale's own words:…"I was so stupid to reverse the previous ban."…"[I]f there ever was a ban, the fact that I linked to you here rather indicates it doesn't exist. If it ever did."[mod: HTML removed and comment tidied. No manual entry of HTML is allowed in comments at Bloggerheads, but if you use a URL, a hyperlink will be generated automatically by the system. Cheers.]

  4. Manic says

    Sorry, but I have to leap to Iain's defence here. In the earlier comment he was not denying that I had been banned from commenting, but that links to Bloggerheads (posted by anyone) had been banned under comments. He was lying, of course:…(Do take the time to read that thread, bystanders. Iain is proved to be a liar by his own words hosted on his own damn website, and when put on the spot he throws a wobbly and plays the sick card. And I don't care if he really is sick, he's got some nerve waving it my face like that.)

  5. Paul Linford says

    To be fair, Tim, the timing of that earlier thread was rather unfortunate – Iain was indeed diagnosed with diabetes that day as he later revealed on his blog. Not that I am suggesting you would have known this of course.To me the most interesting new revelation is the fact that Mr Donal Blaney, whose blog "Blaney's Blarney" has been rather heavily promoted on certain right-wing uber-blogs of late, has other connections with the right-wing blogosphere. Surely not a case of wheels within wheels?

  6. Manic says

    Hi Paul.Iain said at the time that he had just received the news and was therefore in no mood for confrontation. When I pointed out that he had – half-an-hour later – posted something where confronting someone ['berate': look it up, Iain] was clearly an option for him……… he replied by pretty much saying that being diagnosed with diabetes meant that he was in no mood for a confrontation with me.A cheap tactic*.(*This comment will be withdrawn if it is proven that the use of cheap tactics is a direct side effect of a diabetic condition.)

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