Has Iain Dale been caught stealing from the BBC?

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
11:47 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

You can see Iain Dale bitching about the BBC and the dreadful waste of licence-payer’s money in one sense or another here, here and here.

Meanwhile, if you look at the code for Iain’s dandy new site design, you will see that the icons for his link-whoring widgets…

… would appear to the untrained eye to be drawn (or, if you prefer, leeched) directly from the BBC’s web servers:

[Note – I wasn’t clever obsessive enough to find this myself; Garry (a fellow member of the vast leftist conspiracy) had to find it for me.]

1. A bit inconsistent, don’t you think? I mean, you can waffle on about scale all you like (it’s about 2Kb and change with each download) but if you don’t like being called a hypocrite (and Iain doesn’t like being called a hypocrite), then you can’t go around bitching about how this or that is a waste of a licence fee when you yourself are hoovering up the BBC’s resources in order to promote your own website.

2. Does Iain have permission to do this? I mean, the BBC offer advice on these widgets here, but I’ll be damned if I can find a page on their site that invites the public to leech the relevant icons for these widgets directly from their servers.

Just asking is all. I wouldn’t want to accuse anyone of stealing without proof.

Iain? Any response*? Have you been stealing from the BBC, or am I missing something?

[*Iain: Please note that quietly changing the code while ‘ignoring’ me technically counts as a response, but I’d much rather that you were polite about it.]

UPDATE (07 Feb) – The leeching from the BBC has been described as an “oversight” and a “mistake” by Iain’s web designer (who made the same error on his own website) and the relevant code has been corrected, so Iain was leeching from the BBC without permission, but isn’t at present. I suggested a modest donation to Children In Need to make up for it (i.e. to bring balance to the equation in a way that would allow Iain to continue to bitch about licence fee wastage in the future without risk of being called a total hypocrite). This idea was considered… and then rejected*.

[*Tch. Won’t somebody pleeeease think of the children?]


  1. bigdaddymerk says

    45 pence says he’ll do and say the following;”I didn’t do the design, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me. STALKER, Nothing to see here you mentalist” then change the code.

  2. jailhouselawyer says

    biased BBC…LOL.

  3. Paul.Ferrari says

    I agree with bigdaddymerk, he'll claim it's not his doing and he knew nothing about it – is ignorance a defence these days ?I'm sure "they're in a folder called 'shared', and we pay for the BBC anyway" will be another of his arguments.

  4. mou says

    More likely, youll heard nothing until someone mentions it on his site.. then he'll claim he doesn't have the time to read the blogs of obsessive stalkers.Remember, his defence for missing comments is usually – deny all knowledge!

  5. Manic says

    Well – and I'm not calling for a mass invasion here – but perhaps someone would care to bring it up under comments on his site (and not anonymously, please).[Note – I emailed Iain about this, but he may not have read the email.]

  6. Paul.Ferrari says

    You emailed him …. what are you some kind of stalker ?

  7. Manic says

    I know! Disgraceful behaviour, isn't it? Once, he published false claims that I'd been sock-puppeting on his site…http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/12/apology-to-shttp://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/12/apology-to-s…… failed to answer any of my emails about it or publish any reply of mine under comments – for days – and was justifiably upset when I called him on the telling-phone asking him just what the hell he was playing it.

  8. Dave Cross says

    I left a comment mentioning it, but it didn't get published (it was, to be fair, completely off-topic on the entry where I posted it).So I then sent an email pointing him at this entry. I've got reply (really rather quickly) thanking me and saying that he's looking into it.

  9. Manic says

    Wow. Progress. I can't wait to hear the explanation.Thanks, Dave.

  10. Dave Cross says

    Looks like it's fixed now. The images are now hosted on Iain's web designer's site.And I understand that the designers in question will be taking the full blame in a guest post on Iain's blog at some point soon.

  11. Manic says

    Post updated. Many thanks for your help, Dave.Looking forward to that guest post.

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