Paul Staines: And we’re done.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 20, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
4:01 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

It’s 4pm. And we’re done.

[This post will get bigger in a bit.]

UPDATE (4:30pm)

Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) was told to put up or shut up… and he chose the latter option.

Didn’t stop Dizzy from trying to pick a fight, though. Iain Dale had a bit of a go, too… but it was so pathetic an effort it’s barely worth mentioning.

Tch. No self control, these people. Everybody saw the role misleading and personal attacks from right-wing blogs played in this and how Iain Dale completely stalled matters last week with this ‘axe killer’ comment*. For Staines’ sake, they only had to keep their heads down for ONE day.

Oh well.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say was:

1. Thank you.

I’ll make the time to include a linky-list of support posts from during the dispute here later (not a smart idea right now with a shaky database on a busy afternoon):

[OK, here you go. Do let me know if I’ve missed anyone.]

Matt Buck, Justin McKeating, Garry Smith, Jim Bliss, Dave Cole, D-Notice, Septicisle, Political Hack, John Hirst, Sim-O, Tom Watson, Bob Piper, Blairwatch, Back off, man; I’m a scientist, Never Trust a Hippy, Richard Bartholomew, Drink Soaked Popinjays for War, Henry North London, The Yorkshire Ranter, Zinzine, SF Diplomat, Larry Teabag, Francis Sedgemore, Chris Paul, Mike Ion, Freeborn John, Media Watch Watch, Anorak, Bananas in the Falklands, Blood & Treasure, Unity, Our Man in Newcastle, Curly, RickB, Peter Gasston, Hopi Sen, Sunny Hundal, tyger, sbalb, Quinn, Poons.

2. Please bear witness.

You all saw what happened; MessageSpace played nicey-nice and/or ‘no comment’ after Staines set his lawyer onto me. Staines made no mention of this on his website, but when I refused to roll over, I was subjected to a series of increasingly vicious personal attacks from his mates (and a great many of those personal attacks attempted to portray my side of it as a personal attack).

We wouldn’t stand for this kind of bullying and disinformation in old media, so why the hell should we put up with it in new media?

This kind of crap does not work if more than a few bloggers stand up, say they’re not going to stand for it… and bloody well mean it. And that’s the only way to stop this kind of behaviour from spreading so far and fast that it overwhelms us before the next general election.

We have to individually lead by example… and not be afraid to challenge bloggers who present themselves as the leaders of blogging when they set a very poor example.

Otherwise no-one will take any of us seriously, and old media will continue to get away with dismissing personal contributions to the blogosphere while they themselves try to muscle in on the action while following the poorer example themselves. (Take, just for example, the rather self-serving comment moderation policies of most major newspapers.)

Sorry, I’ll get off the mount now.


When the time came to thinking about how cats should be released from bags if such an act were necessary, I thought some drama was called for… and perhaps a bit of music. A script was written for a video. That video won’t be made now, and I can’t share the script with you, but you can enjoy the bitchin’ soundtrack (if it helps, close your eyes and picture a bit of background in two main chapters, each ending with a series of increasingly alarming screengrabs and document scans, with a few soundgrabs to take us through the guitar solo):

Sherbet – Howzat

Cheers all.

[*I’m now sure it was Iain, even though he still refuses to be grown-up enough to confirm or deny it himself: Shane Greer once guested on Iain’s blog. Shane Greer hosts this comment. Case closed. This comment and all the others submitted by ‘Iain Dale’ under it are from our Iain. I look forward to discussing the use of bad language and abuse that he says that he won’t stand for on his own site (while appearing to suggest that I was banned for being sweary/abusive).]


  1. jailhouselawyer says

    Congratulations on winning the case.[ mod: snipped – Sorry, JHL. Not today. :o) ]

  2. Manic says

    Sorry to snip you, JHL. I know the point you're driving at, but now's not the time.And I only wish there *were* a case. It would have made this matter so much more straightforward.

  3. Jherad says

    dagnammit, tease!

  4. Garry says

    I almost wish Paul had tried to bluster his way through thi today just so we could see that video. Ah well, it's probably for the best.

  5. tyger says

    Paul is such a spoil sport. He promises you a fight, and then doesn't turn up. And after we all made the effort, too.We'll know better next time he shoots his mouth off.

  6. balders says

    And here was I, expecting Aha's Cry Wolf. Seemed appropriate.Still, as Churchill said, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

  7. Manic says

    "We'll know better next time he shoots his mouth off."Which is one reason why I invited everyone to watch.:o)

  8. CPLOL says

    Good on you Tim,Has GuF *ever* followed through and sued a blogger? No, I didn't think so. He's all wind.

  9. Sim-O says

    Bullies. F. 'em.Well done, Tim.

  10. Dave Cole says
  11. Manic says

    Done. You're in with the rest of the Feb 1sters. Sorry for missing you out.

  12. jailhouselawyer says

    You've missed Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes, Dizzy Thinks, Donal Blaney and Shane Greer…or do they all support bullying on the internet? What a shower of cnuts!

  13. Paul.Ferrari says

    "Sorry, I'll get off the mount now."Tim, please don't apologise for doing the right thing and please don't get down from the mount. As a reader of Political Blogs rather than an Author or heavy contributor I have always thought your stance was admirable and your continued "crusade" is needed if the Political Blogsphere is to be taken seriously by the MSM.Well done.

  14. Jim Bliss says

    And if you're looking for strength in numbers, don't forget…

  15. Manic says

    More than fill, Jim; an important post I shouldn't have missed. Now added. Thanks again.PF: If you make me blush, you bastard, I'll have you.

  16. PoliticalHackUK says

    Not as good as others, but in there with you as well.

  17. Manic says

    Added along with some extras pointed out by Bob Piper. Once again, thanks everyone.

  18. Ben says
  19. Paul Evans says
  20. Manic says

    Now added. Sorry + thanks.

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