You’re doing it wrong

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 28, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Monday, April 28th, 2008
10:32 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Something in this article about (username) Harriet (password) Harman caught my eye…

BBC – Spoof blogger attacks Harman site: Last year, Conservative housing spokesman Grant Shapps was targeted by hackers who broke into his YouTube account to post a message under his name saying the party could not win the Ealing Southall by-election.

Beg pardon? Who did what in the where now?

The person who wrote this article about (username) Harriet (password) Harman clearly did so after scanning, but not reading, this article. Even if one takes Shapps at his word about this – and very few people do – the version of events published on the BBC website is wrong, wrong, wrong, as a mere glance at the comment involved should make clear:

“Okay, realistically we’re not going to win though. Especially since the Tories have just received 5 defecting Councillors from Labour. Don’t quite know how they’ve done it, but the Tories have stolen a march on us this time.”

As you can plainly see, the person making that comment is not posing as Grant Shapps saying that his party (the Conservatives) could not win the Ealing Southall by-election.

Instead, the person making that comment is posing as a Liberal Democrat saying that their party could not win the Ealing Southall by-election.

Jonathan Calder has similar concerns about this poorly-researched nonsense appearing on the BBC website.

I’ve emailed the BBC about it, but have yet to receive a reply.

(Oh, and sorry for the quiet week. I forgot my nicotine patch on a Sunday and a Tuesday two weeks back and made it through most of both days without noticing, so I figured I’d press ahead and have a go at cutting off the regular nicotine supply a little bit earlier than scheduled. Like about 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I’ve been off the patches since the 18th. The only side effect involves brain. Cannot put words together goodly all time. Make blogging tricky.)

UPDATE – The entire ‘Shapps’ paragraph I’ve quoted above has been removed from the BBC article (see comments).

UPDATE – But, as Alex notes, the paragraph was ‘disappeared’ with; “no apology to those of us who complained, no clarification, no correction”.


  1. CitizenAndreas says

    The whole association between Schapps and Harman seems to have originated on Guido:…Would appear to be due to a lazy jounalist nicking the story from him.

  2. Manic says

    Or mistaking a throwaway line for a fact.

  3. jailhouselawyer says

    It appears that the BBC pays you attention even if Iain Dale ignores you. I assume the report has been modified.BTW, Bob Piper is asking for suggestions where Iain Dale should go…

  4. Manic says

    It has been modified. The entire paragraph referring to Shapps has been removed.(Ta for the spot.)

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