‘Smeargate’ and paedo-smears

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 11, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Saturday, April 11th, 2009
8:05 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

“When is a smear not a smear? Alas, when it is true.” – Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’)

Let me be blunt:

1. I do recall saying that Derek Draper was the wrong man for the job (or what he made his job out to be), and look at what his bullshit has led to.

2. Anyone – anyone – foolish enough to hand this gift to Staines on a platter with a rich creamy sauce of Downing Street goodness deserves to slapped around by this git… at least for a bit.

That said:

All of this ‘Smeargate’ stuff could be true and exactly as Paul Staines says it is and/or as he makes it out to be, but that would do nothing to dilute the hypocrisy of Paul Staines accusing a fellow spin-doctor of being a smear merchant.

Let me give you a quick example of his work from my own personal collection:

I have a popular article on my website that discourages people from starting their own porn websites in pursuit of a fast buck. Paul Staines, seeing this, tells his readers that I “exploit porn for traffic” while knowing the opposite of what this implies is true (and while refusing me a right of reply).

That’s a smear worthy of the description, and Staines spews them out constantly, either through deliberate misinterpretation (see: spin), rumours dressed as humour (see; ‘rocking horse‘), or anonymous sock-puppet comments that he may or may not submit to his own website (as he has been caught doing on others).

Here’s another; implying that Mark Oaten is a paedophile (on the basis that he is gay, because Paul ‘not a homophobe’ Staines would have you think that being gay makes you a paedophile).

Any outrage you hear from Paul Staines and his followers is bound to be fabricated, as they’ve quietly tolerated repeated smears on the order-order.com website and elsewhere for years.

(Speaking of paedophilia and people quietly tolerating smears, Iain Dale is right now accusing Tom Watson of doing to Tory MPs essentially the same thing that he himself did to me recently; Iain was in a unique position to take action when someone posed as a Daily Mail reporter and falsely accused me of being a convicted sex criminal. Despite my plea for help, Iain did not take that action, and then lied about it, and now refuses to talk about it. He claims it is because I am ‘banned’ from his website, but he knows damn well that he slapped the ban on because he did not want to discuss this issue and I dared to press the matter. On top of this, I now have someone claiming that Iain Dale is actively involved in Glen Jenvey’s schemes. I have reason to distrust the claim, not because I think it’s beneath Iain, who will happily stand by and let fellow Tories smear their opponents with false claims of paedophilia, but because they also claim that Iain is helping by “sharing information” when I know he’s got nothing on me, and never has. I have tried to get some kind of response out of Iain Dale about any of this, but he is refusing to answer my emails or take my calls.)

I reserve further comment until I have read the email(s) that Paul Staines offered to publish immediately on television a few weeks back, then decided not to publish, before offering them for sale to newspapers giving them to the NOTW for free because… erm… I’m sure he’ll make that clear later, and explain why he’s not taking legal action against the newspapers making claims like this:

The emails were obtained by the Tory blogger Paul Staines, who runs an internet site called Guido Fawkes, and had been touted to newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, which declined to purchase them. However a number of other newspapers were preparing to publish them on Sunday. – (source)

Oh, and if I haven’t made it clear, I say all of this without wishing to mitigate or excuse any action taken by anyone proven to be involved in what these pompous arseholes have already tagged ‘Smeargate*’.

(*You know, like they’re Woodward and Bernstein… because after years of slinging shit from the monkey cages, they’ve finally found someone stupid enough to sling some turds back. With nametags on them.)

UPDATE – Some related bloggage on a similar theme:

Hopi Sen – The Hypoocrisy… it Burns…
Francis Sedgemore – Why we hate politics (part 99)

PS – Keep an eye out for anonymous comments claiming that I say any/all of this because I’m a paid/unpaid agent of New Labour, Downing Street, Tom Watson, etc…. because that’s a smear, too. Unlike Paul Staines and Iain Dale, I have never at any stage had any secret/undeclared funding/facility arrangements with any party, political player or pressure group. Not that this stops both of these clowns repeatedly publishing claims to the contrary on their respective websites while disallowing any response from the target of this persistent smear.


  1. mikkimoose says

    While it's true that Draper and Staines are no better than each other, this isn't a story about the low moral standards of Staines. He smears people all the time, we are told that Gordon Brown is a nutter, etc.But then he's not a government employee. Neither are you. If you had engineered such smears it wouldn't be front page news.Iain Dale is obviously keen to make the story about himself, but the Damian McBride emails about Staines and Dale (which you challenged Staines to publish a couple of weeks ago when Draper and Staines appeared on TV) are a non-story, even if they did come from a government email. The story is the orchestrated Labour Party campaign against Tory MPs and their family. Not the Staines/Dale emails.Paul Staines has inserted himself into the story by being the receiver of the emails. But that doesn't mean that the story is about him. You are missing the point.PS.Re: "On top of this, I now have someone claiming that Iain Dale is actively involved in Glen Jenvey's schemes. "The link doesn't say anything about Iain Dale. Have you got the wrong link?

  2. mikkimoose says

    no surprise btw to see the NOTW:http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/261804/Revea…using a Wikimedia imagehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paul_Stain…but not observing the licence, which requires attribution.

  3. Manic says

    The link isn't about Iain's involvement, but the event which new readers may not be aware of. All I have right now is an allegation that I certainly cannot discuss with Jenvey while Iain childishly pretends to 'ignore' me while publishing false claims about me on his website. How am I supposed to even get near a reasonable judgement on if it's true of not when Iain is behaving the way he is?My bringing up the allegation in public may result in a further hissy fit from Iain and maybe even a legal threat, but bugger it… he needs to talk and if that's what it takes so be it. I emailed and called him dozens of times yesterday (he'll no doubt make that out to be stalking at a later date, as he has before in situations like this that he has created) but he didn't get back to me with anything. He made the time to make another misleading claim about me on his site, though. The long and short of it is even if he isn't actively involved, he's willing to let me think he is. The wanker.I totally recognise what the story is for NOTW and others (on what even Staines acknowledges is a News Vacuum Weekend), but – as often happens at Bloggerheads – focus is on an important story behind the story. Lies and hypocrisy are involved and I'm shining a light on both, not least because Staines and Dale are really taking the piss by posing as moral campaigners.On the email(s) allegedly focusing on Dale, we've not yet seen them, not even on their personal websites, so all I can say about that is Staines promised to publish it/these immediately and didn't. And still hasn't. For the record, I'm not inclined to comment on the smears as a whole until I've seen it/them. I fully expected them to appear in NOTW, even as a 'man who brought us smears was smeared too' sentence and/or 'leading blogger also smeared' as a passing mention, but no.NOTW nicking images does not surprise me. Everything on the internets is free.

  4. mikkimoose says

    They didn't even need to steal it. I mean the image is free, they just need to credit the photographer.

  5. mikkimoose says

    Interesting that the Staines drink driving story, which appeared first in the Independent appears to have originated from McBride/Balls.http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/12/da…Did you dig up his bankruptcy or did that come from a similar source?

  6. Manic says

    All the person wants in exchange for use of the picture is a mention. Therefore, NOTW nicked it."The vendetta between senior Brownites and Guido Fawkes, the Westminster blogger who obtained the emails, dates back to stories Fawkes – whose real name is Paul Staines – posted about the Smith Institute and its relationship to Ed Balls, also a close friend of McBride. Shortly afterwards journalists began being offered snippets designed to undermine Staines, including news of his drink-driving conviction. Coincidence? Staines, say friends, does not think so."http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/12/da…It only appears to have come from McBride/Balls if you buy into Paul Staines' conspiracy theory.(Psst! "Began being offered"…? Who done wrote that?)I'm still waiting to see this email Staines claims to have proving an anti-Dale conspiracy at least.Meanwhile, Dale and Staines are using a number of dishonest techniques to try to link Tom Watson to this when so far there is no evidence to suggest his involvement, and Watson has issued a clear denial. They are effectively smearing him while posing as victims of a smear, AND WE'VE NOT YET SEEN EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT EITHER ASPECT OF THIS.Compare this to my treatment of Patrick Mercer; I did everything I could to try to reach the guy for a statement, and took exceptional measures when it got really ugly. (Thanks again to Iain for his 'help' on that.) I would've been all too easy at one stage to smear Mercer with Jenvey's antics while ignoring or dismissing his denials until the issue (and a further denial) was forced into print, but I'm not a partisan smear-merchant like Dale or Staines, and there was no anti-[insert party] agenda at work.IIRC, the bankruptcy data turned up a few times before I looked into it and revealed it, two of those sources were anonymous but the third was not a Labour source by any means; whenever I get into a big fight with Staines and the bastard starts finding dirty, people start handing me ammunition.

  7. mikkimoose says

    Yes they stole it, that's what I said. All they had to do was put a tiny credit, but they're arrogant bastards so they didn't bother.There is a difference with Patrick Mercer. Whereas McBride's emails are transparently wrong, Jenvey's activities were a different kind of devious. Most people who read Jenvey's lies would assume they are true. There was never any real evidence that Mercer knew of anything untoward.If on the other hand you're in receipt of correspondence from one of your subordinates you certainly do have a responsibility to do something about it, moral and legal. If a boss at a company receives emails from one of his staff that he plans to libel the competition/bully one of the other staff/etc, he's 100% culpable for them.Perhaps you can answer: under what circumstances, having been sent emails informing you of a conspiracy to lie and libel, do you think it would be ok to say/do nothing?

  8. Manic says

    To answer your question: when doing so is likely to make the situation worse for the victim(s) of the schemes.But what evidence is there that Tom Watson was in this position?Oh, and: "There was never any real evidence that Mercer knew of anything untoward."I beg to differ, but my implying otherwise after Jenvey went live with the paedo-smear and I finally got through to Mercer would have been (a) easy to the point of forcing his denial into print when it was certainly in my interests to be in print, and (b) just as dishonest as what Iain is doing.If Iain has evidence of Tom Watson's direct involvement in a smear conspiracy against him or anyone else, then let's see it.Until then, what Iain is dishing out is a smear, too.

  9. David Boothroyd says

    There can be no complaint about publicizing that someone has been made bankrupt: bankruptcy is deliberately given publicity because of the serious legal consequences of doing even routine business with someone who has been declared bankrupt. Some of the issues can arise even when the bankruptcy has been discharged.All bankruptcies are recorded in the London Gazette, an official publication which is practically fully searchable back to 1665.

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