Archive for the ‘Old Media’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 3, 2011

Category: Consume!, Old Media, Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement

(Psst! If you are new to this issue, please read this first.)

The following is the guts of my correspondence with staff from Times Higher Education after they tried to claim ownership of the name ‘bloggerheads’, the name I created in 2001 (see screen capture below).


The correspondence clearly shows that their argument switches from a question of copyright to one of trade mark, and that they begin to seriously stonewall from the moment I called the latter bluff and registered the name as a trade mark. These key points have been highlighted (by me) in bold.

The overall exchange has been edited for brevity, and one individual email has been subject to a minor edit to remove details that should remain private for personal security reasons. As usual, any such edits (and/or corrections of minor typos etc.) are marked [like so]. The exchange up until the point they accuse me of bad manners is complete and unedited so you might make a judgement about my manners for yourself.

I’d like to think I showed considerable restraint when they offered to re-label it ‘THE Bloggerheads’. I made the mistake of assuming good faith, and I was confident the issue would make itself apparent almost immediately. I was wrong, obviously. John Elmes made a particular point of switching his use of the name to ‘The Bloggerheads’ at a key point in this dispute.

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Subject: ‘bloggerheads’

Please consider a [using] new name. This one’s taken.



To: Tim Ireland
Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM
Subject: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Tim,

Thanks for your email, I appreciate your concern.

I just wanted to know if you had any copyright to the name. I only ask because my column is a small addition to a specialist higher education magazine, and the subject areas tend to differ drastically from yours.

I was having a look around the net and found this:

It seems as though we aren’t the only ones to have utilised the expression ‘Bloggerheads’.

Kind regards,


John Elmes
Editorial Assistant
Times Higher Education
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: +44 (0)203 194 3315

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM
Subject: ‘bloggerheads’

I raise the issue as a matter of manners. I am aware that others have shown poor manners, thanks.

Will you consider using your own, unique name?


To: Tim Ireland
Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM
Subject: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Tim,

I will raise it with my editors, but their view (they are the ones that came up with the name) was your site is distinctive enough to my column to remove any conflict. It is certainly different in terms of aesthetics, font and motivation, so we believe it won’t be an issue



John Elmes
Editorial Assistant
Times Higher Education
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: +44 (0)203 194 3315

From: Tim Ireland
Sent: 13 May 2011 15:27
Subject: Re: ‘bloggerheads’

Please advise your editors that if you intend to promote yourself through Twitter, any hashtag you use will be the same as my username. We will most definitely intersect in a way that is an issue for me, and I will ask you again if you (or your editors) will seriously consider using a unique name of your/their own invention instead of hijacking the one I have been using since 2001.


To: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Tim,

Thanks for your emails to John Elmes.

We were not aware of your blog and I assure you that there is no attempt to hi-jack.

Times Higher Education (THE) is a specialist higher education magazine, and our “bloggerheads” is dedicated entirely to scholarly/higher education policy debates on line, covering blogs and social media. It is quite clearly distinct from your blog, with a clearly separate audience.

It is clearly labeled with the strap: “A weekly round up of the best on the scholarly web”.

We have no intention to promote this column on Twitter using the “bloggerheads” hashtag.

As a courtesy to you, we have also added the THE logo to the name, which is now: “THE BloggerHeads”

Kind regards,

Phil Baty

Deputy Editor, Times Higher Education
Editor, Times Higher Education World University Rankings
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: 0203 194 3298

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Thank you for that at least. I would prefer there is no room for confusion, and I reserve the right to protect the name ‘bloggerheads’ should it become an issue. I really would prefer that you consider changing the name to a unique name of your own invention, though, and think it would be wisest in the long run.


From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, May 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Phil, despite your assurances, the predictable has happened and users in Twitter are referring to you as ‘bloggerheads’ and not ‘THEbloggerheads’ as promised. I also note that you continue to bill yourself as ‘bloggerheads’ on your site, and this is turning up in the top ten for searches for my website, crowding out other web presence[s] in my name:

I once again request that you create your own unique name instead of using the name I have been using for over 10 years.

(Please don’t embarrass yourself by citing others’ use of the name; this use emerged in the middle of a campaign of harassment, and I fully intend to take the issue up with this other web user, as soon as I am able.)

Bloggerheads is a unique name of my own invention. You have no business using it. I ask you again to stop using it.

Instead, try inventing your own name. Like I did.

To: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Mr Ireland

Please forward me your trademarking documentation and I’m sure we will be happy to comply.

Kind regards


Ann Mroz
Times Higher Education
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: 0203 194 3326
Follow THE on Twitter:
Follow Ann Mroz on Twitter:

From: Tim Ireland
To: “Mroz, Ann”
Cc: “Baty, Phil”
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:31 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Why not say what you mean? You are happy to trade off a name that I invented if I cannot defend myself with costly legal muscle, and you care nothing for the inconvenience it will cause or the lack of respect it shows.

I can easily prove that I created the name and have been using it on the web for 10 years. That has until recently been good enough for others and it should be good enough for you… unless of course, you are the type of organisation that likes to stamp on the little guy.

Even the New York Times had the good sense to modify their use of the name to ‘bloggINGheads’. They understand that marketing yourself on the web requires some sensitivity to others inhabiting the relevant community.

I will ask you one more time to show me a modicum of respect and engage your mind(s) just long enough to come up with a unique name of your own invention.

Please, show me the respect I am due. You would not like it if someone seized control of your name.

Tim Ireland

To: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:33 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Mr Ireland

No, I would not like it if someone seized control of our name which is why I took the trouble to protect it by legal means.

I always show respect to people who are polite.

Kind regards


Ann Mroz
Times Higher Education
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: 0203 194 3326
Follow THE on Twitter:
Follow Ann Mroz on Twitter:

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Please do not pretend that everyone is in a position to defend themselves in this way, and please do not insult me further by calling my manners into question after the way you have treated me.

Do you intend to continue using the unique name that I created, despite my very clear objections?


From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Allow me to explain the situation to you:

I will repeat that I have been subjected to an extended campaign of harassment, targeting myself and my family, causing great distress and considerable financial difficulty. I have never had cause to invest in a trade mark before, as for many years previous to this, simple respect within the web community was enough. I am certainly not in a strong position to rush out and do it now.

You risk compelling me to undertake this expense, and I do not think I am giving anything away by revealing that you may be able to swoop in an register it in your own name, despite your knowledge of my moral claim to it.

Neither move casts you in a good light, and I fully intend to make this dispute public if you refuse to be reasonable. I would remind you that you are seeking a brand to promote yourself in the blogging community, not distance yourself from it by charging in with a steamroller.

I will ask again: Do you intend to continue using the unique name that I created, despite my very clear objections?


To: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’


We adopted the name “Bloggerheads” for a small column on page 24 of our magazine, without any awareness of your blog.

We note that the name is not protected by you, and is indeed used by others on the Internet.

We note that the content of the THE column is entirely unrelated to your blog – we look exclusively at social media on higher education issues, a very narrow field.

Our distinct content is clearly marked in a sub-heading to the column: “A weekly round-up of the best on the scholarly web”.

When you alerted us to your blog, as a courtesy, we immediately agreed to re-design the column masthead and change the name of the column to “THE Bloggerheads”, incorporating our protected brand “THE” (Times Higher Education”), to make the clear differences even more explicit.

The website now displays the column as “THE Bloggerheads”:

We have also agreed, again purely as a courtesy, that we will only promote the column as “THE Bloggerheads” on Twitter and other social media.

We have been courteous and considerate throughout, and have made these clear concessions as a matter of good will, without any obligation on our part at all.

We feel these concessions are quite sufficient and entirely reasonable.

I trust that in the event that you decide to make this “dispute” public, you will reproduce this response in full.

Thank you for your correspondence,

Phil Baty

Deputy Editor, Times Higher Education
Editor, Times Higher Education World University Rankings
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: 0203 194 3298

And, as you will note, that is exactly what I have done. I have reproduced their response in full. In fact the full exchange above is entirely unedited, and I am really pissed off about being compelled to have to take it to this step because it necessitates a public acknowledgement of specific difficulty my stalker has caused me. Normally, this is something to be avoided with people engaging in this type of harassment, as it tends to encourage them.

Unfortunately, to protect my sole source of income, a site I have invested 10 years of my life in, the point must be made publicly that both Ann Mroz and Phil Baty were made aware of the issues surrounding an immediate investment in a trade mark registration.

Back to the correspondence:

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

How am I back talking to you now, Phil? Is it because you were the person who claimed to have invented the name, thereby causing this dispute?

I have already explained that I was in no position to protect myself from the small number of two-bit operations who also sought to capitalise on my name. I have been in contact with these other parties since you sought to capitalise on my name yourself and use their hijacking as an excuse. Please don’t embarrass yourself further by using these people as cover (or by excusing your ‘mere’ use of it in the back pages of your magazine). You already admit that you chose to use the name to promote your web initiative without first determining if someone else in the web community was using the name (a simple search in Google would have alerted you to my blog and the various other web presences in my name using this same name) so you cannot now defend its continued use by pretending that you were always aware of this.

I am bloggerheads. It is my creation, I use the name to blog about blogging, and I have done so for 10 years.

Specialised arena or not, you seek to blog about blogging, and despite your assurances/concessions, people are already using my name to refer to your web round-up.

Oh, and we are most certainly in dispute, despite what your scare quotes might imply, and I would welcome the opportunity to air this matter in full, as well as your earlier correspondence and the arrogance it reveals:

I trust that in the event that you decide to make this “dispute” public, you will reproduce this response in full.

Despite your tangential defence about what may appear in page 24 of your magazine, you are using my name, you are using it on the web as well as in print, you did not even have enough regard for the web community to check if someone was using the name ‘bloggerheads’ before committing to it, and you have been stubborn, evasive and unreasonable since I called you on it.

I have repeatedly stated that I would much prefer it if you created your own name. This challenge appears to be beyond you, or perhaps you are the type of person who refuses to back down even when they know they have made a mistake.

I will ask you again:

Do you intend to continue using the unique name that I created, despite my very clear objections?


From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:56 AM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

I might also add this [snipped for security reasons]

In short, you compel me to commit to considerable expense and inconvenience at a time of great difficulty.

I would really rather that you were reasonable about the matter. Why not use a name of your own invention? Where is the problem here? Have you foolishly invested money in use of the name without doing so much as a Google search for any other instances of it? Is that why you compel me to commit to considerable expense and inconvenience? Or are you merely being stubborn because of the arrogance this suggests?


It was at this stage I considered the only way to end the matter without wasting days/weeks of my time was to meet the trade mark challenge. We had a lonnnng discussion about it in this house. We couldn’t really afford the expense, but Bloggerheads was a vital source of income. How could we not protect this asset from someone who was so obviously hostile in their seizure of it?

After the trade mark registration process was completed and relevant documentation secured, I called their bluff:

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Congratulations. You have compelled me to undergo the expense or registering my unique name as a trademark at a time when we can ill-afford it.

Now, are you going to be so difficult that you continue to use the name in the ~6 months it will take to process the application, or are you going to finally decide to play-act at being reasonable now you’ve put us through this major inconvenience?


From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Well? I’ve called your bluff. What’s your response?


From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

To be clear; I expect a response this afternoon.

Putting aside the patronising way you dismiss my moral claim to this name, you gave me the impression that if the name was protected as a trade mark you would comply with my wishes. I have today begun the registration process, and now you refuse to budge from your existing position, even though you appear to have NO CLUE about the circumstances in which the name came to be used in your magazine and on your website. You can’t even name the sub-editor you imply presented the name as an original piece of work.

Did you mean what you said about trade mark, or was it merely a bluff? I have cause to be upset with you either way, but I will be especially upset if it is the latter, after I explained my circumstances to you.

Do you intend to continue using the unique name that I created, despite my very clear objections?


To: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 2:18 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Dear Tim,

Can you please direct all further correspondence (and phone calls) on this matter to our Information Assurance Officer, Arshid Bashir.

He is on
Or 020 3194 3384

Thank you.

Phil Baty

Deputy Editor, Times Higher Education
Editor, Times Higher Education World University Rankings
26 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4HQ
Tel: 0203 194 3298

After offering a summary of the issue that was complete bollocks, Arshid Bashir refused to engage on the matter of trade mark (and tort, as raised in the email that followed his summary):

Bashir, Arshid Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM
To: Tim Ireland

Dear Mr Ireland,

If I can first of all very briefly introduce myself: I am responsible for independently assuring to the TSL board that all functions and activities comply with all legal and regularity requirements and obligations.

Looking at your concerns expressed over the exchange of emails, can I suggest that we limit ourselves to the core issue and not become embroiled or distracted by side-issues or assumptions and conjecture.

If I can summarise your position:

1. It is your contention that you have prior rights on the title ‘Bloggerheads’ which you have used on your website for a number of years, but which had not been registered as a trademark.

2. And, although an accommodation was mutually and informally agreed a few weeks back by prefixing our use of the word ‘Bloggerheads’ with the word ‘THE’, you have subsequently became dissatisfied based on search engines results ranking our content too highly, relative to yours.

3. You are also unhappy we may use ‘Bloggerheads’ as a Twitter hashtag as this is your Twitter user name. We have clarified this is not our intent.

Whilst I can appreciate your views on ‘ownership’ of this word and subsequent discontent that your web presence may have been impacted; it is clear that TSL is not, and has not been in breach of any trademarks or any other proprietary rights.

I am sorry that our position may not be one that you would like, however TSL has neither sought nor would wish to seek to undermine the rights of others. In my opinion I also think it is highly unlikely that consumers or visitors to our respective content would confuse either web site with the other and therefore unlikely to be detrimental to you or us.

Can I also advise you that all future communication from within TSL will be by myself.

Yours sincerely

Arshid Bashir

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 4:50 PM
Subject: FW: ‘bloggerheads’

Your summary of my position is rife with assumption and conjecture, but happily I do not have to explain myself any further to protect my rights.

I have now approached an experienced intellectual property lawyer and I have been informed that it appears that the THE is committing the tort of “passing off” in respect of “Bloggerheads” and that it appears you would not have a sensible defence to a claim. I have a substantial and prior trading reputation in respect of my expertise of blogging and web-related matters that pre-dates your entire website by many years.

Accordingly, please remove the references to “Bloggerheads” from your site immediately.

Tim Ireland

PS – Both the Editor and Deputy Editor have been CCed, because it was they who (a) gave me the false impression that I needed a registered trade mark to protect my rights, and (b) gave me the false impression that they would cooperate were such a trade mark registered. With all due respect, this matter has been needlessly complicated by these organ grinders playing lawyer, and I have every right to inform them of their error and expect an apology to go with their immediate cooperation.

Arshid Bashir answered this challenge… by refusing to address it in any way. In a phone call (that I recorded) I asked Bashir if he had a response to the tort issue. He replied; “we do not have to answer every email you send us”. I pressed him further, and he responded; “I do not think it would be productive for us to debate the matter”. Then he hung up on me.

Arshid Bashir now refuses to answer my emails or take my calls. Any attempt to reach Ann Mroz, Phil Baty or John Elmes results in my being referred to Arshid Bashir (who now refuses to answer my emails or take my calls).

I think it’s safe to interpret not only the copyright and trade mark challenges as a bluff, but the ‘concessions’ also. Here I will remind you that the ‘concession’ of referring to themselves as ‘THE Bloggerheads’ (i.e. T.H.E. Bloggerheads) quickly changed to their use of the name as ‘The Bloggerheads’ (i.e. the one, only and original accept-no-substitutes bloggerheads) at a peak moment in this dispute.

As for some of what they claim in mitigation, most of it is laughable and contradictory in places (e.g. senior editors blamed an un-named junior editor for the decision to use the name, the junior editor I spoke to blamed senior editors), plus it clearly paints a picture where the matter is mainly insignificant from their point of view. If this were the case, then it would be an insignificant matter for them to stop using my name.

However, they refuse to stop using my name, and I think this correspondence includes several instances revealing bad faith on their part. Key to this was the stark bluff from Ann Mroz that she would respect my rights if I went through with the trade mark paperwork.

After compelling me to reinforce my ownership with trade mark, they now appear to be waiting for me to engage lawyers, at further expense they know I will have difficulty meeting.

(Instead of using a rude word here, I will let you choose your own, but I ask that you not repeat it under comments. Let’s not do these people any favours.)

UPDATE (2pm) – Times Higher Education have just emailed to say that they “can confirm we have decided to change the name of our column in THE”. Unfortunately, they offer very little detail beyond this apart from some apparent conditions (!) so I have responded to the relevant requests, and will let you know of any outcome in due course.

UPDATE (damn near 5pm) – Times Higher Education have ignored my response to their conditions/requests, and have instead referred me to their lawyer, who has not yet been in touch. It looks like they mean to leave me hanging all weekend. Charming.

UPDATE (11:45pm) – Their lawyer might not have managed to make contact today, but Times Higher Education have late this afternoon removed from sight every page on their site that used the title ‘bloggerheads’. So we’re on our way to a resolution at last.

By the way, you may note in this correspondence that THE claimed to have been unaware of Bloggerheads before May 13 (i.e. when I first emailed them, taking issue with their use of my name). About an hour ago, I looked into my site tracking data and detected a visit from before May 13:

Bloggerheads – THE tank on my lawn (and how/when it got there)

I’m a guy who likes to be positive right down to my blood cells, so I am hoping this is not the indication of bad faith it appears to be.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 1, 2011

Category: Consume!, Marketing, Old Media, Teh Interwebs, The Political Weblog Movement

[MINI-UPDATE (03 Jun) – THE object to my use of the word ‘dishonest’ in this headline. I stand by my use of the word, but as a courtesy, I have placed this prominent and immediate link to the relevant correspondence so readers might better judge for themselves.]

Regulars of Bloggerheads will be aware that my family and I been through some difficult times recently. During the rolling crisis, several two-bit operations have sought to hijack the ‘bloggerheads’ name that I created, but my priority has been those attempting to associate this unique name (and mine) with paedophilia, stalking and what have you.

Recently, I complained to staff at the magazine Times Higher Education about their use of ‘bloggerheads’ – a unique name that I created to title my blog about blogs – to title a web round-up feature (i.e. their blog about blogs). I repeatedly made it clear that I wanted them to come up with their own name, especially when they clearly planned to use it to blog about other weblogs. They pretended there was no room for confusion, offered to put ‘the’ in front of it as a “concession” and left it at that. Almost immediately references to their magazine started turning up in Twitter and Google in searches for my unique name.

I complained again. They gave me the very clear impression that, were the name protected as a trade mark, they would immediately comply with my wishes.

Several times I pointed out to them that I had a significant and demonstrable moral claim to the name dating back many years, but they dismissed this notion in the most patronising way possible. I also pointed out that if they seek to market themselves on the via web/blogs, then there are far better ways of going about it than hijacking an existing name, which is one good reason why the expense of a trade mark has never been necessary before now in the decade I have been using the name ‘bloggerheads’.

I also pointed out that I was busy battling an ongoing campaign of harassment, and their position compelled me to spend money we could ill-afford at the moment, but they stood firm on their position (along with the ridiculous implication that they had searched the trade mark database but not Google when they decided on using this name as their own).

Ultimately, Times Higher Education Editor Ann Mroz left me with no choice but to trade mark the name so I might call their bluff and take further steps to protect it from recent misuse and/or appropriation by their organisation and others.

But now I have begun the trade mark registration process, they have changed their position, and plan to continue using the name as they have before!

That’s a class act, all the way. After compelling me to trade mark the name, now they’re going to compel me to await the completion of the registration process (and then, presumably, take them to court) before they will be in any way reasonable about this.

Their Deputy Editor can’t even name the sub-editor they claim ‘invented’ the word, but Times Higher Education staff are unwilling to admit that they made a mistake by using this unique name without first researching it. They even have the audacity to minimise the significance of its use from their point of view (e.g. it’s ‘only’ on page 24 of their magazine), but surely if it’s no big deal to them and a bloody big deal to me, then that’s even more reason for them to back off and do what they should have done in the first place; come up with a unique name of their own invention.

[Other, smaller, organisations who have recently sought to appropriate this name have also been contacted about this matter today. I am hoping that they will be more reasonable. I certainly can’t see how they can top this response from Times Higher Education. I realise THE are in the education sector, but surely they’ve grown out of playground games by now.]

UPDATE – Check the comments for a contribution by ‘Malcolm Kent’. It was submitted using false details, and is an obvious sock-puppet.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 23, 2011

Category: Old Media, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Video

#Lolitics is a project by Chris Coltrane inviting comedians and campaigner/activists to step out of their comfort zones for a little chat about politics. Stand-ups are invited to engage with more political material, and people like me are invited to bring what they know to a stand-up audience.

It is a nurturing environment. There is cake. I’d been to an earlier event and was blown away by an entire set about Nadine Dorries from Nadia Kamil.

Encouraged by Chris, I brought these good people what I knew about Page 3. The following is an audio recording of the exchange, along with the relevant slides (old-skooled onto cardboard for this event, but pixelled in glorious web colour here for you).

If you would like to share this video with others in Twitter, please use the link (because it will send sweet, sweet link-love to the main project page, where this video will headline from today).

Page 3: Propaganda [sfw] from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 18, 2011

Category: Old Media, Tories! Tories! Tories!

You may have noticed some minor damage control going on this past week as the Conservatives took some limited measures to bring Nadine Dorries to heel while ignoring the wider problem of the smear campaign she has involved herself in.

The main problem with Nadine Dorries as far as Tories are concerned is that she is woefully indiscreet; a mean-spirited clot who is far too certain of her ability in the Machiavellian arts.

Last week, her primary indiscretion was her announcement that she had a one-to-one meeting with the PM, and the stunted Machiavellian component was her repeated assurance that it must have gone very well indeed, because it is widely-understood (she says) that the absence of coffee is bad news, and (she claims) coffee was present:

Dorries blog/tweet 8-9 Feb 2011

Days after this one-to-one and really-quite-good-because-it-had-coffee meeting with David Cameron, Dorries had closed her Twitter account without a word of explanation, and her best friend Lynn Elson had resigned from the very same highly-paid and vaguely-defined position that was recently examined on this blog:

Bloggerheads – Nadine Dorries: Go Compare
Bloggerheads – Nadine Dorries and Marketing Management Midlands Ltd

However, it is as obvious as a wet turd on a windshield that the Tories are perfectly comfortable with the wider smear campaign and have no wish to bring that to an end, because Dorries was left free to excuse/explain the resignation (and to a lesser extent the closure of the Twitter account) by again resorting to the same damn ‘stalker’ smear that the Conservatives continue to pretend is none of their business.

It is on this note that we turn our attention to Bedfordshire on Sunday, a local newspaper distributed within Nadine’s constituency, and their take on these matters:

Bedfordshire on Sunday, Page 5, Feb 13 2011

Chris Gill, editor of Bedfordshire on Sunday, has for near to a month avoided printing any mention of the matter of Nadine Dorries’ expenses that has not only been investigated by police, but subsequently referred to the CPS. The referral was rumoured/reported by one national newspaper then confirmed by another, and even the fact that this was leaked at all is a potential story, but Gill dismisses the matter as ‘unsubstantiated’ and thereby avoids any mention of it (or any reason to look too closely at it, lest he accidentally confirm it to himself).

Meanwhile, he and his staff brag that they present the facts to their readers and allow them to decide…

Bedfordshire on Sunday staff tweets

… but that is not what is going on here at all. In reality, relevant, pertinent facts being kept from the readers of this newspaper, while other facts are being presented selectively and distorted willingly.

Meanwhile, they help to smear me as a stalker to draw attention away from what I have uncovered, instead of doing their damn job… which is to properly examine this same material and raise the obvious questions raised by an extraordinary level of expenditure on a poorly-defined role filled by a close, personal friend of an MP. What they assert to be intrusion is the bare minimum that their readers should expect from them!

Lynn Elson called Bedfordshire police to complain about my conduct (which amounts to analysis of facts and figures in the public domain… how very dare I), was rightly advised that she should instead take the matter up with her local police force, and subsequently called Gloucestershire police, to no discernable effect. Gill could barely confirm the initial call to Bedfordshire, and yet rested his newspaper’s assertion of “intrusion” on the mere fact that maybe a phone call had been made.

My calling police to accuse Chris Gill of rape does not make him a rapist. Chris Gill understands this, and any person in his position should understand the significance of Elson being referred by one force to another in these circumstances, but Gill somehow thought it appropriate to pretend that this was some form of ‘dual’ report (i.e. a matter so serious that it involves two police forces). The article he subsequently granted a quarter page to (above) also implied that the web-published material prompting Lynn Elson’s complaint/resignation was somehow personal in nature, and fabricated to boot.

Even though I am hilariously castigated in Gill’s paper for not attempting contact with a person who appears to be accusing me of stalking her (!), Chris Gill did not contact me prior to publication of this article. Even after publication, when challenged to identify the “fabricated” material or support his assertion of “intrusion”, Chris Gill has repeatedly refused to respond.

I suspect he will go on pretend that I should have informed him before publishing all of these points that I have already put to him, but even if he did have a valid complaint of this type (he doesn’t) his defence is no better than ‘tit for tat’, and in any case he is bound by PCC guidelines and I am not.

Currently, Chris Gill moans that I am being unfair to him personally, and uses further unsubstantiated accusations of ‘mud slinging’ to support his position (of making claims he cannot substantiate) before declining any further response:

from: Chris Gill
to: Tim Ireland
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Can I email you privately , not for publication

from: Tim Ireland
to: Chris Gill
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2001 at 10:03AM

You should know my answer to that. I don’t negotiate privately with the unprincipled any more.

By your recent actions, you mean to shield Dorries from scrutiny and smear me as a stalker. I’ll not stand for it, and I intend to not only challenge you on it, but to bring your poor conduct to the attention of the readers whose trust you betray so readily.


from: Chris Gill
to: Tim Ireland
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I wasn’t planning to negotiate, just wanted some info.

I notice you are good at mud slinging but first to cry when there is something you do not like.
Some of your assumptions are very, very wide of the mark and offensive.
I am not guilty of any ‘poor conduct’ in any walk of life and your assessment that I betray readers is a stain on my character. You do not know me, have not met me and you cast slurs which are unsubstantiated.
I should also point out one thing I ain’t mate, is soft in the head. Believe me

from: Tim Ireland
to: Chris Gill
date: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Oh, spare me.

Identify this ‘mud’ you speak of, and tell me how it justifies your publishing material that you know to be a gross distortion (at best).

While you’re at it, show me the fabricated evidence your article refers to and the deeply personal component you imply I published, and produce evidence of the intrusion your headline declares to be a certainty.


Chris Gill was unable to offer anything in his defence other than what one hopes is a pretence that he is offended. (He doesn’t have to answer any questions I raise about his apparent corruption because I have dared to raise questions about his apparent corruption! Brilliant!)

Speaking of pretence; having an open thread at all under an article of this type is unacceptable to begin with, but Gill took it a step further and pretended to be offline and unavailable when comments carrying damaging and entirely false allegations about me were published on his site using the free-for-all comments facility. Meanwhile, he and/or his staff busied themselves deleting comments that contradicted their position or dared to mention the matter of the CPS referral.

For those who are left wondering how Dorries has got away with being a corrupt liar for so long, this is part of the answer.

As Dorries’ attempts to involve the police in her lies have become more pathetic and transparent, the editor of this local newspaper has shared and indulged her indiscretions to a degree that is now undeniable, and easily demonstrable:

Chris Gill will not report the matter about the local MP and an expenses investigation being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, but he will target a lesser-known figure, a critic of that MP, using nothing but a half-confirmed claim that someone made some phone calls to police that may or may not have got past the switchboard.

Prior to this, Gill was so indiscreet about his treatment of Dorries’ belated ‘stalker’ complaint to police that he allowed Dorries to a ‘no comment’ on a story when it should have been clear to him or anyone else in his position that she was the only possible* source.

(*If we are to assume Gill is not implying that the police are the source of this leak. I’m sure he is not.)

It is now so obvious it is embarrassing; Chris Gill is the kind of person who will pretend that he serves the interests of the local people, when in fact he will willingly enter into collusion with the local MP and her supporters (including those on his staff) instead of holding her to account as he should.

That is a disgrace, and it is something that every reader of Bedfordshire on Sunday should care about.

And, should the point escape some of the more dogmatic supporters of Dorries; I say this because of adherence to a principle, not fixation on a person.

We each should have a right to hold those in power to account, and we should have the right to challenge such people when we suspect them of dishonesty.

This applies to politicians, and it applies to publishers, and it is especially important that this principle is adhered to when the latter only pretends to hold the former to account.

If Chris Gill is going to abuse power in this way, I make no apologies for my attempts to bring it to the attention of the people who grant him that power.

If he has any objection to that, it should begin with a clear explanation about his recent editorial choices.

(Psst! Gill’s staff have begun a bit of a PR push in Twitter, while pretending they do so in a purely personal capacity. In their rush to build a following, one of them has repeatedly linked to the account of a person who has previously published my homes address online in what they part-defend as a revenge attack on behalf of Nadine Dorries. This does not look good when Beds on Sunday staff are being painfully indiscreet in their cheery exchanges with other supporters of Dorries while accusing me of intrusion.)

Back soon with the next round of evidence about widespread collusion in Tory smear campaigns, folks. Have a nice weekend!

UPDATE (19 Feb) – There are moans from within the Dorries camp that Lynn Elson resigned on the 7th of February, i.e. before the coffee-means-good meeting. Assuming this claim to be true/well-informed, there is no published record of this anywhere (Bedfordshire on Sunday do not mention it), and the news came near to a full week after that date, so there was no way I could have known/expected this without communicating with Dorries or her staff, and it is clear from Dorries’ past conduct that attempting this was futile and likely to lead to a damaging and dangerous outburst. And it changes little, as pressure/expectations from the party are likely to have compelled Dorries to take action prior to her appointment with Cameron, and Elson herself contends that she resigned as a result of web articles about her, which is the core of what I dare to suggest here. Elson may claim she resigned due to “intrusion”, but the only visible articles about Lynn Elson immediately preceding her resignation concern themselves specifically with her professional conduct, not her personal life as she implies. If she seriously claims any of that material is fabricated, she has yet to specify it and her moaners have yet to bitch about it. And if we must play this game of Chinese whispers, perhaps one* of them can get back to me with the answer to a simple question: does Lynn Elson claim to have resigned before or after the ‘Go Compare’ article was published?

(*But send a different thug or maybe a cuddly carrier pigeon this time please, Dorries peeps. The person you keep using is everything Dorries accuses me of being, and he’s been warned very clearly and politely that I do not want to hear from him any further.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 27, 2011

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!

[See also: Andy Coulson and Andy Hayman: Friends]

Lately, we have been treated to the ‘earnest’ opinion of one Tory cloaca after another reminding us that Andy Coulson is innocent until proven guilty… as if there is no cause for concern about the way London’s Metropolitan Police Service repeatedly turned a blind eye to available evidence and re-opened their investigation into phone-hacking only hours after Tom Watson demanded it be handed to another police force. You couldn’t shut these fuckers up about the stench of corruption they insisted they could smell everywhere before the Tories took over. In fact, one of Coulson’s loudest cheerleaders even repeatedly assured us of the guilt of Tom Watson during ‘smeargate’, based on evidence he knew to be false at the time. Iain Dale later part-justified this deliberate libel on his assumption that Tom Watson must have known something because he worked in the same office as Damian McBride of Satan*.

However, in this instance, Iain Dale tells us that “Coulson’s accusers can go to hell”, even though Coulson ran the relevant office, and it was and is standard protocol for him and every other editor in the land to check the source of every major story. For Dale to pretend not to know this when he big-notes himself as a responsible publisher goes beyond the absurd; it is an insult.

Dale, like other tabloid scum of his type, is entirely flexible on the matter of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, and his position appears to depend entirely on whose side the accused is on.

(*Psst! Iain’s still rewriting history on this one, too. His latest self-serving interview with Watson is enough to make you sick and, strangely, during this same interview, the subject of Coulson and Watson’s ongoing attempt to hold him to account never comes up. Yet Dale still claims his junk-mail magazine Total Politics couldn’t possibly be biased, when it couldn’t be otherwise with old tilt-head at the helm. Dale is a proven liar, and even his categorical denials about this have turned out to be outright lies. Strangely, even though he has all that Ashcroft money lining his pockets and claims is chock to the brim with libel about him, he has yet to sue. In fact, the only time a claim of libel was ever raised formally, his lawyer quietly dropped the matter after he was challenged to identify a single instance of libel on this site. I guess that’s what you get for signing off on a client’s letter instead of doing your own homework.)

Oh, I do apologise. I’ve inadvertently strayed into an area where the stakes are merely a minor smear about my stalking people that’s been put about by Iain Dale and his dirtbag mates, and how that feeds the accusations/delusions of the man who’s been watching my house (see: irony), when what I really want to do today is show you how flexible Andy Coulson is on the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ when someone gets shot in the head.

Here we turn the clock back to the opening days of June 2005.

Following the rejection of a third inquest into the shooting of Harry Stanley by London Metropolitan Police, the two officers involved in the shooting had just been arrested and interviewed, following an investigation by Surrey Police involving new forensic evidence.

Andy Coulson was at this time the editor of News of the World, and he came out hard in defence of London police in several subsequent editions of this ‘news’ paper. After some research at the British Library Newspaper Reading Room in Colindale (soon to be closed, er, I mean ‘improved’) I have to hand some full-page scans from two of those editions, and I invite you to inspect them.

The first of these scans is dated June 12, 2005, and it presents to readers what the article describes as “dramatic new evidence that could clear two police firearms officers,” stating that “these amazing pictures, uncovered by News of the World, show the policeman could not know he wasn’t holding a gun”:

Andy Coulson, News of the World, June 12 2005

Click for hi-res if you wish to read the full article.

1. They show that, do they? Looks a tad contrived to me.

2. I’d rather police only killed someone when they were left with no choice because they were certain that person was carrying a gun. (Or maybe wearing a bomb vest. Or perhaps taking part in a peaceful protest.)

3. Gosh, I wonder how News of the World uncovered these amazing pictures.

Note also the reader ‘jury’ survey, conducted on the back of an earlier opinion piece by Michael ‘Deathwish’ Winner, that clears police. Oh, and also take a look at the enormous picture caption under their ‘evidence’ that echoes a letters-page call to “end this witch hunt”.

Public pressure was a major factor in the subsequent investigation/inquiry process (Coulson’s paper even makes a big deal about the expenditure to date), and this clearly prejudiced stance by the News of the World was a major push to influence public thinking in favour of the police.

The next week, Coulson even had the audacity to run the dead man’s police record past readers as if this somehow excused the decision by officers to shoot him. Without a lick of shame, News of the World describe it as the ‘rap sheet from hell’ (i.e. this is where he must have ended up after police shot him) and even imply that Stanley may have intended suicide (i.e. he deliberately goaded police into shooting him):

Andy Coulson, News of the World, June 19 2005

Click for hi-res if you wish to read the full article.

See? The blood they shot him in wasn’t cold at all. Why, if you stir it fast and furious enough, the friction alone generates just enough heat to justify a bullet. (Or maybe two, just to be sure. There’s no margin for error in this job.) That, or it was Harry Stanley’s idea to get shot in the first place, perhaps even to make police look bad. Surely no dastardly act was beneath him; one need only look at his record.

Again, one can only guess at the possible source of this amazing scoop.


It should be obvious from his stance on this issue that Andy Coulson contended that the police were innocent until proven guilty (and so incredibly innocent that an external investigation into their conduct must stop), but the bloke they shot in the head must have earned it, because he totally looked guilty… judging by what the police a unnamed source told him.

Less than a month after the latter article, Andy Coulson was busy making excuses for some other London police who shot another innocent man; Jean Charles De Menezes. The same man in charge of that botched operation was also in charge of the later lackadaisical investigation into the conduct of staff at News of the World.

I put it to you that the London Met may have deliberately held back on their investigation into News of the World and the conduct of Andy Coulson and his staff as a favour to a mate (and/or a source of auxilary income), if not a special allowance for a tabloid scumbag who knows where the bodies are buried. Literally.

Inquiries to date by the London Met should be subject to an external/independent inquiry, regardless of any new evidence they and their News of the World cronies claim to have found behind a cupboard. If it turns out that any hint of corruption is evident, the London Met should be taken off the case immediately.

Hell, I’ll go even further than that; what should happen here is exactly what Andy Coulson was trying to halt/prevent after Harry Stanley was shot by police; there should be a full investigation by Surrey Police that looks into any new evidence of alleged phone-hacking.

Anything less risks corruption if not loss/destruction of evidence and a dramatic downturn in public confidence in London’s Metropolitan Police Service and the criminal justice system generally; not something police need in the capital, especially when they are tasked with policing major demonstrations against the Conservative machete-without-a-mandate that Andy Coulson worked for at the highest level until just last week.

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 13, 2010

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!

[UPDATE (27 Jan 2010) NEW POST –Andy Coulson: innocent until proven guilty]

To follow this recent post about John Lennon, and in response to the perfectly formed announcement of Andy Coulson’s complete and total innocence, I thought I would blog something about true friendship, because I’ve seen evidence that it can exist between tabloid scum and (some) public figures… – Coulson knew officer in phone hacking affair

Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, said on Friday he was on friendly terms with the senior police officer who oversaw a criminal investigation that sent one of his reporters to prison for hacking into the mobile phones of the royal household.

Giving evidence to a Scottish criminal court, Mr Coulson said he remembered having tea with former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman and “may well have had lunch with him” as well.

But he denied that he had been in possession of personal information about the officer that the News of the World could have used to prevent Mr Hayman mounting a thorough investigation of the scandal.

Of course he didn’t have dirt on the man; that’s not how friends behave.

Let me show you how friends behave:

In 2005, Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World, and Andy Hayman was head of Specialist Operations, leading the investigation into the London bombings of July 2005.

An innocent man by the name of Jean Charles de Menezes was shot on Hayman’s watch. Here’s how Andy Coulson shaped the response:

Andy Coulson: friends

Click for hi-res if you wish to read the full article.

As you can see, the headline doesn’t read ‘police kill innocent man’; instead, it offers readers a decidedly (ahem) loaded question. The article also seeks to lead the public with a series of mitigating circumstances that would go some way to excusing what police had done… if any of it were true:

– The article states as fact that Jean Charles de Menezes was wearing “a bulky winter coat despite the warm weather” (i.e. something conspicuous that might have hidden a bomb belt). He wasn’t.

– The article states as fact that the police shouted a challenge to Jean Charles de Menezes “screaming for him to stop”. They hadn’t.

– The article states as fact that Jean Charles de Menezes then “made the decision that cost him his life” and “vaulted over the ticket barrier and ran down the escalator”. He didn’t.

As you can see, when police shot an innocent man and Andy Hayman’s arse was on the line, Andy Coulson acted like a true friend; rather than rely on any of the investigative journalism that News of the World is supposed to be famous for, Coulson chose instead to take a friend at his word and not bother looking at or into any of the pesky detail.

Later, in 2006, Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World, and Andy Hayman was the officer in charge of the inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking affair

When it was suspected that News of the World had targeted hundreds if not thousands of innocent people and Andy Coulson’s arse was on the line, Andy Hayman acted like a true friend; rather than rely on any of the investigative skills the police are supposed to be famous for, Hayman chose instead to take a friend at his word and not bother looking at or into any of the pesky detail:

Guardian – Police ‘ignored News of the World phone hacking evidence’

Police who investigated the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World obtained previously undisclosed telephone records which showed a vast number of public figures had had their voicemail accessed – and then decided not to pursue the evidence…

Guardian – Phone-hacking inquiry left a mountain of evidence unexplored

Here’s the riddle. If the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches can all find numerous journalists who worked at the News of the World who without exception insist that the newspaper routinely used private investigators to gather information by illegal means, why can’t Scotland Yard find a single one who will tell them the story?

In their original inquiry into the phone-hacking affair, in 2006, detectives arrested the paper’s royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and charged him with listening to messages on the royal household’s mobile phones. Goodman refused to answer questions.

Scotland Yard then interviewed not one single other journalist, editor or manager from the paper. Detectives took this decision despite holding evidence that – we now know – clearly identified other News of the World journalists who were involved in handling illegally intercepted voicemail.

In their recent inquiry, which ended fruitlessly last week, they attempted to interview only three journalists, all of whom were identified for them by news organisations.

They approached those three not as witnesses but as suspects, warning them that anything they said could be used to prosecute them: two gave interviews in which they declined to answer questions; the third challenged them to arrest him in handcuffs, and so they never even spoke to him.

There are some who might describe this as something dangerously close to corruption, but obviously such people are reactionary leftist scum with an anti-Murdoch agenda…. the same type of people who would dare to raise an eyebrow at Hayman later leaving the police to work for News International as a columnist.

Clearly, what we are looking at here is nothing more than innocent goodwill shared between two men who know and trust that their good friend is on the level. Surely this is a quality to be applauded in these deeply cynical times.

*See also: Bloggerheads – News of the World vs. Big Society: snakes in the grass

Related blogagge: Septicisle – Coulson in knowing nothing shocker

UPDATE (27 Jan 2010) NEW POST –Andy Coulson: innocent until proven guilty

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 8, 2010

Category: Humanity, Old Media

Please join me as I mark the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death by observing the tabloid scum of the day feeding off his corpse:


The Sun – Thursday, December 11, 1980

Front Page: Red-hot bride-of-the-monster action.

Inside: A super Sun exclusive about the superstar, by Don Short “the man who knew his secrets” because he “travelled with John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles” in the 60s. It is not specifically mentioned that he did so as a Daily Mirror journalist, but a clearer picture of Short’s true relationship with Lennon does reveal itself in the caption of this awkward image that is posed if not composed, plus Short’s tale of an attempt to be nearer to his ‘friend’ by climbing the back wall of the Beatles’ castle accommodation and “into an upper suite with lattice windows”:


For those in any doubt, here are some revealing mentions of Short by the Beatles themselves, as they clearly describe their attempts/intentions to keep their secrets away from this person:

We still didn’t know anything about doing it [LSD] in a nice place and cool it and all that, we just took it. And all of a sudden we saw the reporter and we’re thinking, ‘How do we act normal?’ Because we imagined we were acting extraordinary, which we weren’t. We thought, ‘Surely somebody can see.’ We were terrified waiting for him to go, and he wondered why he couldn’t come over, and Neil [Aspinall], who had never had it either, had taken it, and he still had to play road manager. We said, ‘Go and get rid of Don Short’… – John Lennon (source)

I felt this bad vibe and I turned around and it was Don Short from the Daily Mirror. He’d been hounding us all through the tour, pretending in his phoney-baloney way to be friendly but, really, trying to nail us. – George Harrison (source)

These accounts make it very clear that Short was allowed to play the friend, but was never trusted as one.


Sunday Mirror – Sunday, December 14, 1980

Front Page: Grieving May Pang finds comfort with her pet cat and a front page exclusive interview about her 18 month affair with Lennon (from 1973 to 1975).

Inside: I’ll spare you the details. (Summary: there aren’t many.)


The Sun – Monday, December 15, 1980

Front Page: A celebration of a moment of silent dignity in memory of John Lennon, interrupted only by OMG, THE FACE OF HIS KILLER! EXCLUSIVE!

Inside: Don Short tells the story of John Lennon’s divorce from wife Cynthia and his great love affair with Yoko Ono, but runs out of what he can pass off as first-hand material (statements made/passed to himself or press generally) about halfway through. Perhaps as an attempt to make up for this, he also offers us sidebar news of a ‘secret sex pact’ between the Beatles (which amounts to an alleged agreement not to sleep with each other’s partners).

That scraping sound reminds me that we’ve been at the bottom of the barrel for longer than is healthy, so (for now) I bid you farewell and good tidings:

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)


A Merry Winterval to all!

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 8, 2010

Category: Old Media, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Watching Channel 4’s excellent documentary Tabloids, Tories and Telephone Hacking I was struck by the bravery of the victim of sexual assault who spoke out, especially in comparison to the majority of ‘journalists’ who worked under Andy Coulson and/or alongside Clive Goodman at News of the World (i.e. people who claim their life’s mission is to root out and report corruption).

I was also greatly amused to watch the footage of Coulson being confronted by the Culture Select Committee with a hard copy of the Goodman article that did him in (the bottom item in the scan below); this was a news gossip item that alerted the royals to the phone hacking that led to a police investigation, a conviction, and Coulson’s resignation (link), but Coulson looked at it as if he’d only just then laid eyes on it.

As you can see from the scan, Goodman drapes himself in the name of a familiar fictional character and casts himself as an anti-establishment warrior fighting for the rights of the common man. Moving quickly on from the shtick of this corrupt liar and how familiar it seems, I would like you to note that Andy Coulson portrays this man as a rotten apple in barrel, while Goodman seems/seemed to think of himself as more of a snake in the grass.

(There’s a clever sentence about apples and snakes that eludes me here; perhaps the accomplished writer and biblical scholar Nadine Dorries would care to tackle it.)

Yesterday, I did some research in the British Newspaper Library in Colindale, in an effort to (at least) familiarise myself with Goodman’s NOtW contemporaries from the period preceding/surrounding the act that led to his downfall.

What appears below is a list of ‘journalists’ who rated a byline mention in News of the World in 2005. I’ll refrain from highlighting any names that already stand out for me (it wouldn’t be at all fair in a post like this), but I will tell you that this list may contain the name of the individual who had an actor portray them in Tabloids, Tories and Telephone Hacking, and it may also contain the names of several people who are busy avoiding any mention of the matter at all, possibly because they still work for News International and/or fear having their lives ruined by the type of people who smear those who dare to expose their corruption.

Rather than waiting for newspapers, TV or (Dog forbid) the police to do something about this, I propose that we ‘Big Society’ this project and beat the grass with sticks ourselves, to see how (m)any remaining snakes react.

The way I picture it, any blogger with an interest in truth in media can pick a name (at random, if you want to try to be as fair as possible), find out what that person has been up to lately (starting with Wikipedia, Journalisted, etc.), source the relevant contact details in the process, approach that person for comment, then blog the details.

At the very least, we should end up with a pretty comprehensive list of people who would rather stay hidden in the grass for one reason or another.

Clive Goodman Blackadder Nov 13 2005 - Partial scan

List of News of the World ‘journalists’ granted a byline in 2005

(NOTE – People known to be still working for NOTW at the time of writing are highlighted in bold. Names preceded by an [e] have been emailed – or in some cases tweeted – with a request that they comment on this matter. Obviously those still working for NOTW or another News International newspaper are unlikely to comment, but there are Is to be dotted and Ts to be crossed.)

[e] Phil Taylor – ‘associate editor’
[e] Neville Thurlbeck – ‘chief reporter’ [response: no comment]
[e] Ian Kirby – ‘political editor’ [response: no comment]
[e] Keith Gladdis – ‘deputy politicial editor’/’whitehall editor’ [response: no comment]
[e] Mark Bolland – (former editor of ‘Blackadder’… and former director of the PCC) [response: no comment]
Clive Goodman – ‘royal editor’ [done]
[e] Ryan Sabey – ‘royal reporter’ (Now working for The Sun) [response: no comment]
Mahzer Mahmood – ‘investigations editor’
[e] Martin Samuel – ‘chief sports writer’
[e] Rachel Richardson – ‘tv editor’ [response: no comment]

Alice Walker
[e] Amanda Evans [response: no comment]
[e] Andrea Vance [response: no comment]
Carl Fellstrom [Has blogged about it here. And good on him.]
Carole Aye Maung
[e] Chris Buckland (Now working for The Sun) [response: no comment]
Chris Tate
[e] Dan Evans (currently “suspended from reporting duties” following a complaint by a female television personality that her voicemail was intercepted this year- source)
[e] Danny Buckland
David Martyn
David McGee
David O’Dornan
[e] Dominic Herbert [response: no comment]
Edward Trevor*
Frank Thorne (Sydney-based correspondent)
Gemma Calvert
Gemma Pearse
Georgina Dickinson
Gerard Couzens
Haili McHugh
Hayley Barlow
Holly Jarvis
James Desborough
James Hill
James Millbank
James Orr
Jane Atkinson
Jon Higginson
Lester Middlehurst
Lewis Panther
Lucy Laing
Lucy Panton
Mark Christy
Martin Breen
Matt Slater
Matthew Acton
Mike Hamilton
Mike Merrit
Nadia Cohen
Neil McLeod
Neil Syson
Paul Kennedy
Phil Cardy
Polly Graham
Primrose Skelton
Rachel Spencer
Rav Singh
Rob Beasley
Robbie Collin
Robert Kellaway
Ross Hindley
Ruth Skelton
Sara Nuwar
Sarah Arnold
Sharon Feinstein
Simon Freeman
Sonny Soper
Stella White
Stian Alexander
Stuart Kuttner
Sue McGibbon
Tim Wood
Tom Worden
Vanessa Altin
Vaz Sayed
Wayne Francis
Will Stewart
Zak Newland

MINI-UPDATE – I have added here the names of two three News of the World executives who were active at the time:

Ross Hall
Alex Marunchak (this article from 2002 will raise an eyebrow)
Greg Miskew (Miskew left in July 2005, but it is alleged he signed a contract with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire)

(Those with certain prominence and/or billed with a title in print in 2005 head the list, but other than that, the order is strictly alphabetical by first name. This is not a complete list, and it may grow; samples were taken from the main part of the paper in early, mid and later months of 2005. Some pseudonyms and/or nameless drones may be involved. Other people were afforded bylines at the time, but they are not in this list because they wrote opinion pieces and/or were unlikely to be based in the main office; e.g. Lord Stevens, William Hague, Tony Blair, Al Murray, the lovely Ulrika, and Mystic Meg… who we can only assume failed to see this coming.)

So, there’s your list. Many of these people worked alongside Clive Goodman in the months leading up to the event that led to his arrest, and may or may not have something to say about their recollection of events and/or the culture in the newsroom under Andy Coulson.

If you plan on starting on a name or two, do drop me a line privately, leave a comment, or ping me on Twitter (hashtag is #snakelist); I’ll probably start marking names as ‘taken’ and/or ‘done’ once we get rolling, or I may choose to leave the list unmarked to keep the drones guessing. Let’s see how we get on.

* UPDATE (29 August, 2011) – ‘Edward Trevor’ appears to be a fake name. The following has been reported by the Wall Street Journal:

Former News of the World staffers say it wasn’t unusual for the News of the World’s editors to put a reporter’s byline on a story not written by that person. In fact, one reporter whose name appeared on hundreds of News of the World stories over the years—Edward Trevor—doesn’t actually exist, former staffers say.

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 6, 2010

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement

Greetings! The post you are reading at this moment is appearing simultaneously on four websites:

Bloggerheads (post permalink) – my personal site
The Sun: Tabloid Lies (post permalink) – a media watch site targeting The Sun
Daily Mail Watch (post permalink) – a media watch site targeting the Daily Mail
Express Watch (post permalink) – a brand new media watch site targeting Express newspapers

I’m not the gaffer for all of these sites, but I have had a word with the relevant writers and webmasters about what I’m about to share with you, the reader, so you know what to expect from these media watch sites targeting The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express:

All three sites will now operate as open clubhouses for the following writers and bloggers, all of whom have a solid track record* and ongoing interest in blogging and media watchery:

5cc :: @
bigdaddymerk :: @
Adam Bienkov :: @
Chris Coltrane :: @
D-Notice :: @
Daily Quail :: @
Dave Cross :: @
Kate Griffin :: @
Daniel Hoffmann-Gill :: @
Tim Ireland :: @
MacGuffin :: @
Hannah Mudge :: @
Carl P :: @
Nadia Saint :: @
septicisle ::
Sim-O :: @
Uponnothing :: @
Anton Vowl :: @

(*I could be more effusive if I weren’t in the list myself. Damn my modesty.)

From today, these writers will be free to submit original content and/or reference or mirror articles from their own sites about The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers.

Don’t expect everyone to come rushing in at once; the whole idea is that we can all drop in as and when we please; i.e. whenever we have time to report/share clear examples/evidence of these newspapers deceiving their readers.

(I’ve started by popping a couple of backdated mirrors about the Dunblane incident and a recent dash of homophobia and hypocrisy in Express Watch, BTW, and you will probably see more like these appearing over the coming days/weeks as we go about the process of populating the newer site with a little historical data on a writer-by-writer basis.)

There are bound to be varying degrees of tolerance between writers and over time, but we will continue to avoid ‘hating’ on tabloid readers generally (this being existing policy on the two older media watch sites), as we recognise that even the worst elements are victims to a degree if they base their fears/prejudices on misleading information fed to them by these newspapers – and we are ultimately out to bring some of them on board with the whole ‘honesty in media’ policy (at least to the extent that they cease reading, funding and otherwise enabling these media outlets that play so wilfully on the fears of others).

To put it bluntly, we as a group (a) seek to remind the readers of these tabloids that they are being lied to on a regular basis, (b) will attempt to call their owners and editors to account where possible/appropriate, and (c) aim to chip away at their circulation in the process by the devilish means of repeatedly exposing their fraud… when we each have a few minutes.

This ‘clubhouse’ approach should be enough, one hopes, to keep all three media watch interests ticking over a steady rate, and keep the documentation of the worst of these tabloids’ deceits relatively central and readily accessible.

With that newly-centralised relevance in mind, from an SEO (search engine optimisation) perspective, I also have designs on all three sites eventually earning very high placement for the name of each newspaper title; Daily Mail Watch is at present 7th for ‘daily mail’ in Google UK and prone to go higher, and The Sun: Tabloid Lies has just recently entered the top ten for ‘the sun’ (i.e. it is now 9th in Google UK).

Keep an eye out for our clubhouse members as they begin to appear over the coming week. Oh, and do add the following to your sidebars, readers and bookmarks, because these sites are about to become your first stop for any news involving any of the following tabloid newspapers:

The Sun: Tabloid Lies
Daily Mail Watch
Express Watch

Cheers all.

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 16, 2010

Category: Old Media, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Before early 2009, the Conservative MP Patrick Mercer enjoyed a partnership with Glen Jenvey (aka Richard Tims) and Dominic Wightman (aka Dominic Whiteman, aka Richard Walker) that appeared to make a positive contribution in the struggle against extremism/terrorism, and earned him/them considerable media coverage in the process.

Exactly when (or if) his relationship with these men ended is still unknown, but in 2009, Patrick Mercer made some extraordinary moves to shield (and continue to work with) Glen Jenvey, though he must have known or at least suspected at the time that Jenvey was fabricating the evidence of extremism that earned him tabloid coverage.

I also have evidence to hand that shows Mercer shielding conman Dominic Wightman in a similar fashion even earlier than this, and he continued to shield this man he knew to be a liar throughout the period Wightman was manipulating me into attacking one of his former VIGIL partners while manipulating Jenvey into accusing me of being a paedophile (and onward throughout the period when Wightman was manipulating others into publishing my home address alongside further false accusations ranging from involvement with extremists to stalking; Mercer even had the audacity to repeat the latter claim behind closed doors as a cover story that also helped him to avoid awkward questions).

At any stage during 2009, Patrick Mercer could have severely limited Wightman’s capacity to harass his former partners and/or perceived enemies, simply by speaking up. He chose not to.

Of course, standing up and admitting his past/present association with Jenvey and/or Wightman may well have cost him his position as Chair of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism, and it certainly would have destroyed his credibility in media circles, as by this late stage, he had shielded both men even after it became apparent they were not to be trusted; during their association/partnership with him, both men were involved in stunts designed to gain media coverage while stirring up religious hatred.

Now take a look at all the lovely money Patrick Mercer earned writing articles for the media (as revealed in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests);

MERCER, Patrick (Newark)

2. Remunerated employment, office, profession etc
Fees for articles in:
Independent on Sunday. Address: 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5HF. (Up to £5,000)
12 September 2009, received payment of £500. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
The Independent. Address: 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5HF.
12 September 2009, received payment of £160. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Sunday Telegraph (Up to £5,000)
Yorkshire Post (Up to £5,000)
Daily Mirror. Address: MGN Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP. (Up to £5,000)
3 September 2009, received payment of £500. Hours: 1.75 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
3 September 2009, received payment of £350. Hours: 1.25 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Mail on Sunday. Address: Associated Newspapers Limited, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT.
3 July 2009 received payment of £1,200 for article. Hours: 1.5hrs. (Registered 3 August 2009)
16 August 2009, received payment of £750. Hours: 2.5 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
18 August 2009, received payment of £1200. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
6 September 2009, received payment of £800. Hours: 1.25 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Received £1000 for a 1000 word article that took 2.5 hours to write. (Registered 11 January 2010)
The Times. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
13 July 2009 received payment of £500 for article. Hours: 1hr 45mins. (Registered 3 August 2009)
Sunday Times. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
7 September 2009, received payment of £750. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 28 October 2009)
News of the World. Address: News International Limited, 1 Virginia St, London E98 1XY.
16 August 2009, received payment of £400. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
The Scotsman. Address: The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS.
26 August 2009, received £100. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT.
26 November 2009, £200 received for article. Hours: 45 mins. (Registered 30 November 2009)
Appearances on Newsnight. Address: BBC, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT.
4 September 2009, received payment of £70. Hours: 40 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
7 September 2009, received payment of £70. Hours: 40 mins. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Security consultant to Olive Group (from April 2008). Address: 6 Eighth Floor, 6 New Street Square, New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 3AQ.
18 August 2009, received payment of £1500. Hours: 24 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Security consultant to Red Amber.
HarperCollins Publishers, 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB.
I received publishing advance for novel from Harper Collins in 2008/09. (Registered 17 June 2009)
I received publishing advance and continuing royalties for novel from Harper Collins in 2009/10 (Registered 17 June 2009)
£4300 received on 20 October 2009 for the synopsis of volume 3 of my novels. Hours: 18 hrs. (30 November 2009)
Received £3,585 for delivery of novel. Hours: 240 hrs. (Registered 11 January 2010)
Received £930 from AP Watt for talking book deal. Address: AP Watt Ltd, 20 John Street, London WC1N 2DR Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 28 October 2009)
Received payment of €25 for completing a telephone interview/questionnaire for Ipsos Mori, 79-81 Borough Road, London, SE1 1FY. Hours: 7mins. Fee donated to charity. (Registered 3 August 2009)

That’s not to say that Patrick Mercer conducted himself in this disgraceful manner only for money; he may have done it for personal/political reasons that we can only guess at for as long as he refuses to discuss the matter.

UPDATE (9:30am) – I called Patrick Mercer to ask if money played a role in his decisions as outlined above. His response; ‘no comment’.

He also had no comment to make about when he ended his relationship with Dominic Wightman, if he is still claiming privately that I ‘stalk’ him (even though he has not filed a police complaint or taken any measures to proceed with civil action), or if he still maintains that my ex-directory home address never passed through his office.

Patrick Mercer did, however, ask a very revealing question during the call; “Are you broadcasting this?”

I answered very clearly/politely that I wasn’t, and asked why he would think I would do something like that. He responded by insisting that I move on to the next question.

I think it’s fair to say that Patrick Mercer is either in contact with Nadine Dorries or at least well aware of her treating his privately-shared accusations as if they were statements of fact.

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