Archive for the ‘The Political Weblog Movement’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 27, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Civil action can be quite pricey and sometimes dicey, but for those with no time for critics and no taste for accountability, there is an alternative… call the cops and scream ‘harassment’:

Slugger O’Toole – Power of arrest used against Belfast blogger: I cannot and do not wish to speak to the veracity of Murray’s claims against the individuals named on his website. Free speech is rightly moderated by a civil code that gives both sides the opportunity to put their case before a court of law. There is certainly a case for the involvement of the police if a blogger, or one of their commenters implies physical threats against a specific individual. But I’ve been through Murray’s blog and have not been able to find any evidence of such; which might explain why no charges appear to have been preferred. If Malachi is right, the use of police power of arrest appears to have been used directly against a citizen for criticising several public figures on the Internet. That’s a development that should worry more than just the citizens of Belfast.

[Psst! On the subject of (ahem) strategic use of recent harassment law, do take the time to learn more about Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 27, 2008

Category: Gordon Brown, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

1. The reason there aren’t more results for the “Which right-wing ‘blogger’ are you?” quiz; the wannabes (who I’ll be kind enough not to list here) all copy the techniques used by Mummy blogger and Daddy blogger, so there’s very little difference between them. (Outsiders should take note that this quiz relates only to pseudo-bloggers from the right, not genuine bloggers from the right.)

2. The totally non-partisan and not at all right-wing magazine wad of junk mail Total Politics has a chart of the (alleged) “Greatest Speeches of All Time”. There were some red faces yesterday when it emerged that Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech was named one of the very greatest. Not *the* greatest, mind. Only third-greatest. The top two spots are taken by… Ronald Reagan.

(rolls eyes)

Iain’s problem (the same problem experienced with 18 Doughty Street) is going to be that he sees things like this… and doesn’t see a problem.

Another case in point; while lecturing Nelson Mandela on political/moral leadership, Iain has published an outright “Hang Mandela” comment in this discussion thread. Moderation is on (and has been on for months). This means that Iain has to read each comment before it’s cleared for publication. This comment – “Hang Nelson Mandela” – was seen and approved before publication, and not deleted, moderated or challenged by Iain Dale. I can’t wait to hear his excuse for this one. (via)

3. Onto a different but equally distorted world, I’d like to heartily endorse this item from Terence Blacker:

Terence Blacker: A teacher takes off his shirt. Cue panic: It is a simple of story of teacher-bullying, but with the unusual gloss that the child bullies were rewarded by the education authorities, who joined in the campaign of persecution. The victim became the villain. What has been more interesting has been the reaction of other teachers and from the media. While any sane adult or teenager could see that Mr Rouse had merely been a bit of chump, the response in the press has been to eroticise the incident. What the stripping teacher did, the implication has been, had some kind of murky, intimate motive…. A weird and not entirely healthy act of psychological transference seems to be taking place. By interpreting innocent acts, whether taking off a shirt or playing tennis, as erotic, the prudes and pervs of today are revealing their own sexual restiveness.

Well noted, and well said.

Ditto for the Heinz Deli Mayo ad nonsense. The only thing remotely offensive about it is that the (weak) joke relies on a common assumption that women make the sandwiches.

[For the record: (a) a woman makes most of the sandwiches in our house, (b) I have actually used this product, (c) on more than one sandwich that I made myself, and (d) the garlic variety is really quite tasty.]

Moving on…

4. The Times – Labour finish behind BNP in election humiliation: Labour came a humiliating fifth place behind the BNP and the Greens last night in the Henley by-election caused by Boris Johnson’s election as London Mayor. Gordon Brown’s first anniversary as Labour leader began with the party securing only 1,066 votes, losing its £500 deposit, and having its working majority in the House of Commons cut to 65, as John Howell, the Conservative candidate, succeeded Mr Johnson in the Oxfordshire seat.

Ouch. A terrible end to an awful first year for Gordon Brown (more).

(But don’t get me wrong… I’m still glad that this lying, torturing murdering bastard is gone.)

5. Meanwhile another disaster looms… but who will face eviction? That’s right folks, here comes the Big Brother by-election!

(Name/idea blatantly stolen from David Icke, but that’s OK… he still owes me for nicking my images.)

PA – Davis to face 25 rivals in election: David Davis will face 25 other candidates in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, the acting returning officer has confirmed. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have already said they will not take part in the contest. But a range of individuals and smaller parties had officially thrown their hats into the ring by the time nominations closed. These include the well-known conspiracy theorist David Icke, Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Mad Cow-Girl and Miss Great Britain, Gemma Garrett. Among the other parties that will be on the ballot paper is the Church of Militant Elvis Party and a representative of Make Politicians History. Nominations for poll closed on Thursday afternoon and voting will be on July 10. (via)

26 housemates and one big eviction night, how can the punters possibly resiszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..snrk*.

Wha? Where? Oh, sorry, dropped off for a bit there.

6. To close, here are some links relating to the Blog Nation event:

Liberal Conspiracy – Pictures from Blog Nation <--- includes links to many more Charlie Beckett – The UK Left Blogosphere: staring defeat in the face
Dave Cole – Blog Nation part 2: qu’est-que c’est le blog?

Don’t expect much from me just yet. I’m a busy beaver for the next few days and I need a leisurely walk or two before I can really think things out.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 25, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

A little treat for you, fresh from the potting shed:

QUIZ: which right-wing ‘blogger’ are you?

Good luck.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 16, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Yesterday was the last day of my self-imposed curfew, and what did I do? I broke curfew!

I surrendered to the demon drink after a couple of weeks, too. Like a total pansy.


I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

(Yes, I know Bush just left. With you shortly.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 8, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Watch the publisher of Total Politics show you his understanding of what ‘fair and balanced’ means here and here.

Fans of Iain Dale will recognise the ‘baying mob’ line from his reaction to the Conway affair (summed up marvellously here, by Garry).

You may also note that, suddenly, Iain isn’t as quietly appreciative of anonymous comments as he usually is. Still, I suppose he feels that he should be suspicious of something. Otherwise people might get the idea that he’s slacking.

Related Bloggage:
Random thoughts from a British Eccentric – Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Bob Piper – Another friend in need?
Sadie’s Tavern – In Association with the Conservative Party and the Official Receiver, Sadie’s Tavern presents: A NANNY’S TALE

1. Joseph Obi is on the warpath.

The attack on Louise Redvers is particularly appalling… and actionable. Sadly, The Obi One has yet to reveal what he’s really angry about (i.e. what triggered this greatly delayed outburst).

2. Thank you, Gordon.

(That is what you’re fishing for, yes? Next time, try to take the lead before you’re backed into a corner, eh?)

3. Independent – Clive Stafford Smith: Why has the Government forsaken Binyam Mohamed?: Why would the British Government refuse to disclose this kind of critical information? Here, we are left to speculate, since they won’t give an explanation. Sadly, the most likely reason is that there is much more evidence that they would rather remained hidden – such as proof of systematic British co-operation in the US rendition process.

If you’d like a hint as to the most likely outcome, here it is; Jack Straw still holds a cabinet position.

4. BBC – Blair ‘to devote life to faith’: Former prime minister Tony Blair has promised to “spend the rest of my life” uniting the world’s religions

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, do excuse me. That’s unforgivably rude. I should kn*…. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

5. Emptywheel – George Bush Authorized the Leak of Valerie Wilson’s Identity: Scottie McC doesn’t know it yet. But that’s basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show…

See also: Scott McClellan on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Oh, and Matthew Norman’s description of Bush as an “an arrogant, self-deceiving fantasist” reminded me of this little item.

6. LayScience and Septicisle on the recent Standpoint nonsense.

(Speaking of right-wing magazines, someone has a tough job ahead of them.)

7. I had four beers last night, and I’m seriously considering breaking my curfew on Saturday night so I can see a movie with the missus.

I’m a bad boy…. but you ain’t seen nothing yet:

8. Manticore. Monday.

SPECIAL BONUS LINK: An incredible timesaver for 98% of the remaining* regular contributors to Iain Dale’s website. (*Most of the sensible people have grown tried of being ignored, censored, abused by anonymous cowards or told to “piss off” by the great man himself.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 28, 2008

Category: George W. Bush, The Political Weblog Movement, UK Libel Law, Updates

1. Nadine Dorries is telling porkies again. Oh, and did everyone watch the sun come up this morning? It came as a hell of a surprise, let me tell you.

2. Richard Bartholomew offers an excellent post on UK libel law here.

3. When greedy meets sneaky with a big dash of cheeky.

Mark Steel made me laugh with this; “But here is the best part. The “difficulties” raised by this complex and sensitive issue have been investigated by the politicians themselves, and one of the measures they’ve decided on is that all MPs should receive an automatic annual allowance of 23K for their second home. So no doubt some of them will now yell: “That’s not fair, now the others get a bonus but we were swiping that much already.””

4. Not a drop of alcohol has passed my lips since the 16th, but I did almost forget about my curfew last night. My only excuse is that, unlike some people, I don’t have an electronic tag to remind me that i should be home before 9pm.

5. Operation Manticore: With you shortly. I’ve worked out a way to allow newcomers and outsiders to join in, but dealing with a total shit like George W. Bush means that (a) a lot of SH! is required and (b) there are many Is to dot and Ts to cross.

UPDATE – Make that six:

BorisWatch – Boris, Dean Godson, Andrew Gilligan and, er, the Routemaster bus?
BorisWatch – This Think Tank Is A Powerful Vehicle

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 23, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Well said, that man:

Justin McKeating: Any Tory who thinks they are winning rather than Labour losing needs to stop jumping around and take a bit of breather.

Even Iain Dale and Paul Staines appear to agree; it wasn’t the Tories or Timpson that won, but toff-talk that lost. (Though, in fairness, it may be a case of Dale and Staines simply wanting to put the boot into Maguire in exactly the same way that they didn’t when Nadine Dorries stuffed it for their side recently.)

Amusingly, the famously thirsty Staines described the result in Crewe and Nantwich as “a tipping pint” before admitting that he typed one thing, but meant quite a mother.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 23, 2008

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement

Independent –’s web surge ignites row
Guardian – Publishers query Telegraph rise
Telegraph – We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!*

(*OK, so I’m paraphrasing.)

Eyebrows raised in the past by the Telegraph’s past traffic claims here and here.

The blogosphere’s version (just in case you missed it) here.

(Another day in London, today. Sorting backing and back-end for Operation Manticore. There will be a delay in the answering of comments and email. Again.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 20, 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Via Student Midwife, I learn of a live-blog over at the Guardian.

Any other games in town?

[There may be a little action here, but no guarantees.]

19:25 – Edward Leigh (Con) just read out Nadine’s ‘voice of the majority’ statistics (from a poll conducted commissioned* by the Christian Institute). So it’s on him if the poll turns out to have been conducted on the back of a hymn sheet in a church car park.

[*POST-MATCH MINI-UPDATE – Find out more about that poll here and here.]

19:50 – Mark Pritchard (Con) is the second MP to complain that we don’t show late-term abortions on television and ‘let the public decide’. Claims 2/3 of all people and 3/4 of women in his constituency support 20 weeks. It’s Nadine’s very favrit stats again! How many MPs are running off the same information pack?

19:55 – Pritchard Brings out a picture of 16 week old fetus even though he knows he’s not supposed to pull the stunt! FFS!

19:58 – Pritchard has lost it now. He’s wasting everybody’s time, and waffling on about the great sporting heroes we may be aborting.

20:10 – It’s been far too sensible and boring since Pritchard shut his mouth, so let me use this opportunity to ask where in the hell Pritchard gets off taking the CI’s (alleged) poll results and claiming them to be the view of his constituency?!

20:17 – Mike Penning (Con) has wished for a longer debate. Presumably because more Conservative MPs want to sing from the same information pack.

20:20 – Desmond Swayne (Con) interjects quite energetically and wants more emotive language and fewer “euphemisms”.

20:22 – Mike Penning (Con) brings common sense and dignity to the debate by revealing a personal anecdote – transmitted via Facebook no less – of a young woman having (*gasp*) multiple abortions.

20:30 – Mike Penning (Con), Shadow Front Bench Minister for Health; “Please vote for 20 weeks, that’s what I will be doing.”

20:32 – Dawn Primarolo (Lab) Minister of State for Public Health; (paraphrased lots) Medically, nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. Can we please look at the evidence?

20:34 – Ann Widdecombe uses the word EV-I-DENCE because (we assume) she has some that’s relevant

20:37 – More interjections. Dawn Primarolo (Lab) forced to make her point again for those who aren’t listening. Nothing has changed since 24 was agreed on. She attempts to debunk some nonsense on the loose…

20:45 – Ann Widdecombe objects to this on the basis that it insults the source of the nonsense, who is not present to defend himself/herself. Time for a sensible cup of tea…


21:14 – Now Judy Mallaber (Lab) is telling a personal anecdite. Don’t care whose side she’s on, I’m going back to the kitchen.


21:20 – Gah! Almost missed Nadine. She’s pro-choice, she says. Nadine tells the bedpan story again.

21:32 – Go, Nadine, go! She choked and almost lost the floor, but got back on her feet after the second long call for calm from the Speaker. Now the bullshit is flowing thick and fast. I look forward to fisking most of this tomorrow. For now, please note that Nadine Dorries looks and sounds just like Ollie Plimsoles when talking about ‘ishooz’.

21:33 – Speaker has to call for calm again!

21:40 – Oh, FFS… here come the ‘abortion industry’ rubbish. More calls for televised late-term abortions. And she pushes the claim of overwhelming public support. In a further enhancement of the CI poll, she claims that the majority of women back a reduction from 24 weeks and – in her words – do so in an informed fashion because they are ‘specifying’ 20 weeks. Colour me incredulous.

(That poll is getting one hell of a workout today isn’t it?)

21:46 – Off for fresh tea, though I wish for something stronger after Dorries. (Even mouthwash would do. At least it would get this bad taste out of my mouth.)

21:56 – Just found out that rhetorically speaking is also live-blogging here. Lots of detail that I’ve missed or not typed. Go see.

22:02 – Richard Ottaway Missed his name, proposed that point of viability has come down from 24 weeks to 23 or 22 to cries of “What?” “No it hasn’t.” … anyone catch his name?

22:06 – Ann Widdecombe claiming that we are murdering children in the womb, let’s show the public, moral rah rah rah, fighting for the weak, blah blah blah.

22:10 – Division.

22:41 – Sorry for the delay. I needed to kick computer in guts *and* have the server kicked in guts. Neither could stomach Nadine. Expect to see this phrase a lot tomorrow… Dawn Primarolo on Nadine Dorries; “She has asserted many things as fact which are not this evening.”

10:50 – 12, 16, 18, 20 (sorry, Nadine)… now it’s crunch time.

23:05 – See Liberal Conspiracy for more live-blogging and a run-down of the proposed amendments.

23:12 – Nadine Dories starts by claiming to have the backing of 200 MPs, and after two weeks of solid campaigning has the support of…. 190 MPs.


23:16 – Ayes 233, noes 305 – ’22 weeks’ goes down! Cameron** only brought 43 MPs with him!

And me without so much as a beer in the house…

[**NOTE – Cameron has said long before all of this that he supported a 20-week limit, but yesterday he conspiciously let it be known that he would most certainly back a limit of 22 weeks. No matter which way Cameron voted himself, 22 weeks looked to be the rallying cry for the troops (“Come on fellas, over the top middle!”)… but not enough Tories followed him.]

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