Archive for the ‘The Political Weblog Movement’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 28, 2009

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!, UK Libel Law

“I didn’t libel Tom Watson. if I had done, he would have sued me.” – Iain Dale (source)

Today, in the High Court, The Sun issued an apology to Tom Watson (more) and agreed to pay a “substantial sum in damages” (plus costs) for the “acute distress, humiliation and embarrassment” caused.

Take a look at what The Sun have apologised for specifically:

The Claimant was not copied in on, nor did he know about any of the emails between McBride and Draper until Friday 10 April, when the matter was first drawn by the media to the attention of Downing Street. He did not have any involvement in or knowledge of the “Red Rag” website. Accordingly, the Claimant did not lie when he publicly denied involvement by way of press releases issued first by him on 12 April and then on 14 April by Carter-Ruck solicitors on his behalf. (source)

The origin of the false claim that Tom Watson was CCed on the Draper/McBride emails is officially unknown; the person who first aired it via a mainstream channel was the Conservative blogger Iain Dale.

Iain Dale included the ‘CC’ claim in an article published by the Mail on Sunday on Sunday 12 April 2009. Iain’s story has changed a few times, but let’s take this recent version as gospel, just for laughs:

In the original text submitted to the Mail on Sunday I alleged that Tom had been copied in on the Damian McBride emails. I did so because I was told that by a senior Labour source that this was the case. I also published it on my blog in THIS post at 5.45 on the evening of 11 April. At 6.20pm I received a call from Guido Fawkes who told me that Tom Watson had not in fact been cc’d on the emails he had seen, although he was referred to. I immediately reworded the blogpost and wrote a replacement paragraph for the Mail on Sunday column, which was sent to them at 6.30pm. In retrospect, instead of amending the blogpost I should have written an Update at the bottom. However, I needed to get the Mail on Sunday piece corrected. Unfortunately, despite me sending it in what I assumed to be good time, the change wasn’t made so the wrong paragraph was printed. This was cockup, not conspiracy.” – Iain Dale (source)

If we’re to believe Iain, then the urgent need to send a single email on early Saturday evening led to his failure to issue a correction on the original post for the rest of the night and all of the following Sunday and Monday (no correction was posted there until 11.30am on Tuesday 14 April, even though Iain managed to post a small ‘clarification’ elsewhere at 4.15pm on Monday 13 April) but the fact is that Iain had plenty of opportunities to issue a correction and chose not to.

In fact, at the time, he was knowingly deleting comments (mostly from me) asking him to post a correction, but I’ll get back to that and more right after we look at the libel left standing:

1. The libel that remained (and is still present on his website)

Initially, Iain removed from the offending post the text that read; “Tom Watson, who sat next to McBride in the Downing Street bunker and was copied on on all the emails to Derek Draper” but left in place the following:

“Tom Watson is Minister for the Civil Service. What did he do when he received these emails? Did he berate Damian McBride and tell him to stop abusing his position? No. Instead, he either tacitly or overtly encouraged McBride to send more.”

There was (and is) NO proof that Tom Watson received these emails at all, so it is false to assert that he was in a position to object and conclude that he “tacitly or overtly encouraged McBride to send more”. The evidence simply doesn’t support the premise. This passage was/is libel. End of.

This text was NOT removed from the body of the post until days later, and (in a classic indication of how careless Dale is with comments) remains live on his website even today:

screen capture of comment

One of Iain Dale’s favourite tricks is to deny that something is libel on the basis that it is an honestly-held opinion (e.g. in his mind, this applies when he publishes claims that I am “clearly psychotic”). Here, he has taken it that one step further and based a (false) assertion of fact on that opinion, and he still doesn’t recognise that it’s libel. Extraordinary.

Further, this text (especially minus any correction) clearly gave the impression that the ‘CC’ claim stood, when instead it was based on nothing more than Iain Dale’s certainty that Tom Watson must have known what was happening at a nearby desk on a colleague’s computer, and here we come to the lie of omission:

2. The false ‘CC’ claim, and the lie of omission that followed

According to Iain’s own account, the ‘CC’ claim was also live on his website for a short period on Saturday 11 April 2009 before Iain removed it…. but remove it is all he did. At the time he published no correction about his false ‘CC’ claim and (crucially) continued to publish comments (his own and others’) that asserted Tom Watson’s involvement as a matter of fact, not opinion.

Here you need to take into account the size and nature of the audience Iain was playing to at the time. Let’s take the single day of Sunday 12 April; Iain’s audience has jumped from average of 5,000 to 8,000 visitors on a Sunday to somewhere near 18,000 that particular Sunday (source). The following diagram – which is to scale – compares his enlarged circulation for that day to the approximate daily circulation of the Mail on Sunday on the same day (source), and The Sun on the next (source).

comparison of circulation figures

Exactly how these audiences overlap and where Iain’s extra ~10K visitors came from on that day remains uncertain, but it’s fair to assume that a good portion of them are likely to have arrived after being exposed to the false ‘CC’ claim, and it’s fair to say that only a handful of them left corrected on that point for all of Sunday the 12th and most of Monday the 13th; indeed, according to Iain’s own account, if you wanted to learn the truth before Tuesday, you needed to be (a) a journalist, (b) who asked about the ‘CC’ claim specifically

(Psst! This same diagram may also provide clues about Tom Watson’s decision to sue over what was published in The Mail on Sunday and The Sun but not on Iain Dale’s Diary, regardless of how influential Dale himself may have been in sharing/publishing the central falsehood.)

3. Deliberately careless comment moderation

Iain Dale did all of this with comment moderation turned OFF; this meant that comments would be published immediately, without being checked by Iain first.

If someone went too far in what they claimed about Tom Watson (or anyone else), then Iain Dale would allow them to run free for however long he was away from his screen, before erasing (some) comments without so much as an ‘oops’ for the record. This is not something he allows on his site when there are serious accusations levelled against him or his friends, but for some reason he thinks it’s fair to subject political enemies to this risk when it suits him.

There were repeated instances of people taking advantage of the shoddy moderation over the long weekend, using the platform to launch attacks on Tom Watson, and even to imply that I was somehow involved with Draper/McBride. Iain Dale was repeatedly (and quite dishonestly) using ‘sloppy’ moderation to his advantage in this way while efficiently deleting all of my submitted responses, and refusing to acknowledge my emails or answer my calls.

(Further, this was happening at a time when someone was actively publishing false claims about me being a convicted paedophile, a valid concern that Iain charmingly describes as a “preoccupation” of mine.)

Iain Dale knows that – in blogging especially – deleting data after the fact is not the same as not allowing it to be published in the first place, especially when you have a choice to engage moderation controls and decide against it (for selfish if not downright malicious reasons). While the deleted comments may (eventually) be removed from Iain’s website, they will have been read and retained by anyone subscribing to the relevant thread, and automatically syndicated on external websites beyond Iain’s control within minutes of their publication. (I am sure that Iain knows all of these things and more because he is soon to appear as an expert witness, speaking on the subject of responsible comment moderation.)

But when the mob was at its height and calling for blood, Iain Dale not only maintained a major lie of omission but did so while playing it fast and loose in comments; he refused to address or correct false accusations levelled at Tom Watson (and myself) in his posts and under comments, he deleted comments calling for a correction of his earlier post, and he refused to engage comment moderation… until the moment he stood accused of libel and instead accused me of harassment. Then Iain engaged comment moderation (and re-introduced anonymous comments) before publishing dozens of comments alleging my involvement in criminal activity and making false statements about my mental health.

I cannot link to the relevant post, because Iain has since deleted it. But as with the CC claim, in the minds of many of his readers, the accusation stands and will continue to stand until he issues a correction.


Iain Dale not only libelled Tom Watson, he knowingly misled his readers about it.

Iain also libelled me in the process, and he refuses to issue a correction of the since-deleted post/ comments, even though he knows that his accusations are being used against me.

These are just two examples of Iain Dale knowingly using lies against his political enemies… and according to Iain’s own standards, what I say must be true if Iain doesn’t sue me, right?

“I didn’t libel Tom Watson. if I had done, he would have sued me.” – Iain Dale (source)

UPDATE – See also:
David Cameron: also putting political agenda ahead of principle

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 8, 2009

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

For the avoidance of doubt;

– I am busy, and working behind the scenes on the main story; what Patrick Mercer and his staff are hiding (and, to a lesser extent, the lengths they will go to in order to keep it a secret).

– I did not write the email that Dominic Wightman is using as his latest plot device; but I invite you to read his illuminating response to it.

– If you receive anything that claims to be from me and it seems unexpected, unusual or in any way out of character, please use this address to check with me first (noting the ‘s’ in bloggerheadS’):

( bloggerheads DOT com AT gmail DOT com )

– I am also working on objects of artistic merit at the moment, so if there are no new developments on the main story, I will probably not be blogging, but instead building. Your most likely ‘live’ feed during this period is my Twitter channel.

Cheers all. Please write a letter to your MP if you haven’t already done so.

UPDATE (09 Oct) – Unity – Second Tabloid Terror Threat Story Exposed as a Fake

I predict another awkward silence from Patrick Mercer, and Daniel Jones of The People. What Wightman will have to say about it is anybody’s guess.

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 1, 2009

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Dominic Wightman has, since the very beginning of the more recent attacks on me, denied having anything to do with the ‘Cheerleaders’ who are doing the bulk of the dirty work (which mainly involves the repeated publication of my home address, but has recently escalated into none-too-subtle threats of violence).

Yesterday, he issued a further public denial, insisting that I was “paranoid” and describing the idea of their working together as “ludicrous”.

He has also encouraged Richard Bartholomew to share these recent emails with me:

“It must be easy for you both with so many enemies and the electronic stalker with so much paranoia to see a bloc assault. You’re wrong and the authorities have been made aware of the lies behind the suggestion I have yoked powers with these Cheerleaders as one might call in the Picts… no need for their help. I have emailed… twice now to tell them to stop providing you people with smear material with their base attacks. Also to suggest to them that silence works better…. I have no sway over these baying hordes.” – Dominic Wightman

“As one of Tim’s friends it might be a good idea for you to point out to him that he cannot contact me by email. He sent me an email at 11.11 am this morning regarding some alleged posts / tweets by someone else. He acknowledged on his blog that I sent him a cease and desist letter three weeks ago which he has now infringed. I have today informed my lawyers of his infringement. If he emails me again, I shall not hesitate to inform the police. To help him deal with his problems I have now blocked his email address. I’d greatly appreciate your intervention in this matter – I get the impression Tim cannot help himself or perhaps does not understand the gravity of his actions. He has attempted thrice in recent weeks to contact me through third parties but, as agreed (since my cease and desist is a forced mutual arrangement) I resisted replying.” – Dominic Wightman

I have no idea what he’s talking about with these “third parties”, unless he’s referring to my recent efforts to have the Conservative MP for Guildford Anne Milton clarify what her relationship is with this man and/or his [blood relative] (answer; she has met the former “before, in passing” but will not discuss the latter on the basis that they are a constituent).

As for my sending him a single email since he shoved his absurd ‘cease and desist’ demand through my letterbox, well – H-E-double-toothpicks – just call me guilty (with one hell of an excuse).

As with Iain Dale’s equally absurd legal threats (that Wightman is mimicking), they are meaningless enough on their own, but rendered completely inert when the person who claims they just want to be left alone manipulates others into attacking me and/or attacks me themselves while hiding behind anonymous comments*.

(*If Iain Dale would care to deny making anonymous comments on his own website, I am happy to start the conversation there, but it would end with irrefutable evidence of his knowingly taking advantage of them, even if he did not author them himself. And just in case Iain has forgotten our conversation of last year, this post should remind him that I am capable of identifying participating IP addresses on certain types of weblogs.)

A lot of what has been published about me on YouTube recently is, in the view of others, obviously Wightman’s work, but it’s hard to establish or prove anything in that environment (unless someone is as stupid as that Grant Shapps fellow).

However, in recent days, someone has strayed out of that environment and posted this message to a weblog:

This comment describes me as a “nutter and a bully” that “for years has abused and stalked his victims”. It not only matches the Cheerleaders justifications for their attacks almost word for word, it rather cheekily drops a hint about where I live during that group’s campaign to reveal my home address to people/groups who are hostile to me.

Oh, and the IP address used to post it is exactly the same as the IP address used by Dominic Wightman to send the recent email (above) to Richard Bartholomew.

There’s other correlating evidence, but from the IP data alone, there is little doubt that the above comment was made by Dominic Wightman himself.

Wightman’s legal threats are less than bluster; they are dishonest in nature, as he has no plans to maintain anything but the illusion of a dignified silence. In fact, he seeks to launch unwarranted attacks against me while accusing me of launching unwarranted attacks against him.

As for his claim that I am “paranoid” and his assertion that any notion of his working together with the Cheerleaders is “ludicrous”… well, I’ll let this email exchange with Dominic Wightman (using his ‘Richard Walker’ alias) speak for itself:

From: Tim Ireland
To: Richard Walker [Dominic Wightman]
Cc: Richard Bartholomew
Date:Wed, May 27, 2009 at 5:15 PM
Subject Re: Update

    Have u guys ever wondered who the journalist is in the Jenvey recording?

Often. But I didn’t think it polite to ask.


From: Richard Walker [Dominic Wightman]
To: Tim Ireland
Cc: Richard Bartholomew
Date: Wed, May 27, 2009 at 5:22 PM
Subject Re: Update

Ludas Matyi aka Charlie Flowers. Chief Cheerleader (likely the only one there is as far as I know).
I met him the month before after I had been put in touch by him online with Gina Khan – the Muslim activist who gets bricks through her window from [snip]’s mates. Thought him odd. Odd enough to collect an insurance policy on Jenvey with.
Turns out he did rather well.
I don’t like all his childish crap on the web and me feels he is suffering from one too may LSD hauntings, still, when he’s sane he’s an agreeable fellow. Van driver.
Between you and me of course…..

So there’s (Cheerleader) Gina Khan quoted by Wightman himself as the person who introduced him to (Cheerleader) Charlie Flowers (the same man who is now offering to drop by my house so we can settle matters with a fist fight).

Wightman then went on use Flowers in carefully-planned venture against his former partner Glen Jenvey (Flowers went in posing as a reporter, armed with questions provided by Wightman).

Ludicrous? Try instead ‘entirely f**king plausible with a clear precedent’.

If you are going to be a liar, you need a far better memory than Dominic Wightman’s, and if he’d care to take a closer look at our past email correspondence, he might realise that I have little interest in attacking him, and only wish to set the record straight on recent events.

UPDATE – See also this updated post by Richard Bartholomew, which includes further evidence of Dominic Wightman’s duplicity. The cheeky bastard is (consciously or otherwise) mimicking Dale to the extent of hinting that I might be inventing these attacks just to get attention/him/Tories.

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 30, 2009

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Charlie Flowers (aka ‘Ludas Matyi’) is the ringleader of a group who call themselves the ‘Cheerleaders*’; they turned up at the beginning of the Jenvey saga, and continued to pester myself and others until Dominic Wightman intervened. Now it’s in Wightman’s interests that I suffer for what he did to me (!) these ‘Cheerleaders’ have suddenly/mysteriously returned with a vengeance, and have been repeatedly publishing my home address online and broadcasting it to audiences that are hostile to me alongside claims that I am a bully, a stalker, a Nazi, and an ally of religious extremists. The refusal of certain bloggers (and a serving MP) to intervene or even clarify what they claim to be fair comment has greatly enabled these people, but that’s a matter for a later post.

(*They are also members of a band called the ‘Fighting Cocks’. I have snipped the signature with the links to their MySpace, Twitter, Facebook etc. pages, as I do not want to start a trend of offering free website publicity in exchange for threats/intimidation. Oh, and here, Charlotte Gore finally gets the free publicity she’s hungry for. Well done, you. Thanks for your input. Hope you enjoyed the passing mention.)

The short version is that I suspect Dominic Wightman of (again) manipulating others into doing his dirty work for him. Unless he has been using multiple false identities, Charlie Flowers has been doing the same in two ways; by having his hangers-on use their accounts for the primary instances of harassment, and by seeing to it that my home address is sent/broadcast to people the ‘Cheerleaders’ think will line up and have a go.

Recent repeated messages from a Cheerleader member nicknamed ‘Shooter’ insisted that – contrary to what I and others had claimed – they were willing to engage in their attacks while using their real names, so I dropped a line to the two members of their group who used their real names online, and had reliable contact details (Dan Wilde and Gina Khan). A copy of my email to Dan Wilde is quoted in the correspondence below. Rather than publicly stand by the actions of the group, Wilde forwarded this email to the ringleaders, who immediately published it alongside a whole lot of ‘Ireland is a Nazi’ nonsense.

They then made what was to be their final entry in their ‘Cheerleadered’ account on Twitter, before it was finally suspended. That message repeated my home address, and finished with the message:


Now that you’ve got the background, I can allow this recent correspondence to speak for itself:

[Psst! ‘Matyi’ (Charlie Flowers) failed to give any reason for proposing a fist fight, and consistently refused to put his name to any of this while implying that I am a coward. There is no lie of omission here (as there was in Iain Dale’s since-deleted ‘Parish Notice’ post). I have corrected a typo involving his nickname (it is ‘Matyi’, not ‘Mayti’); further snips and other changes to the body of the emails are in square brackets and the highlight of the correspondence is emphasised in red (for the browsing convenience of those with short attention spans).]

– | –

From: The Fighting Cocks UK (
To: Tim Ireland
Cc:,,, Jonny Yeah (,,, Plan B Booking (, Matthew Edwards (
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 10:19 PM
Subject: Straightener

Mr Ireland;
With regard to your email copied in below, I have consulted with Matty H, Rivers, and Dan, and we have decided that the best way forward if you have a problem with The Fighting Cocks is to settle matters with a Straightener.
This can be at any fairground event near where you live, or at a Canvey Island event that runs regularly; we can send details nearer the time. You will need to bring MMA gloves in your size, and you will be fighting me, with one of my crew refereeing.
I expect an answer back within 24 hours, either way.

From: Tim Ireland
Subject: The Cheerleaders
Date: Monday, 28 September, 2009, 2:11 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

Dear Dan,

Are you in any way involved with the Cheerleaders and/or their past/present attacks on people they accuse of extremism, Nazism, etc.?

This post includes examples of some of their recent attacks (scroll down t the screengrab):

I ask because certain members are insisting that they are not afraid to engage in such attacks when using their real names, and they object to me (and other) claiming otherwise.

I would therefore like to draw up as complete a list of names as possible for publication (and/or presentation to police), starting with Charlie Flowers and working my way down


Tim Ireland

[band-promo signature snipped]

From: Tim Ireland
To: The Fighting Cocks UK
Cc:,,, Jonny Yeah (,,, Plan B Booking (, Matthew Edwards (
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

To: Charlie Flowers (aka Ludas Matyi)

I’ve never met you, we’ve had no major disagreement that I’m aware of, you’ve not even managed to articulate what you have against me beyond these recent accusations of stalking that no reasonable person will stand by, and now you’re challenging me to a fist fight (while implicating everybody on this email list in your recent efforts to harass and intimidate me).

Unless you plan on giving me a simple list of the real names* of the people involved in the repeated broadcast of my personal details (something ‘Shooter’ insisted was not an issue) and/or admitting to the role played by Dominic Wightman in this matter, we have nothing further to discuss.

Tim Ireland

(*And contact details, obviously. Email addresses will do if you’re concerned about your own personal security.)

From: The Fighting Cocks UK (
To: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:05 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

Fight on or fight off?
The Hur al-Ayn girls will be the ring girls- Amarah Hadchiti, Priya Patel, Charlotte Wadia. They’re proud to be H a-A and dying to meet you.
This is the way we settle things here. Give me your mobile and home phone numbers now.
We need to settle this like real men or you need to fade fast mate.

[band-promo signature snipped]

From: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:49:42 +0100
Subject: Re: Straightener


My position is clear; you have not provided adequate grounds for proposing this fist fight (see: “I’ve never met you, we’ve had no major disagreement that I’m aware of, you’ve not even managed to articulate what you have against me beyond these recent accusations of stalking that no reasonable person will stand by”) and despite many assurances from your corner that you and your partners don’t care about the consequences of your recent actions, you have yet to even acknowledge that Charlie Flowers is your real name.

Unless you plan on giving me a simple list of the real names of the people involved in the repeated broadcast of my personal details (something ‘Shooter’ insisted was not an issue) and/or admitting to the role played by Dominic Wightman in this matter, we have nothing further to discuss.

Tim Ireland

From: The Fighting Cocks UK
To: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:25 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

Fuck it, I’m coming round to your house in the week. Fight or no fight?

[band-promo signature snipped]

From: Tim Ireland
To: The Fighting Cocks UK
Cc:,,, Jonny Yeah (,,, Plan B Booking (, Matthew Edwards (
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:34 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener


If that’s threat to come to my home and start a fist fight regardless of what I agree to, then please have the courage to put your name to it. Otherwise, we’re done here.

Tim Ireland

From: The Fighting Cocks UK (
To: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

You’re getting an invite to a straightener. You approve or decline. I am very up for fighting you to settle this, and my crew are already taking bets. Now either man up or fade away boy. I take it you know how to box?

[band-promo signature snipped]

From: Tim Ireland
To: The Fighting Cocks UK
Cc:,,, Jonny Yeah (,,, Plan B Booking (, Matthew Edwards (
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:50 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener


You still haven’t told me what it is that you want to settle and why. You won’t even make this invitation (or any of the accompanying threats) under your own name. I don’t know who I will be fighting or why.

You appear to imply that I’m a coward in the hope that I’ll act like a fool. Sorry, no dice.

Who am I invited to fight and why?

Tim Ireland

From: The Fighting Cocks UK (
To: Tim Ireland
Date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:55 PM
Subject: Re: Straightener

I’m Matyi. If you have a problem with the Fighting Cocks, we fight to settle it. I will book the venue with Joe Pyle. You’re either up for it or not, if you contact me again I’ll consider it on, and we’ll book it. If not, we’re done here.

And Shooter can do what she wants.

From: Tim Ireland
To:,,, Jonny Yeah (,,, Plan B Booking (, Matthew Edwards (
Date: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:13 AM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Straightener


I won’t be knowingly contacting ‘Matyi’ (aka Charlie Flowers) again, as doing so may give him the false impression that he has some kind of agreement for a fist fight (with no purpose that he can articulate) when no such agreement exists, and this likely to set him on a path to disappointment (or an assault charge).

Unless told otherwise by anyone having/wanting no part of this, I will be assuming that everybody CCed on this conversation (i.e. everyone receiving this email) has played a willing part in the repeated publication of my personal details, as well as this evening’s attempt at intimidation.

I’ll allow 12 hours for any replies.

Tim Ireland

– | –

The ‘Cheerleaders’ have now published extracts of this correspondence on their Facebook page, accusing me of cowardice (because everybody settles ill-defined differences with fist-fights, don’tcha know).

Obviously, the police will be made aware of all of this, not that this is likely to help with the immediate situation.

Today, I am seriously discussing with my wife not the ifs/buts, but the whens/wheres of moving her and the kids to a safe/unknown location.

Judging by their track record and past trolling technique, I have little doubt that this will lead to jeers from the ‘Cheerleaders’, who will then go on to assure one and all that I’m hysterical and they’re harmless, but even if I’m going to take them at their word on that, I also have to take into account:

a) The many people these ‘Cheereladers’ have sent/broadcast my home address to

b) The lies these ‘Cheerleaders’ have been putting about publicly and privately (see below; like Mercer and Dale, the Cheerleaders choose to be a little more… creative in their accusations when out of the public eye)

c) The 50+ false claims that I am a convicted paedophile that Glen Jenvey (the author) is unable to remove and Google (the host) refuses to delete

We live in a country where paediatricians are the targets of mobs of illiterate tabloid readers, so I don’t think I’m wrong to be this worried…. and I think I have every right to call out the following Conservatives on their ongoing bullshit:

– Perhaps today Dominic Wightman would care to publish a statement about his relationship with Charlie Flowers and the ‘Cheerleaders’.

– Perhaps today Patrick Mercer would care to publish a statement about his relationship with Dominic Wightman.

– Perhaps today Iain Dale would like to clarify and justify what he told Mercer that might prompt him to describe me privately as an “electronic stalker” (and if he won’t make his case publicly, then perhaps he will finally recognise that the time is way past due for him to withdraw what he’s been putting about privately while claiming to ‘ignore’ me).

Or perhaps (and this is far more likely) all three of these Conservatives will continue to stand back and pretend that it’s none of their affair, tell their friends and colleagues that it’s all a lot of fuss over nothing, broadcast claims that I am paranoid and/or imagining things, whisper that I deserve this for being so mean to Tories in general, assure their fellow party members that they are behaving strictly within the laws/rules, etc. etc. etc.

[** 23 Feb 2010 – Workable email address removed following a request to my provider made on behalf of Matthew Edwards.]
[*** 16 Mar 2010 – Followed by a copycat complaint on behalf of everybody else.]
[**** 04 May 2010 – Then I decided to move to a provider that couldn’t be bullied quite as easily and later reinstated the data when they turned up mouthing off again. They’re going to publish my home address then moan about publication of email addresses (associated with a threat of violence, no less)? Fuck ’em.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 28, 2009

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement, The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

First of all, I should point out that Dominic Whiteman was the name used by Mercer’s (one assumes former) associate throughout their involvement with/via the organisation known as ‘Vigil’, but Dominic Wightman was the named used by bailiffs when they came calling (i.e. after Vigil failed to stay afloat on the illusion of numbers and mere promises of money).

Secondly, I should also make clear that, while I am not at all happy with the company he’s been keeping, Glen Jenvey (now Omar Hamza Jenvey) has ceased his attacks on me and any/all involvement in the shadowy world of amateur espionage. Further, he has also had the good grace to apologise. So while the question of Mercer’s level of involvement with Jenvey and his earlier deceptions remains open, any significant personal disagreement with Jenvey himself is firmly in the past.

Finally, before we get started, for the benefit of newcomers and regulars, I should also point out that these latest attacks on me happen primarily at the instigation of Dominic Wightman (who now also appears to have played a significant role in manipulating Jenvey into his ill-advised attacks). Most of the more actionable publications have been made using accounts in the name(s) of a group of people who call themselves the ‘Cheerleaders’ (who now claim to be terribly brave on the basis that some of their lesser members have been publishing my home address while using their ‘real names’), but this is simply another case of Dominic Wightman manipulating other people into doing his dirty work for him.

Wightman’s recent claims that he has only enjoyed light/tangential contact with these ‘Cheerleaders’ are lies, and I can prove it.

OK, there’s your basic sandwich… now, here’s the meat:

Patrick Mercer was recently forced into a humiliating climb-down after declaring that any suggestion that his office had worked with Jenvey was “a damaging lie”. Leaving aside that this ‘damaging lie’ came from his own earlier statement, Mercer was also proved wrong by evidence showing a working relationship between Jenvey and his office as late as March 2009. This resulted in “sources close to the MP” muttering something about it all depending on what your definition of ‘working’ is.

With tip of the hat to Richard Bartholomew for refreshing my memory, I now bring you further evidence that Patrick Mercer’s office also worked with Dominic Wightman (aka Dominic Whiteman):

Telegraph – Working on the internet from an anonymous city office, the shadowy figures exposing Islamic extremism
By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter
Published: 12:01AM GMT 19 Nov 2006

Vigil’s founders believe that the police, security and intelligence services are so overstretched that they need help. The organisation seeks to make Britain a safer place by disrupting and exposing terrorist activity. It is also working with media groups to highlight the threat from Muslim extremists… Only two of its staff are willing to be identified. One is Dominic Whiteman, its director and spokesman… The other Vigil operator willing to be identified is Glen Jenvey, 42, a freelance counter-intelligence investigator from Wiltshire…

Scotland Yard* confirmed it was “working closely with Vigil, particularly its director and spokesman who has made officers aware of chat-room material. This material will be considered and appropriate action taken.”

Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman for homeland security, has also worked with Vigil.

He said that he had been impressed by the group’s professionalism. “Anything of this nature that helps the security services has to be encouraged,” he said.

(*Scotland Yard, I will get to later…. if given the opportunity. They’ve been a bit shy about clarifying statements themselves.)

Glen Jenvey was behind this attack.

Dominic Wightman was behind a further attack, and is instrumental in these latest attacks (that include broadcasting of my home address to parties likely to be hostile to me, and repeated suggestions that I go back to the country I came from).

So that’s three attacks by two people who have worked in conjunction with Patrick Mercer’s office as part of that MP’s fight for publicity struggle against extremism/terrorism.

Patrick Mercer could have ended this matter within days way back in January 2009, simply by considering the evidence, (including Jenvey’s accusations that the PCC were in league with extremists) arriving at the obvious conclusion, and making a statement… but this would have undermined his credibility (and, subsequently, that of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism).

By not doing so, Mercer allowed The Sun to use his endorsement – with or without his knowledge – in their letter to the PCC, and kept the resulting dispute(s) going for weeks and then months; this delay in addressing the issue allowed Dominic Wightman to eventually catch wind of it and seek to exploit it (in order to exact revenge against his former ‘anti-terror’ associates, including Mercer).

Patrick Mercer was then privy to all sorts of information that would have caused him or any sensible person in his position to at least suspect the involvement of Dominic Wightman, particularly after the first and second attacks against me (when details not available to the general public were made available to his office and brought directly to his attention). Patrick Mercer chose not to involve himself or release/say anything beyond a single vague hint (that came weeks too late)… most probably because this too would have undermined his credibility (and, subsequently, that of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism).

By avoiding any involvement or statement about his past/present relationship with Dominic Wightman, Mercer preserved his reputation in most quarters as a credible man of sound judgement… while he and/or his office staff stood by and allowed me to be smeared as a convicted paedophile, then an alcoholic with long-standing mental problems, and now a stalker.

Further, Mercer appears to have played an active role in the third/latest smear by privately making the quite specific (and false) claim to people asking questions about this matter that I am an “electronic stalker” and therefore not to be trusted.

He does this while knowing that I am being harassed/attacked by people who seek to intimidate me into silence and/or chase me out of the country.

The less charitable among you might be inclined to suspect that he is secretly hoping they will succeed.

Those of you who still have faith in his party or this Parliament will trust that he will not be allowed to do so in the face of this level of harassment, especially when it is now fuelled in part by his own false accusations:

an extract of recent threats and harassment

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 25, 2009

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

Thank you to Hugh Muir from the Guardian for winkling out this reply from “sources close to the MP [Patrick Mercer]” (below).

The Guardian Hugh Muir: The word is out. Cut all links with the Great Fabricator. If only they’d done it earlier

Last week we raised the question of Patrick Mercer, who chairs the parliamentary counterterrorism subcommittee, and had endorsed Jenvey as a man “who needs to be listened to”. The MP strongly condemned Jenvey’s deception, which occurred in January. “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him,” he said. And that’s fine with us. But not with Mr Ireland’s site, Bloggerheads, for now it publishes an email sent by a Mercer aide to the People newspaper. “I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things, but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story,” it says. All quite collegiate then, but it comes down to the definition of “working” together, say sources close to the MP. Mercer himself had no further dealings with Jenvey, though his officials occasionally received information from him. Sometimes it checked out. Sometimes not. Two months after doubts were raised about Jenvey’s dodgy activities, the link between the fabricator and Mercer’s aides had yet to be broken. A shadowy world, this counterterrorism.

Now which sources would they be, I wonder… The same staff who worked with Jenvey? A fellow Conservative/MP? A wannabe spin doctor? Some blogger? As for the response itself, even though Mercer’s office was clearly working with Jenvey to further that MP’s agenda, apparently it all hinges on what your definition of what “working” means… and what that means is that (a) Patrick Mercer is running for cover, not hiding from stalkers, and (b) no-one associated with this sorry affair has the cheek or balls to come out and say; “At least Jenvey wasn’t on the payroll!”

We must also take into consideration that Mercer initially responded by calling himself a liar.

Here, take a look at those quotes from Patrick Mercer and “sources close to the MP” in the order in which they were published:

“Glen Jenvey is an extremely capable and knowledgeable analyst of fundamentalist matters and ought to be listened to. If he says that this is a risk worth looking at, then we must take it seriously. He and I have done quite a lot of work together, and he is a source of reference for me”

Patrick Mercer quoted in a letter from the Managing Editor of The Sun, to the Press Complaints Commission, 27 January 2009

“My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him. This was a damaging lie. I have had nothing more to do with Glen Jenvey.”

Patrick Mercer quoted in the Guardian after The Sun admitted that Glen Jenvey had faked the relevant story, 16 September 2009

“I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story”

An email from Patrick Mercer’s staff/office to The People newspaper dated 2 March 2009 (revealed here at Bloggerheads 23 September 2009)

…it comes down to the definition of “working” together, say sources close to the MP. Mercer himself had no further dealings with Jenvey, though his officials occasionally received information from him. Sometimes it checked out. Sometimes not.

From today’s follow-up by the Guardian‘s political diarist, Hugh Muir

This is unacceptable. In fact, when you look at the detail, it’s downright scandalous.

Patrick Mercer not only knows that his office (at the very least) fumbled the ball on the Sugar matter, he also knows that I have as a direct result of my attempts to bring this to light been the subject of three attacks by two of his former associates…. and he still hasn’t stepped in to take charge.

Worse than that; he’s hiding behind un-named sources!

He is doing this even though he knows that the attacks have now escalated to a stage where (oh, you’ll love this) my home address has been repeatedly published online by an unknown number of anonymous attackers, and deliberately broadcast to supporters of Alisher Usmanov, Paul Staines, Iain Dale and now Nadine Dorries.

Meanwhile, Mercer is telling people who are asking questions about this that I am an “electronic stalker”. Iain Dale (a contemporary of Mercer’s and also a very close friend of Nadine Dorries), is confirmed as the source of this claim. It is a claim he has deleted from his website, but not withdrawn. Dorries stubbornly refuses to delete her subsequent comments about my being mentally “unwell” if not “sick”. Mercer, after telling people that I’m an electronic stalker” is now speaking through “sources close to the MP” and isn’t even visibly breaking ties with the person/people attacking me.

So they’re telling their supporters/readers that I’m some mad stalker while knowing that some real bastards using genuine forms of harassment are on my case. Dale and Dorries do this while being fully aware that these same bastards are deliberately taking advantage of the hostile audiences their false claims generate!

You’d think they’d at least pull their fucking heads in, but no.

That’s a nasty bloody mob that Patrick Mercer is hiding behind, and he’s hiding from me (and you) in to avoid fair and long-overdue questions about his conduct, and the conduct of the people he works with and employs.

In fact, here a fresh round of questions for Patrick Mercer’s consideration (if he thinks any of them are in any way unfair, I’ll try to re-word appropriately):

1. Sometimes Jenvey information checked out, and sometimes it didn’t. Did you ‘check out’ the SUGAR IS TERROR REVENGE TARGET story of 7 January 2009 by looking at the evidence before The Sun published?

2. Did you ‘check out’ the SUGAR IS TERROR REVENGE TARGET story of 7 January 2009 by looking at the evidence published at (after The Sun had published)?

3. Regardless of the perceived reliability of that evidence, did you then and do you now hold the view expressed by The Sun to the PCC that “sending polite letters” is “obviously a euphemism” for something far more sinister if/when published on (on the basis that it is a “fanatics website”)?

4. At what stage (and on which date) did you first realise that Jenvey had indeed fabricated the evidence used by The Sun to allege the presence of extremism at, and the active targeting of named celebrities?

5. What was it that finally caused your office to part company with Jenvey? Was it the above discovery, you becoming personally aware of Glen Jenvey’s false claim that his accuser was a convicted paedophile, or something else?

6. Was there ever any stage after you regarded your professional relationship to be over that your office continued working with Glen Jenvey (i.e. in a manner akin to the recently-released email to The People newspaper), but without your knowledge?

7. What disciplinary action (if any) was taken against the staff members who (maybe) worked with Jenvey against your wishes, (perhaps) did not show you relevant ‘Sugar’ evidence or (definitely) did not alert you to Jenvey’s false accusations of paedophilia? What corrective measures (if any) were made to your procedures to avoid a similar compromising breakdown of communication?

8. You appear to be claiming that the quote used by The Sun in their letter to the PCC is now at least two years old. How old was it when The Sun used it (on 27 January 2009)?

9. Did The Sun check with you before using that quote in their letter to the PCC?

10. While they do conflict, you have released public statements about the severing of your relationship with Glen Jenvey. However, there is no statement on record about you severing links with another former associate and amateur ‘terror expert’ Dominic Wightman, and he appears to be suggesting that still support him. If you no longer have a professional/working relationship with Dominic Wightman, on what date did you sever links with him, and why was this decision taken?

If Patrick Mercer’s only answer to all of these questions is “Tim Ireland is an electronic stalker”, then I stand ready to publish every available record of electronic communication between myself, that MP and his office. This evidence would include 80% of phone calls, which I have recorded.

The catch is that this is an ‘all or nothing’ deal*. Mercer either agrees to opening the (available) entirety of my communication with his office to public scrutiny (minus any personal/sensitive data, obviously) or he withdraws his accusation of electronic stalking.

If he’s interested in having the evidence taken into consideration, that is; he may prefer instead to base his judgement and bank his reputation on the word of one man; Iain Dale (a man with a track record of quietly withdrawing claims he knows not to be true rather than immediately correcting them like any responsible publisher should).

Hey, what could possiblie go wrong?

Over to Patrick Mercer for action (or perhaps more hiding under a rock).

Meanwhile, your challenge, dear reader, is to reach out to your local MP and find out what they think about this. No mobs, just a few quiet, well-informed questions to a few MPs.

A “polite letter-writing campaign,” if you will.

It doesn’t matter which party your MP is from, but you probably needn’t bother telling CCHQ or any relevant/senior members of David Cameron’s cabinet about this; they were informed days ago that all this was going on, and they haven’t said or done a damn thing about it.

Finally, I’d like to ask any blogger who’s taken all of this into consideration to write a short article about whether or not the conduct of these Conservatives is entirely wise, fair or proper in light of current attacks against me. After all, unlike Nadine Dorries, I only have one home, and can’t really nip off to a back-up should this matter get out of hand.

[*Iain Dale’s welcome to a similar offer, but only if he agrees to discussing the evidence on neutral territory, where he cannot exploit various comment cheats as he has in the past.]

UPDATE (30 Sep) – Incredibly, Mercer is still trying to mislead the press about this. His latest statement contradicts his earlier claim never to have worked with Jenvey, and gives a false impression about when this working relationship ended:

“I haven’t spoken to Jenvey for over two-and-a-half years. There has been no working relationship between us for some time, and there won’t be one in the future.”

Patrick Mercer quoted in the Nottingham Evening Post, 30 September 2009

This is the behaviour of a lying, deceitful scoundrel, and I don’t use the words lightly.

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 23, 2009

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

By now you will have seen the news that The Sun have finally managed to swallow their pride and summon their courage enough to deliver a small apology to (with this ickle bit of apology on Page 12 of that tabloid, months after the enormous front page splash that warranted it). The PCC have also ruled on the Jenvey matter, but (disappointingly) make NO mention of the sloppy if not malicious accusatory tactics used by Graham Dudman of The Sun in order to discredit me instead of addressing the evidence (which he did not even appear to look at himself).

I plan to address that matter soon, but first, I would like to draw your attention to this statement by Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, published as part of this earlier report by the Guardian (emphasis mine):

But where does this leave the Conservative security guru Patrick Mercer MP, chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee on counter-terrorism? As 5 Live pointed out, he was foolish enough to use his gravitas to bolster Jenvey’s reputation. “An extremely capable and knowledgeable analyst who needs to be listened to,” he said of Jenvey two years ago. Mercer told us yesterday: “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him. This was a damaging lie. I have had nothing more to do with Glen Jenvey.” (source)

No, a damaging lie is telling people who are asking about this case and the two subsequent instances of harassment that I’m an “electronic stalker”; a claim reportedly made by Mercer that his office now refuses to discuss.

Patrick Mercer’s office also refuses to comment on that MP’s earlier admission that Iain Dale was the source/origin of this claim. They also refuse to reveal who exactly Mercer has been sharing this claim with.

To summarise (and paraphrase a certain less-than-upright blogger), I think it’s fair to say that Patrick Mercer has done a little more than spill my pint.

Still, it brings me no joy to reveal that Patrick Mercer is either an outright liar, or wholly incompetent when it comes to the management of his Parliamentary office.

The following email (that I’ve had in my possession for quite some time) reveals that – as late as March of this year – Patrick Mercer’s office clearly worked with Glen Jenvey (who, I should stress, is not the source of this revelation); the synergy between Jenvey, Mercer’s staff, his own Parliamentary Questions, and a tabloid newspaper is crystal clear.

That, and they were not only clearly working together, but they were doing so almost two months after the immediately-discredited Sugar story, and after I had produced evidence linking Jenvey to the ‘Richard Tims’ alias (that subsequently linked him to the ‘abu islam’ profile he later confessed to using in his attempts to fabricate evidence of extremism).

I was in touch with Mercer’s office the very day the email below was sent. In fact, I was in touch with the very same person (Edward Barker). Barker made reference to the possible necessity of “voice recognition experts” to verify the authenticity of a voice he quite likely recognised without need for professional assistance. Sure, he may have a point when you take his concerns in isolation, but these concerns seem a little misplaced if not misdirected to me, especially when, at the same time this was happening, Jenvey’s publicly-stated position was that the PCC were in league with extremists.

A lot more caution was warranted at this stage of the game, especially for a man working in the office of Patrick Mercer (former Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, and present Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism).

Huh. What am I saying? Caution?! Try distance, and a lot of it.

Mercer’s statement as published by the Guardian might suggest to the unwary that he and his office had parted company with Jenvey immediately after he had learned of the Sugar fabrications, but no formal/announced parting took place until after Jenvey smeared me as a paedophile approximately two weeks later (news the good people from Mercer’s office – and Iain Dale – saw fit not to pass on to that MP, by the way).

Heather Millican from Mercer’s office was today given the opportunity to deny the authenticity of this email. She said nothing. She did not reply to any of my emails about this, she did not answer her office phone, and when I attempted to call her on her mobile, she barked at me that I should not have called her on a ‘private’ number.

So here’s the email, minus one or two of the more private details. Remember; this comes to you as undisputed evidence, when I gave Mercer’s office ample opportunity to dispute it.

I have tidied the formatting so it’s easier to read, but any text/content changes/snips or relevant notes are in [square brackets].

From: BARKER, Edward
Sent: 02 March 2009 17:06
To: [Daniel Jones of The People newspaper (via Gmail)]
Subject: Abu Barra & Co

Dear Mr Jones,

I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story:

(a) Abu Barra audio;
(b) Rahman audio;
(c) Failure of Home Secretary, despite tough rhetoric, to close down any extremist websites.

On (a) and (b) do you have a budget to be able to send the audio files to a voice expert for comparison with video files so we have some basis for relying on them?

On (c), we received last week a Parliamentary Answer which said that no websites have been shut down by police using powers given to them under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006:

Written Parliamentary Question (WPQ)

Date of Answer: 24.02.2009

Column References: 488 c695-6W

Member Tabling Question: Mercer, Patrick

Topic: Terrorism: Internet

Question: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK-based websites have been closed down because they contained extremist material inciting terrorism in the last five years.

Answering Department: Home Office

Member Answering Question: Coaker, Vernon

Answer: The legislation that allows a request to be made that unlawfully terrorism related material is modified or removed from the internet is section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Section 3 allows for the service of a notice by a constable where he or she is of the opinion that unlawfully terrorism-related material is available on an electronic service such as a website, on the person(s) responsible for that material. The notice requires that the unlawfully terrorism-related material is removed or modified within two working days.However, the preferred route of the police is to use informal contact with the communication service providers to request that the material is removed. To date no Section 3 notices have been issued as this informal route has proved effective but statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not collected.

Question Number: 254791

Date Tabled: 03.02.2009

Date for Answer: 05.02.2009

Legislature: House of Commons (HoC)

Chamber/Committee: Commons Chamber

Status: Answered

Session: 08-09

What do you think?

Let me know how I can be of further assistance…



Edward Barker
Parliamentary Researcher to Patrick Mercer OBE MP
T: [snip]
M: [snip]

I’m not really in the mood for a witty one-liner to finish this off, so I will only say this:


Posted by Tim Ireland at September 17, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Morning, all.

I found out yesterday that Adam Macqueen of Private Eye is off on holiday until Tuesday, and I’ve no interest in conducting an ambush in his absence (i.e. while he’s not able to answer for himself) and so this morning, I’m going to abandon the schedule briefly, then slip out of my arse-kicking boots and into a comfy pair of bunny slippers so I can tell all about… the guy behind me.

No, not the rabid Tory with a knife. No, not the other rabid Tory with a knife, either. No, not even the faux-libertarian with a chainsaw.

What I want to talk to you about is the next guy in line.

It’s sometimes said about me (usually anonymously*) that I’m an arrogant bastard, with unreasonable expectations of a reply or action about this or that, but I’d like to try and clarify this point if that’s OK with you:

While I’m (quite rightly, I feel) concerned for myself a wee bit this week, for the most part, I do what I do and stick my head above the parapet because I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to the next guy that comes along with the same problem… and the next guy, and the girl behind him, and the poor sod behind them, and so on down the line.

Take, for example, the way Iain Dale cheats in comments on his blog; here, Paul Halsall countered a post of Iain’s with what may or may not have been a valid point, but was rewarded not with a reply from Iain (even one rejecting the point would do), but with largely personal attacks, many of which could have resulted from a single unregistered fanboy using multiple names. Some of that abuse was (eventually) deleted, but it shouldn’t have seen the light of day in the first place, especially when Dale was operating with full moderation in effect (as he was at the time). This ‘leading’ blogger has repeatedly claimed that he doesn’t allow anonymous abuse (presumably that means it’s OK if you do it using a name/nickname), but I know that’s not true; Iain Dale does allow anonymous abuse when it suits him. In fact, he often uses it to his advantage by having others do his dirty work for him, which they gleefully do, usually by shouting down or badmouthing naysayers (and here, I give Iain the benefit of the doubt in assuming that it is not he himself posting anonymous comments to his own weblog, which would be the saddest thing imaginable).

Derek Draper emailed a whole bunch of people in the political/web industry accusing me of arrogance because I dared to object when he was playing comment-censorship games very similar to those used by Iain Dale, Paul Staines, Donal Blaney, (I could go on, and usually do)… and we all know how he turned out, don’t we?

Further, a recipient of that email then sent a message out to the same private list, accusing me of arrogance because I dared to expect an answer from The Sun newspaper over my claims that Glen Jenvey had falsified the evidence of extremism that they had so readily sensationalised… and we all know how that turned out, don’t we?

(*Psst! By now you may have guessed the reason why the accusation of arrogance is so often delivered privately or anonymously; were it otherwise, the visible hypocrisy would be at a height likely to interfere with communication satellites.)

The post I originally had planned for today involved a writer for Private Eye unfairly taking credit for my scoop, countering my claims with a description of me as a ‘nutter’, and then claiming that my objecting to that in any way proved I was a nutter. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out, but I find myself wondering how often this kind of thing happens in and around that magazine and how often Ian Hislop deals with people (who don’t wave lawyers around) by simply ignoring them. FFS, he’s supposed to be one of the cuddlier ones, and his magazine one of the more credible titles in the country.

I also have some concerns about David Cameron and CCHQ in general; twice now (1, 2) I’ve been forced to take my case to them when someone visibly/closely associated with a Conservative MP has sought to ‘address the issues’ by anonymously accusing their opponent of being a paedophile, and twice now they’ve shown absolutely no interest in the matter. (I’m guessing this has something to do with their inability to make political gains on the back of it, as they did with the Draper/McBride affair.)

And don’t get me started about Google, who were months ago alerted to multiple instances of a web user using their system in contravention of their own Terms of Service and Content Policy to pose as a Daily mail reporter and make multiple false accusations of paedophilia; they repeatedly responded with stock answers saying (and I’m paraphrasing here) ; “under U.S. law, we don’t have to do anything, so we won’t”. Their Great Big Bloody Corporate Firewall makes it damn near to impossible to reach a human being and initiate a sensible conversation, and the facilities they have in place to report your more standard(!) attack of this kind are far from adequate and woefully under-staffed; surely that’s something that should cause us all concern, and even if you disagree on this and every other example I’ve raised, I say this to you:

You may say that it’s not my/your problem, but I beg to differ; it’s my problem, and your problem, and everyone’s problem when a community cannot police itself, and those in a prominent position in any community choose to abuse their power (or use it so selfishly as to guarantee ongoing harm to others).

You may not want to take action when this kind of thing happens, but as long as I’m in a position to do something about it, I will.

If I’m in a unique position to do something about it, and you’re the one in the wrong, then look out.

Tut… looking down, I find that I’m suddenly wearing my arse-kicking boots again. How did that happen?

No matter. If you’ll pardon my ‘arrogance’; I’m off out to see someone about what’s right, wrong and downright reasonable.

Cheers all.

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 16, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

All I need Iain Dale to do this morning, even if he is not going to post any form of correction or apology, is acknowledge receipt of a single email.

He played this game the weekend he was busy smearing Tom Watson, and then went on to misrepresent repeated requests for a simple acknowledgement of receipt as a needless “barrage of emails”.

In a similar vein, this morning I find that he has deleted a false accusation of his that I have been complaining about for months… without informing me of that deletion*.

(*He hasn’t posted any kind of correction/retraction to match this action, but that’s for a later post.)

I require acknowledgement of receipt for a number of reasons, but the main one is that Iain Dale has previously explained away some of his past stunts by claiming to have missed, ignored, deleted or otherwise misplaced certain vital information (like my request to be left out of his biased blog poll, and my initial request that he call Patrick Mercer).

I try to call him and (just about) manage to ask him if he has received my email… and he hangs up on me without answering the question or even letting me finish it!

Any further attempt to get a simple acknowledgement of receipt will, I fear, lead to a further instance of him misrepresenting the situation to his readers and a further false accusation of stalking/harassment.

So… I’m all ears if you have ideas.

I’m not comfortable publishing what I have on Iain without making sure that he is clear about the full implications and what his options are, and all he has to do is confirm that he has both received and read** my email sent Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 8:45 with the subject header ‘a deletion does not equal a retraction’.

(**It pays to be clear with Iain, who is a slippery bugger.)

UPDATE (3:30pm) – Iain’s a lucky boy. I’ve been informed that Adam Macqueen is away until next Tuesday, so there’s no point chasing Iain today if I can’t address Macqueen tomorrow. For now, instead, you can all watch him sit back and refuse (yet again) to acknowledge receipt of a single email (while berating John Prescott for not engaging like a grown-up).

PS – Some of you may have noticed Dominic Wightman smearing me as a jealous, malicious, partisan, far-left/anti-Tory liar and stalker with mental problems. This attack so closely resembles*** those both initiated and hosted by Iain Dale that I’m sure even that ‘leading’ Conservative blogger can’t help but feel a little embarrassed by it all. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why he’s maintaining his silence; he’s too ashamed to come out and help me fight what his fertiliser feeds.

(***At one stage, Wightman even quotes attacks originally published by by Phil Hendren of ‘Dizzy Thinks’ verbatim. I proved a long time ago that what ‘Dizzy’ authored/published about my maliciously/anonymously editing people’s Wikipedia accounts was untrue. I even found the guy who was doing it (and I’m sure you’ll never guess how he responded to being caught). IIRC, Hendren saw the evidence and reluctantly admitted that he was wrong. But did he alter or remove the original allegation(s)? No. Result: someone with a grudge comes along and repeats it. Ditto for the ‘obsessive stalker’ crap that Iain publishes when he paints himself into a corner, and for Macqueen’s “nutter on a bus” bullshit. And they wonder why I complain about what goes on in the comments of their websites, like it never goes any further.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 15, 2009

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

Patrick Mercer is the Conservative MP for Newark. He is the former Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, and present Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism.

It is my contention that Patrick Mercer has now brought his party, his committee and Parliament itself into disrepute, and it is with no small amount of reluctance and regret that I declare this to be so and set out my case.

I have heard from trusted sources that Patrick Mercer is a valuable contributor to the fight against extremism; his most-praised quality being his willingness to speak with all sides.

However, I have good reason to doubt his judgement if not his sincerity, not least because I have now been royally smeared by two of his former associates, and he and his office still won’t give me the time of day.

These are the five issues that I will be dealing with in this post, phrased as charges that I level against that MP. I accuse Patrick Mercer of the following:

1. Outright refusal to use appropriate/modern facilities in any of his public role(s)

2. Poor management of staff

3. Failure to act on the evidence regarding Glen Jenvey’s forgeries

4. Failure to act on the suspected involvement of Dominic Wightman, and the smears that followed

5. Failure to comply with FOI and DPA legislation and procedures

– | –

1. Outright refusal to use appropriate/modern facilities in any of his public role(s)

You may read this charge and consider this needless garnish (i.e. the type of petty point-scoring normally bandied about by some of the shoutier tabloid bloggers), but the fact is that Patrick Mercer’s refusal to use even a simple desk-top computer is greatly hampering his work, and was a major (though not sole) contributor to the events outlined in this post.

From my perspective alone, if he were more willing/able to personally receive email or read web pages, he would have been in a far better position to manage much of what is described below.

2. Poor management of staff

Instead of using this modern yet common technology, Patrick Mercer relies on staff to handle his emails, and has only second-hand access to the web. Leaving aside the appeal that must surely go out that someone ‘think of the trees’, on at least one ocassion, this has led to a situation where the staff he is overly-dependent on have let him so down badly as to associate him with the kind of smear that would make McBride and Draper blush (see below).

There is no sign or record of any punishment or process undertaken to address or correct this situation since things went so horribly wrong earlier this year. Indeed, the two staff members involved, Heather Millican and Edward Barker, are still employed by his office, and still conducting themselves in exactly the same way that did so much to bring about the first disaster:

3. Failure to act on the evidence regarding Glen Jenvey’s forgeries

The Sun newspaper has today quietly published this statement that neatly declares their innocence and spreads the blame (something I look forward to addressing in an upcoming post). In it, they include this quote from Patrick Mercer

(Jenvey) had been described as “an extremely capable and knowledgeable analyst” by Tory MP Patrick Mercer… (source)

This is an extract from a shining endorsement that was also used in a January 2009 letter to the PCC that I hope to bring you in full later this week. Mercer’s role in reinforcing the reputation of Glen Jenvey (in the same letter that The Sun were using to try to destroy mine) is crystal-clear:

Sun letter to PCC: Mercer quote

I had good cause to contact that MP’s office about what I knew and could prove about Jenvey’s fabrications, and did so. Repeatedly. To NO good effect.

If emails were not ignored, other forms of stalling and stonewalling were used. For example:

After Jenvey had denied ever using the alias ‘Richard Tims’ (in the same letter quoted above), I produced the audio of him happily admitting to using that same alias on a regular basis; Mercer’s office responded by insisting that I deliver the files in MP3 format (when they were readily accessible from the web, in downloadable form) and then suggesting that “voice recognition experts ” would be required to verify authenticity (involving a voice that would have been immediately recognisable to them or anyone else who had conducted a phone conversation with the quietly-spoken Jenvey).

There was from January 2009 onwards at least enough evidence* for any sensible person to start exercising caution in their dealings with Mr Jenvey, but I have data to hand that not only proves that his office was still colluding with him on similar stories, but also actively peddling such stories to tabloid newspapers, and sweetening the pot with promises of a quote from Patrick Mercer, as late as March 2009!

(*Further, at this stage, Jenvey’s main response to this evidence was a claim that myself, the Guardian newspaper and the PCC were in league with extremists. One might forgive the hapless Nadine Dorries for buying that line, but not the Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism.)

If Mercer wishes to switch that around and claim that he had doubts about the audio because he suspected Dominic Wightman’s involvement (I can only guess that Jenvey told him of his own suspicions), again we return to the issue of his refusal to use email and/or his office’s refusal to communicate in any meaningful way.

Time and again, his office refused to issue any comment or take any action, even (get this) after they were presented with evidence of Glen Jenvey’s attempts to smear me as a convicted paedophile.

The only time they cooperated was when it was far too late, and Jenvey was already a day into his weeks-long campaign to smear me as a convicted paedophile. At that stage, Mercer himself (finally) issued a statement by phone, but the lengths I had to go to in order to contact Mercer directly led to a costly blow-up with Iain Dale (that continues to this day):

“I disassociate myself from anything that Glen Jenvey may have claimed about Mr Tim Ireland and will be looking carefully into my other dealings with Mr Jenvey.” – Patrick Mercer (source)

4. Failure to act on the suspected involvement of Dominic Wightman, and the smears that followed

Since the aforementioned blow-up with Iain Dale, that ‘leading’ blogger has seen fit to contact Patrick Mercer MP and accuse me of harassment. Every subsequent conversation with that MP has been stilted at best, but it was during one of these rare and generally frustrating conversations that Patrick Mercer made his only attempt to warn me off Dominic Wightman (a man he regarded to be an inherently dishonest schemer), far too late for that vague reference to be of any use.

(In August 2009, during a conversation about Jenvey and my information request, he said that he had not been in contact with Jenvey for months, and then added that he had also not been in touch with Dominic Wightman since that man “went off the rails”. This was the only time Wightman’s name was mentioned by Mercer or anyone from his office. By that stage, Wightman had already smeared me anonymously, and paralysed the investigation and my website with a forged interview that sought to damage a long list of people, including Mercer.)

Mercer’s office was also made aware of the forged interview as soon as it emerged (19 May 2009). The response was muted, at best. Despite my asking, Mercer himself offered no thoughts or clues as to who might be behind it (other than the disconnected hint 3 months later).

Last week, Mercer’s office was informed of Dominic Wightman’s involvement in that smear, and that he had confessed to publishing it twice. I also took the precaution of calling Mercer himself. Both times, I requested that Mercer release “a statement regarding his past and present relationship with Dominic Wightman.”

I contacted his office again yesterday to repeat my request; they offered me smiles and sunshine… but at the time of writing, I am still waiting for that statement

The public record accessible to most people shows Dominic Wightman and Patrick Mercer as allies:

Dominic Wightman and Patrick Mercer

Patrick Mercer (right) with Dominic Whiteman of the Vigil group, Oct 2006 (source)

Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman for homeland security, has also worked with Vigil. He said that he had been impressed by the group’s professionalism. “Anything of this nature that helps the security services has to be encouraged,” he said. – Nov 2006 (source)

Further, it is clear from his latest and far more savage smears that Wightman seeks to undermine any suggestion that Mercer no longer supports him:

I can predict the gist of Ireland’s attack already – “Wightman broke my confidence, Wightman has run failed businesses (no mention of the successful ones), Wightman has multiple email addresses (he is already on about one called richardwalkerinstitute which I’ve used for eight years as an ancillary account), Wightman is mad, despite his expensive education Wightman is less intelligent than me and even Mercer says Wightman’s off the rails (Ireland loves quoting from conversations which rarely if ever existed), look at this document which shows Wightman going into an insolvency arrangement yet he lives like a King and is married to a beauty queen, Wightman hates the far left because he was once smacked by a Bolshevik nanny, Wightman has real-world business enemies (no mention that this is because he’s had the balls to give life a go rather than hiding behind a keyboard) etc etc. Snore, snore. Bore, bore. Far left cheers, centre right sneers. And what then?

Extract from Dominic Wightman’s extraordinary attack piece of 13 September 2009

It should be clear to anyone how much help Mercer could (and should) be with a simple statement establishing the truth of the matter. But no.

To paraphrase Michael Caine’s character Governor Baxter Thwaites in the 1985 film Water, it would seem to me that in the eyes of Patrick Mercer, I’m about as significant as the dot above the ‘i’ in the word ‘shit’.

5. Failure to comply with FOI and DPA legislation and procedures

On 05 May, 2009 I submitted a combined FOI and DPA request to the office of Patrick Mercer (extract follows):

All emails and documents sent, received, created or held on the computer(s) used by Edward Barker and Heather Millican that mention my name (Tim Ireland) or my site (‘Bloggerheads’,’ and/or ‘’). I am primarily asking for emails, but there may also be documents such as RTF and DOC files. I would like copies of all relevant data from 1 Jan 2009 to the present, but special attention should be paid to the periods from 13-16 January, 2-5 March, 15-20 March and 2-5 April

I am well aware that MPs have voted themselves exempt from FOI requests, but I was only asking for information relating to me personally, and given reason to believe that they would cooperate, especially in light of what had gone before.

However, On 11 May, 2009 Edward Barker (Parliamentary Researcher to Patrick Mercer) wrote to inform me that they were “not obliged to respond” to my FOI request, and made no response when I pointed out that he had completely ignored my right to access data under the DPA (when Advice for Members’ Offices is very clear about the matter).

I later called Patrick Mercer directly about my combined request and he assured me that his office would cooperate fully on both fronts (i.e. FOI and DPA) but his office then ignored my email correspondence (on May 14, June 3, and June 10).

I would have expected at least one update email advising me of their ultimate decision on FOI and what might be addressed from a DPA standpoint, but I heard nothing. Over 40 days had passed and still I heard nothing.

I then called Patrick Mercer direct, and he advised me that his position had changed and his office would not be delivering ANY data. Apart from a vague reference to a stalker problem (to explain why he had changed his general position), the only reason Mercer gave for refusing the request was that the data had been… deleted!

Even when I subsequently informed him that the data was still legally ‘held’ by his office, he made it clear that this made little difference to him because, as far as he was concerned, the data was gone and he could not access it, even if he wanted to.

I do not know at this stage when the data was deleted, but I was not informed of any deletions initially in the email of 11 May. There was no final written response to my request (in fact, nothing since the single email of 11 May) and subsequent emails to his office were ignored.

Complaints are now in the hands of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Speaker’s Office.

I say again; it is my contention that Patrick Mercer has now brought his party, his committee and Parliament itself into disrepute, and I would hope that I have now made my case.

Further, I would like to say that it reflects poorly on all parties involved in the farrago (including Iain Dale, who I will be writing about tomorrow) when the priority appears to be how things might impact politically, instead of what is right, or just, or fair.

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