Archive for the ‘The Political Weblog Movement’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 17, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Tom’s back. Comment spammers brought the site down *again*… and at a crucial time! We even renamed the comment file, but some enterprising chap saw fit to correct those details and sell his list afresh, resulting in Yet Another Automated Comment Onslaught and Yet Another Server Crash.

Tom is now on a new server. We have some serious elbow room and hope to drive the spammers away or wear them down until they (finally) give up these pointless attacks. If not, then we may have to fall back on registration. Or professional contracts.

PS – We’re at zero-hour + 1 day. I wish Tom all the best.

You may want to send hugs too. Because you’re a girl. A big, soft, girly girl.

(Not that I’m saying it’s going to *be* a girl…)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 12, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

1. Tharrr she blows! This is the best debut post I’ve ever seen on a proxy blog. A bloody good start.

2. Yes, I expect you to think about doing one yourself.

3. This door is now open. Any MPs or councillors who started a weblog during the campaign and plan to keep it up following their election should check in now. My advice is free.

4. I reserve the right to go easy on Tim Yeo. Providing he apologises.

5. For Anne Milton; no mercy.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 26, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Times Election Log – Times Online unmasks the Alastair Campbell blogger!: There’s been an awful lot of speculation in recent weeks about who’s been writing the Alastair Campbell blog – has to be a parody, but is it an insider? So I did some digging and it turns out it’s not. It’s 30-year-old Anna Corp, who works in the marketing department of an online bookmakers in Central London. She’s not an insider, not a journalist, and has never even voted. She’s written a lovely piece for us today all about the scam, and how to carry off online identity theft.

Anna Corp – That bl**dy Campbell blogger is a woman!: I first came across “proxy blogging” on Tim Ireland’s Bloggerheads site, which encourages people to set up websites on behalf of their MPs. My own local member in Bethnal Green and Bow, Oona King, was tempting – but I thought I could have more fun closer to the seat of power.

1) This is the first I’ve heard of it. Honest.
2) But now the cat’s out of the bag, I can reveal this little email from a few months back. I’ll get in touch with the recipient later today to see if he’s OK being outed for something he didn’t end up doing… (UPDATE: He’s OK, folks!)

—– Original Message —–
From: Tim Ireland
To: Scaryduck
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 1:33 PM
Subject: you’re the man to do this, I’m sure

New blog suggestion; the secret diary of Alastair Mole at somewhere like

“Got another letter from the cunting cunts at the BBC today.”

“24 months later and still no WMDs. Just my luck.”

and so on and so forth – you could include a few draft letters to Forum from
this aspiring writer, too.


Of course, what Anna did was far, far more realistic and subversive. Well done, her.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 25, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement – The gauntlet is thrown

Nick Barlow – Shorter Mark Lawson

Happily, I made my own views known ages ago, so can simply link to this and get on with my day:

Bloggerheads – Established Media: the Necessity of Arrogance and Ignorance

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 22, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

If you’re interested, I’ll be on Radio 4 – Talking Politics sometime shortly after 11am on Saturday, discussing everything from Backing Blair to protective layers of tissue-paper for adult magazines.

UPDATE – This item has been held over until next weekend. First Newsnight, now this. It’s a good thing I’m too simple to develop a complex.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 17, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

I tuned into Radio 4 this morning to hear a short piece during Broadcasting House on the subject of protest voting and weblogs. The ‘expert’ they wheeled out to speak about this was Professor Stephen Coleman, often touted as a ‘Professor of E-democracy’.

He insisted – and not for the first time – that weblogs require a lot of work, and therefore would not be of interest/benefit to most MPs.

This opinion comes from a man who does not own, manage or run a weblog himself.

“Perhaps,” I hear you say, “as an academic, he arrived at this judgement via the careful and objective *study* of weblogs.”

Well, I now have one big problem with that theory. And it’s this…

When questioned about protest voting sites (of which there are about 6 running in this election) he clearly referenced two or three of these sites and one “wanting to keep/retain Blair”…

There is only one site that he could possibly be referring to, and that’s – or, as Stephen would regard it –; because it would appear that he’s made this judgement based on the domain name alone.

(author emails Stephen Coleman via coleman AT netcomuk DOT co DOT uk to see what he has to say for himself)

FFS… Did he not even ask himself why protest votes would be necessary to support the leader of the leading party?

UPDATE – Well, what do you know? The email bounced. The man doesn’t even have a decent level of accessibility.

RELATED – Independent – Pulling voters into the web of Westminster: Communication is key in politics, but how well do MPs perform on the internet? Kathryn Corrick casts her vote. (Cheers to Peter for the heads-up.)

UPDATE – Stephen Coleman appears to have actually made a blog entry after all. It’s one of ten posts, by the looks of things. Boy, no wonder he thinks this blogging lark is such hard work.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 12, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Let’s start off with some press reaction to Peter Hain’s poo-pooing of protest-voters

Telegraph – Duo unite against dinner party critics: The debate has spilled on to the internet, where Left-wing weblogs, or blogs, have taken up the ”dump Blair, get Brown” theme. One is an ironically titled site called, which informs “disenfranchised Labour voters” how to punish the Prime Minister by voting tactically… Another website, called, says: ”We can hold New Labour to account for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Especially in marginal constituencies, we have the power as voters to make this a Peace Election the politicians won’t forget.” These ”blogs” are the modern equivalent of the pamphleteers, who were extremely influential in 17th- and 18th-century England. The internet has turned the angry musings of a few like-minded souls into a nationwide, electronic dinner party that the most adept party spinner is powerless to control.

That pamphleteering comment had me digging back into my bloggage on that subject on the 19th and 25th of June 2003 and this bit served as a nice reminder: I’ve tried to drive a few things forward on Bloggerheads, and it’s only the core audience that actually does anything. If what I try to do is too damn commercial or somewhat misguided, then I’m usually questioned or corrected (gently) on these matters. If I try to do something Right, suddenly I find myself with new core members. Funny, that. I’ve got to tell you, this is the best moral compass I have ever come across. Being in the marketing game (maybe one evolutionary step up or down from the political game) I’m often prone to corruption. Now I simply can’t afford to take that risk – but I’m enjoying greater benefits than I ever have before. And. I. Fucking. Love it!

I was umming and ahhing on a post about the current job hunt until I read that. You should expect a very long post on this subject within the next few days.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 6, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement


UPDATE – Inspired by the comment by goatchurch, I went to the Labour website and searched for ‘WMD’…

The result?

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 29, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Simon Stacpoole, aka Boriswatch, at Westminster
Boris, Blogs and a Chinese…

There’s a blink-and-you-miss-it reference in that first link to me moving on to pastures new. (See!? It’s all about me!)

Yes, ’tis true. I have a pretty solid client base when it comes to SEO, but I’d like to (and, in fact need to) do more in the way of communication and online marketing.

I’m not quite sure where I’m moving on to, but I will be moving on shortly.

At this early stage, suggestions are welcome. I could go freelance (again), but I really prefer the mindset and comfort that comes with a J.O.B.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 28, 2005

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Times – Tories plan to beat ‘bias’ by bringing in bloggers: The Conservative Right is to turn to new American campaigning techniques and the internet to try to revive the party and overcome what it sees as opposition from the metropolitan Establishment. Only weeks away from the general election, senior Conservatives will open a new front today in the battle for ideas by creating a website advocating “social conservatism”. It will invite people to bypass the media and put forward their own views on how the party should evolve. The faction behind it denies that it is “rocking the boat” in the pre-election period and says that in the early weeks the website will be used to campaign for a Conservative victory. It wants people to use the increasingly popular practice of “blogging” – writing online diaries – to break the power of the broadcast media.

1. Notice the ‘liberal bias’ myth that’s woven into this project.

2. Note the level of original thinking, boys and girls! It work in States; we do exact same thing here. Exact same thing!

3. Not a good time to launch, Tory chaps. But please do excuse me for questioning your collective genius.

4. Tim Montgomerie? Is this he?

5. If it’s all about bloggage, then why is the site here and the weblog aaallll the way over here?

It seems to me that the plan is to use wingnuts in the US to plough the field and seed a fresh crop of wingnuts here in the UK. So we can all begin shouting at each other.

Take a look at this rather direct appeal to the Christian right, this charming ‘Leftisms’ post and this (from the article linked above): The second phase will follow immediately. At that point, it will begin to urge Tory supporters and natural conservatives, particularly within the faith communities and environmental movement, to support ‘one nation’ conservatism.

(One Nation? Oh dear.)

Where in this high-minded and well-thought-out project is the plan to get actual MPs communicating via actual weblogs?

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