Click here to watch Blair's farewell video

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shocking left-wing bias of BBC revealed!

Manic thinks heads should roll over this.

Manic is speechless. End communication.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

He got blumming good grades considering he did sod-all work 'cause he's so hard...

Paul de Laire Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) has again fallen prey to a desperate smack-down involving the shadowy hand of the establishment, as yet another decades-old document has been dragged out of the archives (no doubt by paid researchers of The Smith Institute) as part of an ongoing effort to discredit the notorious freedom-fighter and blogging hero.

This freshly-leaked article, which you can read in full here, claims that Staines failed a number of exams and then staged a self-serving sit-in on campus to highlight his shameful waste of taxpayer's money protest his subsequent dismissal.

That Staines is still a victim of the establishment today goes a long way to proving his theory that this dismissal was indeed part of a political conspiracy.

But don't take Manic's word for it... as always, he has proof to offer his readers!

Below is a printed retraction personal letter of apology that proves not only that the bulk of the article is based on political bias and fabrication, but also that the personal vendetta conducted against 'Guido' by PM-in-waiting Gordon Brown has far deeper roots than even his most faithful readers might suspect.

Click the article to view a full-sized version in a new window:

That amazing letter in full
Manic has spoken. End communication.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nick Boles and Iain Dale part company with Policy Exchange

A few weeks ago, via 18 Doughty Street, Iain Dale published an investigative report into one charity - The Smith Institute - without declaring his interest in another (some might say 'rival') charity... Policy Exchange.

Shortly after, 18 Doughty Street went live with an attack ad on Ken Livingston. Paranoid leftists were assured that this type of programming at 18 Doughty Street was under the direct control of Tim Montgomerie, and not Iain Dale. Therefore, it was a 'non-issue' that one of the potential candidates for London Mayor just happened to be a friend of Iain Dale and also director of... Policy Exchange.

While Iain was busy dodging relevant questions by hiding behind his resident gang of anonymous trolls and bullies, it came to Manic's attention that Nick Boles was quite serious about running for Mayor of London... so much so that he was foolish enough to register his soon-to-be-campaign website using the administrative facilities of... Policy Exchange.

This alone was a very naughty and stupid thing to do... but Manic also heard whispers of Nicholas Boles using Policy Exchange as an administrative base for his potential candidacy in other ways... and so decided to rattle Nick's cage in earnest.

Now we learn that two people are voluntarily parting ways with Policy Exchange... and those two people just happen to be Nick Boles and Iain Dale.

Iain 'Liar' Dale - Nicholas Boles Steps Down from Policy Exchange

Bloggerheads - Nick Boles steps down! (Nothin' to do with me, Guv'nor...)

The UK Today - Rattled?

Ministry of Truth - Look into my eyes….

Iain Dale is right now busy telling the world that it is a complete coincidence that he and Nick Boles chose now to walk the plank jump ship, and he's urging his readers not to fall prey to conspiracy theories.

Late yesterday, word of this development leaked into the Guido Fawkes blog via comments, and Team Guido (a bunch of anonymous bullies of indeterminate number) immediately started blaming Manic for every anonymous comment that mentioned the affair... because Manic is obviously part of a massive NuLab/Brownite conspiracy.

Paul de Laire Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) made a further contribution by publishing many anonymous smears about Manic. (Apparently Manic is in need of medication... to stop him from succumbing to conspiracy theories.)

Manic is very happy about all of this; he not only gets to enjoy a clear result, he can now sit back and watch as two of the biggest blog-cheats in the country use the same old tricks in a desperate attempt to downplay the significance of this development... and it's just this kind of two-faced spin-happy bully-boy bullshit that Manic wants to reveal to other bloggers.

In fact, Manic feels that this calls for a 21 Nelson Salute.

Cover your ears, children!

Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!
Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!
Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!
Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!
Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!
Ha ha!

Manic has drawn blood. End communication.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Considering Paul's recent own-goals...

... Manic finds this quite fitting:

Guano Forks' blog of goals, corners and professional fouls

(Link via this notorious fence-sitter.)

Manic has plugged. End communication.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

A busy week and a hefty legal bill for 'Guido'

Telegraph: Political blogger warned he could be jailed: The Charity Commission has warned an online blogger he could go to jail unless he submits information he has gathered about the activities of the Smith Institute, the left-wing think tank under investigation for links to the Labour Party. The formal direction was issued to Paul Staines, who runs the Guido Fawkes political website, ordering him to release documents relating to the institute by Friday.

Manic will now recline, relax and enjoy the fun as Paul's faithful acolytes 'hit back' with the notion that Gordon Brown may be in trouble, too.

Manic could not give a tuppeny toss what happens to Gordon Brown!

He would, however, like to remind readers of the role that Iain Dale and Fox News Lite played in this affair.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

(PS - Manic is a big fan of spin... and advises you to chew before you swallow. Heh.)

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Free advice from Manic

To the individual who just tried to post the 1986 Guardian article about Paul Staines under comments at 12:01pm today:

1. Please click here to find out where things stand at the moment.

2. Please also be aware that Manic has logged your IP address for future reference and notices that you gain access to the web via a relatively small ISP that should have little problem identifying you, should things come to that.

3. You should be very grateful that moderation is on. Actually, perhaps Manic can give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you knew he would not publish your comment, and you only wanted to forward it to me in an anonymous fashion. If so; thanks, I've seen it. I even have a scan of it from the British Newspaper Library. If not...

4. If you are going to be foolish enough to try something like this (and Manic really would advise you against it), at least have the courtesy to do it on your own damn website.

Manic has spoken. End communication.


Monday, February 12, 2007

It was only a matter of time...

External item #1:
This week will see some features and presentational changes to the blog, including an "about" section. - Paul de Laire Staines
Manic thinks it about fucking time.

External item #2:
See that the lefty thought police were out in force this weekend. When will they realise that you can't be vindictive and humorous at the same time? Had a look at the guido 2.0 site and thought this little gem sums up why the site is such a bore. "Guido Fawkes 2.0 is a non-governmental organisation devoted to raising blogging standards and reducing moral poverty in the developing blogosphere." In other words, Labour is crap at this blogging lark and want to spoil the party for everyone else! - a comment by 'chatterbox' on Staines' website
Manic has been waiting patiently for this:

Paul de Laire Staines (aka 'Guido Fawkes') used to run a 'long and boring' website at (which also enjoyed some time at

Take a look at the description of the website and Global Growth's mission:

Ha-ha!PS - Dizzy also fell for this gag, but was lucky enough to have done so privately via email.

Manic has spoken. End communication.


Beg for blogroll-love here

It's just another Manic Monday... and he does wish it were Sunday.

Arrrr... that were my fun day... my watching 'Guido' spin day.

Manic will - by popular request no less - be away this morning.

He wishes you to fill this time with link-begging, and you can see some excellent examples of this here.

Skill can also earn you linkage, so... you can achieve a link on Teh Guido 2.0 blog by:

1. Begging in comments below (this offer does NOT apply to Iain Dale, who has already begged his alleged heart out).

2. Submitting a *funny* entry to last week's Caption Competition (this offer does NOT apply to Iain Dale, who is totally unfunny... until he gets paranoid).

3. Making a brand new 'Iain Dale is a liar' button to replace this one or this one.

Manic has spoken. End communication.



Here is a post without comments.

Manic invites you to bang your heads against it.

Manic has spoken. End communication. Like... totally, dude.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

He was young... he needed the muscle...


Manic has removed this post, but hopes to return to the subject in 25 hours.

Please read this.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Guido Fawkes' *full* name

Ooooh, lookie here:

Paul Delaire-Staines

UPDATE - This name has also appeared in print as Paul Delarie-Staines.

Fire up LexisNexis if you've got it, folks... a special treat awaits you.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE (15 Feb, 12:05pm): As blogged by Yog Brother this morning (and confirmed directly with LexisNexis just minutes ago), the most interesting article has been removed from that archive following a request from the fearless information warrior Paul Staines.

Manic has spoken again. End communication... for now.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Seek help, 'Guido Fawkes'

Manic would love to tell you all about Iain Dale's new regime of comment censorship, but it will have to wait for now.

Today, we have to help a man with a very special kind of drinking problem:
"Charlie Kennedy ostentatiously drunk a Coca Cola, mind you he did leave early, (keeps the Tennents Extra at home obviously)." - Paul 'Guido' Staines
This cheap shot (insert chat-show joke here) was delivered by the same man who claims that, on the same night, he drank his way into the back of a police van. And then woke up in an incapacitated state, sweating vodka and nursing aching kidneys.

Paul Staines' problem appears to be that he is unable to admit that he has a problem... while mocking those who have a little thing known as courage (insert ale-based joke here).

Wait... strike that....

Apparently it's being a willing addict makes you a fucking hero. Well done, 'Guido'!

Manic hash schpoken. End conumi... commun*hic*... kayshun.


Friday Caption Contest: Manic edition

Your Fuhrer

The difference between Manic and the Dales and Staines of this world?

Manic can afford to say; "Bring it on!"

NOTE - has been shaky on the rebuilds lately, so caption submissions may take a while to go live. Have fun.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

Liar II

Iain Dale: no heart, no brains, no courage

The celebrate this new 'long and boring' post, Manic is releasing a new-edition 'Iain Dale is a Liar' button. To include it on your website, just copy and paste the code below into your sidebar.

Iain Dale is a liar!

Manic has spoken. End communication.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Welcome to Manic's blogroll

Manic would prefer it if you begged, but sometimes you can earn instant linkage purely by pointing out the bleeding obvious:

BBF - Two Brain Teasers to Start the Day

Manic has spoken. End communication.


Kool-Aid Drinker of the Day

Telegraph - Channel 4 award for Brian Haw
Indymedia - Brian Haw wins Channel 4 political awards

"Guido did you have anthing [sic] to do with Ch4 and Brian Haw[?]" - Anonymous comment on the 'Guy Fawkes' website

Erm... no, he didn't. He ballsed-up an attempt to cash in on Brian Haw's popularity at the last minute and bash a Lib-Dem at the same time.

UPDATE - And he's still at it, folks!

Manic can just picture Staines and Haw enjoying a jolly pint or three as they discuss all the things they have in common...

Perhaps this explains why Iain Dale hasn't responded to being outed as a liar these past 18+ hours; Daddy was out on the razzle last night and he's too hung over to think straight this morning.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Iain Dale is a liar!

Look kids... proof!

UPDATE - Here you go, boys and girls... have a nifty button for your website. All you need do is copy and paste the code below into your sidebar. Even Iain could manage that... with a little help.

Iain Dale is a liar!

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Iain Dale: paranoid conspiracy loon

Manic invites you to check out Iain Dale's Blogger profile, which includes a list of the blogs he has created:

They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!
The two variations of his name could be passed off as an acceptable safety measure, but 'Iain Dale Watch'?!

FFS! And he calls Manic paranoid?

(Special Tip for N00bs: Manic learned long ago that when a conservative accuses you of something, he or she is usually guilty of the same - or worse - themselves. For example; if they claim you have haemorrhoids, it's a fair bet that they have a complete rectal prolapse the size of a grapefruit.)

Iain also seems to be blissfully unaware of a few basic facts about search engines that make the kind of amateur-hijack he fears totally surplus to requirements.

Manic would spell it out for him, but he is sick of hearing his words come out of Iain Dale's mouth, and so has stopped offering him free advice*.

(*OK, Manic admits it; that decision was actually made following consultation with his New Labour Blairite Brownite masters.)

Iain, you're an idiot. And later today, Manic is also going to call you a liar.

Call your lawyer... or Guido. Manic doesn't care which.

They're coming to me away!Manis has spoken. End communication.

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Paul Staines announces his 'retirement' plans

A revealing exchange over at the Tygerland website:
"For a start, Guido shouldn’t be mistaken for a commentator or an activist. He’s a muckraker. He has great contacts and a salivating, committed readership. It works, for now. Most of Guido’s readership are gossip-loving Labour-hating Tories, many of whom do not share his Libertarian tendencies, so when the Tories next gain power, one wonders whether the site will remain as relevant. Will Guido turn on the inevitable Tory sleaze? And will his readership stomach it? Guido himself knows the lifespan of the Guido Fawkes model is finite." - Tyger

"I intend to keep going for at least two more years until after the election. The blog will no doubt continue - Wonkette still cojntinues [sic] without her - it is crap now, but hey…" - Paul 'Guido' Staines
Here, 'Guido' has revealed that he personally only intends to carry on only until the next election... and it is safe to assume that 'Guido' expects a Tory victory.

Manic personally thinks that the longer Blair staggers on, the more likely this victory becomes.

Note that Mr Ego regards himself to be indispensable... and also note what 'Guido' clearly regards to be his purpose (as indicated by his decision to stop being 'Guido' after the upcoming general election - when his character's job is done).

Paul Staines poses as a fun-loving anti-establishment type, and a hater of all politicians... but in reality he has set a clear schedule and an obvious agenda.

He just doesn't have the guts to make that clear on his own damn website, and Manic knows why... because it will cramp his style!

Many of his cheerleaders and informants would be far less forthcoming if they realised that 'Guido' plans to emulate his hero Matt Drudge and become a willing tool of the new establishment as soon as it comes to power. Judging by his activities on the 'Guido Fawkes' weblog (and some of the things Manic has been hearing about Staines' past), this will mostly involve a 'black ops' role; undermining any genuine grass roots messages that threaten the agenda of his Tory masters.

You can watch him putting those same skills to work right now; and Manic has no doubt that there will also be plenty work in the future for the most faithful and effective of his anonymous bullies.

You folks at home may not like the idea of getting into this tussle, but it is very much a case of fucking them before they fuck us.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Nerved touched. Knee jerked. Foot firmly lodged in mouth.

Cheeky Tyger thinks he has scooped Manic, but he is wrong.

We already know that Paul 'Guido' Staines is an idiot.

Still, the dishonest right-wing bully-boy 'bloggers' that continue to shame the Conservatives have done us a huge favour by allowing their alpha-male to run off at the mouth about this, and the details are worth a look-see:

Paul Staines: That Godfather and Fairy Godmother Conspiracy

1. This is the first post from 'Guido' that even hints at an awareness of Manic since 'Guido' embarrassed himself almost two weeks ago (by equating his dumbfounding level of comment censorship with Manic's deletion of duplicate comments) . Such a pity. Manic misses the 'Blog Brother' reports, where Staines acted tough by dismissing Manic's initial charges as an irrelevance on his own weblog... while spending close to a month moaning about them on other people's weblogs.

Manic also misses the thrill of turning up in those threads and watching 'Guido' run away.

2. Note that, from the off, 'Guido' lays in with the conspiracy-loon spin cooked up by Iain Dale (which is based on contributions to Iain's website that he probably made himself).

Funny... Manic was under the impression that Guido hated spin!

3. 'Guido' also seeks to add flesh to the spin by delivering some context.

How odd.... Manic also recalls 'Guido' dismissing/deleting many comments by readers wishing to add context to his assertions about this or that... on the basis that details are 'boring'.

4. 'Guido' loftily assures us that there can be no question of impropriety over the planned Livingstone attack ad, as Tim Montgomerie is charge of the project. He then goes on to tell us what Tim Montgomerie thinks; "If there is one thing Tim Montgomerie wants almost as much as he wants to get rid of the current Mayor of London, it is to make sure that the next Mayor of London is not Nick Boles, the Cameroonie ultra." Too bad for 'Guido' that a (yes, genuine) comment by Tim Montgomerie followed... because in it, Tim M points out that he thinks no such thing. (And who better than he would know?)

Manic laughed out loud at this show of expert punditry!

5. An amazing feat here; Staines falls flat on his face with a poor understanding of "the internal dynamics of Conservative politics", yet he still manages to show himself up as a closet Tory with his detailed knowledge of individual contributors to the mix (i.e. while he often claims is "Not a Tory", Paul seems to 'know' an awful lot about them). It may pay to illustrate this difficult-to-master point with an example; there are a number of individuals who contribute to the ongoing protest outside Parliament, but most people will only be aware of the name 'Brian Haw'. Manic is aware of some of the other players and has even met some of them... but to even begin to understand how they interact and differ on certain issues, Manic would have to spend many nights on a cold pavement. Even then he could misread the relationships between these people, but that would not change the fact that he had spent a lot of time in their company.

Manic knows that Paul Staines is a Tory groupie.... and he also wishes to point out that only far-right-wing nutjobs use words like 'moonbat' in earnest.

6. To show his expertise, 'Guido' introduces us to the Cornerstone Group... but instead of linking to their website, he links to the website of Cornerstone Community Care (a charity devoted to the care of adults and children with learning disabilities).

Manic acknowledges that this may be a joke and not an error... Paul Staines likes to make 'mong'-related jokes because he is emotionally retarded.

7. Note how - through his reliance on Iain Dale's spin - 'Guido' has managed skip right over every pertinent question raised and every fact revealed... including the 'minor' fact that Nick Boles has used Policy Exchange as an administrative base for a personal website with a clear party-political purpose.... when Policy Exchange is forbidden from participating in any party-political activity!

Normally 'Guido' lives for this kind of thing. He has been on about similar shenanigans at the Smith Institute for weeks now, *and* he claims to hate all politicians... so why a sudden lack of interest in juicy details?

8. If you made a total arse of yourself on your weblog, and you were an honest blogger, you have to spend a rather awkward day or two wearing some well-deserved flak. Happily, 'Guido' can delete such comments at will because they are 'boring'. Also, Manic is forbidden to pose difficult questions himself... as 'Guido' banned him for asking one too many difficult questions.

A common technique Paul Staines uses is the instant deletion of difficult questions; especially those that risk showing him up as a total hypocrite. When faced with this kind of deletion, most normal contributors will persevere and repeat their question(s). If they are lucky, Staines will finally let the question(s) go live and stay live... but not before he bans that contributor for 'spamming' him. You can see a recent example of this here (see comments as well as the post).

Below is an even more recent example of the type of thing Staines likes to delete before claiming that it was 'spam', 'mindless abuse' and/or 'pointless frothing by conspiracy-moonbats'.

If 'Guido' is so sure of his ground, why is he afraid of such questions?

Paul 'Guido' Staines has, in a single post, not only shown that he is an idiot, but also reinforced Manic's contention that he is a disgrace to blogging... and a duplicitous spin-happy control-freak on par with Tony Blair for cheek and the avoidance of the realities not in keeping with his world-view.

In fact, Manic suspects that the bunker mentality has already taken hold.

Please continue to drink the Kool-Aid, mighty righties... but do make sure that you use a fresh batch of potassium cyanide this time. Your current 'walking dead' situation is freaking out the latest inductees... and Manic doesn't want you scaring them off before they don their white robes and line up at the vats!

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Iain Dale and the non-existent neo-cons

Iain Dale was in his element on his little television show last night.

At approximately 11:10pm he mumbled through a declaration of interest that should have formed part of the introduction to this report and followed with heavy emphasis on a fresh delivery of his latest bit of spin; that any accusation of impropriety could easily be dismissed as the work of 'conspiracy loons' who claim he is backed by far-right Christian neo-con nutbags.

Speaking of far-right Christian neo-con nutbags... discussion later turned to Iran developing Teh Bomb. This, apparently, is a danger because there are influential elements in Iran that seek to bring about the end of the world... but Iain ignored Manic's email pointing out that there are influential elements in the U.S. that seek to bring about the end of the world.

(strokes beard)

[Note for the record: Iain also ignored Manic's email saying he wanted to swap his Connect 4 set for a Buckaroo.]

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Which do you think hurts more?

Manic has spoken. End communication.


Nicholas "Call me 'Nick'" Boles is one of the potential Conservative candidates for Mayor of London.

Nick is widely tipped as the favourite to be chosen by the Tories to run against Ken Livingston, but currently he is forced to stand hat-in-hand with a number of other Tory hopefuls while the Conservatives stuff about trying to decide when the ring will be open for business.

Still, he's using his time in limbo constructively; he is using email and a special website - hosted at - to ask the London public what they're concerned about... before, we can safely assume, he decides he is concerned about exactly the same things:

Nick butters up the Londoners
That's not to say that Nick doesn't have his own opinions; he recently sat on a panel joining ex-London mayoral candidate Steve Norris in calling for City Regions across the country. While there, Nick "was keen to draw a distinction between the approach of a Conservative London mayor and Ken Livingstone's micro-management of many London issues."

Manic is curious to know how this differs from The Smith Institute allegedly helping to formulate an anti-Cameron campaign strategy, and how this all fits in to a certain broadcast outfit run by Iain Dale (and championed by 'Guido Fawkes') suddenly deciding to run an anti-Livingston ad... especially when Iain Dale is a trustee of Policy Exchange and Nick Bowles is the Director of that same outfit (which also happened to be a part-sponsor of the event mentioned above), but he will let all that go for now.

Manic does not wish this post to become 'long and boring'!

Last night, Iain Dale was asked if Nick Boles was still in the running for the London mayoral candidacy, and he seemed very reluctant to answer, so Manic went to have a look for himself.

On his travels, Manic had a poke around the WHOIS information for the domain names relating to Nick Boles' campaign-preparatory website (,, and and he discovered that each and every one of them was registered using a Policy Exchange email address, the Policy Exchange mailing address and/or the main phone number for Policy Exchange:

Nick Boles: busted
Imagine for a moment the shit you would be in with your boss - even in an everyday job - if it was discovered that you were using work details, time and/or facilities to register domains intended for personal/political use... then consider this:

1. Nick Boles is no lowly employee; he is the Director of Policy Exchange.

2. Policy Exchange bills itself as an independent think-tank and it is a registered charity, and - as Unity points out here - "Registered charities are permitted, in Charity law, to engage in political activities but - and this is important - they may do so only on the basis of well-founded research and only in a non-partisan manner. Charities can ‘do’ politics but not party politics."

3. Nick Boles used details, time and/or facilities provided by Policy Exchange to create a home for a personal website with a clear party-political purpose.

Therefore, if he is a man of honour, he should either resign as Director of Policy Exchange or formally withdraw as a potential London mayoral candidate to save that organisation further embarrassment.... but Manic suspects he will instead try to spin the website as an extension of his research duties for Policy Exchange and/or offer a pissweak apology for 'a unfortunate oversight' (which was perhaps the work of an overzealous underling).

Manic is waiting, Nick; what's it going to be? Spin or substance? If you offer the latter, there are still all those tasty safe seats to look forward to!

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE - Now you've read that, read this:

We're going to have a little competition, oh yes we are. Click here for your chance to win!

Manic has spoken again. End communication again.

UPDATE (21 Feb) - Bloggerheads - Nick Boles steps down! (Nothin' to do with me, Guv'nor...)

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Monday, February 05, 2007

'Guido Fawkes' blows the gaff

Like most serial killers masturbators, Paul 'Guido' Staines wants to be caught... and this weekend his loudest cry for help went unheeded.

To help people see the secret message hidden in this latest "Look at me!" post, Manic has simply revealed the target behind each of Paul's proudest moments:

The intended cumulative effect of these efforts should be obvious; Guido and his backers seek to undo Blair (for anything other than Iraq/terror/torture) and undermine anyone who seeks a role in the cabinet that will follow Blair's.

So much for the 'Guido hates all politicians equally' myth!

Even if you hate Blair's guts (or Brown's guts or Reid's guts or...) if you are a member or supporter of the Labour Party and you are feeding 'Guido' information, then you are a bloody idiot; leaking information to Guido only furthers a far-right-wing Tory agenda.

(Psst! The same goes for any member or supporter of the Liberal Democrats or any other party not wishing to see the Conservatives pull the ultimate fast one.)

Note - To avoid giving 'Guido' more credit than he deserves, Manic wishes to quantify this thought with an uncertain exploration of barnyard metaphors:

Blair is going down; it's a certainty... and Manic suspects that 'Guido' is not unlike a rooster convinced that the sun only comes up because he crows (or perhaps a chicken seeking to convince the other animals that he can fly... by flapping his wings while he stands in front of a large plummeting object).

Manic has spoken. End communication.


Iain Dale: I was brought up in a very rural area in North Essex and never imagined I would spend much of my working life in London. I come from a long line of farmers and it was expected that I too would become a farmer. Visiting some close family near Barnstaple last night it was good to see my cousin Richard again. We worked out that it had been seven years. He hadn't changed at all, yet he had been told this week that after 27 years of working on the same farm he was being made redundant. The farmer was in tears when he broke the news. He said he just couldn't face carrying on due to all the regulations he had to comply with. So yet another farming family is getting out.

Could this sudden and unexpected renewal of interest in family and farmers have anything to do Iain Dale being on the selection list for the uber-rural seat of East Hampshire?

Well, one might be able to find out if Iain Dale were capable of giving a straight answer for once in his life!
Anonymous said...
When is that rural East Hampshire selection coming up again, Iain?
11:38 AM

Iain Dale said...
Anonymous 11.38 - nice try. But I'm in Devon, not East Hampshire, as you might know if you had read the first line!
11:43 AM
Notice how deftly Iain dodges this question while mocking the interrogator for their 'stupidity'.

Manic doubts he will ever change... same old Tory, same old story.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

Ellee Seymour drinks the Kool Aid

Ellee Seymour: It's no surprise that Iain more than ruffles a few feathers, hopefully he has broad shoulders and can shrug off the empty threats and accusations from New Labour trolls which he has written about today.

New Labour trolls? Ellee, are you really this stupid, or do you simply hope that your readers are?

Oh... wait up... best ignore that question... Manic thinks he knows the answer:

Ellee Seymour: What a wonderful way of describing Iain and Guido, as "resistence [sic] leaders", that is spot on.


(Didn't you get the memo, Ellee? Iain Dale and Paul Staines aren't just leaders of the rebel alliance... they are fully-fledged Jedi Knights!)

But wait... there's more:

Ellee Seymour: Iain is extremely fair to all poltical [sic] parties if he feels it is appropriate

When he feels it is appropriate?!

Elleeeeeeeeeee almost stumbles onto the truth here; the entire "I am a victim of bullying!" stunt over at Iain's blog is designed to draw attention away from the 'fair' (and 'balanced') aspect of Iain Dale's report on the Smith Institute and the answer he finally gave to a Very Important Question.

Manic thinks most people would be disturbed by the answer... but Ellee appears to have missed it or disregarded it while in the throes of a full-on Kool Aid sugar-rush.

Manic has two presents for Ellee...

1. As she is in PR and a backer of Staines, Dale and their bullies, she might wish to read the comments by PragueTory that followed this post. She may find them illuminating.

2. As her logo isn't 100% representative of what she offers her readers, Manic has produced a new one for her:

For the record: Manic thinks that Iain Dale has one hell of a nerve playing the victim when - just like Paul 'Guido' Staines - he relies on a gang* of anonymous bullies to keep his blog as free of context as possible.

[*Note - The size of this gang, and the actual existence of some of its members, is a matter for debate... as is Iain's contention that the 'New Labour' threats and accusations are in any way genuine.]

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE - Oh dear... Ellee appears to have some rather unique views about ethics.

Manic has spoken again. End communication again.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Caption Contest: Doggie Edition

WINNING CAPTION (by septicisle):
"Mention Policy Exchange and the puppy gets it"

This image is from Iain Dale's photostream and it has been stolen, Jackie... STOLEN!!!!

[Tim Iain, I’ve also just used one of the your Blair pictures and given you a credit. I hope that;s OK!]

UPDATE - Manic has to go out and play for a while, so from here on in he plans to let submissions mature overnight and publish them tomorrow.

UPDATE - We have a winner this week! (Last week all the entries were crap.)

Manic's Tips for Becoming a Successful Political Blogger #2: Defending Yourself

Good morning, class. If you recall, yesterday we covered spamming your way to the top.

Today, Manic is going to teach you how to spam yourself out of trouble.

As usual, we are going to begin with some project material:

First of all, you need to know that there are some blogs that are set up in a way that allows the author to discuss politics, but bans others from doing the same in comments. Then, there are other blogs that actually allow you to challenge the author on any given point; the latter set-up can present the author with potential difficulty if he is in the habit of talking complete bollocks and/or unwilling to face difficult questions, but - while these two types of blogs have fundamental differences - many of the same defence techniques can be used in both types to dodge, undermine, minimise and/or bury such questions.

For this reason, you will first need to review the following document, which covers defence techniques as used in the former type of weblog:

Bloggerheads: The De-Briefing (Guido and his political astro-turfers)

When you are done with that, you will need to watch a 'pro' in action as does his best to avoid tricky questions in the latter type of weblog. You can find out more about the issue(s) the author may wish to avoid by reading the following...

Bloggerheads: FOX News Lite on its first major mission

... then watch the author in action via the posts below. Please pay particular attention to the comments, and how they unfold:

Iain Dale's Diary: The Questions the Smith Institute Should Answer

Iain Dale's Diary: Charity Commission Opens Formal Inquiry Into Smith Institute

Iain Dale's Diary: Sticks and Stones...


OK, now that we've all had a good look at the project material, we can begin:

Manic's Tips for Becoming a Successful Political Blogger #2: Defending Yourself

1. You Are The Best Friend You Will Ever Have

As you can see in the image below, the 'anyone'/'free for all' comments setting in the system allows even the author to leave comments under different names and identities, even when he is logged into the system. You can be anyone you choose to be, at any time you please:


So the technical challenge is minimal; all you require is the ability to tick the right box and/or enter a fake name.

The moral/ethical issues raised may seem to present you with more difficulty, but they are easily addressed with the following self-justification technique...

Simply ask yourself the question:

"What would a member of the public say if they were here right now?"

Once you have the answer to that question and you are reasonably certain of it, it should become obvious to you that this theoretical member of the public is now surplus to requirements, and nothing is stopping you from speaking for them in their absence.

You are now ready to give yourself a well-earned pat on the back, but try not to be too sycophantic. Below is an example of a self-congratulator overdoing it:

"That was an excellent video report, Iain. Well researched and very professional as usual. And my, you do look handsome in that overcoat. Intelligence and looks? The Conservatives have a real catch here!"

2. Prompting Actual Comments with Fake Comments

If you have already taken the step above and are lucky enough to have a weblog that already enjoys a high level of response from actual members of the public, then you may also wish to extend matters with this technique...

Simply ask yourself the question:

"What is not being said right now that I cannot say for myself?"


"How can I guide or prompt my faithful charges to say what I cannot say for myself?"

From here, we advance to the most common forms of weaponry you may wish to use when you are suddenly and unexpectedly faced with a difficult question or interjection from an actual member of the public

3. Stalling For Time

If you are faced with a particularly difficult question and you cannot or dare not give an honest/direct answer, you will need time to formulate an alternative response.

Happily, as you are now fully prepared to speak on your behalf posing as several members of the public, you can use this time to undertake a little immediate damage control and also lay the groundwork for your (eventual) 'answer':

4. Questioning the Interrogator

This works particularly well if the difficult question has to do with the motivation behind any given act. All you need do is (posing as another member of the public) ask what motivated the questioner to ask that question. Often, this works as a fine introduction to...

5. Undermining the Interrogator

Here you can really cut loose; because you are not commenting as the author, and you are leaving comments under a variety of pseudonyms, you can use any or all of the following without looking like a complete bastard... and without contradicting yourself!

- The interrogator is mentally unstable*
- The interrogator is physically unattractive
- The interrogator is merely seeking attention
- The interrogator is only trying to promote his own website
- The interrogator seeks to divert us from the real issue, which is [insert issue here]
- The interrogator is a [insert party here] activist
- The interrogator is part of a conspiracy
- The interrogator is a conspiracy theorist

Along the way, invent damaging claims about the interrogator and state them as fact repeatedly until they stick (but do not make the mistake of challenging the interrogator to prove their claims under the same pseudonym).

[*Hint: The longer you keep this up, the more likely it is that the interrogator will press you for an answer. Once he has done this two or three times, you are then free to claim that he is a stalker.]

If you have the luxury of a stable of genuine contributors (or if you are able to borrow from the stable of an associated weblog) then they will soon join in and follow your attack pattern; your role will be blissfully minimal from that point on. You are now (almost) ready to present your alternative to a direct/honest answer.

6. Creating Your Own Loopholes

While you may be pretending to be other people on your own weblog for your own benefit, this does not mean that every comment you leave has to be from 'your side'.

If you are clever, you can appear to take the side of the interrogator and add an easily-refutable challenge or claim. If you can make a claim so outlandish that it enables you to shout "Conspiracy loon!", then so much the better.

Also, if you are facing a particularly difficult question and you are not sure if your alternative to a direct/honest answer will fly, you can garner sympathy by threatening yourself.

This works especially well if you also leave a comment from a 'former supporter' of your interrogator who is disappointed in 'their' behaviour.

Now you are ready to present your alternative to a direct/honest answer.

7. Enhancing Your 'Answer'

Answering the question directly is a hazardous affair, so remember to tie your answer closely to the material you have already prepared (i.e. primarily 'rise' to the easier challenge that you have set for yourself while appearing to answer the original question).

If you get a chance, explain your 'absence' by claiming that you have better things to do than answer silly/pointless questions.

[A quick example: if the question is asked who funds your activities, lay the groundwork that allows you to apparently ridicule the interrogator by pointing out the 'obvious'... that using is free. From here you can further undermine their question by asking if the interrogator thinks you are funded by the Illuminati, the CIA, or Mossad. If your gambit is successful, the question about money will be fully defused, so long as no-one identifies your reliance on what is essentially a false dichotomy... or sees fit to mention that does not typically feed, clothe and house their users.]

8. When The 'Answer' Doesn't Fly

Actually, there will probably be very little need for any action beyond this because, by now, you will have created a comments thread that is so long and so peppered with material designed to undermine the interrogator that the majority of readers will not see the difficult question, or they will assume that the interloper is so despised by 'the general public' that his question can safely be ignored.

However, if you are unlucky enough to attract the attention of genuine members of the public who are also seeking a direct and honest answer to the question (and especially if you are unlucky enough to have them repeat the question or pose and even more difficult question) then it is time to bring out the big guns...

9. Playing The Victim

Remember, if you paint the difficult question as a senseless, partisan or just plain old mean-spirited attack, then most people will take your word for it.... especially if you as the author have never visibly taken part in the nastier aspects of the thread (because you are leaving comments as other people, you can simply let these comments stand and maintain a 'dignified silence').

But what really helps is if you fully commit to the idea of anonymously taking the side of your interrogator... this allows you the pleasure of being as mean as you like yourself, and every comment you leave makes you look more and more like A Nice Guy Copping An Undeserved Beating.

Feel free to go to town on yourself... but try not to use any genuine ammunition. The blows need only look convincing.

If you are presented with further difficulty, wheel out a dead relative**.

[**Note - For advanced users only.]

10. The Master Stroke

By now it should be clear that you have effectively spammed and/or trolled your way out of trouble on your own website.

But it gets better...

At the same time, the interrogator will have been forced to press you for an answer on a number of occasions and/or address a number of fake/genuine attacks.

All you need do now is expand on the earlier 'the interrogator is only trying to promote his own website' groundwork and proclaim them to be a comment spammer!

To the untrained eye, your banning them will appear to be completely justified.

You are now free to immediately delete any future difficult questions from this interrogator.

If you face a new interrogator, simply repeat steps #1 through #9... you'll find that it gets easier over time.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE (5 Feb) - Iain Dale migrated to the 'new' version of Blogger over the weekend. As a result, many of the comments by people who could be identified (including yours truly) are now displayed as anonymous comments. When this is fixed, Manic will redistribute the project material.

Manic has spoken again. End communication again.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Manic's Tips for Becoming a Successful Political Blogger #1: Spamming for Links

Manic published a series of link-begging emails yesterday, and was disappointed at the lack of comments guessing at the identity of the sender... until he received two private messages from two different people who received near-to-exact copies of one of those emails!

Below is Manic's copy, followed by the two others.

Before we begin our lesson, you may wish to check through your email archives to see if you have received a similar email. (Extra credit will be given to those filing a report that shows learning from personal experience.)


----- Original Message -----
From: [censored]
To: Manic
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 4:35 PM
Subject: Bloggerheads

> Hi Tim, I've just been looking at your blog and I wondered if you'd like to add
> a link to mine? It's at [censored].
> If you do add one please let me know and I'll reciprocate - I'm getting several
> thousand hits a day now, so it should drive a bit of traffic your way.


----- Original Message -----
From: [censored]
To: [censored]
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 4:30 PM
Subject: Blog

> Hi, I've just been looking at your blog and I wondered if you'd like to
> add a link to mine? It's at [censored].
> If you do add one please let me know and I'll reciprocate - I'm getting
> several thousand hits a day now, so it should drive a bit of traffic your
> way.


-----Original Message-----
From: [censored]
Sent: 29 January 2006 16:44
To: [censored]
Subject: Blog

> Hi, I've just been looking at your blog and I wondered if you'd like to
> add a link to mine? It's at [censored].
> If you do add one please let me know and I'll reciprocate - I'm getting
> several thousand hits a day now, so it should drive a bit of traffic your
> way.

Now that you have the project material in front of you, we can begin the lesson:

Manic's Tips for Becoming a Successful Political Blogger #1: Spamming for Links

1. Prioritising Personalisation

What may not be obvious (due to the need for censorship of details that may identify the sender) is that the sender's email address appeared in both the 'To' and 'From' fields in emails #2 and #3.

What this indicates is that the sender used a common technique for sending bulk email via programs such as Outlook Express (if you want to send a bulk email without revealing the identity/number of other recipients all you have to do is send the email to yourself and BCC the recipients). The timestamp difference between emails #2 and #3 is easily explained by the latter being parsed through a local mailserver.

What should be immediately apparent is that Manic's copy of this email (#1) is personalised.

The sender has clearly chosen recipients he felt worthy of a personalised email, and bulk-emailed the rest with a generic version of this same email.

We will now dissect the body of that email.

2. How to Appear Polite and Generous

"Hi, I've just been looking at your blog..."

Note here how the sender makes a bold attempt at honesty; he does not claim to have been reading the blog of the recipient, just looking at it (and perhaps just long enough to dig out that all-important email address of the author).

"... and I wondered if you'd like to add a link to mine?"

There's a lovely casual tone to this statement, which is only enhanced by the addition of the question-mark; this morphs said statement into a non-threatening request (and possibly also implants a subconscious feeling of warmth via use of the rising inflection made popular by Australian soaps such as Neighbours).

"It's at [censored]."

Here the sender includes his URL, making the task of responding to his request as easy as possible. He has led with 'no pain' before emphasising the gain:

"If you do add one please let me know and I'll reciprocate..."

Jolly good technique; the sender appears to be kindly offering a 'like for like' exchange, and he even goes on to sweeten the pot:

"... I'm getting several thousand hits a day now, so it should drive a bit of traffic your way."

Very clever indeed. Note the use of 'hits' as opposed to 'page impressions' or 'unique visitors'; this allows for the use of a more dazzling number. Also, as the recipient is probably unaware that they are one of many recipients, they are unlikely to consider that they may be exchanging a link on their very short blogroll for a link on an impossibly long one. (The latter type of link will receive less traffic even on sites of equal popularity, through the miracle of 'dilution'. This will be covered in more detail shortly.)

3. Watch Out For Spam Filters

Though one of the emails (#3) was dumped in a junk folder after being classified as spam by the probability-based mail filter SpamBayes, the carefully-crafted message managed to pass though SpamPal (#1) and the in-house spam filter of Gmail (#2) without raising so much as a blip.

Songwriter and marketing/performance expert Jim Steinman will be the first to tell you that this level of acheivement ain't bad.

4. Managing Your Resulting Blogroll.

Many old-fashioned types will try to convince you that your blogroll should be made up of close friends and associates and/or blogs that you read on a regular basis. They are wrong.

Your blogroll can - and should - be as long as you want it to be. What really matters is the inbound links that register in Technorati, and the cumulative inbound traffic that registers in your statistics (and reliable performance-measuring outfits such as Alexa).

Remember; you are only giving the appearance of a 'like for like' exchange; after you have included all of the reciprocal links that you promised, your blogroll will soon be the equivalent of 19 printed pages of A4 paper (making even the shortest post generate a page longer than your arm).

The result? Outbound links will be buried in one very long list, while you will typically be benefiting from inbound links from many, many shorter lists.

5. Managing Resulting Blogroll Requests

If you play your cards right, this can elevate you to a level of reputation where you no longer need concern yourself with the whole begging rigmarole, because success breeds success.

In fact, once you have spammed link-whored cleverly self-promoted yourself into the position of 'leading blogger', you will soon find that is is other bloggers who are sending link-begging emails to you.

Typically, these will be the kinds of trusting fools that begin by linking to you as a sign of good faith before they send their begging email. Then, if you are of a mind to refuse the link, all you need do is claim there is no room at the inn (or simply allow your impossibly-long blogroll to speak for itself).

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE - *This post is about Iain Dale; all of this spam came from him and proof beyond what has been published on this website can be found here, where an unwitting recipient of the spam has blogged its contents. Manic wasn't going to say anything about Iain being the source of these begging emails ever ever ever... until he discovered that Iain was a spammer... and an ungracious twunt.