Click here to watch Blair's farewell video

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where is my thinking hat?

There is a whole lot of white noise emanating from the rightwing blogosphere at the moment. Something or someone seems to have rattled their collective cage.

Mind you, rather than buckling down and ensuring their lazy attacks have substance, they actually think they’re on the right track: that unsubstantiated attacks - based on poorly researched non-stories - are in fact the right way to go. Guido Fawkes (AKA: Paul DeLaire Staines) certainly thinks so: -

I would have done him over harder.

He is paid from the public purse and is a public servant. If he wants to express political opinions he should change his career.

Didn’t he also get caught posting a sycophantic “Miliband is Brilliant”* comment on the Miliblog. I rest my case.

Simon Walters is right.

He’s a tough guy, our Guido. Very tough.

Simon Walters, you will remember, is a ten-a-penny hack at the Daily Mail, whose laboured attempt to draw a tempest of shit around former Downing Street aide Owen Barder, only served to attract several languid Tory bloggers with nothing better to do. A quick bit research uncovered that the story was in fact manufactured bollocks.

This is the mentality of the right. Led by a slippery shape shifting Blairite clone, they have nothing of consequence to bring to the table, so they go sniffing after any mainstream media scraps that might tickle their rabid readership.

What Iain and Paul do not seem to understand, is that by publishing uncorroborated nonsense, they actually do the rest of the blogosphere a disservice, by fueling the MSM’s claims that we’re nothing more than a bunch of irresponsible parasites. Mind you, they probably do understand this. The point is: do they care?

As we can see over on our sister site, research is inconsequential if it threatens to distort the intended narrative.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Caught in the act

There's an old adage that says when you're in a hole, stop digging. This little snippet of wisdom has obviously eluded Paul Staines as he hacks away, revising this less than stellar post about Gordon Brown's campaign site.

Unity has done an excellent job of catching the duplicitous tax-dodger in the act of unmarked revisionism, assisted by Staines' javascripting fanboy, Dizzy.

First Staines spins a non-story into an example of fraud by the Brown camp, but gets some of the details wrong.

Then Dizzy steps up to the plate and, in a related post, points out Staines error.

Staines then revises his original post so as to give the impression that he had all the details correct in the first place.

It just so ironic that in spite of Dizzy being so full of himself as a l33t haxor and Staines' own pompous self-aggrandizement as the UK's leading Matt Drudge wannabe, neither of them is capable of putting together a coherent and consistent story of any consequence, instead taking a New Labour-esque approach to spinning and distortion. Compounding the irony is the fact that Staines' post would have carried more credibility if he had simply tagged the update, but his rampant desire to appear infallible precluded any such action.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Censorship and hypocrisy (in spades)

In light of Tessa Jowell's misguided call for bloggers to adopt a Code of Conduct, self-proclaimed Libertarian hero Guido Fawkes (aka Paul Staines), has posted yet more hypocritical dribble for his rabid readership to agree with. You can just imagine them, no doubt in their bedrooms, agreeing like those shabby nodding dogs that you get free with a certain car insurer.

Of course the dear readers here at Guido 2.0 know better. We know that Guido is a hypocritical charlatan who – behind the mask - is terrified of 'the truth' and will use the full force of the law to suppress it. Won't you, Paul?

Johnny-Come-Latelies like Paul Staines and Precious Iain Dale don't care very much for what makes the blogosphere work, no, all they care about is what they can get out of it. Iain Dale promises us, "Just for the record, I never portray myself as an expert on blogging," yet he has the temerity to edit a Guide to Political Blogging! I mean, Iain, do you think we're that fucking stupid?

Likewise Paul Staines has the sheer cheek to write, "freedom of speech means you will find people saying disagreeable things in disagreeable ways," and yet Paul Staines has repeatedly done his best to hinder the work of those who are saying disagreeable things in disagreeable ways about him by preventing deep-linking to his site.

FYI - a credible commentary of Jowell's clanger can be found here.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nothing to see here... move along...

As you may have noticed, at this weblog, we have a habit of linking to evidence when we make a claim.

But Paul Staines would rather you didn't have easy access to that evidence...

Bloggerheads - This is a first... 'bloggers' objecting to deeplinks

Just imagine how 'Guido' would react if Downing Street pulled this stunt on him...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Comment moderation policy

The overtly satirical aspect of this weblog has now wound down to the point where it makes no sense to continue to mimic Paul Staines' seemingly random comment moderation policy and/or those who help him to abuse his self-serving approach to online discussion.

The comment moderation policy on this site is from this point forward to be the same as that at Iain Dale's Dairy:

  1. Only registered users of will be allowed to post comments.
  2. Comment moderation will be on full-time, and all comments will be read by a moderator prior to publication (or deletion).
  3. The new version of does not allow for editing of comments, so we will be forced to delete any insulting or abusive comments outright. If ever a situation arises where a comment includes insults/abuse and constructive/intelligent input, the onus will be on the relevant contributor to repeat their comment (minus the insults/abuse).
  4. As the majority of comments will be moderated in their pre-publication state, not all deletions will be noted/apparent (i.e. no 'removed by a blog administrator' notice will appear). It should be taken as a given that any comment deleted was deleted in line with this policy. If we feel there may be some confusion or if a reason is requested, an explanation will be given.
  5. Any libellous comments will be deleted as soon as our attention is drawn to them. Please note that proof, either for or against, may be requested in order to substantiate the complaint.
  6. Sock-puppetry and astro-turfing will not be tolerated. IP addresses will be tracked if we suspect either, and we reserve the right to 'out' repeat offenders.
  7. The decision of the editorial team is final. You may plead your case by email and we are open to debate, but there will be no free-for-all in the comments.

Cheers all.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sock-puppets etc.

As promised, here is a new article about sock-puppets and why the "If you don't like it, don't read it!" defence does not apply.

This is one of the key static articles on the brand new microsite Iain Dale's Dairy.

The site has launched with a clearly stated moderation policy, and a similar policy will be published here shortly after consultation with our site contributors.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Please stop wasting my time (1 & 2)

1. The new Recess Monkey video is in a sense a tribute video and further evidence that the contributors have a poverty of ideas. They would enjoy more success if they tried something less derivative and more novel.

2. This post is further proof of Guido's talent for spin. Apparently, his blog being private property and/or free-of-charge to the taxpayer makes the harm it does less significant. The "If you don't like it, don't read it." defence makes a repeat appearance, and there is also a suggestion that Staines acts as our great protector twice over... by not only fearlessly burning democracy to the ground, but also selflessly reigning in any possible negative side-effects of the arson process.

Bless him and his little cotton sock-puppets.

The latter point will be dealt with strenuously tomorrow.

(The short version for those who cannot wait: Paul Staines is a lying, selfish scumbag.... and the same applies to blogging 'expert' Iain Dale.)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A bucket of spin from the chummer-in-chief

I promised you a fisking of this post from Paul Staines, and here it is. Remember when you read this that it comes from a man who claims to hate spin:

Am away for the weekend and forgot to put comment moderation on. You-know-who posts five comments on one post - then cries "he deleted me" when the inevitable happens. Iain has now banned him as well, so he is starting an anti-Iain Dale blog to join his anti-Guido blog. That is fine by me, freedom of speech means he is entitled to publish his views.

It was four comments, with three of them refuting the usual bullshit from his gang on anonymous bullies (i.e. the abuse that is designed to undermine and discourage anyone exercising their right to free speech). But now those comments have been deleted, they can be anything Mr Staines wants them to be.

The difference in audience size enjoyed by the likes of Iain and Guido compared to the contributors to our respective anti-blogs is growing. Now readers will know that Guido, like Iain, is a humble type, shy and retiring even, so it is with some hesitation that Guido ventures to say that the reason Iain and Guido have far more readers is that we try to be entertaining and bring news. Now Guido may only aspire to gossip and tittle-tattle (over 80,000 people have watched the Gordon the Bogeyman story), but that seems to be what people want and enjoy.

Well, that audience may well appear to be growing at an impressive rate, but only because Staines uses the number of comments as a key aspect of measurement... and he's been busy fostering an audience of individuals who like to pose as multiple individuals. Each time his measurement-audience grows by one member, it appears to grow by 3, 6 or 12. The 'humble' comment I'll classify as sarcasm and put down to a rare moment of self-awareness... but it's a dark path that you walk down when your efforts to be entertaining interfere with the selection of news (or when, in an effort to be 'entertaining', you blur the line between news and editorial). As for giving people what they want... do I need to finish this sentence?

It may not be what others think Guido should write about, it may not be in the deferential style that others think should be employed, it certainly gets up the noses of the old media and the embedded-in-the-political-system journalists known as the Lobby. If you don't like it, don't read it.

I'm not sure if Staines is suggesting here that I'm a willing/unwilling tool of the establishment, but I can afford to let it go; the "If you don't like it, don't read it." fallacy is the highlight here. It's at blogs like that of Dale and Staines that a nugget of unsubstantiated gossip evolves into (or is deliberately reinforced as) an 'open secret'... and from that point is eventually unleashed to do its damage. I don't like it, but the only way to combat it is to show people how it's done. There is also the small matter of the anonymous bullies that spill over from such weblogs into the weblogs and lives of others. A fire does not go out because you turn your back on it.

Simple. Better still, offer a more compelling and attractive product that beats Guido in the competitive marketplace that is the blogosphere. That takes hard work. The easier path is just to call for censorship or attack and try to undermine the legitimacy of your rivals. Claim that Iain and Guido's ascendancy is not based on hard work or talent, but lies and fiction, claim that the two most successful and well known bloggers in Britain somehow undermine blogging. We have done so much to popularise this medium - it is not going to wash. Blogging is just an easy way of publishing, it is a software platform, not a religious movement. Get real.

Following the path of least resistance is hard work? News to me. There's also a staggering misrepresentation of our respective positions here:

1. As has been made clear, it is Guido who engages in censorship, and there has been no call from me to censor views that I do not like.

2. I have also shown on a number of occasions how anonymous bullies (and those who breed them and/or hide behind them) censor the views of others... usually by intimidating their rivals or (*cough*) undermining the legitimacy of their rivals.

3. There are lies and fiction at work in these claims to ascendancy, and also a fair amount of cheating... but I don't discount the actual popularity or level of awareness that exists. In fact, I've expressed concern about it:

4. When Iain Dale touts himself as an expert and says "This is what blogging is!", he provides an easy 'out' for those who don't wish to engage, and a master class for those who wish to subvert. Dale and Staines have not popularised the medium... they've enabled the dismissal of this medium and popularised its misuse.

5. I don't recall claiming blogging to be a religious calling. All I've been doing is promoting its legitimate and intelligent use... along the same lines that Dale and Staines claim to be doing:

"The power of blogging flows from directly connecting with the readers, key to that direct connection is honesty." - Paul Staines

"Blogging has become a phenomenon which can help shape the political and current affairs agenda. It can be a force for good as well as a means of destruction." - Iain Dale

The new anti-Iain blog is in a sense a tribute blog and further evidence that the contributors have a poverty of ideas. They would enjoy more success if they tried something less derivative and more novel. Meantime Dizzy wants an anti-blog as well. You're no one daahhling, if you haven't got one.

Ah, yes.... this is something that Iain can be proud of. No doubt I'll have to re-think my position lest I give the man more credit than he is due. Nice try. As for the tired old Tory line of 'poverty of ideas' (from the left)... isn't this a bit rich coming from the guy who emulates Drudge and brought the Popbitch concept to politics?

PS - I don't see Iain Dale criticising this actual copy of the Guido Fawkes format or presenting it as evidence of a 'poverty of ideas' from the right... do you?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

More spin? I expected better from you, Paul*

Heh. Mr Staines sure is going to a lot of effort to show us how little he cares. And from an exotic location, no less. It just goes to show that one should not tangle with one's betters.

A fisk will have to wait... the Queen of Sheba awaits my attention in the throne room.

[*No I didn't.]

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iain Dale has banned me from his website - the gutless hypocrite!

Yes, it's true. And you can read all about it here.

This ban follows Iain's announcement that he would not be answering any of my emails... ever.

Keep a sharp eye out for a brand new weblog that's all about Iain Dale, Westminster's favourite blogging 'expert'... building starts today.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Another major victory for Guido 2.0!

Iain Dale has finally introduced proper comment timestamps on his website. Manic would like to note for the record that Iain Dale did this while everyone was busy pointing and laughing at Paul Staines... was it a good day to bury an overdue update, Iain?

As promised, the Guido 2.0 microsite now also features comment timestamps that show both time and date... and Manic will now offer to switch on 'backlinks' and/or stop talking in third-person the moment Paul Staines does the same.

What use are comment timestamps that show both time and date? Well, they make it impossible for the author to go back at a later date and 'replay' a series of anonymous comments that initially did not turn out to his advantage. They also stop sneaky contributors/authors from popping into long-dead threads and appearing to have successfully had the last word.

Finally, and quite specifically, in threads like this one... they also make it clear how long one normally has to wait for Iain Dale to put up or shut up.

PS - If Manic ever runs quotes on the header images of his website telling everyone how great he is, he will be using the following quote from this exchange:
"You suggest I do something. I then do it." - Iain Dale
Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

'Guido Fawkes' (and his sock-puppets) on Newsnight

Paul Staines' gang of anonymous bullies have been trying ever-so-hard to put a positive spin on his epic 'crash and burn' on live television.

Perhaps some of them wish that they could have been on hand to help with the usual vicious pile-on of diversions, attacks, insults and smears.

Well, they need wish no more... for Manic is here to bring their dreams to life via the wonders of YouTube!!

[WARNING: Video contains NSFW audio.]

Manic is getting mighty sick of speaking in third-person. End communication.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sock-puppets look a bit silly when they point the finger and shout "Sock-puppet!"

Manic takes it back... this thread over at Paul Staines' website *did* become more interesting after moderation kicked in, as did this one.

This thread is equally educational in terms of overall content, but the former links are where we see a magical change in comment content from the moment Paul takes control.

1. Moderation kicked in at 11:50pm last night after Staine's appearance on Newsnight. From this point on, 'Guido' had complete control over what did and did not get published under comments.

2. Watch both of these threads from 11:50pm onwards for a pronounced increase in (mostly anonymous) comments claiming that Staines was the victim of a personal vendetta, a Fourth Estate conspiracy, a 'NuLab' conspiracy, or all three:

'Guido Fawkes' - Nick Robinson Regrets...
'Guido Fawkes' - Should Guido Audition to Replace Crick

3. While you're there, do enjoy how many of these mostly anonymous comments push forward the idea that the mostly anonymous comments *not* in Staines' favour are the work of enemy astro-turfers (see: Fourth Estate conspiracy, 'NuLab' conspiracy, etc. etc.)

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A major victory for Guido 2.0! The 'war' is within measurable distance of its end!

Manic has been after Paul de Laire Staines (aka 'Guido Fawkes') to make one minor update to his website since waaaay back in January.

This update - the inclusion of time *and* date in comment timestamps - could have been done in minutes on the old version of Blogger that 'Guido' was on then, or the new version of Blogger that he switched to a few weeks ago.

Yesterday, 'Guido' had the builders in making a bit of a mess of his website. Major changes were made to the design template, but this simple 'switch it on' measure was still not taken... despite Paul Staines making a clear promise to do so in his Pickled Politics interview (see here and here).

So last night, Manic sent Paul an email:

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Ireland
To: Guy Fawkes
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 8:48 PM
Subject: When you're ready II

You promised 'time and date' timestamps during your recent interview (the one where you mistook 'irony' for hypocrisy').

Where are they?


PS - They take seconds to turn on and a few minutes to propagate site-wide. It is not a template issue, but a core Blogger feature that is easy to access and enact. What exactly are you afraid of?

A few short hours later, Paul Staines finally made good on his promise and introduced comment timestamps with time *and* date (well, initially he went with the rather more clunky format of date *then* time, but cheeky beggars can't be choosers).

Manic plans to make a similar update to Guido 2.0, as there is little point satirising a state of play that no longer exists. However... with this in mind, Manic does not plan to take this measure until Iain Dale, that other major breeder of sock-puppets and anonymous bullies, makes a similar update to his website.

Manic would also appreciate Iain making a correction to his design template that allows readers to link to individual comments. It is a simple fix, and an important one, as the threads at his website are often almost as long as his record-breaking blogroll.

In fact, Manic sent an email to Iain Dale last night, too... and requested all of the above (a couple of links have been added for the benefit of newcomers):

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Ireland
To: Iain Dale
Cc: Guy Fawkes
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:32 AM
Subject: Re: When you're ready II

Proper timestamps when you're ready, Iain. You jumped pretty quickly on that search function, and that was a much bigger ask than a simple 'turn it on' Blogger feature like this.


PS - And while you're tinkering, please have your webmonkey fix your comment permalinks. I'd like to be able to point to specific moments when you're a total hypocrite.

PPS - Goodbye! Forever! *gasp* *sigh*

Finally, in the interests of transparency, Manic would also like to publish the email he sent to both parties just before closing up shop for the night. For newcomers, it needs to be pointed out that this entire saga can be summed up as follows:

Manic expressed grave concern about the self-serving hypocrisy of Staines and Dale, and the impact that their reliance on anonymous bullies was having on the wider blogging community. Both responded by unwittingly confirming that they were selfish hypocrites on several fronts... but not before hiding behind their anonymous bullies, thereby pushing said bullies into the foreground for everyone to see... in action, no less!

This helped to prove Manic's point about the underhanded methods these anonymous bullies use to restrict free speech.

Dale and Staines also proved time and again that Manic was the only party central to the affair who could afford to say "Bring it on!" when push came to shove.

This helped to prove Manic's point about the importance of credibility to individual sustainability.

Here's the email:

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Ireland
To: Iain Dale ; Guy Fawkes
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:04 AM
Subject: PS

In case I haven't mentioned it before, it is a mistake to let your opponent know what a coward you are. Both of you have, over the last few months, shown exactly what you are made of.

Your team of bullies have - with minor individual variations - made exactly the same error.

It's not the only mistake you've made, but there's a limit to my generosity, so I shall say no more.

Good luck in the coming months. Oh, and fuck you both.



The shared cowardice Manic refers to is best displayed in the following manner:

Manic had this to say about Paul Staines. Did Staines have courage enough (or consideration enough for his readers) to actually link to it in his partial/misleading response? No, he did not.

Manic had this to say about Iain Dale. Did Dale have courage enough (or consideration enough for his readers) to actually link to it in his partial/misleading response? No, he did not.

Manic had this to say about 'Praguetory'. Did 'Praguetory' have courage enough (or consideration enough for his readers) to actually link to it in his partial/misleading response? No, he did not.

Manic had this to say about 'Dizzy'. Did 'Dizzy' have courage enough (or consideration enough for his readers) to actually link to it in his partial/misleading response? No, he did not.

Slam. Dunk. (x4)

PS - No, it is not good policy to interrupt your opponents when they are making a mistake... but it doesn't hurt to point the mistake out when (a) it proves educational to others (b) it is painfully obvious anyway and (c) the damage is irreversible.


Manic has spoken. End communication.

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Selective moderation

In Guido's post where he delivers a pissweak excuse for poor design, a sock-puppeteer turned up in comments with a cack-handed impersonation of blogger Chris Paul.

This sock-puppeteer used the loophole Blogger provides when users opt for unrestricted comments on their system.

Using an open system is acceptable for smaller weblogs, and/or weblogs run by responsible users, but 'bloggers' like Paul Staines and Iain Dale allow readers to abuse the system (and/or abuse the system themselves) when it suits their purpose.

Also, by making it easy for readers (or themselves) to post under multiple pseudonyms, they give the impression of a larger interactive audience than actually exists. (You can see this issue being discussed here, after Iain Dale called a halt to his 'week-long comment registration experiment' after a few short days without the sock-puppets he has come to rely on.)

Meanwhile, Iain's sock-puppeteers bitch and moan about Manic's antics, when it should be clear to any reader that Manic uses a single online identity when dealing with Dale and Staines, and makes no secret of his true identity.

Anyway, let's get back to Chris Paul, his habit of calling Paul 'Guido' Staines on his bullshit, and Staines' rather petty patronage of anonymous bullies who impersonate that blogger...

Below is a screen capture of two comments from an impersonator that - at the time of writing - are still live in this thread (here and here).

Not only are the comments allowed to remain in clear contravention of Blogger's Terms of Service (which clearly state that you are not permitted to use the service to "impersonate any person or entity") but another anonymous comment, probably from the same person, reinforces the impersonation and the aspect of it that is clearly designed to undermine the target.

Staines has not deleted the offending comments or even made an effort to correct the 'error' in the reinforcing comment:

You may also note that, in this exchange, there is a genuine response from Iain Dale. Not long after this comment appeared, someone arrived to impersonate Dale and play drunk... i.e. someone did to Iain Dale exactly what had been done to Chris Paul.

Manic is sure that it will come as no surprise to you that Staines deleted the single impersonation of Iain Dale... but not the repeated impersonations of Chris Paul:

The message is clear; Staines doesn't mind you violating Blogger's Terms of Service and/or breaching blog etiquette on his website... just so long as you don't do it to his mates.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

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