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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

David Cameron's attack dog

Having just read Unity's demolition of Paul Staines' recent propaganda drive, I got thinking as to the nature of the Guido site's role within the Tory online operation.

Unity has clearly outlined some of Staines' salacious techniques, and exposed his use of evocation to project an air of scandal around Gordon Brown's relationship with the Smith Institute. But why is Staines spending so much time trying to set-up his ruse, especially when the evidence he draws upon is so tenuous?

As Unity has ably proven, the evidence Staines uses to further his conspiracy does not hold up to scrutiny, so clearly Staines is looking for something that may or may not be there. This leads me to one question: What came first… the 'evidence' or the conspiracy theory?

Is Staines just so desperate to find dirt on Brown that he'll concoct a story even if there is no conclusive proof?

Did one of Staines' "co-conspirators" send him documents that suggest Brown's relationship with the Smith Institute is in someway improper, or is Staines just hoping to sling enough dirt to sully the Chancellor's reputation prior to his expected premiership?

It’s strange how this attack by Staines seems to be coordinated with a concerted Tory front to hold the chancellor's toes to the fire over the current pensions outcry. But surely that’s just a coincidence, isn’t it?

The charges Staines alludes to on his blog are unsubstantiated, this we know, so one presumes Staines is doing the dirty work of The Conservative Party. After all, there is no way that Tory MPs could make such baseless accusations (such are the rules in the Commons), so what they'd need would be a medium that is dislocated from the official parliamentary rule book. Staines is also keen, at every possible opportunity, to remind those who read his blog that his blog is hosted in the States, a feature that offers him some cover from UK libel (although this is oft overplayed).

How much coordination Staines has with the official Tory apparatus is unclear, but a few minutes reading Francis Maude's contribution to Precious Iain Dale's Guide to political Blogging (he's a blogging expert, you know?), and you’re aware how important the party considers its premier bloggers. But the Nazis, I presume, loved their attack dogs too…

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's grim oop North

Hi, I'm Clive and I blog (when time allows) at The UK Today.

I'm here at the invite of Tim. I accepted this invitation to contribute in order to address the biggest single threat faced by the UK political blogosphere; the growing influence of certain right-wing blogs and a rampant outpouring of hypocrisy. Sorry, the two biggest threats faced by the UK political blogosphere; the growing influence of certain right-wing blogs, a rampant outpouring of hypocrisy and the condoning of unacceptable online conduct. The many threats faced by the UK political blogosphere....

Excuse me, I'll try that again.

I'm a socialist, with a small "s". Unlike The Great Charm Rat (or Blessed St Margaret as the less discerning call her) I believe in this strange thing called "society". In fact I find most of what the Conservatives (and New Labour) stand for to be unpleasant and unacceptable in a civilised society. I'm also a Christian who believes that Matthew hit the nail firmly on the head.

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Now, I've met Paul Staines and while he superficially appeared pleasant enough, I remember how he and his ilk behaved during the 80's and 90's. I lived in Berkshire when Cruise and Pershing arrived; I was studying in the Rhondda in South Wales during the miner's strike; the Lawson boom forced me to leave the place where I grew up and where all my friends lived and I have spent the last 18 years living in a region devastated by Thatcherism and the worst excesses of Conservative policy.

Anyone capable of reasoned judgement and who has visited Staines' blog will see it for what it is. A partisan cess-pit of bigotry, hypocracy and right-wing excess. It may seem cool, knocking the New Labour government (with justification), but don't for a moment believe the spin Paul puts on his blog. When the Conservatives finally form a government, don't expect people like Staines' to hold them to account. They'll simply become the sycophantic mouthpieces of a New Tory establishment that at heart will be no different to New Labour or the old Tories.

Staines' blog isn't cool, it is a dangerously appealing home for people who either should know better yet don't care, or seriously misguided individuals who don't appreciate the risks inherent in Staines' methods.

So I'm here to provide balance; to try and highlight the need for greater honesty, transparency and better standards of conduct in the political blogosphere.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I'm in it for the Children

Hello there. My name is Aaron and I write the blog.

I'm delighted to accept Tim's invitation to Guido 2.0 for several reasons. But first I'd like to say from the outset that I have no personal gripe with Paul "Guido Fawkes" Staines or Precious Iain Dale, and as far as I know they're both thoroughly decent chaps, although I doubt it very much.

My main reason for contributing to Guido 2.0 is to help shed light on the very serious myopia active within the rightwing blogosphere. What do I mean? Well, firstly, I'm rather befuddled as to how someone like Paul Staines becomes a hero to so many bedroom-bound Tories?

Yes, yes, I know; there are few things that get the Tory juices going like a greying middle-aged banker with a paunch. But seriously, this whole fucking obsession with a guy and his laptop is really odd and just a bit weird.

Secondly, I'd like to bust the myth that somehow over the past couple of years it's become OK to become a Tory.

It's not OK. It probably never will be. Children, please; being a Tory just isn't cool. The dangerous game the Tories are playing scares the hell out of me.

Just think. All these impressionable facebookers and myspacers coming across Paul’s radical looking site or Slipery Dave’s spunky WebCameron video blog; they’re inclined to think that these are just more cool networking opportunities. No Children! Playing with Conservatism is very dangerous. First you’re chatting about what Dave C plays on his iPod, the next minute you’re wearing a 'hang Nelson Mandela' t-shirt and stealing your little brother's milk. This is how it starts people.

So in essence, I see my contribution here as an opportunity to help out the little people: the poor impressionable children. God Bless them.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Voluntary Code Free Zone killed by ardent believers

The latest abandoned right-wing blog to fall victim to blog-hijacking spammers is:

The same affiliate scheme used for the Out From Under hijack is being used to redirect visitors to a different destination URL, in a effort to get a bit of that red-hot 'finger wave' action:

Disillusioned & Bored used to be home to the Voluntary Code Free Zone (the genesis of which has been hastily preserved here).

Manic would love to pause and enjoy the subtle irony of that, but there is work to be done!

Recently-abandoned British political weblogs need to be checked for similar hijacks and a list of hijacked blogs needs to be tallied and published.

Why? Well, as a 'just for example' type thing, this recent series of hijacks presents Iain Dale with a small problem; there's no telling how many blogs in his 'definitive' list of British political weblogs now feature links to hardcore pornography (and unprincipled faux-outraging members of opposing parties could easily misrepresent this eventuality in order to cause him embarrassment further embarrassment).

Happily, Iain Dale also presents us with a possible solution... he has one of the longest blogrolls in the entire world!

Manic has some web-browsing to do, and he will check in shortly.

Manic has spoken. Further communication to follow.

UPDATE - These blogs have been abandoned and then hijacked by spammers, and you may want to remove them from your blogroll(s):

After trawling through Iain Dale's impossibly-long (but suddenly useful) blogroll, Manic also found the following:

The David Coleman blog has been spammed in a new and exciting way:

It is not advisable for newbies with unprotected PCs to visit the page hosted at the above location, or the URL it redirects to:

The Injured Cyclist has been hijacked by a Japanese spammer pushing 'Windows Vista' on the cheap, by the looks of things:

The Dave Mills and Pete Kelly blogs are dead, but not spammed:

That appears to be it for now. Complaints have been filed with Google for all spam that has been found... but if you find any more, please tell Manic!

Two side-bars:

1. It was interesting to note how many political bloggers are repeating Iain's mistake of putting all of their eggs into a single Blogger basket.

2. There are many other corrections that need to be made to Iain's record-breaking blogroll, but Manic was mainly chasing Blogger users... and he is not Iain's housemaid.

Manic has spoken. End communication.

UPDATE (16 Mar) - Since this post went live, the spam/re-direct has been removed from and all past blog entries appear to be been reinstated in full (comments and all). No new posts, though. How odd.

Manic has spoken again. End communication again.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

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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