Posted by Tim Ireland at July 24, 2007

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Israel: Blair seeks new premises, asks neighbours to make nice
London: Blair secures new premises, asks neighbours to spread ’em








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 24, 2007

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Things for you to do today:

1. Read this or this
2. Write a letter to your MP
3. Blog the text of your letter (if you have a blog).
4. Sign here, please.

My letter email follows:

Anne,

First, apologies for the email; I would have preferred sending a letter, but time is of the essence and I’ve already wasted a day.

I come to you with a unique and dual opportunity; the chance to actively prevent further needless deaths in Iraq and to preserve what little remains of the moral authority we pissed away when we invaded that same country.

Here is the situation in a nutshell:

The UK is refusing asylum status to Iraqi translators who aided the British forces.

Why do they require asylum? Well, their lives are in danger… because they aided the British forces!

Helpfully, the Home Office has turned them away and suggested they instead ‘register with the UN refugee agency’… so these people are now in a position where they wait to see which will arrive first; their paperwork or the friendly neighbourhood death squad.

I am hoping that you will see the moral and practical implications of our turning our backs on these people. Myself, I’m of the view that asylum status should be automatic for them and for their families.

If you hold the same view, I urge you to act on it with all speed… i.e. before the ability of our armed forces to protect these people erodes any further and/or the upcoming summer holiday swallows the issue whole.

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com

If you require further information, these are the best links for you to follow:
http://crookedtimber.org/2007/07/22/important-time-to-do-the-right-thing-by-our-iraqi-friends/
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/iraqi+translators+feel+abandoned/530257

UPDATE – Click here for the reply.

UPDATE (07 Aug) – I’ve updated this and a further post where possible/applicable, as we are in the main talking about interpreters rather than translators.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 24, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Charge your coffee-cups, good people, and prepare to toast the return of CuriousHamster.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 23, 2007

Category: Flash Music Video, Games and Objects

We’re on the lookout for a vocal impressionist (or two). Range will probably count for more than accuracy.

See Colin for details.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 23, 2007

Category: Inneresting

– Bloggerheads was brought down this morning… by flooding! Cheers, God.

This campaign to support Iraqi translators deserves your support, but my letter will have to wait until tomorrow. [Worth adding from Justin; It is best that those of us deciding to write a letter do so in a personal fashion – form letters and mass-mailouts are frowned upon by our elected representatives and often end up in the bin.]

– “I am spending today helping commemorate the tenth anniversary of the end of the Rwandan genocide” says the ever-humble but three-years-late Toryblogger Iain ‘Action Man’ Dale without being pulled up on it once in an 80+ comment thread… proving that you can get by on very little research if your cynical publicity stunt tugs hard enough at the heart-strings.

– Speaking of heart-strings… this lovely item from Justin compels me to link to this excellent piece by Septicisle… and this one.

– Paul Staines greatly amuses me… some people will do anything to sell revive a book, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone boasting that they’ve managed to get 100+ people to pledge money… in theory only.

– I meant to blog this last week, but got distracted; Tony Blair had three conversations with Rupert Murdoch in the nine days before the invasion of Iraq. There’s an older article that deserves to be twinned with this one; not one of Murdoch’s editors opposed the invasion. I think the man deserves to be billed as an architect, myself.

– Still on Murdoch, here’s a little quote for the people who wave The Simpsons in my face as ‘proof’ that Murdoch isn’t the world’s most manipulative twunt:

“The show’s had its ups and downs. It had a couple years there where it grew a bit dark, but we sort of got them out of that.” Rupert Murdoch

– I meant to blog this the week before last week, but got distracted; the Bush administration has been gagging the surgeon general! A round-up relevant of editorials can be found here.

Tim Worstall sparks an intelligent debate on cannabis.

– And, finally, before I rush out that door… Slaughtering virtual bunnies is preferable to downloading porn. Discuss.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 20, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

I suppose I should expand on my previous entry…

:o)

The Tories came third in both seats (and there’s some lovely live-blogging of those results here if you’re interested).

If you hear any bulldust* about gains today, those figures are a 0.2% gain in Sedgefield and a 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall.

(*The above statement from Grant Shapps comes to us via Iain Dale, who’s just a wee bit late with a show of candour… and is clutching at straws himself with that ‘LibDem failure’ nonsense. Until yesterday, the Tories thought they had second place in the bag and a shot at the top in Ealing Southall. After all, the figures leaked or invented in this little affair had Labour and the Tories neck-and-neck at 33% of the vote each, with the Libs trailing at 26%)

For the sake of that 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall….

Iain Dale, their shining light of the blogging world, sacrificed a truckload of credibility, most notably when his readers saw the sudden shift in gear between this event and this one (in fact, it’s well worth your time to read the comments on the latter link).

Grant Shapps, their campaign master, pissed away any credibility he had with the online audience he is officially charged with reaching by claiming that he wasn’t reduced to personally sock-puppeting the opposition, but he had in fact been hacked by some miscreant who had guessed his password… 1234!

Jonathon Isaby, one of their most faithful journalists, was dumped right in it when a strategic leak caught him on the wrong side of electoral law.

Tony Lit, their glossy candidate, gave up a job (that he’ll probably get back) for a few weeks of hell… but should count himself lucky that Labour and the Liberal Democrats aren’t anywhere near as nasty that his Tory campaign team have been claiming.

The bottom line is that the Tories got the result they deserved. Screaming ‘dirty tricks’ while playing dirty tricks got them nowhere (sorry, not true; it earned them a gain… of 0.9%).

At the same time it was revealed leaked that no-one will be charged (or shot) over the cash-for-honours affair. (And at this point I should point out that – charges or not – something still stinks to high heaven about this. In fact, what’s so rotten about it is easily summed up by repeating the following: These people came offering donations, but were instead asked for loans. Were it not for this scandal, how many of them do you think would be prepared to simply write off the loan after a suitable period?)

The Tories banked heavily on cash-for-honours… it was a potentially lethal blow to Labour’s already-tarnished image, and it allowed them to attack the government’s credibility without mentioning a certain minor incident they played no small part in… and you really have to spare a thought for poor old Paul Staines, who spent months setting himself up as unofficial-investigator-in-chief, declared live on Newsnight that Lord Levy would stand trial and even wasted many, many man-hours on a book with the working title; “The Trial of Lord Levy”… the man should count himself lucky if he doesn’t get sued over this (more).

I could go on and on and on and on… but I won’t. This by-election nonsense culminating in yesterday’s sick ‘suicide rumour’ stunt already has me dancing dangerously close to a whole lot of crap I’d rather leave behind.

So… instead… now that yours truly (and almost everyone else) has had their share of schadenfreude, I’m going to declare the rest of today to be Hug a Tory Day

HUG A TORY DAY: 20 July 2007

INSTRUCTIONS:

– Find a Tory weblog
– Leave a *hug* under ‘comments’
– Leave
– Spread the love by repeating this message on your weblog… and include a link to your hug

I personally have chosen to hug Praguetory.

Have a nice day, folks.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 20, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

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 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 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 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!

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 19, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Ben Marshall – Bong! And here are my views: Doughty Street has a distinct liberal left bias…

You what?!

Justin and Bob are equally perplexed. I know it’s the day for cannabis-related confessions, but this is a hell of a way to come out….








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 19, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Iain and his Tory cheats chums can wait for a moment… I have a little project for any bloggers who wish to take part.

At what I estimate to be 7:40pm last night, a recent member of the sikhsangat.com forums (‘kizmat’, who joined on 10 July 07) posted to those forums a none-too-subtle just-wondering-out-loud rumour that an Independent candidate in Ealing Southall had committed suicide.

The OTT l33t-speak (voice of da yoof, innit) suggests a troll at work, but I’m waiting for my registration to go through before I poke into the origins any more.

For now, you need to know that someone is currently busying themselves going from blog to blog bouncing off the above and posting the following message anonymously:

Story emerging (www.sikhsangat.com) that someone called Mr Rai has committed suicide. If this is Dr Rai one of the candidates, do the rules allow the election to carry on in Ealing Southall.

So far, I’ve spotted this posted anonymously as a comment on several weblogs (1, 2, 3) and the same message has been submitted (I would guess fraudulently) under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ over at Ministry of Truth and Pickled Politics.

If one of these comments has been posted to your weblog and you have the capacity to single it out and produce the IP address used to post it, then please do get in touch.

It’s polling day, and we appear to have a trouble-maker on the loose.

UPDATE – Worth adding is this from Unity; “My view on this is that (Anil Sharma) is on the level but a bit gullible in swallowing that L33t post on SikhSangat”

Yes, this is entirely possible. It was the sheer effort that went into it that made me suspect deliberate propagation. I hope to have a clearer picture as the IP data rolls in.

UPDATE – The Yahoo address used by the person posting this and other information under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ bounces with the message that the account does not exist. The pattern of comments also suggests that our helpful contributor is targeting weblogs that have covered the Sikh politics angle during this campaign. I now have enough to go to the relevant ISP with an abuse report, and I’ll also be looking closer at the origins of the rumour.

UPDATE (11am) – The relevant post at sikhsangat.com has been removed.

UPDATE (1pm) – A report has been sent to the relevant ISP and the Electoral Commission. I’ll let you know how I get on. Still waiting for sikhsangat.com registration to go through…

UPDATE (20 July) – What happens from here is now a matter for the police. Thanks to everyone for their input.








Posted by Tim Ireland at July 18, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The Tories appear to have been caught breaking electoral law in Ealing Southall.

That well-known Conservative propagandist political commentator Iain Dale is going to be out of action for most of the evening and perhaps even some of the morning for reasons that may amuse some people, so here’s a rare chance for Teh Little Bloggers to ‘scoop’ Dale by being the first to publish the official spin on their expert opinion on this affair.

Here’s my effort:

ULTRA-MULTI-EXCLUSIVE! Last minute stunt by Lib-Labs falls flat on its face

Tories allegedly breaching suggested electoral guidelines?

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the source and pressed Tory HQ for answers. I can now reveal in a statement that’s EXCLUSIVE to this weblog that Grant Shapps suspects that an unknown Labour or Liberal Democrat activist (most likely the partisan scumbag and pretend-blogger Tom Watson) has somehow posed as an unnamed Tory source thereby defrauding Telegraph reporter Jonathan Isaby…. which is AGAINST THE LAW!!!

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the source and pressed Jonathan Isaby for answers. I can now reveal in a statement that’s EXCLUSIVE to this weblog that Jonathan Isaby suspects that an unknown Labour or Liberal Democrat activist (most likely the partisan scumbag and pretend-blogger Tom Watson) has somehow hacked the Telegraph’s weblog via the ingenious method of guessing the username and password (‘jamesbond’ and ‘007’)…. which is AGAINST THE LAW!!!

This just didn’t seem possible to me, so I went straight to the pixies at the bottom of my garden and pressed them for answers…

Award-worthy… wouldn’t you say?

(You wouldn’t? Well, tough. I’m writing The Official One and Only Book Of Funniest People tomorrow and I’m only settling for 2nd place because I’m so damn modest.)

UPDATE – BBC – Police begin Southall vote probe: An investigation has been launched after a complaint from the Labour Party about alleged electoral offences in the Ealing Southall by-election. It relates to a Daily Telegraph website blog entry which claimed to show how many postal votes each candidate had won ahead of Thursday’s ballot. The Telegraph Media Group said this was removed as soon as it was pointed out that it could breach electoral law. The Metropolitan Police said the matter is being “thoroughly investigated”. The article on the Daily Telegraph website quoted “a source inside the Tory campaign”. However, a spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “Our agent in Ealing Southall hasn’t published any such information or spoken to the Daily Telegraph.”

Of course, only the churlish would treat that denial with contempt (by, say, scrutinising its rather specific nature)… so let’s allow it to scamper free and unfettered for a few hours.

UPDATE (19 July) – Ahahahahahaha! Again, I demand some form of prize. It turns out the BBC cut the above quote short;

Guardian – Police investigate alleged Ealing byelection leak: A Conservative spokesman said: “We haven’t seen this blog so it’s difficult to comment. The fact that the blog has now been removed speaks for itself. Our agent in Ealing Southall hasn’t published any such information or spoken to the Daily Telegraph. We suspect that this is mischief making by our opponents.”

There’s your ball… all that remains is for Dale to run with it.

Oh, and the specific nature of that denial? I’m assured by insiders that each party is allowed two representatives at the postal vote openings in a by-election, and this denial relates specifically to the party agent. It is also possible that the party agent or their fellow team member present at the openings related the data to a third party who then contacted the Telegraph. It is even possible that the data is entirely made-up (still against the law in this context). This denial means very little, and even less if it comes from Grant Shapps.

UPDATE (12pm) – Tut. Iain’s leaving town leaving no more than a sniffy comment behind. There goes my propaganda-disguised-as-comment trifecta.








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