Posted by Tim Ireland at June 4, 2007

Category: Australian Music

I. Am. On. The. Final. Leg.

Unfortunately, the final leg of Blair’s farewell video is the leg with a teeny-tiny gap in the script… and there’s still a missing dance sequence to sort out after that.

End of the week might be pushing it… but I’ll be pressing on like a madman to get there before then.

Here’s some more Australian music to tide you over; a lovely song from Goanna. Enjoy:

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 1, 2007

Category: Australian Music

Halfway through Part II, folks. Have some music while you wait:

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 21, 2007

Category: Tony 'King Blair

That farewell video I’m working on? It’s ‘finished’… but just sailed right into an unexpected Part II. Bear with me.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 21, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Daily Mail – ‘Hitler’ Bush, by Whitehall’s jogging blogger: A former aide to Tony Blair has posted on his website an attack on the Prime Minister which compares President George Bush to Hitler. The attack, which has shocked Whitehall, appears on the outspoken, sexually explicit, website blog of £100,000-a-year civil servant Owen Barder.

Tim Worstall: Just one little point that might be worth mentioning here? All of the above, none of which is as remotely awful or incendiary as the Mail tries to portray, was in fact written while Owen was on a two year sabbatical (an unpaid one, by the way).

Chicken Yoghurt: When I was collating The Blog Digest last year, I asked Owen if I could include two of his posts in the book. He politely refused. I was disappointed but he explained that he was returning from his sabbatical to rejoin the civil service. This is not someone unaware or unmindful of his responsibilities as a civil servant.

Ministry of Truth: … what this amounts to is the Daily Mail dredging through two years of Owen’s material, almost all written while he was on an unpaid sabbatical from the Civil Service, and then using a few carefully selected comments, taken out of context, as the basis for a hatchet job full of gross distortions and misrepresentations to try and fuck him over.

Either Simon Walters is a complete idiot or he’s deliberately trying to blur the lines between past and present and/or original content and linked content.

Tim picks up on a few examples of this in his post and Unity has an added post here where he clean-sweeps another. The only contemporary example appears to involve Barder linking to this Guardian articlelike hundreds of other bloggers who thought it worthy of attention.

But before you swing into Newspapers vs. Blogs mode, please be aware that people like Dizzy and Praguetory (more) play these same games with context and prejudice.

PS – Today, we also have this:

Independent – Linda Grant: The ‘Mail’ turns on the charm: The readers of the Daily Mail are unfairly maligned, argues the title’s owner, Associated Newspapers, which has made a remarkable documentary film in its honour as the principal weapon in a remarkable charm offensive… So the Mail has undertaken an extensive research exercise aimed at changing perceptions of Middle England, with the hope that this in turn will overhaul the reputation of Mail readers themselves. Associated has even come up with a new name for Middle England – Modern MidBritain. The phenomenon has its own website,, which will soon be home to blogging, polling and questionnaires for a vast focus group of 8,000 Modern MidBritainers.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 17, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The Tories seem awfully fond of ringers and sock-puppets, so I think it’s about time they were taught a little lesson… offline and on their own turf.

The Conservatives are looking for a new ‘Digital Development Manager’ and I’d like to send a few applicants their way… openly, but secretly.

Instructions and a mirror of the job ad follow…

1. Check the job description below and ascertain if you can fill it or fake it. If you can, then…

2. Get your CV ready.

3. Check in via email and let me know what you’re up to.

4. If you’re planning on being a ringer, don’t publish/blog anything about it… you must mimic the Sand People and ride your Banthas single-file to hide your numbers (oh, and Paul Staines has linked to the relevant job ad today, so it should be a simple matter for you to wander in with the other traffic if you’re quick about it).

5. Go through the motions, be as honest as you are legally required to be, and report back if and when you get rumbled. – JOBS: Conservative Campaign Headquarters:

Position: Digital Development Manager

Description: A great opportunity exists to join the Conservative Campaign Headquarters Communications team in a leading Communications role. Based in central London, you will require serious digital media strategy and marketing capabilities in order to deliver on the following key roles:

– Growing the user base of the Party’s three main websites products:, Webcameron and SortIt.
– Online PR and marketing – to include SEO optimisation, PPC and email marketing.
– Possess a broad understanding web analytics packages.
– Developing new channels of digital content across all mobile networks.
– Developing sustainable revenue streams across the our digital portfolio.
– Organise regional events and activities to promote our websites.
– Distribution of email virals and online campaigns.
– Developing relationships with digital content producers and multimedia agencies for ongoing web campaigns.

In addition the successful candidate will be:

– Hard-working and flexible.
– Well-organised and able to prioritise.
– Proactive and persistent.
– An enthusiastic team player.
– Resilient and calm under pressure.

If you have the skills required to succeed in this role, please visit download our application form and submit this to or to Jane MacLaren, CCHQ, 25 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0DL.

If you would like to know more about this role, please contact Rishi Saha on 0207 984 8098 or at

We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We value diversity and appoint on merit.

Please note that, due to the large amount of applications we receive, we are not able to acknowledge receipt of all applications. If you have not heard from us by Friday 22 June please assume that, regrettably, your application has been unsuccessful this time.

Closing Date: 29 May 2007

Good luck, everyone!

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 17, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Former Google tea-boy Sam Roake is now a former Tory tea-boy.

[Note – You may have difficulty with that link.]

Sam should take comfort from the fact that whoever they parachuted in to take the site in a new, sudden and corrective exciting direction is clearly struggling… and making him look somewhat professional by comparison. But he’ll want to make some quick decisions about his web presence; Sam hurriedly registered via Tory agency Head after this development and his site currently consists of a mirror of a (since removed) page on Webcameron.

But enough about Sam… let’s get back to us.

It’s been a while since we had some fun, yes?

OK, let’s see what we can do about that…

UPDATE – Yep, here you go… fun time!

UPDATE (18 May) – Tch. The site at has been deleted.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 17, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Guardian – Straw backing bid to exempt parliament from FoI laws
Independent – Labour backs Tory member’s Bill to protect MPs’ privacy

But surely if they’ve done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear…

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 16, 2007

Category: Tony 'King Blair

Independent – Mark Steel: Don’t mention the war (or anything else): That’s a splendid achievement by the Labour Party to assemble such a bunch of candidates for the deputy leadership. Because nowhere else could you gather together six different people, and find they all support the war in Iraq and think Tony Blair is a marvellous bloke. Poor John McDonnell, the anti-war MP, is even struggling to be a candidate for leader. So there’s one person willing to stand who didn’t support their most disastrous policy ever, and they say “Oh go away, you’re not being realistic.”

Sorry, but there’s no sign of any of the main players (and their backers) wanting to risk what’s behind the retaining wall.

If this continues, we can expect to watch the new leadership stagger through the same hostile environment that dogged Blair (as their own people attack them and the Tories quietly pick up the scraps while avoiding the underlying issues themselves) and pretty much hand the next election to the Tories on a platter.

If the Tories win on this basis, they’ll inherit a perceived mandate for pre-emptive military strikes, torture, and detention without trial…. and they’ll have all the nifty new laws that Blair brought in to quieten the fuss at home this kind of thing usually causes.

Then the real fun will start.

I’d love to be this hopeful… but I’m not.

But I do have a little something to say about the faces I do not expect to see in government ever again.

With you shortly.

UPDATE (17 May) – I was saying something about charades, yes?

BBC – Brown will enter No 10 unopposed
Independent – Leading article: Why Tony Blair should go now
BlairWatch – The King is Dead, Long Live the King. Labour Party Members – Know your Place!

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 16, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’), Iain Dale and Tim Montgomerie; what do these three people have in common… I mean, besides their awarding each other top billing in Iain Dale’s not-at-all-expert guide to political blogging?

Here… watch them in action with me. (Careful, now… they don’t like being watched… so we’re going to have to sneak up on them very, very quietly…)

Here’s Iain Dale delivering a withering if poorly-formatted fisk of an article by Melissa Kite, and here’s Tim Montgomerie waving his media cred in front of us before delivering a good kicking.

Melissa Kite responded here, but neither Tim nor Iain have found the time to link to this response themselves. (In fact, Iain appears to be far more concerned about his planned a letter of complaint to Mel Brooks about all those Jewish jokes.)

[MINI-UPDATE – More on Iain and Borat here.]

No, instead Iain and Tim leave the response to Daddy and his team of flying monkeys (including Praguetory and Dizzy).

A lot of right-boosting chatter turned up under the Kite post (“Conservative blogging seems to be thriving…” etc.), but this was the one that really caught my eye:

“We vastly outnumber our leftie friends, from what I can see…”

From what you can see?

From what I can see, this fresh batch of blogging Tories relies heavily on the use of sock-puppets and any immediate headcount is bound to give a false result.

Take my two locals for example… Mike Chambers and Dennis Paul. Over the last year, between them they’ve created half a dozen anonymous weblogs and used dozens of online identities. They also happened to be quite active in the comments of Staines’ weblog (and later Dale’s) during the ‘Blog Brother’ pile-on.

Both Paul Staines and Iain Dale make good use of sock-puppets and their puppeteers to protect themselves from criticism, which only accelerates the breeding cycle. It’s a flying monkey see, flying monkey do thing.

And here comes Tim Montgomerie to hand out special awards to those same flying monkeys… in a staggeringly-important awards event that’s exclusive to Tories and run by a weblog that is barely 18 months old.

Here’s Praguetory waving his nomination about by way of introduction (before delivering a devastating ‘no comment’ to anything I may have said about him).

See how much better it makes him feel? See how much more important he seems to casual bystanders?


Never forget folks, the right’s dominance of the blogosphere* is self-evident. They have superior numbers and are so very skilled at blogging that they win awards for it and everything.

[*Note – Said blogosphere may or may not exist, depending on the whims of the ‘dominant’ party or parties.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 14, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

I went to the press screening of Taking Liberties on Thursday night (YouTube trailer here):

I sat next to Beau Bo D’Or, who thought the issue ordering was a bit shambolic (therefore making the film less useful to the uninitiated). Me, I’m of the view that the many recent attacks on our civil liberties intersect in so many insane ways that it’s a bit of an ask to even try to place them in sequential order…. and damn it, I’m just so happy that this film *exists*!

OK, so I had a few nitpicks myself (the otherwise spectacular animated sequences stray from the narrative/thrust from time to time) but throughout the film I repeatedly caught myself thinking; “Oh, good, they’re covering this. But what folks normally miss about this event/development is that… oh, there it is.”

I came away deeply impressed by that; the people behind Taking Liberties know their material backwards.

It’s also fun watching it with an audience – especially in places when those ‘in the know’ allow themselves a bitter chuckle as the virgins gasp in disbelief.

Well worth a sincere and targeted plug, IMO, so here goes:

Taking Liberties is due for general cinema release on June 8th, it’s the nearest thing you’ll get to a movie version of this category, and I recommend that readers of Bloggerheads (a) plan to see it and (b) take a virgin with them.

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