Operation Circle Jerk

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 in The Political Weblog Movement | 2 Comments

Taking Liberties

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.

Posted in The War on Stupid | 5 Comments

Not a good start, Gordon

The UK Today – Is Gordon Brown a spammer?

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off on Not a good start, Gordon

Political Blogging Tip #1

If you no longer wish Iain Dale to link to your website, all you have to do is say something negative about him and/or link to Iain Dale’s Dairy and he will kindly remove that link for you:

Iain Dale’s Dairy – Iain Dale is a very nice person

Play your cards right and you may even get a sniffy email or comment from the man himself to keep as a souvenir!

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off on Political Blogging Tip #1

Do the early signs look promising? Well…

Here are two items from the Independent on Sunday:

IoS – Brown to wrongfoot Cameron with 100,000 new eco-homes

IoS – Murdoch: I’m proud to be green: In one of the most unexpected conversions since Saul of Tarsus hit the road to Damascus, Rupert Murdoch is turning into a green campaigner. He is making the whole of his worldwide operations carbon neutral and setting out to “educate and engage” his readers and viewers about global warming.

And today, we have this from the Downing Street Echo:

The Sun – EXCLUSIVE: Brown the builder gets going

The Sun – Only Brown can fill Tony’s shoes

Oh, and this shining endorsement from the Page 3 girl:

The Sun, Page 3 - 14 May 2007

Memo to Rebekah Wade:

Prepare your troops for an all-out assault on global terrorism warming:

Core messages:

– We could all die horribly. Quite possibly tomorrow.
– This must unite in this struggle and not let petty differences over foreign policy sway us from our task.
– What is done is done. Let us look to the future and work together toward our goal a common goal.
– Anyone who dares dredge up the past or have a pop at us about anything we’re up to presently does not take global warming seriously, and is therefore an enemy of the people.

Immediate tasks:

– Register ‘Carbon Cheats’ as a trademark.
– Provide evidence that the EU is driving climate change.
– Oh, and have someone investigate the average carbon output of an illegal immigrant.

In short, nothing much changes… but we go green from today.

Murdoch Smash!

Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off on Do the early signs look promising? Well…

It’s what now?

Bloody hell… it’s Friday already! Where did my week go?

PS – Some ‘Guido’ news here and a summary here.

Oh, and this… you have to see this.

Posted in The War on Stupid | Comments Off on It’s what now?

Who wants it?

If I had the time, I’d look into this today. I’d want to see this video, know where it came from and get an independent translation of its contents.

Any takers?

Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 5 Comments

The retaining wall

Independent – Two guilty of trying to leak details of Blair’s talks with Bush: Tony Blair’s ill-fated war with Iraq claimed two more victims yesterday when a civil servant and an MP’s researcher were convicted of disclosing details of a secret conversation between the Prime Minister and President George Bush. Last night, MPs, lawyers and civil rights groups described the prosecution as a “farce” and accused the Government of misusing the Official Secrets Act to cover up political embarrassment over the war.

Today there will be a business-as-usual-smooth-transition-nothing-to-get-worked-up-about announcement from Tony Blair.

What you will want to watch out for in what follows – within the Labour Party and without – is the gang that campaigns to maintain the retaining wall, behind which lies the beginning of the solution to the One Big Problem that’s been dogging this country and paralysing our government for years.

If these people take control of the leadership, then we’ll be left with the same problem and no way to solve it.

Though I’ll be watching Blair until his (or my) dying day, the obstacles to any kind of viable/satisfactory solution will be my main priority.

PS – The Zombie Cabinet? Sorry… been there, done that. I do have a final audio-visual follow-up for Blair in the works, and it’s about halfway done. (I hope you like it; we’ll be covering some past ground, but with added sass and razzmatazz.)

I’m out on a major project all day, but if anyone’s interested, I’ll be having a rehearsal pint in the Red Lion at 3-4pm today (10 May) and shedding at least one pair of old shoes while I’m in the neighbourhood.

Cheers all.

(Oh, has anybody realised that – whoever is PM by summer – he or she will be expected to stand on their heads and juggle ice cream within two months of their gaining office?)

Posted in Tony 'King Blair | 3 Comments

The ‘lone obsessive’ strikes again

Busy one today. You’ll have to ‘settle’ for three items of interest:

Obsolete – The blogging counter-revolution

Ministry of Truth – Freedom? What Freedom?

Not Saussure – An interim announcement

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off on The ‘lone obsessive’ strikes again

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now official…

Mike Chambers is a loser.

Chris Ward, the victim of the smears Chambers was spreading via an anonymous weblog, beat him by a hefty margin.

The Milky Bars are on me.

(Psst! For those who missed it, check out Mike’s ‘election broadcast’. Gotta love that casual setting… I always drink mineral water from a champagne glass as I type on my laptop… in a field.)

UPDATE (4:15pm) – And it’s a close-but-no-banana for Dennis Paul!

Listen… do you hear that? No, it’s not a teeny, tiny violin… it’s a lonely pint in the pub that’s calling my name.

UPDATE (4:25pm) – Oh, now this is the crowning touch… in the last few minutes Dennis Paul appears to have deleted his entire official weblog. (Don’t worry; I saved copies of all the good stuff.)

UPDATE (4:40pm) – I can now confirm that Dennis has indeed deleted his entire weblog… I know this because Blogger.com allowed me to snap up his old address. The Dennis Paul weblog is dead… long live the Dennis Paul weblog!

UPDATE (4:48pm) – Tch. Mike has taken his video offline. I’d do something about that, but that pint is calling…

UPDATE (14 May) – Mike’s official promotional website – formerly at the subdomain http://mike.ycge.com/ – was removed on 9 May. Mike’s greenbait site remains live. Meanwhile…

It doesn’t look like they want to play nice, does it?

Posted in Anne Milton | 16 Comments