The result you’ve all been waiting for…

I bet you’re dying to know how Busharat fared:

Lawrence Hill
Vacant Seats: 1
Electorate: 8791
Ballot Papers: 2729
Spoilt Papers: 27
Turnout: 31.04%

And the winner is…

Posted in Photoshopping | 5 Comments

Worthy of comment

Iain Dale has no shame.

UPDATE – Heh. I almost forgot that after the last time I linked to Comment Is Free and suggested that people (*gasp*) make a comment, the clever chap who sourced and sorted Iain Dale’s and Paul Staine’s redirect code saw fit to scream “Denial of service attack!”

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 9 Comments

What was I saying about last-minute smears?

Dennis Paul; subtle he is not.

Posted in Anne Milton | Comments Off on What was I saying about last-minute smears?

Goodbye, Tony

My Way (The Blair Version)

I really should be thinking about a farewell gift myself, but this will do for now.

Posted in Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, Tony 'King Blair | 4 Comments

Best. Sock-puppeting. Ever.

In defence of Busharat…. check it out (more here). The logic cannot be argued with.

I’m busy watching this and a few other last-minute online publications as election day draws nearer.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off on Best. Sock-puppeting. Ever.

This is a first… ‘bloggers’ objecting to deeplinks

Over the past few months (see this category page if you’re new here) I’ve made a number of claims about ‘lead bloggers’ Iain Dale and Paul Staines here at Bloggerheads, at Guido 2.0 and, more recently, at Iain Dale’s Dairy.

I have repeatedly backed these claims with evidence, and quite often the evidence was easy enough to come by… it was hosted at either site and all I had to do was provide a hyperlink to it. (Meanwhile, if either of these ‘bloggers’ or the associated bullies saw fit to respond to any case made, they did so without affording their readers the simple courtesy of a hyperlink to that case.)

An example of how important hyperlinks are to a case can easily be seen in three recent posts (1, 2, 3) about their approach to John Hirst.

Now, Iain Dale and Paul Staines seek to undermine this normally straightforward process with the following JavaScript that is now installed on all pages of their respective websites (please note that their code shows that – despite what Iain and Paul would have others think – I’ve become a very high priority to them):

Basically, if you follow any permalink from anywhere at (which includes Guido 2.0), or at Iain Dale’s Dairy (hosted at, you will be redirected to the front page of the related site… and away from any evidence that Iain Dale and Paul Staines would rather you didn’t take a closer look at.

(There are ways to work around this, but in the meantime, because Iain and Paul are such sensitive souls, you will need to right-click on any deep/permalinks to their website, copy them, and paste them directly into the address bar of a new browser tab or window.)

This really is rather childish behaviour… it’s also extremely antisocial and not at all in keeping with the core principles of blogging: – On Permalinks and Paradigms: But why did it take off? What was so important about the permalink? It may seem like a trivial piece of functionality now, but it was effectively the device that turned weblogs from an ease-of-publishing phenomenon into a conversational mess of overlapping communities. For the first time it became relatively easy to gesture directly at a highly specific post on someone else’s site and talk about it. Discussion emerged. Chat emerged. And – as a result – friendships emerged or became more entrenched. The permalink was the first – and most successful – attempt to build bridges between weblogs. It existed way before Trackback and I think it’s been more fundamental to our development as a culture than comments… Not only that, it added history to weblogs as well – before you’d link to a site’s front page if you wanted to reference something they were talking about – that link would become worthless within days, but that didn’t matter because your own content was equally disposable. The creation of the permalink built-in memory – links that worked and remained consistent over time, conversations that could be archived and retraced later. The permalink stopped all weblog conversations being like that guy in Memento…

Normally it’s only ivory-tower corporate types who start refusing/fouling inbound links:
EFF – EFF Warns ABC to Back Off Blogger
The Register – Apple sues itself in the foot (again)

Now Britain’s self-proclaimed blogging champions are at it… and have configured their redirections to target the two sites that are regularly critical of them. If you become regularly critical of either or both sites, then you’re sure to join the list too.

This was, I suspect, a gift to Iain and Paul from Dizzy (one of their lead bullies), who was first to introduce this kiddy-fix and is the only member of their little gang who boasts any technical skills.

It may have seemed clever at the time, but it’s not very smart.

Can you imagine the fuss these so-called bloggers would make if code like this were introduced at the Downing Street website? I can almost hear the mocking laughter now. Dale and Staines would be the first to declare it to be proof that they had got under the government’s skin… and that they clearly had something to hide.

UPDATE – Dizzy confirms he was behind the introduction of this kiddy-tech and includes his most common trademark… a thinly-veiled threat: “Now, I must get back to reading up on Movable Type and how insecure it is.”

UPDATE – Unity offers some thoughts and a possible workaround. Of course, the simplest way forward for all concerned would be for Dale and Staines to admit that perhaps they shouldn’t have listened to Dizzy when he came up with this ‘clever’ ploy that so drastically undermined their credibility (with minimal effort).

UPDATE – See comments. In a further breach of the kind of trust that’s essential to blogging, Dizzy has now amended his code so any link to his site from this one or Iain Dale’s Dairy redirects to… in other words, any new visitor who happens across a post about Dizzy on this site will be forcibly and unexpectedly redirected to a NSFW website. He’s excelling himself today… and appears to be so drunk on the technical side of what he’s achieved that he is blind to the cultural side.

UPDATE (6pm) – Paul Staines has done a ‘monkey do’ and configured his site to redirect all links from or to any page on his website ( to (as Tygerland puts it, with; “No warning. No heads-up about being ‘not safe for work’. Nothing.”) – despite my pointing out here that the NSFW thing is going to be a major issue for people even if the redirects in general are not. Gotta love that devil-may-care attitude.

UPDATE (2nd May) – A comment I made over at Unity’s site that’s worth repeating here:

I’m especially amused that:

a) Dale and Staines went for this in the first place (thereby proving a lot of what I’ve been saying).

b) Knowing that that were willing to do this, that they didn’t have the brains to think of this themselves.

c) Staines visibly followed Dizzy on the stunt, thereby proving that he didn’t have the wit to think of that himself.

d) They didn’t opt for (c) sooner… as they may have got away with this on the basis that it was ‘funny’ and not a clumsy attempt to censor undesirable input. They pissed away a lot of potential for misdirection there.

UPDATE – Would you like to see what Iain Dale has to say for himself? You would? Oh, jolly good! Here you go… don’t expect much.

UPDATE (3rd May) – Many thanks for the offers and suggestions regarding workarounds, but I’m not going to use any for the following reasons:

a) The ability to hyperlink to individual entries and comments on other websites is a cornerstone of blogging, and it’s not something I wish to toy with as a matter of principle.

b) Regardless, most workarounds involve code and redirections that place an unfair burden on readers and/or service providers, and the introduction of any of these would certainly lead to their working around that workaround and my working around that workaround and so on and so forth. A futile escalation would result.

c) Dale and Staines have yet to realise how stupid and cowardly this makes them look.

There’s the NSFW issue to deal with, of course… so I’ve made the following banner that links to this post and appears on every relevant page likely to carry a link to Dale or Staines.

This allows me to alert readers to Paul Staines’ NSFW redirection and highlight a clear (and dual) example of Dale and Staines having no regard for the principles of weblogs and no respect for the web users who read them.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… thanks to the many wonders of honesty and transparency I can afford to say “Bring it on!” and they can’t.

The cant’s.

UPDATE – Paul Staines has finally grown up just enough to drop the redirection to… he now redirects visitors to this Wikipedia entry.

UPDATE (14 May) – Paul Staines is now redirecting users to his t-shirt shop (the good one, not the evil one).

UPDATE (2 June) – Iain Dale has now removed the redirection code. Staines persists.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 27 Comments

Celebrating 10 years of the Downing Street Echo

It’s [almost] 10 years to the day since Tony Blair first walked into Downing Street with the help of that lovely man Rupert Murdoch. And here is today’s news:

Independent – Blair’s bloody legacy: Iraq: On the 10th anniversary of Tony Blair’s election as Prime Minister, an exclusive poll reveals 69 per cent of Britons believe that, when he leaves office, his enduring legacy will be the bloody conflict in Iraq.

Independent – Revealed: how London bombers slipped through MI5’s grasp: As mainland Britain’s longest-running terror trial finally came to an end, the success of police and the security services in smashing an al-Qa’ida plot to bring carnage to Britain was overshadowed by the disclosure that MI5 also missed several opportunities to identify Mohammed Siddique Khan, the leader of the London suicide bombers.

Guardian – July 7 victims deliver inquiry demand: Survivors of and relatives of those killed in the July 7 terror attacks today delivered a letter to the Home Office calling for an “independent and impartial public inquiry” into the attack. The letter, addressed to the home secretary, John Reid, called for a wide-ranging investigation into the communication between government, police and the security service. The move, by the 7/7 Inquiry Group, came a day after it was revealed that MI5 had come across July 7 ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and his right-hand man Shehzad Tanweer while investigating another group of plotters but let them slip through the net.

And now, here is today’s news from the primary propaganda outlet of the Blair/Murdoch dream team:

Be proud, Tony

TEN years ago today, Britain overwhelmingly put its faith in a young politician to guide our nation into a new era. And despite all the moaning, Tony Blair is entitled to feel pride today at his historic decade as Labour PM. Three times the Tories have tried to beat him. Three times they failed. After ten years at No10, Blair is one of the world’s senior statesmen. At home, however much has gone wrong, he has kept his pledge to provide massive extra funding for the NHS and schools. His government has delivered 58 quarters of unbroken economic growth, low inflation, the minimum wage and millions of new jobs. In Northern Ireland, which for so long defeated politicians of every party, the PM is about to seal what looks like permanent peace. And, despite Iraq, he can claim moral victories abroad in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. No leader expects total success. Blair has admitted that some things have gone wrong – things he knows should have gone better. But despite looming defeats in Thursday’s elections, he should raise a glass in quiet celebration. As Gordon Brown writes of today in a remarkable personal tribute to Blair, their own inevitable personal ups and downs should never be allowed to disguise their comradeship and pride in Labour. Sometimes it’s too easy to knock politicians without sufficiently appreciating that a man like Blair has dedicated his life to serving his country – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for ten gruelling years. If the boyish grin of May 1 1997 has been replaced by greying hair, is it any surprise? When you look at the burdens a PM has to carry, it seems a miracle that anyone wants to take it on. Now it looks like Gordon’s turn to take the strain. His first duty should be to buy Blair a drink. He has earned it.

We’re in peril

IT would be nice to think we can sleep easier after putting five al-Qaeda bomb plotters behind bars for decades. But there are plenty more where they came from here in our midst. Hundreds of al-Qaeda cells are planning attacks and grooming suicide bombers. MI5 is stretched to the limit tracking at least 2,000 known extremists in Britain. The lesson from yesterday’s verdict is clear, and we cannot ignore it. Britain must now move much more quickly and firmly to clamp down on Muslim hotheads ranting on our streets to attract new recruits. We cannot wait until London or Manchester is blown to bits before acting to protect the British people.

The only hint of criticism? Two words; ‘despite Iraq’…. which is somewhat overshadowed by a repeat of the all-too-familiar assurance that we had best start appreciating this regime and stop asking difficult questions lest we all get blowed up.

Amusingly, they also bring two boobs out for some ‘united front’ propaganda on Page 3… and yet place the information down by the panties to tell those ‘in the know’ that it’s really a pile of knickers:

page 3 today

Related bloggage:
Rachel North – Update from me
Obsolete – Forever delayed
The Nether-World – July 7: The Truth Starts To Emerge
Craig Murray – The Missing Links: MI5 acts to limit damage over 7/7 failure
Chicken Yoghurt – Two things

UPDATE – More from Rachel (who has had a very busy day).

Posted in Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tony 'King Blair | 3 Comments

I dare Iain Dale and Paul Staines to read this in full…

… and maybe even (*gasp*) respond in an intelligent manner.

Guido 2.0 – Honest John

A fantastic contribution from Unity.

UPDATE (30 April) – Not a peep out of either of them. Like most bullies, they turn out to be cowards when the chips are down. Try to contain your surprise.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 1 Comment

A cunning plan to ease congestion

And I’m doing my bit just by linking to it…

CalumCarr – EXCLUSIVE: Traffic Calming

BTW, if you’re a relatively new blogger and you’ve blogged anything about your local council elections recently (stuff like this or this), then don’t hestitate to shout.

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 4 Comments

Busharat Ali rocks!

Mr Ali (and people like him) should try to understand that people like me regard falsified campaign material to be a betrayal of the trust of the electorate… and poorly-executed falsification to be an insult to our intelligence….

Busharat Ali rocks! Click. Share. Enjoy.

Posted in Photoshopping | 2 Comments