Posted by Tim Ireland at March 16, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

flounce (verb):

To walk or move with exaggerated, affected or unnatural motions expressive of self-importance or self-display.

When I first raised an objection or twelve about the way Paul de Laire Staines conducted himself as a blogger, I made it very clear that Iain Dale played a significant role in the decay in blogging ethics that was the core concern: In his laughable guide to political blogging in the UK, he pushes Guido forward as his poster-child and states that; “The power of blogging flows from directly connecting with the readers, key to that direct connection is honesty.”

Since that time, Iain Dale has desperately tried to brand this intervention as a war and cast himself as an innocent bystander. In fact, you can see him trying this on right here (and reactions to this post can be seen here, here, here, here and here).

Please note that in his response, Iain Dale dismisses allegations made against him without providing his readers with a link to those same allegations. Just like ‘Guido’, Praguetory and Dizzy did.

You may detect the acrid tang on censorship here, and you’d be right…

Iain Dale is not an innocent bystander, because two of the core issues here are censorship and anonymous bullying (see: censorship).

Over the last 12 months or so, both Iain Dale’s blog and the ‘weblog’ of Paul Staines’ have acted as training grounds for an unknown number of anonymous bullies, many of whom now operate their own weblogs.

The reason the actual number of anonymous bullies is unknown is because both websites normally allow a comments free-for-all that is only interrupted by the introduction of pre-vetting/moderation when the reputation of the author is at risk… the rest of the time, these blogs allowed anyone to post under any damn name they pleased.

Many personal smears with a clear political purpose have been published at both weblogs under these conditions, and to the casual reader they may have added credence because they appear to come from multiple sources.

In both cases, anonymous comments have also been used to defend/help the authors, and these comments seem to pop up at the most opportune moments. I’d like to think that I can be forgiven for suspecting that – like Dizzy – both of these individuals are sad bastards who often feel compelled to intervene on their own behalf while pretending to be someone else (i.e. they engage in the use of sock-puppetry and astro-turfing).

[Sidebar: Meanwhile, these same people seek to bat away valid criticism as ‘smears’, and/or shout down every criticism as the work of a ‘New Labour astro-turfer’.]

What Iain Dale has definitely been doing on a regular basis is hiding behind these anonymous bullies when he faces difficultly. Meanwhile, he gallivants about town billed as a ‘blogging expert’ and pontificates on the values of honest communication via weblogs… because he’s a duplicitous mouth-breather.

Bloggerheads (February 13, 2007): If you run a weblog that contains a significant level of political discussion, you really should have some form of comment registration in place or be ready to moderate your arse off. If you don’t do either, you lay fertile ground for anonymous bullies who seek to limit free speech by undermining and intimidating those they don’t agree with (while simultaneously screaming about their right to free speech). No matter where stand politically, if you allow the above on your website and/or are irresponsible enough to actively use it to your advantage, the only thing you really prove every time you ‘win’ is that you are afraid to conduct an open and honest debate. This does not indicate a significant level of confidence in your political beliefs.

A couple of days ago, Iain finally responded to my concerns by introducing comment registration on a week-long trial basis.

Please note that in this response, Iain makes no mention of my repeated calls for him to put responsibility before ego and introduce comment registration… in fact, he even went so far as to suggest that the only reason for its introduction was a series of personal smears from New Labour astro-turfers (see sidebar above).

I thought he deserved to be called on that… and here we take a big step closer to the almighty flounce.

Here is the guts of the initial exchange of at Iain dale’s weblog (the first text in italics is a quote from an earlier comment):

Guido 2.0 said…

Shame on the trolls.

Shame on Iain, [for] actively [encouraging] trolls by hiding behind them.

You can never be too aware of sock-puppetry.

1:23 AM

Iain Dale said…

Tim Ireland, stop link spamming you [unbelievable] hypocrite.

1:41 AM

Guido 2.0 said…

Spam you say?

Iain, you really are a silly boy sometimes. Do you follow Guido on *everything*?

PS – Please fix your comment permalinks.

8:59 AM

[Sidebar: Note the repeated use of my name in this exchange and many, many others that – to the casual reader – might suggest that I am engaging in sock-puppetry myself. Not so. Both the Guido 2.0 profile and the Guido 2.0 website make it abundantly clear who I am. I have been engaging Dale, Staines and their bullies using the Guido 2.0 Blogger profile because all of the blogs involved rely on Blogger’s kiddy-tech, and I never tire of hearing complaints about my talking in third-person… just as Paul Staines does.]

The last link in the above exchange is supposed to link directly to a comment left earlier by Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) in this thread, but it doesn’t work because Iain’s individual comment permalinks are borked. Basically, ‘Guido’ (aka ‘Daddy‘) passed Iain the ‘link spammer’ ball and Iain ran with it.

But, sadly, he was not able to carry it very far.

Here comes Iain’s big flounce, boys and girls… it begins with my objection to an outright spammer making a false claim of spamming:

[Note: The ‘And you say…?” response has been shamelessly lifted from CuriousHamster’s tangle with Praguetory. It seemed fitting.]

From: Tim Ireland
Sent: 15 March 2007 9:50 AM
To: Iain Dale
Subject: link spamming…?

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Do you really [believe] that’s what this is?

Tim

From: Iain Dale
To: Tim Ireland
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:56 AM
Subject: RE: link spamming…?

If you accuse me of spamming you when I merely email you to ask for a reciprocal link then sure, constantly posting comments on other people’s sites with links to your own is spam.

From: Tim Ireland
To: “Iain Dale”
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:15 AM
Subject: Re: link spamming…?

An on-topic link is preferable to a bunch of text that has already been published elsewhere. It is not spam.

You sent out a bulk unsolicited email. Spam in anyone’s book.

And you say…?

Tim

(no response)

From: Tim Ireland
To: Iain Dale
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: link spamming…?

And you say….?

(no response)

From: Tim Ireland
Sent: 15 March 2007 7:14 PM
To: Iain Dale
Subject: Re: link spamming…?

Iain, don’t jerk me around. You picked up Guido’s baseless ‘spammer’ smear and ran with it. Either withdraw the comment – as it was made, publicly – or be prepared justify it.

Tim

From: Iain Dale
To: Tim Ireland
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:44 PM
Subject: RE: link spamming…?

Oh do get real. Have you really got nothing better to do with your time?

Virtually every comment you leave on a blog at the moment has a link back to your own. If that isn’t link spamming then fuck knows what is. But then you do need the traffic I guess.

Nothing further to add. See below. End communication. Permanently.

Goodbye. Forever.

Goodbye forever?!

Bloody hell! Move over, Blanche DuBois… there’s a new drama queen in town!

It’s tempting to run with the flounce alone, but that would be cheating. Instead, I’ll take on the entire email:

Have you really got nothing better to do with your time?

Yes, I do have better things to do with my time, which is why I get a little terse with idiots who level baseless accusations against me and then run away when they can’t back them up with evidence.

Virtually every comment you leave on a blog at the moment has a link back to your own.

Check the figures below. This statement is only correct if you take the last day or two into account… and if you don’t look too closely at the circumstances in which the links were posted.

If that isn’t link spamming then fuck knows what is.

It’s not link spamming. Either Iain is an idiot or he hopes his readers are.

If it comes down to a choice between a comment with a lot of text or a link to a page containing the same text, I will always go with the link. In fact, most blog moderators prefer this method, too…. unless they have a bunch of shit they’re trying to hide from their readers.

But then you do need the traffic I guess.

Oh, not this “You’re just jealous!” shit again. Look, I’m not a big fan of stat-porn; in fact, I usually limit myself to one report a year… but in this case I’ll make an exception:

Here’s Iain Dale’s monthly stat-porn report (for February):

Iain Dale: 181,537 unique visitors and 312,778 page impressions. Bloggerheads is the 5th-highest referrer of traffic to his website.

Currently my site-wide tracking does not identify unique visitors, but the comparative page impression data is pretty fucking clear…

Bloggerheads: 130,569 visits and 237,073 page impressions. Iain Dale does not appear in the list of top referrers… at all.

Does it look like I’m benefiting from ‘link-spamming’ Iain’s weblog? Does it look like I need to chase traffic in this way?

Iain’s having himself on…. and enjoying a good tug in the process.

Nothing further to add. See below. End communication. Permanently.

See below? Where?

Goodbye. Forever.

Oh, I see. It’s a flounce. And a pretty fucking big one at that.

In fact, it’s such a spectacular performance that I think it deserves a picture:

Goodbye! For EVAH!!!

For those who need it, what appears below is a complete tally of my comment record on Iain Dale’s weblog this month.

Don’t be too impressed by the general numbers; many of Iain’s readers make multiple comments, and some of them (like Dizzy) have a bad habit of making multiple comments under different pseudonyms. Which is, as you’re probably now aware, part of the reason why Iain has been ‘dragged into this blog war’…. before flouncing off like a big girl’s blouse.

March 1st

Posts by Iain Dale: 4
Comments (total): 62
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 2nd

Posts by Iain Dale: 6
Comments (total): 167
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 3rd

Posts by Iain Dale: 4
Comments (total): 121
Comments by me: 1
Containing links: no links

Threads with comments from me (‘Guido 2.0’)
Iain Dale – February Was a Record Month

March 4th

Posts by Iain Dale: 5
Comments (total): 218
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 5th

Posts by Iain Dale: 8
Comments (total): 196
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 6th

Posts by Iain Dale: 7
Comments (total): 170 (not counting these deletions)
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 7th

Posts by Iain Dale: 8
Comments (total): 233
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 8th

Posts by Iain Dale: 8
Comments (total): 384
Comments by me: 2
Containing links: no links

Threads with comments from me (‘Guido 2.0’)
Iain Dale – Patrick Mercer Resigns
Iain Dale – Why Won’t the BBC Interview Robin Aitken?

March 9th

Posts by Iain Dale: 8
Comments (total): 188
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 10th

Posts by Iain Dale: 3
Comments (total): 158
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 11th

Posts by Iain Dale: 5
Comments (total): 256
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 12th

Posts by Iain Dale: 5
Comments (total): 273
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 13th

Posts by Iain Dale: 5
Comments (total): 210
Comments by me: 0
Containing links: n/a

March 14th

Posts by Iain Dale: 11
Comments (total): 332
Comments by me: 15
Containing links: 10 links in 15 comments

Threads with comments from me (‘Guido 2.0’)
Iain Dale – Comment Registration
Iain Dale – The Wrongs and Rights of Tom Watson

UPDATE (5:45pm) – *sigh*… Iain has given up on comment registration after only a few days of his ‘week-long’ trial.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 15, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Pow!

Link comes to us via Tom. Yes, it’s really in Hansard. I found New State Radio on MurdochSpace, and also this link-rich write-up.

Meanwhile… hold the front page!








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 15, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Blogger #1 leaves a comment at the website of another blogger. He makes an on-topic point, and includes two relevant links to back that point.

Blogger #2 sends a bulk unsolicited email to many bloggers seeking link exchanges.

Which one is the spammer?

Answers under comments, please:








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 15, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

It is Red Nose Day tomorrow… and still no answer from the Met.

It looks like they’re going to try to bluff their way through.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 14, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Dizzy is a clever guy and he does excellent forensic work, but when he gets that partisan bit between his teeth, a distinct clenching of the brain becomes apparent.

Oh, and he’s just outed himself as a user and abuser of sock-puppets.

I make no apologies for length…

The Background

In 2006, while running a forensic investigation into the websites of David Taylor, I bumped into Dizzy, who was running a parallel investigation that had hit new and exciting ground.

It just so happens that it was this story that Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) spiked because it was about an informant… as he privately dished the dirt on that same informant (and before you think it, at this stage there is no sign that Dizzy benefited from a similar ‘off the record’ briefing).

The ‘spiked story’ issue was just one of twelve in this mid-January ‘plonker’ post about Guido.

Now, while it struggled to deal with anything beyond the opening charges (of comment censorship and sock-puppetry) Dizzy’s reaction to the ‘plonker’ post did bring up the valid point that was worth discussing… and you can see me discussing this with an imaginatively-named ‘sock-puppet’ right here. We’ll come back to that sock-puppet later. For now, let’s stick with the timeline…

Despite his ‘concerns’ about an impending flame-war, it didn’t take Dizzy long to resort to name-calling and veiled threats (see comments under this post).

A few days later, Dizzy had a bit of difficultly with an awkward question, as did the author of Out From Under.

These two exchanges were recently featured on Bloggerheads when Praguetory faced similar difficulty with more or less the same question. A related post was added to Guido 2.0 about the final fate of the Out From Under website (it was hijacked by a blog-spammer pushing gay porn).

It was under the latter post that Dizzy unleashed his mighty fury.

NOTE – This exchange went from comments to email at one stage, and Dizzy has refused to allow me to publish the contents of the relevant emails. Please excuse me in places where I need to fill the blanks with a generic impression of what has passed.

The Accusations

Dizzy started out by trying to talk me into a corner on porn, but only really found his groove when the word ‘spam’ was used. For the newcomers, it needs to be highlighted that Manic/’Guido 2.0′ is your humble author (a prominent link on the Guido 2.0 microsite makes this clear). Oh, and the highlights (in bold) are mine:

Guido 2.0 (Monday, March 12, 2007): One of our sock-puppets is missing!

dizzy said…

Are you saying that you have a problem with gay porn?

Guido 2.0 said…

Dizzy, please read posts before commenting on them:

“Manic thinks it is pretty clear how such a thing could be capitalised on with a little misdirection.”

This is a clear statement of concern about how such a thing could be used… if, for example, one were a partisan hypocrite.

PS – Are you saying you have no problem with spam?

dizzy said…

A clear as mud.

As to spam, I hate it, spam and anyone who engages in email related denial of service attacks are scum of the earth. But then I work in the industry and have to deal with, and fix the mess that they cause.

Of course you know all about that sort of mess given you have, in the past, openly encouraged a Denial of Service attack on someones mailbox and then boasted about it with much merriment when it started bouncing mail because it was full.

Guido 2.0 said…

Link please.

dizzy said…

Lazy cunt. You wrote it, find it yourself.

Guido 2.0 said…

You cited it, you produce it.

dizzy said…

Why should I, you and I know exactly where it is and what you said. You’re work in SEO, you are a professional spammer, you openly boasted on Bloggerheads about how people should let their comments be knwon and then boasted about how someone’s mailbox was full.

Luckily you’re not relaying mail yourself in these games so you’re bnot breaking NTL’s abuse policy, but you could be considered to be breaking Fasthosts.

Incidentally I’m only posting comments because I think it’s fucking hilarious that who works in professional manipulation of online marketing would have the barefaced cheek to talk about spam being wrong.

dizzy said…

lots of shit typos there from me.

Guido 2.0 said…

Well, now we’re getting waaaay off-topic, but it’s illuminating so:

1. You brought it up. Bring forth a link.

2. I struggle to see how what I do can be considered spam. Real people voluntarily support a page/site and its performance improves in search engines as a result.

dizzy said…

Not off-tiopic at all. You started a thread about spamming and search engine manipulation. That’s the exact part of the industry you work in.

1: Fuck off. You can prove the negative instead. If it’s good for you to use as an argument then its good for me to use it at you in reverse.

2: Utter bollocks and you fucking well know it. SEO is anything but voluntary, it’s based on cynical manipulation which is why it’s such a competetive and lucrative market.

Guido 2.0 said…

“That’s the exact part of the industry you work in”

Oh, fuck off yourself. And take your extra-wide smearing brush with you.

You made the claim. Produce the evidence and we can take it from there.

dizzy said…

Oooooh touchy! Doesn’t take much to get you in a tizzy does it? Don’t worry I’m fucking off now, I have grown bored of you anyway.

[snip]

Citizen Andreas said…

I believe that this is the offending post to which Dizzy refers.

Guido 2.0 said…

OK, let’s check with Dizzy.

Dizzy, is this the post you were talking about?

(cc email)

[snip]

Here is where the email exchange took place. I sent a link by email and asked Dizzy… erm, if this was the post he was talking about.

Dizzy confirmed that it was.

Dizzy was then invited back to the thread so we might discuss the accusation(s) he made. He declined the invitation by claiming to be too bored, too important etc.

I politely declared a win by forfeit… and that’s about the time at which Dizzy lost the plot.

*****************************************************************************************************************
I am now an un-person to Dizzy. He claims to have added my primary domain name to his anti-spam filter… oh, and a few other distributed blacklists besides.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Nice.

That wouldn’t count as any kind of DOS attack, now would it?

The intention appears to be to not only block emails from me, but ensure that others do as well.. possibly unwittingly.

This wouldn’t count as any kind of gaming a system based on trust and reputation, now would it?

[Sidebar: In an unconnected development, this morning I appear to be batting away twenty times the amount of spam I usually receive on a weekday.]

How does Dizzy justify this response?

Well, he basically says that he hates me. Because I’m a spammer. Just that and that alone. Nothing to do with my political views or my less-than-high-regard for one of his web-chums, then.

Good to know. With that we can move on.

The next morning arrived to show that, while Dizzy may have no problems blocking any email response from me, he certainly doesn’t have a problem with leaving feedback on my website. Back into the thread we go….

Guido 2.0 (Monday, March 12, 2007): One of our sock-puppets is missing! [contd.]

Yog Brother said…

Manic, you’ve made the mistake in thinking Dizzy might be different from Iain Dale or Guido or Praguetory when in fact he’s using the same playbook.

Namely, if lacking the intellectual muscle or courage of your convictions to front up to an argument, simply shut down the debate or refuse to engage on any terms other than your own. Or delete the comments. Or, of course, reach for your lawyer.

dizzy said…

Justin, there is no argument to “front up”, I made it already. Tim Ireland engages in professional legalised spamming. In this case though, he went a step further by actively encouraging and then taking pleasure in seeing someone’s mailbox fill up.

No matter which way you dress it up, that is a Denial of Service Attack. Service was denied as a result of his actions, which he then made merriment of.

Now I have to go and write code and fix a number of mail servers that have been fucked up by people in the same industry that Tim works in. Can you sense the professional antipathy I have against the activities of people of his ilk?

Justin said…

Dizzy, I wonder how strong this ‘professional’ antipathy would be if it were Iain Dale or Guido fucking up your servers. Both are masters of the unsolicited email – sorry – spam. I could cite you chapter and verse having been on the receiving end of many from both of them before I was regarded as no longer useful to either.

State your case in black and white if you don’t want it to be regarded as partisan smears and sock-puppetry. You look like you’re peddling nasty innuendos, like some party political hack. Go on, show us you can think and act for yourself.

Or maybe you don’t care. You should try politics professionally, mate.

dizzy said…

If I discovered Iain or Guido were fucking servers up with spamming I would be equally as vocal. Especially if they were my fucking servers. And anyway, spam is far greater than just email these days, as this very post is trying to point out.

I have stated my case in black and white though. Tim Ireland encouraged and then laughed at a Denial of Service incident against someones mailbox. It’s pretty bloody straight forward even for someone with only an elementary understanding of the inter-networking. It’s not like you have understand frame relay and ATM switching to get it for christ sake.

I also fail to see how stating, in plain and simple terms, that I consider Ireland a legalised spammer and cynical manipulator of the web is an “innuendo” either. Just because you say it is an innuendo doesn’t make it so you know. It’s pretty plain and fucking simple really if you engage your brain and listen to what I am saying.

I consider the industry in which Tim Ireland works to be the scourge and scum of the Internet. They’re all wankers who waste bandwidth and think there is nothing wrong with what they do.

As for acting for myself, what the fuck do you think I am doing right this minute? Working for Iain and Guido?

What you have to realise is that when it comes to the industry in which Tim works I really do just hate them. What’s more, when I see one of them start banging on about how “spam is bad mmkay” I’m not going to sit by and say nothing.

Anyhow, why on earth would I want to try professional politics? It pays shit and I don’t get to code and fuck around with stupidly expensive and powerful machines. Give me an 8-way Sparc core, or 16x * dual core AMD64 and I’m in fucking heaven…. mate.

Guido 2.0 said…

Going to ask you to pull up *right* there, gents.

Manic asks this only so he can finish a related post before addressing this matter.

And so, here we are:

My Response to the Accusations

1. Apparently, this, ‘no matter which way you dress it up’, is a Denial of Service Attack.

Dizzy hates people who do this kind of thing. It’s not a political affair, it’s pure professional antipathy at work.

2. Also, the way I conduct myself as an SEO consultant is not a ‘black-hat vs. white-hat’, discussion… Dizzy regards the entire industry to be involved in what he describes as ‘professional legalised spamming’.

Dizzy hates people who do this kind of thing. It’s not a political affair, it’s pure professional antipathy at work.

1. ‘Denial of Service’ attack

I refute this accusation outright. Dizzy tries to back-pedal a *bit* in his later comments, but throughout he’s stuck to more or less this same line; “you openly encouraged a Denial of Service attack on someones mailbox and then boasted about it with much merriment when it started bouncing mail because it was full.”

Let’s have a look at the post he’s talking about:

Bloggerheads (February 1, 2007): Barefaced cheek

I’ve said my piece under comments. I encourage you to do the same.

UPDATE – Well, that didn’t take long:

[jesse.norman@dial.pipex.com]: maildir delivery failed: This customer’s mailbox is full.

UPDATE (2 Feb) – Oh, I’m loving this: Some Conservatives do wish to comment. One has done so right here while simultaneously proclaiming that “the Conservatives do not wish to comment”. That might be a tiny bit ill-advised.

I thought that what Jesse Norman published at Comment Is Free was totally outrageous, but to keep things on an even keel, here I’m going to describe it as ‘controversial’…

What Jesse Norman published at Comment Is Free invited comment. Because it was controversial.

I encouraged comments on what is quite possibly the most active of interactive sites in this country. I regarded it as unlikely that the traffic I would send their way would collapse their servers.

I did not encourage the sending of emails to the author or even suggest that anyone send an email. I did go to the trouble of locating his website and sending an email myself, though.. I sent Jesse a link to my comment.

I then published the resulting ‘bounce’ message as a clear indication of how… controversial Jesse Norman’s article was.

Admittedly there’s some allowance for interpretation here… so I stand ready to be called on this if anyone else wants to speak up.

Me, I’m not seeing the gleeful DOS attack that Dizzy describes.

I do see one here, though; Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) calling for a pile-on and shutting down Miliband’s wiki as a result. Did Dizzy voice a professional objection? No, he joined the pile-on… ‘then boasted about it with much merriment’ when the site was closed as a result.

2. Spamming

Dizzy’s claim that all SEO is ‘professional legalised spamming’ seems to be based more on prejudice than logic.

In its purest form, SEO is about ensuring that you have the right level of indexability, relevance and reputation. You can do this by improving site accessibility, bringing relevance to the fore though good design and copy management, and generating valid voluntary links/support from directories and the general web community… or, you can waste a fuck of a lot of time trying to keep up with every new algorithm change designed to defeat your attempts to cheat or beat the system.

I choose the former method, which explains why I have the time to write long posts like this.

:o)

So, onto Dizzy and his objection to spam (in all its forms, both real and imagined).

It needs to be pointed out that Dizzy has made it clear that he would speak out about spam from his web-chums… but only under certain conditions. He said: “If I discovered Iain or Guido were fucking servers up with spamming I would be equally as vocal.”

So my pointing out that Iain Dale is guilty of outright spamming does me little good here, as I have no proof that he collapsed any servers in the process.

Do I dare to call ‘impasse’? Or is that being just a tad generous?

Sock-Puppetry

Dizzy had the following to say when I suggested that a number of sock-puppets were on the loose over at the Guido Fawkes weblog:

Dizzy Thinks (Tuesday, January 16, 2007): Usenet, Bulletin Board and Blogs. All the same really.

Fundamental to the diatribe and ensuing flame war (of which yes, this may be considered part), is an edge of paranoia that thinks all is not what it seems. There will be a belief that vast numbers of the “other side” are not really individuals but merely alts of the original target. The intellectual absurdity then becomes present as the paranoia leads to fallacious arguments such as “unless you prove you’re not an alt I will believe you are one”.

One can only wonder why I’m so paranoid.

Oh, here’s why…

Dizzy himself was one of the fucking sock-puppets!

Check out a master-class in sock-puppetry in the comments of Paul Linford’s website starting here.

Dizzy begins by posting under his own name, then retreats and begins posting as ‘sock-puppet’ (original name).

Dizzy, posting as ‘sock puppet’ , displays a fair few tells throughout, but he totally gives himself away riiiiight about here:

You’re no better than a 419 scumbag spammer. Then again, you are in SEO/marketing, which is a euphemism for the “spam department”.

Whoops.

Dizzy’s prejudice is showing.

:o)

Later in the exchange, Dizzy appears as himself again to mop up and explain away an earlier veiled threat. He gives no indication that he and ‘sock puppet’ are one and the same. Posting as ‘sock puppet’, he is even asked about his identity… and refuses to reveal it. The intention to post as an ‘alt’ (i.e. a sock puppet) is clear.

Dizzy is right when he claims that I engaged in some sock-puppetry myself.. I spent a great deal of time using sock-puppets on Guido’s site while investigating his use and abuse… of sock-puppetry. You can see one of the lessons learned as a result here.

But I made no secret of that – and I certainly didn’t go into a comments thread to bat for myself or any of my friends while posing as a neutral observer – which is exactly what Dizzy did here…. the sad bastard.

Conclusions

– Dizzy’s shrill accusations are easy to refute… and one of them deserves to be ignored.

– Just like Jackie Danicki, Dizzy likes to make baseless accusations and run away when they are challenged.

– Dizzy is just a little bit of a hypocrite.

– Dizzy uses sock-puppets.

– How many sock-puppets Dizzy uses to defend himself or ‘Guido’ and/or rubbish/bully opponents remains a matter for debate.

Over to Dizzy

When you’re ready, Dizzy.

Hope you don’t mind conducting the rest of this exchange here where only registered users are allowed to play. Email is out, obviously.. and given your proven history of sock-puppetry, I’d like to be certain of who I’m talking to.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 13, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Fallout BoyIndependent – Trident revolt grows as minister resigns: Government whips have mobilised to stop more Labour MPs joining the revolt against the replacement of the £65bn Trident missile system – after the Deputy Leader of the Commons announced yesterday he was quitting in protest… The Liberal Democrats threw their support behind the Labour rebels, after heated talks within the Lib Dem leadership. It could lead to a group of about 10 Tory MPs defying their own three-line whip and voting against the Government. David Cameron, the Tory leader, has ordered his MPs to vote for the Trident replacement but some Tories accused Tony Blair of rushing the decision to complete his legacy.

Trident is a bad deal, not least because of this:

BBC – Q&A: Trident replacement (Is Trident independent?): Tony Blair was at pains to say that firing Trident does not require the permission, the satellites or the codes of any other country (i.e. the United States) and that therefore it is fully operationally independent. However, critics say that Britain is technically so dependent on the United States that in effect Trident is not an independent system. For example, the British Trident missiles are serviced at a US port in Georgia, the missiles are to have their lives extended by the US and Tony Blair has said the UK will work with the US when the US develops a replacement for the D5 missile in the 2040s. The critics also argue that the British warhead design is based on an American one and that warhead components are also from the United States.

I don’t see that see much can come from lobbying my MP, as she’s only recently been promoted to shadow cabinet and is unlikely to buck under a three-line whip in the best of circumstances… but I will be there making a noise:

CND: Emergency Lobby of Parliament and Rally on 14th March

If you’re on the lookout for likely rebels, your best starting-point is right here.

More soon.

UPDATE – Ah, see? What did I tell you?

Guido’s not discussing it, Iain Dale doesn’t get it. It’s another glorious sunny day in Britblogland.

Oh, and the banner shown in this next news item is not quite as big as the London Eye’s ‘red nose’ display, but I’m sure the police would have been wanting the necessary forms from these gentlemen:

InTheNews.co.uk – Greenpeace scales parliament

UPDATE – Got my posters sorted (see right). Printing many A3 copies right now…

UPDATE – Please read this.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 13, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

… I’m beginning to think that Praguetory likes being hit with a big stick.

FFS, here he is yesterday afternoon denying that he had seen any evidence! More evidence is on offer, but Praguetory has not yet requested it.

What does it take to get a straightforward answer to a valid question?








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 12, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Iain Dale links to porn shock!

I have a good mind to write a stern letter to the Daily Mail, yes I do.

(shakes fist in curmudgeonly manner)








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 12, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

It is Red Nose Day this Friday. The deadline for requesting permission to demonstrate support for Comic Relief and its aims in a designated area has passed.

Still no advice or word from the Met, despite my using a red nose display of unquestionable size and significance as my lead example.

It really is very simple:

Demonstrations without prior authorisation are banned in and around Westminster… is an exception being made for Comic Relief and – if so – why?

You can seek an answer to this question yourself by contacting the Public Order Branch on 020 7230 9801 or 020 7230 9805.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 12, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

In January of last year, Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) repeatedly equated homosexuality with paedophilia:

Bloggerheads January 23, 2006: “Our legal advice is that Mark Oaten is not a paedophile.”
Bloggerheads January 25, 2006: Guido, the Monkey, and the elephant’s trunk

He then refused to apologise for this or even acknowledge that he had done it… but somehow found time to delete all record of the words he claimed to stand by. (Yet another smooth move from the master of hypocrisy.)

Since that time, there has been a single question (posed in variant forms, depending on the circumstances) that has vexed many supporters of the ‘Guido’ website.

Here, you can witness Dizzy first dodging the question, then refusing to acknowledge the point.

At the bottom of this post, you can see an example of another supporter (Out From Under) actually running away from the question, never to return!

Last Friday, Praguetory faced that same question.

It began with this post showing many examples of his hypocrisy:

Bloggerheads March 9, 2007: Praguetory

He responded with this:

Praguetory March 9, 2007: The Rules On My Blog

Blogging is a game, we make the rules. Here are the ones that govern my blog. I made them up.

1. No profanities on obituaries (running since my Milton Friedman obituary).
2. I may on a whim amend or remove posts or comments to them without explanation
3. Anon bloggers will generally receive less respect.
4. For your guidance I may fail to reply to your comment for any one or combination of the following reasons – rudeness, time, boredom, acute embarassment, forgetfulness
5. Tim Ireland is banned because he abused Iain and Guido’s hospitality at their sites. This is where I first encountered him defending one of his clients by way of ad hominem attack.
6. All rules are subject to change. Updates will not be generally be provided

The rules are largely unchanged from when they were last updated on 5 December. Most readers like them then. Since then I have opened myself up to criticism. That’s the complaints box.

Note how he infers that the post about him was purely an objection to the way he behaves on his own website. This is not the case. It is Praguetory’s behaviour on other weblogs that does the most damage; the cautious censorship of his own website mostly serves to show the breathtaking hypocrisy behind it all.

Note also the entirely false suggestion that most deletions are due to the use of profanity.

There is also the great and noble move by Praguetory to open himself up to criticism with a dedicated thread… thereby leaving individual articles unmolested. He is to be congratulated for inventing the blogging equivalent of a Free Speech Zone.

There is more… but it will keep for now, and I know you’re hankering for a reaction to that special question.

So, here we go… starting with CuriousHamster rising from his funk and to the occasion. From the comments of the above post:

CuriousHamster said…

“Is it OK to slur someone as a paedophile? My answer (as should be obvious from the post you link to) is no.” – PT

So, are you going to be delinking “Guido” and unleashing your fearsome faux outrage on his “beyond the pale” comments or what?

In other news, rumours abound that that no-one likes a cowardly two-faced hypocrite.

Praguetory said…

CH – give me the link to where Guido said it. I understand that this is from about a year ago before I started blogging, but I’ll look into it, if you can send me the link to Guido’s site where that slur is on the record. (and don’t give me a link to Tim Ireland because he is an unreliable witness re Guido).

CuriousHamster said…

PT, nice wriggle. I suspect you think I can’t access the podcast and you’d be right.

Fortunately, since I asked the question, I’m still willing to supply the information you’ve requested. I happen to know that “Guido” had previously written the same smear here.

Oaten? A slaphead who most mothers would feel uneasy seeing near a playground. – “Guido Fawkes”

And you say?

Praguetory said…

And that’s it? Harsh words, but it looks like Guido was trailing the rentboy story for those in the know. It’s certainly some distance from calling someone a paedo. Presume the deluge of comments in support of Mark were deleted by Guido?

CuriousHamster said…

Dear oh dear.

Can you just fill me in on the ways in which mothers and playgrounds are related to male prostitutes?

In other news, rumours abound that that no-one likes a cowardly two-faced hypocrite.

Praguetory said…

We all know what Mark got caught doing a few weeks later. Guido may have been surreptitiously signalling his insider knowledge. There’s plenty of middle-aged men whose appearance might scare moms – that’s a reality.

Oh dear…

Praguetory tries to squirm out of it at the end, but I’m seeing the homosexual=paedophile equation at work here.

Regardless, I feel that Praguetory deserves a repeat crack at the question, as he is currently working at a disadvantage; he is labouring under the delusion that, because I am critical of ‘Guido’, my transcript of the ‘Guido’/Oaten affair cannot be trusted (there is logic there, if you don’t look too close).

If Praguetory would like to hear the relevant podcast in full, he only has to ask… I have a copy saved to my hard-drive, and so do many others*.

[*You may not be aware that you have this file saved to disk; Paul Staines sent a copy of the podcast as an attachment. The email you’re looking for is from 19 January 2006, from ‘Guy Fawkes’, and headed ‘Guido and the Monkey Podcast Experiment’]

When Praguetory has listened to the podcast in full and ascertained for himself that the transcript is accurate, then we can return to the question… and a few other matters.

Over to you, Praguetory…

UPDATE (4:31pm) – Tch. Still waiting on word from Praguetory. Meanwhile, CuriousHamster has this.








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