Posted by Tim Ireland at March 12, 2007

Category: Old Media

There’s a lovely howler on the front page of the Independent today. Why don’t you relax and enjoy that and the latest Britblog round-up? I’ll be with you shortly.

The Tories: that 'green power' plan in full








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Huzzah! My warning about Red Nose Day made the latest B3ta newsletter.

Still no word from the Met regarding their stance on its actual legal status (as they see it), by the way… but one of the major points being raised here is that they cannot make an exception for it without seriously compromising themselves… and now it just got a lot harder for them to ignore the matter in the hope that it would go away.

I’ve got £10 going on Comic Relief and The Tussauds Group hurriedly submitting their forms to avoid red faces all round.

And on that note, I depart to enjoy my weekend.

Cheers all.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: Humanity

One would be a fool to expect him to handle this subject using language of the delicate variety.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: Flash Music Video, Games and Objects

Finally, someone spots the ringers in the Bullingdon Club game!

But they’re not from Duran Duran… they’re from A Flock of Seagulls.

:o)








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: Photoshopping

Beau Bo D’Or – Zoo Magazine – The Tapes








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Praguetory is a Tory blogger and a perfect example of the type of ratbag that breeds in the dishonest ‘blogging’ culture currently being pushed by Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes (aka Paul de Laire Staines).

[Most recent entry on this subject is here and an audio-visual round-up of the matter as a whole can be seen here.]

He’s also just a little bit full of himself.

Praguetory started his political web ‘career’ by publicly begging for attention using his real name, but later decided that it was more fun to be an anonymous bully*.

[*He has since claimed that he used his name in this way only in “sometime private Tory forums”, which is a lie.]

This leads us to the first example of his breathtaking hypocrisy… and distinct lack of humanity.

A list begins here:

1. Etiquette

Speaking as an anonymous bully, PragueTory insists that the web should be totally ‘unregulated’ (i.e. he should be able to do whatever he wants) but the moment his identity was revealed through his own foolishness, he cried ‘breach of etiquette’ (i.e. a breach of the same guidelines accepted by the majority of bloggers that he either ignores or rather dishonestly frames as a fascist form of regulation when it suits him). He then responded by outing the blogger who dared to point out that he had outed himself! (And even if you can’t accept that Praguetory outed himself, one of the points of etiquette that is widely accepted is that anonymous bullies get their masks taken away. There is a very good reason for this, which is outlined below.)

2. Free Speech

Praguetory has moaned a number of times about his anonymous bullying being removed or ignored on other weblogs, and he likes to scream ‘censorship’ or ‘freedom of speech’ when he does so. He clearly does not recognise that anonymous bullying compromises the free speech of others… meanwhile, the level of actual censorship on his site (usually configured to make him look good) is astonishing. Take for example, this post, which he has since deleted in its entirety because it revealed him to be a hypocrite.

3. Partisanship

Praguetory chooses and prioritises the victims of his bullying along clear partisan lines, yet the moment anyone dares to point out how dishonest or flawed any given case is, he will claim that they are only doing so because they are politically biased (therefore, everything they say can be safely ignored).

4. Drugs

Praguetory has made his anti-drugs stance clear time and again. Yet he still chums it up with the (hopefully former) loved-up blogger known as ‘Guido Fawkes’, and – on this subject – there is no sign of his usually rabid demeanour.

5. Playing the Victim

Praguetory is an old hand at what appears to be a distinctly right-wing game; they will attack you with a baseless smear without hesitation but immediately label valid scrutiny of them as an attack or a smear and will continue to play this nasty game right up until the point where you get a firm grip of their neck… at which point they will cry ‘foul’ and/or ask you to ‘play nice’.

Also, as part of the post above, Praguetory complained about outings ‘possibly endangering the livelihood of the blogger’. Yet here he is openly threatening the livelihood of another blogger.

6. Respect for the Dead

[I had to think long and hard about publishing this, but people need to be aware of what this man is capable of…. especially in light of his recent faux-outrage over the un-death of Maggie Thatcher. However, it is not for the squeamish. If you’re of a sensitive disposition look away now and move on to No. 7… seriously.]

It was revealed that Praguetory has outed himself in a hilariously desperate fashion on 23 Jan 2007. On that same day, I published an image of him, but was kind enough to disguise him (see: original) while making a reference to his dishonest ladder-climbing attack on Bob Piper. He did not respond to ‘laugh it off’ (before deleting said entry – see above) until 15 February 2007.

My last words to him before he suddenly retired from the field in late January were as follows:

Nobody likes a bully, (Praguetory). May I suggest, as your next move, that you play the victim?

That night, Praguetory announced that his fiancée’s grandfather had died and he would be unable to blog for a while. He then went on to ponder on the passing of his own grandfather before signing off.

[Somehow, he later found time to make this subsequent entry – the purpose of which should be clear – before leaving for the funeral.]

That post was deleted a few hours later. Perhaps Praguetory got some good advice or maybe, just maybe, he realised for himself that saving face took a slightly lower priority at that particular time.

You’ll have to excuse my awkwardness over this… death is a delicate matter. I think the most honest thing I can do is repeat the email I sent to Unity at the time, because my feelings on this haven’t changed:

—– Original Message —–
From: Tim Ireland
To: Unity _
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 8:58 AM
Subject: Ick.

“Just as we were going out to eat this evening, my fiancée got the call that her paternal grandfather died suddenly this evening at the age of 85.”
http://praguetory.blogspot.com/2007/01/family-bereavement.html
Praguetory @ 11:17 pm Wednesday 24 January 2007

Even if he’s telling the truth… would you hold a dead relative up as a shield like this?

Now compare this initial misguided/selfish move with Praguetory’s outrage at the disrespect shown for the not-at-all-dead Margaret Thatcher. The two words ‘milk snatcher’ are enough to send him into a state of near-apoplexy.

But, then, Recess Monkey is a tasty target. Possibly a name-maker. Priorities, folks.

7. Paedophilia

I first knocked heads with Praguetory here. You will note that he was not only already aware of the Anne Milton weblog at the time, but the disgraceful smears made by local Tories were specifically brought to his attention during this exchange.

Did he get rabid about that matter? No, he did not. But he went straight for Terry Kelly’s throat when that Labour councillor made a single snide remark:

Devil’s Kitchen – Terry Kelly and the adventure of the paedophile smear (see under comments)
Praguetory – Another Leftie Goes Beyond The Pale

Now compare the two incidents:

On one hand, we have two Tory activists who – in a cold and calculated fashion – published/promoted a site featuring a person’s name, face and location; first suggesting then claiming outright that he was a paedophile (i.e. they pretty much invited some random nutjob to do him an injury). Like Praguetory, both of these people contribute to the ‘Guido Fawkes’ weblog. They do this under a variety of pseudonyms and have even alluded to the same smears there. Praguetory’s reaction? He couldn’t be bothered looking into the details of ‘a perceived slight’.

On the other hand, we have a Labour councillor who made a single ill-advised remark. It is open to interpretation, but no matter how you slice it, it was a mistake. Still, it was not quite as overt as the efforts of certain Tory activists (both of which are running for local council). Praguetory’s reaction? He went mental and declared the man to be ‘unfit for office’.

You can see me challenging Praguetory on this very point under the comments of both of the following articles. Each time, he uses a number of techniques to dodge the issue before running away:

Ministry of Truth – Cwy-y-y-y-innnnng Over Yooooooooou….

Tygerland – A few words on blogging recklessness

Even if (and it’s a pretty big ‘if’) we accept that this is a result of perfectly natural and understandable prioritisation, we have the following to deal with:

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

Funny… this is *exactly* what Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) did to Mark Oaten (more here)…. and to this day Staines defends the repeated slur as ‘satire’.

Yet Praguetory remains one Staines’ staunchest defenders and most faithful attack dogs.

Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite.

Praguetory is a nasty, evil, hypocritical ego-driven partisan parasite.

Contrary to what he might think (or have others think), it is not the ‘heights’ that he scales that makes him dangerous or in any way significant… it is the depths that he will sink to.

[All done? Good. Now we sit back and wait for Praguetory to misrepresent my use of Item No. 6 in the hope of avoiding the core issues and claiming my scalp in the process. I wish him luck. If Praguetory genuinely fears that members of his family or other innocent bystanders may read this blog and be upset by No.6 (I have deliberately avoided using his real name in this post to further minimise the possibility), he can have the item removed with a simple polite request.]

UPDATE (4:30pm) – Tut. Pathetic.

UPDATE (4:49pm) – One of his rules (that make all of the above go away, natch) has just been changed from “Tim Ireland is banned. That seemed like a good rule from the first time I encountered him.” to “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.” He’s also dancing a little jig over here, thanking me for the traffic. FFS, these games were old when ‘Guido’ played them.

Do me a favour, folks, and keep a record of any comments that you submit to his site. I get the distinct feeling that moderation will be somewhat… selective in nature.

UPDATE – Continues here.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

For starters, a key lesson is engaging your brain before sending email:

Many thanks for taking the time to email me regarding Facebook. I have made a formal complaint to Facebook as the accounts were fake as you correctly identified them to be, and now have as I understand it been removed. I had no idea of them until you kindly emailed me about them.

I may consider setting up a Facebook account soon, but I think as with my attempt at setting up “WebCameron” on Youtube, these things can all too often have superficial effects and on occasions in the case of “Webcameron” certainly, generate more ridicule for me rather than sensible debate, which is what I originally intended it to do.

It is a lesson I and other politicians who try and court the internet shall perhaps have to learn fast as time gets on, sometimes to our detriment!

David Cameron
(click here for source)

1. Is it just me, or does this read like an email from someone who knows sweet-bugger-all about Teh Interwebs? FFS, no wonder Sam Roake is able to pass himself off as an expert in Cameron’s eyes.

2. Oh well. Perhaps we can be grateful he didn’t describe it as a ‘a series of YouTubes’

3. Cameron’s team did not launch/set-up on YouTube; they had to be cornered into it after their first broadcast was independently mirrored there and (*gasp*) actual conversations took place under that mirror, instead of at their website. You can see where this mirror used to be here. The message from YouTube is still there and reads; “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by The Conservative Party.” (Funny… they haven’t managed to get this one removed. Or this one. Hooray for ‘fair use’! The top search result displayed in the screengrab below must piss him his web-monkeys off royally.)

[Note – To date, the video referenced above has been viewed 13,874 times. Basically, it has been viewed more times than any single official video from Webcameron. If it weren’t for this guest appearance by Boris (4,826 views to date), it would stand a very good chance of burying Cameron’s collective video views on YouTube. Does Webcameron generate ‘more ridicule (than) serious debate’? Maybe. The only thing I know for sure is that my ridicule of it generates more traffic than his version of a ‘debate’.]

4. David Cameron is obviously wondering why this ongoing stunt attracts so much ridicule, but by the looks of things he wouldn’t understand it even if it were explained in detail. Nevertheless, I shall try;

What would have been new, exciting and appreciated? A genuine (i.e. non-Miliband) conversation using text. Video was beyond a poor substitute… it was piss-poor overkill. Actually publishing a video to prove it was actually Cameron responding to comments (when he finally got around to it) stunk of patronisation and over-compensation. Also, let’s face it, this side-by-side comparison proves that Cameron’s ‘candid caught at home’ moments were scripted. And when Sion Simon made his (yes, flawed) attempt to point out that Cameron was – in effect – prostituting his family, Mr Nice Guy stood by playing the victim and maintaining ‘a dignified silence’ while the nastier elements of his party embarked on an extremely dishonest attack. That his webmonkeys actually had the gall to use this quite old-fashioned method to promote their version of Web 2.0 was the icing on the cake… especially after one of Cameron’s first videos, in which he expressed his desire to ‘clean up politics’. Now, not all of this will have registered consciously with Cameron’s audience, but animals can smell fear and seasoned web-heads can smell bullshit… and it’s the seasoned web-heads that he needs to watch out for. They know how to reach his audience, too.

5. To Cameron’s credit, he’s been very careful to distance himself throughout our email correspondence. The replies come from his email address, but the text is always from and underling, and signed by that underling. Plausible deniability and all that.

6. OK, so maybe I should give Dave a fair shake. Perhaps my providing proof of his activists being behind anonymous web-smears not once but twice is a little like producing fingerprint-evidence for a judge who wants to know what all the swirly patterns mean.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahaha! Loving the headline as much as the development:

Political Penguin – They’ve set the tea boy on me: A friend forwards an e-mail to me that he received from David Cameron admitting his website Webcameron has generated ‘more ridicule for me [him] than serious debate’. We share the amusement of Cameron admitting this and to spread this minor amusement around a bit I stick a post up on my site for others to have a bit of a laugh at… That said I was out yesterday and didn’t get back till late afternoon and there waiting for me was an e-mail from the Tories Google tea boy, sorry, Sam Roake head of their web department… Sam claims I’ve been had. The e-mail I published was a fake, he’s contacted David Cameron’s office and can confirm that the e-mail I received was a fake.

Let me spell this out for Sam…

The Penguin’s source emailed CAMEROND@parliament.uk (and did not publish the content of that email on a blog or any such nonsense, BTW), and then got a reply referring directly to the content of his original message… from CAMEROND@parliament.uk – it’s a slam-dunk, I’m afraid.

Yes, sometimes replies come from CAMEROND@parliament.uk that are not from David Cameron, but instead from members of his staff. I have several of these myself. On each and every occasion, emails of this variety are clearly signed by the relevant staff member. But this email was signed as follows:

Many thanks again for your thoughtful email. Keep in touch.

Kind regards

David

David Cameron
Leader of the Conservative Party
Leader Of The Opposition’s Office
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

I’m pretty sure there’s a hefty penalty in the offing for anyone who dares to put David Cameron’s name to an email he did not write. Either Cameron’s office needs to admit that this email is genuine, or someone needs to be sacked.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (13 March) – It has since come to my attention that – due to the source being a technical nincompoop – the original reply (headers and all) has been lost to the ether. A post-publication phone call to the source from someone claiming to be from Cameron’s office can only lead to proof that the original question was received, not that a reply was sent.

Cameron is off the hook for now… but Sam Roake is still a proven n00b.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2007

Category: Video

This video found via Devil’s Kitchen isn’t consistently funny/well-done, but it’s worth it for Uncle Fester alone.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 8, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The Quiet Road – A World Without America:

1. Why is Stalin still alive six years after his death by natural causes? Do you know something about America’s role in his death that the rest of us don’t? Or are you just really bad at history (and googling)?

2. You suggest that the world would never have developed a polio vaccine outside America. But you also suggest that the world would be held to ransom by foreign dictators with nuclear weapons. Who developed the nukes if not America? And might they not also have been capable of developing a polio vaccine?

3. Why would Thatcher be meeting with the Austrian president if Austria was merely a Soviet republic?

4. Why would Saddam Hussein be in power in 1999 when it’s well-established that his regime was propped up by… wait for it… America, throughout the 1980s? Wouldn’t a world without America be – by default – a world without Saddam Hussein? Do I need to dig out that photo of Rumsfeld getting all chummy with Hussein to illustrate the point?

5. Finally; wouldn’t a world without America be a world without the world’s largest arms manufacturer and dealer? Wouldn’t that be a safer world? Or does 18 Doughty Street see no connection between guns and people being shot by guns?

Incidentally, I watched 18ToryStreet on Monday, and Iain Dale is still up to his usual tricks of throwing guests off with shoddy interventions and then swiftly ‘moving on’ when the conversation suddenly stops going his way. This makes him a very poor host in my opinion.

Also, his promise to ‘investigate’ comment registration* on his personal site appears to have gone right out the window along with his promise to be a more stringent moderator. It’s almost as if the man refuses to do anything constructive about the situation unless my foot is on his neck.

(*As I’ve pointed out to Iain directly via email, if you’re publishing under Blogger, introducing comment registration still allows for anonymous comments – all one has to do is register with a phoney Blogger account – but it at least strangles those who wish to abuse the current system by making multiple comments under different names.)

Iain has been warned about the type of behaviour he fosters by allowing unregulated comments and actually encouraging trolls and astro-turfers by hiding behind them when it suits his needs.

In fact, an extremely unpleasant troll appeared under his Chris Lightfoot entry the other day. The offending entries stayed in place, unmolested by moderation, for well over 12 hours… until I emailed Iain about it. Iain then deleted the entire exchange (independent castigations and all) instead of deleting only the most offensive entries and reminding his readers of some of the important ground rules he claims to have introduced.

Why?

Probably for the same reason he’s all-talk about comment registration… ego.

Just take a look at the sheer number of times Dale, Staines and their pseudo-gross** of acolytes use the number of comments on a blog as a sign of success.

(**As far as I can tell, there’s maybe a dozen of them… each using about a dozen different pseudonyms.)

[Psst! If you’ve ever been a victim of Praguetory’s bullying, you’ll want to read this, comments and all.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 7, 2007

Category: The Reality-Based Community

Please tell me this is satire.

(It is genuinely hard to tell these days. Take this entry on Fox News for example… it could easily be dismissed as satire if it weren’t for certain recent developments. )

UPDATE – Oh. Dear. God.








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