Posted by Tim Ireland at February 18, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Pickled Politics – Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and the Smith Institute

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 16, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

“Guido will provide evidence of the Sith’s wrongdoing, but he intends to protect his sources as well.” – Paul Staines (aka Guy/Guido Fawkes)

I want to ignore the spin for a moment and ask a simple question;

Do you really mean that, Paul?

“The only specific allegation that he makes that is true is that I chose not to write a story about a source because the person was a source. Fair cop. Drat.” – – Paul Staines (aka Guy/Guido Fawkes)

The reason I ask this question is that, in the single-faceted defence above, you appear to be denying passing me information that totally compromised that same source. The relevant email exchange (below) was published over a month ago, and I assume you’re willing to let it stand because – *gasp* – you haven’t threatened to sue me over it yet:

—– Original Message —–
From: “Guy Fawkes”
To: “Tim Ireland”
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: boom
> Have you done fourth term net?
> Are you going to point the finger at Benji Wegg Prosser No. 10’s
> Director of Strategic Communications?
> Not vis-a-vis Taylor – he is McM’s gofer. – and paid to dig dirt on
> LibDems. But McM is plausibly deniable by BWP.
> BWP is very keen on the Online War. He is frustrated with what he
> sees as right-wing ascendancy online.
> Check the Google cache for the hastily pulled Gordon is a Moron blog.
> On 9/11/06, Tim Ireland wrote:
>> Of course, you’ll have to report this when it goes mainstream
>> —– Original Message —–
>> From: “Guy Fawkes”
>> To: “Tim Ireland”
>> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 5:14 PM
>> Subject: Re: boom
>> > All yours, am laughing.
>> >
>> > As I said before, he is a source. That buys him some protection.
>> > Doesn’t mean I don’t wish you well…. ;)
>> >
>> > On 9/11/06, Tim Ireland wrote:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>

Do you deny doing this, Paul?


Again, just wondering…


Tim Ireland

PS – We really have to talk about your bad habit of happily publishing smears about me in one breath and screaming “Smear!” the next… especially as you appear to do both to avoid pertinent issues, points and questions. Like the one above.

UPDATE – Over to you…

UPDATE – Over to you…

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

so this might take a while.

Potential beta-testers, please stand-by…. and be prepared to present your papers.

PS – La-la-laala-la-laaa

SIDEBAR – Well, bring on the big guns, why don’t you?

I’ll be back later (when Paul has finished showing you everything that’s under his skirt).

[‘Guido’, I wish you luck. You know where to reach me…. you happy little spin-meister, you.]

UPDATE – For those in the know.

UPDATE – Click here if you would like an excellent report on the current state of play.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The Daily – Just say “no” to 18 Doughty Street

I’m going to be lazy here and assume that there is no formal link between Iain Dale and MessageSpace and 18 Doughty Street paid the full going rate for these online ads.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2007

Category: Tony 'King Blair

—– Original Message —–
From: “a” []
To: Manic
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 3:44 AM
Subject: Bloggerheads

> Mr. Ireland – You placed a petition on a Number 10 website that the Prime
> Minister “stand on his head and juggle ice cream”.
> It is clear that your intent was to damage this new manifestation of
> democracy. You have no interest in the people having reasonable grievances
> redressed, and would rather smear all petitions with ideas of meaninglessness.
> I am entirely unsurprised, on visiting your site, that you are a far
> leftist. Your creed is based on ignoring what people want, telling them
> what they need, always leads to subjugation of people, and is in the descendent.

Mr ‘A’ – You sent me an anonymous ‘no reply’ email denouncing this action and making all sorts of assumptions regarding my intentions (and my politics).

It is (*ahem*) clear that your intent was to have your little rant without the discomfort of having any of your assertions challenged.

Rest assured that when I finally do subjugate the people of this nation and the shiny new space-age internment camps are in place, you will be the first inmate to be refused access to oxygen.

[Psst! As I said when I first submitted the ‘ice cream’ petition: This petition project has significant value (well done, mysociety)… but it also shows that there is significant value in creating and maintaining your own little corner of Teh Interwebs… where you can (*gasp*) acknowledge party-politics (without, say, committing to it entirely) and create/maintain material that doesn’t have to be cleared by the Labour Party and/or Downing Street first.]

UPDATE (4:24pm) – Huzzah! A reply from our objecting gent! And what odd time-stamps he has…

—– Original Message —–
From: “a” []
To: Manic
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 12:19 AM
Subject: Bloggerheads

> All sorts of assumptions about your politics? Your website espouses every
> far leftist idea known to man!
> I would have posted my comments on your forum, but it requires registration
> and I have no intention of giving you any of my information, and receiving
> leftist porn in my email.
> You cheaply ignore my main assertion: your petition is meaningless and
> impossible – it thereby makes the statement that petitions are generally
> meaningless tosh that some nutter has a gripe about, and that the business
> of big leftist government should go on unabated regardless of the desires
> of these lunatics (your little leftist brain is itching, nay twitching to
> agree in some smart-aleccy way! you must give in to it! you must!)

I really must apologise for cheaply ignoring his main assertion. The man must feel so cheated after not expecting a bloody reply in the first place!


‘A’, please read the fine print of the petition (under ‘more details from petition creator’) and get back to me… and do include an email address this time; I’m simply dying to send you some leftist pornography!

[I’m not making this up, people… I swear it! Of course, this could be a troll, but if it is, it’s a decidedly jolly one.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 14, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Greetings all.

‘Guido Fawkes’:

You’re probably champing away at the bit and waiting for a key development today, but you’re going to have to wait a day longer, I’m afraid.

For today, I’m in a holding pattern, and wish mainly to direct you to this post by Justin:

Chicken Yoghurt – The last laugh: On Saturday last week, a Guardian article from 1986 was circulated amongst a group of bloggers which related to what Paul Staines, AKA Guido Fawkes, may or may not have got up to whilst a right-wing political activist at Hull University… Shortly after, emails arrived from Paul Staines stating that he considered the publication of the article as defamatory. He demanded its removal from our blogs, stating he had an ‘retraction’ of the article which he would let us see…

Oh, and this one by Clive:

The UK Today – The Ethic of Reciprocity: What this has shown is the breathtaking hypocrisy of Paul Staines. Here is a man who, when the going gets tough, reaches not for his Libertarian principles, but rather for his lawyer and his wallet. If this whole affair has show one incontravertible truth, it is that Paul can give it, but can’t take it.

[edit]: And this from Unity (leading with a superb headline… the bastard):

Ministry of Truth – Knives and Fawkes: So far as that ‘behind the scenes’ activity is concerned, the most pertinent events of this week concern an interview given by Staines to Sunny Hundal, which will appear on Pickled Politics in due course. Sunny will, I’m sure, tell the full story as he sees it and deserves the credit for getting the ‘scoop’ but what I prepared to say on the record that this interview was undertaken at Staines’s own request, that in requesting the interview he requested a ‘fair hearing’ and claimed that he would set the record straight and tell his side of the story and that Sunny, and the rest of us, took Staines at his words and accepted this ‘offer’ in good faith. What we then discovered last night, after talking to Sunny, was that Staines’s side of the story amounted to nothing more than ‘Lawyer says no comment’ and that this was subsequently followed up by further threats of litigation including an assertion that he would seek a high court injunction to prevent publication of the 1986 article and the 1990 ‘retraction’ letter. On the evidence of the last few days, ‘good faith’ would seem to be a concept that has never fully entered into Staines’s philosophical lexicon.

The only thing I can possibly add to this right now, I have already said; “I personally found the reaction to the content to be far more illuminating than the content itself”.

Iain Dale:

If Iain Dale really wants to draw a line under this he needs to know that the line does appear within reach, and the introduction of comment registration on his weblog would take us a big step closer it. (This measure would not prevent people from posting anonymously, it would merely make it more difficult for bullies and astro-turfers to post under multiple/false identities.)

However, he should know that it is still my intention to pursue Nick Boles until he at least provides me with a plausible explanation for his actions, and I will be keeping a very close eye on Fox News Lite in the future.

Caroline Hunt:

Ms. Hunt gets a free ride today, mainly because it would be unwise (and rude) of me to continue our discussion while there are so many people about with speculation that I cannot address and questions I cannot answer. I do not want to put her in a position where other people are posting libel on her weblog. Her own mouth gets her into enough trouble.

Our conversation has (temporarily) been called to a halt at this point.

Comments on this post are closed. Trackback has also been disabled.

Have a good one.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The UK Today – It isn’t that simple: One thing that has become apparent during the recent blog spat is the tendency of right-leaning bloggers, astroturfers and sock puppets to take a massively simplistic view of peoples motives.

pete – “Fox News for Adults”: The issue here is most definitely declarations of interest. Or rather the lack of… It is not as cut and dried as Iain Dale or 18 Doughty Street make out. Not by a long way.

Chicken Yoghurt – A double edged olive branch: Iain Dale says, ‘let the Blog Wars cease’ and then lets his supporters give Tim Ireland another beating in the comments. Smooth.

Then, suddenly, a glimmer of hope from Iain Dale (who, having longs threads as he does, really should fix those comment permalinks): I have gone through the posts on this thread today and deleted several anonymous posts which were offensive – not to me but to others. I’m going to be much tougher on this in future. Too many people think they can post anynoymous rubbish on here and get away with it. No longer.

Oh, and this from Devil’s Kitchen: Tim Ireland is a mad, stalking cunt who should fuck off and die rather than continue his petty and unpleasant hounding of people on the most spurious grounds possible.

‘Night all.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

I’m looking forward to an answer to this.

I’ve also (finally) been promised a video copy of Caroline Hunt’s ‘rant’ on 18ToryStreet.

PS – A good point, well made. Remember; these are the same people who scream “Nu Lab astro-turfer!” when anyone calls them on their bullshit.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Let’s not forget Nick Boles. We wouldn’t want to give him ‘a free ride’ while we ‘navel gaze’, now would we?

Also, this. Lots.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2007

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Iain Dale has an exciting new delivery mechanism!I managed to squeeze half an apology out of Iain Dale last night… but he refuses to admit to knowingly describing me as a nihilist. His defence is that he “(asked a guest) a question without realising what the word meant”.

Given Iain’s education, his constant exposure to this word in his immediate political circle (and on his own damn website) *and* his track record of directing arguments, I find this very, very hard to believe.

Speaking of directing arguments, there are several layers of spin – some old and some new – that are taking on a life of their own today (prime example here), and I invite you to watch them in action (and how they are delivered with this exciting new mechanism):

– This is a politically-motivated vendetta (conducted by Brownites or New Labour types)
– This is a personal vendetta with no real meaning (conducted by a mentally deranged individual)
– This is a vendetta that threatens to damage the blogosphere
– This is a vendetta of little importance
– All of the above (delivered under multiple pseudonyms, so there is little chance of contradicting oneself)

That first layer of spin is actually a multiple layer, as it also contains the message that the left fears the ‘natural dominance’ of the right in the blogosphere. This ignores several years of blogging history and glosses over the fact that the current dominance of the right is merely the result of the dishonest approach to blogging that this so-called ‘war’ is meant to highlight.

You’ll also want to keep a sharp eye out for the ‘if you think this is bad, wait until the next election’ line, as I’ve made it perfectly clear from the very beginning that it’s important we arrest this recent decay of blogging ethics long before this happens.

An example:

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 you 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.

Also, let’s be honest… if you dismiss a valid charge as a ‘smear’ and then hide behind a barrage of vitriolic smears directed against the person who made that charge, you come off looking like a bit of a dickhead.

Finally, if you allow anonymous bullies to regularly have their way, you only encourage more of the same:

The bastards get bolder. The expand their operations. They move from victim to victim and sets their sights ever-higher each time. At the same time, those in the direct employ of the major parties take notice and make their plans to lay their own astro-turf on this same fertile ground.

This is what is going on right now, and at the centre of the storm are the websites of Iain Dale and Paul de Laire Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’).

Staines uses many of the above techniques, but – most importantly – he also does not allow a ‘right of reply’ on his website. (I say ‘website’ because the moment you forbid meaningful interaction with the content you publish, you no longer have the right to describe your set-up as a ‘weblog’.)

And speaking of Staines and the quaint notion of ‘right of reply’…

On Sunday, I linked to and highlighted a particular aspect of an event from his past.

What you’re hearing right now from the spinners is that it was withdrawn, so it must not be true. It’s a desperate gambit (possibly backed an funded by the leftist establishment) who fear Guido’s power to tear away the veil of yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.

Not so.

Under the circumstances, I was perfectly happy to meet with Staines’ demand that I remove all reference to the article in question, as his demand showed him to be a total hypocriteagain.

As I said on that same day; “I personally found the reaction to the content to be far more illuminating than the content itself”.

That’s not to say that the article doesn’t contain relevant and revealing information. It does. In fact, my intention was to publish it myself on Monday afternoon and (again) highlight the most relevant aspect, but I’m waiting.


Because I want to watch the man behind ‘Guido Fawkes’ enjoy the luxury of being able to *lead* with his ‘right of reply’.

In the meantime, I’m happy to sit back and watch the acolytes of Dale and Staines continue to ride their banthas in single file… as the way they conduct themselves is equally illuminating.

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