Posted by Tim Ireland at April 16, 2009

Category: Updates

All email to has been temporarily suspended in order to keep the site stable during the clean up after an exceptional spam attack today (a coincidence that I can assure you has little to nothing* to do with Iain Dale).

If you wish to reach me by email before tomorrow, please use the gmail address:

bloggerheads DOT com AT googlemail DOT com

If you have sent an email today and I have not answered you, then you will have to wait until tomorrow or resend your message via Gmail.

Cheers all.

(*I say ‘little to nothing’ rather than ‘nothing’ because some people have reacted to Iain’s side of the story by submitting my email address to BNP newsletters and the like, so there’s an incremental influence, but I mention that merely to be accurate. I wouldn’t want to play it like the vicar and give a false impression of who has been doing what.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 16, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Last night I ran out of patience with both Paul Staines and Iain Dale and their repeatedly publishing/allowing false claims about me on their respective websites. Typically, these are often confused with banter or abuse (or deliberately presented as banter or abuse), but I made it clear to Paul Staines yesterday that I would no longer be tolerating the repeated claim that I am a paid servant of Tom Watson, the Labour party or the government, because it simply isn’t true.

Paul Staines has now removed a large number of these false claims from his website, and I’ll conduct a further check later (it may take a while as this been going on for years) but he has acted on everything on the shortlist of archived entries I made privately last night (i.e. a list that Paul has not seen), so he is taking this seriously and actively seeking out relevant errant entries. Good.

And I did it all without the help of a lawyer.

(If you spot any more, let me know, as we have an agreement that no such claim is to be tolerated on the website ever again.)

Compare this to the actions of Iain Dale, who refuses to even discuss this matter (or any other), and is now winding his readers up and publishing false claims that I’m a mental case, along with further allegations/implications that I’m only upset about false claims that I’m in the pay/employ of Tom Watson, the Labour party or the government because… erm… I’m in the pay/employ of Tom Watson, the Labour party or the government!

This pigheaded publication of outright lies on his site about me and others while I am banned from responding should give you some idea why I might have cause to re-dial Iain about 40 times last night (while he was busy being hilarious and deleting comments from me but not about me on his site). I wasn’t going to stand for it any more and I wanted the ‘in pay of’ matter at least settled immediately. I still do.

The ‘threats’ he speaks of are actions I will be forced to take if he continues to publish false claims about my integrity (again) and now mental state (again) on his website.

Again, I will be trying to resolve the conflict without turning to libel lawyers, but Iain’s appallingly dishonest escalation today isn’t leaving me much choice.

REMEMBER: FFS, as with Staines, I’m not asking Dale for a front-page apology or a humiliating climbdown… I know he’s far too precious for that. All I asked him to do last night was remove claims about me from his website that he could not back with evidence, and he wouldn’t even bloody well talk to me. He still won’t, even when he’s blogging about me *and* and letting his readers slag me off under comments…. which is, you know, a major part of what I’m upset about in the first place.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 16, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

The Iain Dale Fan Club started at midday on April 16, 2009, after Iain Dale stood by and allowed me to be smeared as a paedophile*, refused to discuss that, banned me from the comments on his website for daring to press the matter, and then refused to remove further false claims about me published on his website.

[*MINI-UPDATE (22 Apr) – Here’s a handy summary of all of that for you.]

Iain failed to understand at the time that the only thing making his ban effective was my refusal to ‘sock-puppet’ on his website like so many of his supporters.

So… The Iain Dale Fan Club begins with nine honorary members and nine rules:

Iain Dale Fan Club

The Iain Dale Fan Club Rules

The first rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is you do not talk about the Iain Dale Fan Club.

The second rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is you do not talk about the Iain Dale Fan Club.

The third rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that membership is by invitation only.

The fourth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that you must earn your invitation by getting Iain Dale to lose his temper and/or delete your comments over a fair challenge to any of his false/misleading/incorrect claims a total of five times (i.e. to earn your five ‘points’ to start).

The fifth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that you can earn a bonus two points toward your starting five – once – if Iain misses the point and/or loses his temper to the point where he specifically accuses you of trolling and/or of correcting/challenging his false/misleading/incorrect claims only because you want to be a member of the Iain Dale Fan Club.

The sixth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that – if you are invited – you must, when instructed, create an alternative identity (i.e. a sock-puppet) or series of same and only make comments of the following variety on the main website of that notorious blog-cheat and thin-skinned Tory propagandist…

Directed at Iain, his writing, or items that he has endorsed:
– gushing praise
– naive, unquestioning agreement

Directed at Iain’s enemies and those who dare question his wisdom under comments:
– childish, puerile and/or witless put-downs
– vicious attacks

The seventh rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that you must not ‘sock puppet’ on any other site ever, ever, ever. No excuses.

The eighth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that the ninth rule will not be revealed to you until an invitation has been issued and initiation is complete.

The ninth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is [classified].

Here we go, folks. Hang loose for a few hours or days depending on your schedule. No sense us all turning up at once and being too conspicuous, like.

UPDATE – A quick update for non-members from a comment made elsewhere, which is probably worth a mention here given the naked vicar’s narrative:

Iain once admitted to me that he often lets comments go live and conversations go on without really reading/checking them (not mine, obviously). Even with moderation on, he will often let through maybe 20 at a time without checking them first (not today, obviously). This is not a very clever, safe or considerate thing to do. I’ve been on the wrong end of it far too often, and I am now going to make sure that Iain won’t be doing it again for a long, long time.

I we don’t have to break a sweat or any laws or any rules to do it, and it won’t matter if Iain has moderation switched on or off. The people ‘auditioning’ will look like regular (if sceptical) newcomers, and identifying Fan Club members will be problematic to say the least. If he makes good on his subtle threat to go back to unregistered comments, that just makes life easier.

Iain also once admitted that, despite his many claims of ‘NuLieBore’ sock-puppetry on his site, he considers himself completely incapable of tracking who is really saying what at any given time, and he couldn’t reliably identify a sock-puppet if he tried. In other words, he just yells ‘sock puppet’ at people he doesn’t like and lets his mates get on with being however many people they please.

If you think that sounds like a lousy way to run a site, you’re right… but the good news is that this shitty tactic is about to get a lot more complicated for Iain, too.

UPDATE (15 Sep 2010) – A private discussion (that, sadly, went nowhere constructive led to me revealing the grand and glorious secret rule to Iain Dale as a sign of good faith, and a summarised version follows:

CLASSIFIED: The ninth rule of the Iain Dale Fan Club is that the instruction to create an alternative identity (i.e. a sock-puppet) or series of same and only make comments of the following variety etc. etc. on the main website of that notorious blog-cheat and thin-skinned Tory propagandist will never be issued, because sock-puppeting is wrong, and only tossers like Iain Dale and his supporters do it, or rely on others to do it for them.

So, now the secret’s out, the Iain Dale Fan Club is no more.

To explain it to the passers-by, newcomers and laymen out there; my main concern about what Iain Dale portrayed as comment ‘maintenance’ at the time (and long before this) was that he was allowing anonymous comments from supporters, but would sneer at anonymous comments from critics, or not publish them, and even accuse/half-accuse other critics of being behind them without any evidence, often blurring the line between abuse and criticism in the process. Often we would do this to the extent of allowing his site to be used as a platform for serious smears, accusations and implications submitted by people he could never hope to identify… but only if the accusations were against his critics and/or (dramatic sting) The Left.

Taking Dale at his word that it was not him personally behind these anonymous comments, it was my intention to complicate and thereby discourage his reliance on them; to inject doubt about who or where suspicious/OTT anonymous comments seemingly in his favour might be coming from. This is what he described as a ‘DOS’ attack at the time.

The Iain Dale Fan Club also served as a way to encourage interested parties (recruited as members) to stay away from Iain Dale’s site at this time; members were forbidden from leaving comments on his site until a certain instruction was issued… and they knew that instruction would never be issued. I did not want them needlessly embroiled in a flame war, anonymously attacked, or tempted to comment anonymously themselves (to avoid being called a ‘stooge’ or my ‘bitch’, for example). Granted, it did contain material encouraging potential ‘recruits’ to challenge Dale repeatedly (if openly and fairly), but I did not expect this to lead anywhere, didn’t hear from any potential recruits, and any one of us could have shut it down at any stage by revealing Rule #9.

My only regret is never knowing how many suspicious/OTT comments Dale deleted as a result (that he would not have deleted prior to this); but I do know he did not dare to disengage moderation for months after this, which greatly hampered his little game of allowing unacceptable content ‘unintentionally’ (see: How Iain Dale libelled Tom Watson (and me))

[*NOTE – The ninth rule has been ever-so-slightly updated in the interim, but only to give Iain Dale the benefit of the doubt when he claims not to have made any anonymous comments on his own site. Some harsh language has also been removed or moderated for reasons of propriety.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 16, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

“So he’s now going to launch a spamming initiative against me or try to instigate a DNS attack.” – Iain Dale

This is an incorrect assumption at best. Given Iain Dale’s past history, it is more likely to be a lie.

My solution to the problem of Iain Dale is far more elegant, and quite legal, I assure you.

Also, Iain has revealed that he did indeed listen to the many messages I left with him begging him to help me make a true and efficient statement to police regarding the Glen Jenvey claims that I’m a convicted paedophile, and those asking when exactly he would be removing other false claims about me hosted on his website

Iain refused to cooperate on both fronts,and his portrayal of multiple messages is a dishonest. one. I’m amazed that he would parade this version of events in front of his readers and still not address what he has done.

[UPDATE – If you really think you’re being harassed, Iain… call the police! I’m sure they’ll appreciate you giving them less than half of the story just like you’ve just done to your readers. Dickhead.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 16, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Take a look at what Paul promises to publish here, on live television on 27 March. It’s quite specific:

Paul Staines: I’ve seen the briefing paper done by Downing Street; “How to get Dale”

Derek Draper: Well, publish it.

Paul Staines: I will publish it this afternoon

Paul Staines still hasn’t published this. No-one has. But Paul Staines and Iain Dale have been using the old trick of using story momentum* to peddle outright lies and falsehoods to their readers and the media.

(*When you’re seen as the ‘good guy’ in a fast-moving story, often people stop asking you for evidence when you claim X, Y or Z, and will just take you at your word. Witness Nadine Dorries telling outright fibs on SKY News; a story I’m still chasing on the basis that I’m aware of two clear lies, and have evidence of the first, but I’m seeking evidence for the second lie, which is actionable if it turns out to be as it was described to me.)

They have also been blurring the line between the emails that have been published and this unseen email/document that they claim exists, but will not produce.

There is even sufficient evidence for us to suspect that this evidence does not even exist:

Iain Dale submitted to the Mail on Sunday a false claim about Tom Watson being CCed on the ‘smeargate’ emails, and claims he found out too late to stop it from going to print. (How unfortunate.) He then failed to undergo a comprehensive correction and retraction on his own site, while repeatedly implying that Watson was involved in ‘smeargate’.

In other words, Iain Dale knowingly misled his readers for at least a day and a half, as many of them will have recalled reading the claim, but will not have been aware that this claim was false and had been withdrawn (until after Tom was forced to issue legal letters, in which case a few people might have caught the resulting teeny afterthought/update on this post)

Meanwhile, Iain Dale continues with his claim that there was a Downing Street led conspiracy against him specifically, but he has still yet to produce the emails/documents he claims exist that prove this.

Where’s his evidence? Or is he again taking the word of the same ‘trusted source’ who told him Watson was CCed on the ‘smeargate’ emails?

I’ve made it clear that I wouldn’t use Carter Ruck myself, but while Tom Watson is taking the quite understandable measure of issuing legal letters to those publishing these false claims and persisting with a narrative no longer supported by evidence:

Paul Staines is making out that it’s all part of his grand conspiracy theory and/or that Tom’s a libel bully, and, after I dared to point out that he had no evidence to support his claim, published numerous false claims – also unsupported by evidence – that I’m secretly in the employ of Tom Watson and/or the Labour party and/or the government. This is a false claim that has been repeated often on his site, Staines has yet to remove these false claims from his website/archives, despite a very clear demand that he do so. (What’s he waiting for? A legal letter so he can make me out to be a libel bully, too?)

Iain Dale is playing along with the ‘libel bully’ game (in the same post where he admits the ‘error’ as if it were in passing!) *and* deleting mentions under comments (not from me) of generous Tory patron Lord Ashcroft objecting to what is published about him but instead of demanding the customary retractions, deletions and/or apologies, attempting to shut down an entire website (i.e. being a libel bully).


After pretty much standing by and allowing me to be smeared as a paedophile, Iain Dale refused to discuss the issue, and banned me from his site to avoid discussing it and to keep the information from his readers. He is now quite dishonestly claiming that he is not discussing this on the basis that I am banned (see how it works?) and also deleting any question about the evidence he claims to have but won’t show us, and/or the false claims hosted on his website that claim or imply that I’m secretly in the pay/employ of Tom Watson and/or the Labour party and/or the government.

Staines looks like he might just be ready to be reasonable, at least about some of the false claims he’s published about me.

Iain Dale might need a little something special.

[Psst! Experience the rich, undiluted hypocrisy of unapologetic drunkard Paul Staines smearing Damian McBride as an alcoholic.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 15, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

UPDATE (16 Apr) – Paul Staines has now removed these false claims from his website and has agreed not to publish any more like it.

After several fruitless attempts to confront Paul Staines about false claims made about me on his website (via email and the comments function) today, I’ve had to chase down a mobile phone number for Paul Staines just so he could ‘kindly’ offer to delete comments on his website that (yet again) make false allegations about me…. just this once.

The terms he describe set a precedent where in future I will have to monitor Paul Staines’ website for similar allegations, and contact him by phone again so he will read a single email and take action.

He wishes to use this system because he claims not to read emails from me.

Also, this novel system of communication has become even more complicated now that Paul Staines refuses to answer my calls.

Finally, he lied outright about being completely unaware of the claims, because he has published such claims many times before, and actively encouraged further claims via anonymous comments (that he may or may not make himself) many times in the past.

His acting surprised that such a claim would be left unmolested on his website goes well beyond deceit to an outright insult to my intelligence.

Here’s what’s been live on his site, and the proof that my reply to the false accusation was seen and deleted:

Even if Paul is going to claim that one of this little helpers does the moderating (which office are they based in, Paul?), in the end he is responsible for what is published on his website.

On that note, I took this to Jag Singh of MessageSpace, which is my usual route when Paul Staines is publishing lies about me or otherwise attacking me on his site and the ignoring my attempts to respond (which he does often).

The official line is that; “Paul Staines is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been,” but Paul once issued legal threats against me that were traced back to the office to MessageSpace, and concerned an article that alleged that he had been stealing other people’s work and hosting it in the core directory of the MessageSpace website.

I contended at the time that it was a bit odd that Paul would have this kind of access to the MessageSpace website/server, if he was only casually wandering in and out of their open office from time to time as they claimed.

But it gets better.

I regarded Paul’s offer of answering a single email and deleting a single set of comments to be completely unacceptable, and I said so to Jag Singh… who offered to log into the website and delete them himself.

Read that bit again; Jag Singh offered to log into the website and delete these comments himself!

Paul Staines and Jag Singh and MessageSpace are far more intimately connected than the paperwork alone might suggest.

It is for this reason that I am finally reacting to these ongoing smears and false allegations about me on the website by announcing and advocating a boycott against MessageSpace and any commercial/campaign advertisers paying for placement on that network until such time that Paul cleans up his act or MessageSpace remove Paul Staines from their advertising network.

I realise that this may create certain behind-the-scenes difficulties for them, but at least the paperwork should be easy to sort out, right? Because Paul Staines is only some guy who happens to carry their ads and wander in and out of their open office from time to time, right?

Yeah, right.

MessageSpace obviously consider themselves to be a position where they have control over unacceptable content on the website, so I say they should answer for any/all of it if Paul Staines won’t.

And he won’t.

Recent days have shown that Paul Staines will openly deceive people any time he is given the opportunity, and I am a regular victim of the lies and insinuations he publishes. He probably thinks that he can get away with it because – unlike him – I’m not in a financial situation that allows me to throw lawyers about. But it ends here.

I want more than this single entry deleted. I want this culture of repeated false allegations to end to the point where every past entry that makes a false allegation about me on his site is removed, and every future entry mentioning me by name is held over for moderation and checked before it is published.

His new system is supposed to be able to handle this simple task… let’s see it in action.

Like Iain Dale, he cannot expect to get away with pretending to ignore me if he is constantly using his website to attack me, or allowing others to attack me while he deletes my respons(es).

Accusations made about me on his website include (but are not limited to) voyeurism in public toilets, homosexual relationships, stalking and harassment of women, and being in the pay/employ of Tom Watson, the Labour party and/or the government… and I’ve had enough.

Until it comes to an end, I am declaring war on MessageSpace, the only entity with any control over his website that is in any way accountable.

If they feel they are in a position to take action over this single entry, then let’s see them take action over all of them.


UPDATE (16 Apr) – Paul Staines has now removed these false claims from his website and has agreed not to publish any more like it.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 14, 2009

Category: The War on Stupid

Go look for yourself… it starts at 3:47 and actually gets worse:

YouTube – G20 Protest April 2nd 09

I’ll be back shortly to comment.

UPDATE – Still absorbing the video. Waiting to calm down. Have some pertinent information:

Telegraph – Met investigates new claims of policeman hitting G20 woman

The Metropolitan officer, who has his identification number covered up*, appears to slap the woman across the face before taking out his baton and hitting her on the legs.

The incident happened a day after another officer pushed over newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson, who died of a suspected heart attack shortly after.

[*My emphasis. I have been bitching about this very thing for a while now. We have yet to hear anyone from the Met or the CoL police or the IPCC condemning the practice or even expressing concern at the allegations evidence that it is happening.]

Obviously no one gave the Hill Street Blues speech that morning. Or maybe they did and it was like; “Hey, let’s be pro-active out there!”

UPDATE – Oh dear. In the HSB clip I chose, Sergeant Phil Esterhaus doesn’t sign off with his usual “Hey, let’s be careful out there”… instead he uses the alternative; “Let’s do it to them before they do it to us!”

Now, to business:

We are looking at a kettling in progress. See the photographer trying to leave at 3:20 (i.e. move from the enclosed area to where the press are free to move…to anywhere but the enclosed area unless they want some, too).

The results speak for themselves. As does the CoL officer who urges the media to turn away from a seeing-to or two with the classic; “There’s nothing to see here, is there?”

Yes, there bloody well is something to see there; a second apparent case of assault involving yet another officer with obscured badge numbers. Even your most gung-ho armchair capitalist would have to admit that it’s not the smartest public relations move, at least.

UPDATE – The angle of the video doesn’t make it clear if he slaps her face or chest, so there may be some debate about that if the far right bloggers out there have sufficient protein left in their bodies to lift their aching arms to their keyboards.

If faced with such a debate, it’s easy enough to settle, because the defenders of kettling would have you think that it has a calming effect. So, keeping in mind that the idea is to keep members of the public calm:

You’re a young woman outside a police cordon expressing concern to a police officer about the treatment of a man inside a police cordon.

So, where do you want it; face or tits?

(Well, it’s your fault you swore, you little firecracker. You was asking for it, wasn’t ya?)

UPDATE – Here’s our man. Note the fetching epaulette covers.

what a guy

Eyewitness account by the photographer:

During the afternoon of the 2nd April 2009 on Threadnedle Street near the Bank of England I witnesed the police officer in the photos on this page attack a woman with his telescopic baton. The attack was startling because it was apparently unprovoked. It was also surprising because the police officer concerned is a very large man of perhaps 15 stone, while the woman was very small, perhaps 5’3″ tall. He stepped forwards from a police line and beat the woman hard using both forehand and backhand strokes. I estimate that he hit her between 3 and 5 times. As can be seen in the photographs the officer did not have his number visible. The woman appeared very brave and did not openly show pain.(source)

On YouTube and Indymedia, where these and other photos can be seen, there are a number of claims that this officer’s badge number is or was AB42, but there’s no proof of that at this stage, the IPCC is aware and the need for a man/witch-hunt** is unlikely.

Now let’s hear some noises about how shocking it is that a police officer would hide his/her identity in this way, please. Anyone in authority will do; just a little gasp of disbelief for the cameras and you can be on your way.

[**Mmmmmm… manwich hunt.]

UPDATE – As has just been mentioned under comments:

PA – G20 ‘attack’ officer suspended

Better. Certainly faster. Not much stronger.

I want to start hearing some seriously reassuring messages about this hidden badge number nonsense. Good to see the Lib Dems at least are asking questions. Now all we need are those answers.

UPDATE (15 Apr) – Pardon me if I seem ungrateful, but it’s about bloody time:

BBC – Police begin G20 tactics review

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has asked Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) to review policing tactics. Denis O’Connor will conduct the review after two alleged assaults by police during the G20 protests in London… Sir Paul also stressed all uniformed officers must wear shoulder identification numbers so they can be easily identifiable by the public… Sir Paul said: “It is also the case that a number of complaints have been raised in relation to the tactic of containment and as to whether this achieves that balance. I want to be reassured that the use of this tactic remains appropriate and proportionate. Separately, I have already expressed my concern that the video footage of some police actions are clearly disturbing and should be thoroughly investigated. As well as the post-event investigation into those responsible for violence and disorder, I have also ensured that footage in police possession is reviewed to identify any other matters of individual police conduct that may warrant investigation.” He added that uniformed police officers should be identifiable at all times by their shoulder identification numbers. “The public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer whilst performing their duty.”

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 14, 2009

Category: The War on Stupid

Guardian – Police watchdog chief wrong to say no CCTV in area of Ian Tomlinson assault: This morning the IPCC initially stood by Hardwick’s claims. “Mr Hardwick said there was no available CCTV footage of the incident and we stand by that. Any footage that is available, whether taken by police or by the public, will be fully investigated as and when it becomes available,” it said. However, at 10.30am, after pictures were published showing cameras in the area, the IPCC changed its stance. “At this point, Mr Hardwick believed that he was correct in this assertion – we now know this may not be accurate,” the IPCC said in a statement. “There are cameras in the surrounding area.” The IPCC would not comment on why, almost two weeks after Tomlinson’s death and one week after it said its investigators had pieced together his last moments by looking at “many hours of CCTV”, Hardwick had been mistaken about the locations of cameras.

Tch. I’ve already pointed out that this is how conspiracy theories start out, haven’t I? Being thorough and attentive and observant is the simplest part of almost every role related to law enforcement. The public deserves better.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 14, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement, Video

The UK Political Blog Guide [2009]

Blog Guide screengrab

This video contains everything you need to know about the current state of political blogging in the UK in a smidgen over a minute, and stars all of the main players in the grubby-on-all-sides Draper/McBride ‘smeargate’ affair.

PS – Iain Dale and Paul Staines still refuse to show any evidence proving their repeated claims of a Downing Street conspiracy against either or both of them specifically, but they are dishonestly grouping this unseen email with the published email(s) and insisting that they have evidence to prove their conspiracy claim. Iain Dale has already made one false claim about this. There’s every reason to be suspicious about the personal conspiracy claim too, so… Let’s. See. The. Evidence.

UPDATE – Yeah, I noticed this, too; Iain Dale, in a typical abuse of the power that comes with added publicity, used the opportunity to press his false narrative about the right’s dominance of the blogosphere.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 13, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

To begin with, just let me say this: Derek Draper, Derek Draper, Derek Draper, Derek Draper.

Sorry about that minor foray into the archives. Tim J of Conservative Party Reptile is concerned that I’ve not mentioned Draper enough, and would have you think that I’m trying to excuse Derek Draper’s behaviour or distract you from his deeds, even though I have already condemned his actions and publicly tagged him as the wrong man for the job before Iain Dale and Paul Staines started using Draper’s clumsy underhanded tactics to paint themselves whiter than white (in part before even the emails at the centre of ‘smeargate’, that were sent on Jan 13 and seen by Paul Staines aka ‘Guido Fawkes’ that same day*).

[Psst! In fact, for the most likely explanation for Staines seeing/receiving the McBride/Draper emails on the same day* they were sent, see this entry on my blog about an email Derek Draper sent in Jan 16. In that exchange, Draper appears to accidentally (openly) CC Greg Jackson, Sue Macmillan, Tom Miller and Alex Smith on our conversation instead of (secretly) BCCing them. What I didn’t blog at the time, was the part where Greg Jackson replied to the group without realising that I would be reading his comments about my ‘arrogance’. Draper and his gang are a bunch of keyboard-mashing nincompoops; chances are someone somewhere (probably Draper) CCed/included/emailed Staines or one of his informants thanks to an auto-fill function and a lack of care or common sense. The most likely scenario in the circumstances is that Draper tried to CC/BCC someone on the ‘smeargate’ email(s) but BCCed Staines or one of his informants instead. This is the most likely scenario because it allows for a long period where McBride was unaware of the leak that needed immediate attention, and Draper – who admits himself that he’s a self-destructive arsehole – was willing to gamble that his mistake would never come to light. If that’s the way it happened, it is likely that Draper is still the only person who knows it was his mistake, not least because he still finds himself in a job. In such a scenario, it is equally likely that Draper himself is still unaware of his own mistake, as he is famously ignorant of just about anything to do with the internet and how it works.]

[*MINI-UPDATE (14 Apr) – It turns out there are are conflicting accounts of when Staines was shown these emails (and what he did with them afterwards, and here I’d like to note that Staines’ carefully-phrased/timed denials about him seeking and eventually receiving payment for this story don’t add up to much). Paul Staines may have heard of these emails in Jan/Feb/Mar but not received them until as late as the early days of April. Of course, I can’t ask him about that because he’s a childish query-dodging so-and-so, but this still allows for the ‘accidental CC/BCC’ scenario, but to one of Staines sources, and not Staines himself.]

Tim J also appears to be mistaking ‘fixated’ or ‘obsessed’ with ‘well informed and justifiably concerned’.

Iain Dale and Paul Staines and Derek Draper all represent what is wrong and dangerous in the political blogosphere.

The reason Dale and Staines especially seem so popular is because (a) they manipulate and feed off the mainstream media sewer they claim to be above, (b) they lie and mislead people about their traffic figures, and (c) they individually do get an audience that’s roughly double mine by the ingenious method of telling people what they want to hear, censoring any valid challenge to their claims, and letting people smear anyone who isn’t an ally of theirs under comments.

Oh, and they and their supporters also use and abuse multiple personalities under comments (see two key entries on ‘sock-puppets’ here and here), so for every hundred comments on some days there’s maybe a dozen people in it. It’s very hard to catch people doing this on their own website(s), but Paul Staines has been caught doing it outside his own website (pretending to be supporter, no less), and Iain Dale has a long track record of (at the very least) allowing this sock-puppeting on his site when it is to his advantage and actually using such comments as a weapon in debates/discussions that aren’t going his way (a classic example awaits you here if you have the patience for it). Draper is too new to have any real form here, but he’s clearly a comment cheat, and not above a little sock-puppetry, even if he understands that it’s wrong (which I doubt).

[Psst! Iain Dale once told me that he’d never – never – seen any evidence of my sock-puppeting on his site, even though he’s published many claims to the contrary.]

It should also be pointed out that this stage that being popular/successful does not make you right and not every visit to your website is a vote for you!


While writing this I discovered that Iain Dale published and fed to the media a false claim that Tom Watson was CCed on the ‘smeargate’ emails. He rested on this false claim a repeated demand that Tom Watson explain his inaction… over emails Iain knew he had never seen. This false claim (and demands/narratives very similar to Iain’s) later spread to several newspapers, and influenced many online conversations about this event, on Iain’s site and elsewhere.


In an interview with The Stirrer, Dale confessed there was no evidence to support this assertion. He said, “I do accept that he wasn’t cc’d into the emails.”

He added: “Knowing the layout of that office, I can’t believe he didn’t know about Red Rag, but I can’t prove it.”

When asked why he hadn’t apologised for his error, Dale said that he had only posted it for around 15 minutes on his site on Saturday night, and had even emailed the Mail On Sunday with a correction – which nevertheless repeated the slur.

“I don’t know why they didn’t remove the reference” he said. “I can only assume arrived too late before they went to press.”

So Iain now claims that he originally thought this claim to be true, but then found out he was wrong 15 minutes after he published? Even if this were true – and it is unlikely, as Iain Dale is a shameless liar and the master of the plausible excuse – he still has to explain why he did not immediately correct all of the relevant entries on his site and/or make urgent efforts to correct the other newspapers who had repeated the claim… and why he continued with repeated implications of Tom Watson’s involvement while his readers were under the impression that Watson had been CCed on the emails, when he had not.

(And Iain is complaining because Tom is warning him that if he continues he’ll have to answer for this in court? He can go forget himself. Contrary to what some pseudo-bloggers would have you think, I am not against taking people to court, I am instead against unjust use of UK libel law to silence someone while denying them their day in court.)

Iain Dale and Paul Staines and Derek Draper should also be warned that they now give me no choice but to come at them at 24 frames per second.

Or perhaps 12 frames per second… just to get it out of the way quickly, because the smell of the shit they’ve been flinging is putting me off my blogging.

With you shortly.

  • NEW! You can now support Bloggerheads by buying handmade firelighters for camping and utility or deluxe firelighters for your home fireplace. Visit to see my products.

    Fire Burn Good fire lighters

  • External Channels

  • Tim Ireland

  • Page 3 Politics

    Page 3: a short history

  • Main

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

    The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

  • Badges + Buttons