Posted by Tim Ireland at February 5, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Tom has kindly been keeping tabs on the Downing Street email situation, and he tells me that they’re a month away from a fix.

The emails I’ve gathered have been faxed to Downing Street, with the following message:

Hello, Downing Street Peeps.

The following are emails sent to to with the promise of hand-delivery to Downing Street.

I’ve just been informed that the email facility for the PM will (finally) be replaced within a month. This makes any kind of fuss over this surplus to requirements, so I’m faxing the data instead.

However, at some stage, if it’s not too much trouble, I would appreciate knowing just why it’s taken 6 months to fix or build a system that can process maybe 250 emails a day, especially when so many of them can be safely ignored, addressed with a ‘Gordon Brown thanks you for your letter’ reply, or passed on to the relevant authority.

Tim Ireland

PS – I don’t care if you’ve done away with the old system, you jokers still owe me £2000… or, in lieu of that, the simple courtesy of acknowledgement.

That “maybe 250 emails a day” figure is what I’ve calculated as the maximum everyday flow of emails based on the number of people searching for ways to email Gordon Brown, the PM, the Prime Minister, etc. (i.e. how many emails they would get if everybody looking for a way to do it actually wrote and sent something, which isn’t at all likely).

I didn’t collect anywhere near that many of course, but the small sample I did collect showed me that the types of email sent to the PM have not changed over the past few years. All that was missing from my checklist was some guy having a back-and-forth with his MP before dramatically CCing the PM on their conversation (“A-ha! You’re in for it now!”)

Initially, I wanted to use the opportunity to send an email myself (probing for a response about that lovely Mr Draper, who claims their blessing), but it can wait. For a bit. Maybe.

Draper’s way is widely recognised as manufactured and fraudulent, but the following PR parallels may be of interest;

1. Draper speaking of himself in third person in his comment-free updates column. Elements of Drudge and Staines.

2. People from his circle billing him as a ‘stalwart’ when he’s been online for two bloody weeks. Elements of Dale, Staines and Hilton.

These people bluffed their way through and bullshitted their way past pretty much everything that makes a blog a blog, and fast-tracked their way to influence by the simple measure of declaring themselves important.

The only difference between them and Draper is that they’ve had more time to perfect their technique.

Allowing Draper rope is a risk.

(Unless of course the plan is to match the current circle of self-promoting pseudo-bloggers like-for-like in pitched battles of rigged arguments and manufactured outrage, in which case development is well ahead of schedule and you should be celebrating with boat drinks before the year is out. We’ve already reached a stage where every conversation needs two threads, because neither party can trust the other to host it.)

Related Bloggage:
Turbulent Cleric – Thatcher was crass but Draper is the real villain!

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 2, 2009

Category: Photos

A small selection of photos I took when out and about today.

In other news, Iain Dale is waving the ‘fascist’ tag about, and David Cameron throws like a girl.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 30, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Press Gazette – Revised Sun freelance rates ‘lowest on Fleet Street’: The Sun and The Times have cut the freelance rates paid for stories and pictures to levels condemned as “completely unacceptable” by the National Association of News and Picture Agencies. The move follows a review of operations which could also see widespread cuts to staff journalists across News International – especially among production staff, according to sources at Wapping… Sun deputy managing editor Richard Barun has informed news agencies of the cuts to rates in a letter in which he insists that The Sun remains the “the biggest overall payer in the business”. He said: “I’m please to say that The Sun will continue to pay more than any of our rivals for great exclusive words and pictures.”

The Sun, by their own admission, concentrate their spending on splash at the expense of substance, to a greater extent than any competitor… and they seem quite proud of it.

You know what this story needs for that added human touch? This story needs an extra quote or two… preferably from a member of the National Association of News and Picture Agencies.

Say… the South West News Service, if I were to choose a member agency at random.


Posted by Tim Ireland at January 30, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Read Richard Bartholomew and this comment thread on the subject of Lionheart’s serial retro-moderation and other sudden changes of heart.

Richard Bartholomew reports that Lionheart is back, and defending Glen Jenvey.

All of the comments presently under that latest Lionheart post about Jenvey are, in my view, most probably from Jenvey.

Most if not all are unmistakably written by the same person.

And reading them may amuse you, the readers of this obscure blog.

Data below the fold.

[———– fold ————–]


Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2009

Category: The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories!

The Herald – Action urged on Parliament Square protest camp: The protest camp in Parliament Square is a “national embarrassment” that is “permanently disfiguring” London, senior Tories said today. Shadow Commons leader Alan Duncan and Sir Patrick Cormack urged the Government to ban the “grotty” and “squalid” row of tents from outside the Palace of Westminster.

Perhaps their good leader or the nearest underling could make their position on sections 132-138 of SOCPA clear. Just so there’s no confusion about what they want and when they want it.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Updates

This is one hell of a first post. It is at the very upper end of the scale. You should not feel bad about not being this good on your first time out.

Put aside where Jonathan might be agreeing with me about this or that, and look at the quality of the device. Admire the smooth, sharp edges.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

My original point stands; if it comes to a choice between the BBC and Murdoch, I still choose the BBC and will continue to wear this button myself…

Click here to find out why.

…but it’s not a happy state of affairs if that’s about the only comparison that works out in the BBC’s favour:

Doctor Vee – A BBC scared of its own shadow isn’t worth it

The BBC’s primary problems date back, as we all know, to this same event. (Take another bow, Gilligan.) In their since-weakened state, they’ve capitulated needlessly – in varying degrees – to tabloid newspapers, pressure groups, and even clearly-confused nuisances.

The refusal to run the Gaza appeal, a move matched step-for-step by Murdoch-owned rival SKY, is a new low in this unmistakable pattern of decline. Their only defence of their position on the appeal is that they are afraid of how it will look, and as a result they damage their reputation further by being just a little too sensitive about it.

And I don’t expect the Conservatives to act as a positive, rejuvenating force, do you?

In as little as a year or two, we could be looking at the first real fruit of the liberal media myth; a fully-crippled BBC.

A pathetic beast brought down by a mob of monstrous moguls screaming ‘monster’.

(Of course, if this were a movie, we would all gang together, there’d be a musical montage*, and a tougher, more strident BBC would emerge, immediately ready to kick arse. But this isn’t a movie, and right now it looks like our starting point is a hospital room. Critical ward.)

[edit: Double-post fixed. Thanks to poons for the heads-up.]


Posted by Tim Ireland at January 28, 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Guardian – Sun front-page story on ‘terror target’ Sir Alan Sugar under investigation: The Press Complaints Commission is investigating a front-page story in the Sun newspaper that claimed Islamic extremists were targeting The Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar. The PCC has launched an investigation and will consider whether Abuislam is Jenvey. The regulator has contacted the Sun and is awaiting the paper’s response. It is understood that the Sun story originated from a news agency. The Sun declined to comment on why it had removed the story from its website.

“It is understood that the Sun story originated from a news agency” is an interesting little fig leaf, isn’t it?

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 28, 2009

Category: Normal People

Stevie-Louise Ritchie (NSFW), “recently moved to London to pursue modelling fulltime”, and eager to make her mark in a Credit-Crunch world (NSFW).

Lisa O’Connor (NSFW); “a friendly model with happy nature who has been modelling for about nine months” and “hopes to make her career as model a successful one & to that end, she’s been snapped up by XS Models”

Before you know it, both are photographed in the company of a most-controversial fellow, both are invited back to his flat, and both, immediately upon departure, tell all to The Sun.

And now they’ll be famous! Isn’t that lovely?

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 27, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

Don’t run into big fights in a freshly-made mask. Ever. It’s a bad idea.

Turn up to a fight in a mask no-one recognises, and a lot of well-motivated and resourceful people will want to know who you are.

In a cape… well, you’re just asking for it.

Phil Hendren – Is the Labourist Editor a guy called Matthew Birks?

My answer (the short version): Yes

I looked in the same place Jag Singh looked a few days ago. I mention this only to point out that this connection was not visible until Matthew Birks registered (a response to in his own name and then hosted both sites on the same server.

So I’m thinking he either got overconfident and sloppy, or he wanted to out himself in a particularly awkward manner.

Unity – Labourist – The BNP Connection?

It’s via a (maybe) relative in the same area. So calm, blue ocean.

Unity – He’s not a Tory, he’s a very naughty boy…

Again; calm, blue ocean. A (maybe) relative (maybe) involved.

But just as likely not.

Anyway, now would probably be a good time for Matthew Birks to say something.

UPDATE – Do keep in mind that there are more than a few Birks running around.

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